Merchiston Castle School is an independent school for boys in the suburb of Colinton in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has around 470 pupils and is open to boys between the ages of 7 and 18 as either boarders or day pupils; it was modelled after English public schools. It is divided into Merchiston Juniors (ages 7–13), Middle Years (ages 13–16) and a Sixth Form.
In May 1833, Charles Chalmers took a lease of Merchiston Castle (the former home of John Napier, the inventor of logarithms) — which at that time stood in rural surroundings — and opened his academy, starting with thirty boys.
Over time, the number of pupils grew and the Merchiston Castle became too small to accommodate the school. The governors decided to purchase 90 acres of ground at the Colinton House estate, four miles south-west of Edinburgh. In 1930 the school moved to Colinton.
Three years later, in 1933, Merchiston celebrated its centenary, attended by the Duke and Duchess of York. Fifty years on, in 1983, at a time of further expansion and with 350 boys on the roll, their daughter, now Queen Elizabeth II, visited the school for its 150th anniversary.
In 2014 81% of pupils achieved between A* and B at A Level.
A range of sports and activities is available at the school; particularly in rugby union, which over 60 Merchistonians have played at international level. The Merchistonian Football Club for former pupils of the School was a founder member of the Scottish Rugby Union and was involved in the very first rugby international, supplying three players. The former 1st XV coach, Frank Hadden, who was at the school from 1983-2000, was the head coach of the Scottish national team from 2005-2009. The school has won the Scottish Schools U18 Rugby Cup five times; 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008. Merchiston also participates, with the Edinburgh Academy, in the oldest continuous rugby football fixture in the world, the first being on 11 December 1858.
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Two previous staff members of the school are being investigated. According to Detective Inspector Morag Bruce, "Police in Edinburgh are carrying out enquiries into claims of historic abuse at Merchiston Castle School, which date back to the 1960s. "As a result of this ongoing investigation, two men, aged 62 and 69, have been charged and will appear at court at a later date."
James Rainy Brown, a teacher at the school was accused of lewd comments to pupils. He committed suicide shortly after being notified of the allegations.