fonds AK - Records of the Akroyd Exhibition

Identity area

Reference code



Records of the Akroyd Exhibition


  • 1479-1969 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.59 cubic metres

39 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1518 William Akroyd, rector of Long Marston, bequeathed land in Batley in his will to provide funds for a boy either of the kind of the founder, or from Long Marston or Hutton Wandesley, at attend the universities of Oxford or Cambridge. These scholarships were named Akroyd Exhibitions. They have on occasion also been called 'Founder's Kin Scholarships.'

The Exhibition functioned originally by assigning the trust lands directly to the chosen scholar. This led to various problems in the late seventeenth century which were investigated by a series of Inquisitions on Pious Uses. The main problems, which continued into the eighteenth century, involved the difficulty of reclaiming the lands from the scholar once he had completed his time at the University and of determining exactly which lands belonged to the Exhibition and which to the scholar in his own right. At least some of the Exhibition's land seems to have been lost in this way. Disputes also occurred over the election of scholars about the same time.

The problem involving the lands seems to have been overcome by more controlled administration of the Exhibition, achieved by the end of the eighteenth century, when there is evidence that the lands were leased out, the trustees then paying sums of money from the resulting rents to the scholars. However, it is not until the mid-nineteenth century that there is much evidence of active management by the trustees, who, prior to about 1850, concentrated on electing scholars and maintaining the level of finance customarily provided by the Exhibition.

However, the situation changed in the nineteenth century, mainly because the Exhibition had been fortunate enough to be endowed with lands in the centre of Batley, which consequently increased in value as the town grew. As a result, in 1867 the trustees commissioned a survey of the Exhibition lands with a view to increasing their revenue by granting building leases.

In 1874 the Exhibition received a new scheme of government under the Endowed Schools Act of 1869. Amended schemes followed in 1876, 1883, 1891, 1906, 1924 and 1935, all with the aim of widening the scope of the scholarship.

By the end of the nineteenth century the Exhibition was open to boys attending Yorkshire schools or colleges and could be held at Oxford or Cambridge, or as a Natural Science Exhibition at the Yorkshire College. However the position of girls was less advantageous.

Today the William Akroyd Foundation still gives scholarships to the descendants of William Akroyd's kin. But, after re-organisations in the 19th and 20th centuries, it now also gives money to Leeds University and Batley Grammar School, and funds an open scholarship, open to anyone under the age of 25 who has attended a secondary school in "the County of York" for at least two years.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute by representatives of the Exhibition governors in 1980.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Trustees’ minute book, 1795-1871, with copies of nominations of trustees, 1795-1872; governors’ minute book, 1875-1923; draft minute book, 1886-1958; minutes and draft minutes of annual and half-annual meetings, 1822-1929; papers relating to appointment of governors and trustees, 1686-1928; general correspondence files, 1936-1963; papers relating to the Charity Commissioners’ Schemes, 1862-1961; financial papers, including account books, 1853-1941, statements of account, 1908-1931 and bank books, 1909-1919, receipts for examination fees, governors’ travel expenses and scholars payments, 1874-1926, and related correspondence, 1875-1910; estate papers, including surveys and plans, 1791-1927, rents, 1759-1968, and estate files, c.1716-1969, principally for lands and property in Batley; scholarships papers, including Akroyd wills and pedigrees, 1479-1872, scholars’ papers, 1660-1961, examinations, 1877-1961, correspondence and other papers concerning eligible schools, 1869-1960.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Correspondence and others papers concerning the foundation, 1795-1932, can be found in the Long Marston parish records at the Borthwick Institute. These include correspondence about the estate and notes on the history of the charity.

Further correspondence about the Akroyd Foundation, its scholarships and other related papers, 1921, 1938, 1947-1963, are held by London School of Economics in their William Beveridge archive. Lord Beveridge was a descendant of Akroyd.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 09.06.15.




Accession area