History timeline

Queen Elizabeth I granted the charter and the School was established in Tudor Hall, Wood Street.

History timeline
1573 The School was founded following a request of a charter by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, after whom the first School house, Leicester, was named. Queen Elizabeth I granted the charter and the School was established in Tudor Hall, Wood Street. The second School house, Underne, was named after Edward Underne, Rector of East and Chipping Barnet, who was primarily responsible for raising funds for this building.
1640-50s After prospering initially, the School suffers financially in the aftermath of the English Civil War It is rumoured that one of the Headmasters during this period was beheaded by the Roundheads due to his support for the Royalists.
18th century QE was by now progressing steadily again.
1828 William Grant Broughton, an Old Elizabethan, was appointed Archdeacon of New South Wales. He subsequently became the first Bishop and Metropolitan of Australia. Broughton, the third house at the School was named in his memory.
1885 With the School outgrowing its Wood Street premises, in 1885 a Governor, H E Chetwynd Staplyton, bought a plot of land behind the Jesus hospital. The fourth School house, Stapylton, was named after him. Today this Stapylton field stands in front of the main School building and is used for rugby and cricket.
1930 Headmaster E. H. Jenkins began his 31-year period in office.
1932 The School moved to its present, much larger site in Queen’s Road when Hertfordshire County Council erected modern buildings behind the playing fields.
1938 A swimming pool was added.
1941 Despite bomb damage to the refectory, hall, craft room and chemistry laboratory on a Saturday in January 1941, the boys were back in lessons on the following Tuesday.
1954 Harrisons', the fifth School house, was founded, named after two masters and School benefactors, G.W.N. Harrison and E.W. Harrison.
1961 Led by new Headmaster Timothy Edwards, the School undertook a period of reorganisation, the Fern Building was added and the number of boys entering the School doubled.
1971 QE began its 23-year period as a comprehensive school. Pearce, the sixth and final School house, was founded and named after John Pearce, a very longstanding Senior Master.
1988 Under the Headship of Eamonn Harris, the School achieved self-governing Grant Maintained Status in 1988.
1994 QE began to admit pupils on the basis of ability again.
1999 Dr John Marincowitz became the 39th Headmaster and the School gained Foundation Status.
2006 The School’s new swimming pool opened.
2009 The School's Shearly Hall opened.
2010 The School gained Academy status.
2011 Neil Enright became the 40th Headmaster.
2013 The Dining Hall and Café 1573 opened.
2014 The Queen's Library opened.
2017 The extended and refurbished Heard building reopened to provide new accommodation for the English department.

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24/11/2017 - Positive verdict on old boys’ dinner where Robert “Judge” Rinder was guest speaker

With good numbers in attendance, excellent food and memorable speeches, this year’s formal dinner for alumni was by common consent one of the best in recent memory, according to the Headmaster.


22/11/2017 - Walking a mile in a Congressman’s shoes

Sixth-formers studying Politics enjoyed a rare opportunity to question former Congressmen during a conference on American politics held at the British Library.


21/11/2017 - Convention offers copious career choice

Forty-six Old Elizabethans, parents and other representatives drawn from a broad range of professions gave QE boys and their parents expert help in planning their futures at the School’s 2017 Careers Convention.


Prayer from Founder’s Day Service

O Lord God, the Maker and Builder of every house not made with hands, we give thee thanks for this School in which we have our share.

Give thy blessing, we beseech thee, to all this our body, to the Head Master, to the members of the staff, to the boys, and to those who minister our needs.

Inspire us, O Lord, so to do our work today that, even as we are being helped by the remembrance of the loyal lives of those who came before us, so our faithfulness in thy service may aid those who shall take our places.

Remember, O Lord, for good, all who have gone forth from this School, to labour elsewhere in thy kingdom. Grant that both they, and we, may fulfil thy purpose for us in this life, and finally may attain thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.