The History of Education in Hanslope
Click on the numbers to take you to the relevant section.
The Middle Ages
Only boys from rich backgrounds were educated and this was for the Church. The Church had a lot of power and influence and governed the structure and behavior of society. Towns were built around monasteries and abbeys, whereas villages were built around small priories. In Hanslope there may have been a priory down Park Road between the Old Vicarage and Ivy Farm. These religious communities cared for the local community. They provided health remedies, looked after the poor, composed music for the church and provided education for the priesthood. One third of the population would have been connected with the church in some way.
Types of Education
Cathedrals, abbeys and monasteries
The clergy were the teachers. Only boys were allowed. These could be boarders or day boys. The books were all hand written in Latin and the education had to be paid for. Bradwell Abbey 1431 “There were some teachable children, instructed in reading, singing, and elementary branches of knowledge. They ate with the monks.”
These were in towns and taught Latin.
House of priests or canons in small towns and villages.
Where sons of the gentry would exchange with other noble families to learn knightly chivalric skills.
The priest would teach in the church.
There was no education for the poor. They learned from the pictures and the stained glass windows in the church. The church walls were plastered white and then covered with paintings. Hanslope’s church had the plaster removed from the walls in Victorian times. There are still some paintings to be seen at the churches in Lathbury and Broughton.
18th Century onwards
Big public schools started for boys only. The teachers were still mainly clergy. In the towns the number of grammar schools increased. In villages, charity schools appeared where the patron either built a school or paid for education to be given by the clergy in church property. In Hanslope the charity schools were Lady Pierrepoint 1721, Feoffee Trust and a school built by Squire Watts in 1840.
The dates of some of the schools are approximate as precise dates have not been found at the time of producing this web page.
The Parochial School
This school was set up by the bequest of Lady Pierrepoint in 1721.
Copy Of The Bequest of Lady Pierrepoint, who died In 1721
Whereas The Right Honourable the Lady Pierrpeoint lately deceased viz Anno 1721 Relict & Widow of Gervase Lord Pierrpoint Baron of Hanslope hath given and bequeathed to the use & benefit of the Parish of Hanslope Bucks the sum of Two Hundred Pounds. The annual Revenue Product Income or Interest thereof is to be employed expended & laid out by the Minister and Churhwardens of the said Parish for the time being who are nominated & appointed Trustees of the said Benefaction by the will of the said Lady Lucy Pierrpoint and by Recourse had there unto in Doctor’s Commons it doth more fully appease from time to time … paying for the schooling of certain poor children within the said Parish & in buying them books. It is agreed upon & ordered by the said Minister & Churchwardens by and with consent of the Honourable Mrs Ann Wilmot, sister to the right Honourable George, Earl of Halifax Executrix to the said Will, that twenty Shillings yearly & no more of the said Income shall be expended or laid out form the use of the said School after this manner. viz twelve Shillings to buy Books, Primers, Spelling Books, Bibles among which two Bibles with common Prayer together bound. Every year at Christmas which Bibles so bought shall from time to time be kept always and remain in the School for use; & of the other eight Shillings, four Shillings each half year shall be laid out on Paper, Ink and Pens. And that all the monies of the said yearly Income, be the same more or less, shall be paid to the Schoolmaster for teaching as many poor children as it may be conveniently serves to do at the rates hereafter mentioned: viz for such Scholars as come constantly & throughout the day the Teacher shall be allowed four Shillings by the quarter. And for such as come to School only three days in the week. viz Monday, Wednesday & Friday, two Shillings by the quarter, who shall all be taught in good reading, writing, and accompts as these capacities severally require, and the pay being full as good as usually is allowed for such teaching it is expected & required that tho’ the children to be taught are poor yet the Master be as careful and diligent to instruct & teach them as any other. And lastly it is agreed & ordered that no children shall be taught upon this charity under the age of seven years old complete nor retained thereupon above the age of fourteen and that such as do offer themselves to be taught (being between the age of Seven & Fourteen) the oldest shall be first accepted that so there may be a quicker succession of fresh Scholars whereby the Benefit will extend further.
The Vicarage House was the original school room for the Parish School which was part & parcel of the property belonging to Benefice of Hanslope Church. In 1822 the money was on loan at 5% and the interest of £10 was paid to a master for teaching the three R’s to 8 boys in the vestry room. With paying scholars there was an average attendance of 25. In 1867 the income was paid for the instruction of some children in the infant school and was annexed in 1908 to the Church End Council School, with an average attendance of 100. The Lady Pierrepoint Charity still exists today and gives grants to students. An advert appeared in the Northampton Mercury in 1769 for a School-Master for the Parish School:
‘WANTED immediately, A SCHOOL-MASTER at Hanslop, one of the largest Villages in the County of Bucks., Apply to the Minister and the Church-Wardens. The Master is allowed Eight Pounds a Year for Teaching some Poor Children. For many years there has been a large School.’
Northampton Mercury 5th. June 1769. (Vol. 50)
The following extract is from an exercise book in which Miss Emma Whitbread recorded items pertaining to Hanslope. These items were also from the Northampton Mercury.
‘A Teacher. Wanted, one who is well versed in Accompts, writes and draws in a masterly manner, will meet with encouragement by applying personally with specimens of different performances. The salary will be paid quarterly. None need apply but such as can teach without heating. At the same time Mr Addison will not admit his Teachers to administer any corporal discipline (they are too prone to correct without judgement or mercy). He will take care that all due deferenceto be paid to his Teachers by his pupils. N.B. Letters addressed to Mr Addison, Hanslope Academy near Newport Pagnell, will be duly attended to.’
Northampton Mercury June 3rd 1786.
Benjamin Hindes Boarding School circa 1761
Benjamin Hindes was a farmer who gave up farming to open a boarding school. Adverts for his school appeared in the Northampton Mercury in 1761 and 1762. The site of his school may have been at Holiday Lane, as an old map shows the site of a large building at the end of the lane. This location would have been half a mile from the village as stated in his adverts. Holiday Lane was so called as the only time the students were seen was when they came down the lane to go home for holidays.
7th. September 1761 (Vol. 42)
NOTICE is hereby given.
THAT BENJAMIN HINDES, of Hanslope, in the County of Bucks, has entirely left off his Farming Business, and now teaches school as usual, where youth are well boarded, and carefully taught Reading, Writing and Arithmetick, in the most approved Method, at Nine Pounds a year, and Half-a-Guinea Entrance; and particular Regard will be had to their Morals.
7th. June 1762 (Vol. 43)
BENJAMIN HINDES, At Hanslope, in the County of Bucks, TEACHETH Reading, Writing, and Arithmetick, Vulgar, Decimal, and Instrumental; Merchants’ Accompts, according to the Italian Method; Geometry, Trigonometry, Plain and Spherical, with their Applications in measuring Boards, Glass, Land, Timber, Stone, etc., Book-Keeping and Gauging, Where Youth, for more Expedition in their Learning, are Boarded at Ten Pounds per Annum, and Half-a-Guinea entrance.
N.B. The House is very Commodious, and pleasantly situated about Half a Mile from the Town;(From “The Survey of Hanslope 1783 Manvers Collection ,Nottingham University” Hanslope is listed with Stonty Stratford, Newport Pagnell, and Olney as a Market Town) by which Youth will not have the Opportnity in seeing the bad Examples which are often commited by the populace, and which Youth are too apt to imitate.
The Boarding School at Stokes later Howes Manor
The Manor house was built c.1450 by Thomas Stokes, it was on the site where the Watts Arms and Western Drive have been built.
This was a boarding school for boys. Mr. Addison was the headmaster. The school was in existence from pre 1786 (the date of the advertisments) to circa 1800.
Miss Emma Whitbread of Gold Street Hanslope used to record advertisements etc. from local newspapers, especially the Northampton Mercury.
The following extract is from an exercise book in which Miss Emma Whitbread recorded items pertaining to Hanslope.
These items were from the Northampton Mercury. They cover the period from 1786 to 1836.
A Teacher. Wanted, one who is well versed in Accompts, writes and draws in a masterly manner, will meet with encouragement by applying personally
Northampton Mercury June 3rd 1786.
Boarding School of Mr T. White
T.White respectfully acquaints friends and the public, that his boarding school will be opened again on Monday the 12th January next, on the usual terms.
T.W. When he considers the disadvantages (Want of Friends and Acquaintances) under which he commenced his school a few years ago, and its present flourishing state, is induced to attribute its rise to his method of educating and treating his pupils. His plan is to form the Man of Business more than the scholar – to conquer that disagreeable monotony contracted by continually reading in classes in the Bible, etc. The pupils are taught to read newspapers, magazines, history, etc, with proper cadence and emphasis, whilst due explanations and a previous knowledge of geography enable them to understand what they read – to avoid that stiff, formal manner acquired by always writing on lines or marks, the pupils are taught to write without; by having letters or advertisements, etc, dictated to them; by which method also, a perfect knowledge of spelling and grammar is attained, as well as freedom and dispatch in writing – the pupils are made perfect in accompts, not too much by being turned back (as it is termed) to go through the rules again, as by practising these rules in examples of business; thus making and casting up book – debts, bills of parcels, etc, after the manner of tradesmen in book – keeping a method is taught of casting up goods by the readiest and shortest way possible – the pupils are also influenced to draw up receipts, promissory notes, drafts, and other articles absolutely necessary to qualify youth, on leaving school to transact business at home or behind a counter.
Slades Boarding School For Girls circa 1853
The school was established about 1853 by Agnes A Slade at what was known as Hales Folly Farm. Today it is just called Folly Farm. It was a boarding school for girls. At some time before 1881 the school moved to Stony Stratford and was called York House school.
This is a photograph of Hales Folly Farm circa 1970.
The following census returns show how the school expanded then by 1881 the Slades had left Hales Folly.
In Hanslope there were lace schools at Lace Cottage in Long Street and another kept by Mrs Homer (nee Millie Stones) in Castlethorpe Road for boys and girls. Starting at 5 years old, although some were introduced to lace by their mothers earlier, they had one hour’s reading a day and six or seven hours’ lace making. Even then some children had a play pillow, for if they made lace after school hours they could keep the money they earned. In school, children of eleven or twelve could maintain themselves by their work. Visit the Hanslope lace web page.
Top School (also known by various other names – Squire Watts, National, Feoffee and Church End)
Top School Building
The School was built circa 1840 by the Watts family and ran until 1876. The Feoffee Charity opened a school in this building in July 1877 and ran it until 1896 when it handed control over to the Hanslope School Board. The Feoffee Charity is still in existence today giving educational grants to students who live in Hanslope.
Feoffee School Head Teachers
|Miss Margaret Clelland||July 1877||?|
|Miss Elizabeth Billington||?||Died August 1878|
|Miss Sarah Evans||Oct-Dec 1878||Moved to a Liverpool School|
|Miss Charlotte Woodhead||Jan 1897-Nov 1880||Resigned over pay|
|Miss Alice V Taylor||Nov 1880-Sept 1822||?|
|Mr John n Rowe||Oct 1822-Oct 1887||Resigned over lack of infant teacher|
|Mr George Henry Grant||Oct 1877-June 1892||?|
|Mrs Annie Grant||Died Jan 1890||Infants & Sewing|
|Miss Dorothy Flamank||Nov 1890-Aug 1891||Infants & Sewing|
|Mr Walter J Brumbley||June 1892-Oct 1896||Separate infants school established April 1894|
|Miss Lee||April 1894||Infant headmistress|
The National School was also started in this building in 1865 for 100 children, which also used income from the Pierrepoint Bequest. The master was Henry Wood.
This is an old photograph of the top school with the master named as Mr Wood.
There was a tragic fire in the school at a party on 19th December 1919.
Today this building is still used for education by pre-school groups.
Bottom School (Board School and today Hanslope Combined School) 1872
A school board of 5 members was formed 20th May 1871. G. Cox was Clerk to the Board; Jacob Feasy of 7 High Street was Attendance Officer. The Board School was built in 1872 for 206 children; average attendance 191.
Bottom School Building
Even in the 19th Century school inspections were carried out.
This is an inspectors report copied into the Log Book by the headmaster.
Report of H. M. Inspector 1883 – 4
“I am very much disappointed in the condition of the upper School. It is in a most unsatisfactory state both as to order and attainments.”
The infants are being fairly well taught, the boys appearing to be more forward than the girls. Some-thing must be done if Infants are allowed to attend the School in
In August 1969 whilst the old school was being demolished to form the
playground for the new school it caught fire and was burnt down.
The Old Bottom School On Fire.
The present school had been built behind this old school at the time of the fire. The picture below shows the new school as it is today.
Hanslope Combined School
Bottom School Head Teachers
|Joseph Thomas Whitfield||13.01.1873 – 01.10.1875|
|George H. Pond||08.10.1875 – 13.07.1877|
|William John Quixley||16.07.1877 – ?|
|Tracy Higgings (Temp)||14.03.1917 – 31.10.1917|
|W. Cordingley Barnard||01.11.1917 – 01.04.1943 (Retired)|
|Arthur Snaith||04.04.1943 – 31.08.1953|
|Leslie Haynes||05.10.1953 – 31.08.1973|
|David Kitchener||01.09.1973 – 31.08.1979 (Retired)|
|David Shepherd||01.09.1979 – 31.08.1987|
|Philip Jones (Acting)||01.09.1986 – 31. 08.1988|
|Russell Fancourt||01.09.1988 – ?|