Eton College was founded by Henry VI in 1440 to provide free education to 70 poor students. It was supplied with scholars from the town, a lavish income from land, and a huge collection of holy relics - including fragments of the True Cross and the Crown of Thorns.
If an Etonian is late for class, he is put into Tardy Book. This means he has to get up 15 minutes before everyone else and run to the School Office to sign the book. Conversely, if a master ('Beak') is more than 15 minutes late for a lesson, the boys can 'take a run' to the School Office to report their Beak's tardy. This sometimes results in the boys running like lunatics being followed by a Beak on a bicycle, all competing to get to School Office first.
The Old Etonian football team has won the FA Cup twice: once in 1879, and again in 1882 (when they defeated Blackburn Rovers). That puts them level with Nottingham Forest and only two behind Chelsea. They were runners-up four . The school now accommodates 1,300 boys and has produced 19 Prime Ministers.
Two Eton boys saved Queen Victoria's life in 1882 by attacking her gun-toting, would-be assassin with umbrellas.
There is an 'Eton' tribe in Cameroon which has 50,000 members. Abumgang means 'thank you'. A ‘beautiful woman’ is a Mme Minga, a spoon is a tock. To beat somebody is to bob them, whereas the sky is the dob.
Other ethnic groups in Cameroon include the Bum, Bang and Banana tribes; the Mang, the Fang and Tang; the Wum, the Wam and the War, and of course the Pongo.
The official languages of Cameroon – like those of Canada – are French and English though an urban mishmash of the two with Pidgin called Camfranglais is growing in popularity.
The largest group of tribes is called the Cameroon Highlanders, not to be confused with the Cameron Highlanders, a Scottish infantry regiment that disappeared in the 1961 regimental amalgamations.
Cameroon is home to the Goliath Frog, the world's largest frog; it's over a foot long and weighs 7lbs.
Fictional Old Etonians include James Bond, Captain Hook, Bertie Wooster and Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Wellington, is supposed to have said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. However, in his day the school didn't have playing fields, and the phrase wasn't recorded till after his death. According to the historian Sir Edward Creasy, what Wellington said, while passing an Eton cricket match many decades later, was, ‘There grows the stuff that won Waterloo’, a comment about the perceived qualities of the officer class.
Someone who was obsessed with this idea, however, was Adolf Hitler. Anthony Eden went to meet Hitler in Berchtesgaden in the months before Munich, hoping to get the Fuhrer on side by exchanging war memories. But the Fuhrer only wanted to talk about one thing: Eton.
Hitler was convinced that Britain owed its victory in the Great War over Germany to the military ethos of Eton. Eden, an Old Etonian himself, attempted to set the Fuhrer straight and told him that the Eton College Corps was a shambles. Nevertheless, Hitler still ensured that Eton got bombed in the Second World War.
The film maker, Sebastian Doggart, claims to have been the last boy to be caned at Eton, in 1984.
A Freedom of Information request in 2005 revealed that in 2004, Eton received £2,652 in farming subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy from the European Union.
Asked to explain on what grounds it was eligible to receive farming subsidies, Eton admitted that it was 'a bit of a mystery'.
The oldest fixture of the cricketing calendar, between Eton and Harrow, has been played at Lord’s since 1805.
I am inclined to agree with the Head Master of Eton that pæderastic passions among schoolboys 'do no harm'; further, I think them the only redeeming feature of sexual life at public schools.