Latymer Prep School

School History



We are at a very exciting time in the history of Latymer Foundation, and although we are looking to the future, it is interesting to see where we have come from.

Edward Latymer founded Latymer Upper School in 1624. He was the son of the Dean of Peterborough. He did not follow his father into the Church, but, in due course, became Clerk to the Court of Wards and Liveries under Dr William Cecil who, as Lord Burghley, was Queen Elizabeth 1st’s chief minister. Edward died in 1627, a man of substance, but childless.

A careful reading of his will leaves the impression he was of a religious and charitable disposition, with a friendly feeling towards his fellow men. He left valuable gifts to his friends, but did not forget the poor and needy. The most relevant aspect of his will was his wish for what should happen to thirty acres of land that he had bought in and around the tiny village of Hammersmith.

Edward Latymer bequeathed the profits of this land for the education and clothing of eight poor boys, envisaging that these “Latymer boyes” would carry his name “unto the end of the world”. He instructed that the eight boys should learn to read and write English and be instructed “in some part in God’s true religion and thereby kept from idle and vagrant courses”. Those eight poor boys have now become boys AND girls.

Other benefactors have added to the original Foundation, notably Isaac le Gooch (1628-1685), King’s Jeweller to Charles II, whose bequest added five more boys to the eight Latymer boys.

In 1950 Latymer Upper School bought Rivercourt House. In 1951 the Prep School was established on the ground floor of Rivercourt House and the first Head was Mrs Wiggans. There were two classes, 1A and 1B. In 1956 the Great West Road was built through Latymer’s playground so the tunnel under the dual carriageway was constructed and the Prep playground was enlarged. By 1963 the Prep had doubled in size. The Prep became co-ed in 2003 in years 3 and 4 and in 2010 Latymer awarded the first Latymer Foundation bursary to a Prep pupil. Today we have around 175 pupils in the school.