History

Not a lot has been written about George Fentham.  He was the son of a Church Warden, born in Hampton-in-Arden in 1630.  He died in Birmingham in 1698 and was buried in St Martin’s Churchyard on 4 March 1698.

He lived in a modest home in Hampton in Arden until he moved to Birmingham at the age of 14 obtaining a job as an apprentice mercer.  A mercer is a dealer in textiles, fabrics and silks.  George developed his skills as a businessman although we know very little about his career.  He was left a legacy and with the money bought property in Birmingham

He was married twice but had no issue.

He made his Will in 1690 which provided for the division of his estate into three parts Hampton in Arden, Birmingham and the Residue – The Birmingham element “to provide relief for the poor and for the teaching of poor children”.

He left large areas of land in Erdington on charitable trusts and these areas were later developed as part of the City.  Over the years the freehold land was sold and the moneys invested.  The investments have grown in value over the years and the Charity now has an endowment fund of approximately £5,000,000.  The yearly income from the investments is used to support the charitable purposes of the Charity.