London Schools

There have been a number of other famous schools in London, although most have now left the city. Some famous pupils and staff are given below.


In Charterhouse Square until it moved to Godalming, Surrey, in 1872. Pupils include Barrow (who was expelled as a bully) and Sir James Cockle.

Christ's Hospital (The "Blue-coat School")

Founded by Ed6 as an orphanage in 1553. This was on the site of the Post Office, Newgate Street (City Plaque), from 1552 (or 1553) to 1902 when it moved to West Horsham, Sussex. In the 1670s, this was the first school to have a 'mathematical side', established by Charles II, at the instigation of Pepys, and later known as the Royal Mathematical School. Edward Paget, a Fellow of Trinity College, was appointed mathematical master in 1682 on Newton's recommendation. Flamsteed, Hooke, Locke, Newton, Pepys and Wren all took an interest in the school and served as governors, examiners, etc. In 1692, Wren was asked to design the Writing School, but he only provided an idea, the rest being carried out by his pupil Hawksmoor [1]. In 1694, Newton wrote a long letter outlining a course of mathematical reading for the students [2]. Jonas Moore, Surveyor General of the Ordnance (See London other institutions.) wrote New Systeme of the Mathematics, with contributions from Flamsteed and Halley, for the school. In 1716, Newton presented the school with a die for making badges to be worn by the ten extra pupils supported by a donation from Henry Stone. Humphrey Ditton was master of the mathematics school about 1713.

James Dodson, author of the Anti-logarithmic Canon was a teacher. James Hodgson, author of The Doctrine of Fluxions (1736 - the best early work on Fluxions), was Master for many years. William Wales was mathematical master from c1780. William Burnside, the group theorist, was a pupil to 1871. Philip Hall was a student. [3] says a statue of Sir John (presumably Jonas) Moore was done for the School c1700.

City of London School

This was located at 1 Milk St Buildings, Milk St, from 1835 to 1882 (City Plaque). From then to 1987 it was on Victoria Embankment in a building constructed while Edwin Abbott Abbott (author of Flatland) was Headmaster. In 1987, it moved to a new building in Queen Victoria Street. The old Great Hall has windows to Plato, Chaucer, Newton, inter alia, and there is a statue of Newton on the facade. Abbott, Piaggio, W. H. Young were students. William Garnett was a student from about 1863 to 1869 and was head boy in mathematics.

Dulwich College

The philosopher G. E. Moore was a student.

Eton College

Founded by Henry VI in 1440, in conjunction with King's College, Cambridge. Oughtred was born here in 1574, his father being the pantler (or a writing master) of the school, and then he was a student here [4]. Barrow was a Fellow. Boyle entered at age 8 and spent about 4 years here. Rayleigh and H. G. J. Moseley (to 1906) were pupils. John Herschel was a student for one year. J. B. S. Haldane was a student.

Henry Savile (1549-1622), of the Savilian chairs, was Provost of Eton from 1596, while continuing as Warden of Merton. He was a somewhat irregular appointment as he was not an Etonian nor a Kingsman nor a cleric, but he was sponsored by Elizabeth's current favourite, the Earl of Essex. Savile greatly improved the school's reputation. He died at Eton and is buried in the Chapel. Christopher Wren is said to have designed the Upper School, but there is no evidence for this.

Harrow Fisher was a student. John Spilsbury was a teacher here in the 1760s when he made the first dissected map - the beginning of the jig-saw puzzle. Colenso was a master in 1839-1841, but he got involved in financial problems after his house burnt and had to sell the copyright of his mathematical works [5]. The pioneer photographer W. H. Fox Talbot was a student.

St Paul's

Charles Pendlebury, a well known writer of school arithmetic texts, was senior mathematical master here in the late 19C. F. S. Macaulay was a teacher here from 1895 until c1920 and taught Littlewood and Watson. He was a very rare thing - a schoolmaster FRS, and addressed the ICM in 1904. Halley was School Captain at only 15 [6] Also: J. C. Burkill, Cotes, Littlewood, Pepys, G. N. Watson.

University College School

J. J. Sylvester was a pupil here, entering at age 14 in Nov 1828 at a time when the distinction between the school and the college was a bit indefinite. He studied under De Morgan, but had problems adapting and was removed from the school in Feb 1829. The Professor of Latin reported taking a knife from him which Sylvester had intended to use on another student.

W. W. Rouse Ball was a pupil here, also G. I. Taylor. T.A. Hirst was mathematics master in 1860-1864. G. S. Carr.

Westminster School

Demainbray, Freeman Dyson, Edmund Gunter, Thomas Hooke, John Locke, Nevil Maskelyne, Chrisopher Wren (in the 1640s). Zerah Colburn, the American calculating prodigy, was a student in 1816?1817. "Alice" Liddell was born at 19 Dean's yard while her father was headmaster here in 1852. They moved to Oxford three years later. W. W. Rouse Ball was a governor.

References (show)

  1. Summerson, John. Sir Christopher Wren. Brief Lives, Collins, London, 1953. p. 136
  2. Merton, R. K. Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-Century England. Osiris 4 (1938) part two. Reprinted with new Preface: Harper Torchbooks, Harper & Row, NY, 1970. pp. 172-173
  3. Blackwood, John. London's Immortals. The Complete Outdoor Commemorative Statues. Savoy Press, London & Oxford, 1989. p. 83
  4. Lenihan, John. Science in Action. The Institute of Physics, Bristol, 1979. p. 127; Stander (3)
  5. Mullinger, James Bass. St John's College. College Histories series. F. E. Robinson & Co., London, 1901. p. 282
  6. Low, A. M. They Made Your World. John Gifford, London, 1949. p. 29.