1604 Society

The 1604 Society was founded to recognise, honour and thank those kind enough to support Blundell’s by pledging a gift in their Will. The Society is named after the founding year of the school, demonstrating the huge history attached to our School, and provides an opportunity to thank members for their contribution, if you have made a Gift in your will, you will be invited to join the 1604 society with no obligation to show our appreciation and thank benefactors during their lifetime. We recognise that making a Will is an extremely personal matter, and we understand that and, of course would guarantee anonymity and respect privacy.

Pledging a legacy is a wonderful way of assisting the School in a very meaningful way and we are proud to have the support of over 50 Blundellians to date. Each of our members has pledged a bequest to whichever aspect of Blundell’s they care about most: such as providing bursaries for talented and exceptional children or helping to fund departments which will help generations to come to benefit from outstanding facilities.

An annual 1604 Society Lunch is held each summer, at which members may enjoy the conviviality of being with like-minded people, and to see/hear for themselves the developments in the School. Members have a lifetime membership of the Society, as well as being invited to Blundell’s events both at the School and elsewhere.

If you intend to leave a legacy to Blundell’s or indeed, have already done so, you are eligible for membership of the 1604 Society, Please either download and return the membership form, or contact Amber Oliver, who will be delighted to write to you with further information. Anonymity if of course honoured if preferred. Members’ names will not be published.

We very much hope that you will wish to become a member of this important and worthwhile Society.

The Peter Blundell Society

The Peter Blundell Society ("the PBS") was established by Old Blundellians over half a century ago. It is a charity whose objects are to provide funds for the maintenance of and additions to the buildings and land of Blundell’s School, for the education of pupils attending the School through the award of bursaries or scholarships and for the furtherance in other ways of the charitable objects of the Founder of the School.

Historically the PBS had been seen to serve three key functions;

  • To represent a clearly separate repository for charitable donations, which ensured donations were applied to purposes for which money was given and this disarmed any potential concerns that gifts might be subsumed in general School funds;
  • To provide the infrastructure and administration for networking within the PBS and thereby cultivate and sustain communications, goodwill and financial support;
  • Potentially to assist in addressing the situation that would arise if the long-threatened removal of charitable status from independent schools were ever to happen.

Originally, the PBS undertook all fundraising on behalf of the School. With the emergence of the Foundation Office the necessity for a separate fundraising arm was negated and the society became dormant, only to be revitalised in 2008 when the Secretary of the OB Club Ted Crowe died and the OB Club decided to set up a memorial fund. Because of disparate relations between the School and the OB Club at that time, the PBS was the portal used to conduct the appeal and manages the financial aspects of the fund to date. The ER Crowe Memorial Fund monies are used to meet the educational costs of the Crowe Scholars, all funds raised are transferred to the School termly, however the fund is now severely depleted and the promotion and stewardship of the donors to the fund is conducted by the Development Office.

The Development Director is a Trustee of the PBS alongside the Head and she services the committee twice a year where small school wide projects are presented to the trustees, projects which wouldn’t get funded via the normal funding round and available funds are allocated to such ‘wish list’ projects as agreed. The PBS continues to receive some covenanted income and the occasional legacy usually between £2k and £3k per annum.

The Sir Francis Popham Society

On 1st December 2013 the Development Office established a new Society known as “The Sir Francis Popham Society”. Sir Francis was the first named Feoffee in Peter Blundell’s’ Will drafted in 1599. There were in fact 27 Feoffees named and they were charged with setting in place the rules and regulations that would be appropriate for “the governance, maintenance and continuance” of the School (including the appointment and removal of “the Schoolmaster and Usher”) that was to be built in Tiverton. The term Feoffee has since been replaced by the now more familiar term “Governor” but the initial purpose of the office remains.

The objective of the Sir Francis Popham Society is to maintain an effective, appropriate and informative level of contact with people who have given strong support to the School in some way but no longer engage with the School on a day-to-day basis. Membership is offered to former Governors, former Heads, former officers of the Old Blundellian Club and major donors after proposals from the DD to the Chair of Governors. Coordination of the activities of and communication from the Society is the responsibility of the Development Office. Other than Society communications issued at regular intervals, there is an annual event bringing the members together.

Friends of Blundell's Social Committee