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A History of Kingston on Hull
from Bulmer's Gazetteer (1892)

Part 10


The Kingston-upon-Hull School Board was formed on February 3rd, 1871, and has its offices in the Town Hall. The Board consists of 15 members, who are elected triennially. Since its formation, the Board has built 26 schools, with 77 departments, at a cost of nearly £200,000. One pre-existing school has been transferred to the Board, and on the extension of the borough in April, 1883, four other schools, with 10 departments, were transferred to the Board. The Board has also three temporary schools. There is total accommodation for 26,728 children, the number on the registers being 26,763, and the number in average attendance, 23,187. In connection with the School Board system there is a Central Higher Grade, in Brunswick Avenue.

The Truant and Industrial School

The Truant and industrial School for Boys, in Marlborough Terrace, was built in 1856, by the Hull Ragged and Industrial Schools Committee, at a cost of £3,700, and in 1886 it was leased by the Hull School Board, for the purposes of Boys' Truant School. The average number of boys in the school is about 100. In addition to an ordinary elementary education, the boys are taught various branches of industry, such as mat-making, glazing, joinery, &c. The building is red brick, with stone dressings, and is in the Tudor style of architecture. The schoolrooms and other apartments are lofty and well ventilated. The Girls' Truant School, in connection with the School Board, is in Park Avenue. There are schools in connection with most of the churches, and many of them are large and handsome buildings, and some of the Nonconformist chapels have day schools attached to them. The Roman Catholics have schools in Pryme Street and Scott Street for boys, and the Sisters of Mercy have about 1,500 girls under their care at the convent, on the Anlaby Road, at Mill Street and Wilton Street. Sunday schools are attached to most of the places of worship in the town.

Hymers' College

Hymers' College is on the Spring Bank, and stands on the site of the late Botanic Gardens. This college was erected and endowed from funds left in 1887, by the late Dr. Hymers, Rector of Brandsburton, for the purpose of "training intelligence in whatsoever rank of life it may be found." After purchasing the site and erecting the college, there remains an endowment fund, producing an income of about £1,000 a year, £350 of which is spent in entrance scholarships, continuation scholarships, and exhibitions to the Universities, for the benefit of the industrial classes. The school is divided into two sides, a modern and a classical. The former supplies a technical education, applied to mercantile and commercial pursuits, while the latter devotes itself mainly to mathematics and science, though Latin is taught to all its members, and Greek to such as intend to proceed to the Universities. The premises are built of brick, with stone dressings, in (a free rendering of) the Jacobean style of architecture. The roof is broken by dormer windows, and furnished with a central turret, containing a clock in the lower part, and a large extract ventilator in the upper part. The principal entrance is duly emphasised with inscription panels over the doorway, recording the foundation of the college. The central hall forms the heart of the plan. On the eastern side there is a kind of aisle of two floors, separated from the main body of the hall by an arcade carried through both stories. The walls are faced with red bricks, with stone bands. The arcade on the east side is entirely of Ancaster stone. The hall is divided by seven bays, and lighted by a range of tall three-light windows on the western side, placed above the roof of the administrative offices, which occupy the ground floor on this side of the hall. The roof is pitchpine, stained. The hall, which is surrounded on three sides by galleries, at the first floor level, is of ample size for the assembly of the whole school for prayers, lectures, &c., and provides an extensive floor area for examinations. The classical school occupies the ground floor, and the modern school the first floor. Every class-room is entered directly from the central hall or from galleries surrounding it, and every scholar entering or leaving his class-room, thus passes under the direct observation of the headmaster and porter, whose rooms are on the west side of the ball. The headmaster, by walking round the hall and its galleries, has the whole working of the school under his immediate supervision. The late Dr. Hymers left upwards of £150,000 for the foundation and endowment of this college, but unfortunately the bequest was invalid, in consequence of the operation of the law of mortmain, and it was due to the generosity of his brother, Mr. Robert Hymers (who voluntarily, and as a free gift, gave £50,000 to the Corporation) that the town received any portion of the bequest intended to be made for the establishment of this college, the foundation stone of which was laid on 21st January, 1891.

The Hull and East Riding College

The Hull and East Riding College, in Park, is a modern, well-managed proprietary, middle-class school, founded in 1866. The building is in 13th century Gothic, and consists of two large halls and numerous class rooms, calculated to accommodate 300 boys. It is flanked by buttresses, which, at the east end, rise above the roof, and terminate in pinnacles with carved finials. The main entrance is in the east front, and has a portico supported by columns of red Mansfield stone, with carved capitals and moulded bases, and is surmounted by a parapet. In the rear is a large play ground and covered gymnasium. The college is affiliated with the University of London.

Hull Grammar School

Hull Grammar School. - This school was founded and endowed in 1486 by Dr. John Alcock, successively Bishop of Rochester, Worcester, and Ely, and afterwards Lord Chancellor of England. It flourished until the reign of Edward VI., when all free schools, chantries, &c., were suppressed, and their revenues seized. The people of Hull objected to this proceeding, and ultimately the school was re-established. About 1578, the building having fallen into decay, Alderman William Gee, who was thrice Mayor of Hull, opened a subscription for the purpose of repairing it. This resulted in the erection of a new school, in which Alderman Gee was joined by the Corporation of Hull, who added a second story, which was used as an exchange and assembly room. Alderman Gee not only contributed £80 and 20,000 bricks, but also left two houses in the "Butchery" (now Queen Street) for the benefit of the school. From the date upon three stones let into the wall, the work appears to have been completed in 1583. The cost of rebuilding was £600. In 1586 the school was declared, by inquisition, the property of the Crown. In the following year the queen (Elizabeth) gave the school house, the garden, and other tenements, "formerly given to superstitious uses," to Luke Thurcross, the then mayor, and others. He, in 1604, being the only survivor of those who had obtained this grant, gave his interest in the school and gardens to four trustees for the use of the mayor and burgesses for ever. The appointment of masters was now in the hands of the Corporation, and by the charter of James I., the right of presentation was secured to them. This school was on South Church Side, and the venerable building was purchased, in 1875, by the vicar of Holy Trinity Church, who had it restored and converted into a mission room and choir school. Amongst the eminent men who were masters of this school were the Rev. Andrew Marvell, M.A., the father of the patriot; the Rev. John Clarke, the translator of Suetonius and Sallust; and the Rev. Joseph Milner, author of the "History of the Church." Amongst its scholars may be counted Andrew Marvell, the patriot; Dr. Thomas Watson, Bishop of St. David's; William Wilberforce, the philanthropist; Dr. Isaac Milner, Dean of Carlisle; William Mason, the poet; Archdeacon Wrangham; Dr. Bromby, Bishop of Tasmania; Mr. John Leng, the present M.P., for Dundee; and Mr. Alderman Symons, M.R.I.A., Sheriff of Hull in 1890-91, and the author of many works on local history.

From 1875 to 1891 the Hull Grammar school was carried on in temporary premises, but, in the latter year, a new and commodious school was erected in Leicester Street, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Hull (Mr. E. Robson, J.P.) on the 27th January, 1892. The new school is built in a good collegiate style of Gothic architecture, having an elevation of red bricks with stone dressings. It has a large entrance hall, one large room, 50 feet by 22 feet, two class-rooms, 20 feet by 22 feet, with the head master's room, and large cloakrooms, and lavatories, on the ground floor. With a view of superintending the ingress and egress of the scholars, the porter's room is so located as to command a view of the class-room doors. The upper floor is reached by a stone staircase. Here are class-rooms of a smaller size, an assistant master's room, and a room for general purposes. In the large room is a gallery for the convenience of the public on the occasion of great events, and, this room can, when necessary, be divided into two. The school is furnished on the most approved principles, and once again ranks as one of the chief educational institutions in Hull. The endowments produce about £80 a year, for which the master teaches the classics free, but the scholars pay certain fees, fixed by the Town Council, for other branches of learning. The school has an exhibition of £40 a year to any college at Cambridge, founded by Thomas Bury, in 1627, and augmented by Thomas Ferries, in 1630; this is now in the hands of the Charity Trustees. It has another scholarship of £60 a year at Clare College, Cambridge, founded by Alexander Metcalf.

The Vicar's Choir School

The Vicar's Choir School. - This school is held in the Old Grammar School premises, which, through the efforts of the Rev. Canon McCormick, D.D., were purchased, restored, and re-opened on December 11th, 1883, by His Grace the Archbishop of York, as a Parochial Mission Hall, Choir School, and Clergy House. The building at present consists of ground, first, and second floors. The ground floor is entirely occupied by the schoolroom, nearly in its original condition, with the high dais and ancient Master's Desk, with its "sounding board," at the head of the room. The first floor (originally one large room of the same size as the one below), contains, besides a room now used as the "Vicar's room" and Library for the boys of the Choir School, rooms occupied by the curates of the church, and is reached by a separate entrance and staircase of the same date as the rest of the building - A.D. 1583. The second floor is a modern addition, and is an extension of the curates' residence.

The object of the Choir School is threefold : - (1) To ensure regular attendance at the practices, and thereby supply the church with a staff of efficient choir boys: (2) To give a sound classical or commercial education, according to the requirements of a pupil in after-life: (3) To prepare for the ministry of the Church of England and Missionary work.

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