On This Day….
24th February 1619
Robert Aske Born
Son of a draper. Worked as a haberdasher; 1643 became a Freeman of the Haberdashers Company; 1666 elected an Alderman of the City of London. He became Master of the Haberdashers’ Company. But the reason he’s remembered is that, though married he had no children and thus was free to leave a significant bequest to the founding of a Hospital, out of which grew a number of schools all with the tongue-twisting moniker of Haberdashers’ Aske’s. But at least the pupils learn to manage their apostrophes.
2021: Southwark News reported that “The Haberdashers’ Aske’s chain of schools will remove the surname of their 17th century benefactor Robert Aske from their names, in recognition of his investment in the slave trade.” Aske invested a relatively small amount in the Royal African Company in 1672, becoming one of its founding members. the future of the statue of Ask at Hatcham College in New Cross is also looking doubtful.