Two private schools named after a merchant will now drop his name due to “links to the slave trade”.

Haberdashers Aske's Boys' and Girls’ Schools in Elstree previously suggested that they could be renamed after the schools’ governing body learnt its benefactor, Robert Aske, was a shareholder in the Royal African Company.

A review of the future of ‘Aske’ took place earlier this year to reassess historical slave trade links.

However while it has now concluded that the school will drop Aske in their titles, the school will still be known “collectively as the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Schools,” a spokesperson has said.

Their motto, “Serve and Obey”, has also been dropped over fears that it could be interpreted in the context of slavery.

It was in fact a motto inspired by Christian values to “serve the Lord and obey his will”.

A spokesperson for the schools said: “Like many organisations across the country, we recently reviewed our historical legacy and the use of the benefactor’s name as part of a wider review of our culture, values and ideals.”

Previously before the name was officially dropped, chairman of the governing body, Simon Cartmell, said: "As the founding benefactor, Robert Aske is a man whose legacy has been central to the schools.

"We cannot change the past, but equally we cannot ignore it. We can however learn from our history and use it to shape who we are today and what we will become tomorrow."