1st edition of The Shirburnian, March 1859

1st issue of The Shirburnian, March 1859

Sherborne School’s first school magazine, King Edward’s Casket, was published irregularly during the Headmastership of the Rev. Ralph Lyon (1823-1845).  The magazine was described as ‘spicily personal’ and ended its days with a violent fight between two of the contributors.

The first issue of The Shirburnian was published in March 1859. It was devised as ‘an outlet for its [the School’s] wit, and also an easy means of printing all its News, both as regards those of us who are here and those who have left.’  But the initial run was short-lived. However, it was resurrected in 1864 and published continuously from that year until 2010.

The Rules of the magazine were published in the March 1859 issue:

  1. That the Shirburnian be published on the first day of every Month during the half year.
  2. That no contributions be received from anyone who is not, or has not been a member of the King’s School, Sherborne.
  3. That no anonymous contributions be received, but that the full name be enclosed in a sealed envelope, which will not be opened if the contribution be rejected.
  4. That all communications be addressed “To the Editor of the Shirburnian, King’s School, Sherborne, Dorset.”
  5. That all discussions of a Religious or Political nature, and also Personalities, be excluded.
  6. That every contribution be the bona fide production of the contributor.
  7. That no unfinished articles be received; but if a long story be intended to appear in continuous number, that the whole be sent in at once.

Former editors of The Shirburnian have included Alec Waugh, Cecil Day-Lewis, Michael McCrum, Hugh Swynnerton Thomas, Stanley Johnson, Richard Eyre and Tim Heald.

In July 1980, colour covers were introduced for the first time.  Find out more about The Shirburnian: a cover story.

Online resources:


For further information about the Sherborne School Archives please contact the School Archivist.

Return to the School Archives homepage.