King's College London
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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
16 boxes


Name of creator(s)

King's College London, Civil Service Department, founded 1875, Strand School, Strand, 1897-1913, Strand School, Brixton, from 1913

Administrative / Biographical history

The Strand School originated in the Evening Department of King's College London. The teaching of evening classes commenced there in 1848, but under Alfred Barry, Principal between 1868 and 1883, these were considerably extended to include several courses of an elementary or non-academic nature, including for example the Gilbart lectures on banking and evening workshop classes supported by the Clothworkers Company. In 1875 the government extended the range of the entry examination to the Civil Service and William Braginton set up private classes for those seeking entry into the lower grades. That year he suggested that a connection be established with King's College, allowing him to use rooms in the College and to benefit from its prestige. In the session 1875-1876, 172 young men were admitted and a Civil Service Department was established. At its peak in 1896-1897 it taught 1,533 young men, more than the total number of full-time academic students in King's College at that time. In 1881 agreement was reached that Braginton could also teach women aspirants for the Post Office and after a brief sojourn at Exeter Hall the women were taught in rooms of King's College School; they were to enter by the separate school entrance and be entirely cut off from King's College. In 1892 Braginton obtained permission to run a correspondence course and, more importantly, to establish day classes to prepare pupils wishing to compete for 'boy clerkships' and 'boy copyistships'. There being no more room in the College, premises were successively hired at no 4 Albion Place, Blackfriars Bridge, and then no 91A Waterloo Road. When King's College School moved to Wimbledon in 1897, the commercial school moved into the basement of King's College and became known as the Strand School. By this time the range of examinations for which pupils were prepared also included telegraph learners, excise and customs appointments, and assistant surveyorships. Braginton's pupils were very successful. In 1894 his pupils won 190 appointments out of 326 offered, in a field of 2,400 candidates. In 1895 they won 88 out of 125, in a field of 1,100. Now recognised as a high quality general commercial school, in 1900 London County Council (LCC) agreed that intermediate county scholarships could be held there. In 1905 it was also allowed to become a centre for the training of pupil teachers. In 1907, however, the Board of Education took the view that there was insufficient room for the school (then with 804 pupils) in the basement and threatened to withdraw its grants. The LCC undertook to provide new buildings in Brixton and in 1909 the government of the school was handed over to a committee on which the LCC was represented. It was a condition of the incorporation of King's College into the University of London, authorized by the King's College London Transfer Act of 1908, that the Civil Service classes for adults also be placed under separate control. Braginton agreed to make the necessary arrangements and in 1909 St George's College for women was established in Red Lion Square; St George's College for men was set up in Kingsway, numbering over a thousand students. Braginton jointly administered the two Colleges, resigning the Headmastership of the Strand School to be replaced by R B Henderson in 1910. Henderson supervised the school's move to Brixton in 1913. Strand School flourished for a number of years as a boys' grammar school and later merged with a nearby girls' school.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Most material comprises institutional records inherited by King's College London. Some of the more recent material was transferred to King's College London Archives via the school's old boys' association. Some items were given by former pupils of the school, including the addresses to William Braginton of 1909-1910. Keith Thomas White, an old boy, gave his 'History of Strand School'.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Records, c1869-1979, of the Strand School and its predecessors, comprising Headmaster's general and policy files, 1875-1977 (Ref: KSS/GPF); minutes of the Strand School, 1913-1938, and minutes relating to staff, 1957-1978, Houses of the school, 1942-1969, school societies, 1936-1957, parents' open evenings, 1956-1969, and conference of Headmasters and mistresses of London County Council (LCC) secondary schools, 1925-1952 (Ref: KSS/M); ledgers of pupils' accounts with the school, 1868-1908 (Ref: KSS/L); printed school accounts, 1910-1913 (Ref: KSS/ACC); registers containing staff details, 1893-1970, pupils' details, 1900-1925, 1931-1936, 1946-1979, and House records, 1933-1959 (Ref: KSS/R); Headmaster's albums of commended essays and artwork, 1912-1929 (Ref: KSS/ALB); record books of the Nature Society, 1909-1939, and sports record book, 1950-1956 (Ref: KSS/RB); programmes for school events, 1905-1912, 1950-1973, and school calendars, 1969-1977 (Ref: KSS/PRG); school magazines, 1905-1977 (Ref: KSS/PM); school prospectuses, 1915, 1938 (Ref: KSS/SYL); catalogues of books in Strand School and King's College use, c1869-c1894 (Ref: KSS/CA); bound addresses of thanks from staff and students to William Braginton, 1909-1910 (Ref: KSS/SP); private papers of Lt H Alnwick, comprising exercise books of plays written by him, 1924 (Ref: KSS/PP); ephemera including various invitation cards to school events, 1912, 1957-1968, a scheme for amalgamation of schools, 1906, regulations regarding management of the school, 1909, and the Strand School song and school rules, both undated (Ref: KSS/EPH); photographs, c1900-c1970 and undated, including school classes, staff, sports, portrait of William Braginton and the front of the Strand School, Brixton (Ref: KSS/PH); LCC's London School Plan and associated maps, 1947 (Ref: KSS/PBN); Keith Thomas White, 'History of Strand School, 1875-1913', written for MA in Science Education, Chelsea College, University of London, 1984 (Ref: KSS/TH).

System of arrangement

Arranged according to the form of the records, as indicated.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Please note: Records are closed for 80 years where information touches on the privacy of named individuals.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services, King's College London.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

List available in reading room at King's College London Archives. A summary description for the Headmaster's general and policy files (Ref: KSS/GPF) is available online.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

King's College London Archives holds the King's College Secretary's general administration files, containing papers, 1908-1911, on subjects including the separation of the Strand School from King's College London (Ref: KAS/AD2); the Strand School magazine, 1905-1973 (Ref: K/SER47).

Description control

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: list at King's College London Archives; F J C Hearnshaw, The Centenary History of King's College London 1828-1928 (George G Harrap & Company Ltd, London, 1929); AIM25 description for King's College London Archives, KAS/AD2.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Mar 2001

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  • Academic achievement
  • Accounting
  • Art education
  • Catalogues
  • Clubs
  • Commercial education
  • Communications media
  • Cultural education
  • Drama education
  • Economics of education
  • Educational administrative structure
  • Educational administrators
  • Educational associations
  • Educational finance
  • Educational institutions
  • Educational management
  • Educational organizations
  • Educational personnel
  • Educational policy
  • Evening schools
  • Finance
  • Financial administration
  • Information sciences
  • Leisure
  • Leisure time activities
  • Libraries
  • Maps
  • People
  • People by occupation
  • Periodicals
  • Personnel
  • Photographs
  • Publications
  • School clubs
  • School libraries
  • Schoolchildren
  • Schools
  • Secondary documents
  • Secondary school students
  • Secondary school teachers
  • Secondary schools
  • Sport
  • Student organizations
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Visual materials
  • Vocational education

Personal names

  • Alnwick, H, fl 1924, Pupil of the Strand School
  • Braginton, William, fl 1875-1910, Headmaster
  • White, Keith Thomas, fl 1984, Former pupil of the Strand School

Corporate names

  • King's College London College Archives
  • King's College London, Civil Service Department, founded 1875
  • LCC, London County Council


  • Brixton, London, England
  • City of Westminster, London, England
  • Lambeth, London, England
  • Strand, Westminster, London, England

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