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Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent boarding school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor".

It is located in Etonmarker, near Windsormarker in Englandmarker, north of Windsor Castlemarker, and is one of the original nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.

It has a very long list of distinguished former pupils, including eighteen former British Prime Ministers. Traditionally, Eton has been referred to as "the chief nurse of England's statesmen", and has been described as the most famous public school in the world. Early in the 20th century, a historian of Eton wrote "No other school can claim to have sent forth such a cohort of distinguished figures to make their mark on the world".


The school is headed by a Provost and Fellows (Board of Governors), who appoint the Head Master. It contains 25 boys' houses, each headed by a housemaster, selected from the more senior members among the teaching staff, who number some 160.

Almost all the school's pupils go on to universities, about a third of them to Oxfordmarker or Cambridgemarker.

The present Head Master, Anthony Little MA, is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the school is a member of the Eton Group of independent schools in the United Kingdommarker.

Eton today is a much bigger school than in much of its history. In 1678 there were 207 boys. In the late 18th century there were about 300 boys.


School Yard, Eton College
Eton College was founded by Henry VI as a charity school to provide free education to seventy poor boys who would then go on to King's College, Cambridgemarker, a constituent college of the University of Cambridgemarker, which he also founded in 1441.

When Henry VI founded the school, he granted it a large number of endowments, including much valuable land, a plan for 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 even persuaded the then Pope, Eugene IV, to grant a privilege unparalleled anywhere in England: the right to grant Indulgences to penitents on the Feast of the Assumption.
However, when Henry was deposed by 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, Windsormarker, on the other side of the River Thames. Legend has it that Edward's mistress, Jane Shore, intervened on the school's behalf and was able to save much of the school, although the royal bequest and the number of staff were much reduced. Construction of the Chapel, originally intended to be slightly over twice as long, with eighteen - or possibly seventeen - bays (there are eight today) was stopped when Henry VI was deposed, with only the Quire of the intended building ever completed. Eton's first Provost, William Waynflete, previously Head Master of Winchester Collegemarker, built the ante-chapel that finishes the Chapel today.

As the school suffered reduced income at a stage when much of it was still under construction, the completion and further development of the school has ever since depended on wealthy benefactors. Many of these are honoured with school buildings in their name. They include Bishop William Waynflete and Roger Lupton, whose name is borne by the central tower which is perhaps the most famous image of the school.

In the 19th century, the architect John Shaw Jr (1803-1870) became surveyor to Eton and designed new parts of the college which helped provide better pupil accommodation.

The Duke of Wellington is often quoted as saying that "The Battle of Waterloomarker 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 (citing the historian Sir Edward Creasy), what Wellington actually 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" amongst English youth generally, not a comment about Eton specifically.

A nuclear bunker was constructed under the college in 1959 to house the College's Provost and Fellows, and is now used for storage.

In 2005 the school was one of fifty of the country's leading private schools found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents. Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling £3,000,000 into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared.

School terms

There are three academic terms (known as halves) in the year,
  • The Michaelmas Half, from early September to mid December. New boys are now admitted only at the start of the Michaelmas Half, unless in exceptional circumstances.
  • The Lent Half, from mid-January to late March.
  • The Summer Half, from late April to late June or early July.

They are called halves because the school year was once split into two halves, between which the boys went home.

Boys' houses

King's Scholars

One boarding house, College, is reserved for seventy King's Scholars, who attend Eton on scholarships provided by the original foundation and awarded by examination each year; they pay up to 90% of full fees, depending on their means. Of the other pupils, up to a third receive some kind of bursary or scholarship. The name "King's Scholars" derives from the fact that the school was founded by King Henry VI in 1440 and was, therefore, granted royal favour. The original school consisted of only seventy scholars, half of whom had previously been educated at Winchester College, and all of these boys were educated at the King's expense.

King's Scholars are entitled to use the letters "KS" after their name and they can be identified by a black gown worn over the top of their tailcoats, giving them the nickname tugs (Latin: togati, wearers of gowns); and occasionally by a surplice in Chapel.


As the school grew, more students were allowed to attend provided that they paid their own fees and lived in the town, outside the college's original buildings. These students became known as Oppidans, from the Latin word oppidum, meaning town. The Houses developed over time as a means of organising the Oppidans in a more congenial manner, and typically contain about fifty boys. Although classes are organised on a school basis, most boys spend a large proportion of their time in their House. Each House has a formal name, mainly used for post and people outside the Eton community, but is generally known by the boys by the initials or surname of the House Master, the teacher who lives in the house and manages the pupils in it.

Not all boys who pass the College election examination choose to become King's Scholars. If they choose instead to belong to one of the 24 Oppidan Houses, they are known as Oppidan Scholars. Oppidan Scholarships may also be awarded for consistently performing with distinction in school and external examinations. To gain an Oppidan Scholarship, a boy must have either three distinctions in a row or four throughout his career. An Oppidan Scholar is entitled to use the letters OS after his name.

The Oppidan Houses are named South Lawn, Waynflete, Evans', Keate House, The Hopgarden, Warre House, Villiers House, Godolphin House, Common Lane House, Penn House, Walpole House, Hawtrey House, Cotton Hall House, Wotton House, Holland House, Mustians, Jourdelay's, Angelo's, Manor House, Durnford House, Farrer House, Baldwin's Bec, The Timbralls, and Westbury. But they are much more commonly referred to by the initials of their occupying housemaster, such as ASR.

House structure

In addition to the housemaster, each house has a House Captain and a Games Captain. Some Houses choose to elect more than one. House prefects were once elected from the oldest year, but this no longer happens. The old term, Library, survives in the name of the room set aside for the house prefects' use, and they often have a kitchen. The situation is similar with the junior prefects of the year below, once known as Debate.

There are entire house gatherings every evening in some houses, thrice-weekly in others, usually around 8:10-8:30 p.m. These are known as Prayers, due to their original nature. The housemaster and boys have an opportunity to make announcements, and sometimes light entertainment is provided by boys. There are many inter-house competitions, mostly in the field of sport.

For much of Eton's history, junior boys had to act as fags, or servants, to older boys. Their duties included cleaning, cooking, and running errands. A Library member was entitled to yell at any time and without notice "Boy, Up!" or "Boy, Queue!", and all first-year boys had to come running. The last boy to arrive was given the task. These practices, known as fagging, were phased out of most houses in the 1970s and completely abolished in the 1980s, although first year boys are still given some tasks by the Captains of House and Games.


The school is famous for the traditions it maintains, including a uniform of black tailcoat (or morning coat) and waistcoat, false-collar and pinstriped trousers. All students wear a white tie that is effectively a strip of cloth folded over into the collar. There are some variations in the school dress worn by boys in authority, see School Prefects and King's scholars sections.

The long-standing claim that the present uniform was first worn as mourning for the death of George III is unfounded, as "Eton dress" has undergone significant changes since its standardisation in the 19th century. Originally (along with a top-hat and walking-cane) merely Etonian dress for formal occasions, it is still worn today for classes, which are referred to as "schools". As stated above, King's Scholars wear a black gown over the top of their tailcoats, and occasionally a surplice in Chapel. Members of the teaching staff (known as Beaks) are also required to wear a form of school dress when teaching.

From 1820 until 1967, boys under the height of 5'4" were required to wear the Eton suit, which replaced the tailcoat with the cropped Eton jacket (known colloquially as a "bum-freezer") and included an Eton collar, a large, stiff-starched, white collar. The Eton suit was copied by other schools and has remained in use in some, particularly choir schools.

Tutors and teaching

The pupil to teacher ratio is 10:1, which is low by general school standards. Class sizes start at around twenty to twenty-five in the first year and are often below ten by the final year.

The original curriculum concentrated on prayers, Latin and devotion, and "as late as 1530 no Greek was taught".

Later the emphasis was on classical studies, dominated by Latin and Ancient History, and, for boys with sufficient ability, Classical Greek. But in recent times this has radically changed: for example, there are now over 100 students of Chinese. In the 1970s, there was just one school computer, in a small room attached to the science buildings, which used rolls of paper with punch-holes to store programs. Today, all boys must have laptop computers, and a fiber-optic network connects all classrooms and all boys' bedrooms to the internet.

The primary responsibility for a boy's studies lies with his House Master, but he is often assisted by an additional director of studies, known as a tutor. Classes, colloquially known as "divs" (divisions), are organised on a school basis; the classrooms are separate from the houses. New school buildings have appeared in recent times but, despite the introduction of modern technology, the external appearance and locations of many of the classrooms have remained unchanged for a long time.

Every evening, about an hour and a quarter, known as Quiet Hour, is set aside during which boys are expected to study or prepare work for their teachers if not otherwise engaged. Some houses, upon the discretion of the House Master, may observe a second Quiet Hour after Prayers in the Evening. This is however less formal, with boys being allowed to visit each others' rooms to socialise if neither boy has outstanding work.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate's latest report says "Eton College provides an exceptionally good quality of education for all its pupils. They achieve high academic standards as a result of stimulating teaching, challenging expectations and first-class resources."


At Eton, there are dozens of organisations known as societies, in many of which pupils come together to discuss a particular topic, presided over by a master, and often including a guest speaker. Some societies are dedicated solely to music, some to religion, some to languages, and so on. Among past guest speakers are Andrew Lloyd Webber, J. K. Rowling, Vivienne Westwood, Ian McKellen, Kevin Warwick, Boris Johnson, Rowan Atkinson and King Constantine II of Greece.

Incentives and sanctions

Eton has a well-established system for encouraging boys to produce a high standard of work. An excellent piece of work may be rewarded with a "Show Up", to be shown to the boy's tutors as evidence of progress. If, in any particular term, a pupil makes a particularly good effort in any subject, he may be "Commended for Good Effort" to the Head Master (or Lower Master).

If any boy produces an outstanding piece of work, it may be "Sent Up For Good", storing the effort in the College Archives for posterity. This award has been around since the 18th century. As Sending Up For Good is fairly infrequent, the process is rather mysterious to many of Eton's boys. First, the master wishing to Send Up For Good must gain the permission of the relevant Head of Department. Upon receiving his or her approval, the piece of work will be marked with Sent Up For Good and the student will receive a card to be signed by House Master, tutor and division master.

The opposite of a Show Up is a "Rip". This is for sub-standard work, which is sometimes torn at the top of the page/sheet and must be submitted to the boy's housemaster for signature. Boys who accumulate rips are liable to be given a "White Ticket", which must be signed by all his teachers and may be accompanied by other punishments, usually involving doing domestic chores or writing lines. In recent times, a milder form of the rip, 'sign for information', colloquially known as an "info-rip", has been introduced, which must also be signed by the boy's housemaster and tutor.

Internal examinations are held at the end of the Michaelmas term for all pupils, and in the Summer term for those in the first year and those in the second year. These internal examinations are called "Trials".

A boy who is late for any division or other appointment may be required to sign "Tardy Book", a register kept in the School Office, between 7.35am and 7.45am, every morning for the duration of his sentence (typically three days). Tardy Book may also be issued for late work. For more serious misdeeds, a boy is summoned from his lessons to talk to the Head Master personally about his misdeeds. This is known as the "Bill". The most serious misdeeds may result in expulsion, or rustication (suspension). The term derives from the Latin word 'rus', countryside, to indicate that a boy has been sent back to his family in the country, and is also traditionally used at Oxfordmarker and Cambridgemarker. Conversely, should a master be exceptionally late for a class, traditionally the pupils might claim it as a "run" and absent themselves for the rest of its duration.

A traditional form of punishment took the form of being made to copy, by hand, Latin hexameters. Miscreants were frequently set 100 hexameters by library members, or, for more serious offences, Georgics (more than 500 hexameters) by their House Masters or the Head Master. The giving of a Georgic is now extremely rare, but still occasionally occurs.

Corporal Punishment

Eton used to be renowned for its use of corporal punishment, generally known as "beating". In the 16th century, Friday was set aside as "flogging day".

Beating was phased out in 1983 when the last recorded case of caning was recorded, on future film director Sebastian Doggart. Until 1964, offending boys could be summoned to the Head Master or the Lower Master, as appropriate, to receive a birching on the bare posterior, a semi-public ceremony held in the Library, where there was a special wooden birching block over which the offender was held. John Keate, Head Master from 1809 to 1834, took over when discipline was poor, and restored order at the school by vigorous and frequent use of the birch. He is supposed to have flogged 80 boys publicly on one day.

Anthony Chenevix-Trench, Head Master from 1964 to 1970, abolished the birch and replaced it with caning, a more painful but less messy procedure, also on the bare posterior, which he administered privately in his office.

Chenevix-Trench also abolished corporal punishment administered by senior boys. Previously, House Captains were permitted to cane miscreants over the seat of the trousers. This was a routine occurrence, carried out privately with the boy bending over with his head under the edge of a table. Much less commonplace, but much more serious, were the canings administered by Pop (see below) in the form of a "Pop-Tanning", in which a large number of very hard strokes were inflicted by the President of Pop in the presence of all Pop members. The culprit was summoned to appear in a pair of old trousers, as the caning would cut the cloth to shreds and leave the boy's buttocks bleeding. This was, in physical terms, much the most severe form of punishment at Eton.

Chenevix-Trench's successor from 1970, Michael McCrum, retained private corporal punishment by masters, but ended the practice of requiring boys to take their trousers and underwear down when bending over to be caned by the Head Master.


In addition to the masters, the following three categories of senior boys are entitled to exercise school discipline. Boys who belong to any of these categories, in addition to a limited number of other boy office holders, are entitled to wear winged collars with bow ties.
  • Eton Society:, also known as Pop. Over the years its power and privileges have grown. Pop is the oldest self-electing society at Eton, although the rules were altered in 1987 and again in 2005 so that the new intake are not now elected solely by the existing year and a committee of masters. Members of Pop are entitled to wear checked spongebag trousers, and a waistcoat designed as they wish. Historically, only members of Pop were entitled to furl their umbrellas or sit the wall on the Long Walk, in front of the main building. However, this tradition has died out. They also perform roles at many of the routine events of the school year, including School Plays, parents' evenings and other official events. Notable ex-members of Pop include Prince William of Wales, and Boris Johnson.
  • Sixth Form Select: an academically selected prefectorial group consisting, by custom, of the 10 senior King's Scholars and the 10 senior Oppidan Scholars. Members of Sixth Form Select are entitled to wear silver buttons on their waistcoats. They also act as Praepostors: they enter classrooms and ask "Is (family name) in this division?" followed by "He's to see the Head Master at (time)" (the Bill, see above). Members of Sixth Form Select also maintain dress codes, and perform "Speeches", a formal event held twice a year.
  • House Captains: The captains of each of the 25 boys' houses (see above) also have disciplinary powers at school level. House Captains are entitled to wear a mottled grey waistcoat.

In the era of Elizabeth I, there were two praepostors in every form, who noted down the names of absentees. Until the late 19th century there was a praepostor for every division of the school.


Sports are a major feature of life at Eton. There is an extensive network of playing fields. Their names include Agar's Plough, Dutchman's, Upper Club, Lower Club, Sixpenny/The Field, and Mesopotamia (situated between two streams and often shortened to "Mespots").
  • During the Michaelmas Half, the sport curriculum is dominated by football (called Association) and rugby union.
  • During the Lent Half it is dominated by the Field Game, but this is unique to Eton and cannot be played against other schools. Aided by AstroTurf facilities on Masters' field, Field Hockey has become a major Lent Half sport. Elite rowing also exists.
  • During the Summer Half, there is a division between wet bobs, who row on the River Thames, and dry bobs, who play cricket, tennis or athletics.

In rowing, Eton's Youth Eight won first place in the 44th Head of the Charles on 19 October 2008.

Dorney Lakemarker, in Buckinghamshire, is owned by the college and will host the rowing events at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the World Junior Rowing Championships.

The annual cricket match against Harrowmarker at Lord's Cricket Groundmarker is the oldest fixture of the cricketing calendar, having been played there since 1805. A staple of the London society calendar since the 1800s, in 1914, its importance was such that over 38,000 people attended the two days' play, and in 1910 the match made national headlines. But interest has since declined considerably, and the match is now a one-day limited overs contest.

There is a high-quality running track at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre and an annual steeplechase.

The Eton Wall Game is still played, and was given national publicity when it was taken up by Prince Harry. Notable among the many other sports played at Eton is Eton Fives.

In 1815 Eton College documented its football rules, the first football code to be written down anywhere in the world.

Music and Drama


The current "Precentor" (Head of Music) is Ralph Allwood, and the school boasts eight organs and an entire building for music (performance spaces include the School Hall, the Farrer Theatre and two halls dedicated to music, the Parry Hall and the Music Hall). Many instruments are taught, including obscure ones such as the didgeridoo. The school participates in many national competitions; many pupils are part of the National Youth Orchestra, and the school gives scholarships for dedicated and talented musicians.

The school's musical protégés recently came to wider notice in a TV documentary A Boy Called Alex, which followed an Etonian, Alex Stobbs, a musician with cystic fibrosis, as he worked towards conducting the difficult Magnificat by Johann Sebastian Bach.


The exterior of Eton's main theatre, the Farrer.
Many plays are put on every year at Eton; there is one main theatre, called the Farrer, and several other venues (Caccia Studios and several halls). There are about 8 or 9 house productions each year, around 10 "Independent" plays (not confined solely to one house, produced, directed and funded by Etonians) and three School Plays, one specifically for boys in the first two years, and two open to all years. The School Play in the Summer Half is normally fully booked every night, such is its reputation. Most recently, the school has put on Blood Wedding by Lorca, Godspell, King Lear, A Flea in Her Ear and Henry IV (a condensed version of both parts), Donkey's Years, and is due to put on a musical performance of The Bacchae. Often girls from surrounding schools, such as St Mary's School Ascotmarker, Windsor Girls' School and Heathfield St Mary's Schoolmarker come in to play female roles.

The drama department is headed by Hailz-Emily Osborne, Simon Dormandy and several other teachers; the school offers GCSE as well as A-level drama.


Eton's best-known holiday takes place on the so-called "Fourth of June", a celebration of the birthday of King George III, Eton's greatest patron. This day is celebrated with The Procession of Boats, in which the top rowing crews from the top four years row past in vintage wooden rowing boats. Similar to the Queen's Official Birthday, the "Fourth of June" is no longer actually celebrated on 4 June every year, but instead is held the Wednesday before the first weekend of June. Eton also observes St. Andrew's Day, on which the Eton wall game is played.

School magazines

The Junior Chronicle and The Chronicle are the official school magazines, the latter having been founded in 1863. Both are edited by boys at the school, with the latter, although liable to censorship, having a tradition of satirising and even attacking school policies, as well as documenting recent events. The Oppidan, founded in 1828, is published once a Half and covers all sport in Eton and some professional events as well.

Other school magazines including Spectrum and The Arts Review have been published, as well as publications produced by individual departments such as The Cave (Philosophy) and Etonomics (Economics). Releases of issues generally coincide with important events in the Eton calendar.

Charitable status and fees

Eton College is an exempt charity under English law. and is one of the 100 largest charities in the UK. As a charity, it benefits from substantial tax breaks. It was calculated by David Jewell, master of Haileyburymarker, that in 1992 such tax breaks saved the school about £1,945 per pupil per year. This subsidy has declined since the 2001 abolition by the Labour Government of state-funded scholarships (formerly known as "assisted places") to independent schools. However, no child attended Eton on this scheme, meaning that the actual level of state assistance to the school has always been lower. Eton's headmaster, Tony Little, has claimed that the benefits that Eton provides to the local community free of charge (use of its facilities, etc.) have a higher value than the tax breaks it receives as a result of its charitable status. The fee for the academic year 2008-2009 is £28,080 (approximately US$46,000 or 33,000 as of June 2009).

Eton runs a number of courses to students from the maintained sector, the majority of them during the summer holidays from July to the end of August. The Universities Summer School was first established in 1982 and is an intensive residential course open to boys and girls who attend maintained schools throughout the UK and who are at the end of their first year in the Sixth Form and about to begin their final year of schooling. The Brent-Eton Summer School, started in 1994, offers 40-50 young people from the London Borough of Brentmarker a one-week programme, free of charge, designed to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-level. The school also runs a number of choral courses during the summer months.


Unfair dismissal of an art teacher

In October 2004, Sarah Forsyth claimed that she had been dismissed by Eton College unfairly as a result of bullying from senior members of the school, and that she had been forced to help Prince Harry in his Art AS coursework to enable him to pass (which was acknowledged by the Prince himself in a recorded conversation). An employment tribunal in July 2005 upheld Forsyth's first claim - namely that she was unfairly dismissed - although it rejected her second claim and criticised her decision to make a recording as an abuse of the teacher-student confidential relationship. In response to the tribunal's ruling, the school issued a statement, saying that Forsyth's claims "were dismissed for what they always have been - unfounded and irrelevant", whilst a spokesperson from Clarence Housemarker said, "We are delighted that Harry has been totally cleared of cheating."

Sexual assault of a girl on the playing fields

In March 2008, four Etonians aged 13–14 from a group known as "The Posse" were suspended by the school after allegedly assaulting and robbing a girl aged 13 on the school playing fields. The girl suffered from at least one broken rib and had her handbag stolen by the boys, who were suspected of having taken drugs and alcohol.
 She also claimed that one of the four boys had dropped his trousers and threatened her to perform a sex act.

Old Etonians

Past students of Eton College are Old Etonians. In recent years, the school has become popular with the British Royal Family; Princes William and Harry are Old Etonians. Eton has also produced eighteen British Prime Ministers, including William Ewart Gladstone, Robert Walpole and the first Duke of Wellington. A rising number of students come to Eton from overseas, including members of royal families from Africa and Asia, some of whom have been sending their sons to Eton for generations. One of them, King Prajadhipok or Rama VII (1893 - 1941) of Siammarker, donated a garden to Eton.Other Old Etonians include Guy Burgess, George Orwell and Henry More.

Many fictional characters have been described as Old Etonians. These include Bertie Wooster and Ronald Eustace Psmith from the books by P.G. Wodehouse, the pirate who used the pseudonym Captain Hook, the detective Lord Peter Wimsey, the game shot George Hysteron-Proteron, and Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited.

The mediaevalist and ghost story writer M. R. James was provost of Eton from 1918 until his death in 1936.The jazz trumpeter and radio broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton attended Eton.Actors educated at Eton include Max Pirkis, Eddie Redmayne, Simon Woods, Damian Lewis, Dominic West, Hugh Laurie, and Patrick Macnee. Musician Frank Turner

Partially filmed at Eton

Here follows a list of films partially filmed at Eton.

In popular culture

  • A 1962 novel The Fourth of June by David Benedictus (who attended Eton in real life) caused controversy, being seen as an attack on cruelty and snobbery at the school in the 1950s.
  • In the Young Bond series, James Bond as a boy attends Eton College in the whole series of books.
  • Ronald Eustace Psmith, a fictional character in a series of novels by P. G. Wodehouse, was expelled from Eton and sent to a school called Sedleigh after being caught sneaking out of his bedroom window to hunt cats with a pistol.
  • In the Harry Potter series, Justin Finch-Fletchley was going to go to Eton College. However, he was sent to Hogwarts after his family found out he was a wizard.
  • In Anthony Horowitz's book Point Blanc, the teenage spy Alex Rider pretends to have been expelled from Eton in order to gain access to the Point Blanc Academy.
  • William Coles's novel The Well-Tempered Clavier describes the adventures of a senior boy at Eton who has a romantic affair with his piano teacher.
  • In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "William Wilson," the main character attended Eton College in his youth.
  • British punk/new wave group The Jam have a song entitled "The Eton Rifles".
  • In Aldous Huxley's dystopia Brave New World the main characters visit a school named Eton that is "reserved exclusively for upper-caste boys and girls."
  • Scenes from The Madness of King George were filmed in School Yard, Lower School and College Chapel.
  • The wedding scene in Shakespeare in Love was filmed at the school's College Chapel. A further scene was shot outside College Hall, besides the Cloisters.
  • In the U.S. sitcom The Nanny, playwright Maxwell Sheffield attended Eton.
  • In the film Bridget Jones' Diary, the main character refers to Eton as "a fascist institution where they shove a poker up your arse that you're not allowed to remove for the rest of your life.".
  • The father of James Bond, the fictional British agent, had him entered at Eton immediately upon his birth, but when the time came he had to be withdrawn after only two halves because he became involved with one of the maids.
  • In US TV Show NCIS, David McCallum's character, Forensic Pathologist "Ducky" Mallard is supposed to be an Old Etonian.
  • The race at the beginning of the film Chariots of Fire was filmed in the Eton School Yard.
  • The buildings of Eton are popular subjects for photographers.
  • The tag "where ignorance is bliss, ’Tis folly to be wise" is a quotation from Thomas Gray's Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. It also includes the lines "Alas, regardless of their doom, the little victims play".
  • In the U.S. TV show The West Wing the Interim Deputy Director of Communications Will Bailey notes that he was an Eton valedictorian. In fact the concept of valedictorian does not exist at Eton, being an almost exclusively American title.
  • In the 1942 film A Yank at Eton, Mickey Rooney plays a fish-out-of-water American attending the school, but it was not filmed on location.
  • In Withnail and I, Withnail tells his uncle Monty that Marwood went to Eton, which he refers to as "the other place".
  • In The Constant Gardener, the main character, Justin Quayle, is many times referred to as "the true Etonian".
  • In To Catch A Prince, Lazlo repeatedly claims to be close friends with Prince William at Eton.
  • The protagonist of Elizabeth George's crime novels, DI Thomas Lynley, attended Eton.
  • In Kaoru Mori's Victorian Romance Emma, it is said that William Jones and Prince Hakim Atawari attended Eton.
  • Captain Hook from the novel Peter Pan went to Eton before turning to piracy.
  • In the 1959 novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles Mr. Ludsbary mentions "The playing fields of Eton".


  • Parker, Eric, Playing Fields: School Days at Eton (London, Philip Allan, 1922)
  • McConnell, J. D. R., Eton - How It Works (London, Faber and Faber, 1967)
  • Card, Tim, Eton Established: A History From 1440 to 1860 (London, John Murray, 2001, ISBN 978-0-7195-6052-1)
  • Fraser, Nick, The Importance of Being Eton (London, Short Books, June 2006) ISBN 978-1-904977-53-7

See also


  1. Nevill, p.3 ff.
  2. "Eton - the establishment's choice", BBC News Online, London, 2 September 1998.
  3. Doward, Jamie. "Eton waits for verdict in Harry 'cheating' case", The Observer, London, 26 June 2005.
  4. Nevill, p.1.
  5. "What is it like at Eton College?", BBC News Online, London, 4 July 2005.
  6. Nevill, p.15, p.23.
  7. Nevill. p.5.
  8. Nevill, p.5.
  9. Nevill, p.4.
  10. "Ploughing Fields of Eton", Time, New York, 27 November 1939.
  11. Nevill, p.125.
  12. Eton College Site Visit Report, 28 October 2000 at Retrieved on 22 October 2007.
  13. Halpin, Tony. "Independent schools face huge fines over cartel to fix fees", The Times, London, 10 November 2005.
  14. "OFT names further trustees as part of the independent schools settlement", Office of Fair Trading, 21 December 2006.
  15. School Website
  16. McConnell, p.30
  17. McConnell, pp.19-20
  18. McConnell, p.177
  19. Nevill, p.33.
  20. Nevill, p.34.
  21. The Eton Suit at British Schoolboy Uniforms.
  22. McConnell, p.70
  23. Nevill, p.6.
  24. McAllister, J.F.O. "A New Kind of Elite", Time, New York, 18 June 2006.
  25. McConnell, pp.70-76
  26. School Website
  27. School Website
  28. Hilton College Notes.
  29. Ian McKellen's Website - Notes on the Eton visit.
  30. Professor Kevin Warwick's page at the University of Reading.
  31. Eton College Society Timetable.
  32. Eton College Society roundup.
  33. McConnell, p.84
  34. McConnell, pp82-83
  35. McConnell, pp.85-9
  36. McConnell, p.42
  37. McConnell, pp.83-84
  38. "Cameron defiant over drug claims", BBC News Online, 11 February 2007.
  39. Nevill, p.9.
  40. Onyeama, Dilibe. Nigger at Eton, Leslie Frewin, London, 1972. ISBN 978-0-85632-003-3
  41. Cheetham, Anthony; and Parfit, Derek. Eton Microcosm, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1964.
  42. McConnell, pp.57-8
  43. Nevill, p.35.
  44. McConnell, pp.57,129-137
  45. McConnell, pp.59-62
  46. Welcome to Dorney Lake at Retrieved on 22 October 2007.
  47. Fowler's match, 1910 at
  48. Eton & Harrow match scorecard 1910 at
  49. "Cutting Edge" A Boy Called Alex (2008) at Internet Movie DataBase.
  50. Cutting Edge from
  51. Cutting Edge: A Boy Called Alex | Free Video Clips from Channel 4.
  52. "Beside Windsor", Time, New York, 9 January 2008.
  53. Nevill, p.25.
  54. Charities Act 1993, Schedule 2.
  55. Ranked by total annual income averaged over three years. Source:
  56. Eton College - Current Fees.
  57. Brent-Eton Summer School at Retrieved on 22 October 2007.
  58. "Harry teacher wins Eton tribunal", BBC News Online, London, 4 July 2005.
  59. "Eton response to sacked teacher ruling", BBC News Online, London, 4 July 2005.
  60. Brown, David. "Four pupils suspended over assault on playing fields of Eton", The Times, London, 14 March 2008.
  61. "Eton students suspended for 'sex attack' on girl, 13", Daily Mail, London, 14 March 2008.
  62. "Harry at Eton photos", CBS News.
  63. He was educated on a scholarship at Eton College, before earning a degree in History from the London School of Economics.
  64. Titles with locations including Eton College, Eton, Berkshire, England, UK at Internet Movie DataBase.
  65. Benedictus, David. The Fourth of June, Blond, London, 1962; Sphere, London, 1977. ISBN 978-0-7221-1588-6
  66. "Eton Choler", Time, New York, 16 November 1962.
  67. Locations Matching "Eton" at Retrieved on 22 October 2007.
  68. Flickr images tagged Eton College at Retrieved on 22 October 2007.
  69. Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College at Retrieved on 22 October 2007.
  70. A Yank at Eton, Internet Movie DataBase.


  • Nevill, Ralph, Floreat Etona: Anecdotes and Memories of Eton College, Macmillan, London, 1911.
  • McConnell, J. D. R., Eton - How It Works, Faber and Faber, London, 1967.

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