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Bishop Cotton School – Shimla

Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, is one of the oldest boarding schools in Asia, having been founded on 28th July, 1859, by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, son of an army captain, who died leading his regiment in battle. A scholar of Westminster and a graduate of Cambridge, in 1836 he were appointed Assistant Master at Rugby by Doctor Thomas Arnold, one of the founders of the British Public School system. It was the young Mr. Cotton who is spoken of as the ‘the model young master’ in Thomas Hughes’ famous book Tom Brown’s School Days.

The school opened for students on 15th March, 1863. Though mentioned in correspondence as the Simla Public School, it never actually bore this name. The first boy, Frederick Naylor, joined the school on 16th March, 1863, creeping like a snail, unwilling to school, watched by the staff in curiosity and amusement.

Bishop Cotton personally reconnoitred ten sites in September and October 1864, and finally approved the South end of Knollswood Spur which belonged to the Rajah of Keonthal. After lengthy negotiations the site was acquired through the intervention of the Viceroy and the foundation stone for the new buildings was laid on 26th September 1866, by H.E. the Viceroy, Sir John Lawrence, elder brother of Sir Henry Lawrence, founder of the Military Asylum at Sanwar (now known as Lawrence School). In September 1868, the school moved to Knollswood, its present site.

Academic related activities like drama, debating, elocution, public speaking, art and craft and music are rigorously encouraged with the boys competing in inter-school events. Community service and socially useful productive work are a part of the formal curriculum. Activities like stamp collecting, wood work, lathe work, horticulture, non-formal teaching of under privileged children, creative writing, the science club, the cotton society (an academic club), the nature club, the photography club, the careers club, the theatre club and the Irwin light club (for theatre lighting, film and sound) are important areas of involvement round the year.

The boys are trained in PT, cricket, football, hockey, basketball, tennis, athletics, boxing, swimming, long distance running, table tennis, rifle shooting, volley ball, golf, squash and karate. The school’s sporting traditions are old and illustrious. For example, the school is the current National air rifle shooting team champion and some of India’s top golfers are from this school. The tennis and basketball courts at BCS are one of the best in India, installed by the Harrison Company.

Contact: Bishop Cotton School, Shimla.
Ph: 01772620880

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