- Berkhamsted Collegiate School
Infobox UK school
name = Berkhamsted Collegiate School
size = 120px
dms = a
motto = "virtus laudata crescit" (
"greatness increases with praise"
"festina lente" (
established = 1541
1997 "as presently constituted"
type = Public school
Church of England
head_label = Principal
head = Mr Mark Steed
enrollment = 1460 (approx.)
gender = Mixed
lower_age = 3
upper_age = 18
colours = Blue and Green
free_label_1 = Former Pupils
free_1 = Old Berkhamstedians
free_label_3 = Last Inspected
free_3 = 2006 ( [http://www.isinspect.org.uk/reports/2006/0110_06_s.htm Report] )
website = http://www.berkhamstedcollegiateschool.org.uk
website_name = www.berkhamstedcollegiateschool.org.uk
Berkhamsted Collegiate School is a public school in
Hertfordshire, England, formed in 1997 by the amalgamation of the original Berkhamsted School, founded in 1541 by John Incent, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, Berkhamsted School for Girls, established in 1888, and Berkhamsted Preparatory School.
Berkhamsted today follows the so-called Diamond Model, in which pupils are taught coeducationally in both the Prep School and
Sixth Form, but independently in the traditional Senior years, between the ages of 11 and 16. The school has three main sites, the Prep School, Castle Campus and Kings Campus (the latter two being the original boys' and girls' schools respectively).
The School is noted variously for its distinctive
collegiatestructure, the particular strength of its lacrossesides and for participation in the life of the local community. The current Principal is Mr Mark Steed and the school has some 1500 students and 200 staff. Mr Mark Steed replaced Dr Priscilla Chadwick on the 1st September 2008 when Dr Chadwick retired. Mr Steed was previously headmaster of Kelly Collegein Tavistock, Devon. He has many plans to develop the school even further including introducing a new uniform and continue improving the P.E. sports department.
All Berkhamsted pupils belong to a House throughout their time at the School. Each House is run by a House Master or Mistress supported by several House Tutors. Together they are responsible for providing pastoral support for their pupils and serve as the primary link between parents and the School. Houses are both physical environments and communities, each forming a distinct entity within the larger organisation of the School itself. Pupils attend their house for morning and afternoon registration, to play games throughout the day, and for the majority of the administration which governs their time at the School. They also participate in School events on behalf of their House.
enior boys' houses
*Adders was formed in 1915 to accommodate the so-called "train boys" who, by nature of their daily commute to school, were often excluded from School activities. 'Adders' may be a casual abbreviation of "the add-on house" or, more probably, a contraction of 'Adlebert House', now the Chaplain's residence. Adders is situated in a separate building next to Newcroft and it takes the ground floor while Fry's house uses the top floor. Current house master Mr David Pain
*Bees, dating back to 1897 and situated on Mill Street next to Swifts. Current Head of House (the first female teacher to hold such a post in a Boys House) Miss Steph Kirton
*Cox's, opened in 1958 in response to the growing numbers of
day boys. Named after Cuthbert Cox. This house takes a whole separate building and is located next to the Tescocarpark.Current house master Mr Ben Evers
*Fry's is named after one of Berkhamsted's most successful Headmasters - Dr Fry. It is located above Adders.Current house master Dr Paul Hundal
*Greenes, found along the Cloisters of the Grass Quad. The School's association with the Greene family is recognised in its name. Current house master Mr Richard Thompson
*Incents, both a boarding and day boy house. The boarding accommodation is situated along Chesham Road, and is the birth place of
Graham Greene. The House is named after John Incent, the School's founder. This house has its main entrance in the cloisters between Loxwood and Greenes. Current house master Mr David Wiles
*Loxwood, also found along the Cloisters. This house was named after a former girls' school house. Current house master Peter Northcroft
*Swifts, established at the same time as Bees. Current house master Mr Martin PettThat at least three of the eight Senior Boys' Houses appear to be named after various fauna was not always intentional. When Swifts and Bees were formed in 1897, they were to be called 'A' and 'B' respectively, but the former's first House Master considered this dull, naming his House 'Swifts'. 'Bees' is thus phonetic. 'Adders' is wholly fortuitous; 'Reeves' and 'Hawks', now 6th Form Houses, add to the confusion. Richard Reeve was the School's first Headmaster; Hawks was named by the apparent "fauna tradition" in 1933.
enior girls' houses
*Holme - Current Housemistress - Mrs Rachel Bradley
*New Stede Current Housemistress - Miss Rosie McColl.
*Old Stede Current Housemaster - Mr Simon Robinson.
*Russell, Opened in September 2004. Current Housemistress - Mrs Liz Richardson.
*St. Johns Current Housemistress - Mme Sylvie Shipton
ixth form houses
*Ashby, named after the second wife of John Incent's mother, Katherine. Current Housemaster - Mr David Richardson
*Burgh. Pronounced 'Berg'. Current Housemaster - Mr Roland Maxted
Clementine Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchilland formerly girls' boarding accommodation. Current Housemaster - Mr Tim Grant
*Hawks, a former junior boys' house, established in 1934. Current Housemistress - Mrs Carolyn Ryder
*Nash, named after Henry Nash, a founder of Berkhamsted School for Girls. Current Housemaster - Mr Bob Newport.
*Reeves, named after Richard Reeve and founded as a junior boys' house, along with Hawks. - Mrs Sarah James
*St George's, originally a junior house for the "train boys", rather like Adders. Current Housemaster - Mr Andrew Webb
*School, variously the Headmaster's quarters and a boarding house. Current Housmaster - Mr Dick Mowbray.
History of Berkhamsted School, 1541-1996
By 1544, Berkhamsted School's first building, now known as 'Old Hall' was complete, laterto be described by
William Camdenas "the only structure in Berkhamsted worth a second glance." [as cited in Scott Hastie, "Berkhamsted: An Illustrated History" (Alpine Press), 120.] The formal opening is recorded in the Ancient Documents:
"When the building of the said Schoole was thus finished, the Deane sent for the chiefe men of the Towne into the Schoole, where he kneeling downe, gave thanks to Almighty God, which had given him life to see the perfection of that work, which both he, the towne and the country had beene about for the space of 20 years as is manifest by the pmisses. First he read his licence. Then he called for Richd Reeve, and placed him in the seate there made for the Schoolemr. and so did ordaine, make and pnounce him to be the first Master of the said Schoole and after that tooke him by the hand and did give him and his successors for ever possession of the lodgings appteining to that office. In like manner he placed John Audley to be Usher , and John East to be Chaplen. This done he did give possession by his deed bearing date the 23 of March in the 36 yeare of Henry the 8 to the said Richd Reeve John Audley and John East and their successours for ever, of all the land to the sd Schoole then appointed, which are expressed pticularly in an act of pliamt. made 2 & 3 Ed 6. Finally the Deane began TE DEUM LAUDAMUS which being finished with certaine other praiers and ceremonies, the whole Companie did there drink together and so depted. [as cited in B.H. Garnons Williams, "A History of Berkhamsted School, 1541-1972" (Watson and Viney), 20-21.] "
Yet the legal foundation was not nearly so sound. When Incent died some 18 months later, his entire wealth (over £330) became the King's, his documents stating that Berkhamsted's founder, a highly educated lawyer, had died intestate. The authenticity of this claim is rightly questioned: shortly after Incent's death, a complaint was made to the King "by some evill persons that the Deane had laid to the Schoole more revenues than his licence [£40 annually] did permitt him." Furthermore, Henry VIII stood to gain £196 and "a front of pearls" from the Dean's estate. However, there had been no formal incorporation of the School, and records suggest that Incent had spent much time since the opening preparing, but not realising, legal protection. An investigation into the claims that his annual endowment had been exceeded was commissioned and undertaken by John Waterhouse, a favourite not only of the King, but also a confidant of Incent, who had been present at the Opening. His choice of Commissioner suggests the Foundation still had Royal approval, something that had allowed the School to survive the first attack against it. The most enduring legacy of the Foundation nonetheless remains the building itself, "strong and fair".
A Delicate establishment
Incent's death, which itself had created a threat to the School, was followed by that of Henry VIII in January 1547. The Chantries Act 1546, which could have jeopardised the post of Chaplain at Berkhamsted, was replaced by new legislation, and the Foundation was declared "unperfect". A Foundation Act was introduced in parliament to settle the various claims to the Incent estate, but only those concerning the most immediate relatives of John. Thus claims to land of the School's endowment in
Sparkfordnear Winchesterwere made and tried, resulting in significant loss to the School.
An additional threat came when Edward VI, acting on advice, re-established the School under his own name. In reality, there was both initial benefit and ultimate disadvantage in this. Richard Reeve, the first Headmaster, held strict
Protestantviews, and was dismissed by the Bishop of Lincoln, acting upon Queen Mary's instructions, in 1555. He was replaced by William Barker, who no doubt offered an alternative religious policy, for he himself was removed when Elizabeth gained the throne.
Fulfillment under Saltmarsh and Hunt
. Although this would no doubt have caused Saltmarsh concern, this was otherwise a most successful period in the history of Berkhamsted School. Pupil numbers continued to increase, and a handful of Berkhamstedians, as they would become known, achieved notoriety.
By 1616, some years after Saltmarsh's death, it was written
"Scholae Ludimagister cum 33 annos eidem praefuisset amplam pecuniam testamento suo moriens legavit reficiendis his aedibus [which Williams translates: "William Saltmarsh, third Headmaster of this School, after presiding over it for 33 years, on his deathbed bequeathed a sum of money sufficient for the repair of this building."] "Quite why the building (by which it is meant Old Hall) had fallen into disrepair under an otherwise successful Headmaster is uncertain, but through his donation Saltmarsh had decisively added himself to Berkhamsted's list of benefactors.
All available evidence, of which there is admittedly little, suggests that the Hunt years were also successful ones for the School. His period in the office probably witnessed greater stability in the School than in his personal life - he was married as many as four times - and there was praise for his leadership, a former pupil recording "much reverence and affect" for Hunt. It also appears that he took as active a part in the life of Berkhamsted as had become and remains a tradition, serving as overseer for the poor and
Bailiffas well as contributing to church funds. He died in office, aged 70, in 1636.
There were two hereditary Headmasterships in the history of Berkhamsted School, neither of which was successful. The first was that of Henry Hunt, a graduate of
Trinity College, Oxford, who died within six months of succeeding his father; the second was to come in the 19th Century. Hunt's successor, William Pitkin, was not quite the academic of former Berkhamsted days. Yet he was clearly a prominent member of local society, having served as Member of Parliamentfor Berkhamsted, and whose descendants included U.S. Supreme Courtjudges and Oliver Wolcott, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. In England, however, the political environment began to take its toll on Berkhamsted.
Berkhamsted, situated along a route between
Londonand the battlefields of the English Civil War, became the subject of Parliamentary action to preserve the town. Pitkin's death is recorded in the parish register of Fleet Street, Londonin September 1643; in his history, Williams suggests Pitkin may have visited London in an attempt to obtain protection for the School, instead dying of the Plague. He was succeeded by Timothy Taylor, until then Usher, but the conditions of the period deny history any formal details, except that his death in 1648 was probably also a result of Plague. Ogle (1648-1651/2) witnessed local controversy resulting from the Civil War and it was likely that the School's seemingly relentless decline had begun in earnest by the time of his tenure, with student numbers falling from 80 to under 10 over three decades.
Such was the confusion of the period that it is uncertain whether Peter Berkenhead ever even served as Headmaster, although the weight of evidence suggests that he did (however insignificantly). This series of less distinguished office-holders is no doubt attributable in part to the Civil War; further, since the value of money had for so long been falling, the annual pay, having been set at the Foundation, was insufficient for such a post by the end of the
The Fossan saga
Thomas Fossan, a friend of
Samuel Pepys, petitioned the King for the Berkhamsted job in December 1662. His motive in doing so is unclear, himself recognising that "by reason of its small salary" it was not highly sought, but mostly since, having realised his ambition, Fossan so neglected his duties. Indeed, such was the strength of feeling against Fossan that the very same people who had recommended him in 1662 wrote to the authorities six years later in the name of "the trust imposed in [them] by the founders of the schoole" that the Headmaster be removed. When the charges were put to him (that both he and his Usher had spent much time away from the School, that the boys' knowledge of grammar was minimal and that the townspeople had taken to lodging the scholars in light of the School's failure so to do), Fossan replied that "he cared not whether he had any scholars or not, for the fewer he had the less trouble he should have." His forced resignation followed shortly after. [Fossan's resignation was written in the most eloquent Latin and read during a ceremony in Old Hall.]
'So Mean a School'
It is some indication of the extent of Berkhamsted's degeneration under Fossan that his successor, Edmund Newboult, was recommended by the
Bishop of Herefordas "of parts sufficient for so mean a school," an endorsement described as "comically unenthusiastic". [Williams, p. 67] The most prominent historical source on Newboult remains a reply he made to an educational researcher some years into his tenure, noting that "Ye Statues of ye Schoole were made in ye time of popery, therefore not observed." During his 17 years of office, Newboult does appear to have provided a solid educational environment at Berkhamsted, at least relatively speaking, something continued under his successor, Thomas Wren. In his wake came John Theed, member of a prosperous Buckinghamshirefamily, and Berkhamsted's longest serving Headmaster. Indeed, throughout the 18th Century, there were to be only four occupants of the post, an age not only of stability but stagnation. Nonetheless, the three inspections [Incent had invested this responsibility in the Warden of All Souls College, Oxford, which he had attended.] carried out during the Theed years found no cause for concern, and in their record is revealed the first reference to curriculum content, the boys having been examined on Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Theed was the School's second pluralist [A holder of more than one office simultaneously] (it is no inspiration that the first was Fossan): his obituary in
The Gentleman's Magazinerecorded him as Vicar of Marsworthand made no mention of his Berkhamsted role - some suggest this is characteristic of an insouciant, unambitious approach to the School. A similar charge could not be made against Evan Price. Having served as Usher for 16 of Theed's less proactive years, Price had become accustomed to the day-to-day running of the School. On Theed's death in 1734, his succession, still the jurisdiction of the Sovereign, brought Price to the Headmastership, despite his not having attended universityand his flamboyant record - as curateof Bovingdon, he had been involved in an "unseemly brawl" during a burial he was officiating.
*The School's foundation is celebrated annually in October on Founder's Day. A service is held in St. Peter's Church, the parish Church of
Laudata virtus crescit, et invidos
Irridet annos: non tamen, aurea
Si facta cessant, stat priorum
Laude sua cumulata virtus:
At quae refulget clarior in dies
Mens in molestis magna reliquerit
Incentis immortale nomen
Innumero generi nepotum
*Only Masters and prefects are permitted to walk on the Grass QuadFact|date=September 2008 - however, even they usually walk around it!
The original motto of Berkhamsted School was "virtus laudata crescit",
Latinfor "greatness increases with praise", a remarkably forward-thinking ideologyfor a British public school.
Berkhamsted School for Girls was advised "festina lente", a Latin imperative with which
Aldus Manutiusis credited, meaning "hurry slowly", reminiscent of the contemporary phrase "more haste less speed".
Notable Old Berkhamstedians
*Henry Atkins (1554/5–1635), President of the College of Physicians, 1606–1635
Richard Field(1561–1616), clergymanand theologian
*Sir Algernon Methuen (1856–1924), founder and owner,
Methuen& Co, publishers, 1889–1924
Clementine Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill(1885–1977), wife of Winston Churchill
Clifford Allen, 1st Baron Allen of Hurtwood(1889–1939), politician and peace campaigner
*Sir Donald Fergusson (1891–1963),
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1936–1945, and Ministry of Fuel and Power, 1945–1952
H. W. Tilman(1898–1977), mountaineerand sailor
A. K. Chesterton(1899–1973), fascist, and first Chairman, National Front, 1967–1971
F. S. Smythe(1900–1949), mountaineer and author
Hubert Hastings(1902–1986), Editor, " Architectural Review", 1927–
Claud Cockburn(1904–1981), writer and journalist
Graham Greene(1904–1991), author
*Bill Fiske, Baron Fiske (1905–1975), first leader of the
Greater London Council, 1964–1967, and Chairman of the Decimal Currency Board
*Sir Peter Quennell (1905–1993), writer and editor
Sir Colin Buchanan(1907–2001), town planner
*Sir Hugh Greene (1910–1987), Director-General of the
*Sir Kenneth Cork (1913–1991), accountant, and
Lord Mayor of the City of London, 1978–1979
Margot Jefferys(1916–1999), Professor of Medical Sociology, Bedford College, London, 1968–1982
Antony Hopkins(born 1921), composer
Stephen Dodgson(born 1924), composer and broadcaster
Victor Silvester, Jr.(1924–1999), clarinettist and band leader
Paul Sieghart(1927–1988), law reformer
Mark Boxer(Marc) (1931–1988), cartoonist and magazine editor
Michael Podro(1931–2008), art historian
Alexander Goehr(born 1932), composer and 1987 Reith Lecturer
*Sir Anthony Cleaver (born 1938), Chairman of the Medical Research Council, 1998–2006
*Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (born 1939), yachtsman
Michael Meacher(born 1939), politician
Kit Wright(born 1944), children's poet
Keith Mans(born 1946), politician
John Bly, antiques expert
Stuart Gyngell(born 1963), athlete
Roger Moorhouse(born 1968), historian and author
Emma Fielding(born 1971), actress
Stephen Campbell Moore(born 1977 Stephen Thorpe) actor
Carla Chases(born 1984), actress
Talulah Riley(born 1985), actress
Victoria Cross Holders
Three Old Berkhamstedians have won the
First World War
***George Randolph Pearkes VC, PC, CC, CB, DSO, MC, CD
Brett Mackay CloutmanVC MC
Headmasters of Berkhamsted School, 1544-1996
Between the School's opening in 1544 and the formation of the Collegiate School in 1997, there were 30 Headmasters, whose average length of service was 15 years.
- Richard Reeve (1544-1555)
- William Barker (1555-1567)
- William Saltmarsh (1567-1600)
- Thomas Hunt (1600-1636)
- Henry Hunt (1636)
- William Pitkin (1636-1643)
- Timothy Taylor (1643-1648)
- Archibald Ogle (1648-1651)
- Thomas Hawes (1651-1661)
- Peter Berkenhead (1661-1662)
- Thomas Fossan (1662-1668)
- Edmund Newboult (1668-1685)
- Thomas Wren (1685-1691)
- John Theed (1691-1734)
- Evan Price (1734-1748)
- Thomas Bland (1753-1788)
- John Dupré (1788-1805)
- Thomas Dupré (1805-1842)
- Edward John Wilcocks (1842-1850)
- John Robert Crawford (1850-1864)
- Edward Bartrum (1864-1889)
- Thomas Charles Fry (1889-1911)
- Charles Henry Greene (1911-1927), father of
- Henry Lael Oswald Flecker (1927-1931)
- Cuthbert Machell Cox (1931-1946)
- Claude Ronald Evers (1946-1953)
- Basil Hugh Garnons Williams (1953-1972)
- John Loraine Spencer (1972-1983)
Charles Jonathan Driver(1983-1989)
- Keith Howard Wilkinson (1989-1996)
Charles Jonathan Driver, principal between 1983-1989, was a well-known South Africanwriter and poet (usually published as CJ Driver), who had gone into exile due to his opposition to Apartheid.
Principals of Berkhamsted Collegiate School
#Dr Priscilla Chadwick (1997-2008)
#Mr Mark Steed (2008-
List of Victoria Crosses by School
* [http://www.berkhamstedcollegiateschool.org.uk Berkhamsted Collegiate School] . The school's main web site.
* [http://www.greeneshootstheatre.co.uk Greene Shoots Theatre] . Formed from past and present pupils from Berkahmsted Collegiate - perform regularly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
* [http://www.bcs-remembrance.org.uk Berkhamsted School Remembrance] . Information about Berkhamsted School during the Great War.
* [http://www.theoldberkhamstedians.org/ The Old Berkhamstedians] . The old boys' and girls' organisation of Berkhamsted Collegiate.
* [http://www.grahamgreenebt.org/ The Graham Greene Birthplace Trust] Organise the annual Graham Greene Festival in October at the School with an array of presitgious visiting speakers.
* [http://www.neon-ye.co.uk Berkhamsted Collegiate School Interactive Planner] . An interactive planning service showing school events.
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/06/28/nbully28.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/06/28/ixhome.html "Fee-paying school faces legal test on bullying"] , a 2002 report in "The Daily Telegraph".
* [http://www.isc.co.uk/index.php/40/0110 Information from the Independent Schools Council]
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