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A History of Harrow School 1324–1991$
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Christopher Tyerman

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198227960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227960.001.0001

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The Origins of a National Institution

The Origins of a National Institution

(p.45) 4 The Origins of a National Institution
A History of Harrow School 1324–1991

Christopher Tyerman

Oxford University Press

The first decades of the new Free Grammar School have traditionally been dismissed as Harrow's ‘Dark Ages’, the history of its Head Masters ‘scrappy and uninteresting’. It has been argued that only with the arrival of William Horne from Eton in 1669 can there be discerned ‘light in the darkness’. It has been customary to attribute Harrow's ascent towards its later prominence to Thomas Bryan or even Thomas Thackeray, described by one of his most noted 19th-century successors as the second founder of Harrow School. Yet already in 1690 the then Head Master, William Bolton, described Harrow in print as a public school. Although other grammar schools in England had statutory provision for fee-payers and foreigners, Harrow's exploitation of such pupils was on an altogether more considerable scale. Whatever the achievements of pupils or teachers in its first years, the establishment of Harrow School on firm and lasting foundations was the work of William Hide, Head Master from April 1628 until April 1661.

Keywords:   Free Grammar School, Head Master, Harrow School, William Horne, Thomas Bryan, Thomas Thackeray, William Bolton, grammar schools, William Hide

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