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Norwich

Norwich School (King Edward VI Grammar School)

The Norwich school is located in the Cathedral Close and is one of the oldest schools in England - dating back to 1096. Over the years the school has produced a number of literary pupils and staff.

The Norwich School

Norwich School in the Cathedral Close

Norwich School Plaque

Norwich School Plaque

One of the earliest of the pupils was the poet and dramatist Robert Greene (1558-1592). Greene, who was born in Norwich and baptised at St George's Church on Tombland, was famous for his dissolute lifestyle and for his attack on Shakespeare in Groats-Worth of Witte. In this satire, he refers to the Bard as an 'upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers'. Greene is said to have died of a surfeit of Rhenish wine and pickled herrings.

The novelist and travel writer George Borrow (1803-1881) attended the school from the age of 13 but his rebellious nature and love of freedom brought him into conflict with the masters and on one occasion he was flogged by the headmaster Dr Edward Volpey. Borrow was more at home on nearby Mousehold Heath talking to gypsies such as Jasper Petulengro.

William Taylor, the translator and radical intellectual taught German at the school and George Borrow was one of his pupils. Borrow was a gifted linguist and, in later life, looked back on Taylor as a mentor.

Augustus Jessop, the historian, was the headmaster of the Norwich School for 20 years from 1859-1879 before moving to become the rector at Scarning. One of Jessop's pupils, was the novelist James Blyth (1864-1933) who lived for many years in the village of Fritton in the Waveney Valley.

More recently the school has produced the novelist, short story writer and biographer D. J. Taylor. In fact, Taylor has recently edited a collection of Norfolk short stories entitled Dead Men Talking which includes work by Mary Mann and Elspeth Barker.

 

 

 
 

 

 

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