Royal Latin School

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Royal Latin School
Motto "Alle May God Amende" (1423)
Established c.1423
Type Academy Grammar School
Religion Christian
Chair of Governors Katrine Brown
Founder King Edward VI (by royal charter)
Location Chandos Road
MK18 1AX
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DfE URN 137344 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 160+
Students 1260+
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses 6
Colours Black and Red
Publication The Latin

The Royal Latin School is a co-educational grammar school in Buckingham, England, with one of the most distinguished histories as a grammar school in the country. It has continually existed for almost six hundred years; receiving a Royal Charter in this time and moving premises three times. In September 2011 the school became an Academy.[1] It takes children from the age of 11 through to the age of 18 and has over 1260 pupils, including a sixth form of 390 pupils. It maintains a staff of just over 160. In September 2003 the school was designated by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) as a specialist school in science. It was successfully redesignated in 2007 and achieved a second specialism as a training school.

Since the county's boundary adjustments of 1974 placed Eton College in Berkshire, the Royal Latin School claims the distinction of being the sole pre-Reformation grammar school in the county.[2] The Royal Latin School was graded as outstanding in the 2009 report by Ofsted.[citation needed]


Each pupil, upon entrance, is placed into one of six houses, named after founders of the school at various stages in its history. The six houses are:

Houses Significance
Barton Involved in founding schools both in the Chantry Chapel and in 1468, a grammar school in Thornton. These were combined to form the Royal Latin School during the 16th century.
Denton Although Isobel Denton was mistakenly claimed to have founded the school during the sixteenth century, in the late 17th century Alexander Denton rebuilt the master's house following a destructive fire.
Newton Gabriel Newton founded Green Coat Schools throughout England including in Buckingham. He provided an annual endowment of £26 which was transferred to the Royal Latin school in 1904.
Ruding John Ruding was awarded the title of Archdeacon of Lincoln and Prebendary of Sutton upon Buckingham in 1471 and was therefore responsible for funding the upkeep of all church owned buildings including that which subsequently housed the Royal Latin School.
Stratton Stratton left support for the Buckingham Chantry Chapel to support his soul in purgatory when he died in 1268. The chantry priest he funded, later started the school at Buckingham.
Verney As the school grew during the early 20th century it was forced to move from the Chantry Chapel to a new purpose built site on Chandos road (now the site of Grenville Combined School), a move made possible by the work of Lady Verney.


Years seven to eleven: School blazer, black trousers, black skirt for girls, black socks/tights, white regulation shirt, school tie (red, black and house colour) and black shoes. A black v-neck pullover may be worn.
Sixth Form: Matching dark suits with a jacket for girls and shirt and tie for boys.

Student positions

Prefects are chosen from the members of the Sixth Form lower sixth during the first half of the Autumn term. House Captains are chosen after selections for Head and Deputy Head Girl and Boy have been made, and this is usually done by the candidates making speeches in front of their Houses, and the House voting on the two best candidates. This is open to any lower sixth former in the designated House and not just Prefects.

Every year, two male and two female members of the upper sixth are made Head Boy, Deputy Head Boy, Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl respectively. All Lower sixth can self-nominate themselves for these positions and short-listing is done by voting on those students who have chosen to sign up, with staff having three votes, and each student in the lower sixth having one vote, for male and female categories. Interviews with the candidates decide the final results, with the Headmaster having the final say. The positions are usually announced during March.


The school has played a significant role in the town of Buckingham, it being its most prominent school, since its earliest recorded reference in 1423, although it is thought that the school may date from the 13th century, possibly 1268.[citation needed]

Although Buckingham's citizens supported Catherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary Tudor, and were opposed to the Reformation, the Chantry Chapel in which the Royal Latin School was based, rather than being destroyed by Edward VI (as many similar establishments were) was instead converted into the Royal Latin School. King Edward VI granted a charter for the school, for 30-40 pupils, in 1548 with an endowment of £10 and with 12 trustees.[3]

The Chantry Chapel remained the home of the Royal Latin School until 1907 when Buckinghamshire County Council provided major new buildings for the school in Chandos road, now the site of Grenville School and did so again in 1963, when the school moved to Brookfield House, formerly The Mount. Numerous extensions in 1963 were opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, with further extensions being gradually added over the next few decades. The warm brown brickwork of the 1963 extensions complements the stone built structure of the earlier buildings, the whole being enhanced by its parkland setting on the outskirts of Buckingham.[3] Brookfield House and its grounds have been expanded over recent years to accommodate the growing size of the school and the fact that many of the older buildings, given the larger number of students, were becoming inadequate for use on such a large scale.

In 2006, the U15 rugby side made school history by becoming the first side from the Royal Latin to reach the semi-finals of the Daily Mail Vase, the English schools' annual rugby union cup competition. The U15s surpassed this record in 2013 reaching the final at Twickenham Stadium, where they beat Felsted School 19-13 to win the vase.

School buildings

Brookfield House: Formerly the boys' boarding house. A former hunting lodge, once frequented by the Prince of Wales, that houses the school offices and reception, the school library, conference room, art department, music department and some science and drama laboratories and rooms.

Rotherfield House: Formerly the girls' boarding house. A lodge that houses the Sixth Form classrooms, common room, etc., in addition to the school lecture theatre, school archives, a computer suite and alumni rooms and offices.

Main Block: Built in 1963 by Fred Pooley CBE, this houses the school hall, old gymnasium, stage (both indoor and outdoor) and drama department, student reception, school offices, English department, humanities department and the dining room.

Technology Block: Also built in 1963 by the same architect, this houses the technology department, including cooking rooms, wood and metal workshops and classrooms.

Former Science Block: Now used by the SCITT for teaching training.

New Block: This building, built in 2001, houses the mathematics department, the languages department, the economics and business studies department and some science laboratories.

Sports Hall: Built in 2003 on the site of the headmaster's garden outside Brookfield House, this houses the PE department which also use the old gym.

Discovery Centre: A 12 classroom building dedicated to the sciences, completed in 2015, as part one of the 600 campaign. The building was officially opened on October 2nd 2015 by Robert Winston and John Bercow.

The school regularly uses the church of St Peter and St Paul's in Buckingham for its annual carol service and Founder's Day service, which is held on the feast day of St John, the patron saint of the school. The church is also used for various concerts throughout the year.

The Chantry Chapel, the school's former chapel, is now owned by the National Trust and is too small to accommodate the entire school, thus necessitating the transfer of all school religious ceremonies to the parish church.

Headmasters and headmistress

Dates of office Name Date Name
1524–1553 T. Hawkins (Chantry priest 1524)[4] 1785–1830 William Eyre
1553–1569 Henry Webster 1830–1855 Edward Britten
1574–1580 Alexander Sheppard 1855–1858 Thomas Laugharne[5]
1580–1592 Thomas Potter 1858–1861 Vacant post
1592–1603 James Smith 1861–1869 Thomas Owain Jones
1603–1609 Robert Tomlyns 1869–1871 Louis Borissow (son of Christian Ignatius Borissow)
1609–1625 Richard Earle 1871–1891 Thomas Cockram
1625–1632 Richard Home 1891–1895 Robert C. MacCulloch
1633–1638 Thomas Dutton 1895–1896 Thomas Cockram
1638–1660 Edward Unmant 1896–1908 Walter Matthew Cox
1660–1664 Thomas Stephens 1908–1931 William Fuller
1664–1665 William Warters 1931–1935 Maurice Walton Thomas
1665–1682 Roger Griffiths (father of Mary Pix) 1936–1939 Stanley Arthur Dyment
1682–1684 Thomas Dalby 1939–1941 Henry Bert Toft
1685–1690 Thomas Yeomans 1941-1941 Donald E. Morgan
1690–1691 Mark Noble 1942–1945 Charles Foster
1691–1696 Robert Styles 1945–1948 Henry Bert Toft
1709–1715 Samuel Foster 1948–1979 George K. Embleton (husband of Edna, MBE, Chairman of Aylesbury Vale District Council)
1715–1723 Richard Cardwell 1979–1992 Peter Luff
1723–1763 William Halstead 1992–2005 Cecilia Galloway
1763–1764 Vacant post 2006–2009 A. Robert Cooper
1764–1785 James Eyre 2010-date David Hudson

Old Latins

See also


  1. "Open academies map and schools submitting applications". Department for Education. Retrieved 7 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Buckinghamshire - 25 years of architecture 1952-1977 Buckinghamshire County Council - Department of Architecture, p.19
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Educational Year-book, p. 170, Published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, 1885
  4. Poornan, Paul: - The Royal Latin School, Buckingham (Marsh Gibbon, Dusty Old Books Ltd, 2001.)
  5. The Annual Register or A View of the History and Politics of the Year 1856, Published 1857, F. & J. Rivington


  • Kettler, Sarah Valente. Trimble, Carole. The Amateur Historians Guide to the Heart of England: Nearly 200 Medieval & Tudor Sites: nearly 200 Medieval & Tudor sites two hours or less from London

External links