The Gilbert Hannam Education Foundation is an independent charity, who with West Sussex County Council, are the joint owners of the land on which Midhurst Rother College is built. The Foundation administers a set of endowments for the benefit of the College, students and alumni.
As a young man in his teens, Gilbert Hannam was a soldier on the side of Parliament in the English Civil War. He fought his way eastwards across England. For a considerable time Hannam’s troop was stationed near Petersfield, and he frequently delivered messages to parliamentary forces in the Midhurst area. Edward Hannam, his uncle, had a prosperous wool business in Midhurst and Steyning and Gilbert joined him after the war as a weaver and coverlet (bedspread) maker.
In 1672, believing strongly in the importance of education, he set up a free school for twelve poor protestant boys in a classroom in the loft of the Market House in the town square. Later the school was moved to Gilbert Hannam’s old house in North Street. He died in 1677. His wish that poor students should be educated for free was maintained until the Grammar School merged with the neighbouring Secondary Modern in 1966.
Aim of the Foundation
The Foundation stone to the left of the main entrance doors recognises the important contribution of Gilbert Hannam to education in Midhurst and bears the motto of the old Grammar School. The Gilbert Hannam Education Foundation trustees continue a long history of stewardship of his land and various other endowments. The trustees pursue the Foundation’s objectives and have their own governance structure. Key is to pursue the aims and ambitions in the spirit of Gilbert Hannam.
Support to MRC
In addition to sponsoring bursaries, travel awards, Sixth form progress awards and an essay competition, the Gilbert Hannam Education Foundation considers applications for support from College departments and individual students.
Applications for support can be obtained from the Pastoral Leaders with each student year group or the Clerk and must be submitted through the Principal.