Anthony Barton (Grafton 48)

The Roxburgh Society


Every now and again, it is a good idea to shake things up a bit and this year has seen a change in the cadence of the Roxburgh Society’s annual calendar. Traditionally there have been two annual lunches a year, one solely for members for us to say thank you and, a second ‘outreach’ lunch, where members invited a friend who might be interested in joining the Roxburgh Society, thereby adding Stowe to the beneficiaries in their Will.

The Roxburgh Society is a community of Old Stoics and friends of the School who have chosen to include Stowe in their Will. Over the last 20 years charitable giving to Stowe by Old Stoics and those who hold Stowe close to their hearts, has enabled both the restoration of the House and the renaissance of the fabric of the School.

This year we held the members’ lunch as usual but we swapped the outreach lunch for a smaller event held in London at the Lansdowne Club, which brought together old friends and also gave us an opportunity to talk about the importance of Legacy Giving.

One advantage of this change is that it allowed the members’ lunch to return to June, which is such a glorious time of year at Stowe. This year’s lunch celebrated JF Roxburgh, marking 70 years since he retired as the School’s Headmaster. To celebrate the occasion all the surviving pupils who were at Stowe during JF’s tenure were invited. Despite the minimum qualifying age being 83, over 20 were able to join us. This brought our numbers up to over 100 and we only just managed to fit into the Music Room. Nonetheless, this created a very enjoyable atmosphere and the lunch was a hugely enjoyable affair.

The food, as ever, was excellent and complimented by the very kind donation of two cases of excellent 2012 Leoville Barton claret shipped directly from his chateaux by Anthony Barton (Grafton 48). The wonderful wine provided a high point for the lunch. I would also like to thank Stoics, Toby Thorpe (Chatham, Upper Sixth), Boris Baros (Bruce, Upper Sixth) and Annabel Hing (Stanhope, Fifth Form) for their wonderful music recital, which both impressed and entertained us all.

Our second lunch at the Lansdowne was a similarly enjoyable event with 30 Old Stoics who left Stowe between 1963 and 1968. The lunch was hosted by the Headmaster who provided an update on Stowe along with some information about the importance of Legacy Giving to the continued and future development at Stowe.

Next year will be the 15th Anniversary of the foundation of the Roxburgh Society and I am very much looking forward to another year of excellent events. The Roxburgh Society has had over 200 members. Its purpose is to say thank you, during their lifetime, to those who have chosen to leave a financial legacy. The Society has been a tremendous success since it was founded. Members of the Roxburgh Society have bequeathed a total of £2,300,000 since its inception (and there has been a further £1,100,000 left in Wills of Old Stoics who were not members).

Membership of the Roxburgh Society is open to anyone who pledges to leave a bequest. There is no financial lower limit and all members are welcome. Please give joining the Roxburgh Society serious consideration. If you would like further information or to discuss your wishes in confidence, please contact the Development Manager, Charlie Clare at Stowe ( on 01280 818326. I, too, am very happy to provide guidance if required, or 07971 501750.

Nigel Rice (Chatham 64)
President, Roxburgh Society