The decision to change the names of our houses was made in 2020 in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the links that John Hawkins and Francis Drake had with the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Originally the three houses at Lyndhurst House were Drake, Grenville and Hawkins, named after Sir Francis Drake, Sir Richard Grenville and Sir John Hawkins, all Elizabethan sailors.
Sir Francis Drake, 1540–1595, was a sailor who turned to piracy, mainly against the Spanish. His piratical voyage of 1578 turned in to his circumnavigation of the globe from which he returned triumphant in 1580.
Sir Richard Grenville, 1542–1591, sent the 200 ton Castle of Comfort on a piratical voyage to the Caribbean in 1574 under the pretext of seeking “terra australis incognita”. His business interests extended to colonising the new world and discovering a North West passage between 1578 and 1583. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a poem called “The Revenge” describing the final days of Grenville in battle.
Sir John Hawkins, 1532–1595, was a naval commander and administrator. As Treasurer of the Navy, Hawkins rebuilt older ships and directed design of faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588. He was an early proposer and took an active part in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
From September 2020, after much debate and discussion amongst pupils, the decision was made to rename the houses Keats, Seacole and Winton.
John Keats, 1795–1821, was a romantic poet from London who devoted his short life to the perfection of poetry. His work is widely considered to be among the finest poetry in the English language. Keats moved to Hampstead after he left school where he was his most creative. He contracted tuberculosis, the disease that killed his mother and brother, at the age of 25 and died shortly after.
Mary Seacole, 1805–1881 was a British-Jamaican nurse and healer who set up quarters for sick and recuperating officers behind the lines during the Crimean War. Coming from a tradition of Jamaican and West African "magical doctresses", Seacole displayed skills and bravery while nursing soldiers through the use of herbal remedies. In 2004, she was voted the greatest black Briton.
Sir Nicholas Winton, 1909–2015, was a hero of the Holocaust, who in 1938 oversaw the “Czech Kindertransport”, which brought 669 Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia to safety in the UK. His work went unnoticed for nearly 50 years, until 1988 when his wife discovered a scrapbook in the attic containing a mass of documents, including the names of the rescued children.