There is evidence that a school stood in the same area as EGS, Enfield Chantry School, from c. 1398–1558, and is the predecessor of Enfield Grammar School. The school has its origins in the 1462 will of Agnes Myddleton, which left an estate at Poynetts in Essex to set up a chantry chapel in St Andrew’s church. The chantry priest, who later also became a teacher, chanted prayers for the souls of the donor, her parents and her four husbands.
Early in the 16th century the funds from the Poynetts estate were converted to support a school. In 1516 the parish acquired Prounces house, behind the King’s Head, for the school master and in 1557 a school house is first mentioned. William Garrett’s 1586 bequest of £50 helped the parish to build the present Grade II listed Tudor three storey red brick school in the 1580/90s, at a total cost of over £400. Initially, the upper floors were used for parish meetings. This building was sometimes referred to as the Old Hall and is still part of our current school.
Until 1967 EGS remained a grammar school. In that year, it was amalgamated with Chace Boys School to form a comprehensive school which retained the name Enfield Grammar School. The two schools were separated again in 1970, but both remained comprehensive. Chace Boys School has since become co-educational and has changed its name to Chace Community School.
The school motto, ‘Tant Que Je Puis’ Old French for ‘As much as I can’ , which is incorporated in the school badge / crest was adopted from the family of Dr. Robert Uvedale who was master from 1664 to 1676.
The school has a house system for some internal sporting activities and pupil awards and achievements. The names of the houses are Forty, Myddelton, Poynetts, Raleigh, St. Andrew’s and Uvedale. See The Houses page for more information.
For a significant period, when the school was a selective one up to the end of the 1960s, the houses were the basis of a wide range of other competitive internal activities such as drama, debating, competitive sports (including shooting).
William Bradshawe 1558 – 1600 – the very first headmaster
Thomas Taylor 1600 – 1606 – received 14s to take over from Bradshawe and serve as headmaster
Richard Ward 1606 – 1647 – 1621 the master was to receive £20 a year and was to teach the children of the inhabitants of Enfield the cross-row or alphabetical letters, writing, grammar, and arithmetic. Prouns’ house, adjacent to the school, which had been purchased by the parish in 1516, became the master’s house
Dr. Robert Uvedale 1664 -1676 – was a well-known Botanist as well as a classical scholar. The school adopted his family coat of arms and motto – “Tant Que Je Puis”…”As Much As I Can”. He.. established a private school in the manor-house and attracted more boarders and day pupils from a higher class than previously. The parishioners accused him of neglecting the grammar school; although he won his case he decided to resign and devote his time to his private pupils and his botanical studies.
William Nelson 1678 – 1700
Thomas Harper 1700 – 1721
The Revd. John Davis 1721 – 1732
The Revd. John Allen 1732 – 1761 – (part of the school turned into a boarding school) He was such a successful headmaster that the school was extended. The vestry gave up the upper part of the school-house, which was then fitted up for boarders, and a new 3 storey master’s house was added to the left of building in 1739
The Revd. Daniel Shipton 1761 – 1762
The Revd. Samuel Hardy 1762 – 1791 – was an author and theologian, In 1779 he established the dimensions of a cedar tree planted by Uvedale and for many years a local landmark (plaque can be seen outside Pearsons in the pedestrian area of Palace Gardens). During this period the school suffered financially.
The Revd. John Milne 1791- 1831 – There were about 110 boys, aged 7 to 14, all the sons of parishioners both rich and poor alike. They were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic; geography, mathematics, and classics were available for those willing and able to profit from their study. The parents provided the books and stationery, but there were no fees. in 1825 a new scheme was drawn up for the government of the school. The master was to receive a salary of £120 a year, but if the number of boys fell below 60 his salary was to be cut by one-third. There were to be three hours of teaching each morning and afternoon; instruction was to be given in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and the master and boys were to attend church on Sundays and prayer days.
James Emery 1831 – 1846 – There was an unsuccessful case against him for neglect of duty and he was eventually “bought out” by….
Charles Chambers 1847 – 1874 – He, again, did not prove to be a very successful headmaster and hung on to his post against the will of the trustees. The school found itself in financial difficulties. There were then 75 boys who were taught the elementary subjects and history, grammar, and geography. There was no Latin, French, or drawing, nor were there examinations or prizes; the books were antiquated, the school was badly organised, and the buildings were unsatisfactory. School fees were introduced in 1872.
After a long period of decline, when much of the endowment was spent on law suits between the parish and masters, Enfield Grammar closed in 1872. The Poynetts estate was sold and £1000 was spent on renovating the school The Georgian windows were replaced with the present neo-Tudor ones and the upper floors were converted into classrooms. This 1880 photograph shows the restored school, with the late 14th century Prounces house on the far left. The school reopened in January 1876 with 11 boys
J Jackson 1875 (Appointed – did not serve)
W.G. Macdonald 1876 – 1877 – The curriculum included mathematics, history, geography, French, natural science, and vocal music, for a fee of £6 a year; Latin, German, and drawing were extras at £1 a year for each subject.
W.S. Ridewood 1877 – 1909 – Pupils increased to 159 and the buildings extended. In 1908 the school passed under the control of the County Council. In 1894 the South Block was erected with the aid of a grant from the Middlesex County Council, and six years later the 18th-century Assembly Rooms were purchased; these additions provided laboratories, a library, a staff room, and several classrooms.
In 1908 the school passed under the control of the County Council.
Mr Edwin M Eagles 1909 – 1934 – The school continued to grow and in 1909 a new hall and three more classrooms were erected 1924 purchased Enfield Court (now known as Lower School) – housing the juniors and the grounds became the playing fields).
L.C. Soar 1934-1964 – 1938 building of the new hall began (Main Hall at Upper) plus other additions; classrooms, new library, science labs. Under the 1944 Education Act the school became a voluntary controlled school. In 1964, when there were 778 pupils, Mr Soar retired.
Dr. L. Whitworth 1964 – 1980
Malcolm McAlpine 1980 – 1987
David Thomas 1987 – 1995
David Daniels 1995 – 2001 (sadly passed away August 2020)
Michael C. Weeks 2001 – 2006
John Kerr 2006 – 2017
Mr Chris Lamb 2017 – present
A war memorial dedicated to the former pupils of a school who died in the Second World War
The memorial at Enfield Grammar School (Upper School site) commemorates the 11 staff and old boys of the school who lost their lives service the country.
During the war, a Master at the school, Mr HW Mabbott, kept a journal of all Old Boys and Staff who served. Following the end of the war, he placed an advertisement in the local press on several occasions 1946-47, announcing the intention of placing a permanent memorial at the school, as had been the case after the Great War, where 96 Old Boys died in the service of their country. For reasons unknown to this day, nothing came of it.
Hon. Sec (later Life Vice-President) of the Enfield Grammar Old Boys Association, David Cooper, revived the idea and a lot more information was gathered; but momentum could not be maintained.
Shortly before David died in 2015, he passed the file on to the current Hon. Secretary, David Malleson. Mr Malleson said: “To enable this memorial to be placed in the School as a permanent reminder to current pupils and Old Boys alike, is testament to the attachment that many Old Boys still feel towards their school, and how important the topic of Remembrance is still today, 70 years on from the end of the Second World War.’
Plans were made and an appeal for funds was launched. Within weeks, over £1,000 had been pledged by Old Boys and friends, sufficient to commission the work.
Mr Malleson added: “A Roll of Honour has also been produced with as much information as could be obtained on their service from the Commonwealth War Grave Commission, historical associations and through local sources and archive material.
“Old Boys served in almost every theatre of the war, from the Battle of Britain, the Western Desert, the Far East (including many taken as Prisoners of War at Singapore and Hong Kong), Bomber Command, and following the D-Day landings in 1944 to the end of the war.”
Academics / Professors / Authors / Poets / Journalists
Tom Latchem – Broadcaster, writer, journalist; BBC, Sky, Channel 4 & 5, News of the World, Daily Mail, Loaded, The Spectator
Joseph ‘Joe’ Ambrose Banks – Professor of Sociology at Leicester University, academic author (1920 – 2005)
John Coote – (1936-2017) Professor of Physiology at the University of Birmingham
Professor Jeffrey A Jupp – University of Manchester, Aerospace Research Institute, Non-executive Director on the Board of Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, joint holder of the 1987 Royal Society “Esso Energy Award” Gold Medal (for the design of fuel efficient wings for Airbus), Royal Aeronautical Society 1992 British Bronze Medal and 2002 Society Gold Medal
Henry Wells Sullivan – Professor of Spanish Literature, Tulane University, New Orleans; author; poet; translator, Guggenheim Fellow (1985), Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (1978-80)
Professor Philip Tew – Academic author and scholar, Brunel University, Fellow Royal Society of Arts, Member Royal Society of Literature
Frederic Wood Jones – Professor of Anatomy Manchester and Melbourne universities, naturalist, anthropologist, public speaker, trustee Public Library, Museum and National Gallery, Victoria, Australia
Derek Austin – Librarian; author; developer of innovative digital cataloguing systems, creator of PRECIS indexing language in 1974; Supernumerary Fellow Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. Royal Signal Corps 1941–6
Alan G. Walker – Author; Director of Education at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists; recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Western England, 2002
Geoffrey Soar – Passed 2014) Essayist, librarian, former curator Small Press Collection at University College London (UCL) Library and painter
Graham Handley – Author and lecturer (born 1926)
Norman Lewis – Author, influential British journalist, travel writer (1908-2003)
Keith Chapman – Genre novelist, author of Black Horse Westerns under pseudonym Chap O’Keefe; journalist, author (born 1943)
Bob Cobbing – Avant-garde soundtext poet, performer and publisher; manager famous underground Better Books on Charing Cross Road in 1960s; founding member and vice president Association of Little Presses; council member Poetry Society; 1920-2002
Jim Crace – Prize-winning English novelist, former journalist
David Eames – Esquire Bedell to the Chancellor of the University of London, HRH The Princess Royal; formerly Secretary and Registrar of the University’s Faculty of Medicine
Walter Pater – nineteenth-century essayist, critic
Science / Medical
Sir Alec Merrison – D.L., B.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., LL.D., F.F.C.M., F.R.S., physicist; Institute of Physics’ Charles Vernon Boys Prize 1961; Vice-Chancellor Bristol University (1969 to 1984); Director of Lloyds Bank; Fellow of the Royal Society; High Sheriff of Avon 1986-1987
Walter George Ridewood – Biologist, anatomist after whom a method of cranial dissection is named (1864 – 1921) [published five important papers on the cranial osteology of teleostean fishes]. He was the son of W. S. Ridewood who was headmaster from 1877 to 1909
Professor Mike Paterson, F.R.S.- Computer scientist, University of Warwick
Daniel Phillips – Footballer for Watford FC 2020
Michael Duberry – Association Football player – Michael Wayne Duberry is an English former professional footballer who played as a centre-back. He started his career with Premier League side Chelsea, and also played in the top flight for Leeds United and Reading, and in the Scottish Premier League for St Johnstone
Steve Morison – Association Football player. Steven William Morison is a former professional footballer who played as a striker. He is currently Cardiff City’s under-23 lead coach. Morison started his career at Northampton Town at the age of 16, progressing through the club’s centre of excellence inc Stevenage Borough F.C.
Kevin Stewart – Footballer for Hull City
Jake Livermore – Footballer for West Bromwich Albion. Played for England. He began his career at Tottenham Hotspur, spending most of his tenure out on loan at clubs in all three divisions of the English Football League.
David Hutton – Footballer. English born Irish footballer who plays for Hayes & Yeading United. He has also been capped by the Republic of Ireland at Under-15 and 16 level. He helped the school (EGS) football team win the Middlesex Cup. He joined the Tottenham youth academy in 2006–07
Michael J. Smith – Cricketer. Played most of his cricket as an opening batsman for Middlesex County Cricket Club. Together with Mike Brearley he formed a successful opening partnership. He also played five One Day Internationals for England in 1973 and 1974.
Colin Metson – First class cricketer for Middlesex and Glamorgan
Christo Kasabi – international rugby union player for Cyprus. Player for Enfield Ignatians
Mason Caton-Brown, also known by the nickname of “MCB”, is a Jamaica international rugby league footballer who plays as a winger or centre. He has previously played for the London Broncos in the Super League, and on loan from the Broncos at the Hemel Stags in League 1 Rugby League
Trevor Peacock – Actor screenwriter, and songwriter. Appeared in numerous films and series but he is best known for playing Jim Trott in the BBC comedy series The Vicar of Dibley, alongside Dawn French
Boris Karloff – Actor, aka Eric Pratt – has appeared in over 45 films (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Karloff_filmography), some of the most famous; being Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein
John Francis Picard – Jazz musician (Trombone player) – Picard starting learning music in 1941 by taking lessons on the piano aged 7. Served in the RAF, member of the London Jazz Big Band, Rocket 88 and later the Charlie Watts Big Band
Terry Lightfoot – Jazz bandleader and musician, played alongside Louis Armstrong; British Music Industry Award For Excellence for CD “The Special Magic of Louis Armstrong” l996; Gold Badge Award from the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters 2000
Robin Millar – Successful record producer, for Sade’s “Diamond Life” album, Everything But The Girl’s “Eden”, and for the Style Council, Randy Crawford, the Christians and Fine Young Cannibals; Brit Awards Judge since 1993
Oliver Leith – Composer, Doctoral Composer in Residence at the Royal Opera House 2019, British Composer Award 2016, Royal Philharmonic Composition prize 2014
Vernon Handley – Conductor
Ronald Edward Perrin – Organist
Tion Wayne – Rapper
Frank Bayford – Pharmacist, English composer, co-founder Compass Composers Association, From 1993 President of Enfield Chamber Orchestra (orig. Enfield String Players) & joint artistic director from 2005
Politician / Political
Mizanur Rahman – Islamic activist
Mark Tami – Politician
Andrew Turnbull – Baron Turnbull, KCB , CVO, former head of the British Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary; life peer as Baron Turnbull, of Enfield, on 11 October 2005
Hugh Jenkins – Later Baron Jenkins of Putney, politician, member of National Theatre Board, chairman of CND, elevated to Life Peerage, Lord Jenkins of Putney; July 27, 1908 – January 26, 2004
Leonard Vivian Biggs (1873 – 1944) – Journalist and politician in Melbourne, Australia
Derek Taunt – Mathematician, codebreaker (Hut 6, Bletchley Park), successively Lecturer, Director of Studies, Bursar and President, Jesus College, Cambridge
Martin Cole – Controversial ‘sexologist,’ directed, produced and performed in the explicit, once infamous educational film “Growing Up” (1971)
Lewis Vieusseux – Founder and Principal of Melbourne Ladies’ College, Australia, pioneering nineteenth-century educator of women, civil engineer, architect, surveyor
Maddox, L. G. Second-Lieutenant , MC with Bar, 22nd (Queen’s) London Regt.; born Nov 1st 1898; attended EGS 1907 – Nov 1915. Joined up Feb 1918 – awarded MC for ‘Conspicuous Gallantry and Devotion to Duty’ – killed Combles August 30th 1918. See: Smith, Samuel. (ed.) “Enfield Grammar School Book of Remembrance: The Great War, 1914 – 1919”. Enfield: Meyer Brooks, nd.
John Morrell Band (1902-1943) – Naval officer
Stuart Gebble – Entrepreneur
Peter Joseph Hobbs – Marketing manager of BOC Murex, Managing Director 1965 – 1992 UK subsidiary of the Swedish welding and cutting company ESAB, from 1980 Hobbs fellow of Welding Institute, Cambridge, awarded distinguished service award 1998
Alan Hopes – The Right Reverend, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Roman Catholic bishop
Jack Howe – Architect (influenced by Walter Gropius), designer: Royal Designer for Industry in 1961; Master of the Faculty of RDIs, 1975-77; President of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers in 1963-64; recipient Duke of Edinburgh’s Design Prize in 1969
Sir Peter Large – Shell executive until 1962, disabled by polio; subsequently Civil Servant; disability campaigner; founded Association of Disabled Professionals, parliamentary adviser; appointed MBE 1974, CBE 1987, knighted 1993 for services to disabled people,; 2004 lifetime achievement award from the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation
Christopher Hughes – Quiz champion. Worked as a train driver and railway worker. He has been a winner of Mastermind (1983), International Mastermind (1983) and Brain of Britain, 2005. He is one of only five people ever to have won both Mastermind and Brain of Britain. He also appeared on The Weakest Link (host Anne Robinson declared Hughes to be “the best contestant we have had on the Weakest Link). He is currently a member of the regular panel of quiz champions on the UK quiz show Eggheads
Oliver G Pike – Pioneering wildlife photographer, British naturalist, author and early nature documentary pioneer, specialising in the study of bird life
Peter Gross – Assistant Headteacher, Enfield Grammar School, Maths teacher. Received a New Years Honour 2013 for services to Education
…..the above list is and will always be…..a “work in progress”!…..
*Information researched and images from / credit to plus more information at;
British History Online / The Enfield Independent / Enfield Local Studies & Archive / EGS Archives / Local Facebook groups / Friends of the school / Wikipedia / www.23hq.com/robkittle / www.harris-bristol.com/egs / The Enfield Society / www.enacademic.com / www.everything.explained.today
A Short History of the Enfield Grammar School by Samuel Smith, 1932
A Brief History of Enfield Grammar School 1558-1958 by Leslie Birkett Marshall, 1958