Brief history of The King's School

The King's School history - The first fifty years

The first fifty years

No institution has its genesis in a vacuum and The King's School is no exception. William Grant Broughton arrived in the Colony in 1829 and after surveying his clergy, concluded that New South Wales needed grammar schools of superior quality offering classical, mathematical and general studies, possibly similar to the education he received during his time at Cambridge. His Plan for the Establishment and Regulation of The King's School in New South Wales was placed before Governor Darling in 1830 and despatched to England. His Majesty's Government approved the creation of two Schools, one in Sydney which was to be short-lived, the other at Parramatta, the despatch arriving in March 1831, thereafter the foundation date for the School.

While the opening of The King's School on 13 February 1832 started somewhat inauspiciously with just three young boys in attendance, numbers quickly grew and by the end of the year, with numbers approaching a hundred, accommodation at the rented premises - now known as Harrisford in George Street Parramatta, was already stretched. Within three years, the School had moved to a new site supplied by the New South Wales government, on the banks of the river. Here, the School had a chequered existence, with scarlet fever, a depressed economy and fluctuating finances leading to a temporary closure in 1864 when a collapsing roof made the classrooms uninhabitable. Some students went to Macquarie Fields, where the Headmaster, Rev George Macarthur, once a pupil at The King's School, was destined to aid in the School's recovery.