Sir John’s foundation nearly didn’t make its first half-century, let alone half-millennium. In 1547, when the school was a mere 45 years old, its fate hung by a thread. It had survived Henry VIII’s reign, only to be threatened by the Duke of Northumberland’s closure of chantries under Edward VI. But it had influential allies. Edmund Sutton, nephew of one of Sir John’s old cronies, convinced the Duke of the need for a school. Re-founded under a new charter, it rose again in 1552 as ‘the free Grammar School of King Edward VI’. It was endowed with former monastic lands in Chester (the monks having been less fortunate under Henry VIII) and its new home was School Bank, behind the Parish Church. There it remained until 1748.