Edward Alleyn was born on 1 September 1566 in Bishopsgate Street where his father kept an inn – The Pye. His baptism at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate is recorded on the following day
Edward Alleyn was born on 1 September 1566 in Bishopsgate Street where his father kept an inn – The Pye. His baptism at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate is recorded on the following day
In late 1597, Edward Alleyn retired from acting, possibly because his beloved wife Joan was ill and he felt time in the country might help her conceive a child. They stayed with his friend Arthur Langworth at Brill in Sussex.
A memo book kept by our Founder, Edward Alleyn, between 1594-1616, records his business ventures and one entry reads ‘What The Fortune cost me November 1599’.
By 1597 Edward Alleyn had more or less retired from the stage and, despite a request from Queen Elizabeth I for him to return to acting, he came out of retirement only for the Magnificent Entertainment on 15 March 1604.
At the dissolution of the monasteries the Manor of Dulwich was granted to Thomas Calton, a goldsmith, and his wife Margaret. It was inherited by their son Nicholas before passing in 1587 to his 10 year old son, Francis.
Christ’s Chapel of God’s Gift was built and consecrated in 1616 to stand at the heart of Edward Alleyn’s Foundation in Dulwich village. The Chapel is still very much at the heart of the College and is used for services and concerts.
The Almshouse was the ‘other’ part of Edward Alleyn’s College and once provided for 12 pensioners. It now accommodates 16 residents in self-contained sheltered housing.
The Founder's signet ring was made for Edward Alleyn and was engraved with the coat of arms granted him by James I. The size of the ring gives an indication of how tall Edward Alleyn was.
Alleyn's Treasury Chest is the largest and one of the oldest treasures of the College. Edward Alleyn had the chest studded with nails and bounded with iron to hold his ‘evidences’, the original archive.
On 29 September 1617 Edward Alleyn started his diary. This may well not be the first diary he kept in his life, but it is the only one that survives. He could have been modelling it on the meticulous account book kept by his step father-in-law Philip Henslowe (MS VII) which recorded their day-to-day business transactions.
On 17 April 1618 Edward Alleyn notes in his diary ‘I was at Arundel House where My Lord showed me all his statues and pictures that came from Italy’. Alleyn was collecting paintings himself at the time, which hung in the long gallery at the College.
On 19 December 1618 Edward Alleyn ‘bought off Mathew all the upper parts of the Queen's barge’ for £2 2s 6d. This was Elizabeth I’s Thames barge used since 1603 by James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark.
By the granting of Letters Patent on 21 June 1619, James I gave permission for Alleyn’s property and wealth to be used to relieve and maintain poor men and women and to educate children. Boys, with few prospects or opportunities, and pensioners were to be chosen from the four parishes with which Alleyn had connections:
Thomas Alleyn was appointed first Master of Dulwich College. He was a cousin of Edward Alleyn and a barber-surgeon by profession. He was named in the foundation document, and an executor of the Founder's will.
By 15 June 1620 the College had started to take in fee paying pupils with Mr Rogers sending his three sons and paying £12 pa for each. Mr Woodward’s son joined the College on 12 September 1620 at £20 pa.
On 25 November 1626 Edward Alleyn died after a short illness; he was 60 years old. He had ridden to Yorkshire in the autumn to see some land he had recently purchased. He was taken ill and then recovered sufficiently to make his will before relapsing again.
Matthias Alleyn was appointed second Master of Dulwich College. Matthias was a cousin of the Founder, descibed as a gentleman of Dulwich he was first appointed Warden of the College in 1619, named on the Foundation Deed, he was an executor of the Founder's will and a trustee to his widow.
Thomas Alleyn was appointed third Master of Dulwich College.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, whilst the Master and Warden (Thomas and Ralph Alleyn respectively) remained in post, three of the four Fellows were dismissed for allegedly showing Royalist sympathies. The prolonged absence of the fourth Fellow meant that all four positions were vacant.
Ralph Alleyn was appointed fourth Master of Dulwich College.
John Alleyn was appointed fifth Master of Dulwich College.
Richard Alleyn was appointed sixth Master of Dulwich College.
William Cartwright, actor and bookseller, died in 1687 bequeathing to the College his substantial art collection and a number of books that make up some of the most valuable volumes in the Fellows’ Library.
John Alleyn was appointed seventh Master of Dulwich College.
Thomas Alleyn was appointed eighth Master of Dulwich College.
John Reading (the College Organist from 1700-1702) donated 12 volumes of handwritten manuscript music to the College. He was a noted teacher, organist and composer, and these books represent the complete performing repertoire of an eighteenth century musician.
James Allen was appointed ninth Master of Dulwich College.
James Allen, who was appointed Master of Dulwich College in 1721, had been associated with the College since 1712 when he was appointed Warden. He was athletic, over 6’ tall and good at skating and jumping, but most of all 'humane'.
Joseph Allen was appointed tenth Master of Dulwich College.
Thomas Allen was appointed eleventh Master of Dulwich College.
William Allen was appointed twelfth Master of Dulwich College.
Lancelot Baugh Allen was appointed thirteenth Master of Dulwich College.
On her death, Margaret Desenfans, one of three Founders of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, left the College two marble busts by Christopher Prosperi (for the Mausoleum attached to the Gallery), a french mantel clock from Charlotte Street, furniture and her own fortune.
In 1816, Rev. Ozias Thurston Linley was appointed Fourth Fellow or organist at Dulwich College. His father, Thomas Linley, was musical director and partner in the management of the Drury Lane Theatre (now the Royal Opera House).
John Allen was appointed fourteenth Master of Dulwich College.
George John Allen was appointed fifteenth Master of Dulwich College.
The Great Exhibition from Hyde Park was opened on Sydenham Hill on 10 June 1854 and soon became known as The Crystal Palace because the sheet glass, developed by Chance Brothers, sparkled in the sunlight.
In 1856 Charles Dickens joined a public debate about the future of Alleyn's Foundation by chairing and addressing a meeting at the Adelphi Hotel.
By the nineteenth century the College had outgrown the statutes laid down by Edward Alleyn. The Estate of 1,145 acres should have been realising an annual income of £50,000, but through bad management and lethargy was producing only £8,000.
Alfred Carver appointed sixteenth Master of Dulwich College. The enlightened Canon Carver absorbed new ideas about science and technology from the Great Exhibition of 1851 and introduced the teaching of science in fully equipped laboratories with permanent staff and external lecturers as well as practical demonstrations.
The distribution of prizes for academic achievement was established in continental Europe in the seventeenth century but did not become commonplace in England until the mid-nineteenth century. The first recorded prize giving at Dulwich took place in 1860.
On 26 June 1866 the foundation stone was laid for the Barry Buildings. The Chairman of the Governors, Reverend William Rogers, invited his friend William Gladstone, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, to lay the first stone of the New College on 26 June 1866.
The school motto, Detur Gloria Soli Deo (Let glory be given to God alone), was adopted by the Master, Canon Carver, in 1867. Carver served as Master from 1858 to 1883.
The Barry Building, designed by Charles Barry Junior, was opened by HRH the Prince of Wales on 21 June 1870. The building included innovations such as an internal telephone system known as speaking tubes, and one of the first chemistry laboratories of any British public school.
The first issue of The Alleynian was published in February 1873. Since then the school magazine has undergone many transformations in terms of format, content and frequency of publication. By July 2018 the College had published 706 editions.
Alleyn's School became a separate part of the College of God's Gift in 1882. In 1887 it moved to its present site on Townley Road, Dulwich.
James EC Welldon was appointed seventeenth Master of Dulwich College.
Arthur H Gilkes was appointed eighteenth Master of Dulwich College. During his mastership (1885-1914), the College reached a ‘Golden Age'. The young minds of future great writers like PG Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler were formed.
The school song, Pueri Alleynienses, was a collaboration between the then Master, the Reverend James Welldon, and the College’s first full-time music master, Edward Davey Rendall. Welldon wrote the lyrics and Rendall the score.
Although the school cap, with blue cross ribbons and the school crest, may have been introduced as far back as 1864, the design patent for the cap is dated 5 August 1891. It has been suggested that in the mid to late 1800s the cap was worn back to front.
The Orchard has been providing boarding accommodation to pupils since 1895. Its first Housemaster was Edward Davey Rendall, composer of the school song, Pueri Alleynienses. Between 1942 and 1944 it housed undergraduates from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) who were being fast-tracked in order to fill the gap in languages needed by the War Office
The foundation stone was laid for the first swimming pool.
The Old Library, designed by ET Hall, commemorates the Alleynians who lost their lives in the Boer War.
Lord Rayleigh, President of the Royal Society, laid the Foundation Stone for the New Science Building designed by Charles E Barry, built between 1906 and 1908. He was the third Barry to work as Architect to the Dulwich Estate.
Lawrence Beesley, science master 1904 to 1909, bought himself a second-class ticket on the Titanic for £13. His ticket number was 248698. He survived the Titanic disaster in April 1912 when the ship famously struck an iceberg while crossing the Atlantic on her maiden voyage and sank with the loss of over 1,500 lives.
Damage to the College's Science Building of around £300 was caused by a fire allegedly started by suffragettes. The lecture hall in the Science Building was wrecked, but the incident was brought under control when a police constable patrolling on Union Road (now Hunt Slip Road) noticed the fire and raised the alarm.
George Smith was appointed Nineteenth Master of Dulwich College.
During the First World War over 3,000 Old Alleynians served and 535 gave their lives.
In May 1917 Henry Yates Thompson, the then chairman of the Picture Gallery Committee, commissioned the architect Edwin Stanley Hall to draw up a design for a new art school next to the Dulwich Picture Gallery with a house for the drawing master.
The Treaty of Versailles signed on 28 June 1919 officially ended the Great War. In October 1919 the first photograph of the whole school of 691 boys was commissioned.
At a Governors’ meeting on 14 November 1919 it was agreed that a concrete platform be made on the east side of the flagstaff for the German field guns that had been presented to the Dulwich College Officer Training Corps by the War Office in recognition of its work before and during the war.
In 1920 the Senior School was divided into six Athletic Houses, each named after an eminent Elizabethan – Drake, Grenville, Marlowe, Raleigh, Sidney and Spenser. Drake and Raleigh were allocated to day boys.
Even before the end of the First World War the Alleyn Club discussed how to memorialise those who had given their lives.
The James Caird the lifeboat of explorer Ernest Shackleton is installed at Dulwich College. All Shackleton’s voyages had a scientific as well as exploratory purposes, but it is the James Caird, the 23 foot whaler, that epitomises his fortitude in the face of adversity.
Walter Booth was appointed Twentieth Master of Dulwich College.
Ivyholme, today a boarding house for senior boarders, was opened on 22 July 1932 by the Earl of Harewood. It was designed to accommodate 28 boys. Between 1942 and 1944 it housed undergraduates from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
The original Blew House, now known as Old Blew, first accepted boarders in 1874. The current Blew House was built in 1934. It was the only boarding house to remain open throughout World War Two despite some roof damage following a bombing raid in 21 July 1944.
The cricket Pavilion was designed by architect Danby Smith and built at a cost of £8,000. It was opened on 5 May 1934 by Sir Kynaston Studd who had played cricket for England and who then later went on to become Lord Mayor of London.
On war being declared Dulwich College was briefly evacuated to Tonbridge School. The experience was not a success, and the boys returned by the end of 1939. The College remained open throughout the war; the only major London day school to do so.
Christopher Gilkes was appointed Twenty First Master of Dulwich College. Gilkes took advantage of the stipulation in the Education Act 1944 that any child who passed the newly implemented common entrance exam
On 27 July 1945 it was agreed that the Pavilion would be used as temporary accommodation for The Orchard following the bomb damage to the junior boarding house in February 1944
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) came into being on 1 April 1948 following an amalgamation of the Junior Training Corps (Army), the Sea Cadets and the Air Training Corps.
The new Junior School, two floors and ten classrooms, was opened in 1948 by Frank Dixon, Chairman of the Estates Trustees.
Ronald Groves was appointed twenty second Master of Dulwich College.
Sir Cyril Hinshelwood opened the extension to the Science Block, a suite of laboratories in an additional building to the rear of the Science Block called The Science Wing and paid for by the Industrial Scientific Fund for Public Schools.
Although societies already existed in the late 1800s, the Dulwich College Union was not established until 1964. Its aim was to encourage boys to introduce new societies. Our oldest society is the Science Society founded in 1874.
Charles Lloyd was appointed twenty third Master of Dulwich College.
On June 11 1969 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, opened the Christison Hall, the College dining rooms. The Hall is named after McCulloch Christison, MBE, OA (1893-98), and Secretary of the Alleyn Club 1906-67.
In June 1969 Dulwich College celebrated its 350th anniversary. The composer Gordon Jacob OA (1908-14) was commissioned to write a piece of music and Fanfare for an Occasion was the result.
David Emms was appointed twenty fourth Master of Dulwich College.
In 1969 the school library was rehoused in a newly constructed area off the Lower Hall that had previously been a tiered lecture theatre. In the former kitchen and courtyard area behind the Library was the Sixth Form Centre.
Anthony Verity was appointed twenty fifth Master of Dulwich College.
The Right Honourable Lord Shackleton, younger son of Sir Ernest Shackleton OA, formally opened the Shackleton Building. Designed by John Wells-Thorpe, with the foundation stone laid seven months earlier by Colonel Sir Colin Cole OA,
The Edward Alleyn Hall was opened in 1981 when Robert McDowell became the College’s first Director of Drama. The building was the first independent project for the theatre architect Tim Foster,
Graham Able was appointed twenty sixth Master of Dulwich College.
Dulwich College International is a family of schools - or, as described by the Master, ‘The Dulwich Commonwealth of Schools’ with campuses currently in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Zhuhai (China); Seoul (South Korea); Yangon (Myanmar);
Dr Joseph Spence was appointed twenty seventh Master of Dulwich College.
Phase 1 of The Laboratory, a home for Science and a venue for the Arts, opened in April 2015 and included 18 fully equipped laboratories, three preparation rooms and the James Caird Hall.
The Foundation Schools - Dulwich College, Alleyn's School and James Allen's Girls' School - commemorated the 400th anniversary of the consecration of the Chapel of God’s Gift at Dulwich by coming together to perform Verdi’s Requiem Mass at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
The second phase, completed in July 2016, included three laboratories for the Lower and Junior Schools, five adaptable Informatics Suites with free-thinking spaces for creative learning and cross-curricular collaboration,
As part of the campus master plan, attention was paid to outside spaces and landscape, including the new Lime Tree Walk. Completed in July 2016 with the replacement of the 34 ageing trees of ‘Chestnuts Avenue’ by 52 new specimens in ‘Lime Tree Walk’, each one funded by a generous benefactor, this also provided the opportunity to resurface the path with top-dressed gravel.
To celebrate its 25 year anniversary, all the DUCKS children were involved in creating a mural which decorated a wall in the DUCKS foyer. The mosaic mural was recognised in a special assembly held with the mosaic designer,
The College’s 1st rugby XV become the first side ever to win both the Champions Trophy and the U18 Schools Cup (three consecutive Daily Mail/Natwest Cup wins 2012-2014).
In commemoration of those who served in the Great War, the Foundation Schools - Dulwich College, Alleyn's School and James Allen's Girls' School - performed Britten’s War Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall. Over 500 pupils, colleagues and friends of the community took part.
As part of the ongoing plan to maintain and improve the Grade II* listed Barry Buildings and Dulwich College campus, external works to have restored the terra cotta and cleaned and refurbished brickwork were completed in 2018 alongside the refurbishment of 50 classrooms and teaching offices.
Central to Dulwich College’s ethos is service and the community. Our commitment to building partnerships across Southwark and beyond can be seen in the many activities shared in this booklet
Enabling families with academically minded boys from all backgrounds to consider applying to Dulwich College, irrespective of their financial means, is, and always has been, one of our core objectives.
Edward Alleyn founded Christ’s College of God’s Gift in 1619 for twelve ‘poor scholars’ and, four centuries later, we are blessed to have the gift of a diverse, welcoming and international community of Alleynians and Old Alleynians. This year we mark 400 years of Dulwich College history and look forward to the next 100 years.