Subseries 01 - The Latin Play

Identity area

Reference code

GB 2014 WS-02-EVE-01


The Latin Play


  • 1792-2001 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

9 archive boxes

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

The Westminster School Latin Play has been performed since the 16th Century, although a regular cycle of four plays was formed by the end of the 18th Century. It was organised and performed annually by the King’s Scholars/Queen’s Scholars up to 1939, although after the revival of the play in the 1950s all students at the school were able to perform. Plays were not held in certain years due to deaths of members of the Royal Family or prominent school alumni. There were also no plays performed between 1914-1918 or 1939-1945. After the war the play was not revived until 1954, when it was performed in the open air. The tradition lapsed again in the 1980s but was revived in the 1990s and a Latin Play is now performed once every five years.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This sub-series contains papers and documents relating to the production and reception of the Westminster School Latin Play. It includes records relating to the logistical planning, administration, production and performance of the Latin Play.

Also included in the series are papers concerning the history and background to the Latin Play including research done internally and externally and material relating to protests against its abolition.

The collection is incomplete and dates mainly from 1850-1939, with a small amount of earlier and later material.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The material was received with very few traces of its original order. It has been arranged into two sub-series: Production of the Latin Play (which has then been further divided into sub-sub series: Scenery; Epilogues and Prologues; Cast Lists; Press Cuttings; Tickets and Programmes and General Administration), and Reception of the Latin Play (divided into two further sub-sub series: Protests against abolition and Research).

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to collection items is granted to bona-fide researchers, by prior appointment, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including Data Protection.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the item. Copies are supplied in accordance with Westminster School's Policy on Archive and Heritage Collections, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of items in the custody of Westminster School must be sought from its Governing Body.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Three published volumes entitled ‘Lusus alteri Westmonasteriensis’ contain printed epilogues and prologues from performances between 1704 and 1905 as well as cast lists.

There are some prints of the Latin Play which have yet to be catalogued. Please ask the Archivist for further information.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail


  • English
  • Latin


  • Latin


Archivist's note

This Catalogue was created by Georgina Orgill while on a work placement from UCL in May 2015.

Accession area

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