Sherborne School’s Governing Body was created by the School’s founding Charter of 1550.  This laid down that the trust fund should be administered by a body of twenty local men, a corporation, whose numbers were to be maintained by co-option.  By 1865, Headmaster H.D. Harper reported to the inspecting Commissioners that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find twenty men of the right type and that they needed to be able to recruit the governing body from a much wider field.  A list of 1869 gives the occupations of those then serving, with four JPs, four solicitors, two doctors, one yeoman, one parson, one silk merchant, one iron merchant, and one gentleman.

Under the provisions of the Endowed Schools Bill of 1869 the constitution of the old corporation was entirely changed, with the number serving reduced to sixteen, including three ex officio members (the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, the Bishop of Salisbury, and the Vicar of Sherborne), four representing the counties of Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire, and a masters’ representative.  The office of Warden was replaced by that of Chairman, and the Steward’s functions were undertaken by an Estates and Finance Committee.

From 1550 until 1985, the School’s Governing Body was made up entirely of men.  In 1986, Lady Dione Digby was appointed a School Governor and in 1997 she was joined by Mrs Dora Morton and Lady Catherine Williams.

Former School Governors of note have included:

Nathaniel Highmore (1613-1685) (Old Shirburnian)
School Governor 1654-1685.
Surgeon and anatomist.
Known for his anatomical studies, in particular for his 1651 account of blood circulation, and his descriptions of the maxillary sinus (the antrum of Highmore) and the scrotal septum.

Peter Batson (1747-1845)
School Governor 1790-1845.
A Sherborne Attorney.
In 1844, he was believed to be the oldest practising lawyer in the West of England.
‘Peter Batson, this excellent old gentleman.  There was nothing pompous or vindictive in his character; old fashioned to a degree in his costume, he possessed the mild forbearance of a courtier, and I believe he was a sincere friend to those in a humbler sphere whom he took a liking to.’

John Melliar (1757-1840) (Old Shirburnian)
School Governor 1817-1840.
Surgeon and apothecary.
Lived at Abbeylands and bequeathed the property to Richard Cutler, son of Sherborne Headmaster John Cutler, from whose descendants the School first rented the property and in 1919 purchased it.

Frederick Temple (1821–1902)
School Governor 1871-1902.
Headmaster of Rugby School, 1857-1869
Archbishop of Canterbury 1896-1902.
In 1905, a bronze bust of Archbishop Frederick Temple by Sir George Frampton RA was unveiled in the Big School Room at Sherborne School.  Later it, together with the marble niche designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, were moved to the lobby of the BSR.

Sir Frederick Treves (1853-1923)
School Governor 1906-1910.
A surgeon who specialised in abdominal surgery, especially appendectomy. In 1889 he performed the first appendectomy in England.  In 1902 he treated Edward VII for appendicitis, draining an infected appendiceal abscess through a small incision and leaving the appendix intact, for which he was honoured with a baronetcy.  In 1923 he wrote the first account of Joseph Merrick, ‘the Elephant Man’, who had lodged with him from 1886 to 1890.

John Bodman Carrington (1843-1926)
School Governor 1907-1926.
Silversmith and goldsmith, owner of Carrington & Co., 130 Regent Street, London.
A generous benefactor to Sherborne School, including the Carrington Building and Westcott Art School which were named in his honour in 1911.

Sir Roger Bannister (1929-2018)
School Governor 1988-1993.
Neurologist.
In 1954, he became the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.

For further information please contact the School Archivist.

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