At nearly 200 years old, BCS was founded before the country of Canada itself. Our halls, campus, books, and community are steeped in our rich history, which informs our school culture to this day.
Bishop’s College School was founded in 1836 as the Lennoxville Classical School by the Reverend Lucius Doolittle, who also served as the first Headmaster (now known as Head of School). The ‘LCS’ letters entwined on the door handles throughout School House are a nod to that first iteration of our prestigious institution.
At its founding, the all-boys school was housed in the St. James’ Parsonage across the St. Francis River which is now home to the Bishop’s University campus. Within four years of opening, 23 boys were enrolled. Tuition fees were set at 15 shillings per quarter in the Lower Forms and 25 shillings for the Upper Forms, with board at £25 per annum (about $130 per year).
The school continued to grow and prosper over the years, eventually moving to the current Moulton Hill campus. Colonel John Kenneth Leveson Ross (alumnus, prefect in his final year, and then Chairman of the Board) recognized the need for expansion, securing the land in 1916 and immediately beginning to build the School House we know today. The Prep (lower forms) moved to this location in 1918 and the senior boys followed suit in 1922.
BCS continued to be an all-boys school until 1972, when the school merged with King’s Hall, Compton (KHC), an all-girls boarding school in nearby Compton. The two schools combined at the start of the 1972-73 school year, and BCS has been co-ed ever since. Gillard House is named Dr. Adelaide E. Gillard, who was Headmistress of KHC for 38 years. Discover the legacy of KHC that paved the way for young women at BCS.
In 1995, Nancy Layton was appointed Head of School and became the first female Head of a co-educational boarding school in Canada. She led the school through the new millennium, serving for nearly 10 years.
Throughout the last 20 years, BCS has continued to grow and transform. In 2022, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of BCS and KHC coming together, and look forward to the 200th birthday celebrations in 2036.
Check out some key milestones in the timeline below and read up on an individual house’s history on their house page.
Rev. Lucius Doolittle founds Lennoxville Classical School.
Established in 1861, the Bishop's College School No. 2 Cadet Corps is the oldest continuously active school cadet program in Canada.
First prefect (student leader) is appointed.
First publication of the school yearbook, The BCS Magazine.
Colonel J.K.L. Ross secures the land and builds School House on Moulton Hill.
The Prep moves to the Moulton Hill location separate from the senior boys.
The senior boys join the junior boys at Bishop's College School on Moulton Hill.
Memorial Arena was built in 1926 by Headmaster Mr. S. Percy Smith to honour the Old Boys who fell during the First World War.
BCS is proud to have been given the second official flag ever made in 1965, and we became the first institution to fly it – beating Parliament Hill in Ottawa by a few hours!
BCS merges with King's Hall, Compton and becomes a co-ed institution.
BCS holds its first-ever Open House.
In 1989, on the 150th anniversary of BCS, we had the honour of having Prince Philip inspect the BCS No. 2 Cadet Corps.
Nancy Layton is appointed Head of School and becomes the first female Head of a co-educational boarding school in Canada.
One hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary.
200 year anniversary.
Rev. L. Doolittle, M.A.
E. Chapman, M.A.
H.H. Miles, D.C.L.
Rev. J. Butler, M.A.
Rev. J.W. Williams, M.A., D.D.
Rev. G.C. Irving, M.A.
Rev. R.H. Walker, M.A.
Rev. C.H. Badgley, M.A.
Rev. P.C. Read, M.A.
Rev. I. Brock, M.A.
Rev. J.A. Lobley, M.A., D.C.L.
Rev. T. Adams, M.A., D.C.L
H.J.H. Petry, M.A.
Rev. E.J. Bidwell, M.A., D.C.L
Rev. D. Standfast, B.A.
J.T. Williams, B.A.
S.P. Smith, M.A., D.C.L
C.G.M. Grier, E.D., M.A.
C.L.O Glass, M.A.
F.R. Pattison, M.A.
F. Stewart Large, M.A.
J.D. Cowans, M.A.
D.A.G. Cruickshank, M.A.
Robert R. Ross, M. Ed.
Nancy Layton, M. Ed.
W. Lewis Evans, B.A.
Ian R. Watt, M.A.
William Mitchell, M. Ed.
Tyler Lewis, M. Ed.
William Mitchell, M. Ed.
Michel Lafrance, M. Ed.
2020 - Present