The Free School of Londonderry was founded in 1617 by Matthias Springham in Schoolhouse Lane, within the city walls. Springham was the Master of the Merchants' Taylor Company. The school moved in 1814 to a purpose built building above the Strand. It was shortly after this that the name was changed to Foyle College. The Foyle College Act was passed in 1896 uniting Londonderry Academical Institution and Foyle College, with the name and traditions of the older school being retained. In 1976 Londonderry High School and Foyle College amalgamated to form Foyle & Londonderry College.