Victoria County History



A. P. M. Wright & C. P. Lewis (Editors)

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'Histon: Education', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9: Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds (1989), pp. 107. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=15344 Date accessed: 24 November 2014.


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Licensed schoolmasters were regularly recorded in Histon from 1580 to the early 17th century. (fn. 87) At least one served as parish clerk. (fn. 88) Their successor in 1662 taught in his own home without any official position. (fn. 89)

From 1722 Histon school received money from the foundation of Elizabeth March for teaching poor children to read. (fn. 90) In 1728 Histon's share of the income was £14 a year, (fn. 91) but the schoolmaster's salary fell to £10 in 1783. (fn. 92) By 1818 he was receiving £25 a year and the number of pupils varied between 20 and 60. (fn. 93) In 1836 reading and arithmetic were taught free to the poor, with payment being taken for the teaching of writing and for children under seven or from rate-paying families. There were seldom more than 6 infants or 12 of the better-off children, and total numbers ranged from c. 25 in summer to 70 in winter. Then, as presumably earlier, the school was held in the north transept of the church. (fn. 94) A separate building was put up in 1839, to which a second schoolroom was added in 1870. (fn. 95) The school was taken over by a school board in 1895, after which the income from the reorganized March charity was used to provide prizes and assistance with further education. (fn. 96)

The day school was attended by 60 boys and 50 girls in 1845, (fn. 97) and about the same number paid school pence in 1871. (fn. 98) Numbers afterwards fluctuated in line with the population of the village. (fn. 99) After 1913 the infants attended Impington school and the juniors occupied new school buildings in Histon. (fn. 1) Further reorganization took place in 1939, when the older pupils were moved to Impington village college. (fn. 2) The buildings in New School Lane were afterwards used as an infants' school and a new school near the green was built for juniors after the junior school in Impington was demolished in 1963. A nursery school opened in the early 1970s. (fn. 3)


87 Proc. C.A.S. lxx. 164-5.
88 Trans. C.H.A.S. vi. 25.
89 Cambs. Episc. Visit. 1638-65, ed. Palmer, 97.
90 V.C.H. Cambs. ii. 334.
91 C.U.L., E.D.R., B 8/1, f. 18v.
92 Ibid. B 7/1, p. 37.
93 Educ. of Poor Digest, 60.
94 31st Rep. Com. Char. 92-3.
95 C.R.O., P 93/25/21-2.
96 C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/25; C.R.O., R 57/5/9A-H; Camb. Ind. Press, 29 Sept. 1899; 18 Apr. 1913.
97 Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Cambs. 6-7.
98 C.R.O., P 93/25/22.
99 e.g. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1875-6 [C. 1513- 1], p. 505, H.C. (1876), xxiii; 1890-1 [C. 6438-1], p. 563, H.C. (1890-1), xxvii; Public Elem. Schs. 1906 [Cd. 3510], p. 55, H.C. (1907), lxiii; Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1914 (H.M.S.O.), 27; 1927, 16; 1938, 20.
1 P.R.O., ED 7/5; C.R.O., SP 93/2.
2 Black, Cambs. Educ. Rec. 62.
3 Histon and Impington Draft Local Plan (1975), 14; Network: Histon Par. Ch. Year Bk. (1984); C. A. White, 'Examination of function of two N. Cambs. villages', 43 (TS. [1974] in C.R.O.); Camb. News, 1 July 1963.