A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14, Lichfield. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1990.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
There was presumably a school connected with Lichfield cathedral from early times. About 1190 the subchanter ran a song school, which eventually evolved into the present Lichfield Cathedral school. The duties of the cathedral's chancellor c. 1190 included the supervision of a school or schools; (fn. 1) whether or not he was expected to provide for teaching grammar, there is no evidence later that the chapter employed or supported a grammar master.
Master Peter, schoolmaster of Lichfield, heard a tithe case for the bishop's commissary general in 1272. (fn. 2) Master Matthew, schoolmaster of Lichfield, is recorded in 1312–13, (fn. 3) and Ralph, schoolmaster, in 1335. (fn. 4) William Bishop, schoolmaster, was admitted to the Lichfield guild of St. Mary and St. John the Baptist in 1440. (fn. 5) There was a grammar master, John Mercer, in the town in 1461, (fn. 6) and a schoolmaster, Ralph Gydnall, in 1466. (fn. 7) A schoolhouse at Greenhill was mentioned in the late 1320s. (fn. 8) It has been asserted that there was a school attached to St. John's hospital before 1495 and that the noted grammarian Robert Whittinton attended it as a boy in the 1480s, (fn. 9) but there seems to be no authority for either statement. In 1495 it was stated that, contrary to canon law, there was no established grammar school at the cathedral or in the town and no free instruction in grammar. (fn. 10)
A free grammar school was established in 1495 by Bishop Smith. An English school for poor boys was built in 1670 by Thomas Minors, and in the 1670s a charity founded by Humphrey Terrick was paying for poor children to be taught. In the early 18th century there were said to be two charity schools in the town, one for 30 boys, the other for 18 girls; all were given clothes. (fn. 11) The boys' was evidently Minors's school. The girls' was probably the charity school apparently taught or organized by a Mrs. Matlock to which the cathedral chapter subscribed £8 a year between 1713 and 1726, (fn. 12) rather than one of the dame schools which the corporation supported from Terrick's charity in the late 17th and early 18th century. (fn. 13)
Dame schools are found occasionally from the mid 17th century. A schoolmistress and her pupils were allotted seats in St. Mary's in 1649. (fn. 14) In 1675 a room in a tailor's shop was called 'the schoolhouse' and was furnished as such. (fn. 15) Dean Addison inspected the various 'petty' schools in the town in 1684, making sure that the children were taught the Catechism. (fn. 16) Two dame-school teachers are connected with Samuel Johnson. Ann Oliver was his first teacher; the cottage in Dam Street which was pointed out as hers c. 1800 now dates mainly from the early 19th century but incorporates parts of an earlier timber-framed structure. It has been suggested that Tom Brown, Johnson's second teacher, was a shoemaker who supplemented his earnings by keeping a school. He may in fact have been Thomas Brown, master of Minors's school. (fn. 17)
In the 1770s Lichfield was the scene of two educational experiments conducted by members of Erasmus Darwin's circle. Thomas Day, an admirer of Rousseau, took Stowe House in 1770 and there attempted, unsuccessfully, to educate a foundling girl on Rousseauesque lines in the hope of turning her into a perfect wife for himself. (fn. 18) In 1779 Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood, the potter, collaborated briefly in having their sons taught at home in modern subjects. (fn. 19) The Darwin circle produced two influential didactic books for children. Richard Lovell Edgeworth and his wife Honora wrote Practical Education; or Harry and Lucy, initially for their own children, and Edgeworth published it at Lichfield in 1780. It inspired Day to write Sandford and Merton. (fn. 20)
At the beginning of the 19th century Madras schools for girls and boys were established in Lichfield, and in mid century a system of parochial day schools emerged. There were a number of Sunday schools. The Madras school for boys in Frog Lane, opened in 1809, was both a day and a Sunday school. Day boys were obliged to attend on Sundays, and any other Lichfield boys were freely admitted then. (fn. 21) A Sunday school was established at St. Chad's in 1821. It had over 100 pupils in 1833 and still flourished in 1846–7, when over 200 children were being taught by voluntary helpers. (fn. 22) There was a Sunday school attached to the Congregational chapel in Wade Street in 1821 and one at the Methodist chapel in Lombard Street in the mid 1820s. (fn. 23) In 1833 there were three Sunday schools in the city, apart from that at St. Chad's. Two, both mixed, lay in the city part of St. Chad's parish; one had over 70 pupils, the other, founded in 1831, had over 100. At St. Michael's there was a Sunday school for girls, partly supported by the income from a small legacy, with 70 pupils and with a lending library attached to it. Although it was said that a Sunday school for boys was being formed, in 1846–7 there was still only a girls' Sunday school, at which a paid mistress taught 60 pupils. (fn. 24) A Sunday school existed at Christ Church by 1850 and may have been founded in 1847. (fn. 25)
Public education, especially at the elementary level, was mainly an Anglican preserve. When a privately funded high school for girls was established in 1892 its promoters were Anglicans who intended it as an Anglican foundation. It became a maintained county school in 1916 and the grammar school followed suit under a Scheme of 1920; (fn. 26) otherwise local authority schools were not started in the city until after the Second World War.
No school board was formed in Lichfield school district. In 1877 the city council set up an attendance committee for the urban part of the district and the guardians one for the rural part. (fn. 27) The guardians provided attendance officers, (fn. 28) but not the city council; the mayor claimed that 80 per cent of the city's children already went to school. (fn. 29) In the mid 1880s, however, the chairman of the city's attendance committee was complaining to a Royal Commission about the difficulty of dealing with truancy at Lichfield, and by 1887, when the city eventually appointed an attendance officer, average attendance in city schools was only 74 per cent. (fn. 30) In 1889 attendance was 81 per cent, and in autumn 1891, after the introduction of free elementary education, it rose to 86 per cent. (fn. 31)
A Lichfield schools managers' council, set up in 1887, rarely met. (fn. 32) It was superseded in 1902 by a committee of managers, to which two managers were elected from each public elementary school, with the mayor as an ex officio member. It was a consultative, co-ordinating, and fund-raising body. The county council became the local education authority for the city in 1903, and by 1907 the committee of managers was negotiating with it over the provision of new schools. (fn. 33)
In 1909 Graham (later Sir Graham) Balfour, the county council's director of education, suggested that Lichfield's voluntary elementary schools should be grouped under a joint board of management and should then be graded. Individual schools would retain their own managers. The city's Roman Catholic school refused to co-operate but the six Anglican elementary schools agreed to the proposal. In 1910 a board of managers of the Lichfield group of voluntary schools was formed; it comprised managers from each school and representatives of the city and county councils. The Lichfield grouping was the only one of any significance in Staffordshire. (fn. 34) In 1913 the six schools were graded into infants', intermediate, and senior departments. (fn. 35) There were further reorganizations in 1921, following the 1918 Education Act, and in 1928, after the Hadow Report. (fn. 36) By the 1930s the county council was having to cajole some of the schools to stay open; only the Depression postponed plans to build county elementary schools in the city. After the 1944 Education Act the group lost any remaining importance. In 1945 the diocese of Lichfield decided that it could no longer promise financial support for all Church schools, and between then and 1948 those in the city concluded that they must take controlled status or close. Meetings of the group managers became sparsely attended and in 1951 the group was wound up. (fn. 37) In the late 1980s there were 9 primary schools and 3 secondary schools in Lichfield. Virtually all were housed in post-war buildings.
LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL SCHOOL.
For the cathedral song school of the late 12th century the precentor, who chose the choristers, had overall responsibility. His deputy, the subchanter, ran the school, and instruction was given by a subordinate, evidently the song school master. (fn. 38) The boys presumably lived at home or lodged in the Close; the 'alumnus' who was lodging with the vicar choral Alan of Ashbourne in 1322 may have been one of them. (fn. 39) From 1265 they were given various endowments for their maintenance. By 1496 they were required to live in the Close, and in or shortly after 1527 they began to live in common in a house on the site of the present nos. 13 and 14. (fn. 40) From 1520 the master of the choristers was paid £2 13s. 4d. a year and 3s. a year for each boy. He taught them pricksong and descant, and was allowed to charge fees for giving them private organ lessons. (fn. 41) He could also supplement his salary by taking part in concerts which they gave. In 1523 he was made custodian of the cathedral's music books. (fn. 42) In 1524 some at least of the boys were expected to be able to read lessons at matins. (fn. 43)
Injunctions of 1547 and 1559 gave the master responsibility for choosing and managing the boys. (fn. 44) By 1582 the choristers' house in the Close was let and they were once more living at home or in lodgings. They were taught in a room in the Close; from the 1620s it was a schoolroom built by Michael East (d. 1648), the master, on the gatehouse of their former house. (fn. 45) Probably nothing was taught save music. Elias Ashmole became a chorister and began to spend part of his time at what he later called the music school merely to improve his musical skills; previously he had attended the city's grammar school. (fn. 46) In 1649, after the cathedral's establishment had been disbanded, Michael East's son Michael, who had been a vicar choral, lived next door to what had been the choristers' house and had the use of the schoolroom; (fn. 47) he may have kept a private music school there. In 1660 the cathedral was once more employing choristers, and by 1663 its music school had been re-established. (fn. 48) The cathedral statutes of 1694 gave the master of the choristers a stipend of £10 a year but restored his earlier subordination to the precentor. (fn. 49) The singing or music school (fn. 50) remained in its 17th-century schoolroom until 1772, when the gatehouse was demolished. Thereafter it used the anteroom of the cathedral library. In 1802 the vicars choral offered the older boys the use of a room in their hall for singing practice. (fn. 51)
In the early 19th century, apparently for the first time, the chapter began to make some regular provision for teaching the boys the elements. In the 18th century the chapter had preferred to take its choristers from poorer families, although such boys sometimes had little schooling. In 1810 the subchanter asserted that the ability to read was 'not absolutely necessary to learn the rudiments of singing'. (fn. 52) When, however, in 1809 Dean Woodhouse helped to establish a Madras school for boys in Frog Lane the choristers were sent to it. (fn. 53) A new regime was established for the choir school in 1817 or 1818, with the help of a gift from Woodhouse. In 1818 one of the lay vicars was being paid to teach the boys the elements; the cathedral organist was responsible for their musical education. (fn. 54) In 1866 the choristers had a schoolmaster, who was allowed to take up to 14 probationers in addition to 10 choristers; all were taught free. (fn. 55) The arrangements depended on the goodwill of the chapter, which pointed out in 1867 that it was not obliged by the cathedral statutes to provide a school. (fn. 56) In 1879 the master was living and presumably teaching in part of the former choristers' house; government and diocesan inspectors had found the school satisfactory. (fn. 57)
In 1880 the chapter decided to build the choristers a schoolroom in Stone Yard off Dam Street. (fn. 58) From 1892 the master took boarders, which enabled the chapter to draw choristers from a wider area. The school remained small: in 1905 or 1906 there were 17 boys, of whom 6 were boarders. The school buildings then comprised two houses in Dam Street, occupied by the master and the boarders, and the schoolroom. The boys had a playing field and the exclusive use of the public swimming baths one afternoon a week. (fn. 59) A new two-storeyed schoolhouse was opened in Stone Yard in 1913. (fn. 60) By the late 1930s there were 36 boys (two sets of 18 choristers) at the school. (fn. 61) In 1942 the school was reopened in no. 12 the Close as a day and boarding preparatory school called St. Chad's cathedral school. (fn. 62) Fee-paying non-choristers were admitted. From 1955 the school also occupied the bishop's palace. Girls were admitted from 1975. A department for boys and girls aged 4–7 was opened in 1978. In 1981 it moved into the building in Pool Walk formerly occupied by St. Mary's C.E. infants' school. It moved in 1989 to the Broadhurst Building, designed by the Duval Brownhill Partnership and erected behind no. 12 the Close.
The dean and chapter owned the school until 1981, when it became fully independent and changed its name to Lichfield cathedral school. In 1989 there were some 180 children. About 25 places in the preparatory department were reserved for choristers and probationers, who received scholarships from the dean and chapter.
KING EDWARD VI COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL.
The school, in Upper St. John Street, was formerly Lichfield grammar school, founded in 1495. It became a mixed comprehensive school in 1971. Its history is treated in another volume. (fn. 63)
Thomas Minors, a Presbyterian mercer, built a school in 1670. (fn. 64) The schoolhouse, a four-bayed, two-storeyed brick building, stood at the corner of Bore Street and St. John Street. (fn. 65) The schoolroom was on the ground floor at the west end of the building. (fn. 66) Minors maintained the school until his death in 1677, and by will gave the building as a school for 30 poor boys of the city, to be chosen by trustees and taught without charge to read English 'until they can well read chapters in the Bible'. (fn. 67) The schoolmaster was to have half the house, and the garden, rent free. For his salary he was to have the income from c. 9 a. at Leamonsley, which were to be rack rented. Repairs to the house were to be paid for by rack renting the rooms over the schoolroom and with 13s. 4d. of a £1 rent charge. The remaining 6s. 8d. was to be spent on coal for the schoolroom. Another rent charge of 6s. 8d. was to provide wine and cakes for the trustees at their annual school inspection. (fn. 68)
By will dated 1686 William Jesson, Minors's brother-in-law, left a £1 rent charge to buy bibles for pupils. By will dated 1727 Joan Parker left £20, the interest on which was to be paid to the master. (fn. 69) An early 18th-century survey claimed, probably mistakenly, that the boys were clothed as well as taught. (fn. 70)
Minors may have hoped (fn. 71) to keep his school independent of the city's Anglican establishment. A tradition of Dissent may have survived for 50 years: in 1700 the master, Thomas Brown, failed to subscribe (fn. 72) (although few schoolmasters at Lichfield seem to have subscribed), and in 1718 the son of Mr. Harrison, 'the English schoolmaster at Lichfield', was baptized by a Presbyterian minister. (fn. 73) By the mid 18th century, however, the school was Anglican, (fn. 74) and so remained until it closed in 1876. (fn. 75)
Brown may be the Lichfield schoolmaster of that name who died in 1717, plausibly identified as the Tom Brown who taught Samuel Johnson and published a writing book. (fn. 76) If so, Johnson was probably a private pupil. John Clifford, master 1758–1805, (fn. 77) took such pupils. Richard Dyott of Freeford sent his son William to 'Clifford's school' at Lichfield in the later 1760s. In 1780 Clifford advertised as a writing master who took boarders, and in the late 1780s Henry Salt, son of a Lichfield surgeon, went to Minors's school. (fn. 78) Clifford's income from the endowments of the English school was £16 10s. in 1786. (fn. 79) Another John Clifford, probably his son, master by 1818 and in 1844, was in 1821 occupying the whole of the schoolhouse rent free and received c. £30 a year from the school lands. (fn. 80)
In 1801 or 1802 the Conduit Lands trustees paid £25 towards repairing the schoolhouse. (fn. 81) The establishment of a Madras school for boys in 1809 reduced the demand for places at Minors's, but by 1821 it was again full. The Lichfield philanthropist Andrew Newton (d. 1806) left it £3,333 6s. 8d. stock in reversion, which it received in 1825; c. 1813 his executors paid nearly £200 for repairs to the schoolhouse. (fn. 82)
In 1826 the school's trustees decided to increase to 60 the number of free places, to teach writing and arithmetic as well as reading, to convert upper rooms into a second schoolroom, to increase the master's salary by £30, and to engage an undermaster. In 1828 an undermaster was engaged at £30 a year. (fn. 83) In 1844 the building was repaired and more school accommodation was provided, perhaps by enlarging the schoolrooms. (fn. 84)
An undermaster was employed until at least 1844, (fn. 85) but from 1845 his place seems to have been taken by trainees from the diocesan training school, and in 1848 school hours were adjusted to meet their requirements. In 1847 the master of Minors's was retained by the training school as its master of method. (fn. 86) In 1851–2 he was being helped at Minors's by three or four trainees and was able to divide the school into four classes. The arrangement probably continued until the training school closed in 1863. (fn. 87) In 1846 a night school was being held. (fn. 88)
Trustees in the 1840s could afford to enforce residence qualifications strictly. (fn. 89) In 1851–2 there were 30 free boys and 43 paying 2d. a week; by 1857 the number of fee-payers had risen to 60, and the trustees raised the fee to 8d. a week. By 1860 fees were once more 2d. a week. An inspector gave the school a very favourable report in 1851–2, and Sylvanus Biggs, master from c. 1858 to 1876, was highly regarded in the city. His later claim that during his mastership there were usually 100–150 pupils perhaps exaggerated the numbers, but fees of 9d. or 1s. a week c. 1870 support his assertion that most of the boys were middle-class. (fn. 90) The inspector in 1865 for the Taunton Commission thought it a 'very good' school, popular with small tradesmen, (fn. 91) but recommended that it be affiliated to the grammar school. (fn. 92) The Endowed Schools Commission pressed for amalgamation, the Minors trustees admitting that the schoolhouse, despite being picturesque, was no longer suitable. (fn. 93) A Scheme of 1876 wound up Minors's and transferred most of its endowments to a reorganized grammar school, (fn. 94) where there were to be four Minors scholarships for boys from public elementary schools in the city. (fn. 95) The schoolroom end of Minors's schoolhouse was pulled down for road widening in or shortly after 1902, (fn. 96) and what remained was demolished in 1914. (fn. 97)
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS.
School of industry for girls, later girls' National school.
In 1806 Dean Proby and other inhabitants of the Close established a school of industry for 24 girls, who were clothed and were taught reading and needlework. In 1809 the subscribers decided to enlarge the school to take 40 girls and to adopt the Madras system. (fn. 98) By 1810 Dean Woodhouse had fitted up a barn in Quonians Lane as a schoolroom. The list of subscribers was extended to the city. The corporation subscribed from 1811, and there were grants from Andrew Newton's executors and the diocesan branch of the National Society. The marquess of Stafford, whose wife had subscribed since 1809, let the barn and an adjoining cottage for the schoolmistress to the school in 1813 at a nominal rent and kept them in repair. By 1814 there were 60 pupils, of whom 40 were clothed, and the new schoolroom had been extended. Andrew Bell, the creator of the Madras system, had visited the school. (fn. 99) In 1818 the mistress received c. £40 a year for teaching 60–100 girls. In the early 1830s 64 poor girls were taught, of whom 40 were clothed. (fn. 100) There were 48 day and Sunday pupils in 1846–7. (fn. 101) In 1849 the school's managers and those of the Frog Lane boys' school bought the Frog Lane schoolhouse and an adjoining house, where new boys' and girls' National schools were opened in 1850. The girls' school was closed in 1873. (fn. 102)
Frog Lane boys' school.
The school, initiated by Dean Woodhouse, (fn. 103) supported by subscriptions and by donations from the Conduit Lands trustees and the executors of Jane Gastrell of Stowe House, (fn. 104) and assisted by William Vyse, one of the residentiary canons and an early supporter of Bell's system, (fn. 105) was opened in 1809 in a converted barn in Frog Lane, with an adjoining house for the master. The school, an early example of a provincial school on the Madras system, was a day and Sunday school for boys aged 6–12. The master also ran a night school. Attendance at the Sunday school, free to all city boys, was compulsory for boys at the day school; the Sunday curriculum seems to have been restricted to religious instruction. The day boys, who were nominated by the subscribers, received a free education, free haircuts, and each year a pair of shoes. Bell visited the school to advise on teaching and discipline. In the early years attendance was c. 100–150. When a diocesan branch of the National Society was formed in 1812 the school was held out as a model. (fn. 106) Among its supporters was Sir Charles Oakeley, Bt., tenant of the bishop's palace 1810–26, who as governor of Madras had encouraged Bell's educational experiments in India. (fn. 107) Gifts totalling £220 were received from Andrew Newton's executors in 1810 and 1817, and a legacy of £100 from Mary Brown in 1816.
The school was enlarged in 1820. In the 1820s and 1830s numbers apparently ranged from c. 80 to c. 110. (fn. 108) A school lending library was established in 1838. (fn. 109) The need for economies ended free haircuts in 1836, and an increase in numbers and the need to pay an assistant master ended the distribution of shoes in 1840. (fn. 110) From 1844 the boys had to pay 2d. a week; two or more brothers attending together were given reductions. (fn. 111) Moves in the 1840s to merge the school with Minors's school and the National school for girls and to build a large new school on a different site foundered owing to opposition from the managers of the girls' school. (fn. 112)
In 1849 the managers bought the site and buildings, previously leased, and co-operated with the girls' school in building new adjoining National schools for boys and girls, a plain brick building designed by Richard Greene, a Lichfield banker, and opened in 1850. (fn. 113) The lending library was transferred in 1856 to St. Michael's parochial library, from which the older boys might borrow books. (fn. 114) In 1861 there were over 120 boys. (fn. 115) The girls' school was closed in 1873, (fn. 116) and the boys took over their schoolroom. Frog Lane was under government inspection by 1869 and received an annual grant from 1871. (fn. 117) In 1876 average attendance was c. 100. Two classrooms were added in 1877; most of the cost was met from the proceeds of the sale of Minors's schoolhouse. (fn. 118)
Under Isaac Humphreys, master 1876–1901, average attendance doubled, assistant masters were employed, the library was re-established, and a football team was formed. It used a playing field at Paradise off Trent Valley Road acquired for the city's day and Sunday schools in 1879. Weekly fees were increased from 3d. to 6d. in 1882 without opposition, and when free elementary education was introduced in 1891 over 80 parents promised regular voluntary contributions. (fn. 119) The buildings, however, were inadequate: the school was closed in 1913 and the boys were moved to a new Church of England Central school in the same street. (fn. 120)
St. Mary's schools, Sandford Street.
An infants' school was established by subscription in 1825 in a new schoolroom in Sandford Street west of Trunkfield brook. (fn. 121) It was still there in 1834 (fn. 122) but was probably closed when the former parish workhouse, further east in the same street, was converted into a parochial school for St. Mary's in or shortly after 1841. The new school seems originally to have been intended for girls and infants, but by 1844 boys were admitted. In 1851 there were schools for boys, girls, and infants, with a master, two mistresses, and an attendance of over 200. (fn. 123) By 1860 the schools were for girls and infants only. (fn. 124) In 1863 the children were moved to the schoolroom of the former diocesan training school in Pool Walk. (fn. 125)
A British school was established in Sandford Street in 1827 and later that year had c. 60 pupils, who were taught the elements. It was supported by subscriptions and fees of 3d. a week. It still existed in 1830. (fn. 126)
St. Chad's, Stowe, C.E. (Controlled) primary school, St. Michael Road, formerly Stowe Street Endowed school.
In 1833 Frances Furnivall of Stowe Hill built a school in Stowe Street and employed a mistress to teach poor children on the lines advanced by Samuel Wilderspin, a pioneer of the infant-school system. In 1843 she conveyed in trust the schoolhouse, a stable converted to house two schoolmistresses, a playground and 1½ a. adjacent, and £1,000 stock. The trustees were to elect up to 150 children from St. Mary's parish and from the city part of the parishes of St. Michael and St. Chad, to be admitted from the age of two. There were to be two classes: one for boys and girls under 8, paying 1d. a week, the other for girls aged 8–15, paying 2d. Teaching was to be Anglican. (fn. 127) In 1851 there were c. 120 pupils. (fn. 128) From 1855 the school was subject to government inspection. A classroom was added in 1882. (fn. 129) Average attendance was c. 90 in the later 1880s but was over 130 by 1900. (fn. 130) Stowe became a junior mixed and infants' school in 1921. (fn. 131)
The Second World War halted plans to close the school, but the school building remained dilapidated and overcrowded. (fn. 132) In 1950 the school took controlled status. (fn. 133) It was still overcrowded in 1953, when there were 161 on the roll. (fn. 134) An extension was added in the late 1950s. (fn. 135) The school moved into new buildings in St. Michael Road in 1974, and the Stowe Street buildings were taken over by the Lichfield Educational Assessment Centre. In 1989 they housed Stowe Special Unit. (fn. 136)
St. Joseph's R.C. (Aided) primary school, Cherry Orchard.
Concerts of sacred music at the Roman Catholic chapel were advertised in 1827 to help raise money for schooling poor children of the congregation. In 1841 there was no day or Sunday school at the church but the priest, John Kirk, paid for the education of a few children in Lichfield and Tamworth. A school was built at Holy Cross church, Chapel Lane, in 1844. It was a girls' school, with a mistress, in 1850. In 1850–1 an average of 20 Sunday school pupils attended Sunday morning services at Holy Cross. (fn. 137) The school seems subsequently to have lapsed. (fn. 138) There was a day school at the church by 1872. (fn. 139) In 1875 a certificated mistress was appointed and the school, St. Joseph's, came under government inspection. Later that year an evening school was added; its subsequent history is unknown. An assistant mistress was appointed in 1883. In the earlier 1890s the school had an average attendance of 70 or 80. Non-Catholics were attending the school by the late 1880s, and of 95 children in May 1899 only 39 were Catholics. (fn. 140) Hugh McCarten, priest at Lichfield 1882–1911, extended the school premises, largely at his own expense. (fn. 141)
In the 1920s and 1930s the school had an average attendance of 100–110. (fn. 142) It had two rooms: a schoolroom of 1899 adjoining the church, and a room for infants in the church. (fn. 143) It became a primary school in 1948. In 1955 the infants were moved to a room in the new parish hall. They remained there until 1958, when the first stage of a new school in Cherry Orchard was opened. From then until 1972 the school was on two separate sites. There were 165 on the roll in 1966 and 192 in 1969. The Cherry Orchard buildings were extended in 1966 and 1972; later in 1972 the Holy Cross premises were closed and some of the pupils of St. Joseph's were moved to SS. Peter and Paul primary school, Dimbles Hill. (fn. 144)
Christ Church C.E. (Controlled) primary school, Christchurch Lane.
By 1850 Richard Hinckley and his wife, the founders of Christ Church, were supporting a Sunday school in a schoolroom which they had built on the south side of Christchurch Lane. Traditionally the school dates from 1847, the year of the church's consecration. (fn. 145) In 1861 Richard gave the schoolroom, and his wife £1,100 stock, to endow an Anglican day school, independent of government. Pupils aged 3–14 were to be taught the elements, the girls knitting and plain sewing. They were to attend Christ Church twice every Sunday. Fees of 1d. or 2d. a week were to be charged according to age. (fn. 146) A teacher's house was bought in 1875 with help from the National Society, to which the school became affiliated. (fn. 147) From 1877, contrary to its founders' intentions, it received a government grant. (fn. 148) Classrooms were added in 1885 and 1891, but the building was condemned in 1908. (fn. 149) Nevertheless it remained in use until 1910, when a mixed and infants' school for 252 children was opened on the north side of Christchurch Lane with the help of the Hinckley Trust and the Conduit Lands trustees. (fn. 150) The old buildings were converted into private houses. (fn. 151) Christ Church became a junior mixed and infants' school in 1913 (fn. 152) and took controlled status in 1950. (fn. 153) New classrooms were added in the late 1950s and an assembly hall in 1967. (fn. 154)
St. Michael's C.E. (Controlled) primary school, Sturgeons Hill.
In 1858 an infants' school was opened in a converted barn opposite the gates of St. Michael's churchyard. Within a year there were 80 pupils. A night school also taught young men and boys the elements twice a week in winter; in 1859–60 it had 40 pupils. (fn. 155) A new infants' and Sunday school was opened nearby in Church Lane (later Church Street) in 1860; money was raised by subscription, and there were grants from government and the National Society. The building, Elizabethan in style, comprised a large schoolroom and a classroom. There was a bell tower with a small room for the parochial library. (fn. 156) A house was bought for the mistress in 1862. In 1869, with grants from government and the National Society, a boys' school was built on a site adjoining the building of 1860, which became a girls' and infants' school. (fn. 157)
By the later 1880s the schools were overcrowded. (fn. 158) Thomas Rowley (d. 1863), a Lichfield physician, left £500, received in 1887, for new buildings, (fn. 159) which were in fact paid for in 1889 by A. P. Allsopp, M.P. for Taunton, a former parishioner. (fn. 160)
The boys' and girls' schools were merged in 1891–2 to form a mixed school with senior and junior departments. (fn. 161) Average attendance c. 1899 was 160 mixed and 107 infants. (fn. 162) In 1921 St. Michael's became a junior mixed and infants' school and in 1930 it had 291 on its books. (fn. 163) It took controlled status in 1950. (fn. 164) New buildings in Sturgeons Hill were opened in 1966, but some of the children were still using the Church Street buildings in 1974. (fn. 165)
In 1858 or 1859 T. A. Bangham, the incumbent of Christ Church, rented two or three adjoining cottages in Lower Sandford Street, and by 1861 had converted one of them into a schoolhouse, where he kept a night school for 30 children. He and his successor, W. H. H. Fairclough, ran a mixed ragged school there, taught by a mistress, until 1878 or 1879. (fn. 166)
St. Mary's school, Pool Walk.
The girls and infants of St. Mary's schools in Sandford Street moved into the schoolroom of the former diocesan training school in Pool Walk in 1863. By 1869 attendance sometimes exceeded 200, and in that year a classroom was added. In 1876, as numbers continued to rise, the infants were moved to a new school in Wade Street. (fn. 167) In 1897 there was room for all the girls on the school's books, but in 1904–5 and 1906–7 attendance was over 170 and the building was once more overcrowded. (fn. 168) In 1913 Pool Walk became a higher standard girls' school. The girls were moved to the Central school in 1921, and Pool Walk became an infants' school. (fn. 169) It took controlled status in 1951 and was closed in 1981. The building was used by Lichfield cathedral school from 1981 to 1989. (fn. 170)
Beacon Street school, later Springfield infants' school.
In 1871 St. Chad's parish decided to raise a voluntary rate for a parish school, and in 1875 Lord Lichfield gave a site in Beacon Street; Charlotte Stripling, a parishioner, paid for a schoolroom, and the school was opened in 1876. In 1881 a classroom was added. Part of the site was let, providing a small income. (fn. 171) By 1901 the school was for girls and infants and had 93 on its books. (fn. 172) In 1913 it became an infants' school. (fn. 173) It took controlled status in 1950. (fn. 174) The name was changed in 1958, and the school was closed in 1982. (fn. 175) A private nursery school took over the building in 1988. (fn. 176)
St. Mary's infants' school, Wade Street.
In 1876 the infants at the Pool Walk school were transferred to a new schoolroom in Wade Street. Average attendance was over 150 in the later 1880s but had declined by almost a third by 1900. The school was closed in 1913, and the children were moved to the new Central school in Frog Lane. The Wade Street building remained in use as a parish room. (fn. 177)
Friary school, Eastern Avenue, formerly Lichfield high school for girls, the Friary school, and Friary Grange school. (fn. 178)
In 1892 a committee led by Sophia Lonsdale opened Lichfield high school for girls in rented premises in Market Street, with two mistresses, a pupil-teacher, and 15 pupils. The school, a fee-paying Anglican establishment, took day girls and boarders aged eight (fn. 179) and above, and there was a kindergarten for boys and girls up to eight. By 1896 there were 60 pupils and eight teachers, (fn. 180) and that year the school moved to Yeomanry House in St. John Street.
By 1907 there were 89 pupils, but in that year the headmistress left to start a school at Derby, taking with her several teachers and nearly all the boarders, leaving only 66 pupils; in 1911 there were only 47, all day girls. From 1912 the school received an annual grant from the county council. In 1916 St. John's school, another girls' private school in Lichfield, merged with it to become a maintained secondary school with 99 pupils. By 1919 there were 169 pupils and 10 full-time mistresses. In 1918 a staff hostel was opened in Beacon Street, and in 1919 an adjacent house, Beaconhurst, was acquired as an extra boarding house.
In 1920 the Friary estate was given to the city. The city council let the Friary building to the county council for use by the high school, which moved into it in 1921. Beaconhurst became the staff hostel, and the boarders moved to a rented house, Nether Beacon. In 1925 the county council bought the Friary and some of its land. The school was renamed the Friary school in 1926 and stopped taking boarders. A large new building, including an assembly hall, a refectory, laboratories, and an art room, was added in 1928. (fn. 181) During the 1930s numbers increased both in the main school and in the preparatory department, which took boys and girls up to 10.
Under the 1944 Act the school became a secondary grammar school for girls. The preparatory department was closed in 1948, making the Friary a single-sex school. By 1954 there were 415 pupils. A boarding house for c. 30 girls was opened in Westgate House, Beacon Street, in 1953.
In 1971 the school became a mixed comprehensive. The first stage of a large school in Eastern Avenue, named Friary Grange, was opened in 1973 and the older pupils were moved to it. The buildings included a sports centre serving both the school and the city. Westgate House was closed in 1981, and the school once more ceased to take boarders. It remained split between two sites until 1987, when the Friary site was closed and the Eastern Avenue school was renamed the Friary. (fn. 182) The western end of the buildings on the original Friary site became Lichfield College in 1987. (fn. 183) The eastern end was being converted into a public library and record office in 1989.
Central school, later Lichfield Church of England secondary school, Frog Lane.
A school for 270 boys and 140 infants was opened in 1913 in Frog Lane, replacing the existing Frog Lane boys' school and the Wade Street infants' school. It consisted of a marching hall for infants and eight classrooms. The boys' department was for senior boys only. The infants' department was closed in 1921, and the Central school became a mixed senior school. In 1925–6 average attendance was 330. From 1928 age, not standard, governed admission, children being admitted at 11. From 1931 the school took the older children from the village schools at Elmhurst and Weeford. The building was, however, unsatisfactory as a senior school: it was overcrowded and lacked an assembly hall and rooms for practical or scientific work. The school had no playing field. (fn. 184) Under the 1944 Act it became a secondary modern school. Despite extensions in 1948 and 1950 it remained overcrowded; in the mid 1950s some classes were being held in buildings elsewhere in the city. In 1964 the 350 pupils were transferred to the new Nether Stowe school and the Frog Lane building was closed. (fn. 185)
Willows county primary school, Anglesey Road, formerly Curborough Road county primary school, (fn. 186) was opened in former R.A.F. buildings off Curborough Road in 1948. (fn. 187) It was a junior and infants' school until 1957, and thereafter an infants' school. It was named Willows in 1957 or 1958. The children were transferred to Chadsmead infants' school in 1961. A new junior and infants' school was then established in the Willows premises. New buildings were opened in 1970 replacing the earlier accommodation. They were extended in 1974 and a nursery unit was added in 1976.
Kings Hill school, Kings Hill Road, was opened in 1958 as a mixed secondary modern school. It stood near King Edward VI grammar school and shared the same playing fields. (fn. 188) The schools were merged in 1971, the Kings Hill building becoming the Bader Hall of the new King Edward VI comprehensive school. (fn. 189)
Nether Stowe county high school, St. Chad's Road, a mixed comprehensive secondary school, was opened in 1964 and substantially extended in 1969. (fn. 190)
Scotch Orchard county primary school, Stowe Hill, was opened in 1964 (fn. 191) and extended in 1974.
Charnwood county primary school, Purcell Avenue, was opened in 1970 as junior and infants' schools sharing a single site. (fn. 192) They were merged in 1981.
SS. Peter and Paul R.C. (Aided) primary school, Dimbles Hill, was opened in 1972. (fn. 193)
FURTHER AND ADULT EDUCATION.
Itinerant lecturers offering courses of subscription lectures on astronomy, chemistry and popular science visited Lichfield in the later 18th and earlier 19th century. (fn. 194) Lectures on agricultural chemistry and on the telegraph drew large audiences at the Corn Exchange in the 1850s. (fn. 195) The Revd. J. G. Cumming, headmaster of the grammar school 1855–8, gave courses of free public lectures on science. (fn. 196)
A mechanics' institute recorded in 1837 may have been the mutual improvement society which in 1850 was said to have failed because it became 'a political organ'. (fn. 197) A Lichfield Reading and Mutual Instruction Society was established in 1850 to provide young men with 'economical' means of self-improvement. For 10s. a year it offered them a reading room, a circulating library, lectures, and evening classes. In 1851 it had c. 140 members and over 700 books. It was dissolved in 1859, and its books were given to the newly opened free library in Bird Street. (fn. 198)
A similar body, the Lichfield Working Men's Association, had been formed in 1854. During its first 15 months 375 men joined it. By 1856 it had rooms in Tamworth Street and was holding classes in singing, reading and writing, and English history. There were lectures, some open to the public, and a library of c. 350 books. (fn. 199) The committee of management, made up of clergy and gentry, organized public readings, concerts, exhibitions, and fetes. (fn. 200) An early attempt to form a drawing class under a master from Birmingham School of Art was apparently unsuccessful, (fn. 201) but subsequently classes were held, and in 1868 several members passed Society of Arts examinations. (fn. 202) By then, however, the association's lectures were usually poorly attended, (fn. 203) and in 1888 there were only c. 30 members, the association depending financially on subscriptions from middle-class supporters. It was amalgamated that year with St. Mary's Men's Society, in existence by 1878. (fn. 204) Its failure may have been because some people believed it to be politically biased. (fn. 205) The St. Mary's society, renamed the Scott Institute in 1898 in memory of Archdeacon M. H. Scott, vicar of St. Mary's 1878–94, (fn. 206) kept the Tamworth Street premises until 1920. It was then replaced by the City Institute, which was non-parochial and non-denominational, with rooms in the former Corn Exchange. The institute was dissolved in the early 1970s. (fn. 207)
In 1873 there was a mutual improvement society attached to the Congregational chapel in Wade Street. It was dissolved in 1877. A similar body was formed at the chapel in 1884, but no more is known of it. (fn. 208) A Wesleyan Mutual Improvement Guild was established in 1892; (fn. 209) no more is known of it.
Society of Arts examinations were held at Lichfield in 1868, and in 1874 there were newly formed art classes in the city, run in connexion with the Science and Art Department. (fn. 210) Science classes were added in 1875. (fn. 211) Classes were held at St. Michael's school and the subscription library in Market Street. (fn. 212) An Art School building 'in the half-timbered style' was erected by public subscription in 1882 to the design of H. E. Lavender of Walsall. It stood on the corner of Dam Street and Pool Walk, with the school of art occupying rooms on the ground floor. A large room on the first floor was let to the subscription library. In 1883 the first art classes were held in the building. (fn. 213)
By early 1891 the city council had adopted the Technical Instruction Act, and from 1892 university extension lectures were given at the Art School. (fn. 214) In 1896 the city council bought the building from the school's trustees with money provided by the Conduit Lands Trust, which also provided an annual subsidy for the school. (fn. 215) In 1898–9 what had become Lichfield Science, Art, and Technical School enrolled 132 students for evening classes. (fn. 216) The building was still generally known as the School of Art, (fn. 217) but by 1913 there were only seven art students and two art classes a week. Most of the evening classes dealt with general subjects such as elementary science and many of the pupils were schoolchildren. (fn. 218) In 1916 the building was requisitioned by the army, and until 1919 classes were held in the public library and museum and in the Central school, Frog Lane. In 1938 there were almost 300 students, including 75–90 attending art classes. (fn. 219) The institution became Lichfield Art, Commercial, and Technical School in 1940 and Lichfield Evening Institute and School of Art, with two separate principals, in 1946. (fn. 220) The building was abandoned in 1950 because of subsidence and was demolished in 1954. The school moved temporarily to Frog Lane and in 1952 to new premises in Cherry Orchard. (fn. 221) It became Lichfield School of Art and Evening Institute, under a single principal, in 1963, Lichfield School of Art and Adult Education in 1982, and Lichfield College in 1985. In 1987 it moved into the western end of the former Friary school. (fn. 222)
PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND SPECIALIST TEACHERS.
Middle-class day and boarding schools began to appear in the city in the mid 18th century. There were generally about 7–10 open at any one time between c. 1820 and the early 1870s, declining by 1900 to 2, the average during most of the 20th century. (fn. 223) In the 19th century their pupils were generally the sons and daughters of shopkeepers, tradesmen, and farmers. (fn. 224)
Some, such as the earliest known girls' boarding school, advertised by Abra Maria Harris in 1755 as about to be established in Bore Street, (fn. 225) were ephemeral or stillborn. Most did not outlive their founder's death, retirement, departure from Lichfield, or bankruptcy. Among the longer lived was a girls' school established in the Close by Mrs. Sarah Eborall in 1830 and transferred to a house in Lombard Street by her daughter Eliza Eborall in 1849. (fn. 226) Marian Evans (the novelist George Eliot) visited two of her cousins boarding at the school in 1840 and two of her nieces in 1859. (fn. 227) In or shortly before 1863 the school was taken over by the Misses Crockett, who continued it until the 1890s. (fn. 228)
The longest lived private school seems to have been one established as a boys' school in Lombard Street by Thomas Newbolt before 1841. (fn. 229) Newbolt moved to Wade Street c. 1845, (fn. 230) and by 1855 his classical, commercial, and mathematical academy had passed to Weldon Underwood, who was running it in 1862. (fn. 231) He was succeeded soon afterwards by W. S. Metcalfe, who kept the school in 1872. (fn. 232) By 1875 the master of what had become known as Meredith House school was E. H. Reynolds, minister of the Wade Street Congregational chapel. (fn. 233) In 1877 he was succeeded by Sylvanus Biggs, who had been master of Minors's school. (fn. 234) Biggs ran a preparatory school at Meredith House until c. 1893, when it was taken over by Rose Barry. (fn. 235) She kept the school until her death in 1946, running it as a girls' day and boarding school, with a kindergarten and a preparatory department for boys. (fn. 236) The school remained at Meredith House as a girls', boys', and preparatory school until c. 1955. It then moved to no. 28 St. John Street where, as St. John's preparatory school, it remained in the late 1980s. (fn. 237)
The earliest known writing master in the city seems to have been Gregory King, who taught writing, palaeography, and arithmetic there in 1669, besides working as a herald painter. (fn. 238) John Matlock, a scrivener living in Sandford Street in 1695, was running 'a great writing-school' there in 1714 and also worked as a surveyor and cartographer. He died in 1720, and the school was continued by his brother Robert and Robert's son Richard, and later by Robert's son Matthew, described in 1749 as a writing master. John or Robert added a schoolroom to the family's house in Sandford Street, where Matthew was still living in 1761. In 1748 the house was said to be very much out of repair, and the school may already have been in decline. No more is known of it. (fn. 239) Richard Kidger, who opened an academy in 1827 and was still running it in 1844, seems to have considered himself to be primarily a writing master. (fn. 240) An unnamed teacher of penmanship apparently had great success when he visited Lichfield in 1836. (fn. 241)
Of drawing masters (fn. 242) the only one of distinction was the landscape painter and watercolour1st John Glover (1767–1849), who taught at Lichfield with success from 1794 to 1805, his pupils including Henry Salt, the artist and traveller. (fn. 243)
Teaching French was the speciality of a girls' boarding school opened in the Close in 1766 by Mr. and Mrs. Latuffière, who had kept a French academy at Reading (Berks.). They had moved to Derby by 1775. Their school was evidently highly regarded. (fn. 244) A French officer living on parole in Lichfield taught some of the Darwin and Wedgwood children French in Erasmus Darwin's house in 1779. (fn. 245) M. Wahast was teaching French and Italian in 1824, (fn. 246) and M. and Mme Suingle, natives of Tours, advertised French lessons in 1825. (fn. 247) In the later 1840s a Mr. Prochownick taught French and German in Lichfield one day a week. (fn. 248)
The earliest dancing teachers are known merely because they taught boys who became famous. Elias Ashmole probably took dancing lessons from a Rowland Osborne, and Johnson had a few lessons. (fn. 249) A Mr. Lariviere offered classes in the guildhall in 1780. (fn. 250) Some time before 1810 one Webster taught dancing and posture in the room in which Johnson was born. (fn. 251) A Mr. Bemetzrieder advertised classes twice a week at the Swan in 1825. (fn. 252) In 1856 the Parisienne Mme Apolline Zuingle, professor of dancing and perhaps a relative of the Suingles, settled at Brooke House in Dam Street, and for at least 15 years taught dancing, callisthenics, and drill. (fn. 253) Less exotic figures included the Mr. Bennett whose young pupils held a ball at the Talbot in 1823; he was probably the W. B. Bennett who in 1851 worked as a dancing master, piano tuner, newsagent, and county court bailiff. (fn. 254)
By the early 16th century some of the lay vicars of the cathedral were supplementing their stipends by giving music lessons, and in the earlier 17th century the organist taught key-board music. (fn. 255) In the 18th and 19th centuries the vicars were well paid and apparently had no financial need to teach, (fn. 256) but a few did: Samuel Spofforth gave organ lessons from the 1820s to the 1850s; (fn. 257) Mark Allen taught from the late 1840s to the late 1860s and in 1851 was in business with the organist at St. Mary's, selling sheet music and pianos; (fn. 258) Samuel Pearsall gave singing lessons from the 1850s to the 1870s. (fn. 259) Directories record five music teachers in the city in 1835, six in 1860, and four in 1876, but from the 1880s only one or two at any one time. (fn. 260) They included John Gladman, who gained his musical expertise with yeomanry and militia bands and taught in Lichfield from the mid 1870s until shortly before his death in 1933. (fn. 261)
OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.
Workhouse school, later Lichfield Children's Homes (Wissage) and the Poplars.
From 1837 until 1877 the guardians employed a mistress to teach the children living in the union workhouse. (fn. 262) Thereafter workhouse children were generally sent to St. Michael's school. (fn. 263) By 1896 the workhouse was overcrowded and government policy was increasingly in favour of removing children from workhouses. (fn. 264) The guardians already boarded out orphans and deserted children, (fn. 265) and in 1897 they sent Roman Catholic children to orphanages at Birmingham and Coleshill (Warws.) and all others to the district schools at Wigmore, West Bromwich. (fn. 266) In 1904 there were 31 Lichfield union children at Wigmore, but the schools were overcrowded, and in 1905 the union was asked to remove its children. The boys were placed in a rented house in Tamworth Street and attended a local school; the girls were sent to a Dr. Barnardo's Home at Ilford (Essex). (fn. 267) In 1909 the union opened children's homes at Wissage, with the children attending local schools. (fn. 268) When the homes were transferred to the county council in 1930 they could take 31 boys and 34 girls. (fn. 269) In 1989 the establishment, renamed the Poplars and under the county council's social services department, was used partly as a 10–bed family centre, housing children in care, partly for 16 mentally handicapped children and young adults. (fn. 270)
Diocesan Training School for Masters and Commercial School.
In 1839 the diocesan board of education established training and commercial schools for boys in a rented house on the corner of Bird Street and Pool Walk. In 1840 it bought the adjoining house in Bird Street and built a single-storeyed schoolhouse in an Elizabethan style behind the second house to the design of Thomas Johnson of Lichfield. The new institution was intended for the sons of farmers and tradesmen. The commercial school, mainly for day boys, was to include in its curriculum subjects such as book keeping and technical drawing. The staff were also to train teachers for National and commercial schools; the trainees would be boarders and be given teaching practice at a local school. Finance was by fees, subscriptions, and grants from the three archidiaconal boards of education in the diocese. (fn. 271)
The commercial school had over 60 pupils in 1840. In 1842 there were 42, of whom six were boarders. (fn. 272) A boy who left in 1847 later recalled that his parents had sent him there for 'the best education the local towns could afford'. (fn. 273) It seems, however, to have been wound up in the late 1840s, possibly to provide more room for the teacher training school. (fn. 274)
The training school had originally found it difficult to attract pupils. Only 14 enrolled during its first three years: trainees being boarders had to pay £26 or £30 a year compared with the 5 guineas paid by the day boys of the commercial school. The boarding fees were reduced and scholarships offered. In 1844 there were 16 trainees, more than could be easily housed. (fn. 275) In the late 1840s there were at times over 20 trainees, but because there was insufficient money to bring the premises up to the government's standard for a teachers' training college neither the school nor its pupils were eligible for government grants. By 1853 applications for places were becoming fewer. (fn. 276)
In 1853 the diocese of Worcester offered the Lichfield diocesan board a share in its diocesan training school at Saltley, in Aston (Warws., later Birmingham), which had government recognition. The proposal aroused strong feelings of diocesan patriotism and was rejected. (fn. 277) A new system of scholarships was introduced, and in 1858 there were 20 trainees. As early as 1844 almost all had been destined for National schools, and in 1858 Bishop Lonsdale declared that the training school's chief function was to produce village schoolmasters. (fn. 278) By then, however, village schoolmasters were beginning to need certificates, and subscribers were increasingly reluctant to support the Lichfield school. In 1863 it was closed, the schoolhouse of 1840 was handed over to St. Mary's girls' and infants' school, and the diocese took a share in Saltley. (fn. 279)
Lichfield Theological College, the Close.
The early history of the college, opened in 1857, is treated in another volume. It was closed in 1972. (fn. 280)
Industrial school for girls, Wissage, later Wissage remand home and Chadswell assessment centre.
In 1887 Sir Smith Child, Bt., of Stallington Hall in Stone, gave the county £1,000 to establish an industrial school for girls. The magistrates bought land at Wissage and began to build a school, which was completed by Staffordshire county council and opened in 1889. In the early 1920s the number of girls declined and the school was closed in 1925. (fn. 281) The building remained empty until 1935, when it was refurbished and opened by the Staffordshire Association for Mental Welfare as a day centre for up to 60 children. (fn. 282) From 1941 to 1949 the building was used as an isolation hospital. (fn. 283) In 1950 the county council took it over as a remand home for boys, and later the council's social services department managed it as Chadswell assessment centre. It was closed in 1982, the building was demolished, and the site built over. (fn. 284)
Midland Truant school, later Beacon school.
In 1893 the boroughs of Burton upon Trent, Walsall, and West Bromwich built an industrial school for boys on 8 a. at the north end of Beacon Street. The Renaissance-style buildings, in brick with Bath stone dressings, were designed by R. Stevenson of Burton. Since 1926 Walsall has had sole responsibility for the school, as a residential school for children with special educational needs. In 1989 there were only 20–30 children, from Walsall and Sandwell, and closure in 1989 or 1990 was proposed. (fn. 285)
In 1951 the former Frog Lane school was converted into an occupational centre for backward and handicapped children. It was still so used in the early 1960s. (fn. 286) Lichfield Educational Assessment Centre, Purcell Avenue, was opened in 1972 for children with learning, emotional, speech, or communication problems, and from 1974 it also used the buildings of the former Stowe Street school. (fn. 287) Rocklands school, Wissage Road, was opened in the later 1960s as a junior training centre for severely handicapped children and in 1972 became a day school for children with severe learning difficulties. (fn. 288) Saxon Hill school, Kings Hill Road, a day and residential school for physically handicapped children, was opened in 1979. (fn. 289) Queen's Croft school, Birmingham Road, for children with mild or moderate learning difficulties, was opened in 1980. (fn. 290)
CHARITIES FOR EDUCATION.
By will dated 1652 Humphrey Terrick devised to the corporation a house in Tamworth Street, the rent to be used for teaching poor children to spell and read. In 1656 his father conveyed the house to the corporation. (fn. 291) By the early 1670s the rent was £3, which the corporation paid each year to a master or mistress, evidently of a dame school. From 1709–10 the number of children to benefit was eight. (fn. 292) The charity lapsed in 1742; the tenant paid no rent and allowed the house to fall into ruin. In 1764 the corporation let the site at £3 a year to a tenant who agreed to build a new house, and in 1767 the charity was revived, the corporation paying £3 a year for teaching eight boys to read and write. In 1769 it recovered the rent arrears 1742–64, invested the money, and in 1780 used it to buy £100 stock. In 1795 the charity again lapsed. (fn. 293) Part of the rent that accumulated was used to buy further stock. From 1809 the corporation paid the charity's income, generally £9 a year, to the boys' school in Frog Lane, to which, in return, it nominated five or more boys. In the early 1850s the money was divided between the boys' and girls' schools in Frog Lane, and in the mid 1860s £5 a year was given to the Pool Walk girls' school. From 1863, when the lease of the Tamworth Street house fell in and the rent was raised, grants were also made to the grammar school for scholarships. Under Schemes of 1876 the endowment was handed over to the grammar school and two Terrick's scholarships of £8 a year were established for boys from elementary schools in the city. (fn. 294)
The Conduit Lands trustees made both regular and ad hoc grants to the grammar school from the 17th century, and later the trust extended its support to other schools and to further education. The Conduit Lands Educational Foundation, under Schemes of 1871 and 1901, promoted secondary and higher education. Under a Scheme of 1982 one of the Conduit Lands Trust's main objects is the advancement of the education of people under the age of 25 living, or with parents living, within the 1974 city boundaries. (fn. 295)
In 1877, after some agitation to direct more of the revenue of city charities to educational purposes, two scholarships of £30 a year were established at the grammar school from Lowe's and Wakefield's charities. They were for boys from elementary schools in the city. (fn. 296) By the 1880s the trustees of the Municipal Charities were distributing £100 a year from Mousley's charity among the city's elementary schools. The grant, later £120, was discontinued after the 1902 Education Act. (fn. 297)