• History Trail

    In Defence of Walter Hamilton by William Mirza

    Walter Hamilton, of all 20th Century Westminster headmasters, has always been the one most considered to be an outsider. He came to the school with a great academic reputation but following his short tenure of seven years and his departure for Rugby College and subsequently Magdalene College, many have been led to say that this particular head never quite fit…

  • History Trail

    Elizabeth Primae Reginae by Ben Goodrick-Green and William Mirza

    On the 21st May 2010, the 450th¬†anniversary of the re-founding of our school in 1560, a brand new statue of Elizabeth I was unveiled in yard by HM The Queen. Although there are no longer any pupils at the school who witnessed this special event, it has been fully recorded in the Archives here at Westminster. The newspaper The Daily…

  • History Trail

    The Busby’s Yard Telephone Box

    Up until the mid 00s the school maintained a number of payphones in the boarding houses, as well as on the ground floor of Ashburnham House. As mobile phones became more widely owned and used by pupils the number of calls made using these payphones dwindled and the income was insufficient to cover their maintenance. The school’s Housmasters’ Committee discussed…

  • Blog

    The Challenge

    This year we will be starting a new feature on our twitter feed @WSchoolArchives, Challenge Tuesday. We will be tweeting questions from over 150 years of scholarship examination papers, which provide a fascinating insight into changing expectations. ‘The Challenge’ is the intimidating name of our scholarship examination. Following the dissolution of the Monastery at Westminster Abbey, Henry VIII established a…

  • History Trail

    The Young Dr Busby

    The school does not routinely acquire new portraits and as we already have five paintings of Dr Busby in our collection (along with a bust and countless engravings) another picture of the great Head Master was not high on our priority list. However, when this painting came up for sale at a small auction house in Cockermouth, Cumbria, it was…

  • Blog

    What does an Archivist do all day?

    As a new Archivist you can feel like a walking oxymoron. An Archivist should know an organisation inside out and be able to respond to every conceivable question about its history authoritatively. During my first week, when I had still not mastered the location of the lavatories, the weight of this expectation was a little overwhelming. But of course, the…