The College of God's Gift at Dulwich
On 21st June 1619 letters patent were signed by James I authorising Edward Alleyn to establish a college in Dulwich to be called the College of God's Gift, in Dulwich in Surrey. The term Dulwich College was used colloquially from that date. Edward Alleyn, as well as being a famous Elizabethan actor, was also a man of great property and wealth, derived mainly from places of entertainment including theatres, bear-gardens and brothels. All of these ventures were legitimate at the time. Since 1605, Alleyn had owned the manorial estate of Dulwich since 1605 and it may have been around this time that he first had the idea of establishing a college or hospital for poor people and the education of poor boys. The building on Dulwich Green of a chapel, a schoolhouse and twelve almshouses, began in 1613 and was completed in the autumn of 1616. On September 1st 1616 the chapel was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury who became the official Visitor.
The new college on Dulwich Common was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on June 21st 1870 (Founder's Day). The lower school alone continued to occupy the Old College in Dulwich Village from 1870 until it was moved to its new (and current) premises in 1887. Alleyn's original school building is no longer used for that purpose, instead now housing the Estate's Governors. The modern statue is of Edward Alleyn.