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John Lyon founded Harrow School in 1572 after receiving a Royal Charter from Elizabeth I.

The Charter also required the Governors of Harrow School to provide for the maintenance of the Edgware and Harrow Roads. This was a separate obligation with a separate income source and it became known as the John Lyon Road Trust. For 400 years, the John Lyon Road Trust distributed the income generated by the Charity’s Estate in Maida Vale to the various authorities that were responsible for maintaining the two roads. This continued until the late 1980s when the Governors of Harrow School and the Charity Commission developed what is known as The Scheme, and the modern John Lyon’s Charity was born.