25th June 2022
On Thursday 23rd June, members of the 1553 Guild met for their annual gathering at King Edward’s. They enjoyed welcome drinks in the Quad before progressing into the Selborne Room for a sumptuous lunch joined by the newly elected prefects. After lunch and before the speeches, they were entertained by our talented music scholars before the unveiling of a portrait of our Vice President, Alderman Sir Peter Estlin.
The Treasurer, Mrs Justine Voisin, warmly thanked Sir Peter in her address for his dedication to King Edward’s and his service as the former Treasurer. The Head Boy and Head Girl did the honours and unveiled the magnificent portrait of Sir Peter dressed in his Lord Mayor of the City of London robes and chain of office. The portrait will hang permanently in the Selborne Room alongside four former Treasurers and two former Presidents, one of whom, Sir James Sanderson, is similarly attired in his Lord Mayoral robes from 1793.
The portrait was painted by Mark Roscoe and this copy was gifted to the School by Sir Peter. The original hangs in the Court Room at Ironmongers Hall. The artist has perfectly captured Sir Peter’s personality having undertaken several sittings in his studio.
An Old Wit and Head Boy (1972-1979), Sir Peter became a Governor at King Edward’s in 1993, was Treasurer and Chair of Governors from 2006-2016, and has been our Vice President since 2020. In November 2018 he became the 691st Lord Mayor of the City of London, receiving his knighthood in the 2020 New Year’s Honours for services to international business, inclusion and skills.
The School commissioned an oak plaque for the portrait which includes themes from Sir Peter’s armorial arms, created for his shrieval chain when he was Sheriff of the City in 2016-17. These include the book displaying the arms of Bridewell Royal Hospital with reliefs of the Monument and St Bride’s Church on either side, which were Sir Peter’s first destinations in the City on the occasion of his admission as a pupil in Bridewell Place. The acorns reference the oak tree symbolising new life and education. His arms play to his enthusiasm for education and his commitment to creating opportunity and inspiring others. His armorial motto, MENTES INFLAMMA, may be translated as “setting minds alight”.
The 1553 Guild members are Old Witleians, current parents and Friends of the School who have pledged a legacy in their will to the Bridewell Foundation to help secure the ongoing opportunities for future generations.