Background & History
Thomas Slingsby Duncombe
Our school is named after Thomas Slingsby Duncombe (1796-1861) who was MP for Hertford 1826-32 and for Finsbury in 1834-1861. He was described as ‘probably the most radical Member’ of his period. He was from an aristocratic background and his constituents called him "Honest Tom Duncombe" with great affection.
Thomas Duncombe was unwavering in his support for popular causes. In 1842 he presented the second Chartist petition to Parliament calling for universal male suffrage and other democratic reforms. He also strongly supported the rights of trade unions at a time when their legal status was in doubt. He was President of a National Federation of Trades in the 1840s, which tried to unite trade union organisations in the way that the TUC eventually did. Thomas Duncombe also strongly supported the movements for shorter working hours and helped to bring in the first important measure in the Ten Hours Act of 1848. He attacked the use of ships to house prisoners and was a member of the Committee for the setting up of Finsbury Park as a public open space.
Duncombe Road was built in 1866 and named after the late MP. The Duncombe Road Board School was opened in 1878, with the top floor added in 1905.