King James's Grammar School, Almondbury
|Established||1547 (royal charter 1608)|
|Location||Saint Helen's Gate
|Other name||King James's School|
The school was founded as chantry school in 1547 and received its name and a royal charter in 1608 thanks to the efforts of three men who travelled on horseback to London to get a royal charter from the king. They rode from Farnley Tyas, the nearby village, having been sent to London to get the charter by the local wealthy men from Almondbury who wanted a local school for their offspring to visit. Extensions were made to the school by William Swinden Barber between 1880 and 1883.
Notable headmasters have been Taylor Dyson (1913-1945) and Harry Taylor (1951-1973).
Its motto was Floreat Schola Almondburiensis which is a Latinised form of the English phrase May Almondbury School Flourish. The school song consisted of several verses and the chorus: Floreat Schola, floreat schola, floreat schola Almondburiensis.
The grammar school era ended in 1976 when it became a comprehensive school: King James's School. The current headmaster is Robert Lamb. Almondbury is now served by the school in its present character and Almondbury High School and Language College.
The school is the subject of two histories: A History of King James's Grammar School in Almondbury (author: Gerald Hinchliffe) and King James's School in Almondbury: An Illustrated History (editors: Roger Dowling and John Hargreaves).
A book Morning Assembly (editor: Roger Dowling; text: Andrew Taylor) gives a detailed account of the life of former headmaster Harry Taylor together with a compilation in facsimile form of some 100 prayers collected by Harry Taylor for use each day at morning assembly.
Notable former pupils
- Felix Aylmer, actor
- Sir John George Beharrel, former managing director of the Dunlop Rubber Company and a director of Imperial Airways
- David Brown, Managing Director David Brown & Sons and owner of Aston Martin Ltd.
- Peter Carter QC, Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee from 2003-05
- Maj-Gen Henry Evans CB, Director of Army Education from 1969–72
- Prof Ian Graham Gass, Professor of Earth Sciences at the Open University from 1969–82
- Philip Goldsmith, President of the Royal Meteorological Society from 1982-5
- Michael Hardcastle prolific author of Children's literature
- Sir Harold Percival Himsworth, former Honorary Physician to the Queen
- Derek Ibbotson, athlete
- Michael Jackson, writer and beer connoisseur
- Gorden Kaye, actor (star of the BBC Television programme 'Allo 'Allo!)
- Prof Henry Laycock, Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University, Canada
- Herbert Morley CBE, Director General and Manager of Steel, Peech and Tozer from 1965-8
- David Morphet, author
- Ryan Sidebottom, England cricketer
- Prof Keith Vickerman, Regius Professor of Zoology from 1984-98 at the University of Glasgow
- Prof James Pounder Whitney, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge from 1919–39
- Robert Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Detective
- Professor Alan Prout, sociologist, University of Leeds
- A History of King James's Grammar School in Almondbury Author: Gerald Hinchliffe Publisher: The Advertiser Press Limited
- An Illustrated History of King James's School in Almondbury Editors: Roger Dowling Publisher: The Old Almondburians' Society