Warwick remembers historic benefactor

Warwick town has commemorated one of its most illustrious benefactors with a church service at St Mary’s and a feast in the Guild Hall at the Lord Leycester Hospital, where James 1 once dined.

The event, in honour of Thomas Oken, began with a procession from the Court House to the church, led by Clive Mason, chairman of the Charity of Thomas Oken and Nicholas Eyffler, which was founded in 1571, and Warwick mayor Coun Mandy Littlejohn.

Among the dignitaries in the procession were Warwick & Leamington MP Chris White, town councillors and members of Court Leet, founded in 1554.

Some 100 guests attended the feast in the Guild Hall and were entertained by speeches from the mayor; John Edwards, chairman of King Henry VIII Endowed Trust; Col Gerald Lesinski Master of the Lord Leycester Hospital; Terry Brown, a trustee of the charity and chairman of Warwick Apprenticing Charity; and Warwick restaurateur Malcolm Cook, a member of Court Leet.

The Thomas Oken charity owns 14 alms houses in Castle Hill and Bowling Green Street and makes significant grants most years for ‘relief in need’ in the town. Recent grants have included Myton Hospice, Lord Leycester Hospital and Warwick Apprenticing Charity

Thomas Oken church service(Left to right) chairman of Thomas Oken Charity Clive Mason, Warwick mayor Coun Mandy Littlejohn, Warwick & Leamington MP Chris White and the Rev Vaughan Roberts at St Mary’s Church, Warwick, standing in front of the commemorative plaque to Thomas Oken.