The Bahamas has a long history of offering elite schooling. Educational institutions, particularly from England and church sponsored, sought to establish branches within its shores from the 1800s.

King’s College London, in 1842, was one of the premiere institutions of learning in England. In fact, it still is. King’s College, London, also had a prestigious King’s School in Nassau called the King’s College Nassau or King’s School Nassau.

The only Bahamian born, colonial era Governor, Sir Charles Cameron Lees KCMG (11 March 1837 – 26 July 1898) was a graduate of King’s College Nassau. Moreover, in 1888, as Governor of Antigua, he remembers being quite the athlete, winning many prizes at King’s, Nassau.

Recalling his own school days in the Bahamas (where he was born, and afterwards became Governor) he was prized medallist at King’s College Nassau; he directed his wife to place his prizes in a conspicuous place to be seen by his old Schoolfellows, now men of standing in that colony. —-

Antigua Observer, Monday, 22 December 1884

In 1842, after some domestic calamity precipitated the resignation of the Head Master, a new one was advertised for. Rev. Woodthorpe Collette, M. A., of Catharine Hall, Cambridge was appointed principal of King’s College, Nassau, in December 1841.

Liverpool Mail, Tuesday, 07 December 1841

By February 1842, old Rev. Woodthrope was gone and a new Head was advertised for. Before Woodthrope arrived, a Reverend D. Darnell was Head Master. In March 31, 1841, the wife of Reverend Darnell had a son, born in Nassau.

For the austere role of Head Master of such a prestigious institution of learning, a primary criteria for consideration, was of course to be a Reverend, a man of God… but equally important, only Oxford or Cambridge graduates, would be granted further consideration.


Reverend Woodthorpe Collette, appoint

The Head Master, lately appointed by the Council, to the school in Nassau, New Providence, Bahama Islands, in connection with this College, having been compelled, by a domestic calamity to relinquish the appointment, the Council hearby give notice, that the said Headmasterahip is consequently vacant. Candidates must be in Holy Orders, and Graduates of the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge.

Oxford University and City Herald, Saturday 26 February, 1842

1844 wife of Head Master – Mary Lees Fletcher – dies aged 22

At Nassau, New Providence, aged 22, Mary, wife of the Rev John Fletcher, headmaster of King’s College School, Nassau and eldest daughter of the Hon. J Campbell Lees, Chief Justice of the Bahamas.

The Globe, Thursday, 22 August 1844

Edward Barnett Anderson Taylor, called to Bahamas Bar in 1848 and graduate of King’s College, Nassau

London Evening Standard, Monday 11 April 1904