Balls, Boots and Players. Nottingham High School 1513-2013
Five hundred years ago Dame Agnes Mellers, with the help of Sir Thomas Lovell, Governor of Nottingham Castle, gained permission from a young Henry VIII to establish a new ‘free school’. Her donation of land and property, together with similar gifts from some eighty-six other benefactors in the town, including a baker, a fletcher, shoe-maker and tanner, inextricably linked the school to the town trustees. This union created stability and enabled her legacy to prevail. From the first, the school was the concern and pride of the inhabitants of the Nottingham.
By the late nineteenth century, the compact market town had become a sprawling and populous industrial city. Many former pupils were the engineers, businessmen and educationalists behind the establishment of the free libraries, societies, museums, and the University College that formed the economic, intellectual and social basis for Nottingham’s urban progress.
This exhibition explores the relationship between Nottingham High School and its community illustrated through the lives of the people who belong to it. From lace to Lawrence, from public service to sporting prowess, from groats to government grants, the history of the High School is inexorably intertwined with that of the city.