BHO

Little Wilbraham : Education

Pages 330-331

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.

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Citation:

EDUCATION.

Schoolmasters were licensed to teach, initially grammar, between 1584 and 1596, but none was recorded after 1600. The rector possibly kept a school c. 1635. (fn. 1) From 1746 Johnson's charity provided £2, by 1837 £6, for schooling. (fn. 2) There was a dame school in 1807, though perhaps not in 1818. (fn. 3) A day school, recorded in 1825 when children also learnt reading at a Sunday school, had 15 pupils, whose parents paid fees, in 1833. (fn. 4) In 1846 its mistress taught only 8 pupils in a hired room. (fn. 5)

In 1849 the rector used a Government grant to help build a new school, including a new schoolroom for 110 pupils and a teacher's house, on a site beside his house, bought in 1858. (fn. 6) That school is of red brick and built to a simple Gothic design. The old day school ceased, the charity contributing £10 by 1863 to the church school, which had c. 45 pupils, two thirds girls, in 1851 and 1871. (fn. 7) It was kept in the 1860s by a local girl, in the 1870s by an untrained old man and his wife, replaced in 1883 by the first certificated mistress. (fn. 8) In 1883 a fifth of the charity income was assigned to education: £10 went as before to the church school, the rest being accumulated for improvements. Although the school had a 'conscience clause', (fn. 9) the rector taught there daily in 1873, but no longer in 1897, having just fought off an attempt to impose a school board. (fn. 10) In the 1880s, when attendance averaged 55-60, much of the cost was met from voluntary rates. (fn. 11) By 1895 attendance had halved to 28, (fn. 12) falling to 12-15 in the 1910s, (fn. 13) and the school was closed in 1928, its pupils going to Great Wilbraham church school. (fn. 14) The building was a private house in 1989. The fifth of Johnson's charity, worth £70 by the 1980s, assigned in 1976 to educate, train, or equip young villagers, was usually accumulated for occasional large expenditures. (fn. 15)

Probably in 1862 Gen. John Hall opened a non-denominational school at Six Mile Bottom. A schoolroom to hold 100, built in 1871 (fn. 16) was then attended by 20 children from the hamlet; (fn. 17) another 12 came from the village in 1873, as did 36 in 1897. (fn. 18) In 1883, when the teacher was uncertificated, W. H. Hall met nine tenths of the cost, schoolpence providing the rest. Attendance then averaged 50. (fn. 19) After the Halls' estate was sold in 1912, the council took over that school in 1913. Numbers fell from a peak of 60-80 to 35 by 1932, and the older pupils went to Bottisham village college from 1933. Six Mile Bottom primary school was closed in 1959, the children going to Great Wilbraham. (fn. 20)

Footnotes

  • 1. Proc. C.A.S. lxx. 188-9; cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/17, f. 36; B 2/23, f. 11.
  • 2. Below; Char. Com. file 286102, corr. 1880; cf. Char. Don. i. 96-7.
  • 3. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/4: Educ. of Poor Digest, 67.
  • 4. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/6; C 3/21; Educ. Enq. Abstract, 62.
  • 5. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Cambs. 8-9.
  • 6. Camb. Chron. 15 Sept. 1849, p. 2; Gardner's Dir. Cambs. (1851); cf. Black, Cambs. Educ. Rec. 79.
  • 7. Char. Digest, Cambs. 1863-4, 410-11; P.R.O., HO 107/1759, ff. 521-33; ibid. RG 10/1582, ff. 5-10.
  • 8. P.R.O., RG 9/1021, f. 25; RG 10/1582, f. 10; RG 11/1661, f. 122v.; ibid. ED 7/5, no. 81; Char. Com. file 286102, corr. 1880-1.
  • 9. Char. Com. file 311346, Scheme 1883; cf. ibid. 286102, corr. 1879-80.
  • 10. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/24; C 3/39.
  • 11. P.R.O., ED 7/5, no. 81; Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1885-6 [C. 4849], p. 487, H.C. (1886), xxiv; Char. Com. file 286102, corr. 1881.
  • 12. Schs. in receipt of Parl. Grants, 1895-6 [C. 8179], p. 23, H.C. (1896), lxv.
  • 13. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1912); Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1919 (H,M.S.O.), 14.
  • 14. Black, Cambs. Educ. Rec. 29; C.R.O., P 175/25/6.
  • 15. Char. Com. file 331346, Scheme 1976; accts. 1977 sqq.
  • 16. P.R.O., ED 7/5, no. 82; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1883) dates bldg. 1868.
  • 17. P.R.O., RG 10/1582, ff. 10-12.
  • 18. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/24; C 3/39.
  • 19. P.R.O., ED 7/5, no. 83.
  • 20. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1910 (H.M.S.O.), 24: 1919, 32; Black, Cambs. Educ. Rec. 79; Camb. Ind. Press, 15 Apr. 1960.