Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Snippets from RC History

Brief History of RC

18 May 2007

From: Palitha Manchanayake

Pramuk Manchanayake

Net Software Engineer

Prowess Development Pty Ltd

L1, 1 Wharf Road Gladesville NSW 2111

Mob: 0402 140 312

Royal College, Colombo was founded in January 1835. It is considered to be one of the leading Public Schools in Sri Lanka. It is a National School, ie, it is controlled by the Central government as opposed to the Provincial Council.


The school was founded by Rev Joseph Marsh, the acting Colonial Chaplain at St. Paul's Church (and former Mathematics and Classical Tutor at Christian College, Kotte) as the Hill Street Academy, a private institution to educate the children of the upper classes. In January 1836, the British Colonial Governor Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, Bart converted it, as the Colombo Academy, into a government school modelled on Eton College, with Marsh continuing as Head master. The third oldest Public School on the island, it was intended to give to the children of leading Sri Lankans an education which would make them fit to be citizens of the British Empire.

The College Main BuildingMarsh did not believe in corporal punishment. However, his successor, Brooke Bailey did, and introduced flogging.

In 1859 it was renamed Royal Academy and Queens College and affiliated to the University of Oxford. In 1865 the Morgan Committee of inquiry into education recommended that it be reorganised and that scholarships should be awarded to study in Oxford. It became the Colombo Academy once again in 1869.

In 1881 it was renamed Royal College with the approval of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

The school was originally at Maradana, right next to Hulftsdorp, but in 27th August 1913 the school was moved to its new building at Thurstan Road which is now the main building of the University of Colombo. Ten years later on 10th October 1923 the school moved once again ,this time to the newly built Victorian styled building on Ried Avenue, which it still occupies.


Cricket was played at the school from 1838 onwards. The annual cricket match against S. Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia is the second longest uninterrupted cricket match series in the world. Only second to the Ashes series played between England and Australia. The original match was played between the Colombo Academy and S. Thomas' College in 1879, with schoolmasters participating as well as schoolboys. From 1880 onwards, only schoolboys were allowed to play in the match.

Until 2006 the tally stands with both schools winning 33 each and 61 drawn. This is regarded as the most prestigious cricketing event in the country. This is also preceded by the legendary Cycle Parade which usually happens on the day before the big match, with the official objective of visiting the captain's house to encourage him.

Royal-Trinity Bradby Shield Encounter:

The annual rugby encounter against friendly rival Trinity College, Kandy is the Blue Riband of schools' rugby in Sri Lanka. In fact, it is one of the highlights in the Sri Lankan high society calendar. Rugby was first introduced at Royal in 1916, and the first historic match against Trinity was played in 1920. The Bradby Shield itself was first presented in 1945 by the departing Principal of Royal College, E. L. Bradby. Since 1945, two matches have taken place each year, one up in Kandy and the other down in Colombo. The Shield is awarded to the school that gets the highest aggregate of points in the two match series.

The 2002 Bradby encounter was the highest scoring encounter for Royal, Led by Zulki Hamid. Winning a record (39-00) in first leg held in Colombo & The winning the second leg (44-00) in Kandy. Thus winning the Bradby Shield with a record aggregate of 83 - 00.

The 2006 Bradby first leg was won by Trinity (21 - 10) in Colombo. The second leg was also won by Trintiy (26 - 5) in Kandy. Thus Trinity retains the Bradby for 2006 the with an aggregate of 47 - 15.


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