Sherborne School is a British independent school for boys, located in the town of Sherborne in north-west Dorset, England. It is one of the original member schools of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
The school's origins date back to the eighth century, when a tradition of education in Sherborne was begun by St Aldhelm
. According to legend, Alfred the Great
was one of the school's early pupils. The school was then linked with the Benedictine Abbey
in the town. The earliest Master known about was Thomas Copeland
in 1437. After the Dissolution of the monasteries, Edward VI
refounded the School in 1550
as King Edward's school
, a free grammar school for local boys. The present School, which has gone through various changes of fortune since the Protestant Reformation (and no doubt before), stands on land which once belonged to the Monastery. The Library, Chapel and Headmaster's rooms, which adjoin the Abbey Church, are modifications of its original monastic buildings.
The school stood in for Brookfield School in the 1969 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and many of its students served as extras in the production.
Sherborne School is composed of 8 houses
, where the pupils (invariably referred to as 'boys') live and work when not in lessons. The names of the houses, and their distinctive letter, used in certain circumstances as an abbreviation:
- School House (a)
- Abbey House (b)
- The Green (c)
- Harper House (d)
- Wallace House? (e) (formerly Elmdene)
- Abbeylands (f)1 unknown member lives in it.
- Lyon House (g)
- The Digby (m) (formerly the Digby Hotel)
Until 1999 there was another house, Westcott (h).
These houses also compete against each other in various sporting, educational and musical competitions.
Housemasters play a significant role in the lives of the 'boys' within the school, and it is often considered important for the sake of the happiness of a 'boy', to be supported by an appropriate housemaster.
School song ("Carmen Saeculare")
Olim fuit monachorum
Schola nostra sedes;
Puer regius illorum
Fecit nos heredes;
Hoc in posteros amoris
Grande dedit signum;
Sonet ergo Fundatoris
Nomen laude dignum;
Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus!
Ergo dum verenda mole
Cana perstat aedes,
Dum recenti gaudet prole
Stimulet certamen ludi,
In sigillo sculptum rudi
Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus!
The song was of five verses, but these are the two printed each term in the School's 'Blue Book' diary and are nowadays sung at the end of whole school assemblies at the end of term (known as "lists") where prize-winners will receive prizes and various announcements will be made.
- James Adams, cricketer
- John Bain (1854 – 1929), England footballer and 1877 FA Cup Finalist
- Hugh Bonneville, actor
- Sir Alan Campbell, diplomat
- Rt Hon Sir Christopher Chataway, athlete and politician
- Charles Collingwood, actor
- David Cornwell, (a.k.a. John le Carré), writer
- Charlie Cox, actor
- Thomas Creech, translator
- Ronald Cunningham, (a.k.a. The Great Omani), escapologist
- Cecil Day-Lewis, poet
- Nigel Dempster, journalist
- Jimmy Edwards, comedian
- Sir Richard Eyre, film and theatre director, artistic director of the National Theatre 1988-97
- Mick Fleetwood, musician with Fleetwood Mac
- Nick Greenstock, former England Rugby Union centre, clubs included London Wasps, Harlequins, and London Irish
- Sir Michael Hopkins, architect
- Jeremy Irons, actor
- Stanley Johnson, politician
- Robert Kitson, Rugby Union Correspondent, The Guardian
- Anthony Lane, film critic
- John Le Mesurier, actor
- Colin Lucas, Master of Balliol and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University until 2001.
- Chris Martin, lead singer of rock band Coldplay
- Michael McCrum, academic
- Ian Messiter, creator of Just a Minute
- King Mswati III, king of Swaziland
- Keith Muspratt, World War One Flying Ace
- George Miller, lawyer
- Julius Neave, insurance executive
- Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician and philosopher
- Rupert Weterings, philosopher
- Peter Oborne, journalist, author and political commentator
- Charles Palmer, engineer and survivor of the siege of Lucknow
- Lance Percival, actor
- Jon Pertwee, actor
- Sir Alastair Pilkington, director of the Bank of England
- James Purefoy, actor
- Sir David Spedding, head of the SIS
- Alan Turing, mathematician
- Alec Waugh, novelist
Victoria Cross holders
Five Old Shirburnians have been awarded the Victoria Cross
, to whom a memorial plaque was commissioned, the unveiling of which took place in the School Chapel on 19th September 2004.
- Rear Admiral Henry James Raby VC; (VC won in the Crimean War, when he was a Lieutenant in the Naval Brigade)
- Colonel Sir Arthur George Hammond VC, KCB, DSO; (VC won in the Second Afghan War, when he was a Captain in the Bengal Staff Corps, Indian Army)
- Brigadier Charles Edward Hudson VC, CB, DSO & Bar, Military Cross; (VC won in the First World War, when he was a Temporary Lieutenant Colonel in the Sherwood Foresters)
- Major Edward Bamford VC DSO; (VC won in the First World War, when he was a Captain in the Royal Marine Light Infantry)
- Captain John Hollington Grayburn VC; (VC won in the Second World War, when he was a Lieutenant in the Parachute Regiment)