Colliery Schools in South Wales in the Nineteenth Century
Leslie Wynne Evans, National Library of Wales journal. 1957, Winter. Volume X/2
Extracted onto the pages of GENUKI with the kind permission of the National Library of Wales
This is a complete extract of this article including the 24 Appendices which contain data concerning individual schools (Gareth Hicks Jan 2003)
Before 1870, when the chief responsibility for the organisation and promotion of elementary education in England and Wales was in the hands of Voluntary Societies 1 large numbers of schools were also promoted or erected by proprietors of individual 'works' and by large industrial companies. 2 In South Wales during the nineteenth century the rapid development of heavy industries and coal-mining created centres of dense populations where voluntary efforts to provide education in many areas proved inadequate and ineffective. In this article it is proposed to examine in some detail the attempts of those concerned with the development of coalmining in the area to provide a modicum of elementary instruction for the children of their employees.
The characteristic feature of the industrial evolution of South Wales during the first half of the nineteentb century was the growth and expansion of the ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgical industries. Their prosperity depended essentially upon the availability and supply of cheap coal and most of the larger ironworks and copperworks had their own collieries. 3 But collieries in this category had no schools, since the colliers' children attended the ironworks or copperworks schools, e.g. at Llanelly and Hafod (Swansea) Copperworks schools, the Rhymney, Dowlais and Neath Abbey ironworks schools, and many others. 4
The real colliery school was the one promoted or established by the owner of a colliery, or, a colliery company. Sometimes a school in a mining community was maintained partly by fixed annual donations from colliery owners or companies. Such schools were primarily for colliers' children, but, as in other 'works' schools, children of other work-people took advantage of such educational facilities provided there were vacancies or 'places' in these schools. Over forty such colliery schools were promoted in the South Wales Coalfield during the nineteenth century. The North Wales Coalfield had no Colliery Schools.
The establishment of colliery schools in South Wales followed very closely the various phases of development of coal-mining. During the eighteenth century, Sir Humphrey Mackworth's Charity School at Neath for his miners' children 5 and Nevill's Free Schools at Llanelly 6 during the early years of the nine- ................................
- 1. Mainly the National Society and British and Foreign School Society.
- 2. Evans, L. Wynne: 'Ironworks schools in South Wales, 1784-1860', Sociological Review, July, 1951.idem: 'Schools established by industrial undertakings in Caernarvonshire and Merionethshire during the nineteenth century': Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, Vol. 15, 1954.
- 3. Williams, David: Modern Wales, J. Murray, 1950, p. 215; John, A. H.: The Industrial Development of South Wales, 1750-1850, Univ. of Wales Press, 1950, p. 36.
- 4. Education Commission: Reports of Commissioners appointed to Inquire into the State of Popular Education in England, 1861: Reports of Assistant Commissioners, Vol. II, Appendix E.
- 5. Shankland, Parch. T.: Seren Gomer, 3, XXIV, 1903: App. I, p. 145.
- 6. Returns of the Llanelly Free Schools, 1818: Llanelly Public Library.
.................teenth century were the earliest. The second phase, roughly from 1820 to 1860 saw the development of the heavy industries which necessitated the sinking of large numbers of new pits to meet the high fuel demands. A few small colliery schools were beginning to appear during this period, before monetary grants began to flow from the government. Between 1840 and 1860, however, others were established as (a) grants were forthcoming from the Committee of Privy Council, (b) the Voluntary Societies became more active, and (c) when several government Commissions produced Reports on the State of Education in the Mining Districts. 1 The final phase, from 1860 to the end of the century, was associated with the rapid development of the central Glamorgan coalfield---especially the steam-coal deposits of the Rhondda Valleys---for export purposes. This region, by 1900, became one of the most densely populated parts of Britain. 2
This third stage in the development of the coalfield inaugurated a whole succession of new colliery schools, most of which were located in the two Rhondda valleys---whilst many others were established in other colliery districts. Nevertheless, the existence of these schools measured in terms of years was brief, for they appeared too near the first Education Act of 1870. It is surprising however, to find that colliery schools continued to be opened well on into the 1880's. Eventually their subsequent history became intimately related to the fortunes of the Local School Boards which finally absorbed them.
Colliery Schools, 1820-1860
For historical reasons, the colliery schools of this period are separated into two groups
- (a) Schools established between 1820-1840
- (b) " " " 1840-1860.
(a) Before 1840, the few colliery schools which were established represented the efforts of individual proprietors and private subscribers to provide some kind of educational facilities in the mining areas before parliamentary grants were available. Moreover, although the two voluntary societies (the National, and British and Foreign School Societies) had been established since 1811 and 1814 respectively, very few schools were promoted by them in the mining areas in the ......
- (i) Reports from the Select Committee on the Act for the Regulation of Factories, with Minutes of Evidence, 1840, X; 1841, XI.
- (ii) Report of R. J. Saunders, ibid., Feb. 1842, 1843, XXVII.
- (iii) First Report of the Commissioners (Mines), ibid., 1842, XV.
- (iv) Reports and Evidence of Sub-Commissioners, ibid., XVI, XVII.
- (v) Second Report of Commissioners, ibid., 1843, XIII.
- (vi) Annual Reports of the Commissioners on the State of the Population in the Mining Districts. Annually, 1844-59.
- (vii) Six Reports of the Commissioner on the operation of the Mines Act, 1844-49.
- 2. In 1861, the population of the old parish of Ystradyfodwg was 3,857. In 1901, the population of the Rhondda Urban District was 113,735.
.......................... first three decades of the nineteenth century. This deficiency in the provision of schools in the mining areas became the main topic of the Reports of the Minutes of Committee of Council after 1840, and was also the subject of more than one government inquiry long before the 1846 Commission reported. 1
The colliery schools which existed before 1840 were wholly dependent on the benevolence of colliery proprietors coupled with the income derived from the poundage levy on the colliers' wages.
The first colliery school of the coalfield was established at Hirwaun in 1820 --- at that time one of the most desolate places in Glamorgan with a population of about 2,000. 2 Here, there were two schools connected with the ironworks---one of the few examples of a works which had a separate school for its colliery,---the Colliers and Miners School, and the Furnace or Firemen's school. The Colliers' School, which 2 Here, there were two schools connected with the ironworks---one of the few examples of a works which had a separate school for its colliery,---the Colliers and Miners School, and the Furnace or Firemen's school. The Colliers' School, which functioned 'in a room over a stable', was packed with fifty boys and girls, and confined itself to the teaching of the three R's, the Commissioner stating that 'the children read better than many children whom I have met with.....and they were able to add simple figures with extreme activity'. 3
This school, promoted by F. Crawshay, of Treforest, Pontypridd, was maintained by a 'stoppage' of a 1/2d in the £ weekly from the colliers' wages, and the entire management of the school was in the hands of the workmen---an arrangement which produced constant friction and inefficiency. 4 In addition, the majority of the workmen at Hirwaun---as in other places were Dissenters, and in 1846 trouble arose regarding the teaching of the catechism, with the result that the workmen here as in Ystalyfera built their own school on the British system. The school cost them nearly £300---but deductions were still made from their wages to keep the National school going. 5 A few years later, with the help of the Reverend William Roberts (Nefydd), the British school Agent, the workmen were advised to ask Crawshay to seek government aid. This was granted, and the British school prospered, 6 but the National school languished, 'became totally inefficient, and was closed'. 7
- (i) Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Education, 1840-41; 1842-1846.
- (ii) Parliamentary Papers, Accounts and Papers on Education, 1839, Vol. XLI.
- (iii) Parochial Returns made to the Select Committee on the Education of the Poor, 1819, XI.
- (iv) Education Inquiry, 1833, Vols. II and III.
- (v) Report from the Select Committee on the Education of the Poorer Classes in England and Wales, 1834, IX; 1835, VII; 1837-38, VI.
- (vi) Abstract of Answers and Returns relative to the State of Education in England and Wales, 1835, XLI, XLII, and XLIII. Together with the Reports of the Commissioners (Mines), ibid., from 1846.
- 2. Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales, 1847, 3 Parts, Part I, p. 54, and pp. 333-4, passim.
- 3. ibid.
- 4. ibid. See also Appendix II on Colliers' School.
- 5. Nefydd MSS., N.L.W., Journal for 1853, entry for Dec. 1st.
- 6. ibid., Journal for 1857, entry for 14th May.
- 7. ibid.
In the parish of Llangyfelach in the western part of the coalfield, the Llewellyn's of Penllergaer, near Swansea, promoted the Llangyfelach Church school in 1822, 1 another at Penllergaer in 1834, 2 and a boys' and girls' school at Gors Eynon (Gorseinon) in 1846. The two latter schools were entirely supported by this family which owned extensive collieries in the district. 3 The Marquis of Bute, liberal supporter of new church schools in several places in east Glamorgan, was the chief promoter of two schools at Aberdare---the Aberdare 'Free' schools in 1830, and another at the same place in 1850. 4
The first colliery school of the Rhondda seems to have been established at Dinas, in the parish of Llantrisant by the pioneer colliery proprietor Walter Coffin, of Llandaff, Cardiff. He first of all opened the Dinas Lower Pit, and in 1832, the Dinas Middle Pit, and from an indenture made on September 29, 1829, the following details appear:
AGREEMENT 'Between Morgan David' (owner of the local Graigddu and Gwaunadda farmland) 'and Walter Coffin' (Rhondda coal pioneer who held mortgages on this land) 'and Moses Rowlands, Schoolmaster, for 600 square yards of Gwaunadda land ... for 999 years, at the yearly rent of 10/-, first payment to be made September 29th, 1830'. 5
This evidence suggests that the Dinas schools, sponsored by Walter Coffin, started in 1830 --- a much earlier date than the one found in the 1847 Reports --- where it is stated that the Dinas Girls' and Boys' schools were opened in 1838 and 1845 respectively. 6 However, the later Dinas schools were at Tai (Dinas), and may have been moved to that place on the dates mentioned in the Reports. Another informant confirms that the original Dinas schools were housed in a colliery storehouse, 7 moved from there to the vestry of a Methodist chapel, and finally became permanent at Tai, where they were known as the elementary schools. 8
A small colliery school existed at Cilybebyll (Crynant) for the children of the colliers employed in the Ynys-y-Geinon, Waunycoed, and Primrose Collieries. The schoolroom was erected and presented by Howell Gwyn, Esq., of Duffryn, Neath, in 1839. 9
- 1. 1847 Reports, Part 1, p. 5o.
- 2. ibid., p. 54.
- 3. ibid., p. 326. Llewellyn also contributed to the colliery School at Cilybebyll. ibid., Part I, p. 62.
- 4. Bute Documents, MS. 4.1034, (X) 8, and (X) 2/3: Abstracts of Payments and Receipts for the late Marquis of Bute's executors and Trustees, Cardiff Free Library. Also 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 54.
- 5. Moses Rowland (1790-1837), a native of Caio, Carmarthenshire, first schoolmaster of Dinas schools, and an enthusiast in the cause of elementary education in the district.
- 6. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 58.
- 7. Mr. Harry Harris, Rosebank, Ystrad, Rhondda, retired schoolmaster, and local antiquary.
- 8. See appendices 8 and 9.
- 9. Newcastle Commission Report, 1861, ibid., Appendix: Evidence of Howell Gwyn, Esq., of Duffryn. Also: 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 343.
(b) Colliery Schools, 1840-1860
The parish of Llansamlet, near Swansea, was loaned a schoolroom by C. H. Smith, the coal proprietor of the parish in 1841. The schoolroom was furnished from the subscriptions of parishioners for the accommdation of one of Madame Bevan's schools which existed until 1843. In that year the schoolmaster left, and a new one was appointed to be the master of Smith's National Colliery school. The proprietor deducted a 1d in the £ from his workmen's wages towards the maintenance of the school. In 1845, Smith procured a new site from the Earl of Jersey, and a new National school was erected. 1
The Courtybella Colliery School in the parish of Mynyddislwyn (Monmouthshire) was established by Sir Thomas Phillips in 1842, 2 and was the first of the works schools in Wales to be aided by a parliamentary grant. Sir Thomas, who became Mayor of Newport, was the proprietor of several collieries in Monmouthshire, and the colliery school which be promoted and the numerous others which he supported and endowed, made him one of the leading figures in the field of education (on the National or Church side) not only in Monmouthshire and the coalfield, but in the whole of Wales.
Sir Thomas, well-versed in the educational deficiencies of the mining areas was also closely acquainted witb the social and working conditions of the populations of the industrial areas. Moreover, he had witnessed the Chartist disturbances in his own home district in 1839 when he was Mayor of Newport. Accordingly, in the following year it is not surprising to find that he took steps to establish a colliery school at Courtybella, 'a locality distinguished as a seat of disaffection in 1839'. 3
The story of his efforts to establish this school marks him out as the champion of the cause of education for the working classes in Monmouthshire, and as the pioneer colliery owner, who, in spite of the lack of interest displayed by his fellow-proprietors, founded the first colliery school in the county. For several years, without any measure of success, he tried to get the other colliery owners together to establish schools. In 1839, however, the Committee of Privy Council for Education was formed 'entrusted with the application of any sums which might be voted by parliament (through the two voluntary societies) for the purposes of education in England and Wales', 4 and in the same year the first Minutes of the Council contained the 'gloomy' Report by H. S. Tremenheere on the Mining Districts. 5
On March 25, 1840, the Committee of Council sent a Circular Letter to the twenty-nine mining proprietors in Monmouthshire deploring the lack of educational facilities in the county 'and realised that few schools existed ... and had little ..................
- 1. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 330.
- 2. ibid., Part III, p. 316 and p. 308.
- 3.Reports from the Commissioners, Mines, 1846, ibid., p. 416.
- 4. Parliamentary Papers (Accounts and Papers), 1839, Vol. XLI, Papers on Education, 4th February, 1839, p. 255.
- 5. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1839-40. Report on the Mining Districts of South Wales, H. S.Tremenheere, p. 415.
.................... effect on the labouring populations'. 1 This Circular, had as its object, an offer of help in the erection of schools on a 50% grant basis, provided that the promoters of schools secured the services of a teacher trained in a Normal School of the National or the British and Foreign School Society. Sir Thomas Phillips had, in the meantime, written to the Committee of Council stating that his fellow colliery proprietors were not disposed to establishing schools 'although there were many thousands dependent on the collieries in the gn School Society. Sir Thomas Phillips had, in the meantime, written to the Committee of Council stating that his fellow colliery proprietors were not disposed to establishing schools 'although there were many thousands dependent on the collieries in the districts of Bedwellty, Mynyddislwyn, Machen, and Risca'. 2 He furthermore implored the Council to grant money to build a school 'in order to show them (the other proprietors) up', and his letter ended with the plea
'your memorialist therefore humbly sollicits from your Lordships a liberal grant for the erection of buildings so that proprietors might imitate'. 3
His wish was granted on 13 November, 1840, when the Council promised to pay, through the National Society, 50% of the expenses of his school. The initial estimate of the cost of erection was £900, of which Sir Thomas was to pay £450 plus a fixed annual sum for its upkeep, in addition to the poundage money received from the men employed in his collieries. 4 But when the school was finally erected in 1842 its actual cost was £1,400, of which Sir Thomas contributed £700. 5 This sum included the cost of the school buildings and the master's house, which were described as 'handsome buildings'. 6
The funds for the maintenance of the school were raised in the following manner : 'In 1843, Sir Thomas Phillips contributed £90-5-2, and his workmen in the collieries contributed a 1d in the £ of their earnings to the school fund in return for which their children were educated'. 7 The children of parents not in the employ of Sir Thomas were admitted on payment of a small weekly sum. The School had accommodation for 300, and an adult school was conducted on two evenings per week. 8
Being a National School, it was inspected by the National Society, of which Sir Thomas was a staunch member and a liberal contributor. 9 In addition to the Courtybella school, he supported another church school at Llanellen, near Abergavenny, contributed generously to other schools in Monmouthshire, and to the ..................
- 1. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1840-41. Circular to 29 Mining Proprietors in Monmouthshire, p. 28.
- 2. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1840-41, ibid., Copy of Letter from Sir Thomas Phillips.
- 3. ibid.
- 4. ibid.: Receipt of application for grant from Parliament, Nov. 13th, 1840, p. 118; Also, ibid., Appendix 2, p. 48.
- 5. ibid. for 1844: Report on 138 schools in the Western District, by Rev. H. W. Bellairs, Feb. 1845, p. 224.
- 6. Reports from Commissioners, Mines, ibid., p. 416.
- 7. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1844, ibid., supra.
- 8. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1844, ibid., p. 224.
- 9. Result of the Returns to the General Inquiry made by the National Society into the State and Progress of schools, 1846-47 (published 1849): Monmouth, p. 7. Also: Annual Reports of the Monmouthshire Education Board. Published by T. Farror, Beacon Office, Monmouth.
........................ Monmouthshire Diocesan School Board. 1 During his life, he devoted much time and labour to other educational matters. He was mainly responsible for the organisation of the finances of the Welsh Education Fund of the National Society which he inaugurated in 1846, which 'extended 1 During his life, he devoted much time and labour to other educational matters. He was mainly responsible for the organisation of the finances of the Welsh Education Fund of the National Society which he inaugurated in 1846, which 'extended for many years church instruction throughout both North and South Wales'. 2 Also, he enhanced the work of the National Society in Wales in another typical and practical manner. As organiser of the Welsh Committee of the Society, he 'made a circuit throughout the Principality and established two Welsh Training schools---one at Caernarvon, and the other at Carmarthen---which resulted in the erection of good schools in North and South Wales---especially South Wales'. 3
Sir Thomas did not permit the national character of his work to dim his enthusiasm for more local work in his own county. In addition to keeping one eye on the rest of the country, 'he promoted and managed schools in the hilly and Welsh districts of Monmouthshire'. 4 In short, Sir Thomas Phillips was the outstanding personality and driving force as the agent of the National Society in Wales at a period when the rival British and Foreign School Society had two fulltime agents in North and South Wales.
Mention should also be made of another side of his work. In common with all other industrialists, he was fully aware and particularly concerned about the early age at which large numbers of young children left school to go to work. Several methods were employed by those employers who had established schools to entice children to remain at their studies for a longer period, or, failing that, to promote evening classes for them after working hours. Sir Thomas Phillips inspired and organised a successful employed by those employers who had established schools to entice children to remain at their studies for a longer period, or, failing that, to promote evening classes for them after working hours. Sir Thomas Phillips inspired and organised a successful Prize scheme in the county of Monmouth, and later persuaded his fellow-industrialists in South Wales to form themselves into a committee which was afterwards known as the 'Iron and Coalmasters' Association', of which he was the secretary and treasurer. 5
Finally, it is worth recording that this energetic industrialist found time to accomplish work in more permanent form. In 1849, he published his book on Welsh Education in reply to the scathing Commissioners' Reports of 1847. 6 Later, he wrote the Life of James Davies of Devauden, which, among other things reveals Sir Thomas's intense interest in schools and education, as well as his sincere Anglicanism. 7
- 1. Trustees of Sir Thomas Phillips: William Graham and Co., Midland Bank Chambers, Newport, Mon.
- 2. Report from the Select Committee on Education, together with the Proceedings, Minutes of Evidence, Appendix and Index, 1866. (Pakington Committee). Evidence of Sir Thomas Phillips:---Minute 5459, p. 268.
- 3. ibid., Minute 5460. Also 1847 Reports, Part III, p. 35. 'Some landed proprietors subscribe to the church schools. Large sums were being raised among the proprietors and clergy chiefly by the exertions of Sir Thos. Phillips of Newport, for a common
- 3. ibid., Minute 5460. Also 1847 Reports, Part III, p. 35. 'Some landed proprietors subscribe to the church schools. Large sums were being raised among the proprietors and clergy chiefly by the exertions of Sir Thos. Phillips of Newport, for a common fund to promote popular Education in Wales in connection with the Church of England'.
- 4. Pakington Committee Report, ibid., Minute 5461.
- 5. Pakingt0n Committee Report, ibid., supra.
- 6. Phillips, Sir T.: Wales, the Language, Social Conditions, Moral Character and Religious opinions of the people considered in their relation to Education, etc. John W. Parker, London, 1849.
- 7. James Davies, Devauden (1765-1849). Born at Grosmont, Monmouthshire: schoolmaster at Brynbiga, later Devauden. His school at Devauden was licensed for public worship (Anglican) in 1827.
In 1844, the Marquis of Bute promoted a church school at Rhigos, in the parish of Ystradyfodwg, 1 and also contributed fifty guineas annually towards the maintenance of National Schools in the parish of Llantrisant. 2 The Bute family contributed to schools rather than established specific ones, and wherever the family had industrial interests in Glamorgan, were strong supporters of church schools. 3
The old Hirwaun Colliers' National school has already been noted as well as the efforts of the Dissenting workmen at that place to establish their own school. The new school on the British system was opened in 1856 'in connection, and for the benefit of the colliers and miners under R. Crawshay, Esq., of Hirwaun. The movement originated entirely among the colliers, and they were afterwards aided in their efforts by the committee of Hirwaun British school'. 4 The colliers obtained a suitable room from Crawshay, who also gave his consent to apply 1d in the £ of their wages for its maintenance, instead of supporting the inefficient school at Hirwaun. 5
In the 1850s, a small school was established in connection with Insole's collieries at Cymmer (Porth), but the accommodation was poor and the school had an inefficient and untrained master. 6 Between 1855 and 1860 several new pits were being sunk in the Rhondda Fawr valley and although no colliery school was opened in the area until 1860, Nefydd wrote in 1858 stating that 'most of the new colliery owners in Ystradyfodwg were anxious to have a good school for the colliers, and wanted me to deliver a Welsh lecture on education to the workmen in the collieries'. 7
The remaining colliery schools established before 1860 included the Bryndu (Pyle) school, 1846 8; Llanfabon school (1846) 9 and Cwmllynfell school. 10 At the large Bryndu Colliery, owned by H. H. Ford, schools were built for boys and girls, and the colliery Steward, Benjamin Daniel described the circumstances thus:
'Our works began again three years ago. The men earn 21/- to 25/- per week, and some 30/-, yet they threaten to strike for higher wages. We have much trouble with them. The schools are likely to be well attended; there are already 100 at the boys' school. The master was obtained from Bristol'. 11
Two colliery proprietors in the Swansea Valley, Messrs. James and Aubrey of the Cwmllynfell colliery, and Moira Crane, Esq., of Cwmtwrch colliery subscribed towards the colliers' children school at Cwmllynfell. 12
- 1. 1847 Reports, Part I, pp. 58-61.
- 2. ibid.
- 3. The Bute Family also contributed to the Pentyrch Ironworks National schools.
- 4. Nefydd MSS., Journal for April, 1856, entry for April 3rd.
- 5. ibid.
- 6. ibid., Journal for February, 1857, entry for Feb. 3rd.
- 7. Nefydd MSS., Journal for 1858, entry for August 4th.
- 8. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 70.
- 9. ibid., p. 302.
- 10. ibid., p. 329.
- 11. Reports from Commissioners, Mines and Collieries, ibid., 1846, p. 430.
- 12. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 329.
In the 1840's, the parish of Gelligaer contained several collieries, but the majority of the colliers lived at Llanfabon. Three colliery companies supported the colliery school at Llanfabon---Duncan and Co.'s colliery at Llancaiach promised £50; Powell's colliery at Gelligaer, £60; and Mr. Cartwright, proprietor of Tophill colliery, £30. 1
Colliery Schools, 1860-1890
Before 1860, the old parish of Ystradyfodwg had few signs of industrial development. Comprising the two Rhondda rivers and the area between them, the parish extended on the western side (the Rhondda Fawr), from Rhigos and Blaenrhondda on the north, down to Porth, including Treherbert, Treorchy, Pentre, Ton, Gelli, Ystrad, Llwynypia, Penygraig, and Trealaw. The eastern boundary (the Rhondda Fach) extended from Porth north-eastwards to Ynyshir, Tylorstown, Ferndale, and Mardy. This parish had a population of 3,857 in 1861, but by 1891 the new Rhondda Urban District comprised a population of 88,351.
Other parts of the coalfield, hitherto undeveloped, were opened up after 1860, particularly the Aberdare, Ogmore, and Garw Valleys, Maesteg, Clydach Vale, and several places in Monmouthshire. The anthracite coalfield of the west was not developed until the last decade of the century, and the Local School Boards looked after the provision of schools in that region.
Before 1860, the Rhondda, described by one traveller as 'the glorious green valley', had few collieries, and had only two day-schools in 1847 3:
Parish of Ystrad-Tafodog: visited this parish 27th February, and 5th and 16th March, 1847. It is a long narrow strip extending from Hirwaun across the centre of the county to Dinas in the parisb of Llantrisant. It contains Rhigos and Penrhin collieries, and the mine-patches of Hirwaun ironworks. I found the following day schools---Penrhin school near Pont Walby, and Rhigos school'. 4
Before 1860, not a single day-school was under government inspection within the parish of Ystradyfodwg, though collieries had been sunk at Treherbert (1851-55) and Bodringallt (Ystrad) in 1858. The first colliery schools to be opened were: Treherbert British school (1860), Bodringallt (1861), and a year later a new National school was built in Treherbert with a building grant of £494 from the Privy Council. 5
- 1. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 302.
- 2. Malkin, B. H.: The scenery, antiquities, and biography of South Wales, 1807 (mentions a school at Ystradyfodwg, kept in the church). Also: Cliffe, C. F. The Book of South Wales, 1848.
- 3. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 336.
- 4. ibid.
- 5. Jones, M.O.: A history of the Parish of Ystradyfodwg, 1902, p. 125. MS. 4383D, N.L.W.
The colliers employed at the Bute collieries in the vicinity of Treherbert, which included the Dunraven, Tynewydd, and Ynysfeio collieries, contributed weekly sums deducted from their wages for the maintenance of the Treherbert British school, which a
The colliers employed at the Bute collieries in the vicinity of Treherbert, which included the Dunraven, Tynewydd, and Ynysfeio collieries, contributed weekly sums deducted from their wages for the maintenance of the Treherbert British school, which a few years later received an annual grant through the British Society. 1 The financial accounts for this school covering a period of four years from 1868 to 1872 show the detailed poundage sums transferred from the colliery accounts to the school. 2 Other information includes the headings of expenses for coal, school books, window cleaning, and a payment of 20/- per week to Mr. M. O. Jones, schoolmaster. 3
The Rhondda valleys developed rapidly in the ten years between 1860 and 1870---a development which prevailed right up to the first World War. New collieries were sunk in rapid succession, and with them the establishment of many colliery schools. The voluntary societies became more active among the growing populations, and several new schools were opened under the direction of both the National Society and the British and Foreign School Society. The Treherbert and Pentre National schools were opened in luntary societies became more active among the growing populations, and several new schools were opened under the direction of both the National Society and the British and Foreign School Society. The Treherbert and Pentre National schools were opened in 1862 and 1864 respectively, 4 and the Tonypandy National School in 1870. 5
The following colliery schools were established: Llwynypia, 1865 6; United Collieries, Treorchy, 1866 7 ; Dunraven and Blaenycwm, 1863; Pentre, 1875 8 ; Ton, Ystrad (1869) 9; Penygraig, 1869; Ferndale, 1869 10; Cwmparc, 1871; 11 and Clydach Vale, 1872.
The Glamorgan Coal Company, under the direction of Mr. Archibald Hood who came into the district from Scotland in 1860, established the Llwynypia Colliery School. 12 It was started in temporary buildings in 1865, but within a year it became so popular that new buildings were erected 'for the education of children and adults, and children only of labouring, manufacturing, and other poorer classes in the Parish of Ystradyfodwg, and for no other purpose'. 13
Nearby, at Treorchy, the Ocean Coal Company (David Davies), was actively engaged in opening up several new pits, and at the same time promoted a group of colliery schools which were maintained partly by the company and partly by the .......
- 1. Jones, M.O.: op. cit., p. 127.
- 2. MS. 12,628A, N.L.W. Treherbert British School Account from February 10th, 1868-May, 1872. The account was kept by Mr. Aaron Cule, Grocer, of Treherbert.
- 3. ibid.
- 4. 4383D, ibid., p. 126.
- 5. ibid., p. 127.
- 6. ibid., p. 126.
- 7. ibid.
- 8. Logbook, Pentre British School, January 4th, 1875, entry for 12th March: 'Pentre National school broke up last Monday. Children came flocking here'.
- 9. 4383D, ibid., p. 127.
- 10. ibid. Also: Education Records, Council Offices, Pentre, Rhondda.
- 11. ibid.
- 12. Wilkins, C.: The South Wales Coal Trade, ibid., pp. 137-9.
- 13. Three conveyances, 1869, 1876, and 1884, conveyed to Mr. Archibald Hood, and Mr. Robert Duncan. Council Offices, Pentre, Rhondda.
....................... weekly contributions by the colliers out of their wages. The accounts and wages books of these collieries show how the various schools benefitted from these deductions. 1 The United Collieries school, Treorchy, was maintained by the colliers employed in the Dare colliery 2 ; the Ton colliery school by the colliers at the Maindy colliery 3 and joint contributions from the Park and Dare collieries maintained the Cwmparc colliery school. 4
The Cwmparc school had an interesting story, and started some years before 1871. 5 Cwmparc, in 1860, was a new mining village of about two hundred families employed in the two new pits which were opened by David Davies in the narrow valley, who later formed the Ocean Coal Company. The first managing director of the Company, William Jenkins, of Ystradfechan House, formed a committee with himself as chairman, and he recruited his colliery officials and six working colliers as members. The original school, which was housed in a loft over the colliery stables had one class of pupils whose ages ranged from 8 to 18. The Ocean Coal Company contributed a certain sum annually, and the pupils paid a 1d per week. In 1871, a British School was built, the Company continued its financial aid, and a poundage on the colliers' wages was introduced to meet the additional expenses. 6
The Blaenycwm colliery school was originally connected with the earlier Dunraven colliery which was in operation in 1856. The owner of this colliery, Mr. T. Joseph (a staunch Baptist) hailed from Heolyfelin (Aberdare), and many of the first colliery workers came with him from that place, and lived in small cottages built for them in Blaenselsig (the original name for Blaenycwm). Starting as a Sunday school in 1859, the Blaenycwm school was in operation by 1863, and was maintained wholly by Joseph. Later, the Dunraven school was built at Tynewydd, maintained by grants from the colliery proprietors and the usual poundage. 7
The Ocean Coal Company had collieries outside the Rhondda area, in the Ogmore and Garw Valleys, and at Ynysybwl. The wages books of the Western Colliery in Ogmore Vale show no deductions from wages in support of any school, 8 but the books of the Garw and Lady Windsor collieries (at Blaengarw and Ynysybwl respectively) show poundage deductions of a 1d in the £ for the maintenance of the Blaengarw (1883), and Ynysybwl (1886) schools. 9
It has already been noted that the National Society, with the help of the Marquis of Bute, had opened schools in the Aberdare valley as early as 1830, and ...............
- 1. Ocean Coal Company, Treorchy, Ltd. Wages Books of the Maindy, Park, and Dare Collieries.
- 2. ibid., Dare Colliery Wages Books, Nos. 1, 5, and 6: 2d in the £ poundage for Treorchy and Cwmparc schools.
- 3. ibid., Maindy Colliery Wages Books, Nos 1 and 6; Eastern Colliery Wages Books, Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4: 1d in the £ poundage for Ton schools from these collieries.
- 4. ibid., Park Colliery Wages Books, Nos. 1 and 6; Darc Colliery Wages Books, ibid., Nos. 1, 5, and 6.
- 5. Education Records, Pentre, Rhondda, ibid.
- 6. ibid.
- 7. Information given by Mr. S. Nicholas, Treherbert, late Headmaster of Dunraven School.
- 8. Wages Books, Western Colliery, Nos. 1 and 5, Ocean Coal Co., Treorchy, Ltd.
- 9. Wages Books of the Garw Colliery, Nos. 1, 2, and 4, and Lady Windsor Colliery, Nos. 1, 2, and 5, Ocean Coal Co., ibid.
............... also that Crawshay Bailey had been hesitant, in spite of the efforts of the British and Foreign School Society to help him with the aid of grants. 1 However, the most important school in the valley was established by another group of colliery owners. In the late 1850's, the Rt. Hon. Henry Austin Bruce, later Lord Aberdare of Duffryn, was the most active promoter of schools for the new colliery populations 2 and the Duffryn Colliery Schools served at least six large collieries in the valley. Many of these collieries were in operation after 1860, and although the Duffryn schools were opened in 1857, 3 they are included here for that reason. The schools were conducted on the National system, and the children came from the several collieries of Lord Aberdare, Powell Duffryn, and Nixon. 4
The original schools built in 1857 were for boys, girls, and infants, but as the population of the district rose, and new collieries were sunk, additional schools were provided at Mountain Ash for very young children. By the middle of 1872, there were
The original schools built in 1857 were for boys, girls, and infants, but as the population of the district rose, and new collieries were sunk, additional schools were provided at Mountain Ash for very young children. By the middle of 1872, there were three infants schools at Mountain Ash---Cwmpennar Infants 5 , Miskin, and Newtown Infants, 6 ---the pupils of which were drafted in time to the Boys' and Girls' schools at Duffryn. 7
The schools were governed by a management committee, with Lord Aberdare as chairman, together with colliery officials, other colliery proprietors, and workmen's representatives, 8 the meetings being held at Duffryn House. Lord Aberdare was a constant visitor to the schools and nothing was done, no appointment was made, and no decisions were taken on any matter without his personal consent and advice. 9
The Duffryn schools resemble very closely the Educational Scheme of Sir John Guest at Dowlais, but this is not surprising when it is remembered that Lord Aberdare became one of the Trustees of the Dowlais Works on the death of Sir John Guest in 1852 and was evidently acquainted with Guest's educational work and his elaborate school system. 10 Furthermore, Lady Charlotte Guest and her energetic Works Manager, Mr. G. T. Clarke, had built the new Dowlais Schools in 1855, and some significance may be attributed to the fact that the Duffryn Schools were built two years later.
- 1.Nefydd MSS., Journal for 1857, entry for April 16th.
- 2. Letters of the Rt. Hon. H. A. Bruce, G.C.B., Lord Aberdare of Duffryn, Vol. I, Oxford, 1902. pp. 105 and 151.
- 3. Duffryn National Schools, Logbooks (4 Volumes). Vol. I, 1863-1885: entry for March 10th, 1879---22nd anniversary of opening of school.
- 4. ibid., Entry for 24th November, 1876.
- 5. ibid., Entry for February 17th, 1874.
- 6. ibid., Entry for October 28th, 1872.
- 7. ibid. .
- 8. ibid., Entry for February 2nd, 1880
- 9. Vol. I is full of instances where 'Mr. Bruce was consulted on all matters and payments'.
- 10. Evans, L. Wynne: 'Sir John and Lady Charlotte Guest's Educational scheme at Dowlais in the mid-nineteenth century': The National Library of Wales Journal, Vol. IX, No. 3, 1956.
Using the information contained in the schools log-books, the Duffryn Schools plan may be illustrated thus:
DUFFRYN COLLIERY SCHOOLS
Adults and Adolescents
Boys' Day School
Girls' Day School
Newtown Infants school
Cwmpennar Infants school
Miskin Infants school 1
(Contributing to, and sending children to Duffryn Schools)
| | | | | |
Among other interesting details in the school log-books are the references to 'the large number of boys between 10 and 12 years of age who were sent from the collieries in conformity with the new Mines Regulations Act'. Also the school managers kept the colliery officials well-informed of the progress of the youths who attended evening schools. 8 A regular entry in the records was the strict attention paid to the 'Colliery Lists' which contained the names of colliers' children from each of the six collieries who were eligible to attend the schools. These lists were sent regularly to the schools by the chief clerk at the colliery office. 9
- 1. Duffryn National Schools, Logbooks ibid., Vol. I, Entry for 15th July, 1872: 'This school was opened today. I, Esther Thomas, formerly a pupil-teacher in the Dowlais Ironworks schools, entered on my duties as mistress this morning'.
- 2. ibid., entry for Feb. 2nd., 1880.
- 3. ibid.
- 4. ibid., entry for August 5th, 1873.
- 5. ibid., entries for Nov. 13th, 24th, in 1874, and Nov. 1876.
- 6. ibid.
- 7. ibid., entry for March (undated) 1878, and note on p. 478.
- 8. Duffryn Schools Log-books, Vol. I, ibid., entry for 6th January, 1873.
- 9. ibid., entry for May 22nd, 1873.
It seems that a colliery could decide for itself whether or not it desired to agree to the poundage system for educational purposes. An entry dated 24 November 1876, stated that the 'clerk from Abercwmboi Colliery called at the school today to inform me that the men had decided to adopt the poundage system of payment, and that from this day the children of parents employed in that colliery are to be admitted on the same footing as those from the Powell Duffryn and Messrs. Nixon's Works'. 1 The management committee also allowed the pauper children from the parish of Llanwonno to attend the schools on payment by the parish clerk of a special fee. 2 Two other colliery schools are mentioned in the Minutes of Committee of Council after 1870, viz. Llanwonno Navigation colliery school, 3 and Cwmamman (Aberdare) colliery school. 4
After 1860, numerous pits were sunk in the Maesteg area (which was already served by the three ironworks schools promoted by the Maesteg and Llynfi Iron Companies), among the most important being the Oakwood, Garth, Dyffryn, and Coegnant pits. 5 Schools were established at the Garth and Coegnant collieries, and later, at the Merthyr (Maesteg) colliery. 6 The Merthyr colliery school had a somewhat precarious existence, being closed periodically due to strikes at the pit, but after 1877, it was re-opened and housed 'in more commodious and newer buildings'. 7 The Infants' School at Coegnant pit started its life in the colliery engine room, but was later moved to a proper school building. 8
The remaining colliery schools after 1870, listed in the official Parliamentary publications, were scattered in distribution on the coalfield. In Monmouthshire, the sole representative was at Varteg Hill colliery. 9 In Glamorgan, schools existed at Gilfach Goch Colliery, 10 Clydach Vale, 11 Tynewydd (Wyndham Colliery), Nantymoel, 12 Resolven, 13 Court Herbert Colliery, Skewen (owned by Vivian's Swansea), 14 Dyhewid (Llantwit Fardre), Pentre Bach, (Merthyr Vale), Kenfig Hill Colliery, 15 Pits (Ebbw Vale) 16 and the Yard School (Charles Pit Colliery), Llansamlet. 17
- 1. Duffryn Schools Log-books, Vol. I, ibid., entry for 24th November, 1876.
- 2. ibid., entry for May 9th, 1873: 'Received cheque for £4-0-4 from Parish of Llanwonno in payment of school fees of pauper children attending these schools'.
- 3. Minutes of Committee of Council, Tabulated Lists, 1877-8.
- 4. Parliamentary Papers, Vol. LIX, 1873, p. 406.
One informant states that the Cwmamman school was once known as the George Elliot school. In 1864, Sir George Elliot (who had started life as a door-boy in a Durham pit) acquired Thomas Powell's pits and formed the Powell Duffryn Company.
- 5. Wilkins, C. ibid., p. 146.
- 6. Minutes of Com. of Coun. 1874, p. 75; ibid.. 1880, p. 732.
- 7. ibid., 1877-78, p. 86.
- 8. Information given by Thos. Bevan, Esq., Workmen's Institute, Blaengwynfi, b. 1860---a pupil at the school.
- 9. Mins. Com. Coun. 1880-81, p. 732.
- 10. ibid., 1870, p. 621. Also Parl. Pap. Vol. LII, 1873, p. 404.
- 11. Mins. Com. Coun. 1880-81, p. 644.
- 12. ibid.
- 13. ibid., for 1874, p. 76.
- 14. ibid., for 1880-81, p. 732.
- 15. Kenfig Hill School logbook: extracts by the late Rev. Dr. E. K. Jones, Wrexham.
- 16. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1889-90, p. 94.
- 17. Education Records, Education Dept., Guildhall, Swansea.
Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire had no colliery schools. This can be appreciated when it is remembered that anthracite coal---the main product of this part of the South Wales coalfield---did not apparently play an important part in the earlier phases of industrialism in South Wales, although, it is conceded that due to technical discoveries, anthracite was utilised after 1838 for iron-smelting, but not on any large scale.
Two other reasons explain the absence of colliery schools in this region. In the first place, the large-scale exploitation of the anthracite coalfield did not occur until after 1890 when a tremendous export trade was developed. Secondly, educational provision was met by the machinery of the Local School Boards, which by that time had been set up in every part of the country.
LESLIE WYNNE EVANS.
University College, Cardiff.
Evidence of Howell Gwyn, Esq., of Dyffryn, regarding the schools at Bryncoch and Cilybebyll 1
'In this neighbourhood, (Dyffryn Clydach) we are peculiarly situated as it respects the school (Bryncoch), as the workmen belonging to the colliery near the school subscribe to the Neath Abbey School which belongs to the colliery proprietors, and some
'In this neighbourhood, (Dyffryn Clydach) we are peculiarly situated as it respects the school (Bryncoch), as the workmen belonging to the colliery near the school subscribe to the Neath Abbey School which belongs to the colliery proprietors, and some of the children are sent there.
The average attendance at the Bryncoch school is about 80. In another school, which I have erected at Kilybebyll, we are similarly situated to Bryncoch, as there are other schools in the neighbourhood. The remarks I make extend only to the manufacturing districts with which I am connected as a landowner.
In the Swansea Valley, where I have property, they are generally very well off for schools, some of which are on a large scale.
The population connected with the works are rather improvident in their habits. I do not think that the parents appreciate the value of education for their children, more particularly in the working districts. Some time since, Mrs. Gwynn introduced needlework into the school for the purpose of enabling the girls to be more useful at home. The great drawback on educational improvement in this district is, that the parents care for nothing so much as the immediate reward of money. As soon as a boy can make 10d or 1/- a day, he is removed from school'.
Hirwaun Miners' and Colliers' Works school 2
Established 1820. Founder: F. Crawshay, Esq., of Treforest, Pontypridd.
Tenancy at will. Good building, no outbuilding. 9 feet high. 21 x 14 feet. Accommodation at 6 square feet: 49. Insufficient furniture in good repair. 50 children on books. Duration of attendance: 5 for less than one year; 5, from 1 to 2 years; 15, from 2 to 3 years; 15, from 3 to 4 years; 10, from 4 to 5 years.
Admission: children not admitted under 6 years of age.
From 5 to 10 years: 14 Girls and 24 boys. Over 10 years: six girls and six boys.
Average attendance in last year: 20 girls; 30 boys. Instruction by teacher and monitorial: 3 monitors. Subjects: Holy Scriptures, reading, writing, arithmetic. English books; English grammar; Welsh to explain same. Visitation by Trustees and committee.
Master's age: 60. Commenced vocation at 18. Previous Occupation: In school. Salary: £36-8-0.
Stoppage of 1d in the £ upon the men's wages.
- 1. Newcastle Commission Report, 1861, Appendix.
- 2. 1847 Reports: Part I, pp. 54-57.
Extracts from the Journals of the Rev. William Roberts, Blaina ('Nefydd'), referring to the Hirwaun Works schools 1
Journal for December, 1853: Entry for Dec. 1st.
Attended a committee at Hirwaun (between Merthyr and Swansea) with a view to aid them in establishing the school, and to obtain government aid towards paying off the debt upon the building, which was erected in 1849, costing near £300. They collected some hundreds of pounds from time to time, which sum was spent in maintaining the teachers, furnishing the schools, etc. The committee is now in £220 debt (on account of the building, etc.) Population 4,000: children once in school---150. The school had been closed for some time, but now will be re-opened. Mr. Bowstead will visit it in August.
Journal for 1855: entry Dec. 27th.
Hirwaun: In consequence of two schools being supported in connection with the works in this place, and that the workmen are obliged to pay towards the support of the very inefficient teachers that are in them out of their wages, it is impossible for the British school to succeed.
In consequence of the delay of the Marquis of Bute's lawyer to give the lease here and in Aberdare, they can have no aid from the Committee of Council towards refitting the school. It is deplorable that in many instances men of wealth, who ought to do
In consequence of the delay of the Marquis of Bute's lawyer to give the lease here and in Aberdare, they can have no aid from the Committee of Council towards refitting the school. It is deplorable that in many instances men of wealth, who ought to do most for facilitating the education of the people are the readiest to mar all the efforts in its favour.
Journal for 1856: Entry for March 11th:
Hirwaun: I made enquiries re the state of the British school and found that the miserable schools connected with the works in this place are still great obstacles in the way of the British school, so that it is kept entirely inefficient. The workmen are obliged to pay out of their wages towards the support of schools, one superintended by a drunken man who is in the habit of cursing and swearing at the children.
The population of this place being almost entirely under the influence of the manager of the works, who is quite careless about the education of the people, causes the few individuals who went to £300 expense in 1849 of building a British school, £230
The population of this place being almost entirely under the influence of the manager of the works, who is quite careless about the education of the people, causes the few individuals who went to £300 expense in 1849 of building a British school, £230 of which is now unpaid, to be in great trouble and difficulties.
- 1. Nefydd MSS., ibid.
Llangyfelach National School 1
Established 1822. Promoter: J. D. Llewellyn, Esq., Penllergaer, Near Swansea.
Tenancy at will. Bad building, no outbuildings. 10 feet high; 23 x 14 feet. Insufficient furniture in good repair.
53 children on books. Under 5 years: nil. From 5 to 10 years: 1 girl, and 34 boys. Over 10 years: 8 girls and 10 boys.
Average attendance in last year: 9 girls and 50 boys.
Instruction by teacher.
Subjects: Holy Scriptures; catechism; writing, reading, English grammar, Vocal music. Religious instruction by teacher and minister. Visitation by minister.
English books only; English grammar.
Master's age: 40. Newport, Pem. 3 months in 1828. Commenced teaching at 20; Farmer's son. Salary: £22. School pence: £13. House and garden rent free.
Gors Eynon National School 2
Established 1846. Promoter: J. D. Llewellyn, Esq., Penllergaer, Near Swansea.
Tenancy at will; good building, good outbuildings. 8 feet high. 14x12 feet. Insufficient furniture in good repair.
37 on books; 37 remain for less than one year. under 5: 1 boy. From 5 to 10: 19 boys; over 10, 17 boys.
Monitorial: 5 monitors.
No curriculum given. Religious instruction by teacher. Visitation by minister. English books only.
Master's age: 54. Trained at the National Central school for 6 months in 1816. Commenced teaching at 23. Previous occupation : clerk.
Salary: £40 from donations and subscriptions. Nil from school pence. Coals, House and garden rent free.
Aberdare Free School (Boys) 3
Established 1830. Promoter: The Marquis pf Bute, Cardiff Castle.
Tenure in trust. Good building, sufficient outbuildings in good condition.
11 feet high; 31 x 16 feet. Insufficient apparatus and furniture in good repair. 110 on books. 20 less than year; 60 from 1 to 2 years; 30 from 2 to 3 years.
Under 5 years of age: nil. from 5 to 10: 92; Over 10, 18. Average attendance in last year: 66.
Monitorial: 16 monitors. (alternate).
Subjects: Holy Scripture; catechism; Reading, writing, English grammar, geography, History of England, Vocal Music.
Religious instruction by teacher and minister.
Visitation by trustee and minister.
Master's age: 36. Started teaching at 33, Carpenter.
Salary: £60. House and garden rent free.
- 1. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 50.
- 2. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 50-54.
- 3. 1847 Reports, Part I, pp. 56-59.
Aberdare Free School, Girls 1
Established 1830. Promoter: The Marquis of Bute.
Same remarks as per boys' school. Dimensions: 15 feet high; 14 x 16 feet.
60 on books.
In school: 5 for less than year. 35 from 1 to 2 years. 20 from 2 to 3 years.
Ages of children: Under 5 years, 5; from 5 to 10 years, 47; over 10 years, 8.
Average attendance in last year: 45.
Subjects: Holy Scriptures; catechism; reading; writing; arithmetic; History of England; Vocal Music;
Age of Mistress; 32. Commenced teaching at 29. Married.
Salary as per master of Boys' school (bracketed).
Llantrisant: Dinas Colliery School, Boys 2
Established 1845. Promoter: Walter Coffin, Esq., Llandaff, Cardiff.
Tenancy at will. Bad building, no outbuildings. 8 feet high; 21 x 15 feet.
Insufficient furniture and apparatus in bad repair. 40 on books.
22 stay for less than year. 18 from 1 to 2 years. Ages of children: under 5 years: 8; from 5 to 10 years, 32; Over 10, nil.
Average attendance in last year: 40.
Instruction by teacher. No curriculum given.
English books only. Welsh spoken to explain same.
Master's age: 30. Commenced teaching at 29. Baptist Minister.
Salary as Baptist Minister: £40. As schoolmaster £30.
1d in the £ stopped upon men's wages at colliery.
- 1. 1847 Reports, Part I, pp. 56-9.
- 2. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 58.
Llantrisant: Dinas Colliery School, Girls 1
Established 1838. Promoter: Walter Coffin, as before.
Tenancy at will. Good building, no outbuildings. 8 feet high; 15 x 15 feet.
Insufficient furniture and apparatus in good repair.
40 on books.
Attendance: 4 less than one year; 30, from 1 to 2 years; 6 from 2 to 3 years.
Ages of children: under 5 years, 11 girls; from 5 to 10 years: 21; over 10 years: 8.
Average attendance in last year: 45.
Instruction by teacher. No curriculum given.
Religious instruction by teacher. English books only.
Age of Mistress: 62. Commenced teaching at 40. Married woman.
Salary: £18-4-0 with house and coal.
1d in the £ stopped on the men's wages at the colliery.
Courtybella National School 2
Established 1842. Tenancy in trust for ever.
Good building and sufficient outbuildings in good repair.
Dimensions: 45 x 20 feet. Accommodation at 6 square feet: 150.
Sufficient furniture and apparatus in good repair.
Number on books: 134. 32 stay for less than one year.
62 for more than year and less than 2 years.
16 do. 2 years do. 3 years.
7 do. 3 years do. 4 years.
17 do. 4 years do. 5 years.
Ages: Under 5: 16 boys, 18 girls; from 5 to 10 years: 43 boys, 42 girls; Over 10 years: 13 boys, 2 girls.
Average attendance: 63 boys, 60 girls.
Monitorial: 6 monitors.
Religious instruction by master and minister.
Visited by Committee, Patron, and Minister.
Age of master: 38. Mistress: 38. Master for 3 months and mistress for 6 months at Central National school in 1827. Both commenced teaching at 18. Joint salary: £90 with house and garden rent free.
£15-16-7 from school pence.
Commissioner's Report, 1847, on Courtybella School 3
'I visited this school on the afternoon of March 31st, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Hughes, of Mynyddislwyn.
It was established and is chiefly maintained by Sir Thomas Philipps, who has large coalmines in the immediate neighbourhood.
The exertions of this truly benevolent man in the cause of education are well known, and this school is worthy of its author. It is a handsome building, standing on the bank of the deep ravine which skirts the tramroad to Tredegar.
It consists of three spacious rooms, of which the two outer ones contain galleries. Neither the master nor the mistress were in the school when we entered; they both came shortly, and the two first classes were marshalled in one of the galleries for examination.
They read indifferently, but the first class and a few of the second class answered questions in Scripture history and doctrines remarkably well. They also acquitted themselves very fairly in arithmetic and geography. I was not able to examine the lower classes, but I believe that they were not nearly so proficient. The master appeared to me to be a person of considerable ability'.
- 1. 1847 Reports, Part I, p. 58.
- 2. 1847 Reports, Part 2, pp. 316-319.
- 3. 1847 Reports, Part 2, p. 285.
Courtybella, in the Parish of Mynyddislwyn, in the County of Monmouthshire 1
The school was erected in 1842 at an expense of £1,400, one half of which was contributed by Sir Thomas Phillips, the other half by the Committee of Council. The funds of the school are raised in the following manner: Sir Thomas Phillips contributed in 1843, £90-5-2. His workmen are required to contribute 1d in the £ of their earnings to the school fund in return for which their children are educated.
An adult school is open two evenings in every week for men and boys employed during the day. Children of parents not employed by Sir Thomas Phillips are allowed to send their children on payment of a small weekly sum. The contributions of the workmen as above and the weekly payments, amount to £29-19-2. The salary of the master and mistress per annum is £90; coals, rewards, books, etc. are £30-4-4. The average attendance is 124. The number on the books is 136.
On the day of my visit, there were present 137, in age from 4 to 10 years, arranged in 5 classes under the management of a master, mistress, and 5 monitors. Children were clean and neat; discipline and instruction were good, and the general intelligence of the children satisfactory. All subjects taught satisfactorily.
Parish of Mynyddislwyn is 7 miles from Pontypool (population 6,000) chiefly employed in mining.
Courtybella School: Statistics of application for aid from the Parliamentary Grant 2
November 13th, 1840: To obtain aid in the erection of a schoolhouse at Courtybella. 2 clergymen and one gentry as Trustees.
Population of district from which children will assemble is 2,000.
Accommodation to be provided for: 303.
Estimated expense of school buildings.
Site: £30. Schoolrooms and fittings: £550.
Fences: £100. Master's House: £220.
Total expense: £900.
Sir Thomas Phillips intends to contribute one-half of the expenditure.
It is intended to require the men employed in the collieries to contribute towards its support.
- 1. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1844. Report on 138 schools in the Western District, by Rev. H. W. Bellairs, Feb. 1845. p. 224.
- 2. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1840-41. Appendix II, pp. 48-9.
H. S. Tremenheere's Report on Courtybella School, 1845 1
At Courtybella, in the neighbourhood of Blackwood in Monmouthshire, a locality distinguished as a seat of disaffection in 1839, Sir Thomas Phillips, at that time Mayor of Newport, has contributed largely towards the building and support of a large and
At Courtybella, in the neighbourhood of Blackwood in Monmouthshire, a locality distinguished as a seat of disaffection in 1839, Sir Thomas Phillips, at that time Mayor of Newport, has contributed largely towards the building and support of a large and handsome school and a master's house.
The school is conducted by an able master, mistress, and 3 paid monitors. The average attendance is about 50 boys and 50 girls. As the school is partly supported by a small sum stopped from the wages of the men employed in Sir Thomas Phillips's collieries, an evening school is opened for them, of which, however very few take advantage.
The Sunday school is attended by about 120 more children, and in the absence of a curate for that part of the parish the master reads a portion of the church service. A church will probably soon be built for this portion of the parish of Mynyddislwyn.
TABLE HANDED IN BY SIR THOMAS PHILLIPS, 8TH MAY, 1866
Results of the Monmouthshire Prize Scheme, so far as regards the Prizes for Religious Subjects 2
From Church Schools.
From Works Schools.
From British Schools.
Proportion % of the candidates sent up from each class of schools who obtained prizes during 8 years from 1858-1865, inclusive.
Proportion % as above for the last 5 years from 1861-1865 inclusive.
Average no. of marks obtained by each child examined during 1861-5.
Average no. as above for years 1861-62.
Average no. as above for 1863, 64, and 65.
Average value in marks, of each prize obtained during the 5 years from 1861-65 inclusive.
Ystradyfodwg. Rhigos Schools 3
Established 1844. Promoter: Marquis of Bute.
Tenancy at will. Good building, no outbuildings.
Dimensions: 9 feet high, 18 x 15 feet and gallery.
Insufficient apparatus and furniture in good repair.
13 on books. Attending for 1 year and less: 2.
" from 1 to 2 years: 5.
" from 2 to 3 years: 6.
Ages of children: Under 5: 1 boy; from 5 to 10 years: 1 girl and 4 boys; over 10 years: 3 girls and 4 boys.
Average attendance in last year: 6 girls and 14 boys.
Teacher instruction. Holy Scriptures, catechism, reading, writing.
Religious instruction by teacher.
English books only. English grammar.
Master's age: 58. Started at 38. Grocer and draper before.
Salary: £16-10-0. School pence: £10-0-0.
- 1. Reports from Commissioners, Mines and Collieries, Vol. XXIV, 1846, p. 416.
- 2. Pakington Committee Report, 1866: Appendix 4, p. 312.
- 3. 1847 Reports, Part I, pp. 58-61.
Rhigos British School: from the journal of the Rev. Wm. Roberts, ('Nefydd') 1
April 3rd., 1856: Rhigos: This is a new school opened not many months ago, in connection, and for the benefit of the colliers and miners under R. Crawshay, Esq., of Hirwaun, whose population is increasing. Crawshay's preparation towards educating the children of his Fire workmen and mechanics is miserably attended to (as I reported to you lately) that it is worse than if it was neglected altogether.
This Rhigos school is about 1 1/2 miles distance, where the colliers and miners dwell. The movement originated entirely among themselves. They were afterwards aided in their efforts by the committee of Hirwaun British School. They obtained a suitable room to commence from R. Crawshay, Esq., and also his consent to apply 1d per £ of their wages towards the support of this instead of supporting those that are in Hirwaun.
They have obtained an untrained young man as a master in whom some of the leaders have much confidence. We had no teacher to offer them from the Borough Road, neither would the salary they can give at present be acceptable to a competent one, being only £40. There are from 60 to 70 children already in the school.
Extracts from the Financial Account of the Treherbert Colliery British School, where the late M. O. Jones was headmaster. The account was kept by Mr. Aaron Cule, Grocer, Treherbert 2
Salary: M. O. Jones, 20/- per week. Mrs. Jones 12/6 per week.
per D. Richards. 9/6.
Salaries weekly at £1 and 12/6, respectively.
Tynewydd Colliery 6/-.
2 loads of coal, 8d.
Ynisfeio " £1-15-4
Poundage from collieries to the school.
June, 1868. Grants: £72-9-2.
Dunraven Colliery: £2-13-6.
Tynewydd " £2-7-9.
Ynisfeio " £2-17-4
Specimen page of poundage: April-July, 1869 .
April 3rd. Tynewydd Colliery: £3-1-6.
April 3rd. Ynysfeio Colliery: 7 weeks, £2-6-10.
" 24th. Dunraven Colliery: £3-16-3
May 8th. Ynysfeio Colliery: £1-3-2.
" 22nd. Tynewydd " £3-17-0
June 17th. Ynysfeio Colliery (two pays) £2-18-6.
July 24th. Dunraven Colliery: £3-9-0.
- 1. Nefydd MSS., Journal for April, 1856.
- 2. MS. 12,628A, N.L.W. Treherbert British School Account Book from February 1868-May 1872.
OCEAN COLLIERIES, RHONDDA, SCHOOL FUND
COLLIERY WAGES BOOKS: DEDUCTIONS FROM COLLIERS' WAGES 1
No. of Book
Title of Wages Book
Amount of 4 Weekly Deductions
Rate of Deductions
School which Benefitted
Maindy Colliery Wages Book
1d in £
Park Colliery Wages Book
Dare Colliery Wages Book
2d. in £
Shown as school Fund
2d in £
2d in £
Eastern Colliery Wages Book
1d in £
2d in £
1d in £
Garw Colliery Wages Book
1d in £
Lady Windsor Colliery Wages Book
1d in £
- 1. Ocean Coal Company, Treorchy, Wages Books (as numbered).
SCHOOLS IN THE PARISH OF YSTRADYFODWG IN 1870 1
Date of Estab.
Govt. Grant 1867-68
Treherbert Colliery (Brit.)
M. O. Jones
M. A. Rees
M. A. Davies
Treorchy United Collieries
Ton Ystrad (Brit.) Colliery
W. G. Howell
Penygraig (Brit.) Colliery
L. T. Morgan
Ferndale (Brit.) Colliery
All above schools were under government inspection and receiving annual visits from H.M.I.
1870: National School at Tonypandy; 1871: Cwmparc Colliery School.
- 1. MS. 4383D, N.L.W., ibid., pp. 126-7.
Extracts from the Duffryn Colliery National Schools Logbooks. 4 Volumes. Volume 1, 1863-1885
Note: Duffryn National Schools received parcels of school books and apparatus at frequent intervals from the National Society, London.
The schools were visited regularly by H. A. Bruce (Lord Aberdare) and family. 'Mr. Bruce' was consulted on all school matters and payments of accounts.
Oct. 5th, 1863: Mr. Evans refused to pay for his son on plea that his son (aged 14) works in coalpit. I gave him 2 weeks to consider. Received a reply from Mr. Bruce stating that Evans has no right to send his children to school without paying.
Jan. 13th, 1864: Night school attendance very low because the overmen at the different works are not sufficiently particular in enforcing the Act of Parliament (Mines Act of 1861). Wrote to Mr. Brown, Manager of the Navigation Colliery about it, and spoke to Mr. Wilkinson, Manager of Mr. Powell's pits.
April 14th, 1864: School visited by Rt. Hon. H. A. Bruce.
June 5th, 1871: In consequence of a strike among the colliers, great numbers of the lads belonging to the works attended the schools today, and will continue to do so during the continuance of the strike. The numbers will be stated each day.
June 6th, 1871: Attendance at school: 290; workboys, 60.
June 15th, do. Attendance at school: 278; workboys, 103.
June 19th, do.: The strike among the colliers still continues and the workboys still attend, but the numbers of the day scholars are falling off, through their parents leaving the place to look for work elsewhere.
July 18th: Strike still goes on. Received today the undermentioned notice from Managers to all the teachers employed by them in these schools:
'In consequence of the strike, I am requested by the Managers of the Duffryn Schools to give you 6 months notice from the above date, July 18th, that your services will not be required by them as teachers at the Duffryn schools after the 19th January next'.
Signed for the managers,
Aug. 24th: The colliers have this day returned to work, but many have left the place and the attendances are low.
Oct. 28th, 1872: Received 3 drafts of boys from Duffryn Infants, Newtown Branch, and Miskin Branch.
May 12th, 1873: Received 7/- from Aberaman works for fees of children whose parents work in that colliery.
Aug. 5th, 1874: Received 10/9 from Aberaman Colliery for school fees, which were sent on to the Secretary.
SUMMARY OF RHONDDA COLLIERY SCHOOLS
Dinas Colliery School.
1858: Grant for books: £3-15-01/2 1
1865: Average attendance 121; Evening school: 7. Grant for improvements: £158-2-6. Annual Grant: £82-11-11. 2
1867: Av. Att. 124 (day); 16 (evening). 3
1872: 111 paid at a 1d; 74 at 2d. Employment at colliery determined different rate of payment. 4
1877-78: Av. att. 215. Grant: £147-I9-9. 5
1880: Av. Att. 247. Grant for improvements: £158-2-6. Annual grant: £190-7-0. 6
Dunraven Colliery School.
1868: Average attendance: 54 (day); 14 (evening).
1870: do. do. 154 14
1878: do. do. 261. Grant: £227-6-3.
I880: do. do. 370. £268-1-0.
- 1. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1859, Tabulated Lists.
- 2. ibid., for 1866.
- 3. ibid., for 1868.
- 4. Parl. Papers, 1873, ibid., p. 404.
- 5 .Minutes of Committee of Council, ibid., for 1878.
- 6. ibid., for 1881, p. 732.
Ferndale Colliery School.
1867: Average attendance: 84 (day); 35 (evening).
1873: 177 paid by poundage; 92 infants paid by poundage.
1880: 630 average attendance (day); 123 (evening). Grants: £551-16-0 (day school); £61-2-0 (evening school).
'In 1880, the Ferndale schools under the Llanwonno School Board, raised the sum of £343-7-11 by the poundage tax, and £36-11-0 was paid by the children of tradesmen; the rates were not called into requisitnon at all'. (Minutes of Committee of Council, p. 310.)
1883: Average attendance: 683. Grant: £601-0-10.
Treorchy United Collieries School.
1867: Average attendance: 83
1877: do. do. : 281.
1880: do. do. : 694. Grant: £480-6-10.
Llwynypia Colliery School.
1878: Average attendance: 458. Grant: £444-5-0
1880: £315 grant for improvements. 456 average attendance. Annual grant: b95-12-o
1889: Average attendance: 724. Grant: £706-10-0.
Pentre Colliery School.
1878: Average attendance: 387. Grant £330-3-1
1883: do. do. : 550. Grant £470-14-10
(References as above) and Annual Lists of Minutes of Committee of Council.
Bodringallt Colliery School.
1872: Average attendance: 207 (day school); 40 (Evening). 1
1877: do. do. : 204 (day school). 2
1880: Accommodation for 472; average attendance: 439. Annual grant: £362-8-0. 3
1883: Accommodation for 472; average attendance: 544. Annual grant: £487-0 -0. 4
- 1. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1873, p. 374.
- 2. ibid., for 1878, Tabulated lists of schools.
- 3. ibid., for 1880-81, p. 732.
- 4. ibid., for 1884, p. 753.
Cwmparc Colliery School.
1880: Accommodation for 228; average attendance: 255. Annual grant: £205-17-0. 1
1883: Accommodation for 410; average attendance: 284. Annual grant: £284-5-4. 2
Penygraig Colliery School.
1877: Average attendance: 347; Annual grant: £355-8-9. 3
1880: Accommodation for 523; Average attendance: 480. Annual grant: £397-6-0. 4
Treherbert Colliery School.
1877: Average attendance (two departments): 242. 5
1880: do. do. : 141. Grant: £44-10-6. 6
- 1. Minutes of Committee of Council, ibid., supra, 1880.
- 2. ibid., supra, 1884.
- 3. ibid., supra, 1878.
- 4. ibid., supra, 1880.
- 5. ibid., supra, 1878.
- 6. ibid., supra, 1880.
SUMMARY OF OTHER COLLIERY SCHOOLS 7
Courtybella Colliery School.
1866: Average attendance: 166. Grant of £700 for improvements. Annual grant: £66-10-3.
1870: do. do. : 180
1877: do. do. : 173 (day school); 3 (Evening).
1880: do. do. : 112 do. : 39 do.
Varteg Hill Colliery School.
1880: No. of scholars: 225.
1890: Accommodation: 290; average attendance: 196. Annual grant: £175-3-3.
Cwmaman (Aberdare) Colliery School.
1872: 231 boys paid by poundage. 204 infants, do.
Gilfach Goch Colliery School.
1873: Average attendance: 96. In 1872, 120 were paid for by poundage, and 6 at 2d.
1880: Accommodation for 314. Average attendance: 191. Annual grant: £152-10-0.
Clydach Vale Colliery School.
1872: Average attendance: 95.
1880: Accommodation for 247; average attendance: 109. Annual grant: £74-16-0
Merthyr Colliery School, Maesteg:
1880: Average attendance: 123.
1881: Average attendance: 112. Grant: £79-8-0.
1890: Accommodation for 301. Average attendance: 256. Annual grant: £226-11-0.
1894: Accommodation for 304; average attendance: 259. Annual grant: £205-7-0.
Coegnant Colliery (Infants), Maesteg.
1880: Accommodation for 162; average attendance: 99. Annual grant: £61-0-0.
Court Herbert, Skewen, Colliery School. (National) Vivian's, Hafod Copperworks, Swansea.
1880: Accommodation for 586. Average attendance, day school 436; evening school: 74. Grants: £361-5-4; £26-3-6. Grant for improvements: £423-0-0.
1894: Accommodation: 524: av. attendance: 558. Grant: £488-5-0.
Navigation Colliery School.
1877-78: Average attendance: 71. Annual grant: £69-8-0.
1880 : 110 scholars. av. attendance: 60. Grant: £48-4-0.
1893 : Board school. Accommodation, 322. Av. att. 230. Annual grant: £259-10-0.
Tynewydd, Wyndham Colliery School.
1880: Accommodation for 190; average attendance: 187 in day school; 17 in evening school. Grant: £140-4-0 and £5-3-0 respectively.
- 7. References as for Appendix 22: Minutes of Com. of Council.
Bryndu Colliery School, Pyle, Near Bridgend
Report of Mr. H. Longueville Jones, H.M.I., 1852-53.
Bryndu Colliery School, Mixed:
95 present at examination; 40 left this year; 160 admitted this year; 100 in ordinary attendance.
Desks and furniture fair; books and apparatus very fair; Organisation: one master, six classes. A woman should be employed to teach the younger children their letters, etc., and she might teach sewing to the girls in the afternoon. Instruction as good
Desks and furniture fair; books and apparatus very fair; Organisation: one master, six classes. A woman should be employed to teach the younger children their letters, etc., and she might teach sewing to the girls in the afternoon. Instruction as good as could be carried into effect during the short time the school has been erected; discipline good; methods good.
The room is well-kept and in cleanly condition; it requires however more space for so many children, and the managers are going to make the requisite improvements. The children are wellclothed.
Summary of Bryndu Colliery School.
1853: Grant of £2-10-0 for pupil teachers. No building grant. 1
1854: In augmentation of teachers' salaries: £20. In stipends to apprentices, and gratuities to teachers instructing them: £29. 2
1858: Grants to Cert. Teachers and pensions: £10-11-8 1/4. Grants to pupil teachers: £63. 3
1867: Average attendance: 275 (day school); 4 (evening). 4
1877-78: Average attendance: 289. Grant: £248-8-3. 5
1880: Accommodation for 348: average attendance 323. Grant: £282-12-6. 6
1889: No. of scholars, 348. Average attendance, 254. Annual grant: £222-5-6. 7
1894: Board school: This might also have been called the Kenfig Hill Colliery school. Accommodation: 476. Average att. 296. Grant: £285-12-0. 8
- 1. Minutes of Committee of Council, 1854. Tabulated lists.
- 2. ibid., for 1855.
- 3. ibid., for 1859.
- 4. ibid., for 1868.
- 5. ibid., for 1877-78.
- 6. ibid., for 1880-81, p.732.
- 7. ibid., for 1890.
- 8. ibid., for 1894, p.1084.