CAMBRIDGESHIRE: 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
1878 November 21st Mistress - M. Studdle November 26th The school was examined by H.M. Assistant Inspector Mr. Anstead. 28 boys and 29 girls were present. December 2nd 12 children over 6 years were drafted for the Upper School and classes were re-arranged. December 13th Attendance fair considering the very severe weather of frost and snow. Extra school drill. Average for the week - 40. December 20th The names of 10 absentees have been sent in for the Attendance Officer. 1879 January 21st Children 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 21st Sarah Wade, pupil teacher for the Upper School was transferred to the Infant School by the Master. February 17th The 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 25th Shrove Tusday - no afternoon school. April 11th Good Friday - a holiday. April 14th Easter Monday - half holiday. April 15th Easter Tuesday - half holiday. May 16th needlework much impeded through want of proper material. June 2nd Whit Monday - no afternoon school. July 24th Half holiday given for the village Gala. 1881 July 14th Miss 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 15th Holiday for the village Gala. August 5th George Carter admitted. August 12th The Autumn Recess lasts 5 weeks, commencing today Friday. September 19th The 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 7th George Carter left for another district. November 4th Average attendance this week - 60. Report for 1881 The 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 1882 January 16th Harriet Key re-opened the Infant Department. February 17th A slight improvement in arithmetic. A decided improvement in reading. Average attendance 41.8 March 3rd The 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 10th Miss M.A. Key opened the school on Monday morning and admitted 3 children. April 7th Standard I - 5 out of 17 passed in arithmetic, 9 in reading and 9 in writing. 6 failed in all three subjects. October 6th re-opened the school on Monday after seven weeks holiday. Rev'd G. Walker is a regular visitor. November 3rd List 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 17th Taught children a song Hot Cross Buns December 8th Drafted to Class II Tom Ellington. 1883 March 7th A small average owing to cold and stormy weather. March 22nd School closed at 12.30 for Easter Holidays, to be re-opened on Monday April 2nd. April 13th Three children admitted from The Union Workhouse, Doddington. April 20th J.W. Chesters, Master of the Mixed Department. May 4th Received 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 15th Very wet this afternoon, only 48 children present. July 11th Wednesday was a half-holiday in the afternoon owing to Chatteris Gala. July 20th Holiday given on Friday, it being the children's treat. October 1st re-opened after 7 weeks' holidays. November 9th Several children away ill with Scarletina. November 16th Several children away ill with Scarletina. November 23rd Admitted George Carter. December 6th A very rough morning. Cancelled registers. 1884 January 9th Lost one of our little scholars who died after a few days' illness. March 20th A holiday owing to the school being wanted for the purpose of taking the poll at a Parliamentary Election. April 28th Lost another little scholar named Matthew Oliver after a few hours' illness. May 1st Closed at 11 a.m. May Day Festival was enacted by the children. August 1st School closed for Harvest holidays. 1885 January 12th A very cold morning, only 16 children present. February 27th Charlie wants a piece of bread was taught today. May 29th A song called Cleanliness was taught today. June 20th Lost one of our little scholars, Sarah Ann Yorke, died after a short illness. November 6th Several children away ill with measles. November 9th Attendance very low due to the measles. 1886 July 19th Half holiday it being the Wesleyan Treat. August 13th Closed for Harvest Holiday until October 4th. October 14th School closed on account of the funeral of the Revd G.E. Walker, late Chairman of the Board. November 30th Prizegiving by Chairman of the Board. 1886 Report The number of children attending this school is very small in proportion to the population of the parish. 1887 February 8th Each child was given an orange by a visitor Mr.C. Tebbutt. February 23rd Some children went to church for Ash Wednesday. March 11th Christmas King was taught today. June 21st Jubilee of Queen Victoria for which there was a whole day's holiday. September 23rd School closed for one week it being the Feast. December 23rd Resignation of Harriet Key. 1888 January 2nd Louisa Anne Briggs, certificated teacher of the second class took over. January 20th Revd. F. Marshall visited. Children's writing poor due to the slates being unlined. February 15th Only 5 children attended due to the bad weather. March 6th No outdoor recreation due to the cold. Marching and drill indoors. April 18th Admitted two boys of 3 years. June 3rd Half holiday as the room needed for a Public Tea. June 18th Another child admitted from the Union Workhouse. July 2nd Another child admitted from the Union Workhouse. July 11th School treat given by Revd F. Marshall. Average attendance in 1887 - 41.2. 1888 - 43.3 December 14th Marching indoors owing to the cold foggy weather. December 20th Resignation of the Mistress. December 31st Emily Parker took over. 1889 January 28th Drawing has been introduced as a kindergarten subject. June 13th Two children sent home with ringworm. July 29th 75 names on the books. August 6th Church Sunday School treat. November 1st Two children return after 12 and 14 weeks absence. November 11th The 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 17th Attendance very low due to a bazaar in the village and a show at March. 1891 April 28th Outbreak of whooping cough. May 27th Due to the severe epidemic of whooping cough, the Medical Officer closed the school. It re-opened on June 15th. with 46 children. October 12th Outbreak of diptheria. November 25th The 1st. class are working sums without carrying. 2nd. class are beginning to read from a Reading Sheet. 1892 January 27th School closed due to influenza. It re-opened on Monday 15th. February with only 16 attending, so the school closed again in the afternoon. May 31st Attendance low owing to a cricket match in the village. July 12th School closed due to scarlet fever. It re-opened on Monday 25th July with only 37 present. 1893 May 1st The second half of the year commenced with 83 names on the books. May 4th Two children sent home with ringworm. June 30th 91 names on the books. July 6th Half holiday given for the Flower Show. July 7th Attendance low due to Wimblington Feast. July 10th A day's holiday given for the Church Sunday School to go to Skegness. July 11th Half holiday for the Wesleyan Sunday School Treat. July 28th School closed for Harvest Holidays. Re-opened on August 28th. August 30th Many absent due to tea at the Rectory. September 22nd School closed for Feast Week. October 23rd School opened at 1.30 for the winter. October 30th Absentees due to a circus at March. November 27th The Union children are absent due to scarlet fever in the House. 1894 March 19th Attendance low due to a circus at Chatteris. May 28th An outbreak of chicken pox. May 31st Whooping cough is spreading. June 6th E. 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. 1895 January 29th Many absent due to a skating match. February 11th Another skating match caused more absences. May 13th The resignation of the Mistress, leaving Sarah Rosina Chaplin as temporary mistress. She resigned on June 21st. 1895. June 24th Ann Jane Humpage took over. October 31st Year ends with 90 names on the books, although average attendance is only 51.36 1897 January 4th School closed due to whooping cough and re-opened on February 1st. with 29 children. February 15th Only 2 children present from the Union. The others have a contagious skin disease March 6th School closed due to measles. March 29th School re-opened with 31 children. Many have been absent the whole winter. May 7th The Union children returned to school. June 18th School closed for Queen Victoria's Jubilee. Re-opened on June 23rd. 1898 April 18th Needlework report is only fair. Such upright stitches must not be made in the hemming exercise. July 6th School closed for Band of Hope treat. July 12th School closed for Chapel Sunday School treat. July 13th Half holiday for the Flower Show. August 10th School closed for Church Sunday School treat. December 14th Learned song Summer Rain. 1900 January 5th Holiday for Sunday School Christmas Tree. May 24th School closed for Queen's birthday. July 18th On account of the intense heat, a conversational lesson on A Railway Station was substituted for Drill. July 27th The 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 1st 28 in the 1st class; 27 in the 2nd; 6 in the 3rd. 1901 February 25th Pupil Teacher Mary Palmer sent in an essay to Professor Cusack for criticism, for which she has received the mark - Excellent. June 25th A holiday this afternoon for the Sunday School Teachers' Festival. September 3rd School closed until 30th September due to whooping cough epidemic. November 1st New school year begins today. 28 in 1st class; 19 in 2nd; 10 in 3rd. 1902 Year ending October 31st 1902 Kindergarten activity perforating, embroidery, stick- laying, building, paper-folding, threading. June 2nd A Proclamation of Peace - a half holiday given. July 4th School closed due to epidemic of diptheria. Re-opened August 11th. 1903 June 5th Many absent with chickenpox. 1904 July 6th School 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. 1906 April 27th Several half holidays given in accordance with the Reward Scheme of the County Council. June 21st Another half holiday as above. July 3rd 3 medals & 19 certificates presented to children for regular and punctual attendance. 1907 April 8th In accordance with new arrangements made by the Ely County Council, a new educational year commences today. July 5th School will close today for the pea-picking holiday. July In 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. 1908 May 5th School closed until 21st June due to scarlet fever. June 26th School closed for pea-pulling holiday. July 5th School closed due to scarlet fever. Re-opened August 4th. 1909 October A 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' 1910 May 3rd School closed due to epidemic of measles and mumps until June 6th, but then closed again until June 13th. July 19th School closed due to scarlet fever until 6th August, and then to September 16th for holidays. September 19th - October 3rd closed again due to scarlet fever. October 4th Much of the old stock has been destroyed in order to prevent the spread of scarlet fever. New stock, books, has been received. 1911 June 16th School closed next week for the Coronation of George V. November 16th School closed due to measles for 3 weeks. 1912 January 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.