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.
William Yates arrived at LGS 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.