The origin of Mayo College, one of the oldest Public Schools in the country, dates back to 1869, when Col F K M Walter, the Political Agent of the Bharatpur Agency recommended a school in India ``for a large number of pupils, with a staff thoroughly educated-not mere bookworms, but men fond of field sports and outdoor exercise....`` In 1870, Lord Mayo, the then Viceroy and Governor General, came to Ajmer, where in a Darbar, before the Chiefs of the ruling Princes of Rajputana, he expressed his desire to set up a 'Raj Kumar College' in Ajmer, ``devoted exclusively to the education of the sons of Chiefs, Princes and leading Thakurs.`` It is interesting to point out that several generations of the descendants of many present at that Darbar have since continued to study at Mayo College.
The College was opened in October 1875, with Sir Oliver St.John as the first Principal and one boy, Maharaja Mangal Singh of Alwar. The Main Building was completed in 1885 and was designed by Major Mant. Some of the greatest changes in the school were brought about by Mr.Stow who was the Principal from 1931-1943. In the same year, the Viceroy ceased to be the President of the General Council. This body was in future presided over by a ruling Prince elected by the council.
Today, students from all walks of life, study in this prestigious school and make complete use of the many facilities offered
In what could be termed as the ultimate recognition of its pre-eminent role in the field of education, on 12th April 1986, the post and telegraph department of the government of India released a special stamp of Mayo with the magnificent Main School building on its face.
Origin & Foundation
Concerned at the rising awareness of nationalism after the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the British realized that to strengthen their hold in India they, being just a handful, needed to widen their political and psychological management of India and the Indians. Thus they began to focus on education and in pursuit of this objective Macaulay's minutes on Education of 1837 ``to create a class of people-Indian in Blood and Color but English in opinions, in morals and in Intellect`` became the cornerstone of their strategy.
In this plan, the princes who had remained silent spectators during the mutiny were identified as useful allies and a ``stabilizing`` force--a force of over 350 main rulers in 1850's who comprised over two thirds of India, for whom suitable educational institutions became relevant. The credit for originating the idea of Mayo College must be given to Colonel Walter who in his Bharatpur Agency Report of May 28, 1869 suggested the opinion of such an esteemed Institution in order to ensure to the sons of the aristocracy of this country a liberal and enlightened education.
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