Headmaster W. T. Marsh, speaking at an Old Boys Dinner in 1928, announced that the School was to be divided into four sports houses and that the suggested names were Wallace, Page, Cowper
...The Richard Hale Association
(the Old Boys) commissioned renowned contemporary artists to paint four of these striking portraits: Cowper
and Croft were painted by Graham Jones RP, Page by David Ord Kerr, and Wallace by David Gentleman RID (himself an Old Boy).
produced a lump sum of £1,600 in place of the old rent,charge of £40 per annum and he
sold the Master's House in Fore Street for £1,200.With these moneys, added to by public subscription, he
bought the Queen Anne mansion, Bayley Hall, as a residence for the Headmaster and boarders.In 1904 after negotiations with the Governors, Charity Commissioners, County Council
and Board of Education, Cowper
gave up his
right to appoint the Headmaster and all Governors save one.In return the School received financial assistance from the County Council
and the Board, and Cowper
contributed to the ensuing success by endowing the School with £4,800 in government securities, yielding an income equal to half the annual maintenance grant from the County Council
.Earl Cowper's skilful negotiations and benefaction helped to reconstitute the School, of which he was the first Chairman of the new Governing Board.
For two centuries the Cowper family played an important role in the local area, initially living at Cole Green and then, in 1801, building Panshanger House.The seventh Earl
was active in the service of Hertford Infirmary (later the County Hospital), opened his
park for the camps and field days of the South Hertfordshire Rifle Corps
, of which he
became Lieutenant-Colonel, and was responsible for building the tower and spire of St Andrew's Church
, Hertford and rebuilding Hertingfordbury Church
.He was variously Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, High Steward of Hertford and Colchester, Deputy Lieutenant of Kent and of Nottinghamshire.From 1880 to 1882 he served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland during a very troublesome time.He
left Dublin two days before Burke and Cavendish were murdered in Phoenix Park and he
was one of those responsible for negotiating Parnell's release from prison.He was Chairman of East Herts Quarter Sessions for many years and Chairman of the County Council 1889 to 1901.