Shrewsbury School

Shrewsbury School is an English independent boarding school for pupils aged 13–18 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Shrewsbury School
King Edward VI School at Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury School COA.svg
Address
Kingsland

, ,
SY3 7BA

England
Coordinates52°42′14″N 2°45′44″W / 52.7038°N 2.7622°W / 52.7038; -2.7622Coordinates: 52°42′14″N 2°45′44″W / 52.7038°N 2.7622°W / 52.7038; -2.7622
Information
Type
MottoLatin: Intus Si Recte Ne Labora

(If Right Within, Trouble Not)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established1552; 468 years ago (1552)[1]
FounderKing Edward VI
Local authorityShropshire Council
Department for Education URN123608 Tables
Chairman of Governing BodyTim Haynes[2]
HeadmasterLeo Winkley
Staffca. 120
GenderCo-educational (from 2015)
Age13 to 18
Enrolmentca. 800
Houses13
Colour(s)Royal blue and white
PublicationThe Salopian
Former pupilsOld Salopians
School SongCarmen Salopiense
Websitewww.shrewsbury.org.uk

Founded in 1552 by Edward VI by Royal Charter,[1] it is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, and one of the 'great' nine identified by the 1861 Clarendon Commission.[3]

It was originally a boarding school for boys; girls have been admitted into the Sixth Form since 2008 and the school has been co-educational since 2015. There are approximately 130 day pupils.[4] The present site, to which the school moved in 1882, is on the south bank of the River Severn.[1]

The school's alumni – or "Old Salopians" – include naturalists, poets, academics, politicians, authors, sportsmen, actors, and military figures.

HistoryEdit

 
King Edward VI, founder of Shrewsbury School

Foundation and early yearsEdit

Shrewsbury School was founded by charter granted by King Edward VI on 10 February, 1552.[5]

The foundation of the school followed a petition in 1542 to Henry VIII from the townspeople of Shrewsbury for a free grammar school, requesting that some portion of the estates of the town's two then recently dissolved Collegiate Churches of St Mary (established by King Edgar in the 10th century) and St Chad (established in the 1200s) in the town might be devoted to its support. These two collegiate churches would have had an educational role in the medieval town prior to their dissolution,[6] and there is mention of a grammar school at Shrewsbury in a court case of 1439.[7]

The school began operation in three rented half-timbered buildings, which included Riggs Hall, built in 1450, and now the only remaining part of the original buildings occupied by the institution.

The early curriculum was based on Continental Calvinism, under its foundational headmaster, Thomas Ashton (appointed 1561) and boys were taught the catechism of Calvin. The school attracted large numbers of pupils from Protestant families in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and North Wales, with 266 boys on its roll at the end of 1562.[8] Early pupils lodged with local families; Sir Philip Sidney (who had a well-known correspondence with his father about his schooling[9][10][11]) lodged with George Leigh, Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury. Sidney attended the school along with his lifelong friend Fulke Greville (later Lord Brooke).[12]

Having achieved a reputation for excellence under Ashton, in 1571 the school was augmented by Queen Elizabeth I. By 1581, the school had 360 pupils and was described by William Camden in 1582 as "the best filled [school] in all England";[13] the population of the town grew by about 5% when the boarders returned during term time during this period.

Although Ashton had resigned from his headmastership in 1568, he returned to Shrewsbury in 1578 to help draw up the ordinances governing the school, which were in force until 1798; under them, the borough bailiffs (mayors after 1638) had the power to appoint masters, with Ashton's old St John's College, Cambridge having an academic veto.[14] Shrewsbury has retained links with the college, with the continued appointment of Johnian academics to the Governing Body, and the historic awarding of 'closed' Shrewsbury Exhibitions.[15]

Scholars from the school were from time to time employed by the local community to draw and witness bonds for illiterate tradesmen in this period; for instance Richard Langley (whose father, a prosperous tailor, had purchased the abbey site after the dissolution), could remember being asked by a cooper in 1556 to witness a bound "at what time he was a scholar in the free school of Shrewsbury" aged about fifteen.[16]

 
The school's original building now serves as Shrewsbury's town library

1600sEdit

The stone buildings on Castle Gates, including a chapel, dormitories, library and classrooms were completed by 1630, with the Ashton's successor, John Meighen, founding a chained library in 1606,[17] though the library had begun making acquisitions by 1596, with a terrestrial globe by the first English globe maker Emery Molineux being its first acquisition.[18]

In 1608 the town and the school together were in fierce dispute about whom should be appointed second master. The headmaster, John Meighen, wished to promote the third master, Ralph Gittins; the town wished to appoint Simon Moston on the recommendation of St John's College, whose fellows had a say in the appointment of new masters. When the town's bailiffs came to install their preferred candidate on 31 August 1608, the building has already been occupied by about 60 women from the town (including three spinsters, two widows, the wives of mercers, tailors, weavers, butchers, shoemakers, tanners, glovers, carpenters and coopers) taking the headmaster's side and preferring Gittins on the basis that on the so of a burgess could serve as second master. Jamming the school benches against the doors they barricaded themselves in the school until the following Saturday, passing a "great hammer" between themselves which had been used to gain entry to the school. The authorities sought to read the Statute on Rebellion, but the women made such a noise nobody could hear it. The incident provoked a mass of litigation in the courts of Chancery and Star Chamber in Westminster.[19]

 
Early graffiti in the former school building

A house was also built for the school in 1617 in the nearby village of Grinshill as a retreat in times of plague.[20][21]

Civil WarEdit

Shrewsbury was occupied on behalf of the King during the Civil War. A council of war was appointed for the whole district, of which Lord Capel was president. This council held its meetings in the school library, and some of the school's books were damaged during this time.

A contentious "Royal Loan" was made to Charles I around September 1642 of £600 (around 75% of the money in the school exchequer at the time); a further £47 was lent to the corporation of the town. The loan was acknowledged under seal by the king in the following terms:

Charles Rex

Trusty and well beloved we greet you well. Whereas ye have, out of your good affection to our present service and towards the supply of our extraordinary occasions, lent unto us the sum of £600, being a stock belonging to your school founded by our royal predecessor King Edward the Sixth, in this our Town of Shrewsbury. We do hereby promise that we shall cause the same to be truly repaid unto you whensoever ye shall demand the same, and shall always remember the loan of it as a very acceptable service unto us. Given under our Signet at our Court at Shrewsbury this nth of October, 1642.

To our trusty and well beloved Richard Gibbons, late Mayor of our Town of Shrewsbury, and Thomas Chaloner, Schoolmaster of our Free School there.

This was considered a misappropriation of the school's funds. This was litigated in the Court of Chancery and before the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal by the corporation of the town after the end of the civil war. The record of the royal loan in the school register at the time of the November audit of 1642, was torn out by the time this was before the courts. The taken funds were never recovered.[22]

1700sEdit

The history of the school between 1664 and 1798 is not easily available, as the registers and papers between these periods have been lost for many years. Nevertheless diplomat Richard Hill, Baron Digby Governor of King's County in Ireland, Robert Price, Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, poet and politician Arthur Maynwaring, Thomas Bowers, Bishop of Chichester, attended the school at this time.[23]

In 1798, a specific Act of Parliament, The Shrewsbury School Act, was passed for the better government of the school.[24][25][26] This statutory scheme was latter amended by the Court of Chancery, in 1853.[27]

1800sEdit

The school had just three headmasters during the 19th century.

Samuel Butler was appointed headmaster in 1798. Writing at this time he observed: "This school was once the Eton or the Westminster of Wales and all Shropshire",[28] and under his leadership the school's reputation, which had receded from the Civil War, again grew.[29] In 1839 an incident known as the "Boiled Beef Row" took place, where the boys walked out of the school in protest at the food, and the praepostors were all removed from office.[30] In this period (1818–1825) Charles Darwin attended the school.[31]

Butler was succeeded by his pupil Benjamin Hall Kennedy (of Latin Primer fame) in 1836,[29] who in turn gave way to Henry Whitehead Moss in 1866.

The school's original Castle Gates premises had little in way of provision for games. Under Dr Butler, there were two bat[clarification needed] fives courts and playgrounds in front of and behind the buildings, but after the arrival of Dr Kennedy football was permitted, for which the school acquired a ground in Coton Hill (north of Castle Gates).[32]

 
To mark the turn of the Millennium, Shrewsbury unveiled a monument[33] of Charles Darwin.

Under Butler and Kennedy, Shrewsbury was one of three provincial schools among the nine studied by the Clarendon Commission of 1861–64 (the schools considered being Eton, Charterhouse, Harrow, Rugby, Westminster, and Winchester, and two day schools: St Paul's and Merchant Taylors).[34] Shrewsbury went on to be included in the Public School's Act 1868, which ultimately related only to the boarding schools.

In 1882, Moss moved the school from its original town centre location to a new site of 150 acres (61 ha) in Kingsland (an area of land which at one time belonged to the Crown and granted to the Corporation at “a rather remote period, the exact date of which appears not to be known”, but apparently before 1180[35]), on the south bank of the River Severn overlooking the town. A legacy of this move can be seen in the school premises being referred to as "The Site".

The school continued in the 1600s buildings on its original site, until it was relocated in 1882. The school was relocated in the current Main School Building which dates from 1765 and had at different times housed a foundling hospital and the Shrewsbury workhouse, before translating to this current use. In order to meet this new purpose, it was remodelled by Sir Arthur Blomfield (whose other educational commissions include and Marlborough College and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford). At this time, the original premises were converted to a public Free Library and Museum by the Shrewsbury Borough Council, opening in their new role in 1885;[36] over the course of the 20th century the library purpose gradually took over the whole building, to which major restoration was done in 1983.[37][32]

Blomfield also designed School House, to the east of the Main School building which was constructed during the 1880s.[38] The new Riggs Hall (which had existed from Tudor buildings at the old site[39]) was also built at this time,[40] as was Churchill's Hall[41] and Moser's Hall:[42] these buildings are the work of William White.

 
The school's current chapel, built in 1887

A gothic chapel was built for the school (also by Blomfield) in 1887, though it has been noted that "Christian religion played only a very small part in the life of the Public Schools... [and] at Shrewsbury the Governors refused to allow Butler to address the school at a service" prior to this increased focus in the Victorian period.[43] Its south and east windows in the chapel are by Kempe, employing medieval narrative style for lives of saints, scenes from the history of the school.[44]

Other buildings have since grown up around the edge of the site, with sports pitches in the centre, with diverse buildings being added to the new site over the last 130 years.

1900sEdit

 
The current main school building and a since replaced boat house in 1908

The main school building suffered a major fire in 1905.[45][46] Moss was succeeded in 1908 by Cyril Alington, then Master in College at Eton. Alington, though a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, was a sportsman, evidenced by the 1914 appointment as his secretary of Neville Cardus, the future cricket journalist who had joined the school in 1912 as the school's assistant cricket professional.

At the time of his appointment as Headmaster, Alington was younger than any of the masters on the staff, so to bring in new blood into the teaching staff, he recruited several former Collegers from Eton, most notably The Rev. Ronald Knox. Alington wrote the school song and commissioned its flag (a banner of arms of its coat of arms),[47] and he was an energetic builder; the school Alington Hall (assembly hall) is named after him. In December 1914 he wrote a poem, "To the School at War", which was published in The Times.[48][49] After leaving Shrewsbury, Alington went on to serve as Chaplain to the King to King George V from 1921 until 1933, and then Dean of Durham, from 1933 to 1951. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine on 29 June 1931. "An accomplished classicist, a witty writer especially of light verse, and a priest of orthodox convictions ..."[50]

During the Edwardian period Oldham's Hall was built (1911).[51] The current library building was added in 1916.[52]

Mountaineer Andrew Irvine, who, with George Mallory may have reached the summit of Mount Everest in the 1924 British Everest Expedition attended Shrewsbury during the First World War.[53] During the 1920s the Georgian villa houses at Severn Hill[54] and Ridgemount[55] were acquired by the school and adapted into boarding houses. Severn Hill, the linear decedent of the house of which Irvine was captain, holds his ice axe from the expedition, discovered in 1933 by Wyn Harris.[56]

First World War and afterwardsEdit

The First World War saw 321 former members of the school die serving their country.[57] A war memorial was added to the school in 1923 for these fallen.[58] This memorial was added to after the Second World War to include the 135 members of the school who fell in that conflict.[59] The monument contains a statue of Sir Phillip Sidney, the Elizabeth soldier, poet and courtier who himself was a former member of the school and died of wounds sustained at the Battle of Zutphen in 1586, and it faces the Main School building down an avenue of linden trees, known as 'central'.

Post Second World WarEdit

Between 1944 and 1950 John Wolfenden (later Lord Wolfenden) was headmaster; he left Shrewsbury to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading. He was appointed to various public body chairmanships by the Privy Council, and also went on to be director of the British Museum. His name is closely associated with the government-instituted Wolfenden Report, which he chaired.

 
High Cross given to the town of Shrewsbury by the school in 1952, replacing the lost medieval cross, to celebrate 400 years of relations between the two

In 1952, the school was 400 years old. It received a royal visit to mark the occasion,[60] and presented the town with a new cross[61] for the historic site of the town's High Cross (which had been removed in 1705) at the termination of the market street which was a starting point for civic and religious processions in the medieval town and a significant location (the place of execution of Earl of Worcester and others after the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, and of Dafydd III, last native Prince of Wales in 1283).[62]

The future Deputy Prime Minister of the UK Michael Heseltine attended the school immediately after the Second World War on a scholarship.[63] A number of the founders and writers of the satirical magazine Private Eye attended the school in the 1950s.[64] Willy Rushton was also at the school at this time.[63] The comedian, actor, writer and television presenter Micheal Pailin of Monty Python's Flying Circus attended the school shortly afterwards and a scholarship is now available named for him.[65]

Between 1963 and 1975 Donald Wright served as headmaster. The Times has called Wright a "great reforming headmaster". While there, working with the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool, Wright took a leading role in the building of a new Shrewsbury House, the school's mission in Liverpool, which was opened in 1974 by Princess Anne. He secured many leading churchmen to come to preach in the school chapel, including Donald Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury. After retiring as a headmaster in 1975, Wright became the Archbishop of Canterbury's Patronage Secretary, chaired the William Temple Foundation, and served as Secretary to the Crown Appointments Commission.

In the 1960s, Kingsland House, another 19th century gentleman's residence was acquired by the school and adapted for use for central catering for all pupils (previously food had been arranged in houses).[66] A new science building was also added in the 1960s.[67]

Sir Eric Anderson served as headmaster between 1975 and 1980. He went on to be Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Provost of Eton, among other roles.

In 1988, another Georgian villa house, the Grove, was bought and adapted for use as boarding house.[68] In 1996 a new IT building, the Craig Building, was added.[67]

2000sEdit

The two newest boarding houses, for girls, are named for Mary Sidney and Emma Darwin, whose brother and husband, respectively, were both prominent Old Salopians.

Since the turn of the millennium, the school's site has seen investment, beginning with the addition of a statue of alumnus Charles Darwin being added to the site to mark the millennial, which was unveiled by Sir David Attenborough.[69]

A new music school, The Maidment Building, was opened by HRH Prince Charles in 2001.[70]

Girls were admitted to the school for the first time into the sixth-form in 2008, and the school became fully coeducational in 2015.[71]

Two new boarding houses have been built, one named for Mary Sidney (completed 2006),[72] and one for Emma Darwin (completed 2011)[73].

Further additions to the site have been made: an indoor cricket centre (2006)[74] and a new swimming pool (2007);[75] the rowing facilities were extended with a new Yale Boat house, which was opened by Olympian Matt Langridge in 2012;[76] A new Computing and Design faculty building, "the Chatri Design Centre" was established in 2017, re-purposing and redeveloping a former humanities building;[77] and in 2015 a new building, Hodgeson Hall, was built to house the humanities departments.[78]

The addition of a new theatre was announced in 2018.[79][80]

SportsEdit

The main sport in the Michaelmas (autumn) term is football, in the Lent term fives and rugby, and in summer cricket. Rowing takes place in all three terms. The kit of many of the sports teams shows a cross from the crown in the school's coat of arms, which is a practice that has been in place for at least 150 years. During much of the twentieth century, this cross was used solely by the school’s boatclub.

Admission of girls in 2015 has seen the introduction of field hockey, netball and lacrosse, with cricket and tennis played during the summer term.

The present school buildings in Kingsland are arranged around the sports fields which have nine grass football pitches and one of Astroturf; almost all boys play football in the Michaelmas term.[81]

FootballEdit

Football, as a formal game, was incubated at the public schools of the nineteenth century and Shrewsbury had a key role in the game's development.[82] Salopians were prominent in the early history of the organised game at Cambridge University, according to Adrian Harvey "Salopians formed a club of their own in the late 1830s/early 1840s but that was presumably absorbed by the Cambridge University Football Club that they were so influential in creating in 1846".[83] The school has an 1856 copy of the Cambridge rules of football, predating the 1863 rules of the FA.

In these early years, each of the schools had their own versions of the game, and by the 1830s the version played at Shrewsbury had become known as "douling", taking this name from the Greek word for slave: the goal had no cross bar, favoured dribbling, and was being formally supported by the school's authorities to the extent it was compulsory. While, at the beginning of the 18th century, however, the school authorities deemed football "only fit for butchers boys", an attitude common at the other public schools,[84][85] by the 1840s, all boarders were required to play Douling three times a week unless they were excused on medical grounds.[86]

From 1853, the national press was publishing reports of football at the school, although at this time matches were predominantly between the various Houses. The school's first captain of football was appointed in 1854, and a school team was formed in the early 1860s for external mataches.[87] Also by the 1860s football was sufficiently well-established for all Houses to field 1st and 2nd XI sides across all age groups.[86]

The Arthur Dunn Challenge Cup (annual football cup competition played between the Old Boys of public schools started in 1903) was contested by Shrewsbury and Charterhouse in the first ever final, and shared by the two institutions following two draws, with two Morgan-Owen brothers choosing instead to turn out for Shrewsbury, instead of playing internationally in a Wales vs. Ireland game for which they had been selected.[88] Shrewsbury has won the Arthur Dunn Challenge Cup a total of 11 times, including the Centenary Cup Final in 2003,[89] a replay of the first final in 1903.

Shrewsbury has won the Independent Schools Football Association Boodles ISFA Cup twice: in 2000 and 2010.

 
Shrewsbury School viewed from The Quarry, with the school's boathouse in the foreground.

RowingEdit

Th Royal Shrewsbury School Boat Club (RSSBC) is one of the oldest school rowing clubs, having been founded in 1866.

Since the boat club began rowing at Henley Royal Regatta in 1912, they have won 14 times. Shrewsbury is only seconded in victories at Henley to Eton, having won specifically:

  • Elsenham Cup: 1919
  • Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup: 1955,[90] 1957, 1960, 1961, 2007
  • Ladies’ Challenge Plate Winner: 1932
  • Special Race for Schools/Fawley Challenge Cup: 1975,1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985[91]
 
Royal Shrewsbury School Boat Club Rowing Blade, this cross emblem is commonly used by sports teams, and has been for around 150 years, but for a period was reserved for the first VIII. This arrangement is also used as the flag of the boat club, while other sports use the school's banner of arms

Shrewsbury is one of only two public schools to have bumps races, the other being Eton, between the houses. They are rowed over four evenings at the end of term in July. There are usually three boats entered per house. On the fourth evening there are prizes for the leaders of the chart and the Leadbitter Cup for the boat which has made the most bumps over the four nights. The event is marshalled by senior rowers and rowing prefects, usually masters. The crew training is mainly pupil driven, though in preparation for Henley the school's First VIII rowers often do not take part, and therefore the boats are composed of other rowers and some non-rowers. Previously, races were run every day until there were no more bumps (i.e. until they were nominally in speed order). This historical set-up could lead to weeks of racing and it was therefore abandoned in favour of a four-day version more than 100 years ago. Otherwise, it is only Oxford and Cambridge that continue to have bumps. Shrewsbury and Eton both race bumps in fours whilst Oxford and Cambridge race in eights.

The town's rowing club, Pengwern Boat Club, has close historical links to the School's rowing activities, and for a time they jointly rented a boat house at the site of the current Pengwern club house.[92]

A former captain of the boat club, John Lander, is the only Olympic gold medallist to have been killed in action in World War 2.[93] GB Olympic silver medalist Rebecca Romero, and Paralympian Becca Chin both recently been appointed to coach within the club.[94]

RunningEdit

 
The school's site is intersected by shaded paths

The Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt (RSSH or "the Hunt") is the oldest cross-country club in the world, with written records (the Hound Books) going back to 1831 and evidence that it was established by 1819.[95] The sport of "the Hunt" or "the Hounds", now known as a Paper Chase, was formalised at the school around 1800. Two runners (the "foxes") made a trail with paper shreds and after a set time they would be pursued by the other runners (the "hounds"). The club officers are the Huntsman and Senior and Junior Whips. The hounds start most races paired into "couples" as in real fox hunting; the winner of a race is said to "kill".[96] Certain of the races are started by the Huntsman, carrying a 200-year-old bugle and a ceremonial whip, dressed in scarlet shirt and a black velvet cap shouting:

All hounds who wish to run, run hard, run well, and may the devil take the hindmost

before lounging the bugle: and this has been done for nearly 200 years.[97]

In his 1903 semi-autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh, Old Salopian Samuel Butler describes a school based on Shrewsbury where the main protagonist's favourite recreation is running with "the Hounds" so "a run of six or seven miles across country was no more than he was used to".[98] The first definite record of the Annual Steeplechase is in 1834, making it the oldest cross-country race of the modern era.[95]

The main inter-house cross-country races are still called the Junior and Senior Paperchase, although no paper is dropped and urban development means the historical course can no longer be followed. Every October the whole school participates in a 3.5-mile run called "The Tucks", originally intended to prevent pupils attending a local horse race.[99] It is now run at Attingham Park.[100]

The school also lays claim to the oldest track and field meeting still in existence, which originated in the Second Spring Meeting first documented in 1840. This featured a series of mock horse races including the Derby Stakes, the Hurdle Race, the Trial Stakes and a programme of throwing and jumping events, with runners being entered by "owners" and named as though they were horses.[95]

CricketEdit

 
Cricketer, commentator and selector James Taylor, played for the school

Cricket was being played at Shrewsbury at least as long ago as the 1860s.[101] A reference was made to an effort to set up a game with Westminster School in 1866 (declined by Westminster) in a House of Commons debate by Jim Prior in 1961.[102] Neville Cardus was the school's cricket professional in the early twentieth century.[103]

Boys' 1st XI season focuses on the Silk Trophy, which competed for by Shrewsbury, Eton, Oundle and an overseas touring side at the end of each summer term.[104]

The school competes in the HMC Twenty 20 having made the finals day each year since 2010, winning the competition in 2011 and 2013.[105] The school won the Lord's Taverners Trophy in 2005.[106]

Old Salopians who have played county cricket include James Taylor, Scott Ellis, Nick Pocock, The Hon. Tim Lamb, Ian Hutchinson.,[107] Ed Barnard, Steve Leach, Ed Pollock, Dion Holden,[108] Dave Lloyd,[109] George Garret,[110] George Panayi.

Eton FivesEdit

Eton Fives is major sport within the school and it has 14 Fives courts.[111] At the end of the Lent Term the school competes in the Marsh Insurance National Schools Eton Fives Championships, which are held in rotation at Shrewsbury. Highgate and Eton.[112][113]

Minor sportsEdit

Minor sports include: shooting, fencing, basketball, golf, equestrian, badminton, swimming, hockey and squash.[114]

HousesEdit

The School, as of Michaelmas Term 2020, has 807 pupils: 544 boys and 263 girls. There are eight boys' boarding houses, four girls' boarding houses and two for day pupils, each with its own housemaster or housemistress, tutor team and matron. Each house also has its own colours.

A single house will hold around 60 pupils, although School House and each of the dayboy houses hold slightly more. Having about 90 pupils, School House used to be divided into Doctors (black and white) and Headroom (magenta and white) for most sporting purposes, whilst being one house in other respects, but this distinction was abolished in around 2000.

There are many inter-house competitions: in football, for instance, each house competes in four different leagues (two senior, two junior) and three knock-out competitions (two senior, one junior).

The houses and their colours are:

House Colours House Master/Mistress; Notes
Churchill's Hall Dark Blue & Light Blue John Wright Opened in 1882, listed building
The Grove Cornflower Blue and White Clare Wilson Converted to girls' house in summer 2014
Ingram's Hall Green & White Sam Griffiths
Moser's Hall Deep Red & Black Jane Pattenden Opened in 1884, listed building
Oldham's Hall Chocolate Brown & White Henry Exham Opened in 1911, listed building
Port Hill Gold & Red Andy Barnard Formerly merged as Dayboys Hall
Radbrook Violet & White Richard Case
Ridgemount Royal Blue & Old Gold William Hughes Opened in 1926, listed building
Rigg's Hall Chocolate & Gold Matthew Barrett Opened in 1882, listed building
School House Black, Magenta & White Morgan Bird
Severn Hill Maroon & French Grey Adam Duncan Formerly known as Chances
Mary Sidney Hall Dark Blue & Pink Anita Wyatt Opened in September 2008
Emma Darwin Hall Wedgwood Blue & Green William Reynolds Opened in September 2011

Coat of arms and flagEdit

 
The school's arms on a monument in the town

The Arms of the school are those of King Edward VI being The Arms of England (three lions passant) quartered with those of France (fleur-de-lys).[115]

As a banner of arms, this is also used as the school's flag.

Royal visitsEdit

The following royal visits have been made to Shrewsbury School:

Grants and prizesEdit

The school awards a number of prizes, some of which have been running for many years, among these are:

  •  
    Sir Philip Sidney, former member of the school for whom a medal is named.
    The Sidney Gold Medal, established 1838, The top award Shrewsbury offers, it originally came with a purse of 50 sovereigns as was awarded to the top classicist going on to Oxbridge. The Trustees commissioned Sir Edward Thomason to cut the original die and the image was based on a miniature painted by George Perfect Harding and owned by Dr Kennedy, now in the School collection. The medal was discontinued in 1855 when the stocks were exhausted, but was revived again in 1899. In 1980 the Salopian Club decided that the Medal should be open to all disciplines and not purely the Classics. Since that time the majority of recipients have excelled in the sciences.[123]
  • The Arand Haggar Prize, established 1890, original known as “The Mathematics Prize”, an almost unbroken run of the annual competition paper stretches back to 1890, making it one of the longest continually run mathematics competitions in the country.[124]
  • The Bentley Elocution Prize, established 1867, candidates are required recite well a poem of at least sonnet length, introduced by Thomas Bentley, whose career at the School spanned more than 50 years. Past winners include Michael Palin.[125]
  • Richard Hillary Essay Prize, established 2013, molded on the single word essay formula used for admission for All Souls, Oxford[125]
  • The Miles Clark Travel Award, established 1994, recipients of this award have, for instance, cycled around the world for over four years; cycled back to the UK from Siberia, cycled by tandem from the north coast of Canada to Tierra del Fuego - a number of accounts of these travels have been published.[126]

Co-curricular and ExtensionEdit

Visiting speakersEdit

Past guest speakers hosted at the school include:

SocietiesEdit

There are dozens of organisations known as 'societies', in many of which pupils come together to discuss a particular topic or to

listen to a lecture, presided over by a senior pupil, and often including a guest speaker, they are largely run by the students.

Those in existence at present include:

  • Archery
  • Art & Photography
  • Bastille Society (history)
  • Beekeeping[133]
  • Canoe and Kayak Club
  • Chinese
  • Christian Forum
  • Coding
  • Comedy
  • Cooking
  • Craft and Textiles Club
  • Creative Writing Society
  • Darwin Society (Science)
  • Debating Society
  • Drama
  • French
  • Heseltine Society
  • Junior History Society
  • Maths Club
  • Mindfulness
  • Model Railway Society
  • Model United Nations
  • Paired Reading Society (students visit a local primary school, where they work with younger children on a one-to-one basis in order to help develop their reading skills).
  • Pilates
  • Quizzing
  • Reading
  • Royal Shrewsbury School Shooting Club
  • Sidney Society (literature)
  • Spanish Society
  • STEM
  • Technical Theatre

There is also a Combined Cadet Force.

Music and dramaEdit

HeritageEdit

Under Thomas Ashton drama flourished. He made it a rule that, boys in the senior form had, every school day, to "declaim and play one Act of Comedy" before breaking from school, and the school put on frequent public Whitsuntide and mystery plays concerned with moral romance, scripture, and history. In 1565, for instance, Julian the Apostle and another unnamed performance of Ashton's were performed before a large audience, which "listened with admiration and devotion". Queen Elizabeth I, on a journey to the west midlands in 1565 intended to visit Shrewsbury to see one of these performances, but "her Majesty not having proper information mistook the time and when she came to Coventry, hearing it was over, returned to London". The Quarry park in the town had long been a place for sort and cultural activity in the old town, and this was the site of many of these play, and a bank there cut in the form of an amphitheatre was established near the rope walk. They were, according to Thomas Warton, probably the first fruits of the English theater.[134]

On several occasions the school put onpagents for the visiting Council in the Marches, as in 1581 when the Lord President, Sir Henry Sidney, leaving the town by barge, was greeted by several scholars on an island down stream of the castle dressed as green nymphs with willow branches tied to their heads reciting verses across the water:

And will your honour needs depart, and must it needs be so. Would God we could like fishes swim, that we might with thee go.

The Lord President was brought close to tears.[135]

Contemporary OfferEdit

Orchestras, ensembles and choirsEdit

 
The Music School ("Maidment Building"), a 2001 addition to the school site

The school has the following orchestras ensembles and choirs:[136]

  • The Symphony Orchestra;
  • The Wind Orchestra;
  • Big Band;
  • The Pepys Brass Quintet (one of two brass quintets run for the best senior brass players in the school);
  • The Senior Brass Ensemble
  • The Senior String Ensemble
  • The Chamber Choir
  • The Chapel Choir
  • The Community Choir (includes local members who are not part of the school)
  • Jazz Band
  • String quartets
  • Junior and Senior string ensembles
  • Clarinet and sax groups
  • Year-based brass groups
  • Flute Ensemble
  • Tuba and horn quartets

MusicalsEdit

Every other year (and sometimes more often), Shrewsbury puts on its own homegrown school musical which is taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. These have included:[137]

  • Rebecca the Drowned Bride
  • What You Will
  • Bubble
  • Jekyll!

PerformancesEdit

 
Jacques Loussier performed at the school in the early 2000s

High-profile musicians and performers also visit the school with such visitors including:

CultureEdit

 
Two stone statues of Philomath and Polymaths in Elizabethan dress, on the original buildings; also featured on the contemporary school library

Philomath and PolymathEdit

The original buildings, and the present school library both have carved stone figures on the buildings. They represent, on the left φιλομαθης Philomathes [he who loves learning] (a character first penned by King James in philosophical dialogue known as Daemonologie) and on the right πολυμαθης Polymathes [he who has much learning]. The first figure has taken his hat off to settle to learning; the second figure is about to place his hat back on having attended to his studies.

The original carvings are from 1630 and are accompanied by a table which says:

MDCXXX [1630]

ΔΙΔΑΣΚΑΛΕΙΟΝ

ΕΑΝ ΗΣ ΕΣΗ

This is based on a quotation from Isocrates, "εαν ης φιλομαθης, εσει πολυμαθης", which means "If you are studious (loving learning), you will be(come) learned; Διδασκαλειον means "school".[145]

School songEdit

The school has its own song, "Carmen Salopiense", written in 1916 by the Cyril Alington who was Headmaster at the time.[47]

TerminologyEdit

In common with other such institutions, certain idiosyncratic jargon/slang has developed at the school.[146]

MasqueEdit

To celebrate the 400 year anniversary of the school's foundation, in 1952, a masque was written which set out the history, great figures, and values of the school.

Music was by John Ranald Stainer, OBE, FRCM, FRCO, Hon RAM, and the script was written by Paul Dehn ( best known for the screenplays in Goldfinger, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Planet of the Apes sequels and Murder on the Orient Express).[147][148]

PraepostorsEdit

The schools' prefects are known as præpostors.[149][150][151] The word originally referred to a monastic prior and is late Latin of the Middle Ages, derived from classical Latin praepositus, "placed before".The use of praepostor in the context of a school is derived from the practice of using older boys to lead or control the younger boys. Privillages associated with the office are a particular tie showing the school's arms and the right to cycle a bike to lessons. Defining the role in 1821, Dr Butler wrote:

"A præpostor is one of the first eight boys to whom the master delegates a certain share of authority, in whom he reposes confidence, and whose business it is to keep the boys in order, to prevent all kinds of mischief and impropriety..."[152]

AwardsEdit

House and school ties and scarfs are awarded achievements in co-curricular activities.

Scholarships, exhibitions and bursary supportEdit

 
Benjamin Hall Kennedy, headmaster of Shrewsbury for thirty years, from 1836 to 1866.

The school currently awards around £2,8M in fee remissions.[153] Various measures of financial assistance are available to students associated with need and with ability, as set out below:[154]

Academic scholarshipsEdit

  • Four Butler Scholarships (up to 30% of fees)
  • Six Kennedy and Moss Scholarships (up to 20% of fees)
  • Seven Alington Scholarships (at least £2,000 per year)

Art ScholarshipsEdit

Art Scholarships are awarded annually, most of which carry a fee remission of 10%, and larger awards are sometimes made.

Music ScholarshipsEdit

Music Scholarships are awarded each year, worth up to 30% of the fees and the scholars receive free music tuition on two instruments.

All-Rounder ScholarshipsEdit

A small number of Sir Michael Palin All-Rounder Scholarships are awarded each year.

Other scholarships and bursariesEdit

Scholarship awards are also made for Drama, Sport, and Design and Technology, and sixth form scholarships are also available.[155] Bursary support grants are also available.[156]

Ancient libraryEdit

 
The school's Ancient Library contains a first edition of Newton's Prinicipia, acquired on publication

The school has an ancient library, containing various significant antiquarian books and other items.

Particular highlights of the collection include:

Art collectionEdit

The Moser Gallery, within the library buildings, contains part of the school's collection of paintings.

This includes work by J. M. W Turner, important nineteenth century water colours, (and work by Kyffin Williams OS.[157]).[158]

HeadmastersEdit

Notable mastersEdit

Affiliate schoolsEdit

 
Exterior of Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong

Shrewsbury has the following affiliate schools:

Shrewsbury is also set to open three new international schools in China by 2022, including its first overseas boarding school.[167]

Fees and admissionEdit

Pupils are admitted at the age of 13 by selective examination,[4] and for approximately ten per cent of the pupils, English is a second or additional language.[1] The fees at Shrewsbury are up to £12,980 a term for UK students and up to £13,500 a term for international students, with three terms per academic year in 2019.[171]

Old SalopiansEdit

Former pupils are referred to as Old Salopians (from the old name for Shropshire).

 
Charles Darwin, naturalist
 
Andrew Ivine, part of the 1924 Everest Expedition.
 
Michael Palin, member of Monty Plyton
 
Michael Heseltine, former Deputy Prime Minister
 
George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem, better known as Judge Jeffrey

Contemporary Old SalopiansEdit

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

Victoria Cross holdersEdit

Harold Ackroyd and Thomas Tannatt Pryce, two former members of the school awarded the Victoria Cross.

Two Old Salopians received the Victoria Cross, both in the First World War, 1914–18.

Old Salopain activitiesEdit

The "Old Salopian Club", now known as the Salopian Club, was founded in 1886.[172] A number of reunions, clubs and activities are arranged by the club. The post nominals OS are used to denote Old Saloplians. .[173]

SportsEdit

Former members of the school have various sporting clubs:

  • Rowing is arranged by the "Sabrina Club",[174] which fields crews, including for Henley Royal Regatta[175] as well as supporting the school crews at various events
  • Cricket is arranged by the "Saracens"[176]
  • Old Salopian golf, yachting, fives cross country, tennis, football, squash and basketball are also provided for.[177]

Careers, arts and activitiesEdit

Arrangements for cultural engagement of former members if the school, for instance concerts and plays and art exhibitions are also put on, and there is a programme around careers.[178][179]

Social actionEdit

Shrewsbury HouseEdit

A mission in Everton, Liverpool, called "Shrewsbury House" was established in 1903.[180] It is less formally known as "the Shrewsy" and is a youth and community center associated with St Peter's Church Everton.[181] Lord Heseltine was first introduced to social issues in Liverpool which the took up in the 1980s at this mission.[182]

Medic MalawiEdit

The charity Medic Malawi, which includes a hospital, two orphanages and The Shrewsbury School Eye Clinic has an ongoing relationships and support from the school community.[183]

Other activitiesEdit

During the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 the school donated over 1,600 items of personal protective equipment to the NHS, including face shields it had 3D printed in its technology labs.[184] It also opened up rooms in its boarding houses for use for NHS staff.[185]

Steam locomotiveEdit

One of the Southern Rail, class V, Schools Class 4-4-0 locomotives designed by Maunsell and built at Eastleigh and was named "Shrewsbury". Its SR number was 921 and its BR number was 30921. It entered service in 1934 and it was withdrawn in 1962 and from use on railways and the name plaque preserved in the Admissions Offices/Registry of the school.[186]

Farm houseEdit

The school maintains a farmhouse at Talargerwyn in Snowdonia.[187][188]

This is used for outward-bound type activities and research trips.

FoundationEdit

In 1965 the school established "The Foundation", which is one of the oldest school development offices in the country.[189]

ControversyEdit

In September 2005, the school was one of fifty independent schools operating independent school fee-fixing, in breach of the Competition Act, 1998. All of the schools involved were ordered to abandon this practice, pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 each and to make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information had been shared.[190][191]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

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General sourcesEdit

  • Carr, A. M., and T. Fullman (1983). Shrewsbury Library: Its History and Restoration. Shropshire Libraries.
  • Stewart, Alan (2000). Philip Sidney: A Double Life. Chatto and Windus. ISBN 0-7011-6859-5.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit