The Henry Smith Charity has been helping to combat disadvantage and poverty since 1628.
Henry Smith, after whom the Charity is named, was born in May 1548 in Wandsworth, south London, and was a salt merchant by trade. He was a successful businessman, acquired land in various parts of England during his lifetime, and created a number of charitable trusts for the relief of the poor. Henry Smith died in 1628 leaving his Trustees the sum of £2,000.
The money left to the Trustees in Henry Smith's Will formed the basic endowment of the original Henry Smith (Kensington Estate) Charity, so called because the Trustees purchased farm land in the parishes of Kensington, Chelsea and St Margaret's Westminster.
The Charity's capital endowment now consists of a substantial portfolio of stock market investments, property and investments in Hedge Funds, Private Equity and Venture Capital. Its grant making, which totals many millions of pounds each year, addresses a wide range of causes and extends throughout the whole of the UK.
A wall monument to Henry Smith (pictured right) can be found in All Saints Church in Wandsworth.