Dame Alice Owen was born in 1547, the daughter of an Islington innkeeper. As a young girl, she narrowly escaped serious injury from an arrow shot at random by an archer in the fields near her home, where upon she vowed that she would one day erect a memorial in thanks to God for her deliverance.Married three times, first to a Master Brewer, then to a wealthy Mercer and finally to an eminent Judge, she survived them all and, as a rich widow, was in a position to fulfil her childhood vow. This she did by establishing in Islington ten alms houses for poor widows and a free school for 30 boys. Alice died in 1613 leaving the Brewers' Company as trustees of her charitable institutions. The story of Alice's life and those of her husbands and children is told against the background of four turbulent reigns and traces the subsequent history of the families of her first husband, the Robinsons of Cransley, Northamptonshire, and of her third husband, the Owens of Condover, Shropshire. The book also follows the development of the school which still bears her name and is now a co-educational secondary school in Potters Bar. The Brewers' Company continues to play a major role in the school's governance and the memory of its foundress is loyally perpetuated to this day.