Historical note – who was Thomas Johnson?
Thomas Johnson was a tailor. At some time in the late sixteenth century as he was walking through Bedfordshire on his way to London, he came to Lidlington. He was given food and shelter by people who lived in one of the cottages in the Parish of Lidlington.
This act of kindness obviously made a great impression on him. He did very well in London and became a member of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors and later a Freeman of the City of London.
As his status rose, so did his wealth and in 1618 he bought property in Eaton Bray. In 1624, he founded a school in Lidlington and made a grant of money to be used for the support of the poor and elderly of the parish.
By the terms of his will, in 1634, he left his land and his property in Eaton Bray to the poor of Lidlington. After his death, the income from this property was administered by a charity created for the purpose.
The Eaton Bray property was sold in 1961 and the money invested. Part of the investment income is given out in grants every year and today, the Thomas Johnson Lidlington Charity continues to work for the children of Lidlington and for anyone in need in the parish.
The Charity has been a great friend and benefactor of the school over the years. Its support is very much appreciated.