Eton College, Surrey - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
Eton College Surrey - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
Eton College is an English independent boarding school for boys in Eton, Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor".
Eton is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. Eton has educated 19 British prime ministers and generations of the aristocracy and has been referred to as the chief nurse of England's statesmen.
Eton College was founded by King Henry VI as a charity school to provide free education to 70 poor boys who would then go on to King's College, Cambridge. Henry took Winchester College as his model, visiting on many occasions, borrowing its Statutes and removing its Headmaster and some of the Scholars to start his new school.
When Henry VI founded the school, he granted it a large number of endowments, including much valuable land. The group of feoffees appointed by the king to receive forfeited lands of the Alien Priories for the endowment of Eton.
It was intended to have formidable buildings (Henry intended the nave of the College Chapel to be the longest in Europe) and several religious relics, supposedly including a part of the True Cross and the Crown of Thorns. He persuaded the then Pope, Eugene IV, to grant him a privilege unparalleled anywhere in England: the right to grant indulgences to penitents on the Feast of the Assumption. The school also came into possession of one of England's Apocalypse manuscripts.
However, when Henry was deposed by King Edward IV in 1461, the new King annulled all grants to the school and removed most of its assets and treasures to St George's Chapel, Windsor, on the other side of the River Thames. Legend has it that Edward's mistress, Jane Shore, intervened on the school's behalf. She was able to save a good part of the school, although the royal bequest and the number of staff were much reduced.
The Duke of Wellington is often incorrectly quoted as saying that "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton". Wellington was at Eton from 1781 to 1784 and was to send his sons there. According to Nevill, what Wellington said, while passing an Eton cricket match many decades later, was, "There grows the stuff that won Waterloo", a remark Nevill construes as a reference to "the manly character induced by games and sport" among English youth generally, not a comment about Eton specifically.