Records of the Leggatt Trust

Scope and Content

Records of the business of the Leggatt Trust (Mrs Connel Auld Leggatt's Educational Trust), a small charitable foundation in the UK providing individual grants to help with educational projects in Commonwealth Africa.

Records include:

Legal documents and historical notes regarding the creation of the Trust and its history

Minutes of the Trustees' meetings, where it was decided to which projects grants should be allocated, 1961-2011. Incomplete.

Financial records, including Trust accounts, 1992-2007, and valuations of the Trust's investments, 1976-2007.

Sampled correspondence between Trustees and their accountants and stockbrokers, 1973-2011. Includes early correspondence with Mrs Connel Leggatt, the Trust's founder.

Chronological correspondence files, 1964-2008.

Files relating to projects funded by the Trust, covering all levels of education in Africa, primary and secondary schools, universities and technical or trade training, 1974-2011.

These are arranged by country, and then by name of school or organisation and include detailed proposals and progress reports for many of the projects, often including details about educational policies in Africa, architectural plans of schools and lists of equipment or books purchased from the grants. The files also include correspondence with contacts of the Trust in Africa, and photographs and letters from staff and pupils of the schools expressing their gratitude for the Trust's work.

Countries receiving grants are as follows:




Sierra Leone







South Africa







The records are incomplete in the early years with gaps in most areas between the founding of the Trust in 1961 and the early 1970s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mrs Connel Auld Leggatt created the Leggatt Trust under Scottish Law in 1961. The original deed of the Trust (LGT/1/1) records that her endowment is to be used 'for the purpose of assisting in the education or further education...of the native population, without regard to religious denomination or belief, race or colour, of all the territories or states in the Continent of Africa as are now or at any time have been or shall be a part of the British Commonwealth'.

Mrs Leggatt's original motivations for setting up the Trust are not known but interviews with Trustees relate her interest in the work of Rev. Michael Scott and Guy and Molly Clutton-Brock, activists for racial freedom and regeneration in the Africa. She approached Michael Scott's office in 1960 with an interest in donating some of her money to his work and was referred to Peter Kuenstler, and the idea was formed to set up an independent Trust.

The Trust originally had connections with the Africa Educational Trust, formed as part of the Africa Bureau created by Michael Scott and David Astor, whose aim was to award educational scholarships to individual African students. The Leggatt Trust originally operated for this purpose but moved away from this aim in its early years and by 1980 few grants of this type were being awarded. The funds were instead used for small 'grassroot' educational projects which were bought to the attention of Trustees by personal recommendation.

Since then the purpose of the Trust has been to provide small grants (not usually over ?2000) towards educational projects in ex-British Africa. The grants have been mostly for primary schools in very poor areas but other grants have recognised the enhancing of teacher skills through resource centres and training. Grants have also been made to train young offenders. Grants are not usually given to continually fund the same school or organisation with new projects being found for each grant. Help is usually directed towards projects, such as schools or community educational activities rather than individuals.

The income from the investment of the Trust's capital is only to be used for education, including secondary, university and technical or trades training. As per a clause in the original deed, Trustees are given full discretion to decide where to invest the Trust's funds, excluding companies or organisations 'solely or primarily for military or other non-peaceful purposes'.

Requests for support are received by individual Trustees and considered at the Trustee meetings held twice a year. Recipients are asked to acknowledge receipt of funding when they receive it and write a short narrative and financial report within a year.

The first two Trustees were John Stewart McFee and David Charles Scott-Moncrieff. Further Trustees were Baroness Patricia Llewellyn Davies, Faith Raven, Peter Kuenstler, Patricia Herbert, Jenni Russell, Glenys Watt, Victor de Waal, Mary Barnes, Lesley Morgan, Nigel Watt, John Gibbs, Martin Wilkinson and Dr Kwame Glevey.

As of writing (May 2012) the Trust is still active and awarding grants. It is Scottish Charity Registration No. SCO11856. Nigel Watt is the current chairman.


Records have been arranged in the following series, where the original order has been maintained

1. Legal Documents and Historical Notes

2. Minutes

3. Financial Records

4. Correspondence

5. Project Files

Accruals have been added to the end of each series.

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There may be restrictions to some sections of the collection which will be closed under the Data Protection Act.