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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1811
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1736-1975
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 14.23 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Raine's Foundation School x Raine's Girls School x Raine's Preparatory School x Raine's Boys School
Raine's Asylum | charity school
St. George's National School | Stepney


Administrative/Biographical history:

A charity school was founded in Wapping-Stepney in 1716 which was reorganised in 1719 as schools for 50 boys and 50 girls from the neighbourhood. The schools were run by a Master and a Mistress and were housed in Charles Street, Old Gravel Lane.

In 1736 Raine's Asylum, or Hospital, was established nearby as a boarding school for 40 girls, trained by a Matron for four years in order to take up domestic service on leaving. Girls were selected after two years elementary education at the charity, or lower, school founded in 1719.

The main benefactor of the schools and founder of the Asylum was Henry Raine (1679-1738) whose name was later attached to both establishments. A wealthy brewer and pious churchman who lived in Wapping-Stepney, he allocated wealth to the schools in 1719 which were also funded by donations and charity sermons. Raine's Asylum was endowed with freehold lands in Blackfriars and Castle Street, Stepney and stock from the South Sea Company; this was to provide for the board and clothing of the girls together with 210 annually for two marriage portions and two wedding festivals.

The marriage portion was available to past pupils of Raine's Asylum, aged 22 and above, who could produce certificates of good character from former masters and mistresses, and whose husbands were suitable members of the Church of England from the parishes of St. George in the East, St. Paul, Shadwell, and St. John at Wapping. On 1 May and 26 December of each year up to six candidates drew lots from a casket (in the custody of Raine's School) for marriage portions of 100, hence the nickname the 'Hundred pound School'. The last Wedding Festival was held in 1892.

The Trustees were incorporated by an Act of 1780. By this date, the area was changing rapidly and becoming increasingly populous; the construction of London Dock in 1802 forced the Asylum to sell large amounts of freehold property. At the same time many of the school's patrons were moving away from Stepney.

A new building was erected at the rear of the Asylum in 1820 at the same time as St. George's National School was founded within the site of Raine's schools; from 1780, there had been St. George's Scholars within the boys school and close links were maintained with the parish branch of the National Society, in association with the Middlesex Schools Society. This school amalgamated with the boys school in 1877.

Under the Education Act, 1870 the state took up the running of elementary education; the Trustees, therefore, under obligation from the deed of trust to provide free education unavailable elsewhere decided to raise and extend the education given by the foundation. Schemes approved by the Charity Commissioners led to the removal of the boys school to Cannon Street Road (1875), the removal of the girls school to the former National School buildings (1880-1885), the dissolution of the Corporation of Governors and Trustees of Raine's Charities and the constitution of a new governing body, served by a Clerk, to administer the Foundation (1880), and the closure of the Asylum (1883). This process of raising the standard of education continued when the schools became secondary schools (boys in 1897; girls in 1904) and known as a dual secondary school, 1904-1913. Endowments were re-directed to maintain 100 free scholarships with special encouragement given to technical training and close links with the College of City and Guilds of London Technical Institute. Provision was made for a Prepatory School from 1877 to 1904.

The school buildings soon proved inadequate and were condemned by the London County Council Education Officer's Department; the School, faced with an ultimatum of moving or losing its official aid, opted to remove to Arbour Square, Stepney (1911-1913) to a new building designed by H.O. Ellis. Here, the schools functioned as separate entities. Wartime evacuation took the boys school to Varndean School, Brighton in 1939 but moved the Junior School to Egham, Surrey and the Senior School to Camberley in 1940. The girls school removed to Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. In 1944 the schools became known as voluntary aided grammar schools and in 1964 the schools became co-educational as Raine's Foundation School. In 1976 the Upper School was merged with St. Jude's Church of England Secondary School and moved to Approach Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PY (buildings of the former Parmiter's School). The Lower School is now at Old Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6PR.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Raine's Foundation School and predecessors, including deeds; minutes; papers of the governors; financial accounts; papers relating to the Wedding Festival including ceremony programmes and arrangements; correspondence; administrative papers; papers relating to admissions; reports on school management and teaching; admission, attendance and examination registers; lists of pupils; prize lists; papers relating to the school curriculum; plans; maps; photographs; histories of the school; printed items such as prospectuses, magazines, books and service sheets; and press cuttings.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records reflect the complicated history of the Foundation; they have been listed so that individual institutions appear, where possible, in the order: Raine's Boys School; Raine's Girls School; Raine's Asylum; Raine's Preparatory School; St. George's National School. However, many of the records relate to more than one institution, so that cross-reference is essential.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited on 25 November 1982.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For further records at the LMA relating to Raine's Schools see EO/PS/3/278-284. In addition, a large number of deeds and a few ledgers from the Foundation are held at Stones Porter and Company, 26 Farringdon Street, London EC4.

Publication note:

For more detail of the history of the Foundation see C.M. Rose, Raine's Foundation: An East London Charity School, 1716-1780 (in the LMA Library) and the histories in this list (ACC/1811/15/1-10).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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