Records of Bootham School, York

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 192 BOO
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      55 volumes

Scope and Content

The collection consists of an extensive series of school magazines, two printed school registers and three volumes of printed school reports.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bootham School was opened in 1823 as a private boarding school. It was was the idea of William Tuke (1732-1822), who had first raised the idea of establishing a boy's school in York for the sons of Quakers in 1818. The school was seen as a solution to the growing numbers of children who were not eligible for Ackworth School near Pontefract. Suitable premises were found in Lawrence Street in 1822 and leased from the Retreat Hospital (run by a Quaker Committee) and the school opened early the following year.

In January 1829 a Quarterly Meeting Committee was appointed to run the school, under the management of John Ford, the 'Superintendant of the Establishment'. It then became known as the Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting Boys' School. By 1833 the school was teaching 50 boys, and the following year it founded its natural history society, believed to be the first in the country. In 1846 the school moved to 20 Bootham, York, however it only became known as Bootham School in 1915. In 1891 the school began to admit boys whose parents were not members of the Society of Friends.

In 1899 a fire at the school destroyed most of the classrooms. The premises was rebuilt and reopened in 1902.

In 1939 the School was evacuated briefly to Ampleforth College, while the buildings at Bootham were prepared for conversion into a hospital.

In the post-war period the School has grown in size and stature. In 1983, it adopted a co-educational system and admitted girls. In 1997, Ebor School, a Junior School, was acquired. In 2002 this moved to a purpose built school and became known as Bootham Junior School. Today Bootham is part of the mainstream independent school system, however it retains its founding Quaker principles, which include the pursuit of learning through science, progressive and reforming ideas, a respect for the individual, creativity and independent thought, and a responsible social conscience.

Conditions Governing Access

Material is available subject to the usual terms and conditions of access to Archives and Local History collections.

Other Finding Aids

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Archivist's Note

Compiled by Laura Yeoman, Archives and Local History Public Services Manager, May 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Corporate Names