York House


York House

York House Foundation

Were you an old Yorkist before 2012? If so, we are looking to connect our alumni with our current York House community. 

We would appreciate you contacting us via the link below with some brief information about yourself and your time spent at our wonderful school. 
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There have been a few notable old boys from York House:

Sir John Sulston

Sir John Sulston CHFRS (27th March 1942– 6th March 2018) was a British biologist and academic who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the cell lineage and genome of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans in 2002 with his colleagues Sydney Brenner and Robert Horvitz. He was a leader in human genome research and Chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the university of Manchester. Sulston was in favour of science in the public interest, such as free public access of scientific information and against the patenting of genes and the privatisation of genetic technologies.

At age five he entered the local preparatory school, York House School, where he soon developed an aversion to games. He developed an early interest in science, having fun with dissecting animals and sectioning plants to observe their structure and function. Sulston won a scholarship to Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood and then to Pembroke College, Cambridge graduating in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Sciences (Chemistry). He joined the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, after being interviewed byAlexander Todd and was awarded his PhD in 1966 for research in nucleotide chemistry.

Sulston played a central role in both the C. elegans and human genome sequencing projects. He had argued successfully for the sequencing of C. elegans to show that large-scale genome sequencing projects were feasible. As sequencing of the worm genome proceeded, the Human Genome Project began. At this point he was made director of the newly established Sanger Centre (named after Fred Sanger), located in Cambridgeshire, England.

In 2000, after the 'working draft' of the human genome sequence was completed, Sulston retired from directing the Sanger Centre. With Georgina Ferry, he narrated his research career leading to the human genome sequence in The Common Thread: A Story of Science, Politics, Ethics, and the Human Genome (2002).

One of Sulston's most important contributions during his research years at the LMB was to elucidate the precise order in which cells in C. elegans divide. In fact, he and his team succeeded in tracing the nematode's entire embryonic cell lineage.

In 2006, he was awarded the George Dawson Prize in Genetics by Trinity College Dublin. In 2013, Sulston was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand's Rutherford Memorial Lecture, which he gave on the subject of population pressure. He was appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to science and society.

On 23 October 2017 he was awarded the Cambridge Chemistry Alumni Medal. Sulston was a leading campaigner against the patenting of human genetic information.

Sulston died on 6 March 2018 of stomach cancer, aged 75 years.

Alan King-Hamilton

Myer Alan Barry King-Hamilton QC (9 December 1904 – 23 March 2010) was a British barrister and judge who was best known for hearing numerous high-profile cases at the Old Bailey during the 1960s and 1970s. These included the trial of Janie Jones in 1974 and the 1977 blasphemous libel trial against Gay News and its editor, Denis Lemon, for publishing "The Love That Dares to Speak Its Name", a poem by James Kirkup.

King-Hamilton was born Myer Alan Barry Harris in West Hampstead, London on 9 December 1904, the youngest child and only son of solicitor Alfred Harris (1871-1959) and Constance Clyde Druiff (1877-1963). His father changed the family surname to King-Hamilton in 1916. King-Hamilton attended York House prep school and briefly The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, but completed his schooling atBishop's Stortford College. He read law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, receiving a third-class BA degree in 1927. He later commented that "it is not essential or even important to get a First, or even a Second, to succeed at the Bar. Hamilton took his MA in 1929, the same year in which he was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple.

In 1935, he married Rosalind Irene Ellis (1906–1991), with whom he had two daughters. During his first few years at the Bar, King-Hamilton specialised in road traffic law before branching out into other areas.

After being appointed QC in 1954, King-Hamilton was appointed Recorder of Hereford from 1955 to 1965, of Gloucester from 1956 to 1961 and of Wolverhampton until 1964. In that year he was appointed an additional judge of the Central Criminal Court, which lead to his most notable reported cases.

After retiring in 1979, King-Hamilton acted as an arbitrator in the Channel 4 television series, ‘Case on Camera’. He died on 23 March 2010 at the age of 105, survived by both his daughters.