Cardiff Records: Volume 3. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1901.
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Cardiff School Book.
Commences Thursday 20 July 1815.
At a Meeting held at the Guildhall of the Town of Cardiff, on Thursday the 20th day of July 1815, the Most Noble the Marquess of Bute in the Chair, It was Resolved:
1. That it is the duty of all Christians to promote the diffusion of Christian and useful knowledge amongst the poor.
2. That with this view a School be established for the education of the children of the poor within this Town and it shall also be considered open for the Children of the poor of the several Hundreds within this County and that the same be denominated "The Cardiff School."
3. That a proper School House be erected for that purpose on the ground given by the Corporation of Cardiff.
4. That a Subscription be entered into for the purpose of erecting such School House and an annual subscription for the support of the same.
5. That this institution do consist of the following officers: a President, two Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Schoolmaster and Schoolmistress, being members of the established Church and that the Schoolmaster when necessary do act as Secretary And that the School be under the management of the President (or in his absence one of the Vice Presidents) and the Committee and that five of the Committee constitute a quorum.
6. That the Committee be chosen annually at the general Meeting in July. That the Committee do meet on the first Monday of every month, or oftener if they shall see occasion, at the School room at 12 o'clock to settle the Bills and from time to time to make such rules Orders & regulations for the internal government of the School as they shall thing necessary.
7. That the Marquess of Bute be President, the Bailiffs of the Town of Cardiff for the time being Vice Presidents.
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15. That none of the foregoing Resolutions shall be altered except at a general Annual or Special Meeting to be called of the Committee or any five of them and then only upon giving a month's notice in writing to the Committee.
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19. That in all matters of opinion a majority of votes shall be adopted.
20. That an annual meeting of the subscribers be held in the first Monday in July at the School room at twelve o'clock.
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22. That it is the first wish of the Subscribers to instruct and educate the Poor in suitable learning and works of Industry and the principles of Christian religion according to the established Church. Nevertheless that Children of all denominations be admitted into the School and that those who have been baptized in the Church and whose Parents are Members of that Community attend the Master and Mistress to Church and learn the Church Catechism and that all children who are of any other denomination be obliged to attend some place of Worship of which their Parents are Members and that the dissenting Ministers shall be at liberty to have those Children whose Parents are of that denomination to Catechise at such times as they shall think proper so as not to interfere with the School hours.
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24. That immediate measures be taken to open the School for the Boys in the Workhouse until the Schoolroom be built.
1815. Richard Haywood, Master.
School opened 9 October.
Mr. John Bird having handsomely offered his services to teach the Boys Psalmody: Resolved that the thanks of this Meeting be given to Mr. J. Bird for his kind offer and that he be requested to co-operate with Mr Sweet the Organist in so desirable a purpose.
Jno. Wood, Esqe, Jnr., gave "a true British Dinner of Roast Beef & Plumb Pudding" to all the Boys on Christmas Day.
Some Subscribers: Lord Bute; Lord Evelyn Stuart, M.P.; Lady Bute; Lord J. Stuart; John Richards, Corner House; John Wood, Roath Court; Edward Priest Richards; Thos Bourne; Henry Hollier, junr; John Bradley, Splott; Joseph Davies, Wharf; Richd Reece, Surgeon; Sir Jere. Homfray; C. C. Williams; Chas Vachell, jnr.; Sam1 Partridge; Thos Morgan, Bank; Richd Griffiths, M.D.; Sam1 Dimond; ° Bird, P.O.; Thos Morgan, Gaol; Evan Leyshon; Wm Stibbs; Joan Whiteing; Fras Minnett.
1816. John Wood of Roath Court, Vicepresident.
Mr J. Llewellyn of Longcross gave each of the boys a copy of Watts' Divine Hymns.
Resolved: That in future every Boy be sent on a Sunday to that place of Worship which his Ticket of Admission specifies, unless the subscriber sending him think fit to agree to their going to any other place of Worship.
Rules of Cardiff School.
"Each Child must have his hands & face clean, his hair combed, & with a string to his hat."
On Sunday those children belonging to the Established Church must be sent to the School Room in order to proceed with the Master to Church.
Advertisements were at this time inserted "in the Cambrian Newspapers."
1817. No boy to be admitted "unless he be perfectly clean & his hair cut short."
The Master is to provide a ton of Coals, a quart of Ink, 200 quills, 3 quires of paper, 1 gross of Wafers, 9 brass chains for labels, &c.
"The Member for the County, Lords Plymouth and Dynevor, Sir Chas Morgan, Sir Robt Blosse, the Hon. W. B. Grey and all other gentlemen possessing property in the Town & neighbourhood" are invited to become subscribers.
"J. Wheeler thinking that he cannot consistently remain a member of the Committee longer this day hath resigned his situation as a Committee man the reason for this resignation is that as a Tradesman and consequently in a dependant situation in Life he either has or is likely to incur the displeasure of some of his employers by voting contrary to their wishes."
The diffident Mr Wheeler was afterwards prevailed upon to withdraw his resignation, and remained for many years an active member of the School Committee.
Thomas Christopher appointed Master.
Lionel Stibbs was a scholar.
1818. The new Bishop of Llandaff having been requested to succeed his predecessor as a patron of the School, wrote declining that honour on the ground that "though I would on no account infringe the privileges of those whose religious opinions are different from my own, I cannot consistently promote any other education than education in the doctrine and discipline of the established Church."
Lord James Stuart, M.P., and the Bailiffs of Cardiff to be Vicepresidents.
Lord Bute gave a cottage and garden in Crockherbtown as a site for the new School.
1819. New School Room completed.
Brass badges are provided for the boys.
1823. An annual payment of 10s. 6d. shall entitle a child to instruction in the School. Ordinary payment 1d. per month.
The Trustees of Wells' Charity arranged for the education of 6 of their boys and 6 of their girls, in the Cardiff School.
The rhetorical flow and unction of the long-winded Annual Reports is amusing. Here is an extract from that of 1823:—
"Each contribution, as an isolated and solitary hero, is like a ray of the sun or a drop of rain, small and unavailing, single and of itself; but, as an army of virtuous men works accomplishment, and as the continuance of the sun-bright day, and of the shower, causes the harvest to flourish, so the aggregate of individual subscriptions is the means whereby instruction is given to the needy, and the knowledge of Him who was 'the desire of all nations' shed abroad in the hearts of millions."
Boys to purchase a cap each on admission.
1825. Report:—"The intentions nourished at the foundation of the School, were to impart so much instruction in sound morals and true religion as to make the partakers of it good men and pious Christians; and so much skill in writing and knowledge of arithmetic as to enable them to exercise, with a greater degree of correctness and facility than was attainable heretofore by the lower classes, the several occupations and trades common to their condition."
1824. Richd Blakemore, Velindra House.
Walter Coffin, Landaff Court.
Wm Crawshay, Cyfarthfa.
Captn Deacon, Longcross.
Wyndham Lewis, M.P., Greenmeadow.
Whitlock Nicholl, Adamsdown.
J. M. Richards, Roath Cottage.
T. B. Rous, Courtyralla.
David Evans, Cardiff Boat.
The girls were employed in plaiting straw bonnets, and knitting stockings, for sale.
115 boys, 70 girls.
1829. Wm Kemp, Roath Castle.
Rev. Wm Pearson, King's Castle.
Rev. John Webb, Vicar of Cardiff.
1833. J. Homfray, Landaff House.
John Richards, Plas Newydd.
Thos Lewis, Green Dragon.
1835. Revd H. Lynch Blosse, Chairman of School Committee.
1838. W. Willes, master.
1840. William Davies, master.