A bust of Humphrey Chetham (1580 – 1653), located in the Baronial Hall of Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, England. Chetham was an English merchant, responsible for the creation of Chetham’s Hospital and Chetham’s Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.
After several run-ins with the British monarchy, Chetham began to worry that the government would seize his fortune upon his death. He therefore donated just over 57% of his money to form a ‘charity school’ for forty poor local boys (between the ages of six and ten, and coming from “honest” families) who should be taught and cared for until they were 14. This school later became Chetham’s Hospital and then Chetham’s School of Music.
Dating back to the 15th Century, the Baronial Hall is one of Manchester’s oldest surviving buildings. This bust can be seen on the wall above the recess, with crossed swords on either side of it, and a flintlock hung below it. It’s medieval walls are built of large-size squared stones, and are not covered with plaster.