John Leman had an ambitious zest for life growing up in the 1550s. He left the dairy farms, fishing waters and the busy trading route of the Waveney to find his fortune in London. By 19, he was apprenticed to the eminent Fishmonger’s Company, by his late 20s he was a ‘freeman’ of the city. He became Prime Warden of the Fishmongers’ Company, Sheriff of London, Lord Mayor in 1616 and was knighted by James I. In his will of 1631, he gave Beccles a building, a place for the education of 48 local boys, and a supporting legacy. It was already a school and he wanted it to stay that way.