Long-standing tradition aside, we believe our Houses play a valuable role in giving our boys a sense of belonging and collective pride, encouraging keen competition and an appreciation of fellowship which will serve them well throughout life.
The current four House system of Abney, Davys, Pulteney and Yates was established in 1991 but echos the deep history of the School. Each House name celebrates an extraordinary character who was educated in the School’s original home in the churchyard of the Parish Church and dating back as far as 1590.
Thomas Abney lived in Derbyshire and was just seven when in 1646 his father decided to send him to Loughborough Grammar School whilst under the care of his aunt. He did not go to university but headed instead to London and 50 years later, having survived both the plague and the fire, became the first Governor of the Bank of England then Mayor of London and then our first MP.
For George Davys, living in what is now Caravelli’s restaurant here in Loughborough, it was only a very short walk to school which he entered in 1789. He soon showed brilliance and after Cambridge University and being ordained as a Deacon, he faced his biggest challenge when appointed Tutor to a ‘spoiled, self-willed little exhibitionist four year old who was out of her mother’s control’. This was Princess Victoria, who he tutored until she became Queen 14 years later. He then became our first Bishop, as Bishop of Peterborough and laid the foundation stone on this site in 1850.
That Richard Pulteney arrived here in 1737 was nothing short of a miracle since he was one of 13 children and the only one to reach maturity. As an Anabaptist his religion debarred his entry into universities and he became firstly an apprentice and then qualified in apothecary, before becoming a doctor. However, by the age of 17, he had completed a study of the flora of Charnwood Forest consisting of 186 pages and 51 water colour plates. The study of botany and also shells in his spare time produced many similar books and led to him being made a Fellow of the Royal Society…his herbarium still resides in the British Museum.
William Yates is the last to arrive, also as a 7 year old, in 1799 but by the age of 11 had shown no particular aptitude for learning and so left the school to join his father as a shoemaker. A Baptist, he became a convinced Christian and was baptised at the age of 14. With a desire to preach he returned to the school to receive four hours of tuition a day in Latin and Greek from the Headmaster, Edward Shaw, until he left. He continued his studies under Shaw’s successor but his ability now outstripped that of the Headmaster and he left to teach. Although known as a missionary, fundamentally he was a brilliant linguist and became fluent in Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindustani, Bengali, Hindi, Persian and Arabic. He translated large numbers of texts from the bible into these languages, including the whole bible from the original Greek into Bengali.
House points are awarded (40, 30, 20, 10) for 1st to 4th in activities – both as teams and as individuals.
The results are announced in each weekly House Assembly and at the end of Term the Senior House Master gives a speech in the whole School assembly to report on the current situation of numbers of points per House. He also reports on all the events and activities that have taken place.
Each year group has its own House competition and the results are put onto a large wooden board outside Hodson Hall. There are about 120 events each year and some of these are sports based and some are more cerebral including debating, photography, bridge and chess. 70% of boys participate in at least one event per year and some do much more.