15 February 2021

UK education charity changes its name due to founder's connection to slavery

Chris Priestley
Partner | UK

A London education charity, previously known as Sir John Cass’s Foundation, has changed its name to The Portal Trust.

The charity was founded in 1748 with an endowment from Sir John Cass, a merchant and politician. During his lifetime, Cass was Director of The Royal African Company which was involved in the slave trade.

In a statement announcing the change of name, the charity said “We have … continued to celebrate Sir John Cass without explaining or acknowledging his connection to slavery and human exploitation, or the hurt and anger this has caused amongst our beneficiaries and our community… we no longer consider the Sir John Cass name appropriate to represent us and the work we do in this century or the future.”

The change takes place within the wider context of the City of London Corporation announcing its intention to remove a statue of Cass from the Guildhall and The Cass Business School also pledging to change its name.

Chris Priestley Partner | London

Category: Article