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Emanuel School is an independent, co-educational day school in Battersea, south-west London. The school was founded in 1594 by Anne Sackville, Lady Dacre and Queen Elizabeth I and occupies a 12-acre site close to Clapham Junction railway station.

Emanuel School
Emanuel Logo.png

SW11 1HS

Independent day school
MottoPour Bien Desirer
(French: The Noble Aim)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderLady Dacre, Elizabeth I
Local authorityWandsworth
Chair of GovernorsFrancis Abbott
HeadmasterRobert Milne
Age10 to 18
Enrolment907 (2017)
HousesHowe, Clyde, Marlborough, Lyons, Nelson, Drake, Rodney, Wellington
Colour(s)Navy blue and gold          
PublicationThe Portcullis
Former pupilsOld Emanuels (OEs)

The school is part of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and at the start of the 2017–18 academic year had 907 pupils between the ages of ten and eighteen, paying fees of £17,997 per year.[1] It teaches the GCSE and A-Level syllabuses.



Emanuel School is one of five schools administered by the United Westminster Schools' Foundation. It came into being by the will of Anne, Lady Dacre, dated 1594. She was the daughter of Sir Richard Sackville by his wife Winifred, a daughter of Sir John Bruges (otherwise Brydges), Lord Mayor of London in 1520-21. Her brother was Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset. She married Gregory Fiennes of Herstmonceaux and Chelsea, 10th Baron Dacre, in November 1558. He died on 25 September 1594 and she followed him, dying on 14 May (buried 15 May) 1595.

Her epitaph states:

Faeminei lux clara chori, pia, casta, pudica, aegis subsidium, pauperibusque decus.

Lady Dacre wrote that one of the main aims of the Foundation should be "for the bringing up of children in virtue and good and laudable arts so that they might better live in time to come by their honest labour." With Lady Dacre's benefaction in 1594, Emanuel Hospital (almshouses and school), as it was first called, began. The children wore long brown tunics, rather similar in cut to those still worn by pupils at Christ's Hospital. Thanks to the interest of Queen Elizabeth I, cousin to Lady Dacre, a charter was drawn up, and the school and almshouses were established on a site at Tothill Fields, Westminster.[2] Mention is made of the Hospital and similar foundations in an undated letter written by Daniel Defoe, entitled A Scheme for a Royal Palace in the Place of White-Hall.[3]

In 1883, the school sought larger, newer buildings for the children; and the boy boarders, as they all then were, moved to the present buildings on the edge of Wandsworth Common. These had been established originally in the late 1850s as Royal Victoria Patriotic School for Boys, funded by the Royal Patriotic Fund, for children orphaned during the Crimean War; the building was designed by Henry Saxon Snell. A sister building some 300 metres (980 ft) south, and now known as the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, housed the Royal Victoria Patriotic School for Girls.[4]

Headmasters and headmistresses

  • The Rev. A. Towsey, 1883–1894
  • The Rev. Dr A Chilton MVO, DD, 1894–1905
  • The Rev. H. Buchanan-Riley, 1905–1913
  • S. Goodwin, 1914–1927
  • G. H. Wyatt (acting), 1927–1928
  • C. M. Broom, 1928–1953
  • J. B. Grundy, 1953–1963
  • W. S. Hipkins (acting), 1964
  • C. C. Kuper, 1964–1975
  • P. Hendry, 1975–1984
  • P. F. Thomson, 1984–1994
  • Tristram Jones-Parry, 1994–1998
  • Mrs Anne-Marie Sutcliffe, 1998–2004
  • Mark Hanley-Browne, 2004–2017
  • Robert Milne, 2017-


Emanuel is an Anglican foundation with the Chapel situated in the main building above the library. Daily Chapel services are led by the Chaplain with regular Holy Communion services and musical concerts. Confirmation is available with the Chaplain who holds regular confirmation classes for pupils, whilst the Chapel is open for the use of pupils, teachers, staff and parents every day. Paintings of Moses and Aaron that formed part of the altarpiece of St. Benet Fink are now held in Chapel.

Academic life

The school is split into academic faculties as follows:



Sport and Physical Education

Creative Arts


Modern Languages


Notable Old Emanuels


  1. ^ "Emanuel School fees and charges". Emanuel School. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Anne SACKVILLE (B. Dacre of the South)". Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Daniel Defoe | Letter 5 (London), Part 3: The Court and Westminster". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  4. ^ Simmonds, Henry S (1882). All about Battersea. pp. 149–150.

External links