About the Foundation

The journey of Bishop Benjamin Laney

The Bishop Laney Foundation awards grants to apprentices and students to help with the costs of employment and education. The foundation was named after Benjamin Laney, who was Bishop of Ely until 1674 when he died at the age of 84. Here’s Bishop Laney’s timeline:


Benjamin Laney was born in Ipswich.



Studied at Christ’s College and then at Pembroke Hall in Cambridge.


Elected Master of Pembroke Hall.



Appointed Vice Chancellor of the University.


Appointed Chaplain to King Charles I and became a canon at Westminster.



Turned out of Mastership by the Earl of Manchester

After losing clergy preferments, he went abroad to attend King Charles II as chaplain during his exile.


Appointed Bishop of Ely after becoming Bishop of Peterborough post-Restoration.

Rebuilt some of the Bishop's Palace which had fallen into decay under the Commonwealth.



Died on 24th January and was buried in the South Aisle of Ely Cathedral.

About us

In his Will, Bishop Laney bequeathed £500 to his college Pembroke Hall and left his land, houses and buildings estates to six substantial freeholders from Ely or Soham. The Will stated that the rent and profits should be used to help children from poor parishioner families in Ely or Soham, receiving a maximum of £10 per child.

The Bishop Laney Foundation carries on the legacy today, offering substantially more than £10 per person. It continues to help school leavers with financial assistance in the years they need it the most.

For more information about the history of the foundation, please see ‘The Bishop Laney Foundation - Notes on The History’ from 1972.

Students and apprentices can apply for grants every year. University and sixth form students should apply by 14th September. Apprentices and employers must complete their applications by the end of the first week of October.

See the apply for a grant section for more information.

We have given grants to assist school leavers aged under 25 for over 340 years.

About us

The Bishop Laney Foundation provides grants to help apprentices and students from Ely and Soham with their training and further education.

The foundation has given these grants to assist school leavers aged under 25 living in Ely or Soham, for over 340 years.

Meet our Trustees

The trust is managed by six trustees, three from Ely and three from Soham.

They meet six times a year to oversee the various aspects of the foundation and to preserve the legacy of Bishop Benjamin Laney.


Get in touch

The Secretary
The Beeches
79 Ely Road
Little Downham

01353 699043


© 2024 The Bishop Laney Foundation. Registered in England and Wales Charity No. 311306. Website by Studio Nova.