Today in the Middle Ages: June 24, 1441

King Henry VI of England founded Eton College on June 24, 1441.

Always keenly interested in scholarship, the King founded the school to provide opportunities for poor scholars. There were originally 70 students, 14 in each year, and the King paid all their expenses. They would go on to attend King's College, Cambridge, which Henry founded at the same time.

Ironically, considering its origin as a charity school, Eton has evolved into the most elite of institutions. Its list of famous alumni includes nineteen Prime Ministers of Britain.