Hoots from the Archive – Percy Stafford Allen’s Telescope

Posted by System Administrator on 29 Jan 2019

Modified by Rachel Kneale on 13 Jan 2023

Percy Stafford Allen’s Telescope

This particular item is probably our biggest in terms of physical size. It is a telescope that belonged to Percy Stafford Allen. Here is a photograph of the plaque on the box of the telescope:

                                                                                                   Plaque on the telescope box

As the plaque explains, Allen was a School governor, as well as President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. The link between the two institutions is long established. Hugh Oldham gave £4000 and land towards the foundation of Corpus Christi 1517, and in return a scholarship reserved exclusively for Lancashire boys were established. Naturally, many MGS boys were able to take advantage of this scholarship. From the foundation of the School up until the 1870s, the President of Corpus Christi appointed each new High Master, and is still an ex-offico member of the Governing Body, as in the case of Allen. 


The donation of the telescope was on the death of Allen in 1933. 1934 Ulula recorded the donation and noted: “The telescope is a magnificent instrument, with a A” actinomatic objective, and a wide range of eye-pieces with magnifications ranging up to 400 diameters.”

We have reason to believe that Allen also left us something else precious. One of our oldest books, a copy of Erasmus’ translation of the New Testament dating to 1522, once belonged to Percy Stafford Allen. The book has the signature of Hugh Bexwyke, one of our major benefactors and the brother-in-law of MGS founder Hugh Oldham, and it must have seemed fitting to give it to the school.

Rachel Kneale


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