Royal Grammar School, Guildford

Royal Grammar School, Guildford

"See Royal Grammar School for the other schools with the name RGS."Infobox UK school
name = Royal Grammar School, Guildford

size = 140px
latitude =
longitude =
dms =
motto = "Dieu et mon droit"
("God and my right")
motto_pl =
established = 1509
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Independent School
religion = Anglican
president =
head_label = Headmaster
head = Dr Jon Cox
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label = Chairman of Governors
chair = Dr Henry Pearson OBE
founder = Robert Beckingham
founder_pl =
specialist =
street = High Street
city = Guildford
county = Surrey
country = Englandflagicon|England
postcode = GU1 3BB
ofsted =
staff = 92 (teaching staff)
enrollment = 926
gender = Boys
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses = 6
colours = Green
publication = Guildfordian
free_label_1 = Former pupils
free_1 = Old Guildfordians
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website =
website_name = Royal Grammar School, Guildford

The Royal Grammar School is an independent school in Guildford, Surrey, England. It is situated in the High Street in Guildford, Surrey. It has a rare example of a chained library.


The school was originally built in 1509 after Robert Beckingham left an order in his will for a free school to be established in Guildford. In 1512, Beckingham's executors gave the lands in the will to a body of trustees, who included the Mayor of Guildford. With the rents, they were able to make a free grammar school.

Later on, the Mayor of Guildford petitioned Edward VI to grant him further money to improve the school. In 1552, Edward VI ordered that there was to be 'one Grammar School in Guildford called the Free Grammar School of King Edward VI for the education, institution and instruction of boys and youths in grammar at all future times forever to endure'.

In 1598, a court case referred to a sport called "kreckett" being played at the school around 1550. The Oxford English Dictionary gives this as the first recorded instance of cricket in the English language.


The school's uniform for the 1st to 5th years consists of a white shirt, black or grey long trousers and a navy blue school blazer, with the school crest on the breast pocket on the left of the blazer. For the Lower and Upper Sixth, dark coloured suits are instead worn, bought at the pupil's discretion, with a white shirt being compulsory for the Lower Sixth, and a free choice of shirt for the Upper Sixth. All years wear a school tie of some variation, be it the standard coloured tie, a house tie, or one of the many award ties, given for sports, society participation or other contribution to the school as a whole.


* 1509 Robert Beckingham's Will leaves money for setting up of the school.
* 1512 Foundation of the governing body of school.
* 1552 The granting of the charter.
* 1555 Purchase of the High Street site.
* 1557 Construction of the school began.
* 1550 - 60 First Recorded Game of Cricket played ever at the RGS Guildford (called kreckett)Fact|date=March 2008
* 1586 Building of the old school completed.
* 1888 Restoration of the Old Building and its continuation as a day school only.
* 1944 Education Act under which the school adopted "Voluntary Controlled" status; tuition was "free"; and entry was to be by common entrance examination at the age of eleven.
* 1958 The construction of the New Building started on Allen House Field.
* 1977 The school withdrew from the government maintained system and became independent and fee-paying.
* 1978 Acquisition of Lanesborough Preparatory School
* 2002 Construction begins on a new £5 million pound Sports Centre and All Weather Training Area. It is opened a year later by Princess Alexandra. The old gymnasium was converted into an auditorium, and reopened in 2005.
* 2005 Construction begins on a new Art and Music Block, containing state of the art facilities including a sculpture studio, library media centre, keyboard room and many smaller rooms with which to house music lessons.
* 2006 New Art Block opened. Retirement of Mr. T. M. S. Young as Headmaster.
* 2007 New Headmaster Dr. J. M. Cox. Chairman of Governors Mr. Douglas May died on 24th February [cite web | url= |title=Royal Grammar School website |accessdate=2007-02-28] . He was replaced by Dr Henry Pearson OBE. New Music Block opens.

House System

There are six houses at the RGS, named after various benefactors of the school (house colours are shown in parentheses):

* Austen "(yellow)"
* Beckingham "(red)"
* Hamonde "(dark blue)"
* Nettles "(light blue)"
* Powell "(maroon)"
* Valpy "(white)"

Each pupil is assigned to one of the six houses upon joining the school, and a pupil's house can be indicated to others by optional colour-related clothing: in normal dress via a striped tie in house colours as an optional alternative to the standard school tie; and in sports dress by means of rugby shirts in house colours. There is also an optional P.E shirt containing house colours which is used in P.E and athletics. If someone joins as the second in their direct family to do so, they are put in the same house as their relative.

At the end of the school year, the points from all the events done during the school year are added up and the house which has the most points wins the Cock-House Cup. In the year ending July 2008, Hamonde won the Cock House Cup.

The year ending July 2008 Hamonde notched their total of house cup trophys to 8, beating Beckingham who finished in 2nd place. Beckingham have won 7 house cups.

Notable past pupils


* George Abbot - Archbishop of Canterbury
* Robert Abbot - Bishop of Salisbury
* Gareth Bennett - Ecclesiastical Historian
* William Cotton - Bishop of Exeter
* Robert Horne - Bishop of Winchester


* Sir Thomas Byam Martin - Admiral of the Fleet
* Lord Mark Kerr - Admiral
* Sir John Alison - Air Chief Marshal
* Sir William Thomas Furse - General
* Algernon G. Durand - Lieut.-Colonel


* James Purnell MP, 2008 Secretary of State for Work and Pensions []
* Sir George Grey - Prime Minister of New Zealand
* Arthur Onslow - Former Speaker of the House of Commons, Treasurer of the Navy
* John Rickman - creator of the decennial census


* Ernest Carling - surgeon and developer of radiotherapy
* Mark Hovell - Doctor to Emperor Friedrich III of Germany
* Conwy Lloyd Morgan - comparative psychologist and philosopher
* John Vincent - President of the Royal College of Surgeons
* Professor Peter Haynes - Head of Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge.
* Professor Andrew D. Hamilton - Provost of Yale University, future Vice Chancellor of University of Oxford


* Bob Willis - England Cricket Captain
* Jeremy Spencer - England Rugby Football International
* Arthur Knight - Captain of England Association Football Team
* K. Lintott - England Association Football International
* Martin Tyler - Sky Sports Football commentator
* Simon Lazenby - Sky Sports Rugby Pundit
* Mark Lambert - Harlequins and England U-21 Rugby Union International
* Brian Parsons - Surrey County Cricket Club opening batsman
* David Sydenham - Surrey County Cricket Club fast bowler
* Paul Challinor - Harlequins and England Rugby Football player
* Oscar Norwood - Richmond Rugby Football player and businessman
* Chris Nelson - England U-18 Rugby Union International


* D.W. Stable - Director of the Prudential Assurance Company
* W.B. Clode - Chairman of the Railway Commission


* Terry Jones - star of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Film Director
* John Russell - Painter, member of the Royal Academy
* Jean-Jacques Burnel - Bassist, The Stranglers
* Victor Willing - Artist
* Andrew Haveron - Musician, Leader of the London Symphony Orchestra
* David Flood - Organist, Canterbury Cathedral
* David Farr - Writer and Theatre Director
* Daniel Rice - Guitarist, Hadouken!
* Nicholas Rice - Percussionist, Hadouken!
* Simon Bird - Actor, The Inbetweeners

External links

* [ Royal Grammar School Guildford Website]


* [,,39630,00.html "GCSE results: The Times school league table 2004 "] , "The Times", 2004, retrieved 1st November, 2006.

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