1957-8 Prefects

Back Row: Ling, Campbell, Hughes, Smith, Charles, B06, Neville, Rodney Hardwick, Peter Trigg, Andrew Gadsby, Derek Davenport
Front Row: Knight, Tony Yarranton, Brian Bradbury, Maurice Kersey, Terry Bentley, Herbert Pitchford (Headmaster), John Hurt, Whittaker, Colin Copestake, Jack Richards, Taylor



1858 – The Scheme

In 1858, the Scheme for the Management and Regulation of the Free Grammar School at Burton-on-Trent was produced and approved by The High Court of Chancery.

I would urge that you take the time to read it – it makes for a fascinating read:



The Scheme, 1858 Transcription


of the

in  the  county  of Stafford


Approved by
The High Court Chancery

By Order dated 2nd August, 1858


1. Trustees of Charity
2. Duties of Trustees
3. Trustees not to hold Charity Property
4. Clerk and Receiver
5. Duties of Clerk
6. Duties of Receiver
7. Notice of Meetings
8. General Meetings of Trustees
9. Special Meetings of Trustees
10. Quorum of Trustees at Meetings
11. Adjournment of Meetings
12. Appointment of a Committee
13. Minutes of Meetings
14. Accounts
15. Cheques, &co.
16. Banker
17. Custody of Documents
18. Land to be purchased and School-house built
19. Sinking Fund
20. School to be divided into two Departments
21. Qualification of Boys
22. Sons of Non-resident Persons may be admitted
23. Boys to conform to Rules
24. Capitation Fees
25. Election of Boys from National and British and Foreign Schools to Grammar School
26. Admittance to School and hours of Attendances
27. Masters
28. Residence of Master — Schoolhouse not to be occupied as Tenant
29. Assistant Masters
30. Trustees to have superintendence over Masters and School
31. Masters not to accept Cure of Souls or other Appointment
32. Stipends of Masters
33. Apportionment of Rents on New Appointment
34. Internal Regulation of School
35. Religious Instruction
36. Prayers to be read in School
37. Examination
38. Prizes
39. Annual Report to be made
40. Stationery for Scholars
41. Vacations
42. Power for Trustees to make Rules as to Management of School
43. Scheme to be printed


1. Trustees of Charity
The Charity and the Lands and Property thereof (the present particulars whereof are set forth in the Schedule hereto) shall be under the management and control of Trustees, the full number of whom shall be fifteen. Whenever the number shall be reduced to seven (either by death, resignation, refusing, declining or becoming incapable to act, ceasing to act for one year, becoming bankrupt or taking the benefit of any Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors, each of which several circumstances respectively shall be a disqualification, and shall create a vacancy of the office of Trustee held by such person), fit and proper persons shall be appointed by a Court of competent jurisdiction to fill such vacancies; and the application for such purpose shall (unless the same be made by her Majesty’s Attorney-General) be made with the sanction of the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales. Application may, under special circumstances, be made for the appointment of Trustees before the number shall be reduced to seven.

2. Duties of Trustees
The Trustees shall keep in repair, or cause to be kept in repair by the persons for the time being liable in that respect, and shall keep insured, or cause to be kept insured, against loss or damage by fire, the School-house and all other Buildings belonging to the Charity; and shall manage and from time to time let and demise the

Charity Property at the best annual rent or rents that can reasonably be obtained for the same, either from year to year or for any term not exceeding twenty-one years, in possession and not in reversion, and without taking any fine or premium on the granting of any such demise; but the surrender of any existing term not having more than three years to run shall not be considered as a premium; and on the granting of any lease the lessee shall execute a counterpart of the same. All leases shall contain covenants on the part of the lessee for the due payment of the rent, the proper cultivation of the land, and the repair and insurance of the houses and buildings comprised therein, a proviso for re-entry on non-payment of rent or non-performance of the covenants, and all oilier usual and proper covenants applicable to the property which shall be the subject of the lease. But if at any time it shall be thought by the Trustees that it would be beneficial to the Charity to grant any longer term of years, or to make any other disposition of any part of the Charity Property, they shall apply to the Court of Chancery, or to the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales, for directions thereon.

3. Trustees not to hold Charity Property
None of the Trustees shall at any time, either directly or indirectly, accept a lease of or hold or occupy any part of the Estate and Property belonging to the Charity, or any interest therein, for his own benefit or for the benefit of any other person or persons whomsoever.

4. Clerk and Receiver
The Trustees may appoint a fit and proper person as their C|erk, and a fit and proper person to be the Receiver of the rents and income of the Charily. They may, if they see fit, combine the two offices in one person. They may pay to any person so appointed Clerk any stipend not exceeding £5 per annum, and may allow to the Receiver any sum not exceeding the rate of £2 per cent, per annum on the amount of rents actually received by him. If the two offices of Clerk and Receiver be combined in the same person, the total amount to be paid to him in respect of both offices shall not exceed £3 per cent, on the amount received.

The Clerk and Receiver shall hold such offices respectively during the approbation of the Trustees. The Receiver shall give such security as the Trustees shall direct.

5. Duties of Clerk
The duties of the Clerk shall be to attend the Trustees at their Meetings; to attend and give information to any Committee appointed by the Trustees; to enter the minutes of the proceedings at Meetings of the Trustees; to keep the accounts of the Charity, and to furnish and send such duplicates thereof, statements and balance sheets as the Trustees may by law he bound to supply; to preserve, subject to the directions of the Trustees, nil vouchers for payments on behalf of the Charity; to make once in every year a detailed account of the receipts and payments of the Charity during the preceding year, which shall be vouched and passed before the Trustees at their first General Meeting in every year, or at some adjournment thereof, and also a statement of the assets and liabilities of the Charity; to make out an abstract of such account; and to perform all such other duties and acts appertaining to the office of Clerk in respect of the Charity and the management thereof as the Trustees shall direct.

6. Duties of Receiver
The duties of the Receiver shall be to see that the Covenants contained in any Lease of the Charity Property are properly performed ; to see that the Buildings are kept properly repaired and insured against damage by fire; to collect and receive the rents and income of the Property; to render to the Trustees an annual Account of his receipts and payments, with Vouchers for such payments; to submit to the Trustees annually a Report showing the state and condition of the Charity Estate; and to perform all such other duties and acts appertaining to the office of Receiver in respect of the Charity, and the management thereof, as the Trustees shall direct.

7. Notice of Meetings
Notice of every Meeting, whether General, Special or Adjourned, shall be given by the Clerk in writing to each Trustee three clear days at the least before the time appointed for holding the same, which Notice may be delivered at the residence of each Trustee, or sent by post.

8. General Meetings of Trustees
The Trustees shall hold not less than four General Meetings in each year for transacting the business of the Charity, which Meetings shall be held at such convenient place as the Trustees shall determine, and such Meetings shall be held in the months of January, April, July and October, unless the Trustees shall appoint some other periods for the holding thereof after the several quarter-days above mentioned.

9. Special Meetings of Trustees
If at any time any matter shall arise requiring the consideration of the Trustees, and which cannot conveniently be deferred to the next General Meeting, any two or more of the Trustees may, by a requisition under their hands, call a Special Meeting of the Trustees, and the Clerk shall thereupon give notice in writing to each of the Trustees of the time, place and object of such Meeting, and no business shall be transacted at such Special Meeting other than that which shall be specified in such Notice.

10. Quorum of Trustees at Meetings
At any Meeting for the purposes of this Charity, any five Trustees so long as the existing number shall be eleven or more, and if there shall be less than eleven, any number not being less than one-half of the existing body shall form a Quorum; and so soon after the time fixed for the holding of any Meeting as a sufficient number of Trustees shall be present to form a Quorum, they shall proceed to elect a Chairman from amongst the Trustees present, and, in the event of an equality of Votes on the Election of Chairman, the question shall be decided between the persons proposed, by Lot. The acts and proceedings of a majority of Trustees, at any Meeting properly held, shall be binding on the whole of the Trustees; but the Trustees, or the majority of them present at any subsequent Meeting duly held, and constituted as aforesaid, shall have power from time to time to alter, vary or rescind any Resolution or direction which may have been come to or given at any previous Meeting. The Chairman of every Meeting shall, in the event of an equality of Votes, have, in addition to his original Vole, a second or casting Vote.

11. Adjournment of Meetings
If at any Meeting of the Trustees there shall not, after the space of half-an-hour from the time appointed for holding the same, be a sufficient number of Trustees in attendance to form a Quorum, or the business of any Meeting shall remain undisposed of, the Trustees, or any one or more of them present at any such Meeting, or if no Trustee be present, then the Clerk may adjourn the same until some subsequent day.

12. Appointment of a Committee
The Trustees may, at any Meeting, appoint from their own body three or more Trustees to be a Committee, for the purpose of making any inquiry, or superintending or performing any specific act or duty which, in the judgment of the Trustees, would be more efficiently executed by such Committee, but the acts and proceedings of such Committee shall be reported to the Trustees at the next General Meeting.

13. Minutes of Meetings
The Trustees shall provide a Minute Book, wherein shall be entered the names of the Trustees attending, and the proceedings at their Meetings, and all Orders given for the disposal of any of the funds of the Charity, the Reports of Committees, and all other matters relating to the Charity transacted by such Trustees. The Minutes shall be signed by the Chairman of the next succeeding General Meeting.

14. Accounts
The Trustees shall also provide all necessary Account Books, wherein shall be entered an account of the receipts and payments on behalf of the Charity, and such other particulars as the Trustees shall direct. Such accounts shall be examined, vouched and audited by the Trustees at their first General Meeting in every year, or at some adjournment thereof, and shall be signed by the Chairman of the Meeting and two of the Trustees, and shall be deposited and kept with the other vouchers and papers relating to the Charity.

15. Cheques, &co.
All Cheques and Orders for the payment of money shall be signed by the Chairman at one of the Meetings of the Trustees and by two of the other Trustees present at such Meeting, and shall be countersigned by the Clerk.

16. Banker
The Trustees shall appoint as their Banker some fit and responsible person or persons carrying on the business of Banker, or some Joint-Stock Banking Company, with whom shall be deposited the monies of the Charity, and they may change such Banker at any time if they shall think fit.

17. Custody of Documents
The Trustees shall provide a Box or Safe, with a secure lock and two keys, wherein shall be deposited the deeds, vouchers, accounts, books and documents belonging to the Charity, and also a list of the same, and such Box shall be kept in such secure place as the Trustees shall direct.

18. Land to be purchased and School-house built
The Trustees may procure, by purchase, Land for the site of a suitable House for the Head Master and for a Play-ground for the Boys, and shall erect such House, with all necessary appurtenances, in such manner and according to such plans as may be approved of by the Court of Chancery or by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales; and in order to defray the expense of such purchase and buildings, the Trustees shall be at liberty, with the sanction of the Court or of the said Commissioners, to raise, on the security of the Charity Estate or a sufficient part thereof, by way of mortgage or grant of annuity for any period not exceeding fifty years, such sum as may be required. They may receive gifts of land or money for the purposes of this clause.

19. Sinking Fund
In case the money so to be raised shall be raised by mortgage, the Trustees shall, out of the income of the Charity, set aside annually, as a Sinking Fund, a sum of money not less than one-fiftieth part of the amount borrowed, which sum shall be annually invested in the public funds in the names of any four of the Trustees, to an account to be kept in the books of the Trustees, to be entitled “The Sinking Fund Account;” and the dividends of the money so invested, when and as the same shall become due, shall from time to time be received and invested in like manner, in order that the monies so set aside and invested may accumulate at compound interest; and when such accumulated fund shall amount to a sum which in the opinion of the Trustees can be conveniently applied for that purpose, the stocks, funds and securities wherein the same shall stand invested shall be sold and converted into money, and the monies arising from any such sale and conversion shall be applied in payment, so far as the same will extend, of the principal monies charged upon and owing on the credit of the Charity Estates, or any part thereof, and so from time to time until the whole of the principal monies borrowed on the credit of the said Estates shall be discharged.

20. School to be divided into two Departments
The School shall be divided into two departments, to be called the Upper and Lower School. In the Upper School the course of study shall comprise the English, Latin, Greek, French and German Languages, Arithmetic, Mathematics, History and Geography. In the Lower School the course of study shall comprise English Grammar, Latin Grammar, with Exercises and Translation, the Elements of the French Language, Writing and Arithmetic (with special reference to the Commercial Rules), and the Rudiments of Modem Geography and Modern History.

21. Qualification of Boys
All Boys between the ages of eight and sixteen years, whose parents or guardians or persons standing to them in loco parentis are resident in the parish of Burton-on-Trent, being able to read and write, and having some acquaintance with the four first rules of Arithmetic, and being certified to be of good moral conduct, shall, to the extent of the capacity of the School to accommodate them, be qualified for admission to the School; but no Scholar shall be entitled to remain in the School as a Scholar after he shall have attained the age of nineteen years. In case it shall be found necessary to limit the number of Scholars admitted into the School, a preference shall be given to those Boys whose parents or guardians have been longest resident in the parish of Burton-on-Trent.

22. Sons of Non-resident Persons may be admitted
The Head Master shall be at liberty to admit to the School twenty Boys, or such larger number as the Trustees shall approve, as Boarders or Day Scholars, such Day Scholars being the sons of non-resident persons, upon such terms as he shall think proper. The Usher shall be allowed to take such Boarders, and on such terms as the Trustees shall from time to time approve of.

23. Boys to conform to Rules
Every Boy admitted into the School shall at all times conform to the rules which may from time to time be made for the government thereof, and shall be liable to expulsion by the Trustees upon any breach thereof or non-conformity therewith, or upon immoral or indecent conduct or insubordination, or other sufficient cause; and in case of misconduct on the part of any Boy, the Head Master shall have power immediately to suspend him until the next Meeting of the Trustees, when the cause of such suspension shall be submitted to the Trustees.

24. Capitation Fees
Every Boy attending the Upper School (except as hereinafter is excepted) shall pay a capitation fee of £7 per annum, and every Boy attending the Lower School (except as hereinafter is excepted) shall pay a capitation fee of £2 per annum. The Boarders and non-resident Day Scholars shall pay a capitation fee of £7 each, whether they are in the Upper or Lower School. The capitation fees shall be paid quarterly, in advance, to the Head Master, who shall thereout pay the Assistant Masters and French Master. He shall render an account of his receipts and payments in respect of such fees half-yearly, and he shall retain two-thirds of any surplus for his own use, and shall pay over the remaining one-third thereof to the Trustees, to be applied by them for the benefit of the School as they in their discretion shall think fit.

25. Election of Boys from National and British and Foreign Schools to Grammar School
The Trustees shall, as a reward for Scholarship and National good conduct, select Hoys from any School for the Children of the poor in Burton-on-Trent for admittance into the Lower School, and shall, as a like reward, select Boys Grammar from the Lower School for admittance into the Upper School. The Boys so respectively selected shall be free from the payment of any capitation fee. Provided that there shall never be more of such Free Scholars in the Grammar School at the same time than five in the Upper School and five in the Lower School. The first selection shall take place at Midsummer, 1859.

26. Admittance to School and hours of Attendances
The Trustees shall appoint the periods for admitting Boys to the School, and application for admission thereto shall be made made to the Head Master for the time being. The Head Master shall, with the approval of the Trustees, fix the hours of attendance in the School.

27. Masters
There shall always be a Head Master and an Usher, to be respectively elected by the Trustees; and as often as the office of Head Master or Usher shall become vacant, the Trustees shall within a reasonable time proceed to elect into the office some competent person, who in the case of the Head Master shall be a Member of the Church of England and a Graduate of an English University.

28. Residence of Master — Schoolhouse not to be occupied as Tenant
The Head Master for the time being shall reside in the Master’s House, if and when the same shall be erected; and such residence shall be in respect of the official character and duty of the Head Master, and not as tenant, and he shall be compelled, if removed from his office, to deliver up possession of such premises at such time and to such persons as the Trustees may direct; and the Head Master shall not underlet, or permit or suffer any other person or persons than himself and family and visitors, and the Boarders authorized to be taken by this Scheme, and the Masters of the School, to use or occupy any part of the said premises.

29. Assistant Masters
The Head Master may from time to time appoint any Assistant Master or Masters for the School, with the concurrence of the Trustees, and the Trustees or the Head Master may dismiss any such Master or Masters. The Head Master shall, at all events, provide one Assistant Master and one French Master; and whenever the number of Boys (including Boarders, non-resident Day Scholars and Free Boys) shall be 110, he shall provide an additional Assistant Master, and further additional Assistant Masters in the proportion of one for every full number of thirty Boys beyond the number of 110.

30. Trustees to have superintendence over Masters and School
The Trustees, or the majority of them, shall have power, for just cause, to remove the Head Master or Usher of the School, and to visit and reform all misdemeanors and abuses in the School or the Masters thereof.

31. Masters not to accept Cure of Souls or other Appointment
Neither the Head Master nor the Usher shall at any time during their tenure of office hold, receive or exercise any benefice having the cure of souls, or any office or appointment which will interfere with the regular performance of their School duties.

32. Stipends of Masters
Subject to the payment of the expense of repairs of the Buildings on the Charity Property and the School Buildings, and the outgoings and allowances (or improvement made to the tenants of the Charity Lands, and to the expenses of management, examination and prizes, the rents of such property (except, the income derived from Dame Elizabeth Paulett’s Benefaction) shall be paid as follows; (that is to say,) two-thirds thereof (after payment out of such two-thirds of the Interest and Sinking Fund of the money borrowed under the provisions hereinbefore contained) to the Head Master, and the remaining one-third to the Usher. The Head Master shall receive £3 per annum and the Usher £6 per annum under Dame Elizabeth Paulett’s Benefaction.

33. Apportionment of Rents on New Appointment
Any Head Master or Usher appointed during an interval between the usual days of payment shall be entitled to be paid in proportion only up to the day of payment next following his appointment, and any Head Master who shall die, resign or be removed between such days shall only be entitled to a proportionate part of his stipend up to the day of his death, resignation or removal.

34. Internal Regulation of School
Subject to the directions herein contained, the discipline and control of both departments of the School shall be vested in the Head Master, and the course and plan of instruction to be observed in each department, shall from time to time be fixed by him with the approbation of the Trustees. The Head Master shall be responsible for the conduct of the entire School. The Usher and Assistant Masters shall take such parts in the instruction of the Scholars as the Head Master, with the approbation of the Trustees, shall think fit.

35. Religious Instruction
The School shall be open to the children of Parents of all religious tenets. Religious Instruction shall be given by the Head Master at such times as he shall think best, by reading the Holy Scriptures to all the Boys, and also by explaining the Doctrines of the Church of England to such of the Boys whose Parents or persons standing to them in loco parentis shall not object by a note in writing to their receiving such instruction.

36. Prayers to be read in School
Suitable Prayers, taken from the Liturgy of the Church of England, shall be read by one of the Masters every Morning immediately on the opening of the School, and again in the Evening before the Scholars are dismissed.

37. Examination
A General Examination of the Scholars shall take place once every year previous to the Midsummer Vacation, and the Trustees shall appoint a fit and proper person, being a graduate of one of the English Universities, of not less than two years’ standing, and not residing in Burton or the immediate neighbourhood, to conduct such Examination; and the Trustees shall be at liberty, out of the funds of the Charity, to pay such Examiner a sum not exceeding £5 5s 0d for his fee and expenses. Such Examination shall take place in the presence of the Trustees, or such of them as can conveniently attend, and of the Masters of the School; and the Examiner shall report the result to the Trustees, who shall take such Report into consideration with reference to the distribution of prizes.

38. Prizes
The Trustees shall, after such Report, distribute, as rewards for Scholarship and good conduct, such and so many prizes, not exceeding in the whole in value £5, as they shall see fit.

39. Annual Report to be made
The Head Master shall report in writing to the Trustees, at Midsummer and Christmas in every year, as to the slate and progress of the School, the number of Scholars therein, and the observance of the Rules by the Usher and Assistant Master and Scholars, and shall also make such suggestions as he may deem expedient for the future good government of the School.

40. Stationery for Scholars
All printed books, papers, pens, pencils and other Stationery necessary for the use of the Scholars, shall be provided and found by or at the expense of the Parents, Relations or Friends of the Scholars.

41. Vacations
The Vacations of the School shall consist of five weeks at Christmas and six weeks at Midsummer, and one week at Easter; any additions thereto, and other occasional holidays, shall be fixed by the Head Master subject to the approval of the Trustees.

42. Power for Trustees to make Rules as to Management of School
The Trustees shall have power, from time to time, as to them shall seem meet and expedient, to make such further and other Rules and Orders for the well guiding and government of the School as are not inconsistent with this Scheme.

43. Scheme to be printed
This Scheme shall be printed, and a Copy shall be given to every person who shall become a Trustee of the Charity; and every Master and Officer appointed under the provisions hereof, before entering on the duty of his office, shall by writing signed at the foot of a printed Copy of this Scheme, to be kept by the Trustees, certify that he has read the same, and that he undertakes and agrees to conform and comply with the provisions thereof, so far as the same apply to the office accepted by him.


A Messuage, Farm-house, Buildings and Land,
containing about 120 acres, at Orton-on-the-Hill,
in the County of Leicester, the net annual rent
being……………………………… £228 11s 0d

Two Messuages, Farm-houses, Buildings and Lands,
containing about 112 acres, at Breaston, in
the County of Derby, the net annual rent
being……………………………… £197 0s 0d

A School-house, in Burton-on-Trent.
£187 3s 3d Consols, called the Railway Purchase-money
Dividends, standing in the name of the Accountant-General,
the dividends thereon
being……………………………… £4 9s 10d

A proportion of £333 6s 8d Consols, called the Clerkenwell
House Dividends, standing in the name of the Marquis of
Anglesey and others, the dividends thereon
being……………………………… £8 9s 0d

Total being………………………… £438 9s 10d

Bell Yard, Temple Bar



1520-1884 Outline History – Harold Moodey

In 1944, the Burton Grammar School Headmaster at the time, Harold Stephen Moodey, decided that a history of the school was long overdue.

He set about producing a complete history which appeared as a supplement to the SPRING 1945 Cygnet, School Magazine. It was also made available to Old Boys of the school for the princely sum of 1s 6d (or 1s 9d posted).

The history covers the years from 1520 to 1884. He had already begun notes to complete the history from 1884 to the current time (1940s) but it was never finished due to the deterioration of his mental health and tragic death in 1950.



1520-1884 Outline History – Harold Moodey


This is a transcription of Harold Moodey’s ‘Outline History of the Burton Grammar School’ as appears on the website as a series of images of the original document published in March, 1944. It was produced to improve searching and ease the burden of researchers that come after me.

A few errors may have been inadvertently introduced; the images should always be used as the master source. An known errors, inconsistencies or ‘olde’ spelling has been copied verbatim because it is not my place to change them!

An Outline History of the Burton Grammar School (1520 to 1884)
by Harold S. Moodey

1. Burton-on-Trent Grammar School
2. Foundation of the School
3. The Reformation
4. The Endowment
5. Early Master and Pupils
6. The Dissolution of the Abbey
7. Burton Collegiate Church
8. First Trustees
9. The School Badge
10. The Collegiate Church Dissolved
11. Lady Elizabeth Paulett’s Benefaction
12. After the Dissolution
13. 1605
14. The First School
15. Allsop, Finney, and Astle
16. Three Eighteenth Century Pupils

(PART 2)
17. Trust Deed of 1745
18. The Earls of Uxbridge
19. A Chancery Suit, 1746
20. 1782
21. A Decline?
22. The Charity Commission, 1824
23. A New School Building
21. Allsop’s School, 1849
25. Fees introduced, 1858
26. Rev. H. Day. Head Master
27. An Inspection, 1864
28. Schools Enquiry Commission, 1869
29. The School in 1873
30. Burton Endowed Schools, 1871
31. 1873 – 1876
32. 1877 – 1881
33. Finale, 1884
The House of Paget
Foundation Day

The reader who peruses the pages which follow will probably remark that their publication is premature. He will find that the history recorded is far from complete; he may find that surmise plays a larger part than he would wish; he may discover some mistakes.

It is precisely for these reasons that the publication has taken its present form. The intention is to give an opportunity to Old Boys and other possible local historians to remedy the deficiencies. They may be able to supply missing details, to correct errors, and perhaps to unearth original documents, such as the original conveyance, the Paulettt will, etc., a task for which the present compiler has not been able to discover time or facilities.

A complete history or the school is long overdue; when, as appears probable, the 1944 Education Act comes into operation and closes another chapter in the life of the school, it will be a duty to posterity to put upon record all that we can about the “old” school.

The history of Burton-on-Trent Grammar School divides itself naturally into three parts: the early years, when the school functioned in a one-roomed building in the churchyard; the years of the Friars’ Walk School; and the period spent in Bond Street. The present record covers the first two and a few years of the third.

The sources or the Information recorded are manifold. The following books, among others, have been consulted:

Underhill: History of Burton-on Trent (1841).
Molyneux: History of Burton-on-Trent (1869).
Wesley: History of Burton-on-Trent (1847).
White: History of Staffordshire (1851).
White: History of Staffordshire (1834).
Shaw: History of Staffordshire (1798).
Griffith: Schools and Endowments of Staffordshire (1860).
Baskerville: English Monks and the Dissolution (1936).
Dugdale: Monasticon Anglicanum (1722).
Dugdale: England and Wales Delineated (about 1815).
Leach: English Schools at the Reformation (1911).
Leach: The Schools of Mediaeval England (1916).
Dictionary of National Biography.
Reports of the Charity Commission. 1824, and of the Endowed Schools Commission, 1869.
Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society, 1923.

In addition, many helpers have contributed, sometimes with a chance remark or observation, sometimes with masses of pieces of information. Outstanding among the latter are two Old Boys – the Rev. J. E. Auden. who after a long and distinguished career in the Church and in the Army, and as historian and author, is living in retirement at Armitage, unfortunately now confined to his house: and Mr. B. H. Smith, who contributed three valuable articles to the Cygnet’ in 1929; and in addition. Mr. C. Underhill, whose ‘History of Burton-on-Trent’ has been of great use, and who has readily supplied a lot of additional matter. Others to whom the writer is indebted are Mrs. E. E. Cope; Messrs. F. R Bell, W. Clubb. F. Evershed, G. W. Harris. H. H. Pitchford, R. T.Robinson. Read Samble, V.G. Bock-West. J.S.Tucker, H.J. Wain, S.A. Ward; Miss W. Mulley, and the Vicar or Burton (the Rev. C. O. Haden). There are others, but memory Is fallible, and those omitted must be tolerant and forgiving.

These pages are dedicated to the memory of our founder and benefactors: Beyne, Paulett, Finney. Allsop, Astle; to all those whose labours and achievements have brought the school to its present level of distinction; and to those Old Boys who lie in foreign fields, and will not return after having ensured for us the continuance of our lives, and that of the school, in the freedom we prize, but have not vet learned how to use. They have provided us with a heritage; we who are now present or past members of the school must not regard It lightly.

Burton Grammar School throughout the whole of Us history since its endowment, four and a quarter centuries ago, has been a free Grammar School. The freedom has been from control of the Church or of any other “close” authority. The term Tree’ has frequently been misunderstood: as Mr. J. E. Auden, who will be mentioned several limes in the pages which follow, puts it: ‘liber homo’ is not a man who of necessity gives his services free of charge.

It is true that the school was required to provide education free to the sons of poor parents, and this it has alwavs done. In fact, it carried out its obligations so conscientiously that during the earlv nineteenth century is did so at the – expense of efficiency. If fees had been charged earlier than, as we shall see was the case, in 1858, the school would have been wealthier, and might have done even better things than it actually achieved at that period.

When fees were introduced, free places were still offered, and this system continued until the introduction in the present century of “special places”; and even now eight Boys, who achieve distinction in the entrance examination, are awarded free “Alsop scholarships” (the Charity Commissioners are responsible for the spelling) and eight others “Feoffees’ exhibitions.” These boys hold places entirely exempt from fees.

Thus Burton Grammar School, unlike a number of schools of similar foundation, where fees have been misappropriated, and poor scholars excluded in direct contradiction of the terms of their endowments, has throughout its history honourablv fulfilled the purpose of its founder. The relative importance of honour and prestige may be a matter of opinion: we know we have no cause for shame or rebuke in our history. We can regret that the school was not better endowed during Its difficult days by some who might have allowed the school to share the wealth which flowed into the town; but that is another story.

A Grammar School in ancient days was a school in which the classics, Latin and Greek were taught and studied.as opposed to an elementary school, where education was more or less confined to reading, writing and arithmetic. In volution has considerably modified the function of a Grammar School; the classics have had to share their priority with Modern Studies and with Science, and now we must regard a Grammar School as one in which, for those who desire and can achieve it. an education is available in as many faculties’ as possible up to the standard for entrance to the Universities. In this part of its function, with one short break, the school too has always fulfilled its obligations.

Here is the history, as far as it has been re-discovered, of the Free Grammar School of Abbot William Beyne at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

The traditional date of the foundation of Burton-on-Trent Grammar School is 1520. It is possible that this date settled into tradition after the publication of Shaw’s “History of Staffordshire” in 1798. Shaw recorded that the 32ud Abbot of Burton Abbey, William Beyne (which he also spelt Bean and Ueane) founded and endowed the free Grammar School of Burlon-upon Trent “about 1521)” by placing in the hands of Richard Sacheverell sufficient money to purchase land to produce an annual rent of 8 marks (£5. 6s. 8d.) to be employed in the maintenance of a school and schoolmaster.

This appears to he the earliest information at present available as to the origin of the school; and some uncertainty arises at once. According to Shaw, the abbot died in 1525, and presumably ” about 1520″ was named merely as indicating some lime before the death of the abbot.

But available evidence as to the date of the death of Abbot Beyne not seems to uphold Shaw’s statement that it occurred in 1525.lt was not till February, 1531, that letters of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield empowered Thomas Bach, chancellor.of London,Richard Lee, D.D., Robert Norbury, prior of Burton Abbey, and William Edys, ‘third prior’ and pittancer, to elect a new abbot. In April, 1531, William Boston, a monk of Peterborough, was confirmed in his election as Abbot.

It was on 28th February, 1529, that a Mortmain Licence was granted to Sir Richard Sacheverell ‘to alienate the manor of and certain messages in Overton (or Urton) under Arden, Leicester, and the manor of Brayston (or Breastonl, Derbyshire, to the annual value of £8 (12 marks) to William Heane, Abbot, and the monastery of SS. Mary and Modwin, Burton upon Trent.

We notice the divergence between the 8 marks mentioned by Shaw, and the 12 marks named in the actual citation. This, of course, could easily be accounted for by skilful use of the funds which were available; or even more simply by a misunderstanding on the part of Shaw, who may have contused eight marks and eight pounds during his investigations.

It is difficult to believe that if the funds were made available in 1520, it would have taken the nine years from then till 1529 to complete the negotiations, though it is not impossible. It has been suggested that Shaw’s use of the word “maintenance” rather than “foundation” or a school can perhaps be considered to indicate the maintenance of a school which was already in existence. This would be more helpful if Sir Richard Sacheverell had not, in his will of 1535, as we shall see later, required his nephew to “stablish and fynysh” the school. The position is that while we arc justified in regarding 28th February, 1529, as the date of the endowment of the school as a free School, we must consider the question as to whether the school existed before that date, and if so, for how long and in what form.

Burton Abbey was founded in the year 1004 by Wulfric Spot, Earl of Murcia. Many monasteries, possibly the majority, especially Benedictine monasteries, are known throughout the history of England to have had their own schools. Their services, of course, were conducted in Latin, and the only available method by which their novices could be educated was by means or a school in or attached to the foundation. The choristers were given an elementary education in reading and writing and in Music, in “Song Schools”; at least some of the monks-to-be were given more advanced instruction in “Grammar Schools”. It is known, too. that it was common for the sons of many of the laity to be sent to Grammar Schools to join with the inmates of the monasteries for their education; it is mainly, in fact, in this way that those of the populace of the outside world who became educated and who came to occupy positions of prominence in the world of politics, or of law, or of medicine, gained at least the first stages in their education.

In many monasteries there were chantry schools. Money was often bequeathed to ensure the regular singing of masses for the souls of benefactors, and many chantries became very wealthy. Their funds were often used for the maintenance of chantry schools, which provided education for the children ot the districts surrounding the monasteries.

That the existence or schools in monasteries was a common thing is evidenced by the decisions of the Lateran councils of 1179 and 1215. Under these decisions, in all churches of sufficient means a master was to be appointed to teach the clerks and other children whose parents could not afford the means. It is a far from certain that the orders were universally complied with. In many cases it is likely that the instruction was carried out by one or more of the monks; in some cases by the Abbot himself.

Whether Burton Abbey actually possessed a school in its early days we do not know. Unfortunately the procedure during the dissolution, to which we shall refer later, in most cases removed the possibility of direct evidence. A number of the monasteries when submitting to assessment, attempted to include education expenses under the heading of ‘Alms’, but this was not allowed. If the reverse had been the case, much more historical information about monastery schools would have remained at our disposal.

We do know, however, on the evidence which we will quote in due course, that education took place in Burton Abbey us early us in 1416: and by analogy with other monasteries, we can assume that it took place in a properly organised school.

Burton Abbey had its chantry, but again we do not know that it possessed its chantry school. A large number of chantries remained after the death of Henry VIII, but this was not the case at Burton. The surviving chantries were dissolved in the reign or Edward VI and in a number of Instances some of their funds were devoted to the support of their schools, which were granted new charters. It is amusing to think that Edward VI was for centuries regarded as a munificent benefactor of schools, whereas in fact what he (or rather, the Protector, Somerset) did was in plunder the chantries, and to destroy most of their schools, while in a relatively few places he allowed the schools to retain sufficient of their own funds to carry on. We cannot assume, though, that every chantry had its school; of five chantries at Walsall, for instance, not one chantry had devoted any of its funds to such a purpose.

Whether the chantry at Burton was well endowed, we can only guess. We know that in 1254 the Abbey was “assessed” at 11 marks (£9 6s. 8d.) and paid to the King a “tenth”, viz., 18s. 8d. Of this, the chantry was considered to be worth 2 shillings and its contribution 2d. In the time of Henry VI11, according to Dugdale, the Abbey was valued at £507 7s 0d (This figure was not correct: omissions and errors were later corrected, and the resulting value proved to be £513 19s 4d).

If we use the ratio between 2 shillings and £9 6s.8d.We deduce that the Chantry was then worth £ 1 10s Od; if, as is likely, during the intervening period further endowments had been added, the figure may have been higher, say £7 or £8. Whether this sum Is the same as that matte available to Sir Richard Sacheverell by mere coincidence we can only guess. The date of the origin of the school is thus seen to he unknown.

If the foundation was in fad a consequence of the Mortmain Licence referred to above, then, as we shall see on a later page, we must decide that the school began its independent existence on 4th September, 1537, when the first schoolmaster of whom we have knowledge was appointed. But we have evidence of a refugee from Holland who was probably at the school in 1530. His circumstances make II appear very unlikely that he was living at that time in the Abbey. Further, we know of a pupil who was sent in Oxford in 1535, and that the “bursary” for the maintenance of such pupils was established in 1416. If a school existed already In. or under the aeyis of. the Abbey, it may have been established for very many years.

The question which we have to answer is apparently not whether there was a school in Burton in 1520 – it seems clear that there was one long before that – but whether we are justified in regarding the school as the early Burton Grammar School. Leach would say unhesitatingly that we are; if we agree, then we may for convenience continue to accept 1520 as the traditional date of the beginning of the school, but with the reservation that we are sure that the real beginning was much earlier.

It may be interesting to consider the question as to why the endowment of the school should have taken place.

In 1529 King Henry VIII. had been on the throne for twenty years. The New Learning had been introduced into England. In 1197 Colet had astonished Oxford University by lecturing on St. Paul’s epistles on the basis of the Creek texts. Later, he became Dean of St. Paul’s, and in 1505 founded St. Paul’s School, which claims to be the first English school in which Greek as well as Latin was taught.

The King himself was learned, and it is said that the members of his Court were more learned than those of any University.

On the Continent the first stages of what is known as the Reformation were taking place. In Germany. Martin Luther’s activities were making themselves felt. In 1517 he had nailed to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenburg his famous theses attacking the doctrine of indulgences. In 1519 he questioned, among other things, the supremacy of the Pope. In 1527 Home was sacked by the Emperor, Charles V.

When the effects of the revolt of Luther reached England, the seed fell on fertile soil. There was abroad a spirit definitely antipathetic to the monasteries. The opposition at this lime was not to Roman Catholicism; it was to the domination by the monasteries of political and everyday life. What concerned the ordinary man, and in addition, many of the ‘secular’ clergy, i.e, the clergy outside the monasteries, was chiefly that as landlords, they were regarded as oppressors. Their demands, both of labour and of money, were heavy, and they were resented.

And then, in 1531, Henry VIII demanded, in a manner characteristic of himself, that his marriage with Catherine of Aragon should be declared invalid. Wolsey was charged with the task of obtaining the necessary declaration from the Pope, and failed.

Now this episode was not the real cause of the Reformation in England. It merely provided the occasion for the beginning of developments which for long had been inevitable. The thing which mattered was the reason for the refusal of the Pope’s sanction. The Pope, after the sacking of Rome, was in the power of Charles V, Catherine’s nephew and protector. In other words, through the Pope, English domestic politics were subject to the control of foreign power. To Henry this was intolerable, and when he determined to put and end to it, he had the country behind him. He became Head of the Church in England.

Henry at first had no intention of intefering with religion in England to any degree beyond ensuring that the jurisdiction of the Pope in the country should no longer exist in any manner whatever, This, he decided, with reason, could not be achieved while the monasteries with their great temporal powers survived. So, from purely political motives, he proceeded to dissolve the monasteries and chantries. He confiscated their property and their wealth, and proceeded to distribute them among his friends and favourites, or to retain them for himself, or to sell them. The suppression was in progress when he died; it was completed in the following reign.

Unfortunately, during the process of destruction, some schools perished with the monasteries, and many more with the chantries, though as we have seen, a number survived and started a new phase of their existence.

Did Beyne foresee what was likely to happen, and take steps to ensure continuance of his school even if, as proved to be the case, the blow should befall his Abbey? It is far from an impossible supposition, and in it we may find further ground for claiming that the school was in existence before the date when it comes into history.

It may be a relevant consideration that in 1495, the Bishop of Lichfield, in whose diocese the Abbey was, had suppressed the Austin Priory of St. John at Lichfield, and had used the site and property for a Grammar School and Almshouses. Although Beyne did not become Abbot until 1502, he would have heard of this, and we can ask whether the knowledge had any effect on his policy. It is possible that the idea of endowing the school may have suggested itself in the knowledge of the endowment of the Lichfield school. Whether this is so or not, it is more than likely that he could see the probable trend of events, and instituted the endowment as a precaution in case of action by the King. It is noteworthy that the lands acquired were well outside the manor, and so were unlikely to be affected by any adverse developments which might take place there.

Mr Underhill adds this note: “Beyne by his action was possibly attempting to show he was making his contribution to the New Learning, by making provision for scholars other than those in his other schools, the Song School, nominally held for choristers, and the Novices’ School, held in the West Abbey of the cloisters under the Master of the Novices. From the latter it is possible that a scholar was sent to Oxford, for in 1416 Abbot Sudbury instituted a payment of £10 per annum for the maintenance of a scholar at the Benedictine Gloucester College at Oxford. The King nominated this scholar and at his command a further £2 was paid to the scholar for his maintenance. In 1530, when Valor Ecclesiasticus was drawn up, there appeared under the heading of “Disbursements” an entry lor “Education” of £12, made up in this way. The scholar at that time was named Belfield.”

Shall we be badly in error if we claim Belfield as our first known Old Boy who went to the University!

The school lands were thus described in the Report of the Charity Commission in 1867:

1. The estate at Orton on the Kill at first comprised 127 acres, but under the powers of an enclosure act of 1782 some exchange took place. The acreage was reduced to 120; a farm-house and building were included. The exchange, however, was beneficial to the estate.

2. At Breasdon there were two properties; a farm-house and buildings, covering 81a. 3r., and another farm-house with outbuildings, occupying 30a. 2r.

From the last a small piece of land had been taken before 1821 by the proprietors of the Derby canal navigation, and for this a yearly compensation of 5 shillings was then being paid. A further reduction had taken place by 1867; some of the land had been sold to the railway, and the proceeds, £187 3s 3d, had been invested in 3 per cent Consols. The income from this appeared in the accounts as “railway dividends”.

The magnitude of the gift should be noted. A rent of £8 a year can perhaps be regarded as the equivalent of a lower middle-class salary. Beyne apparently considered it adequate as the salary of the schoolmaster.

The determination of the modern equivalent of mediaeval money is difficult, since so many points of view have changed. Dr. Caulton, from a comprehensive examination of documents referring to the first halt of the fourteenth century concluded that the modern equivalent of a sum of money of that lime could be obtained by multiplying the sum by 10. The multiplier must be considerably less for a period two centuries later. The view of the Rev. Dr. Salter, quoted by Baskerville is that the number applicable to the mid-sixteenth century is from 25 to 30. This figure is compatible with our remark above: £8 will be the equivalent of about £250 a year.

If we accept this, then the conclusion is that the capital value of the endowment would be in modern money something over £5,000, which sounds reasonable, since the area of the lands was 230 acres. In 1800 the value of the lands had risen to £152; this may have been due to developments. If not, the sum named is an underestimate. In any case, it was a magnificent endowment, and it gives us an insight into the magnitude of the wealth of the Abbey. (Tanner showed that the average revenues of 180 monasteries at the time of the dissolution was £350; Burton was by no means the poorest, and as we have seen, the Abbey was valued at £513 – what We may in modern terms regard as an annual income of at least £125,000).

The non-existence of early records is a misfortune which is not peculiar to Burton Grammar School, though it is more marked here than with some other schools. There are, of course, two possible explanations: one that the records have been lost or destroyed, the other that records were never kept. At different stages in the history of the school the explanation may be sometimes one, sometimes the other: but the effect is the same in either case, except that lost records may at some time be recovered. Meanwhile most of our information must of necessity come from outside sources, and many of our conclusions must be tentative and in the nature of surmise.

Our knowledge is that William Beyne placed funds in the hands of Sir Richard Sachcverell, and that on 28th February, 1529, a licence was granted for the alienation of the school lands. Richard Sacheverell was born before 1469; his elder brother John was slain at Bosworth. He was a member of Henry VIII’s Privy Council and was treasurer of the vanguard of the army which under the personal command of the King, invaded France on 16th June. 1513. He was knighted at Tournai. He married Mary, Baroness Hungerford, Botreaux, Molines and Moelst, in her own right, and widow of Lord Hastings. This information is from Sir George R. Sitwell’s “Letters of the Sitwells and the Sacheverells”(1900).

In his will, dated 24th March, 1535, Sir Richard wrote: “And I geve and bequethe to my nevewe Raufe Sacheverell the custodye and wardship and marriage of Fraunces Kebell… to marye him at his pleasure, upon condition my said nevewe endeavour his self to his power that the found-acion of the scole at Barton upon Trent in the countie of Stafford, may be stablished and fynyshed with convenient speed as may beaftermydeceas.” The school, therefore, was not “stablished” in 1535. The date of Sir Richard’s death Is not known, but the Burton Charity Records mention not Sir Richard, but Ralph. It seems likely that Sir Richard died shortly after the date of his will, and that his nephew carried out its requirements. On 4th September, 1537, Richard Harmon was appointed master; and it seems justifiable to conclude that it was on this date that Burton Grammar School first met in its own building, in the churchyard.

But it is still hard to believe that this represents the beginning of the school. It may be that Harman was the first master who was not an official of the Abbey, and that until that time the Burton school was directly under its control.

Justification for the point of view that the school was at least well-established before 1529 is to be found in the “Letters and papers, foreign and domestic, vol. XX, p.77; 27 Henry VIII (1536)”. There a document appears, worded thus:

“Petition to the King by Thos. Pointz, sometime dwelling in Antwerp and married to one of the same town, who five years ago was banished the Emperor’s countries for matters of religion, and repaired to England where he had already placed his second son Fardinando Pointz at school in Burton-upon-Trent. About a twelvemonth afterwards, Robert Tempest, draper, of London, being the second inheritor in possibility to the lands of the petitioner, by a forged letter in petitioner’s name to Geo. Constantino, who had the oversight or the said Fardinando, conveyed him to Flanders. Desires that Robert Tempest be sent lor by poursuivant and made to restore his son: and that John Chester, draper, of London, be also commissioned to restore his other son, Robert Pointz, whom he received of petitioner’s wife, who remains apart from him in Antwerp”

From this we know that there was a school in Burton in 1530, and that one of its pupils, Furdiuando Pointz, came to it from Antwerp It is surely reasonable to think that the introduction of the boy to the school, connected as it apparently was with religious persecution, was effected through monastic channels, and that the school was connected with Burton Abbey, in other words, was Burton Grammar School or its progenitor.

Belfield, who went to Oxford in 1535, has already been mentioned.

It is possible, too, that the school may name as early pupils three brothers Sutton, of whom one became famous as a martyr.

James Sutton, a carpenter of Burton, had a son Robert, who was baptised in the Parish Church in 1512 or 1543, on 11th September. At the age of 10 Robert went to Oxford as a scholar of Christ Church, where he took the degrees of B. A. and M. A., and was ordained a clergyman of the Church of England. When he went to school we do not know but his family finances were obviously limited, and, we can think that he received his education at Abbot Beyne’s Grammar School in his home town.

After six years as Rector of Lutterworth. Leicester, Robert was converted to Roman Catholicism, and joined his brothers Abraham and William, who may also have been pupils at Burton, at Douai. Abraham and Robert were ordained at Cambra. on 23rd February, 1578, and returned to England a month later. In 1585 Robert was banished but he returned. In 1587 while visiting prisoners in Stafford jail, he was himself arrested. After a trial by Sir Walter Aston, of Tixall, he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and on 27th July, 1587 he was executed at Gallows Flat, Silkmoor, near Stafford.

The Venerable Robert Sutton was Burton’s only known martyr. Relics exist: Stonyhurst College possesses a thumb, the Franciscan Convent at Taunton owns a rib bone, and the Benedictine Monastery at Landerneau, Finisterre, claims a thigh bone of the martyr.

(A tablet is displayed at Lichfield commemorating the death of one Wightman of Burton, the last man in England burnt at the stake. Wightman, however, is not regarded as a martyr of the Christian faith, and is not on the roll in Rome. He was an Arian, and therefore a heretic).

On 14th August, 1511, by royal decree, the Abbey was dissolved, and was replaced, as were some other institutions, by a Collegiate Church.

When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, his motives were probably high. In many places he established or secured the continuance of schools. And though he had no scruples about acquiring for himself or disposing of at least a part of the monastic property, he had no intention of undermining cither true religion or education. To some schools he gave charters; there is. however, no evidence that this was the case at Burton. Perhaps, in view of the fact that the school possessed its own property already, he regarded it as unnecessary. It is of interest, however, to record the terms of the statute with which the foundations of the Henry VIII schools were established, for they are relevant:

“Whereas it seemed good to us…God thereunto, as we believe, moving us. to suppress and to abolish and to convert to far better uses for the true worship of Almighty God and the far greater benefit of the Commonwealth the monasteries which everywhere existed in our realm, both because the sincere and most ancient religion, (he most admired uprightness of life, and the most profound knowledge of languages and learning, the praise of which virtues it appears flourished in the earliest monasteries, now in the progress of time have become corrupt and deficient and changed to the foulest superstition and the most disgraceful idleness and lust and the grossest ignorance of Holy Scripture, and because of their grave and manifold enormities, as for other just and reasonable causes:

Wherefore we, thinking it more in conformity with the divine will and a more Christian thing that where ignorance and superstition reigned there the true worship of God should flourish and the holy gospel of Christ be assiduously and in purity preached: and further that by the increase of Christian faith and piety the youth of my realm may bo instructed in good literature and the poor for ever maintained, we have in the place of the same monasteries erected and established churches, some of which we will, shall be called cathedral and others collegiate churches: for the rule and Governance of which churches we have caused to be drawn up the laws and statutes which follow…”

Collegiate churches had existed from early times. They had been part of the educational system of the country. University colleges, each with a church (or ‘chapel’) attached, and collegiate churches, with song schools or grammar schools attached, existed in various places. The difference was that university colleges existed for study and prayer; the collegiate churches for prayer and study: or, as J .each puts it, at a university college the purpose was primarily education and secondarily religious services: at a collegiate church the reverse was the case.

The change from a monastery to a collegiate church transferred the control from “religious” to secular clergy. Most of the secular clergy supported the king at the Reformation; most welcomed the removal of temporal power from the monasteries: and when the demand came they accepted the King as henceforth the head of the Church in England – some with a reservation as far as the law of Christ allows,”a reservation which did not greatly concern or perturb the King.

And so Burton Abbey became the Burton Collegiate Church, having a status not much below that of a cathedral. The Abbot, William Edie, became first dean: certain of the monks became canons, of whom there were four, and others were given lesser positions. Those who were not absorbed in the duties of the college were pensioned; so were many of the servants. The schoolmaster, Richard Harman. was to continue at a salary, according to Leach, of £20 a year. If this sum is correct, then the income from the school lands would not have sufficed, and either some of the resources of the college or contributions from the gilds,or both, must have been used in addition to the endowment income. We have seen that the value of the Abbey in 1535 was £513. 19s. 4d: that of the Collegiate Church in 1546 was £335.17s. 7d. In general, a greal part of the lands of the Abbeys were confiscated and sold to peers, courtiers, and others. Burton seems to have been more kindly treated than some places, and there would have been no difficulty in supplying additional funds If they were needed.

Just before the dissolution of the Abbey, Ralph Sacheverell, on 20th October, 1540, had conveyed the school lauds in trust to three trustees. The trustees appointed were Richard Dethlck, gentleman, of Newhall and William Moorcock, mercer, and Hugh Gilbert, draper, both of Burton, and their heirs. But how or whether they co-operation with the Collegiate Church in financing the school Is a question still to be answered. When they were next heard of, in 1605, their record does not seem to have been above reproach, as we shall see.

Mortlock and Gilbert were almost certainly prominent members of the Clothworkers’ gild, one of the three town gilds, mentioned above, from whose possessions the funds of the present Feoffees have been derived It was natural that the trust of the new foundation should be put into the hands of inhabitants answering such a description. As a matter of fact, when Richard Harman was appointed, he was required to lecture three times weekly in the Parish Church. These lectures would be to the three trade gilds of the town whose members were the civic leaders. The town charities were in their hands, and from their funds too could easily come any supplementary income necessary.

The connection between the Collegiate Church and the school is illustrated by the school badge.

In Burke’s “General Armoury” (1841) the arms of the Abbey were described thus:

“on a field or, in a cross engrayled azure, five mullets pierced argent.” (For some reason Burke refers to “Burton Abbey, Burton-on-Trent, Leicestershire”). A document in the British Museum, quoted by Shaw, gives a list of the arms painted upon the windows of the Abbey Church which stood till 1719, when it was pulled down and replaced by the present Parish Church. Among the arms listed was one described in the same terms as the above. The device also appeared painted on glass at Hill Hall, Abbots Bromley, the manor house of the Abbots of Burton.

There was in the Abbey Church an old alabaster figure, unidentifiable, upon which once again was the same device. This figure has been transferred to the Burton Museum. Of this figure, and its shield, Erdeswick, writing in 1590. quoted by Shaw, says: “(This) monument the common fame (of the unskillfull) reports to have been the tomb of the first founder. Wulfricus Spott, and that cannot in any wise be so, for being of alabaster It is fashioned both for armour, shield, and all olher things, something like our new monuments. So Edward III is the oldest it can possible be: and a man would rather by the shield (for it is square at both ends, and flourished with gold both above and beneath, as the Londoners set out shields in their pageants) think it were of Edward IV or Henry VII time: and yet I can by no means learn whose it should be, and writing there is none. If it be indeed the founder’s shield as it may be. for I have seen the coat well and old in other places, both of the church and the town, then did some of the Abbots of late make this monument new in respect of some old one that was decayed, as it might be they did. For you know the monks were very careful to set out gay things for their founders But surely I rather conjecture it was made for some benefactor of theirs that had lived in later time than Wolfricus Spott”.

Commenting on this, Mrs. E. E Cope, of Finchampstead, Berks, an authority on heraldry, but who unfortunately because of failing eyesight is unable now to pursue the matter, says: “The fact that the arms may look modern is no clue to their date. They may have been redrawn some time by a descendent.” She suggests that if the arms are not those of the founder, one possibility is that they belonged to a benefactor of French origin.

Whether the Abbey arms were originally those of Wulfrich Spot, the founder, is still, therefore, a matter to be settled.

When the Abbey was replaced by the Collegiate Church, it was decreed that the latter should have its own corporate seal. This is described by Dugdale. (“England and Wales Delineated”. 1815). “The abbey of Burton was founded and endowed by UIfric, Earl of Mercia, about 1002, and many privileges were granted to it by different monarchs, bishops, and others; some of Its abbots even sat in Parliament. The seal of the College is one of the most beautiful specimens of that kind of sculpture in England. It is a representation of the Last Supper, with the arms of Ulfric the founder”.

The school badge is a derivation from the seal. The badge is not circular, as is the seal, but is mitre-shaped, like the Abbey seals (which, however, bore as a rule figures, and not the Abbey Arms). At the base is the shield, and at the lop the dove. In place of the representation of the last supper is an open book, presumably a Bible, and incorporated is the date 1520. The origin of the badge is another problem still to be solved. Mr 0.G. Rock-West disputes the right of the school to the Bible and dove. Me presented to the school in 1910 a painting of the shield with helmet and mantlings, about which he writes: ” The painting was done to hang in the school and to show that the school was not entitled to a crest, and that the crest of (he Bible and Dove should not have been introduced. When Abbot Beyne founded the Grammar School he granted the arms or a cross engrailed azure 5 mullets of the field, being the arms of the Abbey. At that time persons bearing arms could grant them to other individuals; but later it could be done only by grant from the College of Arms. So if the school wanted a crest to go with the arms a grant from the college would have to be obtained. The School has a prescriptive right to the arms as granted by the Abbot. The helmet and mantlings go with the arms. Whoever added the Bible and Dove did so without authority.”

It is perhaps unfortunate that we do not know who added the Bible anil Dove, nor who added the scroll with its motto; Doctrina vim promovet insitam. In the conflict between prescriptive right and actual possession, the probability is that for some time to come, at least, the latter will win! Mr. J. K. Auden and Mr. Evershed write that they have no recollection of the use of the badge in 1873 or 1876, though Mr. Read Samble recalls that it was in use in the 1880′s. A photograph of the boys at the school in 1877 shows badges on some of the caps worn by the boys; it is impossible to identify the design, but it is certainly not that of the present badge.

The Collegiate Church of Burton was destined to be short-lived. Sir William Paget, the King’s Secretary, who had been knighted for his services on a commission which secured peace with the King of France when war seemed imminent, was in high favour with the King. He had been granted the estates of the dissolved Hospital of Kepler, Co. Durham, in 1515, but he apparently preferred Burton and its manors. And so, by a patent of 31st January, 1546, “in consideration of the sale to the Crown” of the Durham manor, the College was suppressed, and the property, including Burton and all the surrounding villages, passed into his hands. There were a number of charges which he had to fulfil, including many rents, totalling nearly £350, and payments for the curate of Burton, another priest, the organist, and the Bailiff.

It will be seen that the property taken over was of enormous value. (We have mentioned already that its annual income was £335. 17s. 7d.) in the following September the charges were remitted upon the transfer to the Crown of lands and tenements in Middlesex and a cash payment of £5,000.

The personnel of the College received final wages, and in some cases a ‘reward’, or compensation for lost wages. The Dean and several other of the clergy received pensions. As regards Richard Harman, Leach says that on 3rd March, 15-16, he was paid £10 for his half-year’s pension to Lady Day following, “but no further, as the King has provided for him otherwise”. Hibbert, however, says that in September of that year, there was paid to Richard Harinan, “scole mr” the sum of “Cs.” (100 s.) wages due to “Crystmas next”, but no reward.

On the face of it (for we are again forced to surmise), it appears that as far as the King was concerned, Harman was intended to stop teaching at Lady Day, 1516. But it looks, on Hibbert’s record, as If he was still teaching in September, and then received a quarter-year’s salary of £5 to the following Christmas. The figure of £20 for his salary certainly appears to be correct.

How or whether the King did actually “provide otherwise”for Richard Harman We do not know. We are without definite knowledge of the school for the next 47 years; but an endowment in 1593, providing as it did for a grant towards the salaries both of a master and of an usher, justifies us in concluding that not only did the school continue, but that it prospered to such an extent that one man could no longer cope with the pupils who attended. This endowment will now be discussed.

Lady, or Dame, Elizabeth Paulett was the daughter of Walter Blount, of Nether Hall. Burton, in which town she was Loin. Nether Hall was built early in the fifteenth century by John Blount, on ancestor, at the lower end of Anderstaff Lane. This lane formerly extended from the corner of Horninglow Street and Bridge Street to a point near the site of the present Gasworks. It was the lane that led to the ‘toft’ (house with a yard attached) of the family of Andcrslcy. or Anslow. The Mall has long since disappeared; the site is now much less picturesquely occupied by Salts’ cooperage; the former orchard is replaced by The Gasworks !

Lady Paulett’s first husband was Anthony Beresford, of Thorpe, Derbyshire; her second Sir Thomas Pope, Lord of the Manor of Tittenhanger. Go. Herts.,founder of Trinity College, Oxford; he died in January, 1559. In December of that year Dame Elizabeth married Sir Hugh Paulett.of Hinton St. George, Somerset,father of Sir Amyas Paulett.who was custodian of Mary Queen of Scots during some of the many years she spent at Tutbury and at Chartley.

Lady Paulett was a devout Catholic, though the fact that she married a Lord of a Manor, and the nature of some of the property which she left, make it appear likely that she, like Sir William Paget, gained some very real advantage from the dissolution of the monasteries.

She died on 7th October, 1593. Among her benefactions to Burton were funds from which were built some Almshouses, property yielding money for the purchase of bread for distribution to twelve poor persons at church every Sunday after morning service, and a bequest to the school. Clearly, although she lived away from Burton, she had knowledge of the needs of the town, and the fact of her bequest to the school gives us all the evidence we require of continued service. According to Shaw “she gave by deed a certain annuity of £1O per annum, to be issuing out of the dissolved monastery (at Clerkenwell)…. also divers lands in Bently, Derbyshire (Fenny Bentley, near Ashbourne) to pay £6 a year to the schoolmaster of Burton and £3 a year to the usher”. Shaw’s information is derived from a report of charities made to Parliament pursuant to an Act passed in 1786 but his account is not quite in accord with accounts from other sources. The report of the Charity Commissioners, 1824, includes the words; “An annual stipend of 3 l. for the master and 6 l. to the usher was also granted by Dame Elizabeth Paulett in the 33rd year of Queen Elizabeth, to be paid out of a rent charge of 10 l. a year charged on certain premises in the county of Middlesex”. Molyneux gives a statement of school income, probably for 17-15, in which £21 comes from the “Breason” lands, £25 from the lauds at Orton-on-the-Hill. and £9 “payable from the Duke of Newcastle out of the Clerkenwell House to the Head Master”.

Lady Paulettt’s property at Clerkenwell included a house called the Garner House, and another, ClerkenWell House, which appears to have formed part of the dissolved monastery there. White, in 1834, said that in addition to two-thirds of the rent of the school lands, the master was receiving £3 under Lady Paulclt’s benefaction, and the usher.in addition to one-third, £6. These two sums came from a rent-charge of £10, the remaining £1 going to the almswomen. This was by then not strictly correct.

On 4th December, 1795, the original source of income was exchanged for £333 6s. 8d., 3 per cent. Consols, £9 of the income from which, was thereafter included in the school accounts as “Clerkenwell dividends”.

The nature of this benefaction was. through nobody’s fault a matter of what, presumably, must be called bad luck. Dame Paulelt could not have foreseen the changes in the value of property and of money which would take place in the centuries following her death; if she had, and if she had bequeathed the actual property to the school instead of an annuity Of the fixed value of £9. derived from the property, what a difference it might have made) The value of the school lands in 1529 was £8 a year: by 1867 it had increased to £152. By analogy, then, the Paulett endowment of 1593 might have become at the same date worth at least an equal amount, and if this had happened, the whole fortunes of the school during the nineteenth century might have been different. Possibly, by a varied form of gift in 1593. Burton Grammar School in the nineteenth century might have been made wealthy, and the reports on the school, and the development of the school itself might have constituted an entirely different history.

The commuting of the rent charge for an equivalent amount of Consols was, of course, quite in order; it fixed the annual payment in perpetuity at £9 a year. Is this one of the minor ‘ifs’of history? At a conservative estimate,if Dame Paulett had only been able to foresee the future, the School in the course of years might have benefited by £25,000! When in 1871 a new scheme, to which we shall refer in due course, amalgamated some funds for the future benefit of the Grammar and Alsop schools. he Paulett Consols, and whatever other funds were accumulated in cash, were not mentioned. They presumably reverted to the Feoffees, who have, in fact, paid into the School funds far more than £9 a year from other sources.

(As a matter of interest, a doorway remains on what was once the Paulett Almshouses, but is now the office of Weights and Measures, hearing the date A.D. 1593.)

There were troubled times in England during the decades which followed the dissolution of themonasteries. In a series of developments which we cannot outline here, there came a complete breakaway, not only from Home, but from Roman Catholicism, during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. There was a return under Mary; finally, during the reign of Elizabeth, by the Act of Supremacy of 1559 the Papal power in England was for ever abolished, and by the Act of Uniformity the Prayer Hook became the only legal form of worship. The settlement was by no means obviously final at the time, however, and there was no immediate disappearance of anxiety or of threats to internal peace. Elizabeth would have no children to succeed her. and the heir presumptive, Mary Queen of Scots, granddaughter of Henry VIII, was a staunch Catholic.

At this time a Reformation was taking place in Scotland, too, under the leadership of John Knox. Its character was very different from that of the English Reformation. In England the new state of things was brought about by the action of the King, to a great extent helped by the people. In Scotland it was a movement of the people against the Queen who, in 1567 was deposed, and fled to England. In credibly trusting, she cast herself upon the protection of her kinswoman, Elizabeth. It is safe to surmise that the English Queen accepted her new responsibility with little gratification; from her point of view, Mary constituted a focal point of danger, not merely for the future, but for the actual present. However, Elizabeth accorded to Mary the desired protection, though it took the form of virtual imprisonment for her guest. As events proved, the strain eventually proved too great, and though the inevitable consequence was war with Spain, Mary was executed in 1587.

Burton, its school, and the neighbourhood were directly affected by these events. Several times – in 1569, 1570, 1573, 1578, 1581,and 1585, Mary was at Tutbury, and on the last occasion was in charge of Sir Amyas Paulett, stepson of Dame Elizabeth. She also must have come into more or less direct contact with Thomas, Lord Paget.

Sir William Paget, the first Lord of the Manor of Burton, had been created first Baron Paget of Beaudesert by Edward VI (or by the Protector) on 3rd December, 1549. He had died in 1503, and had been succeeded by his son Henry, who in turn died in 1578. He had no children, and his brolher, Thomas, became third Baron. (The first Baron is described by Itaskerville as the strongest agent in the country against a possible restoration of the monasteries). Thomas, too, was a staunch Catholic.

In 1584 Francis Throgmorton was executed for plotting, with the Spanish Ambassador and many prominent English Catholics, the escape of Queen Mary. Thomas came under suspicion, and fled to France. In his absence, he and his brother Charles were attainted by Parliament. Thomas’s property, that is, the Burton estates, was confiscated, and reverted to the Crown. His houses at Beaudesert and at Burton were stripped by Thomas Gresley, High Sheriff of Staffordshire. Some of the furniture was sold, and some was sent to Tutbury Castle for the use of Mary. Elizabeth, even at this stage, was still extraordinary tolerant, and when Mary complained of the inadequacy and unsatisfactory nature of her new furnishings, supplied other.

Thirteen years later the Paget estates were restored to Thomas’s
son, William. In 1603 the title was restored, and William became fourth
Baron. But the return of the estates was by no means a free gift. It
was subject to a fee-farm rent of the enormous sum of £715 0s. lld.
and to the following charges: £ s. d.
To the annual stipend of thecurate of Burton … 14 10 0
To the annual stipend of the parish Clerk … 2 0 0
As an annual payment for a preacher at Burton 14 0 0
To the annual stipend of a schoolmaster … 2 0 0

Thus began a connection between the school and the house of Paget which has continued throughout almost the whole of the subsequent history of the school. At this point the income of the school apparently was £8 or more from the school lands. £9 from Lady Paulett’s bequest, and £2 as above – £19 a year. If this was the whole of the income available for the payment of both a master and an usher, things were Jess favourable than in (he days of the Collegiate Church, when the master alone was receiving £20.

13. 1605.
Mr. Kichard Dethick. as a trustee, appears to have been not all that could have been desired. This fact was brought to light by a dispute which arose about 1005. Dethick and two Burton tradesmen, Moorcock and Gilbert, had been appointed trustees in 1540, with an arrangement for their heirs to succeed in due course. By 1605 Moorcock and Gilbert had faded out of the picture; the original feoffment had never been renewed, and it had become impossible to discover which of their heirs, if any, were trustees: they had certainly, if they existed, ceased to function.

Dethick by some means had apparently gained complete control of the trust, and had misappropriated it. Not only did he lease the lands at Orton, but he received “fines” on his own account, and settled these upon his son at his marriage. In consequence of these abuses, a Commission of Charitable Uses was appointed. On 20th August, 1605, by a decree of the Commissioners, a new settlement was made, and fresh trustees were appointed. William, Lord Paget was chairman.

At the time or the enquiry, a Mr. Barnes, claiming that his wife was one of the house of Dethick, styled himself a trustee of the School Lands. He, with Solomon Clarke, one of the feoffees of the town lands (which appear to be an inheritance from the properties of the former gilds of the town), granted leases of the school estates, and took fines to his own use. At the death of the schoolmaster, Barnes, with others who claimed to be heirs of Dethick, proceeded to propose a successor. But this course was strongly opposed by Lord Paget, and the matter was brought before Sir John Turton. His advice was that all parties should surrender their claims to his lordship’s lands, and take a conveyance from him. This was accordingly done, and new leases were granted to the tenants in possession. An amicable solution was thus reached in what might have ueveloped into an awkward situation.

The new trustees appointed Mr. Hazard and Mr. Shilton schoolmasters. A matter of interest will be to confirm what is likely- that Mr. Shilton was Clerk of the Church, as were others of that name in the following two centuries.

Up to this point we have no knowledge of the school itself, except that, as shown on an earlier page, it is a fair deduction that the building was first opened on 4th September, 1537. Our earliest definite information is from Molyneux, who says that in 1656 there was a house adjoining the school, on land formerly belonging to Burton Abbey, occupied rent-free by the schoolmaster. From other sources, and descriptions of the school as it existed at later dates, we can form a clearer picture.

The original school was a low, one-storeyed brick building. Of its size, we know that sixty scholars represented the limit of its capacity. Whether it contained any furniture we can only guess: it was not inevitable that at that time school- were furnished at all.

Robert Hamonde, who left an endowment for a school at Hampton, Middlesex, directed in his will that his school should consist of “a howse with seates in.” It seems clear, then, that some schools contained no scats; whether the scholars stood all the time, or sat upon the floor, we must decide as we please!.

Leach (in “The Schools of Mediaeval England’) gives illustrations of two illuminated MSS. now in the British Museum. One of them, (British Museum MS. Royal 6 EVI., f.541), depicts an English fourteenth century school in which the master has a scat and a reading desk; three scholars are seated, apparently on the floor; four others are standing. Another, however (Brit. Mus. MS. Burney, 270 f.94, about 1350) depicts a pupil being caned upon the hand during a lesson. In the background of this picture is a long bench. Whether the Burton school was “a howse with seates in,” therefore, we do not know.

The report of the Charity commissioners of 1824 tells that the school premises consisted of a schoolroom with a dwelling-house on one side and a stable on the other, and a small garden, and adds that the premises did not afford suitable accommodation for the master, and that the house was let by him to a poor person. We can draw our own conclusions.

The first school stood in the north-west corner of the churchyard, that is. presumably, the corner where now Friar’s Walk turns towards the present Andressey Bridge, or perhaps opposite to the entrance to Anglesey Passage.

Of subsequent school buildings we will speak later.

There were some other educational endowments in Burton, which, though not directly bestowed upon the Grammar School have, in the course of history, become directly connected with it and Its present foundation.

At some time in the seventeenth century (according to Shaw, the bequest was reported to the Commissioners in 1784), William Finney, a London tradesman, who was born at Lichfield, gave £110 to the town’s charities. With the money land was bought in Anderstaff Lane: it was called Finney’s Close. The rent from the close was to be used in apprenticing one poor boy yearly. Molyncux reports that the annual value of Finney’s charity in 1702 was £5 10s- Od.; in 1866 it had increased to £208.

Richard Allsopp was a prominent Burton citizen. He and Francis Astle, (to be mentioned later) were among the parishioners who were present at a meeting, described by Underhill, convened to investigate what appears to be a certain inefficiency in the control of the funds with which the new Parish Church (opened in 1723, though not completed for several years afterwards) was being built. He was in fact, appointed a member of the vestry on llth May, 1701, und acted until 1722. He was a leading member of the clothworkers’ gild; in 1709 he was constable of the town, this appointment being at that time the highest civic honour.

Richard Allsopp died on 3rd July. I728 and was buried at Burton Church. His will was dated 26th May, 1728. In it he says:

“Whereas John Spendelow late of Litchfield is indebted to me in several sums of money lent to him and paid for his use for part. Whereof he mortgaged to me a piece of meadow ground in the liberty of Kings Bromley called the Haselere and two little tenements in Stowe Street in Litchfield but the Haselere being engaged by Mortgage to Mrs. Ann Hayley, late of Litchfield for £100 I did at request of the said Spendelow discharged and pay off the executors of the said Mrs. Ann Bayley whereby there Is now by principal interest and other disbursements for his use £230 due to me from the said John Spendelow. And for a further security I had by Spendelow’s order a surrender in the Court at Kings Bromley of a Close called meadow ditch and two acres of arable laud in the liberty of Kings Bromley. Now I do hereby give and bequeath to the poor of Burton for ever for a Charity school all any estate right title or interest in or to all of the lands before mentioned which are or was the said John Spendelow’s and also all my right title or interest in or to the said £230 before mentioned as lent to or disbursed for the use of the said John Spendelow the interest or product thereof to be employed for a Charity school for teaching poore children not exceeding thirty children at a time of the poorest families in Burton. Regard being chiefly had to the children of such parents as are the most constant frequenters of the publique ordinances and it is my Will and desire that the person who shall be employed to teach the said children he of a sober and religious life and conversation and shall teach them the Church Catechisms and endeavour to instruct them in the fundamental of the Christian religion as by law established in the Church of England.”

Allsopp required the appointment of five trustees who, among other things, “shall have power to inspect the Charity schools, and to rectify all disorders and to appoint a person to teach the said Schollard (Scholars?) and upon any misdemeanour either to remove the said person or to withdraw the payment until visible amendment.”

He also made arrangement that if by any chance the value of his endowment should prove to be below £200, that it should be made up to that value from bis other possessions. This however proved not to be necessary.

The in script Ion upon the tablet in the Church commemorating Allsopp reads:

Here lyes Mr. Richard Allsop, of this town, mercer, a person of sound understanding, great industry, inflexible honesty and commendable frugality (for he was frugal, that he might be charitable). Hs was a cheerful companion, a sincere friend and a good Christian. Thus he lived esteemed and dyed lamented by the friends of virtue. July 3rd, 1728. Act. 77. He left by his will proved in the Arches ten pounds per Annum for ever for ye instruction of 30 poor children of the Town in Christian knowledge and ten pounds to the Poor of Hathorn in Leicestershire for ever.

The property at King’s Bromley occupied 11 acres. On the occasion of the Burton enclosure in 1782, this was exchanged for two pieces of land on Horninglow Moor, of area three and a half acres, and one on Goosemoor, of five and a half acres. These were then let at £24 per annum. The value of Allsopp’s charity, according to Underhill, was £8 in 1786, and by 1866 had become £453

In 1735 Francis Astle, whom we have already mentioned, save by feoffment land at Hatton, occupying 3 acres, called the Rush Holme Close The income from this endowment was to clothe “for ever” six poor boys scholars in the school of Bichard Allsopp, with coats, waistcoats, and breeches of grey cloth, together with hats, shoes, and stockings.

John Jervis was born in 1731. His famous naval career is common knowledge. He fought in Keppel’s action of 1778. He received the Order of the Bath after seizing the French ship “Pegase” in 1782, and took part, during the same year, in the relief of Gibraltar by Lord Howe. In the course of the war with Prance at the time of the French Revolution, he took possession of the West Indian Islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and St. Lucia. In 1797 he ventured as admiral to close in with the Spanish fleet off Cape St. Vincent in spite of tremendous odds. The result was a brilliant victory, in which Nelson participated. In his later years, as Lord St. Vincent, he became First Lord of the Admiralty.

In his memoirs, Jervis says that he was sent to the Grammar School at Burton-on-Trent where he was taught the rudiments of Greek and Latin. He was at first Intended to follow the profession of his father, that of the law, but a change in the family plans led to his being transferred in 1747 to Swindell’s Academy at Greenwich, where he received a training for the sea. He joined the Navy in 1747.

Besides the interesting knowledge that the school can claim so distinguished an officer as Jervis among its past pupils, this chance piece of information gives us a most valuable insight into a period of the school’s history when material is somewhat scanty.

What is important is the knowledge that the school continued to function as a true Grammar School. By this is meant that the subjects of .instruction were still the classics, as opposed to reading, writing, and arithmetic, which constituted the main part of the curriculum in the elementary schools.

In the course of time, a large number of the Schools endowed or established in early times had failed to maintain their status. Some were degraded to elementary status (the free school at Rolleston provides a nearby example): in other cases the school passed out of existence, and its funds survived in the provision of scholarships or exhibitions. Burton Grammar School maintained its status, and though it has passed through troublous times, has never failed to do so.

Another Old Boy, who attended the School under the same Headmaster as Jervis, the Rev. H. Jackson, was Thomas Byard. This information was revealed at a school Speech Day in the time of Mr. R. T. Robinson’s Headmastership, by Mrs. Grafftey Smith, wife of the then Vicar of Newhall, Byard’s great grand – daughter. Byard commanded the ” Foudroyant,” of 98 guns, and for a short time Nelson’s ship. He was knighted in 1793 for his services in Ihe French war. Jackson wrote some verses ” The Glory of Burton.” to be found in a volume called “The Flowers of Scottish Poetry.” One verse runs:

‘Brave Byard. the glory of Burton, was there.
Who like Jervis. his countryman, never knew fear.
The first broadside he gave, the Dutch fleets we all cleared.
For he fought like a tar of Old England. Hurrah.’

The name of another contemporary scholar of Jervis’s is known. He was called Hopkins. From the Rev. J. E. Auden, an old Boy of 1873. of whom Hopkins was an ancestor, we have received this information:

“Hopkins was a son of Mr. Hopkins who built a house at Horninglow (called then Dog Lane Farm, now Donnithorpe) in 1713. The builder’s son was so joyed at the great victory won by his old schoolfellow that he planted round the croft of his farm a long row of poplar trees, the number of them recalling the number of ships sunk, captured, or fatally damaged, of the enemy’s fleet. Some of them still stand at “The Poplars” (a comparatively modern affair built in my life time). I remember how 75 years ago the row of trees was perfect, and all standing upright.”



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!



1520-1884 Outline History – Harold Moodey


Throughout the history of the school, it is perhaps inevitable that contacts with the Lord of the Manor should be continuous.

The first Baron Paget, William (1505-68) was presumably concerned in the pensioning of Richard Harman. His grandson, the fourth Baron, William (d. 1629) was, we have seen, a trustee, and was liable for an annual payment of £2 to the stipend of the schoolmaster. The seventh Baron, Henry (d. 1743) who was Baron Burton and first Earl of Uxbridge, made an annual grant of £5 to the usher; this was continued by his grandson, (d. 1769), who if we may Judge from the lawsuit of 1746-52, was a trustee. There was a then break in the succession. The second Earl of Uxbridge had no Issue, and the title became extinct.

Catherine, however, grand-daughter of William, the fifth Baron, was married to Sir Nicholas Bayley. Her son, Henry Bayley (d. 1812), who assumed the name of Paget, became ninth Baron Paget, and in 1781 became first Earl of Uxbridge of the second creation; he was a trustee in 1795. His son, Henry William, second Earl, had a brilliant military career, and alter the battle of Waterloo in which he lost a leg, was created first Marquis of Anglesey on 4th July, 1815. A Marquis of Anglesey is named as trustee in every list which we have available,beginning with that in White’s 1851 History of Staffordshire, and continuing to the end of our present story. The Marquis was also trustee of Alsop’s school in 1849. Since the 1605 list of trustees were named “with their heirs” It seems probable that the office was held continuously at least until 1802. The survivors named from the 1802 trustees, however, in 1825, did not include his Lordship. There thus appears a possible, but not a certain gap at this stage.

(Although it is outside the confines of the present story, it is worthy of mention that from 1867 or earlier to about 1910, his Lordship presented prizes to the School (In the former year their value WHS reported to the Charity Commissioners as £5); in 1943 the present Marquess renewed the ‘tradition’ by the award of “The most Honourable the Marquess of Anglesey’s Leaving Prize” which he has promised to award annually.)


Richard Dethick
William Moorcock
Hugh Gilbert
and their heirs

William Lord Paget
John Bradshaw
William Caldwell
John Hawkes
Jeremiah Horobin
Robert Toone
William Clarke
Henry Clarke
Richard Clarke
Thomas Mutton
William Woodcock and their heirs

1795 app.
Earl of Uxbridge
Isaac Hawkins
John J.Hayne
Abraham Hoskins
Henry Evans
John S.Dawson
Charles Leeson
W. Newton

(survivors from 1802)
Rev. F.H. Carey
Joseph Muckleston J
oseph Pycroft
Abraham Hoskins
Joseph Perks
Thomas Thornewill

1851 (White).
Marquis of Anglesey
Earl of Uxbridge
Rev. H des Voeux
Henry Clay

Marquis of Anglesey
M.T.Bass, M.P.

Marquis of Anglesey.
M.T.Rass M.P., Brewer
W.Worthington, Brewer
W.Wilders, gentleman.
H.Allsop, Brewer.
Abram Bass, Solicitor.
R.T.Belcher, Surgeon.
R.S.Tomlinson, Surgeon.
J.S.Clav, Brewer.
W.H.Worthington, Brewer.
T.Goer.Cheese- factor.
Clerk: W.Small.

Marquis of Anglesey,
M.T.Bass.M.P., Brewer.
R.S.Belcher, Surgeon.
J.S.Clay, Brewer.
R.S.Tomlinson, Surgeon.
J.R.Warham, Ironfounder.
W.H.Worthington, Brewer.

Our information concerning headmasters and ushers is as follows:
1537-1510 and possibly later: RICHARD HACKMAN.
1605: Mn. HAZARD and MB. Shilton.
1656: (Molyneux: the house is occupied rent-free by the master’.
1662: Joseph Shilton, curate, may have been master, before 1745-1757: Rev. H.Jackson, vicar of Stapenhill. (1745: William Shilton was probably usher).
1782: (“B.H.”: the master’s and usher’s salaries were paid)
1795: Rev.John Hepworth.
1795-1808: Rev. Hugh Jonses, senior, curate of Burton and vicar of Stapenhill.
1822-1839: Rev. Hugh Jones.junior, A.B.. curate of Burton;
(Henry Hodson, usher, to 1861.William Shilton master of Alsop’s to 1849).
1839-1858: Rev.J.F.MacMichael
1839-1858: Rev. Valpy (presumably)
1858-1873: Rev. Henry Day.L.L.B. (Mr.H.Heape, second master to 1873)
1874-1882: Charles Undershell Tripp.M.A.Oxon. (Mr.Gardener, then Rev. T.W.Beckett, second master).
1884-1900: Rev. Thomas W.Beckett, M.A.Camh. (Mr. J.E.
Carey, second master).

From the point at which this record ends, we have a complete record of pupils at the school. Of pupils who were in attendance before 1885. our knowledge is fragmentary. We have named Pointz (1530), Belfield (before 1535), the Shiltons (about 1550), Jervis, Byard, and Hopkins (1745), M.T. Bass (about 1810), and DrcWett (before 1860), W. Clubb (1860): and in section 27 we have given names of boys at school in 1864.

J.E.Auden has recalled the following, who were at school in 1873 and 1874:

J.E.Auden, W.H.Auden, T.J.Allan, Arnold, Archer, Ashby, Baillie, Belcher, H.Beever, Bibby, Barratt, Capron, Cook. T.Callant, two Cottons, Draper, R.Day. Dilke. Feakes, G.E.French, Goodhead, F.,W.M. and another Hopkins, two Hadfields, E. and R. Hunter, Lobb, G. Lowe. S. Lunt. W. Morrall, W. Milne, Martin. J.Potter. Phillips, Rodwell, three Sims, two Smiths, Stynn, Stephenson. F., M., and T.Taylor, Upton, Wallas, C.E.Wright, Williams, S.A.Ward, two Whiteheads (or Whitehursts)

A photograph of the School in the Lent term, 1877. has the following signatures:

W.H.Auden, T.J.Allen, T.F.Auden, J.G.Anderson, A.Atkin, A., C. and J.Atterbury, P.Auty, A.H.Burghope, E.H. and T.A.Beckett, J.H.Birch, F.J.G.Borwell, J.Bullock, F.R.Bell. A.B.Beesby, F.H.Bindley, F.Bosworth, F.W.Bullock. H.J. and W.Clarke. A. and C.W.F.Clubb, J.J.Dickinson. W. and F. Evershed, G.E.French, E.C.Frampton, F.B., J.C.and T.II.Gorton. L. and T.Gibbs, C.H.Graham, E.Guest, F. and W.M, Hopkins, C.T. and S.B.Hallam, H.Higgott. J.W.Jefford. A.E. and F.J. Jackson. T.E.Lowe. P.W.Lunt, A.Litchfield, F.J.Mavgcr. J.Morris, A.J.G. Molvneux. T.Miller, J.E.Xowers, C.E. and F.J. Oldacres, J.Potter. W.J.Pickering, G.E. and J.Robinson, A.T.M.Russell. W.Shaw. J.Scattergood. T.E.Sanders, O.E.Wright. There is a French signature which has become indecipherable

F.R.Bell has sent us a list culled from a note-book of 1875. It contains many or these names, and also: Chancelor, Daniels.

It is one of our ambitious that we shall collect whatever Information about these Old Boys may be still available.

At school on 28th February each year we remember. On the anniversary of the endowment in 1529, all our benefactors. Although much of what follows belongs to a period later than 1884, we think It well at this time to put on record the names ol those from whose generosity the school will always benefit.

1. Of Beyne, Paulett, Finney, Allsop and Astyle, we have spoken in these pages.

2. Public subscriptions in memory of Henry Wardle. M.P. and Governor, in 1892. gave us the Wardle Memorial Prize.

3. In 1922, Old Boys gave to the school the War Memorial Playing Field.

4. In 1933, E.J. Manners. Old Boy and Governor, presented the Pavilion.

5. In 1933, J.H.Birch, Old Boy and later. Governor, instituted, and in 1939 endowed the J.H.Birch English Prizes.

6. 1943, the five brothers Guest, Old Boys, endowed the Guest Memorial History Prize, and Robert Yeomans, Old Boy, endowed the Modern Language Prize bearing his name.

7. In 1943 and 1944, Old Boys subscribed the W.D. Fraser Memorial Fund.

8. In 1945, Mrs. M.Ife endowed the S.J.IFE Memorial Athletics Trophy. (S.J.Ife was lost at sea on Active Service in 1944), and F.Evershed endowed the Frank Evershed Prize.

9. The School also possesses Challenge Trophies, awarded at various times between 1871 and 1945. valued at over £250.

At some time, as we said in the Introduction, we want to publish this part of the History of the School amplified and possibly amended.

We look forward to incorporating with it the whole of the History of Burton Grammar School in Bond Street. This should be a very different compilation from the present; it can all be based on “living memory” and on properly kept minutes. How successful it will be depends upon the co-operation of those past pupils and others who will send us their recollections. And so every Old Boy and everybody else who in past years bus had connections with the School is invited – rather, urged – to a send his account of the school as he knew it. Many hands make light work: there is no likelihood that too many cooks will spoil the broth. It will be the function of the Editor to see to that.

We also want to compile, as an appendix to the full story, a “Who’s Who” of Distinguished Old Boys. Distinctions have been achieved in a multitude of ways: at the Universities, in the Church, in the professions, in business, in military and in civic affairs. Here also we want help. We want Old Boys to throw away all the restrictions of modesty, and to send us their full biographies, and those of any of their contemporaries. The success of the attempt will depend upon their willingness to do this. Reports of progress when possible will appear in the pages of the School magazine, the “Cygnet.” which is sent regularly to all members of the Old Boys’ Association, the Secretary of which, Mr. J.F.Rose, can be reached either at 62, High Street, Burton-on-Trent, or at the School.

And now we pause. We do not know what the future has in store for the School. A new chapter in Its history is being opened by the operation of the 1944 Education Act. But thepages of that chapter cannot be written or read yet. We must face the future with hope, and with faith.

Floreat Schola Libera Burtoniensis



School Societies

In the 1950s, before the popularization of television and before anyone could have even conceived of the Internet, School Societies played a significant role. The below list of them will give some idea:

Select item to view:

  • Art Club
  • Literary Society
  • Cactus and Succulent Society
  • Chess Club (Take a team trial!)
  • Choral Society
  • Christian Union
  • Dramatic Society
  • International Relations Society
  • Field Club
  • Film Society
  • French Society (Cercle Francais)
  • Geographical Society
  • Historical Society
  • Latin Club
  • Metalwork Club
  • Music Appeciation Society
  • Photographic Society
  • Radio Society
  • Sixth Form Society
  • Stamp Society
  • Young Farmers Club
  • 2A Society

Some others later introduced include:

  • Angling Club
  • Astronomical Society
  • Debating Society
  • Model Aero-Club
  • Model Engineering Society
  • Physics Club
  • Walking Club
  • War Games Society
  • Wildlife Society



1927 – Dramatic Society Programme

This Dramatic Society programme omitted to feature the date, probably not fully expecting to be published on a website some eighty-odd years later! It is though circa 1927.

The plays were directed by E.C.Nicholson, the Chemistry master, assisted by George Cooper who had recently returned to the school having made the tranformation from pupil to Maths teacher.

An insert included with the programme, thankfully also surviving, shows the previous productions since its inauguration in 1920.



1940s Dramatic Society Productions

1943 – Devil’s Disciple

1946 – Cleopatra

1947 – The Petrified Forest (Robert Sherwood)

(Left to right) D. Finch, 02, 03, K. Meakin, Hugh Richmond, 06, D. Morton, 08, K. Winson

1948 – Julius Caesar

1949 – The Government Inspector


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