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Cowbridge Grammar School

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Cowbridge Grammar School was one of the best-known schools in Wales until its closure in 1974. It was replaced by a comprehensive school.


Founded in the 17th century by Sir John Stradling and refounded by Sir Leoline Jenkins, it had close links with Jesus College, Oxford. The school took both boarders and day boys. Famous old boys include actor Anthony Hopkins and poet Alun Lewis.

The main school buildings were located in Church Street, Cowbridge. Derelict for some years, they have now been converted into residential accommodation. The school also occupied part of Old Hall, now an adult education centre.


Cowbridge Grammar School was founded in 1608 by Sir John Stradling and owned by Jesus College, Oxford from 1685 to 1918. Sir Leoline Jenkins, Secretary of State to Charles II, purchased the school and bequeathed it to Jesus College in his will. It became Cowbridge Comprehensive School in 1973-4. What used to be the grammar school's main building, dating from 1852, was converted into residential accommodations beginning in 2006 and completed in 2008.

In 1881, Edward Treharne, who represented the school, was chosen to play in the first international game for the Wales rugby union team.

The Grammar School Old Boys' Association, in conjunction with the school's successor, Cowbridge Comprehensive, held a series of activities in September 2008 to mark the 400th anniversary of "the start of quality education" in Cowbridge.

Notable former pupils

The following old boys are listed in date order

  • Evan Seys (1604–1685) — Attorney general to Cromwell; MP for Glamorgan and Gloucester; Recorder of Gloucester; Exclusionist and Proto-Whig
  • Sir Leoline Jenkins (1625–1685) — Secretary of State to Charles II; MP for Hythe and for the University of Oxford; Judge of the High Court of the Admiralty; second founder of the school; Principal of Jesus College, Oxford
  • John Pettingall (1707/8–1781) — Antiquarian and clergyman
  • David Durell (1728–1775) — Old Testament Scholar; Principal of Hertford College, Oxford; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford
  • George Cadogan Morgan (1754–1798) — Scientific writer (notably on electricity); republican and dissenting minister
  • Sir John Nicholl (1759–1838) — Lawyer and politician: Tory MP, Privy Councillor, King's Advocate, Dean of the Arches, Judge of the High Court of the Admiralty
  • Sir William Nott (1782–1845) — General for the East India Company; Commander in the first Afghan War 1838-42; Resident at Lucknow
  • Evan Evans (1813–1891) — Master of Pembroke College; Oxford and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford
  • William Thomas (Islwyn) (1832–1878) — Methodist minister and Bard (Welsh-language poet)
  • Sir Lewis Morris (1833–1907) — Writer and poet; a founder of the University of Wales; radical Liberal
  • Edward Treharne (1862–1904) — Pioneering Welsh rugby international and medical man
  • Sir (William John) Andrew Jones (1889–1971) — Colonial administrator (Chief administrator of Northern Territories, Gold Coast)
  • Glanville Williams (1911–1997) — Professor of English Law at Cambridge
  • Alun Lewis (1915–1944) — Poet and soldier
  • Sir Idwal Pugh (1918–2010) — Second Permanent Secretary at Department of the Environment; Ombudsman; Director & Chairman of banks and building societies
  • J.M.W. Bean (1928–2012) — Mediaeval historian
  • Sir Thomas Philip Jones (1931–2000) — Deputy Secretary at Department of Energy; Chairman of the Electricity Council; Company Director
  • Keith Rowlands (1936–2006) — Welsh rugby international; First Chief Executive Officer of the International Rugby Board
  • Richard Grassby (born 1936) — Early modern historian
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins (born 1937) — Actor/filmstar
  • Patrick Hannan (1941–2009) — Journalist, author and presenter
  • William Tudor John (born 1944) — Deputy Chairman of Nationwide Building Society since 2007; Chairman of Lehman Brothers (Europe) 2000–2008
  • David Richard Hughes (born 1951) — Newspaper executive and chief leader writer, Daily Telegraph
  • Hedley Benyon (born 1936) - Former president of Rugby Canada
  • References

    Cowbridge Grammar School Wikipedia

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