Willen Education

Westminster School,

Willen has several connections with Westminster School: Dr Richard Busby, The Busby Trust and Rev. John Benthall. Westminster School also provides a good example of the sort of education received by many boys from affluent families during the 19th century. Westminster School was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560.
She provided money to pay for the education of forty boys at the school and to pay for the most successful of these boys to go on to study at either Christ Church College, Oxford, or Trinity College, Cambridge. The school occupies buildings originally part of a Benedictine monastery. Applicants to be 'Queen's scholars' had to take examations in Latin, Greek and Scripture, (the Bible).
Lessons for the whole school were held in the old Abbot's Dining Room. Each class of 30 boys sat in chairs ranged in a horseshoe around the master's chair. The principal subjects taught included Greek, Latin, Divinity and English. Other subjects were introduced later e.g. French, Mathematics, Chemistry and Art but, these were always of secondary importance.
Sports played at Westminster played were cricket in summer and rugby in winter. Rowing was abandoned when the river Thames, which ran close by, became too polluted.
All of this makes Westminster in the 1900s sound not very different from a modern boarding school. However, the attitudes and organisation of the school at that time, seem almost unbelievable today, see Discipline, Fagging and Traditions.