Robert Aske (February 24, 1619 – January 27, 1689) of the Haberdashers’ Company was a merchant who founded the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls as well as a number of almshouses nearby. Despite marrying twice, he had no children and left the bulk of his sizable estate, £32,000 to his livery company for charitable purposes. He directed that £20,000 was to be used to buy a piece of land within one mile of The City upon which was to be built a “hospital” (almshouses) for 20 poor members of the Company and a school for 20 sons of poor Freemen of the Company. The remaining £12,000 was left to form the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Foundation, of which the Company is Trustee. The first buildings were completed in 1695. In 1873 the almshouses were knocked down and the school enlarged. In 1898 the school, which was founded in 1690, was moved with the boys moving to West Hampstead and the girls to Acton. In 1961, the Boys’ School moved to its present site at Elstree, Hertfordshire, and changed its name to Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree. In 1974 the Girls’ School at Acton was reunited with its Boys’ School counterpart, on an adjacent site at Elstree.
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