Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, is the one of the oldest boarding schools in Asia, having been founded on 28th July, 1859, by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, son of an Army Captain, who died leading his Regiment in battle. A scholar of Westminister, and a graduate of Cambridge, in 1836 he was appointed Assistant Master at Rugby by Doctor Thomas Arnold, one of the founders of the British Public School system. It was the young Mr. Cotton who is spoken of as the "the model young master" in Thomas Hughes' famous book "Tom Brown's School Days" which gives an insight to school life at Rugby.
After having taught for 15 years at Rugby, in 1852, he was appointed Master of Marlborough, where he established organized games and the House and prefect systems. He believed that " the prefects are and shall be, long as I am the Head, the governors of the school. As soon as I see this impracticable I will resign….." He was consecrated Bishop at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Queen Victoria personally selected Bishop Cotton as Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan Bishop of India, Burma and the Island of Ceylon, keeping in view the critical period in India around 1857.