School Log Books

School log books can prove interesting sources of local information. I have included only a selection of entries from some of the Wensleydale ones. They can provide details of students including age, d.o.b., guardianship, attainment; movements of families; details of local events, school incidents (often amusing), epidemics etc and of local customs. Redmire log book for instance, notes examples of students exempted from schoolwork in order to work for local employers, and notes of former students killed during WWI. Carperby log shows how parents illustrated their disapproval of a teacher. West Witton log reveals that some of the school students came from the villages of Redmire and Preston on the opposite side of the valley (in spite of the existence of closer schools at Redmire & Wensley). I assume they must have walked via the 'Monkey Bridge' across the river below Redmire and then up via Wanlass to West Witton ................... and the teacher was only prepared to tolerate late arrivals in winter so long as this was not after 9.15am !


click for large imageHawes school 1880. Ident welcome.

Ad for a school at Hawes in 1791.

6th Feb 1874 (letter to Lord Wharncliffe)
My Lord
As secretary of the committee of hawes National School which you have now so many years supported with a liberal subscription, I beg to enquire whether you will kindly instruct you new agent Mr Broderick to purform the part which Mr Allen has previously taken by your direction in this matter. By the new arrangement of course, our expences are considerably increased and there is a prospect when all that government requires is carried out, that they will be increased still further though we can hardly doubt that this increase of expense will be attended with an increase of school efficiency and a corresponing benefit to the poor for whom the school is designed.

I remain my lord your Lordships faithful servant . O. F. Routh. Hon Sec.

31 Oct 1879 Northern Echo
Yesterday Mr GOOD one of Her Majesty’s inspectors for the Charity Commissioners, held an inquiry in the Grammar School Hawes. There was a large attendance – The Inspector stated that the object of the present inquiry was to ascertain what endowments existed and what improvements might be made in the management of the same. He only had been able  to find other two charities to inquire into, namely, Hawes Grammar School and Poor’s Close at High Abbotside. The parish of Aysgarth was of great extent being over twenty miles in length. The Hawes Grammar School was endowed, by deed dated November 27th 1764, by a sum of money subscribed by the inhabitants of Hawes. That sum was originally invested in the tolls of the Sedbusk turnpike roads. The whole income came to £10 per annum and was given to the master of the school to instruct five poor boys free. Mr LODGE of Askrigg, about thirty years ago, made a free gift to the school of 5s per year, as a fee farm rent, which sum had regularly been paid. The whole of the income at the present date was, from all sources, £18 A YEAR. The Inspector recommend that the real estate and the fund invested in stocks should be placed in the hands of the official trustees. He suggested that the trustees should sell the present Grammar School and buy land and erect a large school, with proper outbuildings. It was suggested that the present National School should be bought for this purpose, and after a long discussion about the appointment of the trustees to manage the Grammar School if it should obtain the premises of the National School it was finally settled that there should be the nine trustees of the Grammar School and the four trustees of the National to be ex officio trustees of the Grammar School.

(letter to Lord Wharncliffe)

Sedbusk May 14th 1875.
My Lord,
                We are going to build a place of worship and school, at Sedbusk, nr Hawes, Wensleydale, in which to preach the word of life to the people, and teach on the Lords day the rising youth the way to heaven.
                It is to cost nearly £200, towards which we have raised by trustees and a few other friends £60.
                The majority of the people in this place are poor and knowing that you ‘my Lord’ are a Land Proprietor to some considerable extent in this Dale, we are induced to make the apeal to you for help.
                I am also requested to ask your Lordship, to grant us permission to hold a tea festival ‘on the occation of the foundation stone laying’ in Hardraw Scarr. The very name of this far famed place will secure as a large gathering, and we trust a financial succes.
                I am my Lord your obedient servant, and in behalf of the trustees, and inhabitants of Sedbusk.

J Calvert

Thornton Rust once had a school to instruct as free scholars, all the children of Thornton Rust whose parents were not worth £500, and also 20 poor children of Aysgarth and Worton, founded by Mr. John Tomlinson. (Leeds Mercury. Sep 20 1878)

The population of Hurst according to the last Census taken March 30, 1851, is 339.
This has nothing to do with Marrick.
It only extends south to the Road which leads from Marrick Mill to Reeth and North to Mooredale-gill.
Children who ought to come or go to School, above four years of age and under 12, which is about the time they are taken from School to the Mines, in the said neighbourhood, are 68, but out of this number only 35 are at school upon an average.
There being no School-room in the neighbourhood; it is therefore taught in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel which is kindly lent by that body of people for that purpose.
The teacher is R Blenkiron from Reeth.

His stipend is only small: £5 per annum is given to him by F Morley, Esqr., and other £5 by T Hutton, Esqr, but a certain number of Children is allowed to be taught free, the rest pay so much per quarter.