Reverend Arthur Ashworth Aspinall opened The Scots College in 1893 as the founding Principal and owner.

Rev Aspinall was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister 1873 in Forbes. His social contacts were farmers (graziers) who would later send their sons to Scots. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1889 with a Bachelor of Arts.

Based on the ideas of Thomas Arnold of Rugby School, Aspinall focussed on religious and moral principles, gentlemanly conduct and intellectual ability rather than success in examinations. He encouraged his staff to communicate these values to the boys.


  • During 1895 Rev Aspinall arranged with the trustees of the late Judge J F Josephson to lease St Killian’s (named after an Irish saint) at Bellevue Hill. The College moved to its new home in July 1895. By 1901 Aspinall bought the lease of St Killians, which was later renamed in 1926 to Aspinall House.
  • In 1902, Aspinall had financed the construction of a new building containing a gym, a laboratory, armoury, carpenter’s shop, a bathroom, a ‘speech’ room and classroom.
  • In 1906, after long negotiations he sold St Killians, eight acres of surrounding land, a short lease on ten acres of sports ground at Rose Bay plus the new hall at the College for £7,000 to the Presbyterian Church.

Fun Facts

  • Rev Aspinall loved books especially Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes and he frequently read works by Thomas Arnold of Rugby School. He carried these books on trips and quoted from them in class.
  • Dr Archie Aspinall (Aspinall’s eldest son) was the first boy on the school roll when The Scots College opened on 28 January 1893.
  • In 1901 he was one of the founding committee of the Australian Historical Society, becoming President in 1904. Rev Aspinall resigned from Scots in 1912. In his final year at the College, aged 67, he studied the Elizabethan period and wrote the thesis The Metaphysical Significance of the Renaissance for his Masters degree from the University of Sydney.

Meet Our Principals

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.