The origins of King's stand with the arrival of St Augustine in 597 AD. His foundation, centred on monastic life in his abbey in Canterbury, combined worship, prayer and education, a tradition which has been continuously followed ever since. In 1541, the Abbey Foundation was re-formulated under King Henry VIII. The Abbey was translated to become Canterbury Cathedral and the school to become the King's School. Thus it is that the Headmaster, Lower Master and scholars of King's are part of the Cathedral Foundation.
The late 15th and early 16th centuries formed a period in England of commitment to new learning, as classical texts were rediscovered and society embraced new movements in science, classical studies, theology and mathematics. King's was fully involved with these developments from the earliest days and today retains its commitment to learning and to the belief in the benefits which learning can bring to humanity and to the world.
The school's Christian tradition is at its heart and there is a desire to foster Christian virtues of love and justice, faith and courage, hope and perseverance. Of course, pupils and staff comprise individuals of different faiths and beliefs but there is a desire to aspire to Christian values. In the Cathedral, and in other places of worship, school services and prayers regularly take place.
There are 6 boys' boarding houses, 6 girls' boarding houses and 3 day houses. Junior King's, the prep school of King's, occupies a captivating Swallows and Amazons site on the River Stour, in Sturry, 3 miles from Canterbury.
The Senior School occupies various sites around the Cathedral and its Precincts. Many teaching departments and the majority of houses are in the beautiful ancient buildings around the Green Court, on the north side of the Cathedral. To the east of the Cathedral, the St Augustine's site is home to 5 boarding houses and the magnificent school library. There are 2 major sites for sport, Birley's and Blore's, each with extensive sports facilities.
Augustine was a Benedictine and the educational purposes of King's still lie with the Benedictine tradition of upholding balance in mind, body and spirit. Thus, academic endeavour and scholarly habits, fundamental in any education, take their place alongside the school's commitment to health and hospitality as well as to spirituality and reflection. Sport is pursued at all levels with rigour and enjoyment. The creative arts have a special place at King's. Music and drama are outstanding, both having the finest traditions and producing performances of the highest standards.
To King's has been given the privilege of the rich fabric of an ancient Christian foundation. All around there is beauty and aspiration to the best in human endeavour. Boys and girls who come here join a community in which they are nurtured and grow, and to which they can contribute fully, going out with purpose, confidence and humanity into the next stages of their lives.
We always love to meet OKS and warmly welcome anyone who would like to visit the School. We can also arrange tours including access to Boarding Houses. If you would like to visit, please email us:
If you would like more information about King's and its history, please visit the King's Archive website. This website was created by School Archivist, Peter Henderson.
You can also find war records here:
The East India Club, in the heart of London's clubland, has a long tradition as a gentlemen's home from home.
Founded in the middle of the 19th century, its original members were 'the servants of the East India Company and Commissioned Officers of Her Majesty's Army and Navy'. The legacy of those early members, home on furlough from far-flung lands, continues today. As a private club, only open to members and their guests, the club still provides a refuge and meeting place for busy young men and their more seasoned seniors.
Since those early days, the club has amalgamated with the Devonshire, the Sports and the Public Schools clubs, and also welcomed members of the Eccentric Club. The amalgam has been a happy one, possibly because together, as their titles suggest, the component parts reflect the very best diversity of English tradition. The club retains its international dimension through its reciprocal arrangements with similar clubs throughout the world.
As a result of a scheme initiated many years ago, young men on leaving their Headmasters Conference (HMC) school could join the Public School's Club for seven years with a letter of recommendation from their headmaster! This tradition was carried on following the merger of the Public School's Club with the East India in 1972.
The years - and inflation - have taken their toll on the pound, but the spirit of the scheme remains, and the current fee represents outstanding value with nothing more to pay until the age of 25 and no joining fee. The facility must, however, be taken up within 18 months of leaving school.
The J7s are full East India Club members, enjoying all the facilities provided by the club, and currently account for some 40% of the total membership.
To apply please speak to your HMC school headmaster who will propose you, or write to / email The Membership Secretary for more information.
A programme of events is organised by the Club throughout the year, including dinners and cocktail parties, a golf society and cricket team, chess and snooker competitions and access to cricket at Lord's, our box at Ascot and rugby internationals at Twickenham.
Recently the University Women's Club has linked together with the East India Club. Founded in 1886 to promote higher education for women, the University Women's Club today provides members with a safe, friendly and secure London home. The Club also offers social events, opportunities for sharing interests in music, literature and science, and for networking. Members may also stay in reciprocal Clubs in the UK and overseas.
Students have the opportunity to join the Club on very favourable terms. For one lump sum payment of £249 they become Young Members until the January following their 25th birthday. At that point they will be invited to continue membership without paying the normal entrance fee, simply paying subscriptions on a sliding scale until they reach the age of thirty. The Young Members' option remains open to them for eighteen months after leaving school provided you feel able to support their application.
Ladies Application Form
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