School Archives News

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Christmas celebrations at Sherborne School in the 1870s

This account of Christmas celebrations at Sherborne School in the 1870s was written by the daughter of Headmaster Hugo Daniel Harper:

‘Always on the night before the School broke up for the Christmas holidays we had a great festivity, much looked forward to by all of us, as well […]

Marley’s Ghost: the day Charles Dickens came to Sherborne

‘Marley was dead: to begin with.  There is no doubt whatever about that.’  So, began Charles Dickens’s reading at Sherborne’s Literary and Scientific Institution on Thursday, 21 December 1854.

Charles Dickens was a close friend of the Shakespearean actor-manager, William Charles Macready (1793-1873), who […]

A Greek Poem in The Shirburnian

This article has been submitted by James Kierstead (Abbeylands).  James is a former editor of The Shirburnian and winner of the Marson Greek Prize, and is now a Lecturer in Classics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand:

Not long ago I received an email from my old guitar-teacher (and keen local historian), […]

Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC, DL, known affectionately as Monty, was born on 17 November 1887.  Educated at St. Paul’s School and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he served with distinction in both the First and Second World Wars and, from 1946 to 1948, […]

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

A schoolboy’s account (pre-health and safety!) of the 5th November at Sherborne School in 1858:

‘In those old days, the 5th of November with us used to constitute a pleasant object to look forward to in the middle of the half.  At least I think […]

Varsity Match Icon: Cecil Douglas Baker (1870-1917)

Two of the fifty-five Blues who died in conflict in 1917 have been chosen as ‘Varsity Match Icons’ for the 2017 Varsity Match fixture: John Argentine Campbell who attended Fettes College and Trinity College, Cambridge, and Old Shirburnian, Cecil Douglas Baker:

‘Nor love thy life nor hate; but what […]

140th anniversary of the digging of the BSR foundations

In November 1877, the foundations were dug for the Big School Room (BSR): allegedly half as deep as the building is high.  This new assembly hall was the vision of Headmaster H.D. Harper.

Find out more about the building […]

The ‘cabbage’ and the ‘Wessex Dragon’

In 1903, the 1st XV badge, known irreverently as the ‘cabbage’, was replaced with the ‘Wessex Dragon’ badge.  The ‘cabbage’ badge had been introduced for the 1st XV in 1874, along with the plain blue jersey.  Prior to this, the 1st XV had worn a jersey with magenta, black and white stripes and a cap […]

Anthony Berkeley Cox (aka Francis Iles)

Anthony Berkeley Cox (1893-1971) is today recognised as a key figure in the development of crime fiction.  However, because he wrote under several pen-names, his connection with Sherborne School has not always been apparent.

To find out about the author of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1941 film, Suspicion, read The Mysterious Case […]

Celebrating Shirburnians: the Powys family

Three generations of the Powys family attended Sherborne School.  Not only were John Cowper Powys and his brothers Littleton Charles Powys, Albert Reginald Powys, Llewelyn Powys and William Ernest Powys pupils at the School, but also their uncle, Littleton Albert Powys, and John Cowper Powys’ son, Littleton Alfred Powys.

Find out about […]