unam libertam scolam gramaticalem in bostona – The “School Charter” – its place in our history and its meaning for our future.

January 19, 2018 @ 1:45 pm – 3:30 pm
The Old School (Library)
Rowley Road
Daniel Elkington

Charter Talk

unam libertam scolam gramaticalem in bostona

The “School Charter” – its place in our history and its meaning for our future.

The school charter is one of the great icons of BGS. The annual Charter Day celebrations, along with the school song Floreat Bostona, the three crowns and Beastmart, is a cherished part of our common identity.  But what is this document?  In fact, neither a “charter” nor a blueprint for a school on the Mart Yard, it was only one of a number of legal enactments which led to the establishment of what is still BGS.

This talk will begin with a tour of the document itself, exploring what it is, and what this densely scripted, off-brown single page can reveal of the intrigues, land-grabs, executions and upheavals which affected Boston in the turbulent and dangerous period of English history in which the school was born. It will then look at what it was the early pupils studied – a curriculum based on Latin grammar rooted in an educational tradition going back through the Middle Ages to the Romans.  Why was Latin so central to education?  What did this education mean to the early pupils?  The school was also founded at one of the most important and dynamic periods of change in the history of English education.  What can this tradition mean to us today?  Is there a case for studying Latin in the twenty-first century?

While a number of thoroughly researched books now offer detailed histories of Boston and of BGS, this talk will aim to set the history of the ‘charter’ and of our school in the national and international contexts which affected its growth and survival, and which the school has in turn affected through its generations of alumni, and will suggest that the continuity of education here on this site over the centuries offers something far more important than pretty heritage or nostalgia to the town and to its pupils.

Dr Julian Haseldine attended BGS between 1977 and 1984, before going on to study history at St Peter’s College, Oxford, and to study for his PhD in Medieval History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He is currently Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Hull.


The talk will commence at 14:00 BST and should last around an hour, with questions to be taken at the end.

There is no fee to enter per se however, we will be asking for donations to the BGS Alumni Association to raise funds to support school alumni in need. To see what we do, please click here.

That said, space is strictly limited, so please CLICK HERE TO BOOOK YOUR PLACE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.