King's College London
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In the Beginning ...

First headmaster

King's College School opened in 1831 and was very successful. Pupil numbers swelled from 85 in 1831 to around 500 in 1834. This was in no small measure due to the leadership of its first Headmaster, John Major, who served from 1831 until 1867.

A classics scholar who had studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, before embarking on a career as a schoolmaster, his great achievement lay in translating the vague plans of the College Provisional Committee to bequeath a successful and thriving institution. Among the problems that he faced were enforcing discipline among day students, acute shortage of space and overcrowding of pupils with the school's success.

Major was very well paid for his troubles: initially receiving Ā£5 5s per annum per pupil, making him the highest paid member of the College staff. Rapid staff changes, a somewhat outmoded classical curriculum and the attractions of rival suburban schools all resulted in a steady decline in pupil numbers from the 1850s, however.

King's College School eventually relocated to its present premises in Wimbledon in 1897.

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