Cambridgeshire: Lionel Walden School, Doddington


Lionel Walden School, Doddington

From the Advertiser & Pictorial of Thursday 2nd November 1967

The name of the Lionel Walden School was recently announced. Lionel Walden was a 17th century squire who died in 1719 and by his will left all his manors, lands, tenements and hereditaments on trust, directing that from the sale of part of his property, £500 was to be raised to provide a free school at Doddington. So began a long legal process. Information was filed in the Court of Chancery by the Attorney General with the object of establishing the charity. 1758 - it was decreed it should be established.

The Master of the Rolls finalised its regulation and 17 years later he produced a separate report of the principal and interest due on the Walden legacy. The Doddington legacy account held £2,804.8s.6d. including interest.

1783 - Master of the Rolls accepted a scheme for carrying the charity into execution, at the same time ordering that proposals should be submitted for buying a house or piece of land on which to build a school. Four years later, Revd Dr. Proby offered a building, outhouse, stable yard and about half an acre of adjoining ground for £300. A portion could be converted for £80 to provide two rooms for school purposes.

In 1787, the Master of the Rolls directed that the school should be for ever called the charity school of Lionel Walden, that the charity should be administered by nine trustees in perpetuity, and that £300 be allocated for buying property, also £80 to put the premises in proper order for a house for the schoolmaster. Legal costs were £209.

The rest of the money was vested in the nine trustees and their successors who were to meet 4 times a year. They had to elect a schoolmaster, and his salary was fixed at £40 a year and he must not accept rewards or bribes etc. The number on the school roll was fixed at 30; no boy after 14 years and no girl after 12 years.

October 27th 1790 - the trustees were admitted to the future school premises, but there were continuing complications. In 1827, the trustees ran into further trouble - they were unable to pay the schoolmaster his full salary, although it was made up in due course. There were 30 free scholars from the parish and the trustees allowed the schoolmaster to instruct a limited number of children in addition on payment of 6d. to 8d. a week. Records indicate that "the free scholars attend very irregularly in the summer months, seldom averaging more than 12, their labour being required by their parents."

In 1835, the trustees had £1,817 invested in government stock. This brought in £54.10s.8d. a year. So Doddington free school arrived after a long process spread over a century. It took up to 1967 to rediscover and officially recognise, not only the terms of the legacy, but the donor himself.

Extracts from the Log Book

1878November 21stMistress - M. Studdle
November 26thThe school was examined by H.M. Assistant Inspector Mr. Anstead. 28 boys and 29 girls were present.
December 2nd12 children over 6 years were drafted for the Upper School and classes were re-arranged.
December 13thAttendance fair considering the very severe weather of frost and snow. Extra school drill. Average for the week - 40.
December 20thThe names of 10 absentees have been sent in for the Attendance Officer.
1879January 21stChildren were dismissed at 11.30 and the school was closed for the remainder of the week for the workmen to make some alterations in the fireplaces.
January 21stSarah Wade, pupil teacher for the Upper School was transferred to the Infant School by the Master.
February 17thThe Revd G. Walker (Rector) and T. Richards Esq., chairman of the Board, came at 10 o'clock to consider whether the classroom was a suitable place for teaching 50 girls needlework. These gentlemen thought it might be taken in sections in the classroom. Needlework must therefore be taught every afternoon which is not in accordance with the Time Tables.
February 25thShrove Tusday - no afternoon school.
April 11thGood Friday - a holiday.
April 14thEaster Monday - half holiday.
April 15thEaster Tuesday - half holiday.
May 16thneedlework much impeded through want of proper material.
June 2ndWhit Monday - no afternoon school.
July 24thHalf holiday given for the village Gala.
1881July 14thMiss Kate B. Carter, Certificated Teacher of the third class, has this day resigned her appointment in this school. She has always been engaged in the Infant room though the whole school has been considered to be one department for some months. But as the Board have decided to go back to the whole system of two departments (with the permission of H.M. Inspector), I have separated the accounts for the whole school year and the school has thus been divided into two departments, Mixed and Infants - S. Hodson Master of Mixed School Kate Carter's resignation; new teacher - Isabella Cameron.
July 15thHoliday for the village Gala.
August 5thGeorge Carter admitted.
August 12thThe Autumn Recess lasts 5 weeks, commencing today Friday.
September 19thThe holidays were prolonged one week on account of the late harvest, and the following week school-work was almost discontinued, the Feast drawing most of the children from school.
October 7thGeorge Carter left for another district.
November 4thAverage attendance this week - 60.
Reportfor 1881The present Mistress does not seem able to keep this school in even tolerable order. The children are very talkative and ill-behaved. Their attainments are very poor indeed. Average attendance 54 @ 5/- £13.10.0d. Staff: Isabella Cameron, Hannah Fovargue (Monitress) Edmund B. Clarke - Clerk to the Board
1882January 16thHarriet Key re-opened the Infant Department.
February 17thA slight improvement in arithmetic. A decided improvement in reading. Average attendance 41.8
March 3rdThe Mistress's sister Miss M.A. Key (ex P.T.) closed the school on Friday in order to allow the Mistress to catch the last train to Wisbech.
March 10thMiss M.A. Key opened the school on Monday morning and admitted 3 children.
April 7thStandard I - 5 out of 17 passed in arithmetic, 9 in reading and 9 in writing. 6 failed in all three subjects.
October 6thre-opened the school on Monday after seven weeks holiday. Rev'd G. Walker is a regular visitor.
November 3rdList of articles received for use 1 ream of white ruled foolscap 4 dozen Copy Books; 1 gallon of black ink 1 bottle of red ditto 3 boxes pencils 1 box of chalk 1 can with which to fill ink-wells
November 17thTaught children a song Hot Cross Buns
December 8thDrafted to Class II Tom Ellington.
1883March 7thA small average owing to cold and stormy weather.
March 22ndSchool closed at 12.30 for Easter Holidays, to be re-opened on Monday April 2nd.
April 13thThree children admitted from The Union Workhouse, Doddington.
April 20thJ.W. Chesters, Master of the Mixed Department.
May 4thReceived 1 map of the British Isles, 1 flat folding easel and 4 desks. For the use of P.T. - 1 Victoria Atlas, 1 Gills Imperial Geography.
June 15thVery wet this afternoon, only 48 children present.
July 11thWednesday was a half-holiday in the afternoon owing to Chatteris Gala.
July 20thHoliday given on Friday, it being the children's treat.
October 1stre-opened after 7 weeks' holidays.
November 9thSeveral children away ill with Scarletina.
November 16thSeveral children away ill with Scarletina.
November 23rdAdmitted George Carter.
December 6thA very rough morning. Cancelled registers.
1884January 9thLost one of our little scholars who died after a few days' illness.
March 20thA holiday owing to the school being wanted for the purpose of taking the poll at a Parliamentary Election.
April 28thLost another little scholar named Matthew Oliver after a few hours' illness.
May 1stClosed at 11 a.m. May Day Festival was enacted by the children.
August 1stSchool closed for Harvest holidays.
1885January 12thA very cold morning, only 16 children present.
February 27thCharlie wants a piece of bread was taught today.
May 29thA song called Cleanliness was taught today.
June 20thLost one of our little scholars, Sarah Ann Yorke, died after a short illness.
November 6thSeveral children away ill with measles.
November 9thAttendance very low due to the measles.
1886July 19thHalf holiday it being the Wesleyan Treat.
August 13thClosed for Harvest Holiday until October 4th.
October 14thSchool closed on account of the funeral of the Revd G.E. Walker, late Chairman of the Board.
November 30thPrizegiving by Chairman of the Board.
1886ReportThe number of children attending this school is very small in proportion to the population of the parish.
1887February 8thEach child was given an orange by a visitor Mr.C. Tebbutt.
February 23rdSome children went to church for Ash Wednesday.
March 11thChristmas King was taught today.
June 21stJubilee of Queen Victoria for which there was a whole day's holiday.
September 23rdSchool closed for one week it being the Feast.
December 23rdResignation of Harriet Key.
1888January 2ndLouisa Anne Briggs, certificated teacher of the second class took over.
January 20thRevd. F. Marshall visited. Children's writing poor due to the slates being unlined.
February 15thOnly 5 children attended due to the bad weather.
March 6thNo outdoor recreation due to the cold. Marching and drill indoors.
April 18thAdmitted two boys of 3 years.
June 3rdHalf holiday as the room needed for a Public Tea.
June 18thAnother child admitted from the Union Workhouse.
July 2ndAnother child admitted from the Union Workhouse.
July 11thSchool treat given by Revd F. Marshall.
 Average attendance in 1887 - 41.2. 1888 - 43.3
December 14thMarching indoors owing to the cold foggy weather.
December 20thResignation of the Mistress.
December 31stEmily Parker took over.
1889January 28thDrawing has been introduced as a kindergarten subject.
June 13thTwo children sent home with ringworm.
July 29th75 names on the books.
August 6thChurch Sunday School treat.
November 1stTwo children return after 12 and 14 weeks absence.
November 11thThe doctor ordered the school to be closed due to measles - E.B. Stephens Medical Officer, North Witchford Board.
1890 In January the school was disinfected and re-opened.
July 17thAttendance very low due to a bazaar in the village and a show at March.
1891April 28thOutbreak of whooping cough.
May 27thDue to the severe epidemic of whooping cough, the Medical Officer closed the school. It re-opened on June 15th. with 46 children.
October 12thOutbreak of diptheria.
November 25thThe 1st. class are working sums without carrying. 2nd. class are beginning to read from a Reading Sheet.
1892January 27thSchool closed due to influenza. It re-opened on Monday 15th. February with only 16 attending, so the school closed again in the afternoon.
May 31stAttendance low owing to a cricket match in the village.
July 12thSchool closed due to scarlet fever. It re-opened on Monday 25th July with only 37 present.
1893May 1stThe second half of the year commenced with 83 names on the books.
May 4thTwo children sent home with ringworm.
June 30th91 names on the books.
July 6thHalf holiday given for the Flower Show.
July 7thAttendance low due to Wimblington Feast.
July 10thA day's holiday given for the Church Sunday School to go to Skegness.
July 11thHalf holiday for the Wesleyan Sunday School Treat.
July 28thSchool closed for Harvest Holidays. Re-opened on August 28th.
August 30thMany absent due to tea at the Rectory.
September 22ndSchool closed for Feast Week.
October 23rdSchool opened at 1.30 for the winter.
October 30thAbsentees due to a circus at March.
November 27thThe Union children are absent due to scarlet fever in the House.
1894March 19thAttendance low due to a circus at Chatteris.
May 28thAn outbreak of chicken pox.
May 31stWhooping cough is spreading.
June 6thE. Stephens closed the school due to whooping cough until October 15th. when 48 attended. The children appear to have forgotten all they ever knew during their absence. The 1894 grant totalled £40.12s.
1895January 29thMany absent due to a skating match.
February 11thAnother skating match caused more absences.
May 13thThe resignation of the Mistress, leaving Sarah Rosina Chaplin as temporary mistress. She resigned on June 21st. 1895.
June 24thAnn Jane Humpage took over.
October 31stYear ends with 90 names on the books, although average attendance is only 51.36
1897January 4thSchool closed due to whooping cough and re-opened on February 1st. with 29 children.
February 15thOnly 2 children present from the Union. The others have a contagious skin disease
March 6thSchool closed due to measles.
March 29thSchool re-opened with 31 children. Many have been absent the whole winter.
May 7thThe Union children returned to school.
June 18thSchool closed for Queen Victoria's Jubilee. Re-opened on June 23rd.
1898April 18thNeedlework report is only fair. Such upright stitches must not be made in the hemming exercise.
July 6thSchool closed for Band of Hope treat.
July 12thSchool closed for Chapel Sunday School treat.
July 13thHalf holiday for the Flower Show.
August 10thSchool closed for Church Sunday School treat.
December 14thLearned song Summer Rain.
1900January 5thHoliday for Sunday School Christmas Tree.
May 24thSchool closed for Queen's birthday.
July 18thOn account of the intense heat, a conversational lesson on A Railway Station was substituted for Drill.
July 27thThe attendance has been very irregular all the week. This is no doubt due to the excessive heat which has greatly affected the health of the children.
November 1st28 in the 1st class; 27 in the 2nd; 6 in the 3rd.
1901February 25thPupil Teacher Mary Palmer sent in an essay to Professor Cusack for criticism, for which she has received the mark - Excellent.
June 25thA holiday this afternoon for the Sunday School Teachers' Festival.
September 3rdSchool closed until 30th September due to whooping cough epidemic.
November 1stNew school year begins today. 28 in 1st class; 19 in 2nd; 10 in 3rd.
1902Year ending October 31st 1902Kindergarten activity perforating, embroidery, stick- laying, building, paper-folding, threading.
June 2ndA Proclamation of Peace - a half holiday given.
July 4thSchool closed due to epidemic of diptheria. Re-opened August 11th.
1903June 5thMany absent with chickenpox.
1904July 6thSchool closed due to measles.
 A Government Report recommends that all the rooms would be brighter if plain glass were put in the windows. Lavatory accommodation is needed.
1906April 27thSeveral half holidays given in accordance with the Reward Scheme of the County Council.
June 21stAnother half holiday as above.
July 3rd3 medals & 19 certificates presented to children for regular and punctual attendance.
1907April 8thIn accordance with new arrangements made by the Ely County Council, a new educational year commences today.
July 5thSchool will close today for the pea-picking holiday.
JulyIn a number of cases the horizontal 2distance between the desk and seat, and the vertical difference between the two are too great, and bad positions for writing are very common. But the mischief would be lessened, were the tops of the desks to be kept sloped, as seems quite possible, and not flat, as is the case at present.
 The pit connected with the girls' and infants' offices is in an offensive state; the plan of systematically emptying into them the school sweepings, dry ashes etc. might well be tried. It would be well also to exclude from these places persons other than scholars of the school, and to take measures to prevent writing on the walls. It is doubtful whether the number of closets (3 only) is sufficient for the number of girls and infants in attendance.
1908May 5thSchool closed until 21st June due to scarlet fever.
June 26thSchool closed for pea-pulling holiday.
July 5thSchool closed due to scarlet fever. Re-opened August 4th.
1909OctoberA guard is to be obtained for the new fireplace in the Mixed School. All the other open fireplaces are now fitted with guards. There should be an analysis of the well water drunk by the children and also consumed in the school house. This water is stated by the Master to contain occasional 'black creatures'
1910May 3rdSchool closed due to epidemic of measles and mumps until June 6th, but then closed again until June 13th.
July 19thSchool closed due to scarlet fever until 6th August, and then to September 16th for holidays.
September 19th - October 3rdclosed again due to scarlet fever.
October 4thMuch of the old stock has been destroyed in order to prevent the spread of scarlet fever. New stock, books, has been received.
1911June 16thSchool closed next week for the Coronation of George V.
November 16thSchool closed due to measles for 3 weeks.
1912January office accommodation has been increased, 3 closets for girls and 3 for infants. These have been connected to the village drains, and a water-flushing apparatus has been provided.

Also available is a list of the first pupils from Lionel Waldon School, 1789, from the minute book.

©Genuki 2001