The four UK-registered Charles Wallace Trusts were established in 1981 with funds bequeathed by Charles Wallace, a British businessman and entrepreneur who flourished in India in the late 19th century and died in London in 1916, aged 60. After making provision for his family, he left his estate to be divided between the British Treasury and the Treasury of British India.
In his will, he further directed that “All possessions great and small being acquired through the people, as mine were, should return to the people”. As a result, Trusts were set up in the United Kingdom for each of the four countries of former British India - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma/Myanmar - with the central purpose of assisting the nationals of those countries to obtain education and professional development in the United Kingdom:
- The Charles Wallace India Trust
- The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust
- The Charles Wallace Bangladesh Trust
- The Charles Wallace Burma Trust
The four Trusts established to carry out Charles Wallace’s wishes were registered as United Kingdom Charities, each with a separate and independent Board of Trustees.
The British Council played a central role in establishing the trusts, as one of the three original trustees, and still plays a central role in supporting the Charles Wallace India Trust and the Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust in these two countries.