Abingdon 450

1563 – 2013 450 Years of Benefaction

2013 marked the 450th anniversary of John Roysse’s endowment of Abingdon School: an endowment that laid the foundations of the modern school and began a tradition of benefaction from which the School still benefits today.

There were a number of events to mark this anniversary:

A History of Abingdon School in 63 Objects

This online exhibition was launched on 31 January on the School’s website. The 63 objects, recording the School’s history, range from the 1563 document that carries Roysse’s signature and the 1654 petition to Oliver Cromwell for the removal of the headmaster, Anthony Huish, to documentary footage of the School shot in the 1950s and the 1963 hit single, The Highway Code, sung by a group of Abingdon masters known as the Master Singers. New objects will be added every Tuesday and Thursday during term time throughout the year. The number 63 is significant because 31 January 1563 was Roysse’s 63rd birthday and he intended his school to have 63 free scholars in a schoolroom that he knew was 15 by 63 ft.

Abingdon to Zanzibar – an A to Z of Abingdon School over 450 years, Abingdon County Hall Museum

31 January saw the opening of an exhibition looking at some of the men the School has educated over the centuries, as well as something of the education they received.  Entries include: the illegitimate grandson of Charles II, the creator of the Daily Telegraph's Alex cartoon, a Cabinet Minister, the man who saved the life of the Duke of Marlborough and the founder of Zippos Circus.  Items on display include a maths exercise book from 1776, school slates, the old school roll and much much more!

Michael St John Parker, Headmaster 1975 - 2001, will give a talk about the exhibition in the Roysse Room, Abingdon Guildhall on Wednesday 27 February at 7.00pm.

The exhibition runs from 31 January - 21 April 2013, Abingdon County Hall Museum, Tuesday - Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Sponsored Challenge: A 63-Mile Walk in 24 Hours

To mark the 450th anniversary of John Roysse’s endowment of Abingdon School, 20 Abingdon pupils will endeavour to walk 63 miles from Avebury in Wiltshire back to Abingdon over a 24-hour period (28 and 29 April 2013), repeating a similar 63-mile walk undertaken by Abingdon pupils in 1963 to mark the 400th anniversary. Family and friends of the walkers as well as Old Abingdonians, parents, and other members of the School community are urged to sponsor the boys for this gruelling challenge. Sponsorship donations will be split between the Abingdon School Bursary Fund (50%) and the Childhood Cancer Research Trust Fund (50%), a charity selected by the walkers. More…