Wilson's School

In honour of our founder

THIS WEEK we celebrated our foundation by Edward Wilson in 1615 in a series of special assemblies led by the Headmaster. Wilson came from Cartmel in Lancashire and was himself the beneficiary of a grammar school education which enabled him to attend Trinity College, Cambridge. Having been made Vicar of Camberwell by Queen Elizabeth I in person, Wilson determined at the age of 61 to establish a school — a school which had been open for only three years when he died in 1618.

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Following the lower and middle school's spirited singing of the school song, the Headmaster's talk focused on the era of the Jephson family, which provided four of the school's twenty four Headmasters between 1700 and 1843. From swashbuckling capers in Barbados to more prosaic concerns about attendance, the boys learned that the Jephson name did not always lead to success, with the school being bankrupted following the mismanagement of William Jephson the younger in 1843.

We feel that Edward Wilson would have been delighted that boys of such good character bear his name and especially that 1100 boys (not the 12 he had planned) receive the benefits of a free grammar school education.
Above: the fine portrait of Queen Elizabeth I owned by the school. She appointed Edward Wilson as vicar of Camberwell in person in 1578.
Below: Edward Wilson’s signature as he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, 1578
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Wilson’s School is:

  • committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
  • a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (registered number 7536970). Registered office: Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey SM6 9JW
  • a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk