Brief History

Munro College

Munro College is a boarding school for boys in St Elizabeth, Jamaica. It was founded in 1856 as the Potsdam School (named for the city of Potsdam) a free school for poor boys in St. Elizabeth as stipulated in the will of plantation owners Robert Hugh Munro and Caleb Dickenson. It was renamed Munro College during World War I as part of the general rejection of German names at the time, though the surrounding Potsdam district was not also renamed.

Munro College takes its name from one of its benefactors and was established in the fashion of the British public school. Several of the boarding houses take the names of other benefactors or illustrious alumni. The campus has its own chapel and magnificent views of the Caribbean sea and Pedro Plains from its perch atop the peak of the Santa Cruz Mountain.

Over the years Munro College has distinguished itself as a centre for excellence in secondary education in Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean. It is reputed to have produced the most Rhode Scholars of any secondary school in the Caribbean. The most recent Rhodes Scholar from Munro College is Vincent Taylor (Jamaica and Magdalen 2013). Munro College is currently the only all boys boarding school in Jamaica.

The school’s motto is in Latin, “In Arce Sitam Quis Occultabit” which means: “A City Set On A Hill Cannot Be Hid”

Hampton School

Hampton School is an all-girls boarding school located in Malvern, Jamaica. It is one of the oldest boarding schools in Jamaica, and was founded in 1858, two years after its all boys counterpart Munro College. The school was originally named Fort-Rose, and was constructed from funds received from the Munro and Dickenson Trust. The school’s motto is in Latin, "Summa Virtute Et Humanitate", which means: "With Utmost Courage and Courtesy".

On 21 January 1797 Robert Munro left a residuary request in his will, addressed to his nephew Caleb Dickenson and the Churchwardens of St Elizabeth.Included were instructions to establish a school for the marginalized children in St. Elizabeth. In his lifetime Dickenson would augment his uncle's estate, increasing its value. Upon his death in 1821, Dickenson left instructions in his will for the trustees of his wealth to perform his uncle’s wishes.

This request would go unaddressed until 1855, when a new Trustee Board was established, known as “The Governors and Trustees of Munro and Dickenson Free School and Charity”. In 1856 an all-boys school named Potsdam College was erected; two years later, an all-girls school was erected on the same campus.This all-girls school was known as Fort-Rose.

The location of the all-girls school was moved several times, first to Torrington, then to Stirling. It would not reach its final and current location, Malvern, until 1885.  In 1896, the Malvern House property was purchased for ₤800, and Fort-Rose was renamed to Hampton School.