1520-1884 Outline History – Harold Moodey


17. TRUST DEED OF 1745.
According to the Report of the Schools Commission of 1867. the earliest deed still in existence relative to the school is a conveyance of land for the benefit of the school, dated 10th June, 1745. It Is an indenture of feoffment, conveying the lands at Orton on the Hill and Breaston to ten trustees. The terms of the trust are as follows:

  • The rents and profit should be applied for the maintenance of the free Grammar School and such masterand usher thereof as should be appointed in accordance with existing rules or such rules as the trustees, or a majority of them, should appoint.
  • The trustees should have power to appoint, and, for just cause remove, the masters and ushers.
  • They should visit and reform “all misdemeanours and abuses in the school, or masters thereof, or the revenue belonging thereto.”
  • The school should be subject to such rules and orders as the trustees should frame, and set up in the school.
  • The “freedom of the school” should extend to places named in the rules.
  • The yearly sum of £3 payable from the Clerkenwell house should be made up to £40 a year for the head schoolmaster.
  • To some poor scholar, for ringing the bell and sweeping the school, 20 shillings should be paid.
  • To such person as the trustees should appoint, 20 shillings a year should be paid for collecting the rents.
  • The sum or 50 shillings should be paid into the town’s coffers for repairs and incidental expenses of the school.
  • The remainder of the rents, together with the £0 payable from the Clcrkenwell house and “the voluntary allowance which the Earls of Uxbridge had some time made” should be paid to the usher.
  • If the cost of repairs and incidental charges should exceed 50 shillings, the excess should be paid out of the salaries of the masters, proportionally.
  • If the rents should increase, the extra income should be divided between the masters as the trustees should decide.
  • When half the trustees should be dead, others, the majority to be inhabitants or Burton, should be appointed, to make the number up to twelve.
  • The trustees should have power to lease the school lands, keep accounts, and once a year visit the school as a body. For their expenses, they should be allowed 10 shillings a year.

The customary “voluntary contribution” of the Karl of Uxbridge calls for comment.

It has already been mentioned that in 1597 the fourth Lord Paget was required to pay, as one of the charges of the estates rc-granted to him by James I, a sum of £2 a year towards the stipend of a schoolmaster.

Now Henry Paget became on 31st December, 1711, Karon Burton of Burton, on 25th February, 1713, seventh Baron Paget, succeeding to this title of the death of his father, and on 19th October, 1711, the first Earl of Uxbridge, His only son, Thomas, predeceased him; his grandson became eighth Baron Paget and second Earl of Uxbridge on his death in 1743. It is this Earl of Uxbridge referred to in the deed. He was in the custom of paying to the usher or under schoolmaster the annual sum of £2, and in addition, in consideration of his being formerly clerk of the Church, his lordship allowed him £3 yearly for looking after the choir. This description makes it probable that the usher was William Shilton, who is known to have been clerk in 1752, and who signed the vestry book in 1730.

Another matter which remains to be rediscovered is the process by which a statutory obligation in 1597 to pay £2 a year towards the stipend of the master became a voluntary undertaking to pay the same sum to the usher. It is possible that the first payment ceased under the settlement or 1005, when all claims on Lord Paget were withdrawn.

The description of the grant as a voluntary payment by the Earls of Uxbridge (in the plural) refers us back to the life time of the first earl, that is, to a time between I713aud 1713. It provides a tittle more evidence as to the continued functioning of the school. In a town as small as Burton then was (forty years later, according to the “Derby Mercury” of 1789, the population of Burton was only 2920 with another 553 in Burton extra, or Bond End), a school large enough to occupy both a master and an usher might be unexpected. Perhaps we may assume that the school was so highly successful that its reputation extended over a considerable area, and that pupils attended from localities outside the town.

19. A CHANCERY SUIT, 1746.
After the trust deed of 1745, a suit in Chancery gives us an insight into the conditions of government of the school. The suit, instituted in 1746, sought to impeach or set aside the deed, and to establish the claims of the Karl of Uxbridge to the right of choosing some of the trustees of the school and of exercising the powers of a visitor to the school. On 7th February, 1752.it was declared by decree after hearing of the cause, that it did not appear that the Karl of Uxbridge or any other person had a right to be visitor, and that the right of nominating, appointing, and removing the usher was in the trustees for the time being. In pursu nance of the direction of the Court, a new conveyance of the school estates was made to ten trustees, including those appointed by the former deed. The new conveyance reaffirmed the provisions of the disputed deed: It was dated 1752.

20. 1782.
An interesting and unexpected glimpse of the school is provided by the discovery in 1929 of a leaflet in a chest in the Parish Church. This was described in the ‘Cygnet’ by “B. H.”. It is a leaflet of school accounts covering the years 1781-I788. From it it appears that at that time the meetings of the Trustees took place in the Old Vestry at the Parish Church.

From the entries in the leaflet “B. H.” quotes the following:

1782, April 16th, Usher’s Salary H. year due 5th instant … £13 0 0
1782, April 24th. School Master’s Salary, Half a year, due 5th of this month … £38 0 0
1782, June 21st, To Mr. Browne, Joiner, by Henry Wakefield for fencing the School Garden … £0 10 6
1783, Nov. 6th, To Mr. Leake, his Bill for Glazing … £0 13 9

“B. H.” adds: “Of the many other references, too numerous to give here, the frequent mention of Ale in the Accounts, explains to us that the Master, and perhaps the boys, were not behind in supporting the chief industry of their town”

On 28th December, 1802, a new trust deed appointed ten trustees. This is known from a Report of the Charity Commissioners in 1824. They had between these two years done very little to foster the interests of the school, and the signs are that the school passed through a temporary period of decline, not in numbers, but in the standard of its performance.

A puzzling problem comes from a publication of 1818 – “The Endowed Schools of England,” by Nicholas Carlisle. In his preface to the work, which is in two volumes, the author explains that in 1816 he conceived the idea of describing every endowed grammar school in England. In that year he published, in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’, a letter and questionnaire, and sent a similar communication to every known endowed school in the country. From a number of schools he received no replies; he recorded the fact in every such case. In the Staffordshire section of the book the free grammar schools at Repton and Uttoxeter arc dealt with; so is the free school at Rollcston, which had by then become degraded to an elementary school. But there is no mention of Burton Grammar School!

Here is a problem which seems hard to solve. According to Underhill, the Rev. Hugh Jones, Curate of Burton from 1772 to 1808 was master of the School. He succeeded the Rev. J. Hepworth, who died in 1795. White records that his son. the Rev. Hugh Jones. A.B., Curate between 1821 and 1839, was master in 1831 and, in fact, was responsible for the building in that year of the Friars’ Walk School. There is no information available that the Curates who intervened. Henry Devereux, (1808-19). who was also vicar or Stapenhill, and who married Lady Sophia Gresley of Drakelow Hall, nor Charles Kingsley (1819-20). had any connection with the school, in view of the Report of the Charity Commissioners, recorded in the next section, that the Trustees seldom met, there is presumptive evidence that between 1808 and 1821 no Headmaster was appointed. On the other hand, sixty boys attended the school in 1822, and It is difficult to believe that the school had at any time entirely ceased to function, for building up to full strength in a year would seem unlikely. It seems Justifiable to assume that during’ the interval the school was carried on by an usher, who was Hot qualified to give grammar school education. If this is so, it will explain the decline in standards reported by the Charity Commission. But it will not explain Carlisle’s failure to discover anything about the endowment. This looks like a question which will never be answered.

(Note – After these pages had gone to press, our attention was called to the fact that M. T. Bass, father of Lord Burton, born in 1799, was educated at the school. This clearly has some bearing on what has been said above).

In 1821 appeared the report of the Charity Commissioners, which can be regarded as beginning the modern history of education. In its report upon Kurt on Grammar School, the Commission bears out to some extent the conclusions we have reached above. In the school. Greek now seems to have disappeared; although there were plenty of scholars, the greater proportion received only elementary education. Further, of the ten trustees appointed in 1802, six survived; those who had died had not been replaced.

There is reason, says the Report, (and the evidence of Jervis helps to confirm it), to believe that the school was formerly kept up more strictly as a grammar school than at present, and that such were only admitted as scholars who came for the purpose of being instructed in foreign languages. At present there are 18 or 20 boys who receive instruction from the master in Latin; the rest of the number, (limited to sixty, which Is as many as the school can well accommodate), are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic by the usher.

The school is free to the sons of parishioners of Burton, and all such are admitted, on application to the master, as vacancies occur, but with a preference to such as apply for admission to the classical, or the master’s division of the school.

The character of the school, however, (continues the report), as an establishment for education of a higher degree, appears to be materially affected by the indiscriminate admission of boys of the lower class, whose parents are not solicitous for more than common instruction in English, writing, etc. But the master does not feel himself at liberty, without the sanction and interference of the trustees, to adopt any more strict regulations concerning the admission and qualification of’the scholars the more particularly as the school has long been conducted on the same’ footing as at present, (a statement which we can regard as being in accord with our surmise above that the school had been carried on by a non-graduate, probably an usher).

He suggests, as a matter of complaint, the want of power to enforce a regular attendance of the boys; many of them are taken away by their parents for harvest work and other occasional employments.

The Report goes on to say that the trustees have not been in (he habit of holding any stated or regular meetings of late. One reason given is that no complaints have been made to them. It appears to us, conclude the Commissioners, that as the trustees have power to make rules for for the better government of the school, it would be proper for them to enquire into its present state and condition, and make such regulations as may be requisite for maintaining the character of the institution and carrying into effect the purpose for which it was effected and endowed.

There is little evidence that much was done to comply with the recommendations of the Commissioners as regards improving the standards of the school, at least for some time.

White, in his 1831 “History of Staffordshire”, was unable to report anything very different from what had been said by the Commissioners. It is likely, however, that in the main he merely summarised their Report ” and made few investigations on his own account. He docs record, however that the master was the Rev. Hugh Jones, A.B., and that Henry Hodson was usher. (Hugh Jones, junior, matriculated at Christ Church. Oxford, on 21st May, 1792, but migrated to Jesus College. He became B.A. In 1796).

William Wesley too, writing in l847,”History of Burton-on-Trent.” gives no new information except that the Headmaster was then the Rev. J. F. MacMichael. His information is mainly a reproduction of what Shaw had said 50 years previously, and his comments on the school were probably merely based on the Report of the Commissioners. They can be given no importance as a description of the School in 1847, even if what he told may have been true, “it is to be regretted,” he wrote ‘That with such an income as £450 per annum so little benefit is derived by the town from this institution. Placed on a more popular footing, this school might afford a good education to nearly all the south of the town”. One or two comments may be made: a definition of popular’ seems called for; the school was always filled to capacity. Secondly it is likely that the youth or the town of the ages which we should now regard as school age was at this date something in the neighbourhood of 2,000 boys and girls! if Wesley had been aware of the developments of 1834 we could pay more attention to what he said on other matters.

For something, at least, was done. In 1834, White reports in his 1851 “History of Staffordshire”, the new school, adjoining the Churchyard, was built by the master, the Rev.Hugh Jones, at a cost of £600. The numbers had then increased to 68; there were 25 boys in the classical department. The new school was the building in Friars’ Walk, which was to be used for the next 42 years. It was an unfortunate venture. It was not nearly ambitious enough; it was situated in a most undesirable, position near the river: it was inconvenient and congested. The school did not benefit as much as it might have. Of this more will he said shortly.

Of Allsop’s school we know very little. To White we are indebted for the information that Mr. William Shillon was master in 1831. Wesley, (1840). mentions Allsopp’s School as being in New Street.

In 1849. under date 6th June, new proposals were put forward concerning the charity by the resident Trustees, for the approval of the nonresident.

The amount of the bequest of Richard Allsopp, the form or proposal stales, has been laid out in the purchase of land, the present annual value of which is £25. (This, as has been shown in another section, is not a true statement of the facts: the original bequest was of land at Kings Bromley).

There being no schoolroom attached to the Charity, the rents have hitherto been paid over to a person of the order mentioned by the Testator, who has taken upon himself the providing or a room and all other expenses connected with the school; and he has instructed as well as he was able on such slender means, the required number or children in reading and spelling and in the Church Catechisms; but the School, under such management, had become very inefficient when compared with Public Schools for the education of the children of the poor established by the inhabitants in connection with National and British and Foreign School Societies; whilst the small amount of the Charity affords little opportunity for improvement.

“The administration of the Trusts of this Charity, as of all other public Charities belonging to the Town and Parish of Burton upon Trent, is now vested in a body of gentlemen called the Feoffees or Trustees of the Burton Town Lands….These gentlemen have long felt that whenever a vacancy occurred in the Mastership of the School It would be desirable to adopt some mode of administering the fund in order to render it more useful than in supporting a sort of “Dame School”, quite unsuited to the circumstances of the present times. Such vacancy has now occurred by the decease of the person who last held the situation, and who had held It for many years before the establishment or the Public Schools which have been reterred to.”

The feoffees then proposed that for the future thirty boys, children or the poorest families in Burton, preference being given to children whose parents were the most constant frequenters of the public ordinances, should be nominated and admitted into one of the National Schools as free scholars, but that they should retain their identity: ” in going to and returning from Church, and in all public processions in which the Scholars shall join, the boys on Richard Allsopp’s foundation shall be formed into a distinct body, either preceding or following the other boys as may be deemed expedient”. The school to he attended by the scholars was to be paid £24 per annum.

As we mentioned in an earlier chapter, Underhill records that Allsopp’s charity by 1866 had become worth £453 9s 10d. This differs very considerably from the above £25; the only other endowments to the locality by Allsopp were sums of three pounds to Repton, three pounds to “Newall” and Stanton, and one pound each to “Newton Solney”, “Winstell”, “Stapen hill”,and “Burton extra, alias Bond End”, for the distribution of bread to the necessitous poor. If Underhill’s figure is correct, it might appear that some of the funds were not reaching their intended destination. An alternative explanation most probably in accord with the facts, is that between 1849 and 1866 building developments took place on the Allsopp estates, and in consequence the income from rents increased manifold.

The lands (acquired by exchange) extended approximately from Moor Street to beyond Horninglow Street.

An interesting point arises in connection with the proposals. The plan with its date 6th June states that the schoolmaster is deceased: a letter preserved with the proposals, but undated, says “I suppose I shall be right in arranging for Allsopp’s School to be carried on for a fortnight by Shilton as heretofore. It will never do to disperse the pupils”. This was from FJ. Thornewlll, a Feoffee. It seems to be solved by an inscription on a stone in the Parish Churchyard. William Shilton died in 1886, having been Clerk of the Parish for 36 years. The Shiltons provided the Parish Clerks for generations: a William Shilton signed the Vestry Hook in 1730, and either he or another William Shilton, who we have already concluded was usher of the Grammar School, was Clerk in 1752. Two others -Robert and John – were also in the vestry. It is worthy of note, too. that a Mr. Shilton was one of the two Grammar School masters appointed in 1605; Joseph Shilton was curate of Burton in 1662.

The evidence here is that William Shilton, master of the Alsop school from at least 1834. died in or before 1819; and that for a short while the school was continued by his son William. For how long is not known; there is reason for thinking that it may have been for a year or two.

In 1869 Molyneux recorded that thirty scholars were receiving instruction under the Allsopp Charity at the Christ Church National Schools.

By a new scheme, dated 2nd August, 1858, fees were introduced at the Grammar School. Under the terms of the scheme, as quoted by Griffith (“Schools and Endowments of Staffordshire. 1860) – internal evidence makes it clear that the information came direct from the Headmaster – the following developments were to take place.

A house was to be erected for the Headmaster “on the land used as a playground for the boys” (the 1867 Commission, to be described shortly, said there was no playground!).

The Headmaster was to teach with assistance Greek, Latin, German, French, Mathematics, Arithmetic, and Geography. The second master was to teach the ‘rudiments’ of English, Latin, French, History, and Geography, and also writing and arithmetic.

The scholars (aged between 8 and 16 on entry) must be able to read and write, and must have some knowledge of the first four rides of Arithmetic.

In the upper school fees of £7 a year were to be paid; in the lower, £2. The assistant masters and the French masters were to be paid out of these fees.

Free places, up to a maximum of five, were to be awarded in the upper school to pupils from the lower; another five to pupils of the schools in the town for entry to the lower school.

Church of England doctrines were to be taught to all pupils unless their parents gave written notice of objection.

While numbers were under 110, in addition to the Headmaster and second master, an assistant master as well as the visiting French master were to be appointed; when that number was exceeded; another master was to be appointed for each thirty boys.

The school was to be examined annually by a graduate, who was to receive £5 for his services. On the result of the inspection, prizes not exceeding £5 in total value might be awarded.

Fourteen trustees were appointed; the Marquess of Anglesey again being one.

From this date, though the early stages were slow and there was a severe set-back between 1874 and 1884, the school began to recover. The unsatisfactory buildings, however, were a severe handicap; (he complete recovery began some years after the school had moved from Friars Walk to Bond Street seventeen years later.

We have now reached the period of “modern memory”. In 1860 the Headmaster was the Rev. Henry Day, L.L.B. He was on Old Boy of Harrow, and had played cricket for his school against Eton. He was a scholar of his college at Cambridge; he had twice won the Chancellor’s prize for an English poem; and he had gained First Class Honours in Law.

We have no personal record of him at this time, but an Old Boy, S.A.Ward, who was at the school from 1870 to 1873, remembers him thus:

“Mr. Day always wore a frock-coat, from the tails of which he frequently produced an enormous handkerchief. He kept a cane always hanging on the side of his desk, and brought It into action many times a week. While teaching, and especially when about to administer what was probably justice, he had a habit of taking a pinch of snuff.

Mrs. Day used often to visit the school, and she and her poodle, “Nettle”, would sit watching the boys and masters at work”.

In 1860, Mr Day had 38 scholars, including 10 boarders; the second master, Mr. Henry Hodson, had 30. French was taught by M. Dumas who came over from Repton once a week. The third master was Mr W.H. Drewett, A.B., an Old Boy of the School, who in his school days had secured fifth place in the country in order of merit among the Senior Candidates in the First Oxford Middle Class Examination.

William Clubb was a scholar at the School in 1860: he is the oldest surviving “Old Boy”.

27. AN INSPECTION, 1864.
The School possesses a copy of an Inspectors Report. dealing with an inspection which took place, in accordance with the 1858 scheme, in April. 1884. It is an account of an examination in all the subjects which were taught in the school. It suggests that the regeneration of the School was not very far advanced; as we Ihave said, it was in the new building that progress towards its present high level of attainment began to be marked.

There were 59 boys in the school: only two were learning Greek. Mathematics was in a bad state. We read: “Euclid. Algebra. No boys were far enough advanced to be examined in these subjects. But it is right to say that owing to the death and illness of Mr. Coleman and the delay of four months before a successor was found, attention to mathematics was unavoidably interrupted.”

“There are,” says the Report, “two schoolrooms of moderate size poorly furnished. There is no library for the boys and no playground. As there is (I was glad to learn) a good cricket club, I suppose there is some field the boys are able to hire for themselves in the summer.”

The last surmise was optimistic. Most, if not all. of the games at this time were played on the Andressey meadow!

One of the most valuable features of the Report is that it mentions a number of boys who achieved Commendation in the various subjects examined. After Pointz, possibly Belfield and the Suttons, Jervis, Hopkins, Byart, M.T.Bass, Drewett, and Clubb, they are the earliest names of which we have record. Unfortunately their initials are not given. The names are:

Barratt, Brown snr., Burn, Cartwright, Chappell, Day snr., Day jnr., Gothard snr., Gothard jnr., Isitt, Molyneux, Newbold, Outhwaite snr., Outhwaite jnr., Parker, Parsons, Robinson snr., Thompson.
(The Days were sons of the Headmaster).

The history of the document is interesting. It was placed one Sunday morning, in an envelope, without explanation, in the pew of Mr. R.T.Robinson. Headmaster from 1900-1930, in the Parish Church.

In 1869 came the reports of the Schools Enquiry Commission. ‘The results of their massive labours were far-reaching in many parts or the country; in few places can they have been more far-reaching than in Burton.

“The school building.” reported the Commissioner for Staffordshire, Mr. T.H.Green, “is very unsatisfactory for its purpose. It consists of two long low rooms, the upper of which is used as the ordinary schoolroom, the lower as a classroom. The ventilation is bad. and the offices not in a proper state. There is no playground, not even a yard, nor any house for the master. The school adjoins the churchyard, and is low and damp in situation. A man likely to know said that he could recall 10 boys who had been taken from the school within three years on account of the situation.”

By this time Greek had been reintroduced to the school; we noticed that there were two pupils taking the language in 1864. There were two departments: the numbers in 1865 were 26 boys in the upper, 48 in the lower. All the boys in the upper department were learning Latin, and more than half Greek. English grammar and analysis, French, Geogaphy, English literature, and arithmetic were “attended to.” “Considering the number of the subjects taught” says the Report ” and the age of the boys, the standard was satisfactorily high.” Six subjects were taught, counting English in its different aspects as one. This was apparently regarded as a large number. Nowadays, twelve subjects appear on the second form time-table!

The lower department, however, seemed inferior all round: the standard attained was described as very low. But the general tone of the school was good.

According to the Commissioner, the introduction of fees in 1858 was an attempt at separating the middle classes of society from the lower, for one of the reasons alleged for the small numbers in the upper department was the unwillingness of middle class parents that their children should associate with those from working-class homes. Thus do we gain glimpses of the outlook of the time. The offering of free places to pupils from the National Schools to the lower department, and from the lower department to the higher, were devices to raise the standard of attainment both before entry, and in the lower school. “The result is that the school is giving in their lower classes an education the same in kind as that given in the National Schools, but under a different name and (on the whole) to a different grade of boys, while in all but the highest classes it is giving the same education as the cheap private schools.”

Some illuminating remarks and suggestions were made by the Commission. A few of them are selected.

The absence from the school of those boys who ought to fill its upper department can be accounted for on two grounds: the professional and more respectable mercantile parents object to the mixture of their sons with those of a lower class; and the grammar school, with its bad building and situation, cannot compete with the attractions of Cheap boarding Schools.

The population of the town is supposed to be 20,000, and for several years it has been eminently prosperous. The magnates of brewery, of course)!) live in country houses elsewhere,but there are a good many professional men in the town, and a large number with incomes of £500 or more from the breweries. This part of the middle class makes little use of the grammar school, while on the other hand the temptation of lucrative employment at the breweries draws all the boys from the school at the age of 14.

The conclusion of the Commission was: The transfer of the School to a new building with proper residence for the master, and playground, in the suburbs would do a great deal to make the school more popular with the middle class.

If, in addition to a now building, scholarships could be provided tenable at the Burton school itself, or at some other having better n cans of providing an education for the Universities, the general character of the school, and with it the educational prospects of all the boys in the town might be greatly raised.

Finally the question or the necessary funds was discussed: Land could be readily obtained, and the feoffees of the town charities have large accumulations from which they have given freely to the elementary schools of the town. The feoffees have more than £30,000 invested.

Considering the size and Importance of the town. It might be well to leave the endowment untouched for purposes or building, but the feoffees of the town lands and the millionaire brewers may fairly be looked to to supply a new school with proper belongings. ‘ (Mr. Underhill remarks that this was perhaps a little too optimistic. At least in 1858 there were thirty-six breweries in Burton, mostly small, and the majority of their magnates lived in Burton. It was not till the years following 1880, when amalgamations had taken place, that the term “millionaire brewers could have been used with confidence.)

In 1867 the most Hon. the Marquess of Anglesey was presenting prizes to the annual value of £5. The prizes were for Latin and Greek.

29. THE SCHOOL IN 1873.
In 1873 Mr. Day was still Headmaster. Mr. Hodson, who was second master in 1860, had retired, and his place was now occupied by Mr. Henry Heape. Mr. Drewett, the Old Boy who had returned as third master, had been succeeded first by Mr. Mayberry. then by Mr. Egginton, then by Mr. Burton. The exact place of Mr. Coleman, who was mentioned in the examiners report of 1801 as having died, is not known at present; Mr. Hodson died in 1868. aged 77. Perhaps Mr. Coleman took his place about 1861.

At this time the school had a cadet corps of four companies (or rather, perhaps, platoons). This cadet corps continued till about 1931. Athletic Sports were held on the Burton cricket ground. Cricket and football took place on the Andressey meadow. On each occasion, the boys had to take all their gear from the school, and make all the preparations themselves.

In 1873, Mr. Day. after a fairly long illness, retired. During his absence Mr. Heape had acted as Headmaster, and apparently confidently expected to secure the appointment. But the trustees appointed Mr. C.U.Tripp, B.A., who came to the school from Trent College.

Mr. Heape withdrew from the School, and opened a school or his own in Cross Street. A number or boys from the lower school went with him. The opening of the new Grammar School in Bond Street in 1877 began a new era in the history of the school: and whatever the immediate effects of Mr. Heape’s withdrawal and the formation of Alsop’s school may have been, the school had recovered its numerical strength of about 70 when the transfer look place.

Mr. Heape’s place as second master was taken by Mr. Gardener. Mr. Day, during his headmastership lived in the house next to what was then the office of Ormesby Taylor, solicitors, in Lichfield Street. After retirement, he lived on pension for many years before he died, in 1891.

One of the pupils of the School at this time was J.E.Auden, who, in 1919 contributed to the “Burton Evening Gazette” an article entitled “Random Recollections.” The article was reprinted in the “Cygnet,” the school magazine, and is a valuable addition to the School record. Not the least valuable part of .Mr. Auden’s contributions is that he has recalled the names of GO members of the school at the time; the school registers, unfortunately, have not survived for any of the years before 1881. From that time there is a complete record. It shows that in the sixty years from 1881 to 1911 a total of 3.500 boys have attended the school.

Incidentally, Mr. Auden won a prize for Latin in 1873 j he has returned ft to the school, and it is an interesting relic.

Mr. Auden recalls two cricket matches arranged in 1873 by Mr. Heape, who was choirmaster and lay reader at Horninglow Church, between the Grammar School and the llorninglow Choirboys, calling themselves the “United” and the “Oaks” respectively. The Oaks won the first match by 42 runs but,in the second, with two of their best players absent, they were badly beaten.

We have details, too, from a press cutting, of the Grammar School Athletic Sports, at which the prizes were presented by John Ferks. Esq. Among the Senior events. “Bob” Day, fourth and youngest son of the Headmaster, won the high pole jump and the mile, and was the best officer in the cadet corps. Whitehead won the long jump and the 220 yards, and E. Taylor the Cricket Ball. ” The competitors,” We are told, “struggled to their utmost in every contest, and a pleasant afternoon’s enjoyment would have been afforded had it not been for a blinding shower of rain which came on just before the conclusion of the sports.”

In 1871 the Endowed Schools Commission formulated its “Scheme for the Management of the Free Grammar School.founded at Burton-on-Trent in the County of Stafford.” Next to the original endowment by Abbot Beyne, and the endowment of the Charity School by Richard Allsop, it is the most important development in the whole history of Burton education, at least until 1945.

Under the scheme, the three foundations of Richard Allsopp, of William Finney, and of Francis Astle were united and placed under one management. They became a single foundation or trust, with the Grammar School endowments, under the title of the Burton Endowed Schools.

A Governing body was appointed (hitherto the Schools had been controlled by trustees); the most Hon. The Marquis of Anglesey was again one of the body. Women were eligible to be appointed as Governors, though there were none on the first board.

It was decreed that the Burton Endowed Schools should consist of:

1. An upper school for Boys to he called the Grammar School.
2. A lower school for Boys, to he called Alsop’s Boys’ School.
3. A school for girls, to be called Alsop’s Girls’ School.

The Schools were to be for day scholars exclusively. It would be interesting to know why the Charity Commissioners changed the spelling of Allsop’s name.

As soon as practicable, the Governors were to “select for the Grammar School a convenient and suitable site with sufficient playground, and erect thereon a School building with proper class rooms capable of accommodating at least 120 scholars with a residence for the Headmaster.” For this purpose they were at liberty to expend capital funds of the Trust to the extent of £3,000.

They were also to select “a single site or separate sites as they shall judge best and shall erect thereon School buildings capable of accommodating 150 boys or thereabouts,and 150 girls or thereabouts, with a residence for the Headmaster of the Boys’ School, and a residence for the Head -Mistress of the Girls’ School.” For the erection of these two schools they were at liberty to spend another £3,000. (In fact, a single building for the two Alsop schools was later erected in Waterloo Street).

Regulations were framed for the Grammar School, covering the appointment, the duties, the salary, and the powers of the Headmaster, the ages of the pupils (from 8 to 18 years), the conditions for entrance, and the fees to be paid. There was to be an entrance fee of not more than £3 and tuition fees were to be not less than £6 nor more than £10 a year.

The subjects to be taught in the school were detailed; for the first time science appears in the curriculum. Greek ceased to be a subject of regular instruction, but arrangements were sanctioned whereby parents who desired it might secure it by payment of an additional fee.

The school was to be examined yearly, and at the age of 13. boys who showed that they were not benefiting by being in the school were to be required to leave.

Arrangements were made by which, by way of exhibitions, complete exemptions from fees could be granted to not more than 10 per cent, of the boys, and in addition partial exemptions, so that not more than 20 per cent, altogether enjoyed total or partial exemption. A quarter of the exhibitions available to boys outside the school were to be reserved for boys from Alsop’s school.

The Governors were also empowered, if the finances made it possible, to grant leaving exhibitions for further education or for “gaining a start in some profession or calling.”

At Alsop’s Boys’ School there were to be fees of £2 a year and the ages were 7 to 16; at the Girls’ School the same fees were to be payable but the ages were to be the same as those applicable to the Grammar School.

This scheme placed Burton education in the forefront of educational progress at the lime: the leaving exhibitions, the sanctioning of a superannuation fund (though only for the Headmaster!) and the application of any surplus funds “in increasing the stipend of the Headmaster or Mistress of the Fund applicable to the payment of Assistant Teachers and School plant or apparatus, in improving the accommodation of the School buildings, in aiding the games of the scholars, or generally in promoting the spirit and efficiency of the School,” showed a creditable enlightenment and outlook.

The outcome of this scheme was that in 1871 the boys of what had hitherto been the lower school of the Grammar School were transferred to the new Alsop’s School, which, until the new building was available, met in premises which were approached by an entry at the side of Salem Chapel in Station Street. The former upper school became the entire Grammar School.

For three years more, with Mr. C.U. Tripp as Headmaster, the Grammar School continued in the rooms at Friar’s Walk: in January, 1877, the school moved to the new building in Bond Street. But the Grammar School was no longer alone, with its own foundation; it now had its brother and its sister school. The brother lived only for ten years; the sister grew into the Girls’ High School.

31. 1873 – 1876.
The Rev. H. Day was ill for a prolonged spell in 1873, and during his absence the second master, Mr. Heape. carried on the school. When the reorganisation of the schools took place in 1874, Mr. Day having retired, Mr. Heape applied for the Headmastership; or, alternatively, if his not having a degree was an insuperable obstacle, for the Headmastership of the new school. On the recommendation and introduction of Mr. Wardle, who was both a director of Trent College, and a governor of the Endowed Schools, Mr. C. U. Tripp, M.A.Oxon., was appointed to the post at the Grammar School; as the first, and as events proved, the only Headmaster of Alsop’s School the Governors appointed Mr. H.K.Hinde, F.l.C.F.CS. Mr. Heape retired; for a year or two he was replaced by Mr. Gardener, but in 1876 the Rev.T.W.Beckett. M.A.(Camb.l, who later became Headmaster, was appointed. Mr. Hinde’s second master was Mr. J.E.Carey, A.C.P.

At the moment we have little knowledge of events immediately after the separation of the two schools. Mr. Auden, however, has sent us a cutting from “Bellamy’s Weekly Journal” of August, 1874. It tells us of two cricket matches. In the first, Trent College played a combined team from the Grammar School and Alsop’s, and won by an innings and 61 runs. The scores are not given, but “the elevens were indebted to Mr. Bass for the use of his ground, and to Mr. Wardle for a most hospitable entertainment.”

The second match, played on 13th August, 1871, must be the first fully recorded cricket match in the Grammar School history. Remembering that Alsop’s school was formerly the lower school, and that of their team the two Taylors, the two Hopkins. Milne, and Booth were former Grammar School Boys, perhaps some consolation may be found in the thought of an equitable distribution – brain on one side, brawn on the other. Be that as it may, final score was:


1st Innings …. 36
2nd Innings …. 26

1st Innings …. 120

Of Mr. Tripp we received the following from the Rev. J.E.Tucker, who was Headmaster of Trent College from 1895 to 1928:

As I remember him. Charles Undershell Tripp had made his mark at Trent College as a man of exceptional physical and mental vigour. I heard of his prowess on the football field (Soccer in those days), and of his digging the holes for a double row. about 150 yards long, of Siberian elms. When he retired, being of Cornish blood, he retired to Altaruam, When he was in Cornwall (Mr. Tucker writes from the vicarage at Chippenham), I tried to meet him, but without success. But more than one of his neighbours told me how outstanding he was there on the Local Education Committee und on the County Council.

Although the separation of the lower school to form the new Alsop’s must have cut down the numbers at the Grammar School very considerably, when the move was made, in January, 1877, to Bond Street, the School had apparently recovered. We have a photograph taken in the garden, of the whole school, bearing the signature of every member of the school. This is doubly valuable, for Its actual worth and for the fact that through its survival we know the names of all the Boys who entered the new school. There were 67 Boys, in four forms. An interesting feature of the photograph is the variety of the headgear. Most boys are wearing caps, probably black, with a badge which unfortunately cannot be deciphered. A few wear bowlers, one or two wear bats which defy description; two or three have “mortar-boards.”

The masters were: C.U.Tripp, M.A., Headmaster; T.W.Beckett.R A. second master; F.B.Plant, F.C.O., music master; H.I..J-Bte. Gnilmont. B.A., Univ. Coll.. (French master, who visited the school from Repton); J. F. Halker, B.A., Univ. Coll; J. O. Webb. Sgt. In str.

Another photograph, taken in the Michaelmas Term. 1878,shows the prefects. They were: A.Atterbury. T.A.Beckett, A. Clubb, W.Fisher, W. M. Hopkins (who had apparently returned from Alsop’s), F.J.Mayger, C.E.OIdacrcs, G.F..Robinson. A.T.M.Russell, and J.Scattergood. In this term Frederick T.A.Hobday, eight years old, entered the school; so also did H.J.Guest, who with his brothers has presented to the School the Guest Memorial History Prize.

32. 1877 – 1884.
The next seven years are somewhat obscure. During this period the Alsop school had become established in Waterloo Street, having quitted its temporary premises in Station Street, and a Higher Grade School had been opened” in Guild Street. Apparently it was a case of “vaulting ambition o’erleaping itself.” The Higher Grade school was free: the fees at Alsop’s were £4 10s 0d a year, while those at the Grammar School were higher (in 1884 they were fixed at £10 10s 0d).Probably the competition coupled with considerations of fees was too severe. Whatever the reason, by the end of 1882 the fortunes of the Grammar School were at a very low ebb. Numbers were very low. The only successes in the December Cambridge Local Examination were three passes.

At that date Mr. Tripp retired; so did Mr. Hinde at Alsop’s. For a year the two schools were carried on by the respective second masters the Rev. T.W.Beckctt, and Mr. J.E.Carcy. In December, 1883, in the Cambridge examinations two boys secured first classes, two second classes, and seven others passed.

On 11th August, 1884, a new scheme was approved. By it the Alsop Boys’ School was merged in the Grammar School, and the Alsop Girls’ School, remaining in Waterloo Street, became the Burton-on-Trent Girls’ High School. Miss Kate Rutty continued there as Headmistress; in December, 1884, the Rev. T.W.Beckett became Headmaster of the Grammar School, and Mr. Carey joined his Staff. In the reorganised Grammar School the Head boy was K.G.Guest, eldest son of the then Vicar of Christ Church,now a prosperous business man in Edinburgh. Next came J.S.Fergusson, then H.J.Guest, now, after retiring from banking, in orders at Birmingham, and E.T.G.Hobday, who died a few-years ago after an outstanding career in the veterinary world. The boy named next on the list goes down to posteritv as having been withdrawn because his parents “objected to the increase in the school”!

33. FINALE, 1884.
So ended a long, honourable period in the history of Burton Grammar school, and so began another in which the fortunes of the school were linked with those of the Girls’ High School. For three and a half centuries the services of the School had been at the disposal of whatever boys in Burton wished and were qualified to avail themselves of it. After the amalgamation of the Grammar School and the charity school endowments, the opportunities were extended to boys and girls alike. The story of the years between 1881 and the opening of the next chapter, when the Education Act takes effect, must be told later.

It will be the story or the Grammar School, well and solidly built ill Bond Street, or the absorption in 1881 of the Alsop’s Boys’ School into the Grammar School, and of the transformation of the Alsop’s Girls’ School into the Girls’ High School. It will be a story, both for the Grammar School,and for the High School, housed in the old Alsop School, less well constructed, in Waterloo Street of progress and success, or valuable service to the town and the surrounding districts, of attainments and achievements far surpassing those or earlier days. But it will also he a story or a struggle with financial problems, which, as the demand for the services of both schools grew yearly greater and greater, and the need for accommodation became more and more acute, proved beyond the resources of the endowment. Little by little property had to be realised, and even then appeals had to be made to the Feoffees and the town. The school in Waterloo Street had to be extended several times; a big enlargement of the Grammar School also became necessary. A time was reached when nothing more could be done with the old Girls’ School, and, with the help of the Local Authority the new High School was erected, and the status of the school had to he surrendered. Soon. now. the same problem will have to be faced at the Grammar School; a new building Is an imperative need: the present status of the school could only be preserved by the erection by the school of Its own new premises, a feat which would be possible only by a new endowment of many thousands of pounds. Although it Is not safe to prophesy, the future appears to hold the prospect of the end of the Free Grammar School, and of its conversion Into a controlled grammar school; with this, we fear, may come the closing of the junior school.

But all this must he the subject of the new story, to be told in due course. Whatever the future may bring, the past cannot he taken from the school; the school’s tradition is a legacy which no acts of parliament or orders in council can destroy. It provides a foundation upon which, under the right guidance and control, the school will be able to build; or changing the metaphor, and misquoting, it supplies the stepping-stones of Its dead sell upon which to rise to higher things. May it be so!


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