Victoria County History



C R Elrington, N M Herbert, R B Pugh (Editors), Kathleen Morgan, Brian S Smith

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'Westbury-on-Severn: Education', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 10: Westbury and Whitstone Hundreds (1972), pp. 101-102. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=15771 Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


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Schoolmasters were recorded in the parish in 1576 and 1608, (fn. 88) but no other evidence as to the schools they taught has been found. In 1655 John Young of Ley gave half of a rent-charge of £7 for the education of poor children of under 14 years; the other half was assigned to a lecturer to preach in Westbury church on weekdays, (fn. 89) but in 1735 and later the whole was used for the charity school. (fn. 90) A parish school-house was mentioned in 1667, (fn. 91) but in 1683 the proceeds of John Young's charity were retained by a descendant in the absence of a suitable master; (fn. 92) in that year, however, a schoolmaster was licensed to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic in the parish, (fn. 93) and in 1697 c. 65 children were being maintained at a school at the cost of Maynard Colchester of Westbury Court. (fn. 94) The school was being held in the chapel adjoining the church tower c. 1710 and apparently continued to be held there until 1849. (fn. 95) Joseph Houldstead bequeathed £20 in 1722 to keep two boys at school, (fn. 96) and in 1752 the minister and parish officers emphasized that, contrary to practice in recent years, only boys whose parents were unable to pay for their education ought to be supported at the school by the Young and Houldstead charities; they also decided that no boy should be paid for by the charities for more than two years. Schoolmasters were appointed by the parish in 1777 and 1790. (fn. 97) In 1818 only 9 children were being taught with the proceeds of the two charities; there was also a Sunday school teaching 59 children, and the parish had a number of dame schools. (fn. 98) In 1833, however, 89 children were being taught by the charity school which was then supported partly by subscriptions; 86 other children were being educated at private schools. (fn. 99) The income of the charity school was supplemented by the interest from £100 left c. 1835 by Ann Boughton and a similar sum left by Benjamin Mayo of Bays Court (d. 1844). (fn. 1) In 1849, by which time the school was affiliated to the National Society, a new schoolroom was built in Westbury village. In 1866 the school's average attendance was 78, with an income mainly from voluntary contributions and pence. (fn. 2) It was enlarged in 1872, (fn. 3) and in 1904 the average attendance was 135; (fn. 4) attendance fell gradually to c. 70 in 1936, (fn. 5) and was 76 in 1969. (fn. 6) In 1847 a school at Northwood Green was connected with the National school, (fn. 7) which by 1858 had another branch at Chaxhill; the Northwood school was closed in 1863, (fn. 8) and that at Chaxhill was presumably superseded by the establishment of the Wesleyan school in 1868.

The trust deed of the National school provided that its pupils should attend church regularly but the rule was waived in favour of dissenters by the vicar, C. J. Jones, c. 1860. (fn. 9) In 1868 Walmore Hill Wesleyan School was built at Chaxhill. In its first year it had an average attendance of 90 (fn. 10) which had risen to 106 by 1904; (fn. 11) attendance at the school, which became Walmore Hill Council School, fell gradually to c. 60 in 1936, (fn. 12) but was c. 100 in 1969. (fn. 13)


88 Hockaday Abs. xlvii, state of clergy 1576, f. 131; Smith, Men and Armour, 75.
89 Wilkinson, Westbury Char. 2.
90 G.D.R. vols. 285B (1), f. 7; 381A, f. 9; Educ. of Poor Digest, 315
91 Glos. R.O., P 354/CW 2/1.
92 G.D.R. Westbury terriers, charitable gifts.
93 Hockaday Abs. cccxc.
94 Glos. R.O., D 36/R 5; Maynard Colchester was said to have set up and maintained several schools at his own charge: Bigland, Glos. iii, no. 288.
95 Atkyns, Glos. 800; Glos. R.O., P 354/CW 3/3.
96 Wilkinson, Westbury Char. 8.
97 Glos. R.O., P 354/CW 2/2.
98 Educ. of Poor Digest, 315.
99 Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 330.
1 Wilkinson, Westbury Char. 15-16.
2 Ed. 7/35/344.
3 Kelly's Dir. Glos. (1885), 613.
4 Public Elem. Schs. 1906, 190.
5 Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1911 (H.M.S.O.), 168; 1922, 108; 1932, 119; 1936, 125.
6 Ex inf. the head master.
7 Church School Inquiry, 1846-7, 18-19.
8 Glos. Colln. R 328.6.
9 Ibid.
10 Ed. 7/35/345.
11 Public Elem. Schs. 1906, 190.
12 Bd. of Educ. List 21, 1911 (H.M.S.O.), 168; 1922, 108; 1932, 119; 1936, 125.
13 Ex inf. the head master.