Liverpool College was the first of many public schools founded in the Victorian Era. The foundation stone of the original building was laid on 22 October 1840 by Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby K.G. (then the Rt. Hon. Lord Stanley MP), the first patron of the College. The original school was in Shaw Street, the buildings were designed by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, the architect of St George's Hall, and was erected at a cost of £35,000. . The buildings later became Liverpool Collegiate and are now apartments.
|The original College on Shaw Street|
The College was opened on 6 January 1843 by the Right Hon. William Ewart Gladstone, who was later a four time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the same distinguished son of Liverpool showed his interest in the College by delivering a second great speech in the hall on founders’ day in 1857. The College consisted of 3 institutions – Upper, Middle and Lower Schools. While these schools were under the control of one and the same Principal, they were kept entirely separate. The Lower, or commercial School, was intended for boys who were to go into business houses at an early age. The Middle School combined literary and scientific training, with special attention to modern languages for boys leaving for business or the professions. The Upper School was a first grade public school with leaving exhibitions for Oxford and Cambridge. Though the schools were distinct in theory and fact, the foundation was unique, in that the Principal was empowered to nominate a certain number of promising boys for entrance to a higher school on the terms of the lower.
Liverpool College has occupied 3 Sites since its foundation in 1840, which is unusual for a public school. The Upper School of what was then officially called ‘Liverpool Collegiate’ (since 1863), was moved from Shaw Street to Lodge Lane, Sefton Park in 1884 through the efforts of Rev. Selwyn. The erection of new school buildings started in 1887 and were completed in 1890. The first instance of a site in Mossley Hill occurred in 1896 where several acres were purchased as playing fields with the present pavilion being built in 1905. All ties with the Original building were severed in 1907 when it was sold to the Liverpool Corporation, and the masters and boys of the Middle and Lower schools remained to form the Liverpool Collegiate School. From 1917-36 more land and buildings were purchased at the Site in Mossley Hill. The Junior wing (presently Mossley Vale) was opened by Lord Stanley and the foundation stone of St.Peter’s chapel was laid by Mr. H. Sutton Timmis, Chairman of the governors.
|The College Buildings and Grounds in the 1930s|
The school is set in twenty-six acres and comprises a mixture of large Victorian merchants' houses and purpose-built facilities including a Chapel and Swimming Pool. The College also has a Technology Centre, a large Sports Hall, Information and Communication Technology suites and completely refurbished Science Laboratories.
The Coat of Arms has been in use since 1840 and reflects The College's mission and values: "A shield bisected horizontally, with a bishop’s mitre as crest- in the shield, a royal crown on a cushion, backed by crossed crook and sceptre, and an open book". Thus the arms are symbolic of Church, State and Education.
Non Solum ingenii verum etiam virtutis
Not only the Intellect but also the Character
The motto (taken from the writing of Cicero) means 'Not only the intellect but also the character'. This reflects the aim of the College to educate the whole person, combining the traditional values of honesty, integrity and citizenship with a determination to meet the individual needs of pupils so they may realise their full potential.
There was a long tradition of saying grace at the college. It is no longer in active use in the college, but the wording was:
Oculi omnium in te sperant, domine, et tu das escam illorum in tempore opportuno. Tui sunt caeli et tua est terra, orbem terrae et plenitudinem eius tu fundasti. Confitemini, domino, quoniam bonus quoniam in aeternam, misericordia eius.
The translation is as follows:
The eyes of all men wait upon thee, O Lord, for thou givest them their meat in due season. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine, as for the world and the fullness thereof thou has founded them. O confess unto the Lord that he is good, that his mercy endureth for ever.
So be it [Amen]
The Old Lerpoolians Society was founded in 1894 to enable former pupils of the Upper School of Liverpool College to keep in contact, enjoy good fellowship and continue to support the School. This continues to be our aim today.
Liverpool Records Office
By Robert F Edwards