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History of the School

The Mathematical School was founded in 1701 in accordance with the last will and testament of Sir Joseph Williamson who bequeathed five thousand pounds “towards the building and carrying on and perpetual maintaining of a free school at Rochester for the instructing and educating of such youth there who were or should be the sons of freemen
these towards the Mathematics and all other things which fit and encourage them for the sea service and arts and callings leading and relating thereto”.

Sir Joseph Williamson served as a leading politician and diplomat during the reign of King Charles II. He was first elected as MP for Rochester in 1690 and held various offices until his retirement in 1699 when he settled to live at Cobham Hall. At one time he was President of Royal Society Keeper of the King’s Library at Whitehall and Editor of the Oxford Gazette. He receives mention in the diaries of Samuel Pepys.

The School moved to its present site from its former building in Rochester High Street in the 1960s and enjoys the benefit of excellent sports facilities on its 30 acre site.