The CMS Grammar School in the Bariga district of Lagos is the oldest secondary school in Nigeria, founded on 6 June 1859 by the Church Missionary Society. For decades it was the main source of African clergymen and administrators in the Lagos Colony.
Foundation The seed funding for CMS Grammar School, Lagos was made possible by Captain James Pinson Labulo Davies who in April 1859 provided Reverend Thomas Babington Macaulay with £50 (equivalent of ₦1.34 million as of 2014) to buy books and equipment for the school. With the seed funding Reverend Macaulay opened CMS Grammar School on June 6, 1859. In 1867, Captain Davies contributed another £100 (₦2.68 million as of 2014) toward a CMS Grammar School Building Fund.Other contributors to the CMS Building Fund were non Saros such as Daniel Conrad Taiwo AKA Taiwo Olowo who contributed £50. Saro contributors also included men such as Moses Johnson, I.H. Willoughby, T.F. Cole, James George, and Charles Foresythe who contributed £40. The CMS Grammar School in Freetown, founded in 1848, served as a model. The school began with six students, all boarders in a small, single story building called the ‘Cotton House’ at Broad Street. The first pupils were destined to be clergymen. The curriculum included English, Logic, Greek, Arithmetic, Geometry, Geography, History, Bible Knowledge and Latin.The first principal of the school was the scholar and theologian Thomas Babington Macaulay, who served until his death in 1878. He was the father of Herbert Macaulay.When the British colony of Lagos was established in 1861, the colonial authorities obtained most of their African clerical and administrative staff from the school.