Lawrence Sheriff

Lawrence Sheriff (or Sheriffe) (c. 1510-1567) was an Elizabethan gentleman and grocer to Elizabeth I who endowed Rugby School.

Not much is known about Lawrence Sheriff's early life, but it thought that he was born near St. Andrew's Church in Rugby, Warwickshire. (Another theory places the location as an extant house in the nearby village of Brownsover.) Sheriff was apprenticed by his father to a London grocer named William Walcott, at which point he went to London. His apprenticeship ended in 1541, and he became a London grocer during the reign of King Henry VIII. In 1554 he was elected to the 'Worshipful Company of Grocers'.

Sheriff became grocer to many of the great and good of the day including Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth. He became trusted by the Queen and rose to the rank of gentleman, whereupon he was granted a coat of arms, the main feature of which is a griffin, the traditional guardian of treasures. He bought extensive property near London and in the area of Rugby and Brownsover.

He earned a great fortune through his life, but remained childless, and upon his death in 1567, he stipulated in his will that his fortune should be used to found almshouses and a school "to serve chiefly for the children of Rugby and Brownsover... and next for such as be of other places hereunto adjoyneing." This endowment was not fully realized, however, for some time, due to a challenge over the provisions of the will from the Howkins family, to whom Sheriff was related through his sister, Bridget.

He was buried at the old Grey Friars Church in Newgate Street, London. However no trace remains: the church and all its monuments were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. He is remembered today by the Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby. Both Rugby School and the Lawrence Sheriff School use versions of the coat of arms granted to Lawrence Sheriff in 1559.

Other articles related to "lawrence sheriff, sheriff":

Old Rugbeians - History - Growth
... the nature of the school shifted, and so a new school – Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School – was founded in 1878 to continue Lawrence Sheriff's ...
Lawrence Sheriff School - History - Foundation
... Lawrence Sheriff School was founded to fulfil Lawrence Sheriff's original intentions to provide a school for the boys of Rugby and neighbouring Brownsover, which was originally carried out ... people of the town seemed to benefit less from Lawrence Sheriff's original bequest, local concern led to the nineteenth century proposal of a Lower School for local boys, with ... The Lower School was opened in 1878 on the present site of Lawrence Sheriff School with a curriculum designed to meet the needs of a commercial education and preparation for ...
Lawrence Sheriff School
... Lawrence Sheriff School is a selective boys' grammar school in Rugby in Warwickshire ... The school is named after Lawrence Sheriff, the Elizabethan man who founded Rugby School ... The school's name is often shortened to 'LSS', or often just 'Sheriff' by boys at the school ...

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