Harrow Families: a history and introduction to the archive

A young new face and a Harrow name
‘Mid a crowd of strangers? No!

Harrow Families is a remarkable and unique historical archive and is a testament to the loyalty to Harrow School of over 800 families who have sent their sons to the Hill for several generations and, in some cases, since as far back as the middle of the seventeenth century.

The record was first devised and compiled by Major R O Bridgman (Druries 19023), himself a member of a family who are represented in seven direct generations. Major Bridgeman’s great great grandfather, Orlando, 1st Earl of Bradford, entered Harrow in 1770, whilst his grandson Constantine (Elmfield 19833), the 29th Harrovian member of the family, was Head of School in 1987-88.

In addition to compiling family trees, Major Bridgeman kept meticulous lists of members of these families who had achieved distinctions - for example, winners of the VC and Prime Ministers, as well as more local achievements such as Heads of School, Captains of Cricket and so on.

The work of editing the Archive was taken over by L J Verney (The Head Master’s 19382). The first Verney on the Hill was Sir Lawrence’s great-great-grandfather, Sir Harry Verney, 1st Baronet, who came to Harrow in 1774. The 29th and 30th Verneys at the School were the twins, Jonathan (The Head Master’s 19752) and Mark (The Park 19752).

The families recorded come from all over the British Isles: Bolithos from Cornwall, Gordons from Aberdeenshire, Cators from Norfolk, Macleans from Cumberland. The Minoprios (Haulfryn) and Brigstockes (Blaen-Pant) represent Wales. Many come from Ireland, such as the Crosbies (Ballyheigue), the Dopping-Hepenstals (Derrycassan) and the Pennefathers (Rathsallagh), to name three.

Two families from overseas are represented here: the Chakri dynasty (the Royal House of Siam) and the Royal Family of the Hashemite Kingdoms of Jordan and Iraq.