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It is not every schoolmaster who can retire to great wealth and a landed estate, but Robert Jennings, Master of Abingdon School from 1657 to 1683, did so. Born about 1622, he was the second son of John Jennings, a prominent Reading mercer. John Jennings was Mayor of Reading in 1630-40, but his name disappears from the corporation records after the taking of the town by the parliamentarians in the Civil War. This suggests a strong royalist allegiance, which was shared by his son.

James Cobban was headmaster of Abingdon School from 1947 to 1970. He is credited with transforming the school from the rather undistinguished institution it had become to one that enjoyed (as it still does) a very high status in the educational world.

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