Victoria County History



R W Dunning, C R Elrington (Editors), A P Baggs, M C Siraut

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'Cannington: Education', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6: Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and neighbouring parishes) (1992), pp. 90. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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There were unlicensed schoolmasters in 1606 and 1635, a recusant woman was teaching in 1612, (fn. 43) and in 1662 a man was licensed to teach reading, writing, accounts, and ciphering. (fn. 44) In 1732 the vestry agreed to pay a master to teach six children and the overseers paid for furnishing a schoolroom at the almshouse. (fn. 45) The school appears to have continued throughout the 18th century (fn. 46) and the parish paid £1 6s. a quarter out of the church rates for the education of eight boys in 1776. There was also a school for Roman Catholic boys and girls. (fn. 47) Sarah Warren by will of 1794 gave £50 for poor girls to learn reading, knitting, and plain needlework. Mary Warren in 1801 gave £100, since lost, partly to provide a salary for a schoolmaster, and £50 to support the Sunday school. In 1968 Sarah's gift benefited Cannington primary school and Mary's gift for the Sunday school was being paid in 1964. (fn. 48)

By 1819 the Sunday school had up to 80 pupils and 8 boys continued to be taught at parish expense by the parish clerk and his wife. (fn. 49) In 1825 there were 80 children at the Sunday school supported partly out of Lady (Jane) Rogers's charity, (fn. 50) but the number had doubled by 1835. There were four day schools in 1835; one, with 38 children, was a Roman Catholic school supported by the convent. (fn. 51) This school survived until 1841 or later. (fn. 52) The other three day schools had a total of 124 children and one had an endowment, possibly Mary Warren's gift and other charity income. (fn. 53)

The almshouse schoolroom remained in use until c. 1836, (fn. 54) when a National school was built. An infant class was added in 1871. In 1903 there were 163 children on the books and an evening school was held. The school had a small endowment, possibly the gift of Sarah Warren. (fn. 55) Numbers rose to 173 in 1935 and 271 in 1975. In 1981 there were 178 children on the register. After 1947 the school accepted voluntary controlled status. (fn. 56) A Roman Catholic school established by 1875 had an average attendance of 86 in 1889. It was open in 1897 but had closed probably by 1900 when provision was made for the children at the National school. (fn. 57) John Tucker had a boarding school at Cannington which he moved to Crowcombe in 1789. In 1815 a Mr. Strong prepared boys for Oxford. (fn. 58) A boarding school for girls may have been in existence from 1839 to 1841. (fn. 59) A Roman Catholic boarding school for boys was formed in 1868. Known as the West of England and South Wales Industrial School for Catholic boys it occupied Court House until 1919 when it removed to Bath. (fn. 60) In 1881 there were 81 boarders aged between 7 and 14. (fn. 61)

The Somerset College of Agriculture and Horticulture, originally known as the Somerset Farm Institute, was founded in 1919 and occupied Court House, Court farm, and Rodway farm in 1982 and substantial new buildings, built in 1970, north of High Street. In 1928 a crop testing station was opened. (fn. 62) Brymore school was opened in Brymore House in 1953 as a technical school for boys aged 13 to 16 specializing in agriculture. Numbers rose from 38 in 1953 to 198 in 1981. (fn. 63)


43 Ibid. D/D/Ca 151, 175, 301.
44 Ibid. D/D/Bs 39.
45 Ibid. D/P/can 4/1/1, 13/2/2.
46 Ibid. 2/1/3.
47 Ibid. D/D/Vc 88.
48 Char. Com. files.
49 Educ. of Poor Digest, p. 777.
50 Ann. Rep. B. & W. Dioc. Assoc. S.P.C.K. (1825-6); below, char.
51 Educ. Enq. Abstract, p. 798.
52 Robson's Dir. Som. (1839); P.R.O., HO 107/935.
53 Educ. Enq. Abstract, p. 798; 15th Rep. Com. Char. 358-9.
54 Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. cxvii. 107; S.R.O., tithe award.
55 S.R.O., C/E 4/380/64; ibid. D/P/can 18/1/1.
56 Ibid. C/E 4/64.
57 P.O. Dir Som. (1875); Kelly's Dir. Som. (1889); Whitby, Dir. Bridgwater (1897); S.R.O., D/P/can 18/7/1.
58 S.R.O., D/P/crow 23/2; ibid. T/PH/ay 1.
59 Robson's Dir. Som. (1839); P.R.O., HO 107/935.
60 Lond. Gaz. 27 Nov. 1868, 6112; Kelly's Dir. Som. (1919).
61 P.R.O., RG 11/2371.
62 Kelly's Dir. Som. (1931); S.R.O., C/E 2/2/18-19.
63 S.R.O., C/E 4/64; 74.