Notable Alumni

The school is very proud to have played a part in the education of many important individuals who have gone on to have roles on a larger stage. These include Thomas Percy, the infamous gunpowder plotter, through renowned scholars, clergy, film directors, military personnel, industrialists and scientists, to esteemed sportsmen.

John Alcock (1430-1500), Lord Chancellor of England

John was born in Beverley and went on to Cambridge University. He later became dean of Westminster, Master of the Rolls and Bishop of Rochester before rising to the position of Lord Chancellor.

Saint John Fisher (c 1469-1535), Catholic bishop and martyr to Henry the VIII

John Fisher was born in Beverley in 1469. He became a Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University. John Fisher’s opposition to King Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon meant that he was charged with treason and beheaded.

Thomas Percy (1560-1605), Gunpowder Plotter

Thomas Percy was brought up a Protestant but converted to become an ardent Catholic. He was educated at Cambridge University. Along with Christopher Wright, John Wright and Robert Catesby they planned the gunpowder plot and conspired with Guido Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament while it was sitting. The plot failed and they were hunted down and shot. Thomas was later exhumed and his head displayed on a pike.

Sir Hugh Cholmeley, 1st Baronet (1600-1657) Royalist leader

Sir Hugh was an English landowner and Member of Parliament who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1624 and 1643. He was initially a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War but later  became a Royalist leader.

Michael Warton (1623 – 9 August 1688), English politician

Michael Warton sat in the House of Commons as MP for Beverley  from 1660 to 1685. An alumnus of St  John’s College, Cambridge, he was a Cavalier during the English Civil War. He was apparently a generous benefactor to the town of Beverley and founded a local hospital. Presumably it is the Warton family that the Warton Arms in Woodmansey is named after.

Matthew Appleyard (1660 – 1700), Politician

Matthew Appleyard was educated at BGS and then at St John’s College, Cambridge.He was a Member of Parliament for Hedon from 1689 to 1695

Henry Revell Reynolds (1745-1811)

Reynolds was a fellow of the College of Physicians who was appointed to attend George III as physician-in-ordinary. This position included having to stand before the House of Lords to be questioned about the king’s illness.

Smithson Tennant (1761-1815), Chemist

Smithson Tennant was a chemist who discovered the two elements Iridium and Osmium from the residues of platinum ore in 1803. He also carried out work on the carbon nature of charcoal and diamonds. He was educated at Cambridge University and went on to become the Chair of Chemistry in that institution. The mineral Tennanite is named after him.

Colonel Sir William Howe DeLancey (1778-1815)

The Duke of Wellington’s Chief of Staff at the Battle of Waterloo. He was Wellington’s right hand man in directing operations at this historic battle that shaped the course of European history.

John Conington (1825-1869), English classical scholar

John Conington was an English classical Scholar who translated many major Latin works. He was born in Boston Lincolnshire and was reputed to have been extremely clever, learning the alphabet by fourteen months and being able to read at three and a half. He was educated at Beverley Grammar and went on to Rugby school and Oxford University where he became a fellow and was recognised as a most renowned scholar.

Kenneth Annakin OBE (1914–2009), Film Director

Ken Anakin began his career in documentaries and made his directing debut for the Rank Organisation in 1947. He went on to direct 3 films about ‘The Huggetts’ a working class family from the suburbs. He was later known for his work producing a series of Walt Disney adventures including The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men in 1952, The Sword and the Rose in 1953 and Swiss Family Robinson in 1960. He later worked with Darryl F. Zanuck and directed the British segments of The Longest Day.

Jimmy Thirsk (1914-2018), An intelligence analyst and librarian

Jimmy Thirsk was an intelligence analyst at Bletchley Park during the second world war. He worked with the codebreakers to help break the enigma ciphers. He spent three years at Bletchley Park, tracking the movement of German army and air force across the continent. After leaving BGS he initially worked as a librarian, an occupation he returned to after the end of the war.

Tony Topham (1929 – 2004), Trade unionist and academic writer

After leaving BGS Tony read politics and economics at Leeds University. Tony was a leading figure among trade unionists who, in the 1960s and 1970s sought the advancement of workers’ control in British industry. He was a  founding member of the institute for workers’ control (IWC) and the joint editor of the Trade Union Register. Tony was also a director of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.

John Andrew (b. 1931), An Anglican clergyman in New York City

John Andrew studied at Oxford university and was awarded the OBE. He became the rector of St Thomas’ Church, New York City in 1972. In 1995 he was made an honorary canon of the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York.

Michael Gray (1932- 2011), Senior British Army Officer

Lieutenant General Sir Michael Stuart Gray, KCB, OBE, DL was a senior officer in the  British Army. He was General Officer Commanding South East District from 1985 to 1988, Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment from 1990 to 1993, and Lieutenant of the Tower of London from 1995 to 1998. He was also awarded the French Legion of Honour.

Clive Temperton (1946 – 2022), Meteorologist

Clive was a world-renowned meteorologist/computational scientist who developed the systems we currently use for weather forecasting. He worked for the Met-Office and the European Centre for medium-range weather forecasting, as well as for the Canadian government and in collaboration with NASA.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (b. 1952), Chemical engineer and industrialist

Jim Ratcliffe is chief executive of the Ineos chemicals group. He graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1974 and subsequently went to work for Esso and Advent International before founding Ineos in 1998. The success of the Ineos group means that Jim Ratcliffe has become one of the UK’s wealthiest individuals. Jim is also a philanthropist, involved in many different worthy causes, as well as an adventurer, involved in expeditions to both poles. Ratcliffe was appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to business and to investment.

Andrew Jaspan (b. 1952), Newspaper editor and media guru

Born in Manchester Andrew attended BGS in the late 1960s, where he developed an extra-curricular interest in journalism. After studying politics, modern history and philosophy at Manchester University he worked at the Times and Sunday Times. Andrew was editor of The Observer, The Scotsman, Sunday Herald and The Melbourne Age. He was also publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Big Issue.   Andrew resides in Australia where he is Founding Editor and Director of, hosted at Monash University

Neil Mallender (b. 1961) England cricketer and international umpire

Neil played county cricket for Northants and Somerset, he also played test match cricket for England in 1992. Previously he had captained England youth on a tour of West Indies. When he finally retired from first class cricket Neil had taken over 900 wickets. Neil became an international umpire where he officiated at test matches and one day internationals

Paul Robinson (b. 1979), England goalkeeper

Paul started off in the York youth team but was quickly taken up by Leeds United who nurtured his career. He moved to Tottenham Hotspur and then Blackburn Rovers. He has played 41 times for England and played in the 2006 World Cup. He is renowned for saving penalties and scoring goals from open play; one of which was from a kick taken in his own half.

Kyle Edmund (b. 1995), Tennis player

Kyle attended Beverley Grammar School for the first years of his secondary schooling before relocating to Bisham Abbey and subsequently Roehampton to concentrate upon his tennis. In 2011 he was part of the GB team who won the junior Davis Cup and five years later joined forces with Andy Murray to help win the Davis Cup for GB for the first time since 1936. Kyle is currently moving up the rankings and is an Australian Open semi-finalist.

Daniel Piper, Poet

Daniel Piper is a comedian, writer and national poetry slam champion. He has been seen/heard on national TV/radio and has performed across the UK at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and Edinburgh International Book Festival. He has written and performed two smash-hit Edinburgh shows – Daniel Piper Is In Four Gangs (2016) and Daniel Piper’s Day Off (2017). Daniel was the 2017 Scottish National Poetry Slam champion. In May the same year, he came second in the world championships in Paris.