CHAPTER IX.

                                                                                     THE  PAROCHIAL  SCHOOLS.

The Schools of the Parish are at present a Boys', a Girls', and an Infants' School, in three Departments, and separated from each other by a considerable distance.  The history of the original Endowed School may best be given by a Decree of the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster, dated June 25th, 1639.  The case is given as between "Robert Smith and John Shirt, plaintiffs, and Arthur Bromley, "defendant," the latter being the master at that time of the Free Grammar School at Pontefract, and receiving the emoluments originally intended for the Master of the Endowed School at Cawthorne.

The Decree is as follows: "Whereas the said Robert Smith and "John Shirt for themselves and the rest of the Inhabitants of the "Parish of Cawthorne have exhibited their Bill in this Court thereby "setting forth, that, by the bounty of King Edward the sixth or some "other predecessor of His now Majesty, and upon a Commission for "that purpose directed to Sir Walter Mildmay and Robert Keldway, "Esq., secundo Edward sext., divers ftee schools were appointed in "sundry places in England, and sundry stipends were allotted to be "paid by His Majesty and his successors for the schoolmaster of the "said Schools; and that among these his said Majesty appointed a "Free Grammer Schoole should be maintained at Cawthorne afore "said within the Honor of Pontefract; and that one Richard Wigfall "should be first schoolmaster, and that he and his successors should "have the yearly stipend of one hundred and four shillings paid by the Auditor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as by a Declaration of the "said Commissioners shewing what schools were assigned within that "Honor, on return of the said Commission, and remaining on record "in this Court, may more fully appear; and that accordingly the "said Richard Wigfall was schoolmaster there, and received the said "Stipend from the said Auditor divers years, and died, and after him


"divers other Schoolmasters there received the said Stipend, until the "20th year of Queen Elizabeth, that, the said school being vacant by "the death of the last Master, an order was made in this Court "reciting the said declaration concerning the erection among others "of the said School at Cawthorne, and that amongst the rest the "schoolmaster at Cawthorne had received the Stipend of five pounds "four shillings out of the Duchy revenues, and that the schoolmaster "at Pontefract, being one of the said schools so erected, had only "fifty nine shillings and twopence, which was not sufficient for an "able schoolmaster: and for that some other towns, particularly
"Cawthorne, had neglected to have a schoolmaster, it pleased the "Court to direct that the Stipend should be paid to the schoolmaster "at Pontefract, yet not with intention to deprive the other towns of "Schoolmasters and Stipends, but, when a convenient schoolhouse "and able schoolmaster should be provided, then the stipend to be "continued; and further setting forth, that of late the Inhabitants of "Cawthorne aforesaid have at their great charge builded and decently "furnished a spacious schoolhouse with other necessary rooms for a "schoolmaster, and are willing, so the King's stipend be continued, "to make up at their own charge a convenient stipend for a school-"master to instruct their youth there, the rather for that Cawthorne "is twenty miles from Pontefract, and not within eight miles, as the "order suggests; and for that, since the said order, they have not "had any benefit by the school at Pontefract, nor hath any care been "had by the Master and his Brethren at Pontefract for providing able "and fit schoolmasters, nor was the then schoolmaster so careful as "he ought to be, nor have the Master and Brethren appointed an "usher as they ought to have done by the said order; and for that Cawthorne is so,populous as Pontefract, and therefore bath as much "need of a School: and for that this Court bath since the said order, "upon the like reasons, restored the pension formerly allotted to "Rowston school, and by the said order transferred to Pontefract; "for the restoring of which pension of five pounds four shillings to "the Schoolmaster of Cawthorne aforesaid the Bill was exhibited, to which Bill the defendant, being served with processes of this "Court, appeared and answered and in his answer set forth that he "hath heard of the Commission mentioned in the said Bill for setting


"out of Schools, and allotting stipends, but knew not how many or "what Schools or stipends were set out, other than the free Grammar "School at Pontefract of which the defendant is schoolmaster; and "for that he answered, that he was heretofore Chaplain in Ordinary "to Sir Humphrey May, late Chancellor of this Court, to whom, as "to every Chancellor for the time being, it belonged in the vacancy of the said school to nominate a Schoolmaster there, and he, "knowing the defendant to be a scholar bred for divers years  at "Cambridge, and able both for learning and good deportment to "undergo the charge, did put in the defendant to be the schoolmaster "there, which place he hath hitherto duly executed without scandal "of life or defect of learning, and hath received a stipend of twenty "pounds due to the said schoolmaster, And traverseth the rest of the "Bill: to which Answer the plaintiffs replied ; and, thereupon issue "being joined, a Commission was awarded for the examination of "witnesses in the Cause, which being executed, and returned into "this Court, and of the depositions thereby taken publication being "duly granted, the said Cause was by an order of the xxvii th day "of May last past set down to be heard this day ; now the Cause did "accordingly come this day to hearing, and upon full debating there-"of by Counsels learned on both side before the Right Hon ourable "the Chancellor and Counsell of this Court, being assisted with "Mr. Baron Henden, one of the Judges Assistant of this Court, and "upon Consideration had of the said decree of this Court, whereby "it appeared that the distance of the said Town of Cawthorne from "the Town of Pontefract was then informed to be but eight miles, "and that the principal cabse of translating the said stipend was the "want of a Schoolhouse at Cawthorne aforesaid, and also that the "Court nevertheless reserved power to sever the said stipend so "united to Pontefract, if there should be Cause; as by a proviso "contained in the said decree doth fully appear; And for that it doth "not appear that the inhabitants of Cawthorne aforesaid were parties "to any suit depending in this Court at the time of making the said "decree, or that they had any notice thereof, and upon consideration "of the depositions of several witnesses in this cause now read, "whereby it appeareth that the Inhabitants of Cawthorne aforesaid "have at their own charge now built a commodious schoolhouse and


 "a room for a schoolmaster of stone, within the said Town, and that "the said Town of Cawthorne is populous and consisteth of many "poor families who have many children teachable and fit to learn, and "are not able to set them elsewhere to school; and that the said "towne of Cawthorne is distant from Pontefract aforesaid fourteen miles, and upon reading of an order of the Court made in the six and twentieth year of Queen Elizabeth of famous memory, whereby
the said decree was then dispensed withal by returning to the Town of Rawston the stipend assigned by the said Commissioners for the School at Rawston aforesaid (being by the said decree transferred to Pontefract aforesaid), the said decree notwithstanding ; and for "that the Court considered it fit, that, as the stipend of five pounds "four shillings was at first by command from the late King Edward "the sixth assigned to be employed for a charitable use in the "education of youth and maintaining a school at Cawthorne afore said, so the intention of the first donor ought to be in substance "continued and maintained, according to the several statutes in that "behalf made, as well concerning the dissolution of Chantries, as "concerning such charitable guts and uses: And for that it is now "offered in Court by the Plaintiffs for themselves and the rest of the "Inhabitants of Cawthorne aforesaid, that they will add to the said stipend of five pounds four shillings the sum of eight pounds two shillings and eight pence per annum, for the better maintenance of the schoolmaster there for the time being, whose willingness and offer in that behalf did farther appear unto the Court by the depositions no'v read, with this condition only, that the said Inhabitants might be at liberty from time to time to elect such schoolmaster by the approbation of the right honourable the Chancellor of the Court for the time being; It is therefore finally ordered, adjudged, and decreed by the said Right Hon. the Chancellor and Counsell of this Court and the advice of Mr. Baron Henden aforesaid, that a free Grammar School be settled and from time to time continued within the said Town of Cawthorne, and that the said stipend of five pounds four shillings assigned by the said Commissioners to the said school and schoolmaster of the "Town of Cawthorne aforesaid be yearly translated and severed "from the said School and Schoolmaster of the said Town of


Pontefract, and that the same be settled and established with the "School and schoolmaster of the Town of Cawthorne aforesaid for "the time being, and to be from time to time yearly and every year "paid by the particular Receiver of the House of Pontefract for the "time being at two usual terms in the year, that is to say, at the "Feasts of St. Michael the Archangel and the Annunciation of the "Blessed Virgin Mary, by even and equal portions *  *   * and the "said schoolmaster shall be from time to time nominated, elected, "and chosen by the Kight Hon the Chancellor of this Court  and "that, according to the consent declared as aforesaid, the Inhabitants "of the Town of Cawthorne shall from time to time well and truly satisfy and pay to the schoolmaster the sum of eight pounds two "shillings eight pence per annum, for the better maintenance and "encouragement of the said schoolmaster, the same to be paid "quarterly, viz., at the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the "Nativity of Christ, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, "and the Feast of St. John the Baptist; and that the said Inhabitants "shall from time to time at their own cost and charges keep and "maintain a commodious schoolhouse within the said Town, with all needful and convenient reparation; And it is further decreed, "that, forasmuch as there appeareth proved by the depositions now "read the learning, honesty, and ability of Peter Deane, the present "schoolmaster at Cawthorne, the said Mr. Deane shall continue "schoolmaster of the said School, and shall receive the several stipends "so long as the said Mr. Deane shall demean himself well in the "execution of the said place.
(signed) Thomas Bedingfield."

It has been already noticed in speaking of the Endowments, that this sum of £5 4s. is exactly the amount at which the Bosvile Chantry was valued at its suppression, being a yearly stipend of one hundred shillings and the Chantry priest's residence, valued at other four shillings.  The Richard Wigfall who is here mentioned as the first schoolmaster is given in the King's Book-Henry VIII.'s "Valor Ecclesiasticus "-as the Incumbent of the Chantry, whose income and residence would therefore be continued to him in his different capacity after the Chantry was suppressed.  The Parish-


ioners, it will be seen, oblige themselves to add £8-2-8 to this £5-4s, and "to keep and maintain a commodious Schoolhouse," having already "of late at their great charge built and decently "furnished a spacious schoolhouse, with other necessary rooms for a "Schoolmaster."  The endowment is still paid by the Duchy of Lancaster "at the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel," the Master until within the last four or five years having a yearly notice to attend personally at Pontefract to receive it.  The Chancellor of the Duchy -still excercises his right of appointing the Master, or, practically has confirmed the nomination sent to him from the Parish, with a request that he "will be pleased to appoint the master so nominated."

The amount by which the Parishioners here promised to increase the stipend must he regarded as part of its endowment, making the total income from that source £13 6s. 8d. As in the case of the sums mentioned in the Endowments of the Benefice, this sum would represent a very much larger money value when it was given than it does at the present time.

Within the present century, John Lisles, when master, is remembered to have lived in the "loft" over the school, which has since been removed.  Other masters since his day to the present have been Mr. John Hayton, Mr. Backhouse, Mr. Hoyle, Mr. Steane, Mr. William Moxon, Mr. Joshua Barraclough, Mr. Butterworth, and the present master, Mr. George McWhan, appointed in 1872. There is a memorandum now before me stating that "it was resolved at a "town's meeting, that, Mr. John Hayton having given notice of his "intention to resign, Mr. George Backhouse of Thurgoland be "appointed, and the Parish agree to make up the stipend due from "the Duchy of Lancaster to £10 per annum, and allow him to live "rent-free in the Town's house now inhabited by the Rev. John "Goodair, so long as he shall continue his office, and no longer. "(Signed) W Spencer Stanhope; James Wigglesworth."

The School was united to the National Society Jan.30, 1862.

The old Endowed School has, since 1872, been used, under the care of Miss Ashton, as an Infants' School, a convenient playground having been added to it.


The Education Act of 1870 required the Township to firt~r enlarge its school accommodation, the "sufficient amount of accom"modation in public elementary schools available for all the children" being interpreted by the Department to mean "room for one-sixth of "the whole population, with 80 cubic feet for each child, and 8 square "feet in the main room and class-rooms."

A public meeting was accordingly called for Oct. 25th, 1870, to consider what arrangements will be required for the Parish under "the new Education Act, in order to supply sufficient school accommodation, and to prevent the expenses of the Schools being added "to the Rates."  The meeting was very largely attended, and all the principal ratepayers were present.  Mr. Walker, of Kexborough, proposed and Mr. Henry Child, of Holling Royd, seconded a resolution, which was carried unanimously, "That a new Elementary Boys' "School for one hundred and forty boys be built in Cawthorne, and "that application be at once made to the Education Department for "a grant in aid of the building."  Mr. Terry, of Norcroft, proposed and Mr. Thomas Armitage, of Deakin Brook, seconded a further resolution, which was also carried unanimously, "That a rate of five-"pence in the pound be made towards the cost of the building, to "be collected along with the next Poor Rate, and that this meeting "pledge themselves to pay this rate when levied."  On the motion of Mr. Sidney Silverwood, of Raw Royd, seconded by Mr. John Stones, of Barnby Hall, Mr. W. S. Stanhope and Mr. Benjamin Swift were entrusted with the building of the said School. A large number of ratepayers offered so many days' carting of materials.
The site, containing 1860 square yards, was given by Mr. John Spencer Stanhope, and was conveyed "unto the Minister and "Churchwardens of the Parish, to hold the same upon Trust for a "School for the education of children and adults, or children only, "of the labouring, manufacturing, and other classes in the Parish of "Cawthorne, and for no other purpose, such School always to be in union with and conducted according to the principles of the "'National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the "'Principles of the Established Church,' the principal officiating "Minister for the time being having the superintendence of the


"moral and religious instruction of the scholars, with power to use "the schod for a Sunday School under his exclusive control and "management."

The first committee of management was to consist of "the principal officiating Minister and his curate, if he appointed him," the two churchwardens, being communicants of the said Church, "and six "other persons, of whom the following shall be the first appointed the said John Spencer Stanhope, Walter T. W. S. Stanhope, John Roddam Stanhope of Hill-House. the Rev. Charles Hudson of Trowell Rectory in the County of Nottingham, Clerk, [Trustee of the Bosvile estate] Joshua Kaye of Dean Hill in Cawthorne, farmer, and Thomas William Stones of Barnby Green, such other persons continuing to be contributors in every year to the amount of twenty "shillings each at the least to the Funds of the said School and to "be communicants of the Church of England, and either to have a "beneficial interest to the extent of a life estate at the least in real "property situated in the Parish or to be resident therein."

The Deed of Conveyance is dated June 1st, 1872, and is signed by John Spencer Stanhope, Charles Spencer Stanhope, Incumbent of Cawthorne, Walter T. W. Spencer Stanhope, Churchwarden, George Swift, Churchwarden.  It was enrolled in H. M. High Court of
Chancery July 19th, 1872.

The Grant of £187 17s. 9d., received from the Education Department, was with the reserved power of at any time returning the Grant so given, and making the School and school premises entirely independent of any Government interference or right of control of any kind whatever, if legislation or any other cause seemed to the Trustees to make such a course desirable.
The School was first used on Feb.12, 1872, being opened with a short Service of Prayers and Hymns.

The Girls' School is the private property of Mr. Stanhope, having been built by Mr. and Lady Elizabeth Stanhope, and entirely supported by members of that family, until it was put under Government Inspection, and in union with the National Society, after the Education Act of 1870.  It took the place of a former school of which


many of the older inhabitants still have a very kindly remembrance, both in connection with the "Charity" of the Mrs. Stanhope of those days and with its mistress, Mrs. Long.

The present Girls' School was opened on Tuesday, Oct.19, 1858. The following is a copy of the public notice given: "Harvest Thanks-giving and Opening of New School-Room, Cawthorne.  The "Parishioners of Cawthorne are invited to set apart the afternoon "of Tuesday, October 19th, 1858, to the above-named purposes. "Thanksgiving Service and Sermon in the Parish Church at 3 p.m. "Tea in the New School-Room at 5 p.m.  After Tea, Addresses will "be delivered.  The Church Choir and other musical friends will "attend.  Tickets for the Tea, at 6d. each, may be had until Oct.14th from the Churchwardens, Mr. Charles Turner (Cawthorne), Mr. Midgley (Jowit House), and Mr. Longthorne, Basin."

This notice shows that our first annual Harvest Thanksgiving Day, which has ever since been such an interesting and happy parochial institution, dates back to the year 1858, when a week-day Thanksgiving Service was first held, on the suggestion of Miss Frances Stanhope to the present Archdeacon Badnall, who was then Curate of the Parish.
The first mistress of the Girls' School after it was placed under Government Inspection was Miss A. E. Steele, the former mistress, Miss Mary Ashton, who had been there since 1856, then taking charge of the Infants' department removed from the Tivydale to the old Boys' School near the Church.

At the end of the last century, a Sunday School was built by subscription in the South Lanes, and seems from the accounts to have at least been rich in teachers and generously supported as giving secular as well as religious instruction.  The half-yearly receipts signed by William Gill, B. Hinchliffe, or B. Armitage, show the number of teachers to have been eight or nine "at 8s. per year."  In the "Cawthorne Sunday School Accounts," the "upper school," as the above is called, is united with the one in the village, the subscriptions in 1800 amounting to nearly £24.  Books, "sets of copies," pen-knives, quills, paper, are items which occur along with "Liquor,


eating, &c., for the Sunday School Feast, £13 3s. 4d.; Cheese "£2 0s. 0 1/2d. ; ale £2 12s. 11d. ; and cheese (again) £1 1s. Joseph Shaw's bill for 240 lbs. of mutton in the next year's accounts is £8  while in 1802  T. Shirt's bill for five bushels of malt is £2 5s.; Dame Moxon, for ale, &c,
13s. 11d.; Judah Hinchliffe, for 44 lbs. of lamb, £1 9s. 4d.; J. Shaw, 47 lbs. of beef; £1 11s. 4d.; Judah Hinchhffe, 240 lbs. of mutton at 8d., £8.  The meat "for Sunday "Schoolmasters" in 1803 comes to £14 5s. 4d.  Judah Hinchliffe for meat, Mr. West, or some one else, for malt, are yearly items for a long period.  These matters have only any interest at the present time as showing what the system of the Cawthorne Sunday School was eighty years ago, and as also showing that the price of beef; mutton, and lamb at Cawthorne in 1801-2 was no less than 8d. a lb., at a time of great national distress, when the Report of a Parliamentary Committee on the price of provisions "strongly recommended all "individuals to use every means in their po'ver to reduce the consumption of wheaten flour in their families, and to encourage by "their example and influence every possible economy in this article, "advising that charitable relief should be given in anything else "rather than bread and flour," and when a law was actually passed, prohibiting bakers from exposing any bread for sale which had not been baked twenty-four hours, "as it appeared that the consumption  of bread baked for some hours was much less considerable than if "eaten new."

Scanned and Corrected by Tim Midgley, July 2002.
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Copyright © Scanned and corrected by Tim Midgley May 2002 with additional Coat-of Arms images. For non-commercial research purposes only. Links revised July 2023.