Edmonds and Coles Scholarships

Origins of the Charity

The Edmonds and Coles Scholarships Charity is an educational charity which traces its origins to a Trust set up in 1623 by Anthony Edmonds, a Bristol merchant and landowner. Other benefactions were added by Christopher Cole in 1736 and John Lee in 1838. The charity is now regulated by Charity Commission Schemes dated 11 June 1986, 25 June 1990 and 27 February 1997.



The Charity is administered by eight Trustees, known as Governors, who meet twice a year in April and September.


Objectives of the Charity

The Charity makes financial awards for any educational purposes approved by the Governors. These may include small grants for the purchase of books or equipment needed for a course of education or training or help with travel costs. Awards are not normally made to enable a child to enter private education. Help may, however, be given in respect of pupils already in private education when there has been a change in financial circumstances, for example, death of a parent, divorce, unemployment etc., and there are good reasons for avoiding disruption of a child’s education.


Candidates for Awards

To qualify for an award, a candidate must be under the age of 25 years, must live in the area of benefit (see below) and must have done so for at least 3 years, and must be in financial need. Candidates (or their parents or guardians) are asked to give particulars of their financial circumstances. Grants are not usually made to candidates whose parental income is greater than £35,000pa, although exceptions can sometimes be made. All applications are assessed on merit.


The area of benefit is defined as the area of the ancient parishes of Henbury, Westbury-on-Trym and Horfield, (shown in red on the accompanying map); this area is somewhat larger than that covered by the present-day parishes.

The area covers all, or part, of the Bristol postcode districts (shown in green on the map):

BS2 8   BS6 6   BS6 7   BS7 0
BS7 8   BS7 9    BS8 2  BS9 1
BS9 2   BS9 3    BS9 4  BS10 5
BS10 6 BS10 7  BS11 0 BS11 8
BS11 9  BS35 4  BS35 5

Applicants are asked to consider whether they live within the area of benefit before applying. If an applicant is not certain whether they live within the area of benefit, please contact the Charity’s Clerk to the Governors at ec-charity@merchantventurers.com for clarification.

EC area of benefit

The Charity’s Resources

The Charity does not raise funds but depends upon the income from investments. The total sum available for awards in any year is about £10,000. Individual grants normally range from £100 to £1,000.



The charity convenes to consider applications twice per annum; typically, in April and in September, although in exceptional circumstances an application can be considered out of committee. Candidates (or their parents or guardians) are required to complete an application form which can be obtained here or from:

Clerk to the Governors
The Edmonds and Coles Scholarships Charity
c/o The Society of Merchant Venturers
Merchants’ Hall
The Promenade
Bristol BS8 3NH