Victorian London - Education - Schools - St. Paul's School

PAUL'S (ST.) SCHOOL. A celebrated school in St. Paul's Churchyard, (on the east side), founded in 1512, for 153 poor men's children, by Dr. John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, the friend of Erasmus, and son of Sir Henry Colet, tnereer, and Mayor of London in 1486 and 1495. The boys were to be taught, free of expense, by a master, sur-tnaster, and chaplain, and the oversight of the school was committed by the founder to the Mercers' Company. The number (153) was chosen in allusion to the number of fishes taken by St. Peter. The school was dedicated by Colet to the Child Jesus, but the saint, as Strype remarks, has robbed his master of his title. The lands left by Colet to support his school were estimated by Stow, in 1598, at the yearly value of one hundred and twenty pounds and better. Their present value is upwards of 5000l. The education is entirely classical, and the presentations to the school are in the gift of the Master of the Mercers' Company for the time being. Scholars are admitted at the age of fifteen, but at present none are eligible to an exhibition if entered after twelve; and none are expected to remain in the school after their nineteenth birthday, though no time for superannuation is fixed by the statutes. The head-master's salary is 618l. per annum ; the sur-master's, 307l. ; the under-master's, 272l. ; and the assistant-master's, 257l. Lilly, the grammarian, and friend of Erasmus, was the first master, and the grammar which he compiled, Lilly's Grammar, is still used in the school. Eminent Scholars.-John Leland, our earliest English antiquary ; John Milton, the great epic poet of our nation ; the great Duke of Marlborough; Nelson, author of Fasts and Festivals ; Edmund Halley, the astronomer ; Knight, the biographer of Colet; Samuel Pepys, the diarist ; John Strype, the ecclesiastical historian ; Sir Philip Francis, (supposed to be Junius) and H. W. Elliston, the actor. Strype has left a very interesting account of this school in his annotations upon Stow. The present school was built in 1823, from a design by Mr. George Smith, and is the third building erected on the same site. Colet's school was destroyed in the Great Fire, "but built up again, says Strype, "much after the same manner and proportion it was before."  Of the second school there are several views of the first, I am not aware that any representation exists.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

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St. Paulís School (Founded 1512 by John Colet, DD., Dean of St. Paulís), St. Paulís-churchyardóThere are 153 scholars on the foundation, who are entitled to entire exemption from school fees. Vacancies are filled up at the commencement of each term according to the results of a competitive examination. Candidates must be between 12 and 14 years of age. Capitation scholars pay £20 a year. The governors of this school are appointed by the Mercersí Company and the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and London. The school exhibitions are determined as to number and value by the governors from time to time, and the school prizes are of considerable importance. The following are the university exhibitions. To the University of Cambridge there arec the following exhibitions: Five exhibitions at Trinity, founded by Mr. Perry in 1696, of the value of £10 a year; two exhibitions at St. Johnís, founded by Dr. Gower in 1711, of the value of £10 a year, for the sons of clergymen. An exhibition, founded by Mr. Stock in 1780 at Corpus Christi, of the yearly value of £30, given to a scholar recommended by the high master. Four exhibitions, in the same college, value £10 a year each, founded by Mr. George Sykes in 1766, consolidated now in one exhibition, value £36 a year.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - St. Paul's School, with the Old Red Cow, Hammersmith

St. Paul's School - photograph


Dean Colet, the friend of Erasmus, founded St. Paul's School in 1509, and left it in trust to the Mercers' Company, in preference to any ecclesiastical body. The school was once at the rear of St. Paul's Cathedral, but now occupies a more suitable site at Hammersmith and is managed according to a scheme of the Charity Commissioners. Among its famous scholars may be mentioned Camden, Milton, Pepys, and Jowett. The boys number about 630, of whom 153 are foundation scholars. Judged by the scholarships and prizes test, St. Paul's School is second to none. The inn hard by is over 200 years old, and was more famous in the old coaching days than it can now pretend to be.