The photo above is of of D
Mitchell's blacksmiths and think it must be at the start of the
engineering firm Dan Mitchell & Sons Ltd on Parson Street
which survived certainly into the 1960's, in a copy of the
Keighlians magazine for 1964, the centre spread showing images
form the Boys Grammar School this one is entitled "A beginning".
Report and Date.—17th Rep., p. 772, MS.
402, date 1827.
J. Tonson, 1716, for endowment of usher to teach
such children as should come to be taught in
Patrons.—Trustees, parson of Keighley and
upper schoolmaster have right of appointing and removing
State, &c.—School-room adjoining
the upper school appropriated for
instructing younger children
of inhabitants until fit to be placed under
the upper master. Office of usher vacant, and
children taught by an assistant until expenses of certain
repairs are paid.
we have come across in the Parish register:
William Harrison 1592.
Nicholas Jackson 1605. Barnard Taylor 1615.
Thompson writes on the KBG
that he believes a school was present some thirty years
prior to the Free School.
Drake, by will, March 27th, 1713, gave all his Lands and
Buildings, in Keighley, towards the maintenance of a
Schoolmaster, for instructing the children of the town and
parish of Keighley aforesaid, in the English, Latin, and
Greek tongues without any other reward. "Mr. John
Green, in the Parish of St. Saviour's, in the County of
Surrey, gave £100., to be settled on a good and sure
Freehold Estate of inheritance, for and towards the said
Free School, so settled, or intended to be settled, by the
said John Drake, in the sure and good foundation for the
purpose for ever. November, 1715.
John Drake was also licensee of the Lord Rodney. The Free
Grammar School in Cook Lane built in 1716 and in use till
1854 when it moved to the Mechanics Institute.
Mr. Jonas Tonson, of Exleyhead, in the Parish of Keighley,
in the County of York, left (1716) £100. to be settled on
a good and sure Freehold Estate of inheritance, for and
towards the said Free School, for an Usher in the sure and
good foundation for ever.
August 20th, 1716, four of this town laid the four corner
stones of the present school. Milo Gale, the Parson, that
to the right in front. Mr. John Denbigh, a commission
officer, that to the left at the south end. Mr. Richard
Harper, that of the same end, to the west; and Mr. George
Beanlands, that of the north end towards the west, being
the present schoolmaster. Every one of which, depositing
for the masons one shilling on his stone, wished
prosperity to the building, and Timothy Rhodes, with his
two men, proceeded in walling."
from commissioners School Property.—Houses and about
4 acres of land, 2 and 1/2 acres of which are building
land. Income in 1867, 271/. 18s. 8d. gross, 176/. 12s.
net. Building good; no residence. John Drake, 1713,
devised to trustees two small estates for the maintenance
of a sufficient, unmarried, and qualified school master
for teaching children residing in the town and parish of
Keighley, in the English, Latin, and Greek tongues, free
and without any reward or stipend whatever. And in case he
shall marry, neglect or refuse to perform his duties, or
shall become scandalous in life or conversation, the
trustees are empowered to remove him, and to place another
person in his stead.
Later it goes on to say, - The trustees evince great
anxiety to preserve for the institution its traditional
character as a " Free Grammar School." But they
have so administered the trust as to defeat their own
object. The school is not free, and it is not a grammar
school. At present it performs no work which would not be
as well, if not better, done at one of the elementary
schools of the town; and it attracts to itself no pupils
except of the class for which those schools were intended.
The trading and professional classes in Keighley want a
good school for their sons, and the grammar school ought
to furnish them with secondary education of a superior
kind; but it cannot fulfil this purpose without a radical
change of plan. An entrance examination would exclude from
the school all who merely require elementary teaching. A
sufficient staff of masters qualified to give instruction
of an Schools. advanced and scholarly kind, would gain the
confidence of the public; and fees ranging from 6/ to 10/,
and graduated according to age only, would be willingly
paid by those residents in Keighley who are at present the
most destitute of the means of instruction for their
Taken from History, gazetteer, and directory, of the
west-riding of Yorkshire 1837 The Free School, in
Keighley, was founded in 1713, by John Drake, who endowed
it with a garden and house, occupied by the master, and
several houses and about 7a. of land in Keighley, now let
for £162 a year. The master receives a yearly salary of
£110, and has generally about 50 free scholars. The
school is free to all the children of the parish, for
English reading, as well as for Latin and Greek. Adjoining
it is a Preparatory School, kept by the usher, who
receives as his salary, the rents of a house and 1acre of
land, at Exley-Head, and of a house and 15 acre of land,
at Ponden, now let for £40. 15s. a year. This provision
for an usher, was made by the will of Jonas Tonson, in
1716. He is chosen by the trustees, with the consent of
the rector and schoolmaster, to instruct the younger
children of the inhabitants, in English, until fit to be
placed under the upper master.
from Keighley Past and Present THE LOWER FREE SCHOOL The lower Free School, or, as it is sometimes called, the Usher
School, was founded by Mr. Jonas Tonson, and first
built at Exleyhead, on the site now occupied by the parish
workhouse. But it appears at a vestry meeting, held June
30th, 1739, it was agreed to take the old school-house, at
Exleyhead, for the use of the poor, at the yearly rent of
forty shillings, which agreement, or resolution, was
sanctioned by the names of the following parishioners :—
John Moorhouse. John Sharpe. David Brigg. William Clapham.
John Roper. Robert Sugden. Joseph Wright. John Binns.
James Greenwood. Richard Pighells. Richard Rawling.
Richard Moore. William Hartley. William Paget.
The present school was built by subscription, with the
approbation of Mr. Drake's trustees, on land adjoining the
Free Grammar School. Though the original endowment was
only £100., this sum appears to have been so far
augmented as to produce, at the present time, about £40.
a year. Mr. Tonson, who resided at Exleyhead and was
called by Parson Gale "an old fanatical
Presbyterian," was one of Mr. Drake's trustees who so
obstinately opposed him, which may be deemed a sufficient
reason for the Parson's neglecting to notice his charity.
Mr. William Bell Sewell, Surgeon, Mr. Jonathan Anderton,
and Mr. John Carter, are the present trustees, 1857, and
Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 111
No children of the professional men, or of the better
shopkeepers, were learning in the school. No boy was
learning Greek, or had learnt it there for years. Latin
was professed; but only a very few boys were found to be
doing it. "Not one of them was far enough advanced to
write out from memory the inflexions of a noun; and only
two could construe a simple sentence in a book of
elementary exercises." The reading of English was
worse in this school than in the ordinary elementary
schools. "Very little progress had been made in
arithmetic;" the best boys being unable to go beyond
proportion. The scholars came to the school very ignorant,
and without preparation. The master was single-handed, and
was unable to classify his scholars properly. "He
frankly said that the National and Wesleyan schools in the
town possessed advantages in the shape of pupil-teachers,
and of regular organisation and inspection, with which he
could not hope to compete." In short, the
Commissioners found that Drake's foundation, while
pretending to maintain a "free grammar school"
in the town of Keighley, was really squandered in
providing an unnecessary, an unpopular, and a bad
Proceeding to Tonson's benefaction, the Commissioners
found that the connection of this foundation for an
"usher" with that of Drake for a
"master," had "been lost sight of." It
was managed by a separate body of trustees, and was
employed in paying an old, incompetent, and feeble man to
teach some twenty little children in a dilapidated
building in the centre of the town, at a payment of 2d.
a-week. This building was a part of the old grammar school
not sold, or otherwise utilised, when the new school was
built; the remainder being converted into a blacksmith's
shop. The master was the son of a former head-master on
Drake's foundation: the scholars were a few rude little
boys from neighbouring cottages. "Nobody," said
the Commissioners, "pretends that this school is of
the smallest use, except to furnish an annuity to a
respectable man whose claims are of long standing."
In short, just as Drake's foundation had become a bad
little elementary school, so had Tonson's foundation
become a bad little infant school. A detailed account of
the condition of these foundations, and of the causes
which had brought them to that condition, will be found in
the 9th and 18th vols, of the Reports of the Schools
Inquiry Commission. It is not wonderful that the men of
Keighley had come to regard their grammar school
endowments as of no account in the educational resources
of their town. They had long despaired of their doing any
real educational work; and indeed, in making their
calculations for the project of a trade school, they had
confidently reckoned on the continued inefficiency of
their grammar school. But a surprise was in store for
them. In the spring of 1870, as their Trade School
buildings were drawing to completion, the Endowed Schools
Commissioners notified to the people of Keighley that they
proposed to reorganise their educational endowments,
according to a programme of which the following are the