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~Early Education in Keighley~

 

 

 

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Schoolmasters we have come across in the Parish register: William Harrison 1592. Nicholas Jackson 1605. Barnard Taylor 1615. These people would have taught those with money able to pay for an education.

It was the Sunday Schools who brought free education to the masses, some just teaching the basics, some going a bit further, it all depended on who the school master was, and the standard of him or her could depend on the wages.


In the later 1800's many young gentlemen of the local gentry were sent away to boarding school, the one at Pannal being a popular choice for Keighley gents. Thomas Watson bought Wescoe Hall and turned it into a school, renaming it Pannal House. A look at the 1871 reveals some family names well known to the area: Albert H & Charles F W Rishworth, John Dixon, James H Haggas, Alfred Merrall, Priestley Midgley, Samuel Smith, Henry Mitchell and John W F Ingham. 

Teachers & schools listed in the trade directories.
1829
Berry Ann and Catton (ladies' boarding) High Street 
Dewhirst David (commercial) Old Bridge Street 
Grammar School, Keighley-Rev. Thomas Plummer, head master; Thomas Swinbourn Carr, second do. 
Metcalfe Edward, (boy's day) Chapel Lane 
National School (girl's) Mill hill; Susannah Illingworth, mistress 
Sharman Elizabeth (ladies' day and boarding) Skipton Road
  1834 
Dawson Robert, Cook lane 
Dewhirst David, New Bridge st 
Free Grammar School, Cook Lane -- Rev. Thomas Plummer, Master 
Hanson William, 22 Sun St 
Infants' School, New Bridge st -- David Dewhirst, master 
Jowett John, Club Houses 
Metcalfe Edward & Anthony, Blind Lane 
National School (girls') Mill Hill --Susannah Illingworth, mistress. 
Nichols Rev. Abraham, Bethell Cottage. 
Sharman John, 22 North St
  1837
Dewhirst David. South St. 
Heaton Issac. Hare Hills. 
Grammar School; Rev, Thos. Plummer, master, and Peter Plummer, usher, 25 Cook Lane.
Jowett Jno. Club houses.
Metcalfe Edw. Bank place 
Oldfield Thos. Sykeshead. 
Sharman Eliz. & Chtte, (bdg) 20 North street. 
Sugden Mary, Park Lane.

School House: At this stage we are not confident to say where this was, but we list here people who we have found in the Parish register living here.
Joseph Ramsden 1758-1770
John Holdsworth 1775
John Hodgson 1776
William Hodgson 1777
Joseph Crossley 1784
Thomas Clapham 1785
John Clapham 1785 (We are not aware of any connection to the above Thomas)
David Robinson 1791


John Hey born 1766 was Master of the Public Grammar School, he died at the young age of 28.
Grace Midgley nee Fowlds the daughter of Inn Keepers Jeremiah & Sarah Fowlds / Foulds was a school mistress from at least 1841 & right up to her death in 1862, lossing her husband before 1841 it provided a means of earning a living. 

James Haggas, worsted manufacturer of Hainworth House, lost his son Ellison Haggas in 1841 when his cloths caught fire at school.


Keighley Mechanics Institute  Page

 

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 Mr. William Plummer, Schoolmaster.

The Free Grammar School in Cook Lane built in 1716 and in use till 1854
On August 20th, 1716, four of this town laid the four corner stones of the present school. John 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.

Harehill Free School
Sarah Midgley, wife of Peter Heaton, of Deanfield, in the Parish of Keighley, left the interest of 200. for ever, towards the maintenance of a Schoolmaster at Harehill, in the Parish aforesaid, 1743.
In 1826 Isaac Heaton was appointed schoolmaster at Harehills.

 

The Sunday schools were the first to educate young people in reading & writing, then came the halftime act in 1833 which required children to attend school for  two-and-a-half or three hours per day. On top of this children would be working 40 hours per week. This was for children under ten, it would be a few years before the halftime age was raised, and many years still until children were stopped from working and able to  attend school full time. One of the problems with the halftimers education and leaving school so young being that a child who showed promise in education, by the time they reached adulthood they would have lost all the skills they had learnt, most even the ability to write their own names. Another cause of the problem being that the people who had the money to pay for the building of the schools were the same people who owned mills, mines & such and relied on the children for cheap labour. 

 

In the later 1800's many young gentlemen of the local gentry were sent away to boarding school, the one at Pannal being a popular choice for Keighley gents. Thomas Watson bought Wescoe Hall and turned it into a school, renaming it Pannal House. A look at the 1871 reveals some family names well known to the area: Albert H & Charles F W Rishworth, John Dixon, James H Haggas, Alfred Merrall, Priestley Midgley, Samuel Smith, Henry Mitchell and John W F Ingham. 

Bank House School Keighley
While looking at some old newspapers we came across an advertisement in 1871 for Bank House School Keighley with room to educate 20 young gentlemen. 
Converted to a Wesleyan school for both day and boarding pupils sometime before 1851. Run by Mr. Jackson and is wife with assistance from two servants and an assistant teacher. From the 1851 census we ascertain that there were 6 residents and one of them is no other than Prince Smith Junior, in 1871 there were ten, and closed down before the 1881 census. John Jennings who had retired at a young age from being a stuff manufacturer moved in. 
From the book "The Poets of Keighley, Bingley, Haworth and District" In one poem a line reads "Bank House, where oft the careless youth Received a taste of Jackson's rod".

Sandywood House was used as a boarding school for young ladies, you can find out more by visiting the Houses page


In the 1851 census we notice that at Demems a house occupied by the Helliwell family is used as a night school

In 1881 Samuel Howard was running a young gentleman's boarding school at 40 Queens Street.

 

News item from 1875 mentioning Wesleyan School Temple Street & Saint Ann's Roman Catholic School, it also covers in the poor conditions of the pupils at the time and the use of a workshop at Dalton Lane to be used as a temporary school. 

 

Oakworth Wesleyan School

1845, the National School goes from Sunday School to School

Parkwood

Wesley Place

Holy Croft School Opened 1879



 

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Right Honourable Viscount Halifax officially opened the new Greenhead premises of the Drake and Tonson's School, previously located in Strawberry Street and soon to be known as Keighley Girls' Grammar School.
 Keighley Girls (old) Grammar School 1881 Miss Mary Ellen Mellor was Head Mistress.
Sadly the once magnificent building that started life has the Girls Grammar School at Greenhead was demolished in 2011 and replaced by a modem structure. 

Left, the Girls Grammar School prior to moving to Greenhead.

 

Eastwood Church School 1875

Map showing location

Eastwood Church School: 

Eastwood National School with masters house was built in 1858 and was extended in 1875.

The first Eastwood School was by St Mary's Church at the top of Dalton Lane, we find reference to the church, school and School house in the 1861 census and the occupant was the head master was George Mead.

Eastwood Board School opened 1877

Eastwood 1932 JW Mitchell Challenge Shield for school choirs which they won at the Keighley Summerscales musical competition in November, 1932. Headmaster Harry Whitake


1911 Coronation: Medals were presented to the school children of Keighley






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