The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund was established in 1970 under the authority of the Court of Protection in London on behalf of Mr Frank Bruce Baily Thomas, who was mentally disabled.
Frank Bruce Baily Thomas was born in 1916, the only child of F. K. Munro Thomas and Gertrude Sarah, the only child of William Edward Baily, a gentleman of independent means and himself the only child of William Baily, one of the joint founders in 1855 of the Mansfield Brewery in which he had a one half share in the Partnership.
During Mrs Baily’s widowhood, the growing profits from their one half share in the Brewery were divided equally between herself and her daughter, under a Trust created by Mr Baily’s will. The Will Trust provided that on the death of Mrs Baily, the whole of the income from the Brewery interest should flow to the daughter, Gertrude, for life and that on her death the income and capital should pass to her children. Frank therefore received the income from his Grandfather’s Will Trust during his minority and the capital on coming of age (then 21) in 1937.
At the age of 3 or 4, it became apparent that Frank was mentally handicapped. His mother died when Frank was 7 years old. During her lifetime Gertrude Sarah Thomas created a Marriage Settlement from the resources of capital in her direct ownership (which did not include the Mansfield Brewery shares). This Settlement provided an income for Frank’s father and on his death in August 1970, the capital of the Marriage Settlement passed to Frank.
When Frank attained the age of majority in 1937, his mental handicap made it necessary that his inheritance should come under the control of the Court of Protection (then known as the Management and Administration Department of the Court). A Receiver was appointed by the Court to manage Frank’s affairs.
In 1970 a review was carried out in light of the most recently enacted Mental Health Legislation and the situation which would arise on Frank’s death. At this time Frank’s estate consisted almost entirely of Mansfield Brewery shares. In October 1970 a proposal was put to the Court by the Receiver to transfer by way of gift, to two separate Settlements, Mansfield Brewery shares. The Divestment Scheme was approved in its entirety and the two Settlements – Charitable Fund and Provident Fund – were set up. The Charitable Fund was to receive shares with an approximate value of £780,000 and whose objects would be mainly (a) research into the causes of mental handicap and mental illness and (b) promoting the care and alleviation of those who suffered from these disabilities. The Provident Fund was to receive shares with an approximate value of £670,000 and would be used to set up a Provident Fund for past, present and future employees of the Mansfield Brewery, and their dependants, with a reversion to the Charitable Fund at the end of the trust period.
Over the years following 1970 there was a substantial increase in the capital value of the Mansfield Brewery shares held by the two funds and those remaining in Frank’s personal ownership (which, under the terms of his will, would eventually pass to the Charitable Fund). In December 1999 Mansfield Brewery was taken over by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries as a result of which the Charitable Fund received approximately £43million in cash and 6million Wolverhampton & Dudley shares (value c.£30million).
Frank was well cared for during his lifetime and reached the age of 80 years before dying in January 1997. His name, however, by virtue of the Charitable Fund, will live on in perpetuity.