Eton College /iːtən/ is an English independent boarding school
for boys in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor. It educates more than 1,300
pupils, aged 13 to 18 years. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI
as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor", making
it the 18th-oldest
Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC)
Eton is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the
Public Schools Act 1868. Following the public school tradition, Eton
is a full boarding school, which means all pupils live at the school,
and it is one of four such remaining single-sex boys' public schools
United Kingdom (the others being Harrow, Radley, and
Winchester) to continue this practice. The three other public schools
have since become co-educational; Rugby (1976), Charterhouse (1971),
and Shrewsbury (2008). Eton has educated 19 British prime ministers
and generations of the aristocracy and has been referred to as the
chief nurse of England's statesmen.
Eton charges up to £12,910 per term, with three terms per academic
year, in 2017/18. Eton was noted as being the sixth most expensive
HMC boarding school in the UK in 2013/14, However the school admits
some boys with modest parental income: in 2011 it was reported that
around 250 boys received "significant" financial help from the
school, with the figure rising to 263 pupils in 2014, receiving the
equivalent of around 60% of school fee assistance, whilst a further 63
received their education free of charge. Eton has also announced plans
to increase the figure to around 320 pupils, with 70 educated free of
charge, with the intention that the number of pupils receiving
financial assistance from the school continues to increase.
2.2 Financial support
2.3 Changes to the school
3 School terms
4 Boys' houses
4.1 King's Scholars
4.3 House structure
5 Head Masters: 1442–present
7 Tutors and teaching
9 Grants and prizes
10 Incentives and sanctions
10.1 Corporal punishment
12.1 Olympic rowing
13 Music and drama
15 School magazines
16 Charitable status and fees
17 Support for state education
17.1 London Academy of Excellence
17.3 State school pupils
17.3.1 Universities Summer School
17.3.2 Brent—Eton Summer School
17.3.3 Eton, Slough, Windsor and Heston Independent and State School
18.1 Lottery grant (1995)
18.2 Unfair dismissal of an art teacher (2004)
18.3 School fees cartel (2005)
18.4 Farming subsidies (2005)
18.5 University admissions (2010, 2011)
18.6 Scholarship exam question about killing protesters (2011)
18.7 Mistaken acceptance emails (2015)
18.8 Exam security breaches (2017)
19 Historical relations with other schools
19.1 The Doon School, India
19.3 Canford School
20 Old Etonians
20.1 Fictional Old Etonians
21 Partially filmed at Eton
22 See also
25 Further reading
26 External links
Statue of the founder Henry VI in School Yard
Eton College in 1690, in an engraving by David Loggan
Eton College was founded by King Henry VI as a charity school to
provide free education to 70 poor boys who would then go on to King's
College, Cambridge, founded by the same King in 1441. Henry took
Winchester College as his model, visiting on many occasions, borrowing
its Statutes and removing its Headmaster and some of the Scholars to
start his new school.
When Henry VI founded the school, he granted it a large number of
endowments, including much valuable land. The group of feoffees
appointed by the king to receive forfeited lands of the Alien Priories
for the endowment of Eton were as follows:
William de la Pole, 1st Marquess of Suffolk (1396–1450) (later Duke
John Somerset (d. 1454),
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer and the king's
Thomas Beckington (c. 1390–1465), Archdeacon of Buckingham, the
king's secretary and later Keeper of the Privy Seal
Richard Andrew (d. 1477), first Warden of All Souls College, Oxford,
later the king's secretary
Adam Moleyns (d. 1450), Clerk of the Council
John Hampton (d. 1472) of Kniver, Staffordshire, an Esquire of the
James Fiennes, another member of the Royal Household
William Tresham, another member of the Royal Household
It was intended to have formidable buildings (Henry intended the nave
of the College Chapel to be the longest in Europe) and several
religious relics, supposedly including a part of the
True Cross and
the Crown of Thorns. He persuaded the then Pope, Eugene IV, to
grant him a privilege unparalleled anywhere in England: the right to
grant indulgences to penitents on the Feast of the Assumption. The
school also came into possession of one of England's Apocalypse
Eton College Chapel
However, when Henry was deposed by King Edward IV in 1461, the new
King annulled all grants to the school and removed most of its assets
and treasures to St George's Chapel, Windsor, on the other side of the
River Thames. Legend has it that Edward's mistress, Jane Shore,
intervened on the school's behalf. She was able to save a good part of
the school, although the royal bequest and the number of staff
were much reduced.
Construction of the chapel, originally intended to be slightly over
twice as long, with eighteen—or possibly seventeen—bays (there
are eight today) was stopped when Henry VI was deposed. Only the Quire
of the intended building was completed. Eton's first Headmaster,
William Waynflete, founder of Magdalen College, Oxford and previously
Head Master of Winchester College, built the ante-chapel that
finishes the Chapel today. The important wall paintings in the Chapel
and the brick north range of the present School Yard also date from
the 1480s; the lower storeys of the cloister, including College Hall,
had been built between 1441 and 1460.
As the school suffered reduced income while still under construction,
the completion and further development of the school has since
depended to some extent on wealthy benefactors. Building resumed when
Roger Lupton was Provost, around 1517. His name is borne by the big
gate-house in the west range of the cloisters, fronting School Yard,
perhaps the most famous image of the school. This range includes the
important interiors of the Parlour, Election Hall, and Election
Chamber, where most of the 18th century "leaving portraits" are kept.
"After Lupton's time nothing important was built until about 1670,
when Provost Allestree gave a range to close the west side of School
Yard between Lower School and Chapel". This was remodelled later
and completed 1694 by Matthew Bankes, Master Carpenter of the Royal
Works. The last important addition to the central college buildings
was the College Library, in the south range of the cloister,
1725–29, by Thomas Rowland. It has a very important collection of
books and manuscripts.
In the 19th century, the architect
John Shaw Jr (1803–1870) became
surveyor to Eton. He designed New Buildings (1844–46), Provost
Francis Hodgson's addition to provide better accommodation for
Collegers, who until then had mostly lived in Long Chamber, a long
first floor room where conditions were inhumane.
Following complaints about the finances, buildings and management of
Clarendon Commission was set up in 1861 as a Royal
Commission to investigate the state of nine schools in England,
including Eton. Questioned by the Commission in 1862, head master
Edward Balston came under attack for his view that in the classroom
little time could be spared for subjects other than classical
Eton College classroom in the 19th century
The Duke of Wellington is often incorrectly quoted as saying that "The
Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton".
Wellington was at Eton from 1781 to 1784 and was to send his sons
there. According to Nevill (citing the historian Sir Edward Creasy),
what Wellington said, while passing an Eton cricket match many decades
later, was, "There grows the stuff that won Waterloo", a remark
Nevill construes as a reference to "the manly character induced by
games and sport" among English youth generally, not a comment about
Eton specifically. In 1889, Sir William Fraser conflated this
uncorroborated remark with the one attributed to him by Count Charles
de Montalembert's C'est ici qu'a été gagné la bataille de Waterloo
("It is here that the
Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo was won").
As with other public schools, a scheme was devised towards the end
of the 19th century to familiarize privileged schoolboys with social
conditions in deprived areas. The project of establishing an 'Eton
Mission' in the crowded district of
Hackney Wick in east London was
started at the beginning of 1880, and lasted until 1971 when it was
decided that a more local project (at Dorney) would be more realistic.
However over the years much money was raised for the Eton Mission, a
fine church by
G. F. Bodley
G. F. Bodley was erected, many Etonians visited, and
stimulated among other things the Eton Manor Boys' Club, a notable
rowing club which has survived the Mission itself, and the
59 Club for
Students at Eton dressed for the Fourth of June celebrations in 1932
The very large and ornate School Hall and School Library (by L. K.
Hall) were erected in 1906–08 across the road from Upper School as
the school's memorial to the Etonians who had died in the Boer War.
Many tablets in the cloisters and chapel commemorate the large number
of dead Etonians of the Great War. A bomb destroyed part of Upper
World War II
World War II and blew out many windows in the Chapel. The
college commissioned replacements by
Evie Hone (1949–52) and by John
Patrick Reyntiens (1959 onward).
Among headmasters of the 20th century were Cyril Alington, Robert
Birley and Anthony Chenevix-Trench.
M. R. James was a provost.
In 1959, the College constructed a nuclear bunker to house the
College's Provost and Fellows. The facility is now used for
In 2005, the School was one of fifty of the country's leading
independent schools found to have breached the Competition Act (see
below under "Controversy").
In 2011, plans to attack Eton were found on the body of a senior
al-Qaeda leader shot dead in Somalia.
The school is headed by a Provost and Fellows (Board of Governors),
who appoint the Head Master. It contains 25 boys' houses, each headed
by a housemaster, selected from the more senior members of the
teaching staff, which numbers some 155. Almost all of the school's
pupils go on to universities, about a third of them to Oxford or
The Head Master is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses'
Conference and the school is a member of the
Eton Group of independent
schools in the United Kingdom.
Eton has a long list of distinguished former pupils.
David Cameron was
the 19th British prime minister to have attended the school,
and recommended that Eton set up a school in the state sector to help
drive up standards.
16th–17th century coat of arms produced from the masonry of Eton
Eton has been described as the most famous public school in the
world, and been referred to as "the chief nurse of England's
Eton has educated generations of British and foreign aristocracy, and
for the first time, members of the
British royal family
British royal family in direct line
Prince William and his brother Prince Harry, in
contrast to the royal tradition of male education at either naval
college or Gordonstoun, or by tutors.
Good Schools Guide
Good Schools Guide called the school "the number one boys' public
school", adding that "The teaching and facilities are second to
none." The school is a member of the
G20 Schools Group.
Eton today is a larger school than it has been for much of its
history. In 1678, there were 207 boys. In the late 18th century, there
were about 300, while today, the total has risen to over
Eton College, Provost's Garden
About 20% of pupils at Eton receive financial support, through a range
of bursaries and scholarships. The recent Head Master, Tony
Little, said that Eton is developing plans to allow any boy to attend
the school whatever his parents' income and, in 2011, said that around
250 boys received "significant" financial help from the school. In
early 2014, this figure had risen to 263 pupils receiving the
equivalent of around 60% of school fee assistance, whilst a further 63
received their education free of charge. Little said that, in the
short term, he wanted to ensure that around 320 pupils per year
receive bursaries, and that 70 were educated free of charge, with the
intention that the number of pupils receiving financial assistance
would continue to increase.
Changes to the school
Registration at birth, corporal punishment and fagging have been
consigned to the past, and by the mid-1990s, Eton
ranked among Britain's top three schools in getting its pupils into
Oxford and Cambridge.
From the 1980s to 2016 Eton admitted more very wealthy students from
around the world and fewer legacy students (students from families of
previous alumni) from the UK; due to a sharp rise in tuition fees, the
dissolution in 1990 of the "Eton List" that allowed alumni to
pre-register their sons for enrollment, and changes in the school
culture, fewer legacy families (families of previous alumni) enrolled.
In 1960, 60% of the students were sons of Eton alumni, while 20% in
2016 were sons of Eton alumni. Its entrance examinations became more
difficult and emphasis on academics increased.
There are three academic terms (known as halves) in the year,
Michaelmas Half, from early September to mid December. New boys
are now admitted only at the start of the
Michaelmas Half, unless in
Lent Half, from mid-January to late March.
The Summer Half, from late April to late June or early July.
They are called halves because the school year was once split into two
halves, between which the boys went home.
Main article: King's Scholar
One boarding house, College, is reserved for 70 King's Scholars, who
attend Eton on scholarships provided by the original foundation and
awarded by examination each year; King's Scholars pay up to 90 percent
of full fees, depending on their means. Of the other pupils, up to a
third receive some kind of bursary or scholarship. The name "King's
Scholars" is because the school was founded by King Henry VI in 1440.
The original School consisted of the 70 Scholars (together with some
Commensals) and the Scholars were educated and boarded at the
King's Scholars are entitled to use the letters "KS" after their name
and they can be identified by a black gown worn over the top of their
tailcoats, giving them the nickname tugs (Latin: togati, wearers of
gowns); and occasionally by a surplice in Chapel. The house is looked
after by the Master in College.
As the School grew, more students were allowed to attend provided that
they paid their own fees and lived in the town, outside the College's
original buildings. These students became known as Oppidans, from the
Latin word oppidum, meaning town. The Houses developed over time
as a means of providing residence for the Oppidans in a more congenial
manner, and during the 18th and 19th centuries were mostly run by
women known as "dames". They typically contain about fifty boys.
Although classes are organised on a School basis, most boys spend a
large proportion of their time in their House. Each House has a formal
name, mainly used for post and people outside the Eton community. It
is generally known by the boys by the initials or surname of the House
Master, the teacher who lives in the house and manages the pupils in
Not all boys who pass the College election examination choose to
become King's Scholars. If they choose instead to belong to one of the
24 Oppidan Houses, they are known as Oppidan Scholars. Oppidan
scholarships may also be awarded for consistently performing with
distinction in School and external examinations. To gain an Oppidan
Scholarship, a boy must have either three distinctions in a row or
four throughout his career. Within the school, an
Oppidan Scholar is
entitled to use the letters OS after his name.
The Oppidan Houses are named Godolphin House, Jourdelay's, (both built
as such c. 1720), Hawtrey House, Durnford House, (the first two
built as such by the Provost and Fellows, 1845, when the school
was increasing in numbers and needed more centralised control), The
Hopgarden, South Lawn, Waynflete, Evans's, Keate House, Warre House,
Villiers House, Common Lane House, Penn House, Walpole House, Cotton
Hall, Wotton House, Holland House, Mustians, Angelo's, Manor House,
Farrer House, Baldwin's Bec, The Timbralls, and Westbury.
Front of Eton College
In addition to the House Master, each house has a House Captain and a
House Captain of Games. Some Houses have more than one. House prefects
were once elected from the oldest year, but this no longer happens.
The old term, Library, survives in the name of the room set aside for
the oldest year's use, where boys have their own kitchen. Similarly,
boys in their penultimate year have a room known as Debate.
There are entire house gatherings every evening, usually around
8:05–8:30 p.m. These are known as Prayers, due to their
original nature. The House Master and boys have an opportunity to make
announcements, and sometimes the boys provide light entertainment.
For much of Eton's history, junior boys had to act as "fags", or
servants, to older boys. Their duties included cleaning, cooking, and
running errands. A Library member was entitled to yell at any time and
without notice, "Boy, Up!" or "Boy, Queue!", and all first-year boys
had to come running. The last boy to arrive was given the task. These
practices, known as fagging, were partially phased out of most houses
in the 1970s. Captains of House and Games still sometimes give tasks
to first-year boys, such as collecting the mail from School
There are many inter-house competitions, mostly in sports.
Head Masters: 1442–present
Main article: List of Head Masters of Eton College
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester in Eton dress in 1914. Top hats and
cropped jackets are no longer worn.
The School is known for its traditions, including a uniform of black
tailcoat (or morning coat) and waistcoat, false-collar and pinstriped
trousers. Most pupils wear a white tie that is effectively a strip of
cloth folded over into a starched, detachable collar, but some senior
boys are entitled to wear a white bow tie and winged collar
("Stick-Ups"). There are some variations in the school dress worn by
boys in authority, see School Prefects and King's Scholars sections.
The long-standing claim that the present uniform was first worn as
mourning for the death of George III in 1820 is unfounded. In
Edward Balston in an interview with the Clarendon
Commission noted little in the way of uniform.
(Lord Clarendon.) One more question, which bears in some degree upon
other schools, namely with regard to the dress. The boys do not wear
any particular dress at Eton ?—No, with the exception that they
are obliged to wear a white neckcloth.
Is the colour of their clothes much restricted?—We would not let
them wear for instance a yellow coat or any other colour very much out
of the way. If they do not adopt anything very extravagant either with
respect to colour or cut you allow them to follow their own taste with
respect to the choice of their clothes ?—Yes.
(Lord Lyttelton.) They must wear the common round
The uniform worn today was gradually adopted and standardised towards
the end of the nineteenth century. Until 1967 boys under the
height of 5'4" (1.63 m) wore a cropped jacket (known as an Eton
jacket, mess jacket or "bum-freezer") instead of a tailcoat.
Tutors and teaching
The pupil to teacher ratio is 8:1, which is low by general school
standards. Class sizes start at around twenty to twenty-five in the
first year and are often below ten by the final year.
The original curriculum concentrated on prayers,
Latin and devotion,
and "as late as 1530 no Greek was taught".
Later the emphasis was on classical studies, dominated by
Ancient History, and, for boys with sufficient ability, Classical
Greek. From the latter part of the 19th century this curriculum has
changed and broadened: for example, there are now more than 100
students of Chinese, which is a non-curriculum course. In the
1970s, there was just one school computer, in a small room attached to
the science buildings. It used paper tape to store programs. Today,
all boys must have laptop computers, and the school fibre-optic
network connects all classrooms and all boys' bedrooms to the
The primary responsibility for a boy's studies lies with his House
Master, but he is assisted by an additional director of studies, known
as a tutor. Classes, colloquially known as "divs" (divisions), are
organised on a School basis; the classrooms are separate from the
houses. New school buildings have appeared for teaching purposes every
decade or so since New Schools, designed by
Henry Woodyer and built
1861–63. Despite the introduction of modern technology, the
external appearance and locations of many of the classrooms have
remained unchanged for a long time.
Every evening, about an hour and a quarter, known as Quiet Hour, is
set aside, during which boys are expected to study or prepare work for
their teachers if not otherwise engaged. Some Houses, at the
discretion of the House Master, may observe a second Quiet Hour after
prayers in the evening. This is less formal, with boys being allowed
to visit each other's rooms to socialise if neither boy has work
The Independent Schools Inspectorate's latest report says, "The
achievement of pupils is exceptional. Progress and abilities of all
pupils are at a high level. Pupils are highly successful in public
examinations, and the record of entrance to universities with
demanding entry requirements in the
United Kingdom and overseas is
At Eton, there are dozens of organisations known as 'societies', in
many of which pupils come together to discuss a particular topic,
presided over by a master, and often including a guest speaker. At
any one time there are about fifty societies and clubs in existence,
catering for a wide range of interests and largely run by boys.
Societies tend to come and go, depending on the special enthusiasms of
the masters and boys in the school at the time, but some have been in
existence many years. Those in existence at present include:
Aeronautical, African, Alexander Cozens (Art), Amnesty, Archeological,
Architectural, Astronomy, Banks (conservation), Caledonian, Cheese,
Classical, Comedy, Cosmopolitan, Debating, Design, Entrepreneurship,
Francophone, Geographical, Geopolitical, Henry Fielding, Hispanic,
History, Keynes (economics), Law, Literary, Mathematical, Medical,
Middle Eastern, Model United Nations, Modern Languages, Oriental,
Orwell (left-wing), Simeon (Christian), Parry (music), Photographic,
Political, Praed (poetry), Rock (music), Rous (equestrian), Salisbury
(diplomatic), Savile (Rare Books and Manuscripts), Shelley,
Scientific, Sports, Tech Club, Theatre, Wellington (military), Wine
and Wotton’s (philosophy).
Among past guest speakers are Andrew Lloyd Webber, J. K. Rowling,
Vivienne Westwood, Ian McKellen, Kevin Warwick, Boris Johnson, Rowan
Atkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Terry Wogan, King Constantine II of Greece,
Katie Price, Zoe Wanamaker, Boris Berezovsky and Kit
Grants and prizes
Prizes are awarded on the results of trials (internal exams), GCSE and
AS-levels. In addition, many subjects and activities have specially
endowed prizes, several of which are awarded by visiting experts. The
most prestigious is the Newcastle Scholarship, awarded on the strength
of an examination, consisting of two papers in philosophical theology,
moral theory and applied ethics. Also of note are the Gladstone
Memorial Prize and the Coutts Prize, awarded on the results of trials
and AS-level examinations in C; and the Huxley Prize, awarded for a
project on a scientific subject. Other specialist prizes include the
Newcastle Classical Prize; the Rosebery Exhibition for History; the
Queen's Prizes for French and German; the Duke of Newcastle's Russian
Prize; the Beddington Spanish Prize; the Strafford and Bowman
Shakespeare Prizes; the Tomline and Russell Prizes in Mathematics; the
Sotheby Prize for History of Art; the Waddington Prize for Theology
and Philosophy; the Birley Prize for History; the Rorie Mackenzie
Prize for Modern Languages; The Lower Boy Rosebery Prize and the
Wilder Prize for Theology. Prizes are awarded too for excellence in
such activities as painting, sculpture, ceramics, playing musical
instruments, musical composition, declamation, silverwork, and design.
Various benefactions make it possible to give grants each year to boys
who wish, for educational or cultural reasons, to work or travel
abroad. These include the Busk Fund, which supports individual
ventures that show particular initiative; the C. M. Wells Memorial
Trust Fund, for the promotion of visits to classical lands; the Sadler
Fund, which supports, among others, those intending to enter the
Foreign Service; and the Marsden Fund, for travel in countries where
the principal language is not English.
Incentives and sanctions
Eton has a well-established system for encouraging boys to produce
high-standard work. An excellent piece of work may be rewarded with a
"Show Up", to be shown to the boy's tutors as evidence of
progress. If, in any particular term, a pupil makes a particularly
good effort in any subject, he may be "Commended for Good Effort" to
the Head Master (or Lower Master).
If any boy produces an outstanding piece of work, it may be "Sent Up
For Good", storing the effort in the College Archives for
posterity. This award has been around since the 18th century. As
Sending Up For Good is fairly infrequent, the process is rather
mysterious to many of Eton's boys. First, the master wishing to Send
Up For Good must gain the permission of the relevant Head of
Department. Upon receiving his or her approval, the piece of work will
be marked with Sent Up For Good and the student will receive a card to
be signed by House Master, tutor and division master.
The opposite of a Show Up is a "Rip". This is for sub-standard
work, which is sometimes torn at the top of the page/sheet and must be
submitted to the boy's housemaster for signature. Boys who accumulate
rips are liable to be given a "White Ticket", which must be signed by
all his teachers and may be accompanied by other punishments, usually
involving doing domestic chores or writing lines. In recent
times,[when?] a milder form of the rip, 'sign for information',
colloquially known as an "info", has been introduced, which must also
be signed by the boy's housemaster and tutor.
Internal examinations are held at the end of the
Michaelmas half (ie
autumn term) for all pupils, and in the Summer half for those in the
first, second and fourth years (ie those not taking a full set of
public examinations). These internal examinations are called
A boy who is late for any division or other appointment may be
required to sign "Tardy Book", a register kept in the School Office,
between 7:35am and 7:45am, every morning for the duration of his
sentence (typically three days). Tardy Book may also be issued for
late work. For more serious misdeeds, a boy is summoned from his
lessons to the Head Master, or Lower Master if the boy is in the lower
two years, to talk personally about his misdeeds. This is known as the
"Bill". The most serious misdeeds may result in expulsion, or
rustication (suspension). Conversely, should a master be more than 15
minutes late for a class, traditionally the pupils might claim it as a
"run" and absent themselves for the rest of its duration.
A traditional punishment took the form of being made to copy, by hand,
Latin hexameters. Miscreants were frequently set 100 hexameters by
Library members, or, for more serious offences,
Georgics (more than
500 hexameters) by their House Masters or the Head Master. The
giving of a Georgic is now extremely rare, but still occasionally
Eton used to be renowned for its use of corporal punishment, generally
known as "beating". In the 16th century, Friday was set aside as
Beating was phased out in the 1980s. The film director Sebastian
Doggart claims to have been the last boy caned at Eton, in 1984.
Until 1964, offending boys could be summoned to the Head Master or the
Lower Master, as appropriate, to receive a birching on the bare
posterior, in a semi-public ceremony held in the Library, where there
was a special wooden birching block over which the offender was held.
John Keate, Head Master from 1809 to 1834, took over at a time when
discipline was poor. Anthony Chenevix-Trench, Head Master from 1964 to
1970, abolished the birch and replaced it with caning, also applied to
the bare buttocks, which he administered privately in his office.
Chenevix-Trench also abolished corporal punishment administered by
senior boys. Previously, House Captains were permitted to cane
miscreants over the seat of the trousers. This was a routine
occurrence, carried out privately with the boy bending over with his
head under the edge of a table. Less common but more severe were the
canings administered by Pop (see Eton Society below) in the form of a
"Pop-Tanning", in which a large number of hard strokes were inflicted
by the President of Pop in the presence of all Pop members (or, in
earlier times, each member of Pop took it in turns to inflict a
stroke). The culprit was summoned to appear in a pair of old trousers,
as the caning would cut the cloth to shreds. This was the most severe
form of physical punishment at Eton.
Chenevix-Trench's successor from 1970, Michael McCrum, retained
private corporal punishment by masters, but ended the practice of
requiring boys to take their trousers and underwear down when bending
over to be caned by the Head Master. By the mid-1970s, the only people
allowed to administer caning were the Head Master and the Lower
In addition to the masters, the following three categories of senior
boys are entitled to exercise School discipline. Boys who belong to
any of these categories, in addition to a limited number of other boy
office holders, are entitled to wear winged collars with bow ties.
Eton Society: commonly known as Pop. Over the years its power and
privileges have grown. Pop is the oldest self-electing society at
Eton. The rules were altered in 1987 and again in 2005 so that the new
intake are not elected solely by the existing year and a committee of
masters. Members of Pop are entitled to wear checked spongebag
trousers, and a waistcoat designed as they wish. Historically, only
members of Pop were entitled to furl their umbrellas or sit on the
wall on the Long Walk, in front of the main building. However, this
tradition has died out. They perform roles at many of the routine
events of the school year, including School Plays, parents' evenings
and other official events. Notable ex-members of Pop include Prince
William, Duke of Cambridge,
Eddie Redmayne and Boris Johnson.
Sixth Form Select: an academically selected prefectorial group
consisting, by custom, of the 10 senior King's Scholars and the 10
senior Oppidan Scholars. Members of Sixth Form Select are entitled
to wear silver buttons on their waistcoats. They also act as
Praepostors: they enter classrooms and ask, "Is (family name) in this
division?" followed by "He's to see the Head Master at (time)" (the
Bill, see above). Members of Sixth Form Select also perform
"Speeches", a formal event held five times a year.
House Captains: The captains of each of the 25 boys' houses (see
above) have disciplinary powers at school level. House Captains
are entitled to wear a mottled-grey waistcoat.
It is possible to belong to the Eton Society and Sixth Form Select at
the same time.
In the era of Queen Elizabeth I there were two praepostors in every
form, who noted down the names of absentees. Until the late 19th
century, there was a praepostor for every division of the school.
Sport is a feature of Eton; there is an extensive network of playing
fields. Their names include Agar's Plough, Dutchman's, Upper Club,
Lower Club, Sixpenny/The Field, and Mesopotamia (situated between two
streams and often shortened to "Mespots").
Michaelmas Half, the sport curriculum is dominated by
football (called Association) and rugby union, with some rowing for a
smaller number of boys.
Lent Half it is dominated by the field game, a code of
football, but this is unique to Eton and cannot be played against
other schools. During this half, Collegers also play the Eton wall
game; this game received national publicity when it was taken up by
Prince Harry. Aided by
AstroTurf facilities on Masters' field, field
hockey has become a major
Lent Half sport along with Rugby 7's. Elite
rowers prepare for the
Schools' Head of the River Race
Schools' Head of the River Race in late March.
During the Summer Half, sporting boys divide into dry bobs, who play
cricket, tennis or athletics, and wet bobs, who row on the River
Thames and the rowing lake in preparation for The National Schools
Regatta and the
Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup
Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal
The rowing lake at
Dorney was developed and is owned by the College.
It was the venue for the rowing and canoeing events at the 2012 Summer
Olympics and the World Junior Rowing Championships.
The annual cricket match against Harrow at
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is
the oldest fixture of the cricketing calendar, having been played
there since 1805. A staple of the London society calendar since the
1800s, in 1914, its importance was such that over 38,000 people
attended the two days' play, and in 1910 the match made national
headlines. But interest has since declined considerably, and
the match is now a one-day limited overs contest.
There is a running track at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre and an
Among the other sports played at Eton is Eton Fives.
Eton College documented its football rules, the first
football code to be written down anywhere in the world.
In 2006, six years before the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and
London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games, Eton completed the construction
Dorney Lake, a permanent, eight-lane, 2,200 metre course (about 1.4
miles) in a 400-acre park. Eton financed the construction from its own
funds. Officially known throughout the Games as Eton Dorney, Dorney
Lake provided training facilities for Olympic and Paralympic
competitors, and during the Games, hosted the Olympic and Paralympic
Rowing competitions as well as the Olympic Canoe Sprint event. It
attracted over 400,000 visitors during the Games period (around 30,000
per day), and was voted the best 2012 Olympic venue by spectators.
Thirty medal events were held on
Dorney Lake, during which Team GB won
a total of 12 medals, making the lake one of the most successful
venues for Team GB. The FISA President, Denis Oswald, described it as
"the best-ever Olympic rowing venue". In June 2013, it hosted the
World Rowing Cup. Access to the parkland around the Lake is provided
to members of the public, free of charge, almost all the year
Music and drama
The current "Precentor" (Head of Music) is Tim Johnson, and the School
boasts eight organs and an entire building for music (performance
spaces include the School Hall, the Farrer Theatre and two halls
dedicated to music, the Parry Hall and the Concert Hall). Many
instruments are taught, including obscure ones such as the didgeridoo.
The School participates in many national competitions; many pupils are
part of the National Youth Orchestra, and the School gives
scholarships for dedicated and talented musicians. A former Precentor
of the college,
Ralph Allwood set up and organised Eton Choral
Courses, which run at the School every summer.
In 2009, the School's musical protégés came to wider notice when
featured in a TV documentary A Boy Called Alex. The film followed an
Etonian, Alex Stobbs, a musician with cystic fibrosis, as he worked
toward conducting the difficult
Magnificat by Johann Sebastian
The exterior of Eton's main theatre, the Farrer.
Numerous plays are put on every year at Eton College; there is one
main theatre, called the Farrer (seating 400) and 2 Studio theatres,
called the Caccia Studio and Empty Space (seating 90 and 80
respectively). There are about 8 or 9 house productions each year,
around 3 or 4 "independent" plays (not confined solely to one house,
produced, directed and funded by Etonians) and three school plays, one
specifically for boys in the first two years, and two open to all
years. The School Plays have such good reputations that they are
normally fully booked every night. Productions also take place in
varying locations around the School, varying from the sports fields to
more historic buildings such as Upper School and College Chapel.
In recent years, the School has put on a musical version of The
Bacchae (October 2009) as well as productions of A Funny Thing
Happened on the Way to the Forum (May 2010), The Cherry Orchard
Joseph K (October 2011), Cyrano de Bergerac (May
Macbeth (October 2012),
London Assurance (May 2013), Jerusalem
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream (May 2014), "Antigone"
(October 2015), "The Government Inspector" (May 2016) and "Romeo and
Juliet" (May 2017). On top of this, every three years, the School
holds a fringe-style School Play Festival, where students and teachers
write, direct and act in their own plays, hosted over the period of a
week. The most recent one was held in October 2016, which hosted a
wide variety of plays, from a double bill of two half an hour plays,
to a serialised radio drama, written by a boy in F block (the youngest
year.) A link to the radio drama can be found here, at
https://etoncollegemud.com/[permanent dead link]
Often girls from surrounding schools, such as St George's, Ascot, St
Mary's School Ascot,
Windsor Girls' School and Heathfield St Mary's
School, are cast in female roles. Boys from the School are also
responsible for the lighting, sound and stage management of all the
productions, under the guidance of several professional full-time
Every year, Eton employs a 'Director-in-Residence', an external
professional director on a one-year contract who normally directs one
house play and the Lower Boy play (a school play open solely to the
first two-year groups), as well as teaching Drama and Theatre Studies
to most year groups.
The drama department is headed by Scott Handy (taking over from Hailz
Osbourne in 2015) and several other teachers;
Simon Dormandy was on
the staff until late 2012. The School offers GCSE drama as well as
A-level "English with Theatre Studies."
Eton's best-known holiday takes place on the so-called "Fourth of
June", a celebration of the birthday of King George III, Eton's
greatest patron. This day is celebrated with the Procession of
Boats, in which the top rowing crews from the top four years row past
in vintage wooden rowing boats. Similar to the Queen's Official
Birthday, the "Fourth of June" is no longer celebrated on 4 June, but
on the Wednesday before the first weekend of June. Eton also observes
St. Andrew's Day, on which the
Eton wall game
Eton wall game is played.[citation
The Junior Chronicle and The Chronicle are the official School
magazines, the latter having been founded in 1863. Both are edited
by boys at the School. Although liable to censorship, the latter has a
tradition of satirising and attacking School policies, as well as
documenting recent events. The Oppidan, founded in 1828, was
published once a Half; it covered all sport in Eton and some
professional events as well, but no longer exists.
Other School magazines, including The Spectrum (the Academic
Yearbook), The Arts Review, and The Eton Zeitgeist have been
published, as well as publications produced by individual departments
such as The Cave (Philosophy), Etonomics (Economics), Scientific
Etonian (Science), Timeline (History), Praed (Poetry and Song), The
Mayflower (English), and The Lexicon (Modern Languages).
Charitable status and fees
Until 18 December 2010,
Eton College was an exempt charity under
English law (Charities Act 1993, Schedule 2). Under the provisions of
the Charities Act 2006, it is now an excepted charity, and fully
registered with the Charities Commission, and is now one of the
100 largest charities in the UK. As a charity, it benefits from
substantial tax breaks. It was calculated by the late David Jewell,
former Master of Haileybury, that in 1992 such tax breaks saved the
School about £1,945 per pupil per year, although he had no direct
connection with the School. This subsidy has declined since the 2001
abolition by the Labour Government of state-funded scholarships
(formerly known as "assisted places") to independent schools. However,
no child attended Eton on this scheme, meaning that the actual level
of state assistance to the School has always been lower. Eton's
retiring Head Master, Tony Little, has claimed that the benefits that
Eton provides to the local community free of charge (use of its
facilities, etc.) have a higher value than the tax breaks it receives
as a result of its charitable status. The fee for the academic year
2010–2011 was £29,862 (approximately US$48,600 or €35,100 as of
March 2011), although the sum is considerably lower for those
pupils on bursaries and scholarships.
Support for state education
London Academy of Excellence
Eton co-sponsors a state sixth-form college, the London Academy of
Excellence, opened in 2012 in the
London Borough of Newham
London Borough of Newham in East
London, the second most deprived borough in England, and just
over a mile from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the main venue for
London's 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2015—2016, it had around 440
pupils and 32 teachers. The college is free of charge and aims to
get all its students into higher education. The college's close
relationship with Eton has led it to be described as 'the Eton of the
East End'. In 2015, the college reported that it had been named
best sixth form in the country by The Sunday Times.
In September 2014, Eton opened, and became the sole educational
Holyport College, a new purpose-built co-educational
state boarding and day school that provides free education for around
500 pupils. It is located in Holyport, near
Berkshire. Construction costs were around £15 million, in which a
fifth of places for day pupils have been set aside for children from
poor homes, 21 boarding places for to youngsters on the verge of being
taken into care, and a further 28 boarders funded or part-funded
State school pupils
The above-described developments are running alongside
long-established courses that Eton has provided for pupils from state
schools, most of them in the summer holidays (July and August).
Universities Summer School
Launched in 1982, the Universities Summer School is an intensive
residential course open to boys and girls throughout the UK who attend
state schools, are at the end of their first year in the Sixth Form,
and are about to begin their final year of schooling.
Brent—Eton Summer School
Launched in 1994, the Brent—Eton Summer School offers 40–50 young
people from the London Borough of Brent, an area of inner-city
deprivation, an intensive one-week residential course, free of charge,
designed to help bridge the gap between GCSE and A-level.
Eton, Slough, Windsor and Heston Independent and State School
In 2008, Eton helped found the Eton, Slough, Windsor and Heston
Independent and State School Partnership (ISSP), with six local state
schools. The ISSP's aims are "to raise pupil achievement, improve
pupil self-esteem, raise pupil aspirations and improve professional
practice across the schools". Eton also runs a number of choral
and English language courses during the summer months.
Lottery grant (1995)
In 1995 the National Lottery granted money for a £4.6m sports
complex, to add to Eton's existing facilities of two swimming pools,
30 cricket squares, 24 football, rugby and hockey pitches and a
gym. The College paid £200,000 and contributed 4.5 hectares of
land in return for exclusive use of the facilities during the daytime
only. The UK
Sports Council defended the deal on the grounds that
the whole community would benefit, while the bursar claimed that
Slough and Eton Athletic Club was "deprived" because local
people (who were not pupils at the College) did not have a world-class
running track and facilities to train with. Steve Osborn,
director of the Safe Neighbourhoods Unit, described the decision as
"staggering" given the background of a substantial reduction in youth
services by councils across the country, a matter over which, however,
neither the College nor the UK Sports Council, had any control.
The facility, which became the Thames Valley Athletics Centre, opened
in April 1999.
Unfair dismissal of an art teacher (2004)
In October 2004, Sarah Forsyth claimed that she had been dismissed
Eton College and had been bullied by senior staff. She
also claimed she was instructed to do some of Prince Harry's
coursework to enable him to pass AS Art. As evidence, Forsyth
provided secretly recorded conversations with both
Prince Harry and
her Head of Department, Ian Burke. An employment tribunal in July 2005
found that she had been unfairly dismissed and criticised Burke for
bullying her and for repeatedly changing his story. It also
criticised the school for failing to produce its capability
procedures and criticised the Head Master for not reviewing the
It criticised Forsyth's decision to record a conversation with Harry
as an abuse of teacher–student confidentiality and said "It is clear
whichever version of the evidence is accepted that Mr Burke did ask
the claimant to assist
Prince Harry with text for his expressive art
project. ... It is not part of this tribunal's function to determine
whether or not it was legitimate." In response to the tribunal's
ruling concerning the allegations about Prince Harry, the School
issued a statement, saying Forsyth's claims "were dismissed for what
they always have been—unfounded and irrelevant." A spokesperson
Clarence House said, "We are delighted that Harry has been
totally cleared of cheating."
School fees cartel (2005)
Main article: Independent school fee fixing scandal
In 2005, the
Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading found fifty independent schools,
including Eton, to have breached the Competition Act by "regularly and
systematically" exchanging information about planned increases in
school fees, which was collated and distributed among the schools by
the bursar at Sevenoaks School. Following the investigation by
the OFT, each school was required to pay around £70,000, totalling
around £3.5 million, significantly less than the maximum possible
fine. In addition, the schools together agreed to contribute another
£3m to a new charitable educational fund. The incident raised
concerns over whether the charitable status of independent schools
such as Eton should be reconsidered, and perhaps revoked.
However, Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said
the schools were following a long-established procedure in sharing the
information with each other because independent schools were
previously exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business and that
they were unaware of the change to the law (on which they had not been
consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general,
saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed
doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the
consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow
a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had
Farming subsidies (2005)
A Freedom of Information request in 2005 revealed that Eton had
received £2,652 in farming subsidies in 2004 under the Common
Agricultural Policy. Asked to explain under what grounds it was
eligible to receive farming subsidies, Eton admitted that it was 'a
bit of a mystery'.
Panorama revealed in March 2012 that farming
subsidies were granted to Eton for 'environmental improvements', in
effect 'being paid without having to do any farming at all'.
University admissions (2010, 2011)
Figures obtained by
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph had revealed that, in 2010, 37
applicants from Eton were accepted by Oxford whilst state schools had
difficulty obtaining entry even for pupils with the country's most
impressive exam results. According to The Economist, Oxford and
Cambridge admit more Etonians each year than applicants from the whole
country who qualify for free school meals. In April 2011 the
David Lammy described as unfair and 'indefensible' the fact
Oxford University had organised nine 'outreach events' at Eton in
2010, although he admitted that it had, in fact, held fewer such
events for Eton than for another independent school, Wellington
Scholarship exam question about killing protesters (2011)
In May 2013,
Eton College was criticised in several editorials for
asking potential 2011 scholarship students how, if they were Prime
Minister, they might defend the use of lethal force by the Army after
two days of violent protests in which several policemen have been
Mistaken acceptance emails (2015)
In July 2015, Eton accidentally sent emails to 400 prospective
students, offering them conditional entrance to the school in
September 2017. The email was intended for nine students, but an
IT glitch caused the email to be sent to 400 additional families, who
didn't necessarily have a place. In response, the school issued the
following statement: "This error was discovered within minutes and
each family was immediately contacted to notify them that it should be
disregarded and to apologise. We take this type of incident very
seriously indeed and so a thorough investigation, overseen by the
headmaster Tony Little and led by the tutor for admissions, is being
carried out to find out exactly what went wrong and ensure it cannot
Eton College offers its sincere apologies to those boys
concerned and their families. We deeply regret the confusion and upset
this must have caused."
Exam security breaches (2017)
In August 2017, the college's head of economics left after a breach of
security in the "pre-U" exams, for which he was the principal examiner
in the subject for
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), which
set the paper. As a result of the breach, the CIE gave Eton's
candidates an "assessed mark" for the affected paper instead, a
procedure which adjusts their marks for an acceptable reason. In
a letter to parents, the college's headmaster said, "I am very sorry
to be writing with this extremely unwelcome news. Regrettably this
decision has had to be taken by the examination board because of the
actions of a member of Eton’s staff. This is a matter that, as
headmaster, I have taken very seriously and Mr Tanweer has now left
The CIE also disallowed papers written in the Art History examination,
when it was discovered that one boy had been sent details in advance
of the contents of the paper. He shared this information with the
majority of the boys taking the exam. This time, Eton’s headmaster,
Simon Henderson said in a statement: “Following an investigation by
Cambridge International Examinations, pupils at Eton who sat Pre-U art
history this summer were deemed to be inadvertent recipients of
confidential information in relation to one paper." He claimed that
none of the boys had done anything wrong, and none of the staff at
Eton were involved. CIE confirmed that this case was linked to the
scandal at Winchester, and that the exam material obtained by
Winchester pupils was shared with pupils at Eton.  Following the
allegations, the Schools minister asked for a review of rules for
teachers who write exam questions.
Historical relations with other schools
Eton College has links with some private schools in India today,
maintained from the days of the British Raj, such as The Doon
School and Mayo College.
Eton College is also a member of
G20 Schools Group, a collection of college preparatory boarding
schools from around the world, including Turkey's Robert College, the
Phillips Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy,
Scotch College, Melbourne
Scotch College, Melbourne Grammar School and Launceston
Church Grammar School, Singapore's Raffles Institution, and
Switzerland's International School of Geneva. Eton has recently
fostered[when?] a relationship with the Roxbury
Latin School, a
traditional all-boys private school in Boston, US. Former Eton
headmaster and provost Sir Eric Anderson shares a close friendship
Latin Headmaster emeritus F. Washington Jarvis; Anderson
has visited Roxbury
Latin on numerous occasions, while Jarvis
briefly taught theology at Eton after retiring from his headmaster
post at Roxbury Latin. The headmasters' close friendship spawned the
Hennessy Scholarship, an annual prize established in 2005 and
awarded to a graduating RL senior for a year of study at Eton.
Hennessy Scholars generally reside in Wotton house.
The Doon School, India
The Doon School, founded in 1935, was the first all-boys' public
school in India modelled along the lines of Eton. The School's first
headmaster was an Englishman, Arthur E. Foot, who had spent nine years
as a science master at Eton College, before joining Doon. This
led to similar slang being introduced in Doon which is still in use
today, such as trials, dame, fagging, schools (as opposed to
'periods') and tuck shop.
In Doon's early years, faculty from Eton travelled to India to fill up
the academic posts. Peter Lawrence was one of the first few masters to
go to Doon. In February 2013, Eton's Head Master Tony Little
visited the Doon School in India to hold talks with Peter McLaughlin,
headmaster of Doon, on further collaboration between the two
schools. Both schools participate in an exchange programme which
sees boys from either school visiting the other for one academic
Although the School has often been cited as 'Eton of India' by media
outlets such as BBC,
Channel 4 The Guardian, Financial Times, The
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph and Forbes, it strongly eschews the
In September 2014
Eton College helped establish
Holyport College, a
state-funded free school with boarding facilities. The school is
located in Holyport,
Eton College acts as the main
educational sponsor of the school.
Eton Colleges holds historic relations to
Canford School in
to the school's association with John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
whose legitimate heirs included Henry VI. 
"Old Etonians" redirects here. For other uses, see Old Etonians
Main pages: Category:People educated at Eton College, List of Old
Etonians born before the 18th century, List of Old Etonians born in
the 18th century, List of Old Etonians born in the 19th century, List
of Old Etonians born in the 20th century, List of Old Etonians in the
Military, and King's Scholar
Old Etonian Tie: black with
Eton blue stripes
Former pupils of
Eton College are known as Old Etonians.
Eton has produced nineteen British Prime Ministers, including Sir
Robert Walpole, William Pitt the Elder, the first Duke of Wellington,
William Ewart Gladstone, the fifth Lord Rosebery, Arthur James
Balfour, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, and David
A rising number of pupils come to Eton from overseas, including
members of royal families from Europe, Africa and Asia, some of whom
have been sending their sons to Eton for generations. One of them,
Prajadhipok or Rama VII (1893–1941) of Siam, donated a garden
to Eton. The former Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit
Vejjajiva, who governed from 2008 to 2011, was also educated at Eton.
Leopold III of Belgium
Leopold III of Belgium was sent to Eton during the First World
Prince William and Prince Harry, members of the extended
British royal family
British royal family who have attended Eton include Prince Richard,
Duke of Gloucester and his son Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster;
Prince William of Gloucester (1942-1972) son of Prince Henry, Duke of
Gloucester; Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, his eldest son George
Windsor, Earl of St Andrews and grandson Edward Windsor, Lord
Downpatrick and his youngest son Lord Nicholas Windsor; Prince Michael
of Kent and his son Lord Frederick Windsor; James Ogilvy, son of
Princess Alexandra and the Honourable Angus Ogilvy.; Princess
Margaret's grandsons Samuel and Arthur Chatto, and Charles
Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, also attended Eton College, as did
George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, son of Princess Mary, Princess
Former Prince of Nepal HRH Nirajan Bir Bikram Shah Dev
The former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, elected in 2008 and 2012,
was educated at Eton, as was Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of
Old Etonians who have been writers include Henry Fielding, Thomas
Gray, Horace Walpole, Aldous Huxley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert
Bridges, Gilbert Frankau, Eric Blair (aka George Orwell), Anthony
Cyril Connolly and Ian Fleming. The mediaevalist and ghost
M. R. James was provost of Eton from 1918 until his death
Other notable Old Etonians include scientists Robert Boyle, John
Maynard Smith, J. B. S. Haldane,
Stephen Wolfram and the 2012 Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine winner, John Gurdon; Beau Brummell;
John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes and Richard Layard; Antarctic explorer
Lawrence Oates; politician Alan Clark; entrepreneur, charity organiser
and partner of Adele, Simon Konecki; cricket commentator Henry
Blofeld; explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes; adventurer Bear Grylls;
composers Thomas Arne, George Butterworth, Roger Quilter, Frederick
Septimus Kelly, Donald Tovey, Thomas Dunhill, Lord Berners, Victor
Peter Warlock (Philip Heseltine); Hubert Parry,
who wrote the song Jerusalem and the coronation anthem I was glad; and
Frank Turner and Humphrey Lyttelton.
Notable Old Etonians in the media include the former Political Editor
ITN and The Times, Julian Haviland; the current
Political Editor, James Landale, and the
BBC Science Editor, David
Shukman; the current President of Conde Nast International and
Managing Director of Conde Nast UK, Nicholas Coleridge; the former ITN
Panorama presenter, Ludovic Kennedy; current BBC
World News and
BBC Rough Justice current affairs presenter David
Jessel; former chief ITV and
Channel 4 racing commentator John Oaksey;
BBC newsreader and 1960s
ITN newscaster Timothy Brinton; 1960s
BBC newsreader Corbet Woodall; the former Editor of The Daily
Telegraph, Charles Moore; the former Editor of The Spectator,
Ferdinand Mount; and the current Editor of The Mail on Sunday, Geordie
Notable Old Etonian film and television actors include Eddie Redmayne,
Damian Lewis, Christopher Cazenove, Dominic West, Jeremy Clyde, actor
and comedian Michael Bentine, Sebastian Armesto, Julian Ovenden, Henry
Faber, Jeremy Brett, Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Ian Ogilvy, John
Standing, Harry Hadden-Paton, Moray Watson, Jeremy Child, Harry Lloyd,
Patrick Macnee and Nyasha Hatendi.
Dominic West has been unenthusiastic about the career benefits
of being an Old Etonian, saying it "is a stigma that is slightly above
'paedophile' in the media in a gallery of infamy", but asked
whether he would consider sending his own children there, said "Yes, I
would. It's an extraordinary place. ... It has the facilities and the
excellence of teaching and it will find what you’re good at and
nurture it", while the actor
Tom Hiddleston says there are
widespread misconceptions about Eton, and that "People think it's just
full of braying toffs. ... It isn't true... It's actually one of the
most broadminded places I've ever been. The reason it's a good school
is that it encourages people to find the thing they love and to go for
it. They champion the talent of the individual and that's what's
special about it".
Thirty-seven Old Etonians have been awarded the Victoria Cross—the
largest number to alumni of any school.
Fictional Old Etonians
Many fictional characters have been described as Old Etonians. These
Bertie Wooster and
Psmith in books by P. G. Wodehouse
Captain Hook, pirate leader in J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan
Lord Peter Wimsey, detective in books by Dorothy L. Sayers
George Hysteron-Proteron, fanatic game shot in books by J. K.
Lord Sebastian Flyte in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited
MI6 Agent James Bond was expelled from Eton after some "trouble" with
a maid (Bond author
Ian Fleming also attended the school)
Francis Urquhart in the House of Cards trilogy by Michael Dobbs
Sir Arnold Robinson
Sir Arnold Robinson in the 1980s
Yes Minister and its
sequel Yes, Prime Minister
Mark Darcy in the
Bridget Jones films, who says when confronted with
the possibility of having a baby that he will "visit him at Eton on St
Andrew's Day. The Darcy men have been going to Eton for five
Jack Gurney, the 14th Earl of Gurney, in Peter Barnes's play The
Ruling Class and in its film adaptation, a role that garnered Peter
O'Toole an Oscar nomination
Rudolph Rassendyll in The Prisoner of Zenda
Jonathan Higgins, played by John Hillerman, in the American crime
drama series Magnum, P.I.
Captain Arthur Hastings
Captain Arthur Hastings in books by Agatha Christie
Rawdon Crawley, the husband of Becky Sharp, in William Makepeace
Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair
Merlyn in some editions of T. H. White's
The Once and Future King
The Once and Future King had
attended Eton and received a medal for achievement in an unspecified
subject (in others he had a medal for being the best scholar at
Allan Quatermain in books by H. Rider Haggard
Lord Grantham, played by Hugh Bonneville, in the ITV series Downton
Inspector Thomas "Tommy" Lynley, 8th Earl of Asherton, in The
Inspector Lynley Mysteries, a
BBC series based on novels by Elizabeth
Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, played by David McCallum, chief medical
examiner at NCIS in the American crime drama series NCIS
Will Bailey, played by Joshua Malina, in the American serial drama The
Maxwell Sheffield, played by Charles Shaughnessy, in the American
sitcom The Nanny
Stephen Dene, from the book series "The Shades of London," written by
Edmund Bertram, from the book "Mansfield Park," written by Jane Austen
Ichabod Crane, from the Fox supernatural TV series "Sleepy Hollow (TV
Richard Onslow Roper, played by Hugh Laurie, and Lord Sandy
Langbourne, played by Alistair Petrie, in the miniseries adaptation of
The Night Manager. In the book, Roper did not attend Eton. However,
Hugh Laurie attended the school, and the author of The Night Manager,
John le Carré, taught there.
Charles Seymour, from the
Jeffrey Archer novel "First Among Equals"
Justin Quayle, from "The Constant Gardener" by John le Carré
Partially filmed at Eton
Here follows a list of films partially filmed at Eton.
Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972)
Aces High (1976)
Chariots of Fire
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Young Sherlock Holmes
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
The Fourth Protocol (1987)
Absolute Conviction (1992 TV episode)
Lovejoy: "Friends in High Places" (1992 TV episode)
The Secret Garden (1993)
The Madness of King George
The Madness of King George (1994)
A Dance to the Music of Time
A Dance to the Music of Time (1997 TV mini-series)
Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Mansfield Park (1999)
A History of Britain (2000 TV series documentary)
My Week With Marilyn
My Week With Marilyn (2010)
Opening scenes of 'Public Eye' British TV series (1965–1975) where
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Eton and Castle
Eton and Castle – the electoral ward comprising the College
Eton Boating Song – the Eton school song
Eton College Collections
Eton Racing Boats
The Eton Rifles
The Eton Rifles – a 1979 top ten hit for the Jam about class
struggle, the lyrics of which reflect contemporary attitudes toward
Eton as a wellspring of the establishment
List of the oldest schools in the world
List of Provosts of Eton College
List of head masters of Eton College
List of Victoria Crosses by school
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