Conduct case teacher leaves former school £1m in his will

James Rainy Brown was employed by Merchiston Castle School for 52 years before his death in April. Picture: contributed

James Rainy Brown was employed by Merchiston Castle School for 52 years before his death in April. Picture: contributed

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A TEACHER found dead as police probed claims of his “inappropriate conduct” towards pupils at a top Edinburgh private school has left almost £1 million to the institution in his will.

James Rainy Brown, 75, who worked for 52 years at Merchiston Castle School, was found dead at his Colinton home shortly after being told of the investigation.

It is understood claims against him involved lewd and inappropriate comments rather than physical abuse.

Now it has emerged he left instructions for nearly £1m of the £1.48m personal fortune amassed at the time of his death in April to be donated to Merchiston Castle – an all-boys school which charges fees of £26,655 a year.

The teacher asked for his donation to the school to be split into three parts, with the first tranche used for improvements to the institution’s Pringle House – the school’s junior boarding facility for boys aged eight to 12.

Mr Rainy Brown requested the second part be used to help pupils who were in financial difficulty, while the third sum will go towards the general running of the school.

He also left bequests to charities Christian Aid, Scripture Union Scotland and Age Concern Scotland, as well as Edge Grove school in 
Hertfordshire.

His wealth included £1m in stocks and shares, and his £330,000 home. At the time of his death, a spokesman for Mr Rainy Brown’s family said: “This is simply a tragedy.

“It is so unfair that it should happen to a man who dedicated his entire life to teaching and helping generations of children.

“He was the most dedicated, honourable and popular teacher you could imagine. The school was his life and his lifelong commitment to it 
belonged to another age.”
The school’s headteacher, Andrew Hunter, described Mr Rainy Brown’s death as a “tremendous blow to the entire Merchiston Castle 
community”.

He added: “He was an outstanding teacher and academic, and leaves an indelible mark across so many aspects of the history of this place.”

News of the gift comes after police chiefs confirmed their probe into allegations against Mr Rainy Brown had been cancelled.

A spokesman said: “Police have been in contact with the procurator fiscal following inquiries into a report of historic inappropriate conduct. Following consideration of the circumstances, a decision was taken that no further action be taken regarding the 
allegations.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com