A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1994.
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A school (fn. 1) was founded in Colchester in the early 12th century. (fn. 2) Schoolmasters were mentioned in 1357, 1383, and 1425; in 1460, 1464, and 1512 they were apparently associated with a school adjoining St. Mary's churchyard, east of the postern gate. (fn. 3) By the early 16th century there was provision for even a charity child to be taught until the age of ten. (fn. 4) A grammar school in All Saints' parish, founded and endowed in 1520, was refounded in 1539 and survives as the Royal grammar school. In the 16th and early 17th century the names of several schoolmasters were recorded. Most of them seem to have kept writing schools, (fn. 5) but William Cole, vicar of St. Peter's 1583-1600 and a licensed teacher, kept a grammar school for 30-50 children. (fn. 6) The borough assembly tried to protect the free grammar school from competition, (fn. 7) but from the late 17th century dissatisfaction with that school's curriculum, its religious bias, and its low teaching standards (fn. 8) prompted the opening of several boys schools, including one kept by Quakers. The Dutch were running a school in 1714. In the 18th century a group of undenominational and nonconformist charity Sunday schools was started, two charity day schools were founded, one by Churchmen and one by nonconformists, and there were usually two or three Quaker schools where some charity children were taught. The aspirations, however, of the urban middle class and of local farmers stimulated a demand for schools which was not met by the grammar and charity schools, and many private schools were opened. In 1812 two central day schools were created by the union of the nonconformist day and Sunday schools and of the Church day school with the undenominational Sunday schools. By 1818 the central National and British schools were attended by c. 300 and c. 210 children respectively. They and a few dame schools provided education for the poor and there were several middle-class private schools. (fn. 9) By 1833 Churchmen had opened a day school for girls and three for infants. The central schools provided for older children, and the parish and nonconformist churches maintained Sunday, preparatory, and infant schools, so that a total of 1,360 children attended day schools for the poor. Some of those were among the 950 who attended Sunday schools, and the number of dame and private schools had grown. (fn. 10)
Between 1833 and 1853 Churchmen opened five parish day schools, a branch of their central school, and an evening school, while nonconformists opened a Wesleyan school and six Congregational schools, and Roman Catholics opened a day school. In 1844, the managers of the British school, which was mainly supported by Congregationalists, declared their opposition to government 'interference' in education, and in 1847 and 1855 Colchester nonconformists protested against the extension of state aid and inspection. (fn. 11) Sectarian rivalry and a growing demand for well-trained domestic servants stimulated the provision of schools, but clergymen also advocated education to remedy the moral degradation caused by poverty and industrial conditions and to maintain social order. (fn. 12) In the period 1835-76 six evening schools were opened. A Ragged school, started in 1854, was supported by Churchmen and nonconformists and in 1867 an industrial school for girls and a Quaker Sunday school for adults were opened. By 1850 teaching methods were improving; the monitorial system adopted in the early 19th century was losing favour and, as pupil teachers replaced monitors, certificated teachers were increasingly appointed, and teachers' associations began to hold meetings in Colchester. (fn. 13)
By 1870 there were 14 voluntary day schools, and although some nonconformists favoured the establishment of a school board, Churchmen, who had provided eight of the schools, opposed it, insisting that a deficiency of c. 600 places could be met by further voluntary effort. (fn. 14) The Wesleyan school, which had closed in 1863, was reopened with a new branch, and Roman Catholics strove to improve their school. Churchmen, led by J. W. Irvine, rector of St. Mary's-at-the-Walls, began a vigorous effort which provided six more schools by 1875; they enlarged existing schools and, in 1890, built another so that by that date Anglicans provided three quarters of the places available. (fn. 15) The Quaker adult schools flourished and in 1875 the Co-operative society started evening courses on scientific subjects. Factory owners and businessmen led a similar voluntary effort which in 1885 established an adult school of art and science. By 1891 there were 15 voluntary elementary schools, but some used hired and ill-adapted buildings, playground space had been reduced by new classrooms, and cramped urban sites precluded further enlargement. (fn. 16) The Board of Education estimated that 528 places were needed at once in the borough and liberties and another 1,512 in the near future to allow for population growth and the closure of condemned schools. Nonconformist support for a school board had grown, the proportion of the population capable of subscribing to the schools decreased as factories attracted more poor families to the town, and voluntary bodies could no longer find resources to replace condemned schools and educate all the children of the poor. Teachers hoped that a school board would reduce classes to 60 children and restrict the role of pupil teachers. (fn. 17) In 1892, when Churchmen announced the impending closure of three of their schools, (fn. 18) a board of 11 members was formed at the request of the borough council. The first board consisted of 6 Churchmen, 2 nonconformists, and 3 representatives of the Co-operative society and the trades council. (fn. 19) The board quickly took over five Church schools, the British school, and one Wesleyan school, using the old buildings until it could replace them; it built six new schools between 1894 and 1903. In 1895 c. 3,910 children attended schools and of those, 1,977 (c. 50 per cent) were at 10 voluntary schools. The transition from the denominational system was eased by a non-sectarian syllabus of religious instruction, devised by J. W. Irvine in co-operation with nonconformists. (fn. 20) By 1899 there were 4,406 at school of whom 1,834 (42 per cent) attended the 10 voluntary schools. Evening classes were established at the new board schools, (fn. 21) and from 1896 there were classes for pupil teachers at the Albert school of science and art. By 1903 there were in the borough 6 board and 7 voluntary schools (5 Church, 1 Wesleyan, and 1 Roman Catholic), and 5 more Church schools in Greenstead, Lexden, and Mile End.
The school board was replaced in 1903, under the 1902 Education Act, by the borough education committee, a Part III authority with responsibility for elementary education. (fn. 22) In 1905 elementary schools in Colchester provided no separate, graded classes for children over 11 years of age. There were then 95 boys at the grammar school, 37 boys and 135 girls at the pupil teacher centre, and 87 boys and 190 girls of secondary school age at the principal private schools. No state secondary education for girls was available, and provision for further education was inadequate. (fn. 23) In 1907 the pupil teacher centre became a secondary school for boys and girls, but it was superseded in 1909 by a county high school for girls, a junior technical school for boys, and a technical institute opened in a new building. From 1909, when the garrison schools closed, the council became responsible for educating soldiers' children. (fn. 24) In 1907 the borough education committee took over and rebuilt one Church school, but 10 voluntary schools survived in the 1920s. In the 1930s three Church schools closed and another was taken over by the council, and a new council school was built. By 1939 all but the Roman Catholic school had been reorganized in line with the Hadow report, one central and two elementary schools had become senior schools, and a new senior school had been built. Three classes for handicapped children were opened between 1906 and 1924, and in 1938-9 three nursery departments were added to existing infant schools.
Under the 1944 Education Act Colchester was merged in the north-east division of the county, but was a separate division from 1962 to 1974. (fn. 25) Under the 1944 Act all secondary schools, except the Royal grammar, the girls secondary, and the technical schools, became secondary modern, mixed schools. Under the 1976 Education Act all secondary schools, except the Royal grammar and the girls high schools; became comprehensive. (fn. 26) After the Second World War many schools were overcrowded, the school population was further increased by an influx of children from new army housing estates, and temporary buildings were used. (fn. 27) Between 1953 and 1987 the education authorities built 1 special, 12 primary, and 3 secondary schools, and Roman Catholics built a secondary school; new buildings were provided for 2 county primary, 2 county secondary, 1 Roman Catholic, 4 Church schools, and the technical institute. In 1985 three secondary schools were damaged by fire, probably caused by arson. (fn. 28) Secondary schools were reorganized under the 1976 Act in 1986 and 1987: a sixthform college was opened in the former premises of the Gilberd school, North Hill, and only the Royal grammar and girls high schools retained their own sixth forms. (fn. 29)
THE ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL.
The history of the school to 1905 given in a previous volume (fn. 30) needs some correction. Thomas Christmas, by will proved in 1520, founded and endowed a grammar school at his house called Westons in All Saints' parish. He instructed his heirs, or failing them the town bailiffs, to pay a priest £10 a year to teach grammar to 24 Colchester children. (fn. 31) When the bailiffs and commonalty implemented the scheme to provide a free grammar school under Henry VIII's grant of 1539, they seem to have adopted the existing grammar school at Westons, for in 1574 John Christmas was patron of the free school. The masters to whom in 1553 and 1558 the borough paid the salary stipulated by the royal grant were probably masters of the school at Westons, as they were in 1574 and 1583. In 1585 the borough bought the house (fn. 32) and the free grammar school continued there until it moved in 1853 to new buildings in Lexden Road, designed by H. W. Hayward. (fn. 33) In 1900 there were only 29 boys at the school. By 1905 attendance had risen to 107, but although the buildings had been enlarged, the school needed laboratories, playing fields, more classrooms, an art room, a better library, and a larger and stronger teaching staff. (fn. 34) New buildings, including a laboratory, were added in 1910, a swimming pool was opened as a war memorial in 1923, six classrooms were built in 1928, and in 1937 the laboratory was enlarged. Gilberd House was acquired as a hostel in 1903, and three more neighbouring houses were added in 1920 and 1934. In 1933 foundation scholarships were abolished and admission by open examination was introduced. (fn. 35) By 1942 attendance had risen to 645 and under the 1944 Education Act the school acquired Voluntary Controlled status. The school was enlarged in 1959 and 1963-4. (fn. 36) In 1987 it survived as a selective grammar school.
The Bluecoat school (fn. 37)
The school opened in 1710 as a Church charity school for the whole town (fn. 38) to prepare c. 100 boys and girls for apprenticeship or service. By 1711 the school and teachers' dwellings occupied three houses in Culver Street. (fn. 39) It was supported by subscriptions, benefactions, and, at first, voluntary payments from some children. Subscribers and benefactors had the right to nominate children and might partly clothe them. The blue coats and stockings for the boys and blue gowns for the girls supplied from 1715 gave the school its name, and in 1719 figures of a boy and a girl in the distinctive dress were set over the school door. The children were instructed in religious knowledge and practice, including daily prayers and attendance at church on Sunday, and in proper behaviour; boys were also taught reading, writing, and arithmetic and girls to read, sew, and knit. From 1720 the trustees apprenticed two boys each year to local tradesmen and increased the number as more money was subscribed. In 1764 the school taught and clothed 50 boys and 19 girls. The master's salary increased from £30 in 1755 to £50 in 1769, and the mistress's from 14 to 16 guineas in 1772. By 1780 however, income had fallen to £92, barely enough to maintain the school, without the clothing charity. The trustees revived charity sermons, encouraged new subscribers, and limited the number of boys to 40. The master's salary was maintained in view of his diligence, but the girls school, which had declined under a neglectful mistress, was temporarily closed. The school had revived by 1788 when 50 boys and 20 girls attended. By 1811 the school had 128 subscribers and there were plans to enlarge it, but in 1812 it was united with 12 undenominational Sunday schools to form a central National school for all 16 Colchester parishes.
The Bluecoat charity trustees contributed to the cost of the National school and clothed the charity children who were taught there. In 1816 they revived the practice, which had apparently lapsed, of apprenticing two boys a year and extended it to put not more than five girls into domestic service. By 1837 the Bluecoat charity was given to children who had distinguished themselves at the National school and were taught more arithmetic than other children. (fn. 40) Nevertheless in the 1870s several charity girls were below the standard formerly required and in 1875 an inspector observed that many of the charity children were dunces. From that time Bluecoat candidates were selected more carefully. From 1886 the Magdalen Street branch National school was open to the charity children. In 1890 the trustees clothed 74 boys and 44 girls, but the distinctive dress was unpopular among girls, and in 1902 c. 50 boys and only 25 girls were clothed. (fn. 41)
The charity, endowed by a series of benefactors from 1711 onwards, had an annual income of £298 in 1906. In 1913 a farm at Wickham St. Paul's, given by William Naggs in 1747, was sold and the proceeds invested in £676 stock. The endowments of the Bluecoat and National schools were regulated by a Scheme of 1927. The income of those of William Naggs, Sarah Edwards, and Edward Snell to the Bluecoat school and of Margaret and Mary Round to the National school, which then amounted to £363, was to be used to maintain Church of England schools in Colchester, and to provide bibles, clothes, and assistance with further education. Any residue was to be applied to the secondary and further education of Church of England residents in the borough. In 1986 payments to Church of England and county schools amounted to £600 out of an income of c. £675. (fn. 42)
The Greencoat school (fn. 43) originated as a charity day school, apparently connected with the Independent meeting in Moor Lane. It had been established by 1726 when Arthur Winsley, by will proved 1727, gave £3 a year to teach a boy and a girl. That school survived in 1748. (fn. 44) The meeting, which had moved in 1766 to Lion Walk, in 1767 converted the old meeting house to a school. In 1787 the school was named Greencoat from the children's charity clothes. (fn. 45) It flourished under William Cole, master 1765- 1807, and by the end of the 18th century had 80 children. It was combined in 1812 with Lion Walk Independent Sunday schools to form a British school. (fn. 46)
The Charity Sunday Schools.
In 1786 a group of Sunday schools was formed, probably at the instigation of Jonathan Tabor whose daughter married William Fox, founder of the Sunday School society. The group comprised five schools for boys and seven for girls, open to all denominations, and a school for nonconformist boys and girls. In 1812 the schools were merged in the central National and British schools. (fn. 47)
All Saints' parish contained the Royal grammar school until 1853 and the Bluecoat school until 1812, when the central National school opened in the neighbouring parish of St. Nicholas. In 1818 there were many schools, which were probably private, (fn. 48) and no parochial school seems to have been established in the early 19th century. Infants probably attended schools in St. James's parish, but by 1851 there was a Church Sunday school in All Saints' parish attended by 100 children from the central National school. (fn. 49)
By 1841 a Church Sunday school for c. 20 children had been opened in a room in Lady Darcy's almshouses in Eld Lane. It was a National Sunday school with 26 children by 1846, and 50 by 1851. (fn. 50) In 1859 Holy Trinity National day school for 40 was built in Eld Lane. It survived in 1882, but had closed by 1886. The schoolroom in the almshouse continued to be used, presumably by the Sunday school. (fn. 51)
St. Botolph's parish contained the central British school; (fn. 52) no parochial day school was established, but by 1841 there was a Church Sunday school for 300 children, supported by subscriptions. By 1851 it was attended by c. 160 children and 106 children from the parish attended the central National school, (fn. 53) which in that year opened its Magdalen Street branch to accommodate them. (fn. 54)
In 1832 an infant school maintained by subscription and pence opened at Old Heath with c. 150 children. It survived in 1841 and was not then restricted to Church children, but by 1846 it had become a National school with 114 infants, and a Church Sunday school had been opened with 70 older children, who attended the central National day school. The infant school, which survived in 1866, had closed by 1870. (fn. 55) In 1872 a new infant school for 65 was opened, but the rented building soon proved unsuitable, and in 1875 the school moved to a new building in Old Heath Road, which was also used as the district church of St. Barnabas. It was built by subscription and diocesan and National Society grants, but by 1887 the rector was supporting the school with little help. (fn. 56) In 1893 the school had accommodation for 63 children and an average attendance of 53. It was replaced by a board school in 1894. (fn. 57)
A Sunday school, started in 1823, survived in 1829 but had failed by 1833. (fn. 58) A new Sunday school had been started under the patronage of George Round by 1839, when 70 children were being taught in the church. By 1846 the school had 130 children who also attended the central National day school, and a few were taught in the evening. (fn. 59) Soon afterwards the boys were transferred to St. Nicholas's Sunday school, but in 1859 a Sunday school for boys and girls was built in St. James's parish in a lane, later Guildford Road, off East Hill. (fn. 60) A Church day school for infants was opened c. 1836 in East Street. Attendance there rose from 52 in 1839 to 95 in 1846, but the school was short of money and, although it survived in 1852, it seems to have closed soon after. (fn. 61) A new infant school, under the patronage of Margaret Round, was opened c. 1864 in a hired building in East Street. In the 1870s it was usually attended by c. 140 children, and from 1878 it received annual government grants. The building was condemned in 1891, and in 1894, when the National branch school vacated its East Hill building, (fn. 62) St. James's infants moved there. (fn. 63) In 1899, to prevent the establishment of a board school in the parish, the rector, C. C. Naters, started a girls school and soon afterwards a boys school in the East Hill building, and moved the infants to St. Anne's mission, Harwich Road. In 1906 he closed St. James's boys department, which was threatened by the building of East Ward council school, and moved the infants back to East Hill. (fn. 64) In 1930 St. James's Church of England school was reorganized for juniors and infants. In 1949 it was granted Aided status and moved in 1961 to a new building for 120 children, opposite the old one. Seven new classrooms were added between 1962 and 1971 to accommodate c. 345 children. (fn. 65) Margaret Round, by will proved 1887, gave £1,500 in trust to pay £15 a year to the infant school and £10 to the Sunday school. (fn. 66)
A Church Sunday school was founded in 1780 (fn. 67) and in 1836 an infant day school was added. Both schools were supported by subscription and pence. In 1839 the Sunday school was attended by 90 children, of whom 20 also attended the central National day school; there were 50 children in the infant school, and there were also four small dame schools, mostly kept by Church people. (fn. 68) Attendance at the infant school had declined to 60 by 1841 and in 1845 Francis Curtis, rector 1839-61, who was concerned about immorality among girls in his parish, reorganized the school for girls of any age above 5 and boys from 5 until their admission to the central National school. (fn. 69) By 1846 St. Leonard's day school was attended by 28 girls and 18 boys, but by 1848 the school was attended by infants only and by 1850 the schoolroom had been given up, although children were still being taught. (fn. 70) By 1851 c. 48 older children from the parish attended the National school, which in that year opened a branch in Magdalen Street, and only the Sunday school survived at St. Leonard's, attended by 110 children. (fn. 71) By 1868 c. 50 children from the parish attended Magdalen Street National school and an evening school for factory workers had been started by John G. Bingley, rector 1864-74, (fn. 72) but many Church children were attending a 'wretched little school' which Bingley wanted to replace by a Church school. He overcame government opposition to a school solely for infants, and in 1869 built St. Leonard's National school on Hythe Hill by subscription and grants for 150 infants. (fn. 73) The school received annual government grants from its opening. (fn. 74) In 1873 it became a mixed school with an infant department, (fn. 75) but by 1875 the infant room was too small. Teaching was disrupted by many unruly and unwilling children, driven to school by enforcement of the 1876 Education Act. By 1885 children were being turned away from the day school, Sunday attendance had risen to 270, and some older boys were being taught at the Rectory. In that year the school was enlarged by subscription and government grant for 300 mixed and infant children. (fn. 76) In 1891 the older boys were sent to other schools, but St. Leonard's school was still overcrowded. (fn. 77) It was taken over by the school board in 1894 and replaced by Barrack Street board school in 1896. (fn. 78)
A Church Sunday school, supported by subscription, had been founded by 1833, when it had 100 children, who probably worked in a local silk factory. By 1841 attendance had fallen to 32, (fn. 79) and by 1843 the school had failed; in that year 25 infants from St. Martin's attended St. Peter's day school. In 1845, William Murray, rector 1836-50, started a day school for infant girls. In 1847, aided by subscription and a National Society grant, he built a day and Sunday school in the churchyard in East Stockwell Street for 95 infant girls. (fn. 80) Attendance rose from 39 in 1846 to c. 70 in 1851. (fn. 81) The school seems to have become a mixed infant school by 1871 and from that year received annual government grants. By 1891 the school was overcrowded, but its cramped site made enlargement impossible and in 1892 it was taken over by the school board. (fn. 82) An evening school teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, and needlework to young women and girls was being held in the infant school by 1876. It survived in 1878 but was not recorded thereafter. (fn. 83)
In the early 19th century there was no parish Sunday school to complement the central National day school, which St. Mary's children attended. In 1843 c. 15 children from the parish attended St. Peter's infant school but by 1859 a Church Sunday school and a dame school had been established, probably by C. A. L'Oste, rector 1855-70. In 1859 those schools were teaching c. 100 children. In 1864 the Sunday school moved from the church to a room built by subscription on land at St. Mary's Steps, Balkerne Lane, given by L'Oste. In 1873 St. Mary's Church infant day school was started there by J. W. Irvine, rector 1870-97. (fn. 84) From 1875, when it was attended by 35 infants, the school received annual government grants, and by 1882 attendance had risen to 99. (fn. 85) In 1885 attempts to replace the building failed, and although it was enlarged for 131 in 1887, (fn. 86) by 1891 it was overcrowded. Another building appeal failed in 1892, when a school board was impending. (fn. 87) The school continued to be supported by subscription and government grants, (fn. 88) and in 1903 was officially commended for its instruction and discipline. It suffered from school board competition and attendance declined; (fn. 89) in 1930 Board of Education recognition was withdrawn, and the school closed. (fn. 90)
ST. MARY MAGDALEN'S.
By 1833 subscribers were supporting a Church Sunday school of 40 children who contributed pence, and three day schools attended by 182, but the parish was very poor and by 1846 only a Church Sunday school of 8 children survived. (fn. 91) Although by 1851 attendance had risen to 30, it was far lower than in other parts of the town, and only 7 children from the parish attended the central National day school. (fn. 92)
The central National school opened in the parish in 1812 and c. 1832 a Church Sunday school, maintained by subscription, was opened in the central day school building. Attendance rose from 27 boys and 23 girls in 1839 to 111 boys and 45 girls by 1846, but in 1851 only 40 children attended and some of those were apparently boys from St. James's parish. No parish school for infants was established and by 1843 a few attended St. Peter's day school. (fn. 93)
A Sunday school was opened in the early 1870s at St. Paul's chapel of ease, North Street. In 1875 a day school for 150 infants was built by subscription and grant in Belle Vue Road, to serve the growing population near North Street railway station. (fn. 94) The school received annual government grants from 1880, when it was attended by 31 children. (fn. 95) Numbers rose to 70 in 1890 and in the autumn of 1891 more than doubled to reach 193 by December. In 1894, when North Street Board school opened, numbers fell to 146 and St. Paul's school began to decline. It closed in 1901. (fn. 96)
In 1818 there were two girls schools in the parish, supported by voluntary contributions. They had apparently failed by 1823, when a dame school for 30 girls was opened. John Mills, by will dated 1822, gave 25s. a year to support a Church Sunday school which may also have opened in 1823. (fn. 97) By 1826 William Marsh, vicar 1814-29, had built a schoolroom next to the vicarage house and opened the first Church infant school in Colchester. His successor, Samuel Carr, took over the dame school and its 30 girls in 1833. There were then 192 children at the infant school, and 340 in the Sunday school. (fn. 98) He apparently started a central evening school, where c. 70 boys aged 6-16 were being taught in the period 1835-7, (fn. 99) and in 1836, aided by a government grant, bought a room in Crispin Court and converted it to a school for c. 150 girls. In 1839 St. Peter's Church day schools were attended by 150 infants and 70 girls, and the Sunday school, supported by Mills's charity, by 250 children. The day schools were supported by subscription and pence. (fn. 100) In 1843 many children from neighbouring parishes attended the infant school, but after a successful master's departure in 1851 the day schools declined and by 1859 they had only 74 infants and 40 girls, taught by untrained teachers. (fn. 101) Nevertheless the infant school was enlarged in 1886 and by 1891 had c. 147 children, still taught by untrained teachers. It escaped official condemnation, but the girls school was too bad for government recognition. (fn. 102) Both schools were closed by 1893. (fn. 103) An evening school for young women existed in 1861. (fn. 104)
A Sunday school was attended by 20 boys and 6 girls in 1841, and 9 infants from the parish were attending St. Peter's school in 1843. By 1846 a day school, supported by subscriptions, had been opened in the parish, but it and the Sunday school had only nine children each. (fn. 105) By 1851 Sunday school attendance had risen to 12; in that year a branch of the National day school opened in Magdalen Street, and St. Runwald's day school seems to have closed. (fn. 106)
OTHER CHURCH OF ENGLANDSCHOOLS. (fn. 107)
The Central National school was formed in 1812 by the union of the Bluecoat charity school with a group of Sunday schools. The school, held in a converted warehouse in Maidenburgh Street, adopted the Madras monitorial system, which enabled large numbers to be taught by a few teachers. By 1817 it was attended by 206 boys and 112 girls; from 1830 St. Helen's chapel was used for extra classrooms (fn. 108) and by 1839 numbers had risen to 330 boys and 115 girls. In the 1850s the National school committee clothed 80-90 children. (fn. 109) The school was supported by subscription, fees, sermons, and collections at the annual school festival, and from 1856, by government grants. (fn. 110) It was highly praised by government inspectors, (fn. 111) but the building was unsuitable, and in 1861 a new school was built by subscription and grants in St. Helen's Lane. (fn. 112) Although in the 1870s the standard achieved by most of the girls was low, the school continued to flourish under successive headmasters, among them a former Bluecoat boy who had also been a pupil teacher there, and in 1878 the school was enlarged. (fn. 113) Competition from board schools after 1892 reduced the National school's subscriptions and enrolment, and in 1896 the master left to become headmaster of Barrack Street Board school. (fn. 114) The number of boys attending the National school fell from 430 in 1890 to 350 in 1902, but the number of girls remained constant at 180. (fn. 115) In 1904 the school was reorganized as a mixed school and enlarged. In 1920, when a central council school was opened, the National central school was renamed Bluecoats. (fn. 116) By 1937 only 153 children attended. The transfer of senior children to St. Helena council school in 1938 left only 50 juniors at the school and it closed in 1939. (fn. 117)
Magdalen Street National branch school was opened in 1851 for 200 children from the parishes of St. Mary Magdalen, St. Leonard, St. Botolph, St. Giles, and St. James. It flourished under Thomas Shave, who had 20 years experience at St. Peter's infant school. (fn. 118) From 1856 Magdalen Street school received annual government grants, and by 1866 it was one of the best mixed schools in the Essex and Suffolk inspectorate. (fn. 119) In 1879, to relieve overcrowding, the school was reorganized for boys only. It was reorganized for juniors and infants in 1935 and closed in 1936. (fn. 120)
Osborne Street National infant school probably started in 1857 as the Ragged infants' school in Osborne Street, later taken over by St. Botolph's parish. A new infants school was built in 1870 in Osborne Street. (fn. 121) By 1891 it was attended by c. 200, but there was no room on the site for enlargement. It was taken over by the school board in 1892 and replaced in 1898. (fn. 122)
Stanway All Saints' National school was opened at Bottle End, Lexden, in 1861 for more than 70 children in the parish of All Saints' Stanway taken from the parishes of Stanway and Lexden. The school was enlarged in 1882 and 1910. In 1930 the school became a council school called Shrub End junior mixed and infants school. It closed between 1965 and 1974. (fn. 123)
Stanwell Street National school opened in 1873 in the Ragged school building in Stanwell Street. (fn. 126) It received annual government grants from its beginning and, although the building was inadequate and had no playground, attendance rose from 43 in 1874 to 101 in 1878 and 153 in 1886. (fn. 127) The school was taken over by the school board in 1892 and replaced in 1898 by St. John's Green school. (fn. 128)
Kendall Road National, later Church of England, school for girls and infants was built for 356 children by subscription and National Society grant in 1890. (fn. 129) Attendance rose from 269 in 1893 to 326 in 1899. (fn. 130) In 1935 it was reorganized for junior girls and infants, although boys were admitted to the first year of the junior school. In 1937 the school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants. It was granted Controlled status in 1953 and moved in 1975 to new buildings for 280 in Recreation Road, (fn. 131) where it continued in 1987.
ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS.
In 1838 a day school was opened in the basement of the new church in Priory Street and by 1841 it had c. 24 children. (fn. 132) Although in 1845 it was alleged that c. 40 children needed free education, only 17 attended in 1851, and in 1859, when the children of Irish soldiers attended the garrison schools, there were only 12 children on the school roll. (fn. 133) The school survived in 1864, but in 1866 it had no master. Although the Catholic Poor Schools Committee gave a small building grant that year, it was not until 1870 that two schoolrooms for a total of 80 children were added on the north side of the church. (fn. 134) The school failed in 1880 but reopened in 1883. (fn. 135) From 1891 it was taught by Sisters of Mercy, who had recently moved from Brentwood, and by 1893 it had 100 children. A new school for 240 was built south of the church in 1896, and in 1902 it was enlarged for 292. (fn. 136) Many of the children were of the poorest classes of all quarters of the town and some were unacceptable to other schools. (fn. 137) Priory Street school was enlarged again in 1951. In 1953 it was renamed St. Thomas More school, and in 1952 was granted Voluntary Aided status. It was reorganized in 1963 for juniors and infants, and in 1967 a new infant building was added. In 1974 the building of 1896 was demolished and replaced by a new block, linking the 1902 building with that of 1967. (fn. 138)
St. Benedict's Voluntary Aided Roman Catholic secondary school, Norman Way, opened in 1963 when c. 180 seniors from St. Thomas More school moved to new buildings for 300. St. Benedict's was enlarged in 1974 for 600, and in 1976 it became comprehensive. (fn. 139)
St. Teresa's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided primary school, Clairmont Road, Lexden, opened for 280 in 1967. (fn. 140)
The central British School was formed in 1812 by the union of the Greencoat and Lion Walk Independent Sunday schools. It was conducted on Joseph Lancaster's monitorial system and maintained by subscription and pence. Some children were clothed, as they had been in the Greencoat school, and in 1819 all were outfitted. The trustees continued to clothe a few children until 1848 or later. (fn. 141) By 1815 early indiscipline had been overcome and enrolment grew from 135 boys and 95 girls in 1815 to 176 boys and 141 girls in 1817. Boys always outnumbered girls but in the 1830s the proportion of girls attending the school fell from 44 per cent to 33 per cent. The school prospered and an infant school was added c. 1834. (fn. 142) An evening school, opened in 1849, had 70 pupils by 1855 but many soon lost interest and the school seems to have failed. In 1853 a new day school for 500 was built on the site of the old one. By 1857 reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, history, bookkeeping, and needlework were being taught, to 221 children. (fn. 143) The school received annual government grants from 1869, but by 1871 the girls school had declined under an unqualified teacher and from that year it seems to have been supervised by the master. (fn. 144) By 1890 the school was attended by some 400 children but its supporters could not afford to improve the building and by 1893 it had been taken over by the school board. (fn. 145)
A trust founded in 1790, apparently for teaching boys at the Greencoat school, was applied to the British school. In 1900 the British school building in Priory Street was sold and the proceeds invested in £1,020 stock. Under a Scheme of that year the income was to provide grammar school scholarships for boys of the borough who were educated beyond the usual school leaving standard. Under a Scheme of 1922 the income was to provide exhibitions to technical or secondary schools and to universities. (fn. 146) The sale of the Ragged school building in 1899 produced £600 which was invested in the same fund. In 1965 the accumulating capital was £19,040. (fn. 147)
In 1817 a Sunday school, supported by subscription, opened at Eld Lane chapel. Attendance reached 120 by 1833, but fell to 60 by 1851. A new schoolroom was built in 1868 and the school continued after 1870. (fn. 148)
A Sunday school at Lion Walk church may have been founded as early as 1782; it was included among the group of charity Sunday schools formed in 1786, (fn. 149) and in 1812 it was united with the Greencoat school as the central British school. (fn. 150)
The Lion Walk congregation opened a number of day and Sunday schools in association with their preaching stations between 1836 and 1848. Old Heath school, opened in 1836 in a room at the Bell public house, moved in 1837 to Saville Cottage and was probably the infant school in St. Giles's parish recorded in 1841. A Sunday school was added in 1843. (fn. 151) Both schools survived in 1851, but the day school seems to have closed by 1863. (fn. 152) Shrub End day and Sunday schools opened c. 1839, and in 1842 a small school chapel was built. Attendance at the day school fell from 30 in 1861 (fn. 153) to 22 in 1870, but the school survived until c. 1878. (fn. 154) East Street Sunday school opened in 1840 and, although a new school chapel was built in Harwich Road in 1844, the East Street room seems to have remained in use as an infant day school until c. 1848. (fn. 155) The day school in Harwich Road, which survived in 1851, seems to have closed by 1863; the Sunday school alone survived in 1876. (fn. 156) The Hythe Sunday school was opened by the mission there in 1846 and by 1851 a day school had been added, which survived in 1876 with c. 75 children. (fn. 157) The Stockwell Street congregation had a Sunday school by 1841 or earlier and in 1848 new schoolrooms were built. (fn. 158) Chapel Street (Headgate) Sunday school opened c. 1843 and a day school of 100 infants was added soon afterwards. A schoolroom was built south of the chapel in 1845. (fn. 159) The infant school flourished in 1848, but nothing more is known of it. The Sunday school was attended by some 65 children in 1851 and was enlarged in 1875 and 1903. (fn. 160)
In 1837 Wesleyan Methodists built a Sunday school next to their chapel in Culver Street, and by 1841 it was attended by c. 185 children. (fn. 161) In 1843 a day school was added, which taught elementary and more advanced subjects by the Glasgow system to children who paid from 3s. to 9s. a quarter. (fn. 162) The day school survived in 1850, but had closed by 1863. (fn. 163) In 1869 the building was enlarged for 340 and reopened in 1871 as a new higher grade Wesleyan school for 340. It flourished under Henry E. Shaw, master 1871-1916, and in 1882 was said to be among the four best schools in Essex. (fn. 164) It received annual government grants from 1872. Attendance rose from 143 in 1874 to 343 in 1886, (fn. 165) and by 1887 the school was full. In that year the building was enlarged for 527 and a room for 120 infants was added. (fn. 166) By 1909 the building was inadequate, but the site precluded enlargement or alteration, and in 1910 the infant school was closed to make more room for the senior school. The school's fee-paying status and the education it provided, between elementary and grammar school standards, appealed to middle-class parents, and Colchester education committee paid grants to children attending the school. In 1909 the Board of Education, which disapproved of the 'classy' nature of the school, urged the council to replace it with a council school. (fn. 167) The First World War delayed the opening of Hamilton Road council school and, although overcrowding remained a problem, the Wesleyan school survived until 1920. (fn. 168)
The Hythe Wesleyan school.
There was a small Wesleyan Sunday school at the Hythe in 1839, which seems to have survived until c. 1848. (fn. 169) In 1871 the Culver Street Methodists opened a branch school for 100 children in Back Lane, later Spurgeon Street. It was soon overcrowded and in the 1880s it was often unruly. (fn. 170) It was apparently enlarged c. 1884, after the closure of a Wesleyan branch school at Elmstead, (fn. 171) and by 1891 had 265 children, crowded into two rooms, as its cramped site made enlargement impossible. (fn. 172) In 1894 the school board took over the Wesleyan school and in 1896 replaced it by Barrack Street school. (fn. 173)
Magdalen Street infant school was opened c. 1843, probably by Wesleyan Methodists, who had a chapel there, to serve a poor and thickly populated area where funds were hard to raise. It survived in 1848 but nothing more is known of it. (fn. 174)
PRIMITIVE METHODISTS had a Sunday school of c. 80 children at their Barrack Ground chapel in 1851. In 1858 the schoolroom was enlarged; the school probably survived after 1870. (fn. 175)
Henry Dobby gave £50 to a Presbyterian school, which was attended by 18 boys in 1789. It was probably merged in the central British school in 1812. The income from Dobby's charity was £4 11s. in 1916. (fn. 176)
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS.
Schools kept by Quakers are recorded from 1691. From 1722 to 1758 or later there were usually two or three such schools and poor children attending them were maintained by the two-week meeting. (fn. 177) John Kendall (d. 1815) left £1,000 in trust to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic to six poor boys from Colchester and the neighbourhood at a boarding school kept by a Quaker master. He also left his library, which was sold in 1865 for the benefit of the school. Kendall's money was added to a gift of £500 received under the will of Francis Freshfield (d.1808). (fn. 178) In the period 1817-38 the charity money was paid to three successive private school masters who resigned, complaining of lack of Quaker encouragement for their schools. Edmund Watts, who kept a school in Lexden, (fn. 179) taught the Kendall charity boys from 1838 until 1858, when the charity temporarily lapsed. From 1863 until 1867 it was given to Joshua Davy's small school, first in Priory Street and later in Crouch Street. (fn. 180) In 1869 the trustees approved Frederick Richardson's new school in Lexden. That school prospered, but by 1903, when Richardson died, the number of Quaker boys attending had dwindled from 24 to 7. The school survived until 1907 when the charity was transferred to Frederick Gröne's boys school. (fn. 181) In 1917 Gröne sold the school to a non-Quaker and the trustees withdrew payment of the charity money. Under a Scheme of 1922, which divided the income between the Kendall and Freshfield educational trust and the Kendall book charity, the income from £3,280 stock was to be used to help boys, preferably from Colchester, to attend schools associated with the Society of Friends. In 1951 a supplementary fund was raised by the Essex quarterly meeting. In 1987 the annual income from £4,680 stock, which included the supplementary fund, was £212, from which occasional payments were made for the further education of boys and girls. (fn. 182)
OTHER 19TH-CENTURY VOLUNTARY SCHOOLS.
The Ragged school, Stanwell Street, (fn. 183) opened in 1854 at the instigation of A. W. H. Frost, master of a private school. It was held on four evenings a week in a schoolroom in Osborne Street freely provided by John Bawtree the younger. In 1855, when Frost was appointed its salaried master, the school was attended by more than 100 children. Many prominent local people of differing religious and political opinions served on the school's management committee. They supported the school financially, and some of them taught there. At first classes were often unruly, but the school's influence was praised by the police and the clergy. In 1865 a new school for 300 was built in Stanwell Street at Bawtree's expense and leased to the management committee. In 1866 c. 138 boys and 85 girls attended, (fn. 184) and in 1872 the committee bought the schoolroom. Numbers had fallen to 62 boys and 101 girls by 1871, and the provision of day schools and compulsory attendance under the Education Acts of 1870 and 1876 reduced the number of illiterate children needing evening tuition. The schools closed in 1880.
The Industrial School for Training Girls for Domestic Service was founded in 1867 by Margaret Round in Magdalen Street and supported by subscription. In 1871 it moved, with an associated orphanage, to East Hill, where it survived in 1894 with 12 girls. It seems to have closed by 1902. (fn. 185)
An evening school for girls, founded by Margaret Round probably c. 1859, was being held at East Hill House in 1869, when it was attended by some 34 girls. It survived until 1878 but seems to have closed soon afterwards. (fn. 186)
St. John's Green school.
In 1892 the school board took over the National schools in Osborne and Stanwell Streets, and the British school in Priory Street, (fn. 187) which in 1893 had altogether 676 children. In 1898 those schools were replaced by a new school for 840 at St. John's Green, where attendance rose from 604 in 1899 to 718 in 1905. (fn. 188) The school was reorganized in 1938 for 398 juniors and 250 infants and in 1961 those departments were united as a primary school. Although it was threatened with closure in 1973, it survived in 1987 with 115 children, occupying the upstairs rooms only. (fn. 189)
East Stockwell Street infant school
took over St. Martin's Church infant school (fn. 190) in 1892 and in 1898 moved it to a new building for 240 in the same street. (fn. 191) Attendance rose from 63 in 1893 to 137 in 1899, and to 178 in 1905. (fn. 192) It closed in 1953. (fn. 193)
Barrack Street school originated in 1894 when the school board took over St. Leonard's National and Hythe Wesleyan schools. (fn. 194) In 1896 the old buildings of those schools were replaced by a new school in Barrack Street for 1,240 mixed and infant children. The building, modelled on Medway Street school, Leicester, incorporated many recent developments in school building, including a kitchen for teaching domestic science. (fn. 195) Attendance rose from 997 in 1899 to 1,128 in 1905. (fn. 196) The school, the largest in the borough, was difficult to run, and in 1933 it was reorganized as separate senior and infant schools, both named after Wilson Marriage. (fn. 197) The infant school closed in 1962 and the children moved to St. George's school. (fn. 198)
North Street school, John Harper Street, the first school built by the board, was opened in 1894 for 872 mixed and infant children, including those from the workhouse. Attendance rose from 717 in 1899 to 848 in 1905. (fn. 199) In 1938 the school was reorganized and the infant school was rebuilt with a nursery department for juniors and infants. The junior and infant departments were amalgamated in 1965. (fn. 200)
Old Heath mixed and infant school originated in 1894 when the school board took over St. Giles's parochial school (fn. 201) and moved it to new buildings for 160 on an adjoining site. Attendance rose from 95 in 1895 to 139 in 1905. (fn. 202) The school was enlarged in 1911 for an additional 80 children. In 1934 it was reorganized for 230 juniors and infants, and in 1936 it was enlarged again for 328. (fn. 203)
COUNCIL ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
Canterbury Road school opened in 1903 in a building erected by the school board for 846 mixed and infant children. (fn. 204) By 1910 it was attended by 789 children. It was reorganized in 1933 for 738 juniors and infants, and in 1953 was renamed St. George's. In 1974 the infants moved to a new building for c. 200 in Barrington Road. (fn. 205)
St. Anne's temporary school for 100 boys opened in 1906 in St. Anne's mission, Harwich Road, to replace the boys department of St. James's Church school. It closed in 1908 when the boys moved to East Ward school. (fn. 206)
Myland school opened in 1907 as an all-standard school for 350 children in a new building to replace Mile End Church school. It was reorganized in 1932 for juniors and infants. It was enlarged in 1975. (fn. 207)
East Ward school, Greenstead Road, opened in 1908 as an all-standard school for 550 mixed and infant children from the Greenstead neighbourhood of East Street. (fn. 208) In 1932 it was reorganized for seniors, juniors, and infants. (fn. 209) It was enlarged to become a senior school in 1934. (fn. 210)
Hamilton Road school opened in 1920 for 200 junior mixed children as a department of the central senior school. It closed in 1935. (fn. 211)
Lexden school opened in 1925 as an all-standard school in the premises of the former Church school in Spring Lane. (fn. 212) In 1928 overcrowding was relieved by the opening of a temporary infant school in Straight Road, and in 1930 the Spring Lane school was replaced by new buildings for 360 in Trafalgar Road, to serve the growing 'garden village'. The new school was soon overcrowded. By 1937 it had 465 children and in 1938 it was reorganized for juniors and infants. In the 1950s and 1960s overcrowding was relieved by use of a church hall and temporary classrooms, and by the opening of Prettygate and Home Farm schools. In 1970 the buildings of the former Shrub End school were annexed to Lexden school. (fn. 213)
Harwich Road school, Barnardiston Road, was opened in 1934 for 200 infants. In 1938 a junior school for 400 and a nursery block for 40 were added. (fn. 214) The schools were renamed St. Anne's in 1957.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS. (fn. 215)
The following schools are, unless otherwise described, county schools for 320 juniors and 240 infants. Some were completed in two stages. Montgomery schools, Baronswood Way, were opened in 1948 as Berechurch Road school in the building of the former army school. (fn. 216) New buildings on St. Michael's garrison estate were completed in 1966 and 1967. Hamilton school opened in 1955 in the premises of the former Hamilton Road secondary modern school. At Shrub End, King's Ford schools, Gloucester Avenue, opened in 1953, Monkwick schools, School Road, in 1956 and 1958, Gosbeck's schools, Owen Ward Close, in 1957, and Prettygate schools, Plume Avenue, in 1959 and 1962. St. Michael's school, Camulodunum Way, opened in 1971 to serve Montgomery garrison estate. Hazelmere schools, Hawthorn Avenue, Greenstead, opened in 1964. Friar's Grove school, Uplands Drive, opened for 320 and Home Farm school, Shelley Road, for 220 in 1966, and St. Andrew's schools, Hickory Avenue, Greenstead, in 1969 and 1972. Roach Vale school, Parson's Heath, opened in 1977 for 280, and its buildings received an award of the Royal Institute of British Architects. (fn. 217) Cherry Tree school, Holt Drive, Mersea Road, opened in 1979. (fn. 218)
20TH-CENTURY SECONDARY SCHOOLS.
Colchester Pupil Teacher centre opened in 1897 at the Albert school of science and art as a branch of the university extension college. Attendance rose from 85 in 1897 to 172 in 1905, but an official survey of that year found the headmaster struggling against unsuitable accommodation, poor students, and inadequate staff. In 1907 the centre was reorganized as a secondary school for boys and girls. In 1909 the masters and boys moved to the technical institute on North Hill as a junior technical school. (fn. 219)
The girls department became Colchester County secondary, later High school. (fn. 220) It remained at the Albert school until 1912, when it moved with c. 61 girls to premises for 150 in the technical institute. By 1913 attendance had risen to 144 and in 1914 a preparatory department opened in St. Peter's parish room. Attendance increased rapidly after the First World War to reach 400 in 1920. The school took over more classrooms at the technical institute, but it was still cramped and in 1920 the juniors moved to Greyfriars, East Hill. The school's enrolment and reputation grew rapidly and by 1936 there were 453 girls at the secondary school and 68 in the preparatory school. (fn. 221) The county council's plans for a new building were frustrated by the Second World War, and the school continued on two sites until 1958, when it moved to new buildings for 540 in Norman Way. (fn. 222) It flourished in 1987 as a selective grammar school for girls.
Colchester junior technical school for boys originated in 1909, when the masters and boys from the pupil teacher centre moved to the new technical institute on North Hill. In 1920 the school took over more classrooms at the institute and in the early 1930s new workshops were added. (fn. 223) Under the 1944 Education Act the school became North-East Essex mixed county technical school. In 1950 the institute's buildings were extended for the school's use, and in 1958 the school took over all the premises. The buildings were enlarged again in 1961. (fn. 224) In 1980 the school, renamed Gilberd, became comprehensive and the lower school moved to new buildings for 450 in Brinkley Lane, which were enlarged for 1,200 in 1984. (fn. 225) The school continued on two sites until the move to Brinkley Lane was completed in 1987. (fn. 226)
Hamilton Road central school was built in 1914, to replace the Wesleyan school, but it was used as a military hospital in the First World War and opened in 1920 as a school for 320 seniors, selected by examination, with a junior department. (fn. 227) In 1935 it became a non-selective senior school. Under the 1944 Education Act it became a mixed secondary modern school and in 1955 moved to new premises in Walnut Tree Way, Shrub End, as Alderman Blaxill school. (fn. 228) In 1976 it became comprehensive. (fn. 229)
Wilson Marriage school, Barrack Street, opened as a non-selective senior school for boys and girls in 1933 in the former Barrack Street elementary school building. Under the 1944 Education Act it became a mixed secondary modern school. In 1958 some classes moved to Greyfriars, East Hill, and became the nucleus of Monkwick school. (fn. 230) In 1962 Wilson Marriage school took over the buildings of the adjacent infant school and in 1977 it became comprehensive. The school closed in 1987. (fn. 231)
East Ward secondary school, Greenstead Road, opened in 1934 in the former elementary school, as a senior school in two departments for boys and girls. (fn. 232) It became a mixed secondary modern school under the 1944 Education Act and in 1968 was amalgamated with Sir Charles Lucas school. (fn. 233)
St. Helena school, Sheepen Road, was opened in 1938 as a senior school in two departments for 720 boys and girls. (fn. 234) It became a mixed secondary modern school under the 1944 Education Act, and in 1976 became comprehensive. It was enlarged for 1,010 in 1977. (fn. 235)
SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOUNDED AFTER 1945.
All are mixed schools and the first three opened as secondary modern schools. Monkwick school, opened in 1958, when classes from Wilson Marriage school moved to Greyfriars, East Hill. It moved in 1960 to new buildings for 450 in Monkwick Avenue, which were enlarged in 1974 for 810 and in 1979 for 900. (fn. 236) In 1975 it became comprehensive and was renamed Thomas, Lord Audley, school. (fn. 237) Philip Morant school was established in 1963 at Greyfriars, East Hill. It moved in 1965 to new buildings for 450 in Norman Way, (fn. 238) which were enlarged for 750 in 1971, when the school became comprehensive. It was enlarged again, for 1,170, in 1973. (fn. 239) Sir Charles Lucas school originated in 1965 when the county council took over Endsleigh private school at Lexden Park as the nucleus of a comprehensive school. In 1968 it was amalgamated with East Ward school and moved to new buildings for 900 in Hawthorn Avenue where Hazelton's farm had been; the school was enlarged for 1,710 in 1973. (fn. 240)
A sixth-form college was established in 1986-7 in the former premises of Gilberd school, North Hill. (fn. 241)
A mechanics institution, founded in 1833, provided lectures and maintained a library and reading room in High Street, but it operated more as a Liberal club than as an educational institution. In 1849 a rival literary institute was founded by Conservatives and Anglicans and in 1860 the mechanics institution closed. (fn. 242)
The Co-operative Society education centre was established soon after 1861 at the society's assembly room in Culver Street. From 1875 it provided classes under the auspices of the Science and Arts Department, South Kensington, and in 1894 commercial classes were started for members' sons. (fn. 243)
The Society of Friends' adult schools were started in 1867 by Wilson Marriage at the East Stockwell Street meeting house on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings to provide elementary education for men. A Sunday school, where women and girls were taught writing, was opened c. 1871. The schools moved to the new meeting house in Sir Isaac's Walk in 1872, and by 1874 were attended by 100 men, 20 women, and 10 children. Branches were established in outlying parishes. The schools flourished; enrolment reached 498 by 1885 and in 1889 a schoolroom was added to the meeting house. Quakers alone could not supply all the teachers needed and other Nonconformists were recruited. By 1900 the Colchester school had declined for lack of support and although it survived in 1918, by then the outlying schools were failing. (fn. 244)
The Albert school of science and art was founded in 1885 at the instigation of James Paxman. Day and evening classes for adults were held in the old corn exchange, and in 1887 Paxman, then mayor, organized a subscription and loans to buy the building. The town council made annual grants from 'whiskey money' received under the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act, 1890. In 1894 the management committee ceded the school to the council, which received annual grants from the county council. In 1896 the corn exchange was converted to provide lecture rooms and laboratories for both the Albert school and the university extension centre. (fn. 245) In 1912 the Albert school, renamed Colchester technical institute, moved to a new building on North Hill and in 1914 an engineering workshop was added. After the Second World War the institute became North-East Essex technical college and school of art, and departments of applied science and commerce were added. In 1954 the college moved to new buildings in Sheepen Road, which were completed in 1958 and 1959 and enlarged in 1972. (fn. 246) In 1976 the technical college and art school were combined with St. Osyth College, Clacton, as Colchester institute of higher education. (fn. 247)
A Cambridge university extension centre, was established in 1889. It was supported by grants from the town and county councils and by subscription from individuals and local organizations. It was held at the Albert school from 1896 and in 1897 the pupil teacher centre was attached to it. (fn. 248)
SPECIAL AND NURSERY SCHOOLS.
A special school at Stockwell Street infant school originated in 1906 as a class for c. 20 mentally handicapped children. By 1934 it had 28 children of all ages. It survived as a separate school when the infant school was closed in 1953. In 1958 it moved, renamed Kingswode Hoe, to Sussex Road. (fn. 249) A class for c. 22 partially sighted children opened in Barrack Street infant school in 1924. By 1938 only 12 children attended, and the class closed in 1940. (fn. 250) Ramparts school opened in 1971 for 90 educationally subnormal children. In 1981 the school was amalgamated, as Lexden Springs school, with the Royal Eastern Counties Institution's Golden Grove hospital school, which had been held in wooden buildings at Turner village since c. 1972. In 1981 the new school took over the buildings of Ramparts school, which were remodelled and enlarged for 100 children. (fn. 251) A unit for children with partial hearing, opened in 1912 at Lexden primary school, survived in 1986. (fn. 252)
Nursery classes were opened in 1937 at Harwich Road school, in 1938 at Wilson Marriage and St. Anne's schools, and in 1939 at North Street school. Soon after Wilson Marriage infant school closed in 1969, the nursery school was annexed to St. George's school, Barrington Road. (fn. 253)
PRIVATE SCHOOLS. (fn. 254)
In the 1770s there were c. 12 private schools in the town. (fn. 255) In the period 1780-1804, when the grammar school master neglected his duties, Thomas White, with two or more assistants, kept a school for boys, aged 11-15, including 25 boarders. (fn. 256) In the 19th century there were usually c. 20 private schools in Colchester, many of them on North Hill, East Hill, Stockwell Street, Crouch Street, and Lexden Road. At least seven schools for boys and one for girls were kept by nonconformists, but from 1870 the master of the grammar school moderated its Anglican bias so that by 1900 about half of its boys were nonconformists, (fn. 257) and only one nonconformist private secondary school for boys survived. In the later 19th century private schools probably shared the prosperity which the barracks brought to the town, and a few advertised their suitability for officers' children and 'Indians'. (fn. 258) In 1906 there were five private secondary schools for girls, but competition from the county school, established in 1909, led to the closure of three of them by 1920. In 1922 the Board of Education recognized six private schools as efficient. (fn. 259) Of those, two had closed by 1926, four survived in 1963, and three were still active in 1987 with another, which opened in 1959.
Of 185 private schools identified in the period 1818-1987 most (149) survived fewer than 20 years and were probably small, but Joseph Cooper's day school with 50 boys, recorded 1825-38 in Botolph Street and later in Priory Street, was the largest of its kind in Colchester. (fn. 260) The schools described below flourished for more than 30 years, usually kept by a succession of proprietors.
William Walker's school, established in 1818 in Sir Isaac's Walk, seems to have survived under his successors until 1848, (fn. 261) and a boys school in St. John's Street started by John Halls Bare by 1827, survived in the 1850s under a new master. (fn. 262) Stockwell, later Arnold, House existed as a boys boarding school at various addresses from 1835 or earlier until c. 1878. Its pupils included the Baptist preacher C. H. Spurgeon. (fn. 263) The Partridge family's boarding school for girls on East Hill, probably established in 1829, continued until c. 1866. (fn. 264) St. Mary's classical, mathematical, and commercial school for boys, kept by Methodists, was established in Lion Walk by 1841. It had moved to Crouch Street by 1851, when it had 3 assistant masters and 17 resident boys. It was still open in 1866 but had closed by 1870, when the opening of the Methodist higher grade school was imminent. (fn. 265) A girls school on North Hill, opened by Mary Ann Allen before 1853, was kept by Mrs. Donnington 1878-86. (fn. 266) A girls school on North Hill kept by Sarah Frost in 1853 moved to Crouch Street in 1894; it may have continued as Durlston House girls school, North Hill, which was kept by E. H. and G. Frost from c. 1898 to c. 1926. (fn. 267) Abraham W. H. Frost, instigator and master of the Ragged school, had a boys boarding school on North Hill from 1861 or earlier until c. 1896. (fn. 268) Thomas B. Hazell kept a boys day and boarding school in West Stockwell Street from c. 1861 until the early 1890s. Frederick Richardson established a boys boarding school in Lexden Road, under Kendall's foundation (fn. 269) in 1869. It survived his death in 1903, and in 1907 was apparently taken over by Ferdinand Gröne, a German Quaker, (fn. 270) who moved the school to part of the site of his girls school in Wellesley Road. On Gröne's retirement in 1917 the Kendall foundation was withdrawn, but the school was taken over and revived by G. H. Watkin as Colchester high school. It continued under Watkins's successors and numbers increased from 240 in 1947 to 350 in 1982. The school was enlarged in 1975 and 1980, and no. 11 Wellesley Road was acquired for the junior school in 1982. (fn. 271) Minden House girls school, Wellesley Road, was opened by Gröne by 1882, and c. 1902 it moved to a new building on an adjacent site as Colchester high school for girls. By 1906 it was attended by 71 girls, under a qualified headmistress, and was commended in an official report as the possible nucleus of a county high school. (fn. 272) The school remained private and continued under the same management as the boys school until 1922, but had closed by 1926. A girls school on North Hill, kept by Louisa and Emma Handscomb in 1872, (fn. 273) moved to Wellesley Road and then to Crouch Street, where it survived until c. 1913. A girls school, named successively St. Mary's House, St. Martin's, Bracewell House, and Home school, was founded by Elizabeth and Mary Simson and flourished at various addresses from c. 1878 until 1919 or later. (fn. 274) Endsleigh House school was founded in 1893 by E. A. and L. M. Dobson as a girls day and boarding school in Wellesley Road. In 1906 it was commended as the possible nucleus of a county high school, but it remained a private school. Numbers increased from 106 girls in 1903 to 143 in 1911, and by 1921, when it had 155 girls, two more boarding houses were added. (fn. 275) The school moved to Lexden Grange c. 1935. A few day boys had been accepted from 1903 or earlier, and after the Second World War the school was extended and opened to boys and girls of all ages. By 1950 Kingswood Hoe, Sussex Road, had been acquired for the preparatory department. The school had moved to Lexden Park by 1958, but attendance declined as more council schools were built and in 1965 the county council took over Endsleigh House school as the nucleus of Sir Charles Lucas county school. (fn. 276) St. Mary's girls school, Lexden Road, was founded in 1908 by A. M. Billson. By 1919 it had 45 girls and 16 boys, many of them children of army officers stationed in Colchester. The school continued to expand and in 1987 it had 600 girls in Lexden Road and at Comrie House, Stanway. (fn. 277) St. Mary's convent day school, Priory Street, opened in 1919 for girls aged 4 to 18. In 1963 it was reorganized for junior girls, and by 1987 it was attended by 187. (fn. 278) Oxford House nursery and preparatory school, opened in 1959 in Wellesley Road. It moved later to Oxford Road and in 1976 to a new building in Lexden Road. (fn. 279)