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About the Foundation

...John Lyon…by instinct of charity...hath purposed in his mind a certain Grammar School…of new to erect, found and forever establish for the perpetual education, teaching and instruction of Children and Youth…giving a very good example to all others to imitate the like hereafter, and also to the common profit of all our subjects.

Extract from the Royal Charter granted to John Lyon by Queen Elizabeth I, 19 February 1572

Who was John Lyon?

John Lyon was a yeoman farmer from the village of Preston, located in the present-day Borough of Brent. In 1572, Queen Elizabeth I granted John Lyon a Royal Charter to found Harrow School, a free grammar school for 30 boys from his parish. The Charter also anticipated that John Lyon would establish a separate trust to maintain the two roads between London and Harrow, now the Edgware and Harrow Roads. In 1578, John Lyon provided an endowment for that purpose in the form of a 48-acre farm in the area known today as Maida Vale. He lies buried with his wife Joan in St Mary’s Church, Harrow on the Hill, close to Harrow School.

What is John Lyon’s Foundation?

John Lyon's Foundation exists to further John Lyon’s vision of educational opportunity, on a scale and in ways of which he could barely have dreamt. The Foundation consists of: 

  • Harrow School and its associated organisations for alumni (Harrow Association), fundraising (Harrow Development Trust), commercial activity (Harrow School Enterprises Limited) and trademark licensing (Harrow International Schools Limited).
  • The John Lyon School (established in 1876 as a day school for boys from the local community, in accordance with John Lyon's original intention) and its alumni organisation, the Lyonian Association.
  • John Lyon’s Charity (a grant-giving charity that benefits children and young people living in the nine boroughs served by the Edgware and Harrow Roads, using the income from John Lyon's original road endowment). 

The Foundation is governed by the Keepers and Governors of the Free Grammar School of John Lyon, the Corporation that was established by the 1572 Charter.