Winchester College was founded in October 1382 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, for the education of seventy scholars. He had also founded New College in Oxford in 1379 and the aim was to provide an educated clergy that served both church and state. His specific aim was to replenish the administrative class depleted by plague in the 1340s and 1360s. At Winchester, building commenced in 1387 and the first scholars entered the school in 1394.

The original foundation of Winchester College consisted of a Warden and ten Fellows, two schoolmasters, three chaplains, seventy Scholars and sixteen Quiristers. Most features of this foundation are still in place, including the quiristers, plus over six hundred other pupils known as Commoners and about 100 teachers.

The school website www.winchestercollege.org provides more information.