The school was founded in the name of Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, of Calcutta, in 1865.
The school adopted the Cotton family crest as its own. The Crest is divided vertically down the centre, one side is called Dexter (right), and the other is called Sinister (left) having reference to the shield itself. Thus the Dexter is on the left of the Crest as we look at it. The arms of this half of the Crest are those of the Bishopric of Calcutta - the Bishop's Mitre (head-dress), the Bishop's Staff and the open Bible.
The other side of the Crest (the Sinister) contains the arms of the ancient house of Cotton of Combermere, in England, to which Bishop Cotton belonged. The white figures of eight-like shapes represent the skeins of Cotton. The chevron (the inverted V) is supposed to represent the gable of a house and was usually granted to a family for distinguished service in a siege. One of the Bishop's ancestors was a famous General and this might have been a reward for his military service. The Crest that Bishop Cotton Boys' School proudly bears today is not so much a reward but a symbol of service to the field of education.
Nec Dextrorsum, Nec Sinistrorsum
"Neither to the right, nor to the left" - but straight on! This motto in Latin is taken from the book of Joshua in the Bible, and was the family motto of Rev. G.U. Pope, who was the Warden of the school from 1871 to 1886 under whose stewardship, the school grew from strength to strength.
It was during his time that the first Hall Block came up. The school strength increased to 114 boys and interestingly enough, considering the age and the times, 66 girls.
The motto embodies a sense of morality, energy, vigour, clarity and purpose. Living their lives by this simple credo, Cottonians can hold their heads up high, knowing that every moment is worthwhile. It is echoed in the words of the School Song: