Reverend Ralph Davenant was the Rector of Whitechapel in the East End of London. He was the son of the Rector of Gillingham
in Dorset. Reverend Davenant worked in the parish of St.Mary of Matfellon in Whitechapel.
Davenant Foundation School was founded in 1680 by the Reverend Ralph Davenant who was passionate about social justice.
Reverend Davenant had a heart for the poor, hence the fact that he left everything he had to the poor in his parish.
The Rector of Wnitechapel bequeathed a handsome legacy for the education of forty boys and thirty girls of the parish
in 'reading, writing and the casting of accounts.'
Reverend Ralph Davenant practised what he preached, reaching out to the poor - he ministered to them and saw to their
needs. The destitute lived all around St.Mary's and the almshouses were situated nearby in Whitechapel Road.
When he drew up his will in February 1680 Ralph Davenant left all of his household goods and plate to his wife with the
instructions that his possessions would be sold and a school will be built from the monies raised from the sale. A number
of properties were also given over to the school.
The school moved to Loughton in Essex in 1966, they were invited to do so by Essex County Council where it flourishes
to this day.
The Davenant Centre in Whitechapel in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the East End of London now stands on the
original school site. The Davenant Centre is a thriving community organisation.
For further information on Reverend Ralph Davenant and Davenant Foundation School please see the following websites: