Talk:Harrow School

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Former featured article candidate Harrow School is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 4, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
December 4, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted
December 20, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted
Current status: Former featured article candidate

older entries[edit]

Harrow also has a purpose-built feed school Orley Farm School, which was founded twenty years earlier, in 1850.

Blergh? How can it be a "purpose-built feed school" if the thing it feeds to didn't exist when it was foudned? Morwen - Talk 12:42, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  1. Sorry abot the ambiguity- Orley Farm founded 20 years earlier than John Lyon School to feed Harrow school. Now clarified

Peer review coments[edit]

Chriscf- thank you for altering the formating, your help is appreciated. However I feel that your exclusion of the Harrow slang section was unjust and I have replaced it. Harrow slang is unique to Harrow and is very interesting and necessary to any Harrow article. I have tried to clarify this at the start of the section itself. Also can I say that it really is called Speech Day! (The harrow slang for this was at the start of the 20th century 'Speecher'. --Oli 08:19, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Comparing the slang here to that listed at "the other place", there seems to be a lot of overlap. While I imagine there's plenty of slang around at places like Oxbridge, I would hope that only the commonly-known terms are listed, such as don and blue (a professor and sporting cap respectively). As for Speech Day, I was uncertain, since at my (state) school, we had an event formally known as Prizegiving Evening which was commonly referred to as Speech Day. Thanks for clarifying that. Chris talk back 16:04, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

'Old Schools' Drawing[edit]

I am intrigued by the drawing which purports to show the 'Old Schools' in 1615.

The drawing clearly shows students playing a racket sport against walls. Some writers assert that the game of Rackets was first codified at Harrow in the early 1800s (after being played informally in prisons and taverns for many years), followed by Squash in the 1860s.

I am interested to know if the drawing is in fact that old, or merely a later rendering showing the old buildings -- if contemporary, it demonstrates the history of these racket games goes back farther than we all thought!

Any ideas?


Peter Eedy 08:33, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Peter, I uploaded this print several weeks ago. I am a current pupil at Harrow, and found this print in the store of the school museum. However I do not think this print was made in 1615. I uploaded it to show the Old Schools before their expansion, not noticing the prescence of rackets players. While I am fairly sure that the drawing was contemporary, it was not made in 1615 as I might have implied. Unfotunately I am home for my christmas holiday at the moment so cannot do futher research on this point, but when I return to school in the new year I will enquire as to its age. I hope this clears things up. --Oli 10:17, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks Oli...

I look forward to the outcome of your research



Peter Eedy 20:21, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Sorry I took so long to get back. The print was made by J. Cruishanks in 1795, whcih is still a very early date in the development of Squash. Oli 15:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks again Oli

Assuming the date of 1795 is reliable, that places the arrival of Rackets at Harrow earlier than most people thought (the accepted date is the early 1820s -- squash was probably invented at Harrow around the 1850s or 1860s)


Good luck with your studies



Peter Eedy

Cricket Pavilion[edit]

I've had it suggested to me that the cricket pavilion at Harrow is dedicated to John Maunsell Richardson (1846-1912). I find this surprising as he was not an outstanding player[1] and had greater success as a horse rider (twice Grand National winner - 1873, 1874). Can anyone confirm or deny this claim? Bedders 11:37, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I am a current Harrovian and will check this out for you when I am next there. This may not be for several weeks however.--Oli 16:57, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Harrow's status as the most recognised and prestigious school in the world.[edit]

This statement has been constantly included and reverted from the article over the last few pages, unless you can support this statement with some evidence, it is just going to be reverted as POV pushing Bedders 07:59, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

As a current Harrovian I have deliberately kept out of this discussion until now, for obvious reasons. However, I would like to add that if you look at Google Trends for a comparison between Harrow and Eton you will find that Harrow in fact recieves more searches. You will also find that over half these searches originate from Thailand, where Harrow runs an international school. On balance I feel that the statement should be toned down but not deleted entirely.--Oli 09:00, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify things, I have no connection to Harrow or any other famous school, I started watching this page becuase I put a question about the cricket pavilion on this talk page. I don't think you establish which is the most recognised and prestigious. It is certainly highly recognised, but without a large survey it cannot be the most recognised. My previous attempt at solving this was "status as a worldwide school brand.", but I think something along the lines of "Highly prestigous school with worldwide recognion" might be more acceptable. Bedders 09:30, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Oli: I'm not sure that the Google Trends comparison is valid. "Harrow" is also (as I'm sure you know) the name of a London borough with a population of 200,000. It's impossible to tell how many of those google trends searches actually apply to the school, except by using quotes, and I don't think that's really very meaningful. By comparison, the village of Eton has a population of 3000-ish (1970 estimate). Bedders: I've been fighting a battle with some of the same people who keep reinstating this Harrow statement over at Eton College where they are trying to push a phrase about Harrow (and Winchester's) recognition which has no evidence or wider support. It's really frustrating and they are definitely trying to push a Harrow-fame agenda. Raoul2 10:14, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that this tussle is going to continue until both Eton and Harrow, both have more neutral phrasing in terms of fame. It seems that here is heated passion on both sides. the current verbage should i hope satisfy both - Beak99 2:05pm GMT

I hope so, it's time consuming and pointless and all over one sentence! They are all famous, but you can never get a ranking of this fame Bedders 12:58, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd love to know why someone thinks Eton, Harrow and Winchester are more famous than Rugby, say. They're all famous schools. It's pointless trying to claim that one is more famous than the other or that any particular schools are more famous than any other particular schools. This appears to be blatant POV pushing, probably by old boys of those particular schools. -- Necrothesp 23:57, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Why is a difficult question, but certainly Eton and mostly Harrow are generally seen as the most famous. Media, popular opinion, royal patronage, general attitudes... The average person in the USA for example is far more likely to know of Eton than Rugby simply because of the Princes. Yanksta x 21:04, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Eton I would certainly agree with you. There is so much mythology around Eton that it is in a league of its own; the others just don't join it there. If I was pushed to name three of the most famous public schools, I'd probably choose Eton, Harrow and Rugby, but others would undoubtedly choose other groupings (although I'd be honestly surprised if anyone didn't pick Eton). Any claims of this nature are purely subjective and don't belong in an encyclopaedia. I suspect they are generally made by old boys of schools other than Eton who are a bit miffed that Eton is more famous. -- Necrothesp 22:14, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
It's one of those things that depends on who you are speaking to. If you speak to someone who knows little of private British education, then undoubtedly Eton takes the cake, if only because of the recent media coverage (mostly since the Princes started there, though Gordonstoun doesn't get much attention for Charles attending, but then celebrity-coverage wasn't as big then). However, as can be seen by the editors of this article, among the type of people who are actually likely to be able to attend/ send their kids there, there will be little, if any, discernment between Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester etc. If you met a typical British aristo, I think they'd be surprised that any one of these school was "more famous" than any other. I guess that does sort of say that Eton is the most famous, but does it have any encylopedic merit if its "fame" is a result of mostly media hype? Doesn't this become a bit like that whole thing with Jade Goody being the 26th most influential person in the world?--Zoso Jade 19:16, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Although this has no relevance on Wikipedia, British aristocrats do indeed tend to find Eton preferable to other schools, as to most of British high society, although Harrow comes a reasonably close second. Nevertheless, the image of Eton worldwide does easily eclipse Harrow. Yanksta x 20:54, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Slang section[edit]

The slang section is a bit of a shambles - I have put in a clean-up tag and hope to be able to get round to do a little clean up soon. --5telios 10:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I have removed this section. Slang is a tricky area but this is unsourced and unverifiable, failing WP:V. Those terms that are independently sourced can go back. BlueValour 23:57, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of verifiability, slang/jargon/lingo sections are in direct violation of WP:NOT. I would refer anyone with a strong interest in keeping the section to take a deep breath (because I know parting with it will be hard) and look at how the exact same problems were resolved on the pages for St. Paul's School, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Eton College (to name only a few). This really is a resolved issue in wikipedia so I'm going to take it down. (talk) 02:22, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Goulash Section[edit]

The section originally read:

"First published in 1922, it ran for over 80 years as the school's satirical magazine, before being suppressed in 2003 by the headmaster Mr Barnaby Lenon. Who disapproved of free speech. The final publication was deemed to be too outrageous."

First of all, "who disapproved of free speech" should probably have a citation of some sort. Also, it doesn't appear to be a complete sentence, nor even a sentence at all. So, for now I am going to just make it part of the previous sentence(change the period to a comma, and get rid of the capital letter). I'll give it a few days like that, to see what everyone thinks, but I think the disapproved of free speech phrase needs support/citation if it is going to remain. Mmenolas 23:35, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Merge[edit]

I am proposing a merge because some action needs to be taken on Houses of Harrow School. I am (most of the time) the only registered editor that has been monitoring this article (and I have no connection to Harrow). The impossible situation has now been reached where we have an edit dispute going on through the medium of the School IP User: and there is no way I can assess which of the edits, particularly to 'Notable former members', are reliable and which are vandalism. I have put some structure into the article which is as far as I can go.

One way forward would be for the School authorities to create an account and email the name so we know which edit to trust. The default is to merge the articles so that the 'Houses' will attract the attention of more editors. The combined articles would be about 36Kb or thereabouts so it would not be unduly large. BlueValour 21:09, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I monitor the article on and off. I suggest that any additions be referenced either by a mention in the article of the famous person (if no article, why not? if not famous why on the list?), or by a reference as is usual in WP to another source. I disagree with the merger, because some of the house sections could become articles in their own right. At the moment they are lists of old boys - something which is not so good. --5telios 09:20, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Merge them. The houses are not notable in and of themselves, and thus do not merit their own articles, even the current situation is something of a stretch. Chris cheese whine 09:23, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

This Site is an advert[edit]

It may have some truth but this site purely advertises the school rather than giving information about it i've added some well needed information about price fixing in an effort to make it a more reliable source.

--Wiggstar69 14:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

It may be advertising, but we can't say it's not notable. 8^) Kbthompson 16:53, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Removed overlinking[edit]

Multiple links, date as year linking not required - see WP:MOS Kbthompson 16:53, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Harrow Crest.JPG[edit]

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Harrow crest image[edit]

Hey all, i telephoned Harrow today, and asked if it would provide us with a free-license image of the school crest, however, they said it was copyrighted and would thus make it illegal for us to put an image of the emblem on. Also if this is useful to the article, Harrow does not provide the international baccalaureate diploma as part of its curriculum —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Loaning of facilities[edit]

I'm the current Head Boy at Buckingham College School, Harrow down the hill from Harrow school and thought I'd mention that we use their swimming pool, athletics track and speech room (which, in contrast, we use once a year for our speech night and it holds our entire preparatory and secondary school as well as the sixth form and the parents of most of the pupils!). I believe that Harrow have to allow other schools access to their facilities but I don't know why, perhaps that should be up here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MGtheHB (talkcontribs) 21:41, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't say this is notable.--Wiggstar69 21:50, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I would say if you're including negatives (the criticism section), you should include positives as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Notability of some sections[edit]

I have some problems with this page, mostly because its written like an advert. But that is not really what I'm worried about is how Harrow traditions, The Harrovian, The Peachey are notable sections? The last two are ridiculously un-notable and the first if not removed needs to be significantly cut down.--Wiggstar69 21:50, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


This article, as previously noted, does appear to be an advert. While I myself will not do research, as I am a sockpuppet, I can tell you that some interesting subjects for investigation could (and do) include:

- Allegations of paedophilia levelled against employees, now former employees, of the school
- Inter pupil and staff-pupil violence, limited not just to physical attacks but also rape

- Censorship of freedom speech (notably involving the previously mentioned "Goulash"
publication and the institutions continuing censorship of individuals over the internet (such as the forced closure of various "bad press" facebook groups
- Health and safety concerns, including the contents of the food, and the imprisonment in 2002/3 of a pupil in the school medical center
- The effects of institutionalisation on minors

- The neglect of students by teachers/carers/medical staff

- The theft of personal property (and lack of control thereof) perpetrated not just by pupils but also by staff

- The endemic drugs problem, the lack of control over the situation and the lack of engagement by members of the Harrow teaching community (the neglect of troubled students in the past and the failure to act (by the teaching community) has caused two confirmed deaths (the Jaggs case), events which, debateably, could and should have been controlled by the school

- Corruption, flaunting and impediment of the rule law regarding "privileged" students (usually through status or wealth) and their transgressions (from theft and petty mischief to violence and rape)

It may prove very hard to find sources for all of these allegations, but they would (and should, if not censored) make an interesting, informative and unbiased article, showing both the public and private sides of this institution. 14:00, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Allegations of the kind listed above can be included in the article if, and only if, they can be linked to reliable sources. Viewfinder 14:12, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
As above, only if (I know you said that it would be difficult, but the rule stands) you can find references to these allegations. Otherwise, it might be better to just write this off as a concern troll.

Latin Translation[edit]

When I was at Harrow, the translation of the school motto was "The faithful spreading of God's gifts" which makes more sense than the given translation here ("Guardians"). Dispensatio should not be confuse with custodes. Cthwaites (talk) 21:21, 11 March 2008 (UTC) Christian Thwait

Of God's [good] gifts the faithful dispensation ca. 1991 as evidenced by the song written in that year --5telios (talk) 13:59, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


The article contains nothing on sport, but I think I'm right in saying that between the Wars Harrow defected from the ranks of the great soccer playing schools (Eton, Winchester, Charterhouse, Westminster, etc), and for some reason took up Rugby. However, I've heard that soccer is now being played there again. Millbanks (talk) 13:34, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Harrow plays most sports. Obviously rugby, cricket, football are in but lesser-knowns such as water polo and fives are played. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kielbasa1 (talkcontribs) 19:06, 3 November 2010 (UTC)


It is said in the article that Prince Charles and Prince William did not go to Harrow. Ideally, a list of 6 billion, not at Harrow, would be given. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Let's get started. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

'Quarantined' paragraph[edit]

I moved the following from the article because, although there is some truth in it, I'm not sure how accurate it is, it doesn't have any references and is in dire need of copyediting. Don't have time myself, but if someone else wants to sort it out...

"Harrow has also been in trouble for a number of drug scandals, where a former Harrow School student William Jaggs who then went to Oxford University. Had murdered someone with stabbing another teachers daughter in harrow, because of the drug addiction that was developed in the school, it led to a very strange and psycho path of his own character. There are also a number of people who got expelled because they were found or discovered taking drugs in Harrow. Which is a growing concern for the people in Britain and also a growing concern for the government."

Hadrian89 (talk) 16:59, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

This is such a poorly written and badly structered piece of English, I assume it was written by an Old Harrovian...

You Can Walk Like A'Gyptian ;) (talk) 09:30, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Prime Ministers[edit]

a very long line of famous alumni including eight former Prime Ministers

Just to note that the Harrow School website lists this as seven, not eight. - see the "Did you know?" bit on the right-hand side. vwoodstock (talk) 19:30, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Editing Talk:Harrow School (new section) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:54, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Old Wykehamists, Old Harrovians, etc. to become "Alumni of... "?[edit]

Please see the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 February 10#Former pupils by school in the United Kingdom. Moonraker2 (talk) 14:15, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Private School[edit]

I would suggest that Harrow School be described as a private school. The description independent is vague and unclear. Wikipedia is global and most readers recognise organisations as being either public sector or private sector. 'Independent school' is an Anglocentric term and is just not a recognised term in most countries. It only serves to open up questions; independent from whom? Independen from what?

Over the last ten years most UK public sector secondary schools have converted to academies and are therefore independent. They're independent of central government and Local Education Authority control. This development has made it all the more confusing to describe private schools as independent. If you take private healthcare; go to the BUPA article and in the opening paragraph it is described as a private hospital. If private schools have private school in the opening paragraph the link takes the reader to an article that makes explicitly clear:

Private schools, also known as independent schools, non-governmental, or nonstate schools,[1] are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public (government) funding; at some private schools students may be able to get a scholarship, which makes the cost cheaper, depending on a talent the student may have (e.g. sport scholarship, art scholarship, academic scholarship), financial need, or tax credit scholarships that might be available.

That is clear, unambiguous and uneqivocal. (Garageland66 (talk) 01:29, 30 August 2016 (UTC)).


The infoboxes for the seven historic English public schools are, at present, inconsistent. Five have the School Type listed as ‘Independent’, one has it as ‘Private’ and only one has it as ‘Public’. Can I propose that, for the sake of consistency, they all have ‘Public School’ in the infobox. They are defined as such by the 1868 Public Schools Act. Is there a consensus on this? Garageland66 (talk) 11:33, 16 February 2017 (UTC)