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John Kendrick (cloth merchant)

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Occupation  Cloth merchant
Name  John Kendrick

Role  Cloth merchant
John Kendrick (cloth merchant)
Born  1573Reading, Berkshire
Died  December 30, 1624, City of London, United Kingdom
Residence  City of London, United Kingdom

Education  St John's College, Oxford

John Kendrick (1573 – 30 December 1624) was a prosperous English cloth merchant and patron of the towns of Reading and Newbury in Berkshire.

Life

Kendrick was born in Reading, Berkshire, possibly in Minster Street, in 1573 and educated at Reading School and St John's College, Oxford. After University, he moved to London where he amassed a fortune in trade with the Netherlands.

When Kendrick died on 30 December 1624, he left £12,500 to the towns of Reading and Newbury to provide employment and education for the poor. The Oracle workhouse, was erected in Minster Street, Reading with this money. This name was revived for the Oracle shopping mall which now occupies a small part of the site.

Although the funds left by Kendrick were mismanaged, sufficient remained for the founding of two schools: Kendrick Boys School in 1875 and Kendrick Girls School in 1877. In 1915, Kendrick Boys School was taken over by Reading School, which now has a building named the John Kendrick Building. An oil painting of John Kendrick, rescued from the Oracle workhouse, hangs in the hall of Kendrick Girls School. The caption reads "John Kendrick, founder of this worke house".

The £4,000 Kendrick left to Newbury was used to build a 'cloth manufactory' where unemployed clothworkers could be employed until the trade in the town recovered. The trade never recovered and the building went through several uses (workhouse, hospital, school, warehousing) before being restored in 1903 as the Newbury Borough Museum. Now known as the Cloth Hall it forms a part of the West Berkshire Museum. Kendrick's cash was also used to fund a charity offering education and apprenticeships to selected children of Newbury's poor.

References

John Kendrick (cloth merchant) Wikipedia


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