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Henry Hobhouse

Henry Hobhouse who died on 5 March 2016 aged 91 was Chairman of the Governors 1988-1990 having previously been Chairman of the Trustees. The Times described him as ‘polymath, writer, sailor, journalist, farmer, broadcaster, investor, local politician.’ He was all of these things and a powerful ally of the school and its traditions. His grandfather had founded it and so Tom, the name by which he was always known, was keen to enhance the unique nature of the place. He cared that Sexey’s School should succeed and sought to enhance it. I recall that the appeal for the sports hall was not going well and Tom obtained an interest free loan from the County Council which was the essential shot in the financial arm. He was also keen to ensure that the Sports Hall should be heated from the wasted heating from the adjacent swimming pool. I recall him teaching the County Hall architects in my study how this pioneer engineering could be done. They were eclipsed. He wrote his best seller the ‘Seeds of Change’ during my tenure and insisted I checked it critically. On one occasion he came with a chapter and I was teaching the history of the school and the town. I insisted he took over the lesson and he held the class spellbound by his comfortable awareness of his native area. He was equally comfortable as a distinguished Chairman of the County Council, Chairman of the County Education Committee and Chairman of the Kings School Bruton. Sexey’s owe the Hobhouse family, and Tom, a great deal.

Written by John Lello, Head Master 1980 – 1989