Eldon Scholarship History
On 12 May 1830 at a meeting of subscribers responding to a public advertisement, with the Duke of Richmond in the chair, it was resolved to establish an Eldon Law Scholarship at the University of Oxford which was to be ‘at once creditable to the Subscribers and honourable to the Earl of Eldon’.
Elections to the Scholarship were normally to be on Lord Eldon’s birthday on 4 June. The scholarship was not to exceed £200 p.a. In a deed of declaration of 11 June 1830 it was recorded that trustees had now been appointed (Duke of Richmond, Earl of Mansfield, Earl of Romney and Lord Arden) and that they were possessed of £7,631.9s.5d .
This was invested in gilts until 1961 when it had a nominal value of £23,392 and an actual value of £13,995. The stipend of the scholar was £250 p.a. and the income of the fund, £703 was thus insufficient to elect one scholar a year. The fund had only survived the 1950s because of savings made in the war. As the result of a (masterly) memorandum prepared for the Oxford trustees by Dr Morris, it was agreed to sell the gilt and invest the proceeds in the University’s Trust pool at an estimated value of some £17,000.
In 1963, after some fuss, the requirement that the Scholar be a member of the Church of England was amended by making such membership a preference only. About twenty years later, the religious element was removed entirely. A dinner in 1987 raised some £46,000. The Eldon Law Scholarship Fund is currently managed by Oxford University Endowment Management (OUEM) as a permanent endowment and scholarships are awarded annually from the income generated. The trust fund is administered by the Board of the Faculty of Law.