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News > From the Archives > Howard's House

Howard's House

Curious to know the origins of your House's name at the College? Then read on....In a series of six brief articles, Lerpoolian, Mike Askham, explores who inspired the adoption of each house name.
Howard's House Coat of Arms
Howard's House Coat of Arms

Confidence in the College soon grew after the end of the Second World War with, during R.G. Lunt's tenure (1945 - 1951), numbers growing by approximately 50%. Lunt's successor, L.H. Collison, not only committed the governors to a significant building programme, but he also convinced them of the need for a sixth house and so, in 1953, Howard's House came into being. Its colours of purple and white were established, as were its badge, a horse forcene purpure, crined and unguled argent (ie a purple horse rearing up with one hind leg on the ground, striking out with its forelegs, having mane, tail, hooves and any tufts of hair silver), and its Latin motto, taken from the description of the war-horse in Job xxxix - the Howard family's favourite animal. 

Arriving from Eton College in 1928 it was for the Rev Robert Wilmot Howard, a prize winning Cambridge classical scholar, a return to Merseyside, for, leading up to the Great War, he had been a tutor at St Aidan's Theological College in Birkenhead.  He returned to St Aidan's after the conflict was over as Chaplain and Vice-Principal, before departing for Eton in 1924. Although times were not easy in Liverpool, undaunted, he kept "knocking on doors" as he worked tirelessly to try to raise the funds needed in order to complete the ambitious projects that faced the school.

Plans to move the College from Lodge Lane/Sefton Park Road to Mossley Hill, where a Junior Wing had been opened in 1929, were, by the mid 1930s, put on hold, but Howard was determined that a school founded in the Christian tradition should have its own Chapel. After an unprecedented fundraising effort, which Howard led with much gusto, the Chapel, built in just fifteen months, was dedicated in June 1935. The tenacity that he displayed in achieving the Chapel goal was even more evident during the years of the Second World War. To Howard's credit, the College remained in Liverpool during those difficult years and, for a period, it was the only boys' secondary school left in the city.

During the war years, Howard developed a particularly strong connection with his Old Boys sending out annual news of the performances of school teams and social occasions. David Wainright in his book, 'Liverpool Gentlemen', noted that Canon Howard had sustained Liverpool College throughout the war; and he remarked that, but for his abundant faith and loyalty, it would have closed down. He left in 1945 to become Master of St Peter's Hall, Oxford.

Rev Robert Wilmot Howard, Principal 1928-1945

The author gratefully acknowledges three sources for his information and pictures: David Wainwright OL, 'Liverpool Gentlemen' (1960); Ken Siviter OL, '175 years, Past, Present & Future' (2015); and T.R. Wilton in an article published in the College Magazine (1952).

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