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September 16, 2019

John Colet 500 – A Celebration of our Founder

Today, Monday 16 September, is the 500th anniversary of the death of the school’s founder, John Colet, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Over the coming weeks and months, the school will be marking this anniversary with a series of events involving all our pupils across St Paul’s School and St Paul’s Juniors.

Last week at the Joint concert, the Choirs of St Paul’s School and St Paul’s Girls’ School performed “Foundations” a choral piece putting John Colet’s vision to music. From 16 September to 3 October, there will be a number of events, including assemblies, talks and displays around school to mark this occasion.

The Library has on display a number of rare books and artefacts, including a number images of John Colet, his Precepts for the School and a document with an original signature of Erasmus. Below are original documents shared from the school archives.

Top image: The front cover of John Colet’s Ordinances (c.1509-1519), outlining his plans for the school.

Prologue: A page from John Colet’s Ordinances. This one relates to the children and outlines how the children are expected to behave, that they should be literate, and contains the iconic line “There shall be taught in the school children of all nations and countries indifferently, to the number of 153”

Precepts: These are John Colet’s ‘Preceptes for lyvynge’ [Precepts for Living] and were his proposed ways of living a good life. This is a photograph of the precepts as featured in a 1724 book The Life of Dean Colet by Knight.

Articles of Admission: This is a modern transcript of what is featured on the Prologue.

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