School Chronicle

The tradition of reading the School’s history on Founder’s Day was started in 1930.

School Chronicle

The Chronicle was originally prepared in 1930 by Ernest H. Jenkins, the School’s Headmaster from January 1930 to July 1961, and Cecil Tripp, Secretary of the Old Elizabethan Association from 1912-1946 and a Governor of the School for twenty-four years. It continues to be read on each Founder’s Day with such additions as time has made necessary.


School Chronicle

BE IT KNOWN that on the 24th March in the year 1573 Her Most Gracious Majesty Elizabeth, by the grace of God of England, France and Ireland Queen, Defender of the faith, did at the humble request of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, grant on behalf of her faithful subjects of the town of Barnet, in the County of Hertford and Middlesex, a Charter for the erection and establishment of a common Grammar School which should be called the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth, for the education, bringing up and instruction of boys and youth, in Grammar and other learning: and the same to continue for ever.

AND that funds for the building and maintenance of the said School were raised by Edward Underne, Rector of East and Chipping Barnet, and that the control and government of the said School was vested in twenty-four discreet and honest men who were to be a body corporate and to have perpetual succession, and that when any of them should die, the surviving Governors should elect other fit persons in their places, and that they should appoint the Master according to their discretion.

AND be it known that in or about the year 1587 John Lonison, Citizen and Goldsmith of London, did add to the foundation the gift of one hundred pounds for the good of the School, from the interest upon which a large proportion of its expenses were for many years borne.

AND that in and from the year 1594 John Boyle, who was subsequently Bishop of Cork, was Master, and that in or about the year 1599 his cousin Richard Boyle, who subsequently became Archbishop of Tuam, was Master.

AND that by their diligence and good discretion the School flourished, and it was ordered by the Governors that children of townsmen should be admitted upon the payment of twelve pence, and that children of others should be admitted upon the payment of two shillings, and that each scholar should be present in his appointed place in the Church upon the Sabbath day under pain of six lashes, and that the Scholars should attend the Master to the Church in an orderly manner, and not negligently nor in uncomely sort; in memory of which the Scholars of this School do to this day each year upon Founder's Day attend Church in like manner.

AND be it known that in the year 1633 Matthias Millward, Rector of Barnet, was Master, and that under his successor, George Smallwood, additional buildings were added to the School, and that in his Mastership the Governors, after careful consideration, drew up a fresh code of regulations for the government of the School, to the end that youth there placed should receive good education as well in religion and good manners as in nurture for learning.

AND that in the year 1637 the Governors made decisions to admit the first free pupils, these being four children, toties quoties, towardly and docible, of poor parents not able to disburse the set stipend, which practice of admitting free pupils is therefore continued by the School unto the present day.

AND be it known that during the great Rebellion in the reign of His Majesty King Charles I the School was noticeably loyal, and this it continued even to the extent of appointing as Master in 1654 William Sclater who had served as Cornet of Horse in the Army of His Majesty, and who upon the King's execution had suffered imprisonment and trial for his life for his steadfast adherence to the Royal Family.

AND that John Owen, Citizen and Fishmonger of London, Governor of the School, gave to the School the sum of six pounds annually, and be it also known that during the political difficulties of the reigns of James II, William and Mary, and George I, the School declined noticeably from its former prosperity, through thirty of which years from the year 1689 to the year 1719, James Barcock was Master.

AND that in the year 1754 the Reverend Humphrey Hall gave to the School the sum of one hundred pounds for the better support and maintenance of the School and for no other use or purpose whatsoever. 

AND that throughout the Eighteenth Century the School failed noticeably to prosper, and that the majority of its pupils were boarders at the School for the greater profit of the Master, wherefore to them he devoted the greater part of his attention.

AND that in the year 1740 John Gray was appointed Master, he holding the position longer than any of his predecessors or successors, being Master for forty-seven years, until the year 1787, and that during this long Mastership the pupils admitted privately for the Master's profit continued to out-number the public pupils, and did so continue until the remodelling of the Foundation in the year 1873.

AND be it known that in the year 1828 William Grant Broughton, Old Elizabethan, was appointed first Archdeacon of New South Wales, subsequently to become first Bishop and Metropolitan of Australia, in commemoration of which distinguished Old Boy a yearly prize for Divinity is to this day awarded.

AND be it known that in the year 1853 the income of the Foundation was found inadequate to carry on the School and maintain the buildings, wherefore a public subscription which amounted to more than four hundred pounds was raised in Barnet, and be it known that following upon the Schools Enquiry Commission of the year 1866, and the passing of the Endowed Schools Act in the year 1869, the Scheme for the reconstruction of the School was prepared, and received the assent of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria in the year 1873, whereby the endowment was increased by a portion of the surplus income of the local charity of Jesus Hospital and new land obtained round about the School whereon new buildings and a house for the Headmaster were erected, and that in the year 1875 the School with its new buildings and under its new Scheme of Management the Headmaster was the Reverend John Bond Lee, Master in Arts of Oxford University, he being the Headmaster in honour of whom an annual prize in Classics has been endowed and is awarded to this day.

AND be it known that during his Headmastership, in the year 1885, H.E. Chetwynd Stapylton, Chairman of the Governors, purchased for the School the Stapylton field, whereon the XI and the XV do play to this day, and that upon his retirement in the year 1906 William Lattimer, Master of Arts of Cambridge University, was appointed Headmaster, under whom, as under his predecessor, the School continued to grow in numbers and to flourish, and did so in peace and prosperity until the outbreak of the European War of 1914, and, this in perpetual honour of those who fell in this War, their contemporaries have endowed a prize to be awarded on each year to the boy who, like them most unselfishly serves the School, and that the manner in which its Scholars bore themselves during that War was testified by the memorial tablet placed in the School Hall.  And that, when new buildings were erected and were opened by H.R.H. The Prince George in Michaelmas 1932, this tablet was given the place of honour in the Entrance Hall.

AND be it known that in January 1930, Ernest Harold Jenkins, Master of Arts of Oxford University, became Headmaster with the particular charge of arranging to move the School to the new buildings and with the able and enthusiastic support of the Chairman of Governors, Alderman Harold Fern, the School greatly increased, not only in numbers, but in the scope both of its learning and of its interests, so that many more University Scholarships were won than before and many successes were gained in other fields, among them the winning of the Public Schools' Athletic Cup upon several occasions. 

AND be it known that in 1938 the Governors and parents provided the School with a Swimming Bath.

AND be it further known that, during the Second Great War, the School continued its work without intermission despite difficulties that were grave, since it was in an area subject to enemy attack and did in fact suffer great damage from several bombs that struck it and fell nearby in January, 1941.

AND be it known that in this War, as in the first Great War, former Scholars of the School served their country with devotion and sacrifice, and that in memory of those who fell, a further tablet was dedicated in 1948, being placed as near to the former tablet as might suitably be, both tablets being placed in the Entrance Hall to the end that each present Scholar may bear it in mind so always honourably to do.

AND be it known that in the year 1961 Timothy Edwards, Master of Arts of Oxford University was Headmaster and guided the School through the difficult period of reorganisation.  He it was who caused to be built the Fern Building and under his care the numbers of boys doubled.

AND be it known that during the Headmastership of Eamonn Harris from 1984 the School flourished. Following the Education Reform Act of 1988 the Board of Governors under the leadership of Luxton Robert Heard, Old Elizabethan, successfully petitioned the Secretary of State to empower the Governors to conduct the affairs of the School in accordance with Grant Maintained Status. And that in the year 1994, the Secretary of State granted the Governors' petition for the admission of pupils by virtue of their ability and aptitude.  And so by these Orders the School was restored to that independence and status spoken in its ancient title - the Free Grammar School of Elizabeth I. And that in the 425th year of the School, new buildings were erected: the Heard Building to accommodate the enlarged Sixth Form; the Friends' Music Rooms to serve the many musicians; the Clark Laboratories to provide for the growth of the sciences.  And all of this was made possible by the labours and donations of parents, by a grant from the Wolfson Foundation and by further grants from Her Majesty's Government.

AND be it known that in the year 1999, John Marincowitz, Doctor of Philosophy of London University, succeeded as the 39th Headmaster. And that the Board of Governors, in accordance with the School Standards and Framework Act of 1999, and under the guidance of the Chairman Barrie Martin,  secured the School’s Foundation Status with an Instrument of Government that increased representation of the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s, the parents, Foundation Trustees and Old Elizabethans.  Their unity of purpose enabled considerable development of the School: new buildings included the Martin Swimming Pool and Shearly Hall; and many refinements to teaching and learning facilitated the School’s emergence as a centre of national excellence in the education of young men.  And in 2010, the Governors with the steadfast leadership of the Chairman, Barrie Martin, further consolidated the School’s autonomy by converting to Academy status on the express invitation of the Secretary of State in terms of the Academies Act of 2010.

AND be it known that in the year 2011, Neil Enright, Master of Arts of Oxford University, succeeded as the School’s 40th Headmaster. And that improvements to the School environment continued apace thanks to the vision of the Governors and trustees of the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s, and the generosity of parents and old boys: in 2012 there was added a new Food Technology teaching area; in 2013 a new Dining Hall and Café 1573, the name of which pays homage to the year of our founding and displays images that reflect the history of our School; and in 2014 the Queen’s Library, named in honour of our Founder, opened to provide the boys with a study facility befitting of their education.

AND be it known that our Chairman of Governors, Barrie Martin, was honoured in 2014 by being named a Member of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his many years of voluntary service and his steadfast leadership of the Governing Body during a period when the School’s record of academic achievement reached unprecedented heights. And that our Head of Mathematics, Mrs. Fauziah Scarisbrick, was in 2014 similarly honoured by being named a Member of the British Empire for her services to education, this award recognising that for thirty-one years Mrs. Scarisbrick had inspired and guided the pupils in her care, providing faithful service to the School and contributing to the School’s continued success.

AND so the efforts and generosity of many: the Governors, Trustees, parents, teachers, boys and old boys, all have made the School renowned and all have made the School to flourish - may it always flourish.


Read All

23/02/2018 - Struggles, hard work and belief – the story behind Akshay’s ‘overnight success’

Teenage entrepreneur Akshay Ruparelia returned to the School to pass on to current pupils some of the keys to his success with his online estate agency.


22/02/2018 - Debaters' delivery commended

A QE team gave a strong performance in the second round of a prestigious debating competition, only narrowly missing out on a place in the regional final.


21/02/2018 - Looking deep in the soil and soul of African culture

Traditional African methods of story-telling and linguistic style were to the fore in this year’s visit to Year 7 pupils by the Iroko Theatre Company, while for the boys themselves the highlights included the chance to try out massed drumming.


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.