Created by a gift of land by Sir William Harpur to the corporation of Bedford. A merchant from Bedford he had come to London and done so well that he was Lord Mayor in 1561. The following year he purchased 12 acres of land that had belonged to Charterhouse and in 1566 he and his wife Alice gave the property to the Bedford Corporation to support education in Bedford.
The charity has been renamed the Harpur Trust and still owns properties within the original Harpur estate and still supports education in Bedford.
We learnt all this from the resourceful A London Inheritance where there are maps showing the extent of the estate and photos of 5 other extant Bedford Charity markers.