Sir John Cass's Foundation dates formally from 1748. The origins of the Foundation are to be found in the early years of the 18th century during the turbulent and complex politics of the reign of Queen Anne.
The Foundation takes its name from its founder, Sir John Cass. Cass was born in the City of London in 1661 and, during his lifetime, served as both Alderman and Sheriff. He was also MP for the City and knighted in 1712.
In 1710 Cass set up a school for 50 boys and 40 girls in buildings in the churchyard of St Botolph-without-Aldgate. Intending to leave all his property to the school, when he died in 1718 of a brain haemorrhage, Cass had only initialled three pages of his Will. The incomplete Will was contested, but was finally upheld by the Court of Chancery 30 years after his death. The school, which by this time had been forced to close, was re-opened, and the Foundation established.
The history of the Foundation touches upon education in and around the City of London at almost every level, ranging from primary education to postgraduate study and representing an historical microcosm of the development of English education over more than three centuries.
Today, the Foundation has links in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of education. It provides support to its primary school in the City of London and its secondary school in Tower Hamlets, as well as the Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design (part of London Metropolitan University) and the Cass Business School (part of City University).
The Foundation also funds schools and organisations benefitting young people from inner London and provides support with education costs to young residents of inner London who are under the age of 25 and from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Founder's Day is celebrated annually by the Foundation and its two schools each year in February. Founder's Day in 2011 will take place on the 1st February 2011 and will be a special year as it marks the 350th Anniversary of the birth of our Founder, Sir John Cass. The principal guest will be the Right Honourable Lord Mayor, Alderman Michael Bear.
The event marks the birth of the founder, Sir John Cass, on the 20th February 1661, and commences with a procession of up to 30 pupils and guests from the Foundation's Jewry Street offices to St Botolph-without-Aldgate on Aldgate High Street, The service includes performances by pupils from the Foundation's primary and secondary schools. Although the reception is by invitation only, members of the public are welcome to attend the services.