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History

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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.



1861

Established in 1861, the Bishop's College School No. 2 Cadet Corps is the oldest continuously active school cadet program in Canada.

Read More about 1861
1926

Memorial Arena was built in 1926 by Headmaster Mr. S. Percy Smith to honour the Old Boys who fell during the First World War.

Read More about 1926
1965

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!

Read More about 1965
1989

In 1989, on the 150th anniversary of BCS, we had the honour of having Prince Philip inspect the BCS No. 2 Cadet Corps.

Read More about 1989
1995

Nancy Layton is appointed Head of School and becomes the first female Head of a co-educational boarding school in Canada.

Read More about 1995

BCS Past Heads of School

Rev. L. Doolittle, M.A.
1836

E. Chapman, M.A.
1842-1845

H.H. Miles, D.C.L.
1845-1849

Rev. J. Butler, M.A.
1849-1854

Rev. J.W. Williams, M.A., D.D.
1857-1863

Rev. G.C. Irving, M.A.
1863-1867

Rev. R.H. Walker, M.A.
1867-1870

Rev. C.H. Badgley, M.A.
1870-1877

Rev. P.C. Read, M.A.
1877-1882

Rev. I. Brock, M.A.
1882-1883

Rev. J.A. Lobley, M.A., D.C.L.
1883-1885

Rev. T. Adams, M.A., D.C.L
1885-1892

H.J.H. Petry, M.A.
1892-1903

Rev. E.J. Bidwell, M.A., D.C.L
1903-1909

Rev. D. Standfast, B.A.
1909-1910

J.T. Williams, B.A.
1910-1920

S.P. Smith, M.A., D.C.L
1920-1931

C.G.M. Grier, E.D., M.A.
1931-1950

C.L.O Glass, M.A.
1950-1960

F.R. Pattison, M.A.
1960-1964

F. Stewart Large, M.A.
1964-1972

J.D. Cowans, M.A.
1972-1982

D.A.G. Cruickshank, M.A.
1982-1990

Robert R. Ross, M. Ed.
1990-1995

Nancy Layton, M. Ed.
1995-2003

W. Lewis Evans, B.A.
2003-2009

Ian R. Watt, M.A.
2009-2012

William Mitchell, M. Ed.
2012-2015

Tyler Lewis, M. Ed.
2015-2019

William Mitchell, M. Ed.
2019-2020

Michel Lafrance, M. Ed.
2020 - Present



Interested in learning more about Bishop College School's rich history?