Sunday, November 25, 2007

The High School of Dundee, informally Dundee High School, is one of Scotland's leading private, or independent schools, and the only such school in Dundee. Its foundation is dated to 1239. The Rector is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

High School of Dundee History
The School has its origins in the Grammar School of Dundee founded by the abbot and monks of Lindores Abbey after they were granted a charter by Gilbert, Bishop of Brechin, in the early 1220s to "plant schools wherever they please in the burgh". Their rights were confirmed by a Papal Bull conferred by Pope Gregory IX on 14th February 1239. It is from this Bull that the School's Latin motto "Prestante Domino", translated as "Under the Leadership of God", is taken.
Little information survives about the early Grammar School: it would have taught a Latin curriculum to boys from Dundee and the surrounding area. However, in 1434, the teaching methods of the Master, Gilbert Knight, were challenged by John, Bishop of Brechin, who conferred Laurence Lownan as the new Master in his place.
Dundee was a hotbed of the Reformation, and St Mary's Church had, according to John Knox, the first truly reformed congregation in Scotland. The School itself was the earliest reformed school in the country, having adopted the new religion in 1554 under the master, Thomas Makgibbon, with the assistance of the (by-now Protestant) Town Council. However, John, the Abbot of Lindores stepped in to take control of the School which his predecessors had founded, replacing Makgibbon nominally with the Vicar of St. Mary's, John Rolland, who was given the power to appoint substitutes. This he did, his substitutes opening schools in opposition to the Grammar School, poaching its pupils. In the ensuing furore the Town Council, which approved of Makgibbon's methods, intervened to prevent rival schools.
Among other early Masters was John Fethy, who left Scotland for Wittenberg from Dundee, having come into contact with Lutheran influences. He returned to Scotland in around 1532 "the first Organist that ever brought to Scotland the curious new fingering", that is, playing the organ with five fingers.
Early scholars included Hector Boece, historian and first Principal of the University of Aberdeen; William Wallace; and James, John and Robert Wedderburn, authors of The Gude and Godlie Ballatis, one of the most important literary works of the Scots Reformation.
After the Reformation, the Grammar School came under the auspices of the Town council. Greek was added to the curriculum shortly after 1562, under the Master Alexander Hepburn, who would author Grammaticae Artis Rudimenta Breviter et Dilucide Explicata, a Latin primer, in Dundee, and go on to teach the James Crichton, known as "The Admirable Crichton", at Dunkeld. Mary, Queen of Scots also made an annual grant to the School in 1563, from the revenues of the church.
The School moved into its first permanent home in 1589, a building in St Clement's Lane demolished to make way for the City Square in the 1930s. Pupils were expected to enter the School at the age of eight, and to stay for seven years, two years longer than in other Scottish schools: in 1773, this was reduced to the customary five, at which point the boy could go on to university. He had probably had only two teachers in all this time: each of the three assistants, known as doctors, taught one class for three years, after which the Rector would teach for two years.

The English School and Dundee Academy
For some years it had become apparent that the educational needs of the rapidly expanding Burgh were inadequately met by the three Burgh schools. In April 1829, a public meeting was held to consider the situation, where it was proposed to combine the schools within one building. The Town Council had also been reviewing the position: following deliberations, it was decided that "the Magistrates and Town Council and all classes of the community shall unite in joint efforts for enlarging and improving the means of education in Dundee". The schools hitherto under the patronage of the Council were to be reconstituted and handed over to a new body of Directors, of whom ten were chosen by the Council, and ten by the subscribers to the new buildings. Thus, the three schools were united in 1829 to form the Dundee Public Seminaries, and in 1832-4 the present School, to the design of Edinburgh architect George Angus, was built, a neo-classical building designed as part of the civic improvements in Dundee. The School was opened on the 1st October 1834. The total cost of the building, including the playground and enclosure (not completed until 1837) was £10,000, the greater portion of which was raised by public subscription. Though it had one building and one management, the three schools remained more or less distinct; conflicting claims for precedence led to no Rector being appointed. The centre was assigned to the Academy, the west wing to the Grammar School, and the east wing to the English School; the eight or nine Headmasters acted independently, but presided in rotation over a Censor's Court, which dealt with matters of common concern. In 1840, one of the Directors was to exercise general supervision over the School as Governor, or Superintending Director, with powers to "reform all abuses and irregularities".

Dundee Public Seminaries
In 1859, a Royal Charter granted by Queen Victoria changed the name of the school to the High School of Dundee. In 1877, a new curriculum for the School was introduced, and an inclusive fee charged: prior to this, pupils had attended such classes as they chose. The independent future of the School was threatened by the Education (Scotland) Act 1872, which made education compulsory and took over the running of parish schools from the Church of Scotland. Burgh as well as parish schools now came under School Boards run by local committees, and similarly ancient schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow were taken over by their respective Town councils. The situation was worsened by a similar Act in 1878, until an alumnus of the High School, William Harris, offered, in February 1881, to donate £30,000 for the purposes of Higher Education in Dundee on condition that the Board give up all claim to the School. This agreement was incorporated in an Act of Parliament, the William Harris Endowment and Dundee Education Act, 1882. This act led to the appointment of a single Rector of the High School, and the foundation of Harris Academy. Thanks to Miss Margaret Harris, who waived her right to a life-rent in her brother's estate, the Girls' School was built across Euclid Crescent in two stages between 1886 and 1890. A further act was passed in 1922, and the School's current constitution is enshrined in the High School of Dundee Scheme passed before the Court of Session in 1989.
The School church is Dundee Parish Church (St Mary's), continuing a tradition that has existed since the foundation of the Grammar School in the thirteenth century, and services and concerts are regularly held in the church.
The school has a total of 1052 pupils in prep-school and senior school. Fees for the 2006/2007 session range from £5841 to £8304 GBP. The School was recently among the first Scottish charities investigated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator for the public benefit derived from their tax-exempt status, and was judged to have demonstrated its charitable aims and "local and national benefit".

The High School of Dundee
The High School of Dundee is situated in seven buildings in the city centre: the Main Building (traditionally the Boys School); the Margaret Harris Building (the Girls School); the Robert Fergusson Building, housing the English department; Trinity Meadowside, a former church housing the hall, library and recording studio; Bonar House; Baxter House; and The Lodge.
There are also two main playing grounds, Dalnacraig and Mayfield in which sports such as hockey, tennis, rugby, football, cricket and athletics are played. Mayfield has undergone massive investment in recent years with new sports facilities, and is the home of Dundee High School Former Pupils' RFC. The school also holds an annual sports day at the Mayfield playing grounds in June where the four school houses compete against each other throughout the day.


William Wallace, (c.1270-1305), Scottish patriot
Hector Boece, (c.14651536), Historian, first Principal of the University of Aberdeen, (1500-1536)
William Hay c.1465-1542, Principal of the University of Aberdeen, (1536-1542)
James, John and Robert Wedderburn, James (c. 14951533), John (c. 15051556) and Robert Wedderburn (c. 1510–c.1555) religious reformers
Henry Scrimgeour (Scrymgeour), (1505?–1572), diplomat and book collector, Professor of Philosophy and Civil Law in the University of Geneva.
Sir Peter Young, (15441628), royal tutor and diplomat
Hercules Rollock, (c.15461599), lawyer and poet
George Gledstanes (Gladstanes), (c.15621615), archbishop of St Andrews
Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh (16361691), Lord Advocate, writer, founder of the Advocates' Library, the precursor to the National Library of Scotland
Rev Robert Kirk, (1644-1692), minister of Aberfoyle, translator of the Psalms into Gaelic, alleged to have been abducted by fairies
Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, (1731-1804) Admiral of the Royal Navy
George Dempster (17321818), lawyer and politician
Robert Fergusson, (17501774), poet
Robert Haldane (17641842), theological writer and evangelical patron
Sir James Ivory FRS (17651842)
James Haldane (17681851), Baptist minister and author
Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair, (17861861), army officer and Provost of St Andrews
James Ivory, Lord Ivory (17921866), judge
Thomas James Henderson (17981844), astronomer
Sir William Aitken (18251892), pathologist
William Edward Baxter, (18251890), politician and author
Sir Andrew Clark, first baronet (18261893), physician
Bruce James Talbert, (18381881), architect and designer
Robert Fleming, (18451933), financier
John Mitchell Keiller, (18511899), preserves and confectionery manufacturer
George Saunders, (18591922), journalist
David Coupar Thomson, (18611954), newspaper proprietor
Fred Miller, (1863-1924), editor of The Daily Telegraph, 1923-1924
Sir James Walker, (18631935), Professor of Chemistry at University College, Dundee, and the University of Edinburgh
Millar Patrick, (18681951), hymnologist and liturgist
William Thomas Calman, (18711952), zoologist, Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum
Norman Kemp Smith, (18721958), Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh
H. N. Brailsford, (1873- 1958) journalist and author
(Elizabeth) Hilda Lockhart Lorimer, (18731954), classical scholar
Colonel George Waterston Millar DSO, 1874-1955, army medic
Charles Coupar Barrie, 1st Baron Abertay, (18751940) politician
David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer, (18761962), diplomat and linguist
Preston Watson, (1880-1915), pioneer of aviation, argued to have made the world's first powered flight
Robert William Chapman (18811960), literary scholar and publisher
Sir Alexander Gray, (18821968), Jaffrey Professor of Political Economy at the University of Aberdeen and poet
William Laughton Lorimer (18851967), classical scholar and translator
John Scott Fulton, Baron Fulton (19021986), first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex and public servant
Walter Perry, (1921 - 2003) Lord Perry of Walton, first Vice-Chancellor of the Open University
Sir Alan Peacock (1922-), economist, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, (1983-1984)
Dave Duncan, (1933-) author
William Cullen, Baron Cullen of Whitekirk, (1935-), Lord President of the Court of Session, 2001-2005
Donald MacArthur Ross, Lord Ross, Lord Justice Clerk (19851997)
Iain MacMillan, (1938-2006), photographer
Finlay MacDonald, (1945-) Principal Clerk to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Moderator of the General Assembly (2002-2003)
Frank Hadden, (1954-), Scottish rugby coach
Andrew Marr, (1959-), journalist
A. L. Kennedy, (1965-) author
Andy Nicol, (1971-) Scottish rugby international
KT Tunstall, (1975), singer-songwriter
Jon Petrie, (1976-) Scottish rugby international

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