from letter 3/1/1867 from Geo Whitley
I had a conversation yesterday with Mr. Gibson and told him the intention
of allowing £25 p.ann. to the Curate at Garston on the condition that a portion
of his time should be devoted to Speke, Mr. G said he hoped the money would be
paid through his hands as otherwise it would entirely upset the arrangement with
his Curate. I however think it ought to be paid to the latter leaving him and
Mr. G to settle matters as they like, the only difficulty in this case being
that he might be prohibited from attending the schools &c.
from letter 18/1/1869 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Gibson having sent to me, being still unable to
leave home, for payment of £12.10.0 which Mrs Gibson in a letter to me says I
promised on the condition of his (Mr. Gibsons’) providing a service weekly at
the Speke school room which had been done according to the agreement since June
last. On the 12th inst I wrote to her as follows:
“I received your note yesterday relative to the
payment of the amount promised regarding the Speke Schools
enclose a receipt for the amount (£12.10/-) which I will thank you to
ask Mr. Gibson to sign & will pay over the money to any person you may
direct to call for it.
You will excuse me for saying that the £25 was not
‘promised’ on the condition on his (Mr. Gibsons’) providing a service
weekly at the Speke school rooms but on condition that the curate of Garston
should have the sole control of the schools giving such services as he might
think proper for which he was to be paid by Mr. Watts executors the sum
of £25 p.ann. Mr. Gibson stipulating that the money should pass through his
hands which as a matter of courtesy we agreed to. If however, as I gather from
your note, that the Curate for the time being is not to be benefited I fear it
may lead to some other arrangement”
This produced a letter from Mrs. G dated 13th
inst a copy of which is enclosed.
understanding with Mr. Gibson was decidedly as I have expressed it – that was
to pay the Curate himself for his work at Speke & not to pay part of his
stipend as Curate of Garston with which Mr. Watts’ Trustees have nothing to
do. It is an unfortunate misunderstanding & I much fear will lead to the
withdrawal of the Curate from Speke. The receipt complained of was in the
of the late Mr. Richard Watts’ Executors the sum of £12.10.0 for half years
gratuitons allowance for the Curate of Garston for superintendence and
management of the Speke Schools from 1. June last to the 1st Inst”
I have not yet answered Mrs. Gibson’s letter and shall cut the question of
repairs of the Chapel very short. I much regret being obliged to annoy you on so
many disagreeable subjects but shall be glad to have some advice.
13th Jany 1869
Mr. Gibson being unable to write he has requested
me to answer your letter. This I can do more easily as I happened to be present
when you promised in your own name & that of Mr. Sprot that if Mr. Gibson
authorized his Curate to superintend the Speke School & hold a service there
the Trustees would give him £25 p. ann. towards his Curate’s stipend. Mr.
Gibson distinctly said that he was not going to pay a Curate to assist him in
his parish & let that Curate be employed by a third party unless some of the
expense of the Curate Stipend was paid for him. Unless the Trustees are prepared
to do this Mr. Gibson must decline letting his Curate hold any further services
at the Speke School. He also declines signing the rect. sent as it is not worded
according to his agreement with the Trustees
regard to the refusal of the trustees to pay for the repairs of the Garston
Church, they were always paid by the late Richd. Watt & his Grandfather.
I suppose the only legal claim is the undisputed “use & wont” of
a considerable time, being just the same tenure as that by which Miss Watt holds
the patronage of the living of Garston, as you are aware there is no document in
existence which gives her that right.
I am Sir
25th January 1869
I delayed answering Mrs. Gibson’s letter until I
had an opportunity of communicating with Mr. Sprot on the subject.
He agrees with me in supporting that altho’ the
money proposed to be paid on account of the services at Speke Schools was to
pass through your hands it was intended for the benefit of the curate himself
for the performance of such services and not as part of his stipend as Curate of
Garston with which Township Mr. Watts reps? Have no connection.
I did not intend that the receipt which I sent for
your signature, and which was rejected, should express more than this and do not
see how it can be objected to in present form.
With regard to the repairs of Garston Church I must
again, as I have on former
occasions, state that Mr. Watt’s Estate is not liable for them &
consequently returned to you the bills, by whom ordered I know not, which were
sent in to me.
The remark as to the patronage of the living of
Garston, of which you seem to have formed a very erroneous opinion, is quite
much regret that any misunderstanding --?—arisen between us but still hope you
will not think I have taken either an illiberal or unfair view of the question
I am Dear Sir
Feby 4th 1869
Mr. Brack is just entering on a small house in
Garston, & I am now willing to waive my claim to the sum allowed by the
Trustees for the Speke service but he will sign the receipt, as formerly sent
thro me viz. £12 10/- up to Xmas last, and so on in future without any demur or
hindrance from me.
I must now touch on another subject, viz. I am
sorry to write that the master of the Speke School is decidedly (Bradshaw) a
disgrace to the Township. The last time I and Mr. Brack went there we were
actually compelled to leave the Schools from the vile stench of his body &
the entire dirt of his person – his daughter is also a disgrace to the place,
let Mr. Sprot go over himself & see the state of things, the nice piece of
ground which Mr. Watt appropriated as a play ground for the children & which
was to be kept in nice order for the children is now broken up by Bradshaw into
Potatoe grounds, is now a ?dead letter? & entirely diverted from its
original purpose. Mr. Sprot could easily, for a proper remuneration get a decent
young man from Scotland
I am dear Sir – truly yours
from letter 6/2/1869 from Geo Whitley
Chapel & Speke Schools –
I enclose copy correspondence with Mr. Gibson which
I hope is now closed so far as regards the proposed allowance to his Curate as I
have today sent the money (£12.10.0) to be paid over to the latter who called
upon me yesterday and expressed his thanks for what is to him a great boon –
The report as to the schools is as bad as can be and it is quite clear there
must be a change. Mr. Brack thinks he could procure a respectable young man as
Master for £50 p. ann. The Clerk at Garston Chapel tells me he sees old
Bradshaw pass his house daily & has seen him intoxicated. With such a
statement however of the Minister of the Parish there seems only one course
from letter 8/12/1869 from Geo Whitley
has yet been determined on but there seems to be a great desire on behalf of the
Tenants generally that the old barn should be converted into a new school &
Mr. Hewson has promised them if this can b e accomplished to give them a regular
service once a week which they have no doubt would be very well attended, this
however requires consideration.
from letter 24/12/1869 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Hewson and
being over at Speke yesterday I told him to go to the schools and report whether
it would be possible to raise the walls, he says they are too weak and it cannot
be done, the building is in somewhat of the following form, exceedingly low and
only thatched, the contents 44¼ square yards, average number of scholars 38,
namely from Oglet 13 and Speke 25, so there is barely sufficient space for them
& it would not accommodate a congregation on the Sunday afternoons, though
Bradshaw informs me there have been as many as 100 persons present in Mr.
Jones’ time, Mrs. Hewson is suffering from the breaking of a carbuncle in her
face which tho’ painful is getting better
from letter 1/8/1870 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Hewson called on me on Saturday and he has now got in all
applications for the situation of schoolmistress, they amount to 18 and are from
all parts of the kingdom, he left them with thinking you might wish to see them.
Shall I forward them to you?
from letter 6/8/1870 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Hewson called on me a few days since and introduced a young person
from Birkenhead for the situation of Schoolmistress and promised to see me again
today, which he has not done. From what I could judge she seems to be a suitable
person. Don’t you think we had better leave the
selection to Mr. Hewson himself? Her testimonials were satisfactory. The
weather here is extremely sultry, last Thursday we had a heavy fall of rain with
thunder which has been most grateful.
from letter 24/8/1870 from Geo Whitley
I yesterday wrote to Mr. Hewson as follows: “I believe Bradshaw has
given up the school and cottage and if so Miss Shepherd will be ready to enter
upon her duties on Monday next but before doing so I think she should be called
upon to sign the acknowledgment of the terms on which she has been engaged &
also to abide by certain rules and regulations in the conduct of the schools,
the latter will be much more satisfactorily dealt with by yourself than me &
I shall therefore feel much more obliged if you will in the mean time furnish me
with such a form as you may consider necessary & proper”
This will give you an idea how the school affair stands. Miss Shepherd
was the party selected by Mr. Hewson among many other candidates and appears a
person well calculated to fill her situation.
from letter 27/8/1870 from Geo Whitley
I have this morning had an interview with Mr. Hewson Mr. Meredith &
the Schoolmistress and I hope settled all matters satisfactorily.
Mr. Hewson is dining at the Hall on Monday & as Mrs. Leyland has
taken a kindly interest in the schools we agreed that the rules should be
submitted for her inspection before being finally agreed upon, you shall see
them afterwards. Business cannot be commenced before Monday week as the
cottage has to be cleaned down and purified being in a most scandalously
dirty condition, so we are well quit of the outgoing tenant.
from letter 29/8/1870 from Geo Whitley
very clean and nice and the schoolmistress to be progressing – from thence I
went to John Sutton’s to enquire about
from letter 5/7/1871 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Hewson called on me a few days since and shewed me a correspondence
he has had with one of the Government Inspectors of which I send you copies,
this surprized me not a little as I was not aware that there had been any
interference on the part of the Government and I asked Mr. H how it had occurred
and he stated that he supposed it had arisen from the answers which he had sent
in to the enquiries made by them. I much fear this will not meet with your
approbation as it is quite clear if we fall into the hands of the authorities
nothing less than entirely new schools will suffice. Mr. H has procured a
license from the Bishop to perform divine service & to administer the Holy
sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the schools room. He (Mr. H)
looks and has been very unwell. I had written thus far when I was obliged
yesterday to go over to Woolton on an occasion hereinafter referred to.
Extract from letter from 6/7/1871 from Geo Whitley
The enclosed bills have come in and as I suppose the articles are
essential they must be paid. The bills for the school treat in May last (£5.13.10)
have been paid by Meredith who I believe also paid full as much more out of his
from letter from 6/7/1871 from Geo Whitley
Bedford St. North
Liverpool. June 3/71
I have the honor to inform you that on Tuesday last
I visited the Speke School of which you are the correspondent. With regard to
the efficiency of the School in respect of the Instruction, I shall be able to
give a very favorable report to the Education Department, in reading writing
& dictation the children did great credit to their Mistress & although
they are behind the Standard in the quantity of their Arithmetic still what they
did they did well, & their backwardness is accounted for by the shortness of
the time during which they have been under the care of their present Teacher.
With regard to the efficiency of the School in respect of the premises I
am afraid I cannot report so favorably. My Lords will refuse to recognise any
School as efficient in this respect which is not properly supplied with desks,
School furniture & offices & in all these matters I found the Speke
School deficient. On the occasion of my visit I found 50 children in the School
which is 2 more than the superficial area of the room will admit of. The
presence of the Infants in the same room as the older children is also a great
objection as it must necessarily greatly interfere with the proper performance
of the Teachers duties. I shall be glad to learn from you whether any and what
alterations in the School are contemplated whether I can get a guarantee that
the School in its present condition will be properly supplied with desks, books,
furniture and offices.
I am Sir, Your obedient Servant
T. Shute Robinson
H.M. Inspector of Returns
7th June 1871
I am exceedingly obliged by your favorable report
as to the efficiency of the instruction given in Speke School by the Mistress.
I may say in reply to your enquiries that it is in contemplation to
enlarge the Schoolroom but the principal trustee of the Estate and Guardian of
the minor Miss Watt, is at present in the South of England. On his return to his
residence in Scotland he is expected to call here and I will then lay your
report before him.
At all events I may safely say that the School shall be properly supplied
with desks, furniture, books and offices according to the wishes of the
I am sorry that I had not the pleasure of accompanying you to the School
& of offering you hospitality
I am &c
J. F. Hewson.
49, Bedford Street North
Liverpool June 10/71
I regret to say that upon enquiry I find it is my duty to raise one more
objection to the Speke School house & that is the fact of its having a
I think it would be very desirable if you could ascertain as soon as
possible the views and intentions of the trustee of the Speke Estate on the
subject of the School.
The Speke Township requires accommodation for 80 children at the least,
the existing School supposing it to be rendered efficient according to the
requirements of the Education Department can only contain 49, the deficiency
must be provided for either privately or by means of a School Board.
The Education Department will require my report upon this district to be
sent in during the course of this month & of course I can only take into
account Schools already built & such contemplated Schools as are actually
planned & about whose future existence I can give some definite &
It appears to me that the expense likely to be incurred in building a new
School would not be much greater than that required to put the present premises
into a proper efficient state.
Many thanks for your kind offer of hospitality & if I have again to
visit the neighbourhood I shall certainly take that opportunity of thanking you
in person. To avoid any further sailing under false colours I may inform you
that my profession is the Bar and not the Church.
I am Dear Sir
T. Shute Robinson.
5, Clayton Square, Liverpool
20 July 1871
Knowing your anxiety on this subject I send you a copy of my letter to
Mr. Hewson and of his reply. We are clearly under Government control and cannot
therefore move until we see the Inspectors report which I fully anticipate will
be a very unfavorable one as regards the building as he complained of the size
of the room, its furniture &c and Mr. Hewson rather ominously says “we can
I believe keep the school under its present constitution & also carry on the
religious instruction as before provided that we voluntarily remedy any
defects which may be pointed out in the report” In Mr. H’s P.S. he adds
“both yourself & Mr. Sprot led us to believe that the alterations in the
school asked for by the Mistress & myself should be carried out” now my
recollection only serves me that I said I should get Peters and Ball to give me
an estimate what they would cost which I have never seen.
I am, Dear Sir,
15 July 1871
Mr. Sprot has been over here this week & I shewed him your
correspondence with the Government Inspector. He desires me to say he is much
annoyed at the turn this correspondence has taken as it is entirely at variance
with his ideas as expressed to you & he therefore asks for an explanation
how it originated & why it was carried on without his approbation.
The Schools have been heretofore carried on by Mr. Watt & his reps.
at a cost to themselves of about £100 p.ann. & latterly it is believed with
advantage to the children. It was, I know, Mr. Sprot’s desire that this system
should be persevered in without reference to the interference of Government
because if the Schools are subjected to the provision of the Elementary
Education Act the expenses will be greatly increased and the owners of the Speke
Estate will lose all control over the Education of the Poor the consequence
being they will have no religious instruction whatever.
As to the erection of new Schools or the enlargement of
the present ones Mr. Sprot will decidedly set his face against & he thinks
the latter are unfitted for a place of public worship.
Mr. S is better but still ailing & has returned to Buxton but as I do
not know what his future movements may be if you write to him you had better
address your letter to Spott.
I will attend to your wishes regarding Robinson’s affair &
am, Dear Sir,
J. F. Hewson
As Mr. Sprot wishes to know how the correspondence
originated between the Inspector and myself relative to the above School, &
I am quite willing to explain though the correspondence seems to me to be
explicit. Under the Education Act (1870) Government required the Overseers of
each parish or township to make certain returns as to the Schools in the
district, the return after being forwarded to the Department are submitted to an
enquiry on the spot by an Officer of the Department. In our case the Gentleman
deputed visited the School without giving any notice of his intention so to do
& my name being in the return as Vicar of the Parish he addressed his
communication to me complaining of the size of the room its furniture &c,
but speaking most favorably of the instruction imparted by the Mistress. I
informed him in reply that I would lay the matter before the trustees hoping
& believing that they might be able to do something but that at all events I
myself would guarantee that there should be a sufficiency of Books, desks
&c. He then it appears visited the School a second time without notice &
wrote to me about the roof asking, as he had shortly to send in his report if I
would give him an assurance that attention conformable to his suggestions would
be made. I replied writing to the same effect I believe as before (you have the
correspondence) that I could guarantee nothing as to any improvements in the
building but that I would lay the matter before the trustees. Thus so far as to
the origin of carrying on the correspondence, I am quite cognizant of the
interest Mr. Sprot has taken in the welfare of the School but owing to the Act
we could not prevent the enquiry & I hope Mr. Sprot will feel assured that I
have not invited the interference on the part of the Government. The whole
proceeding is the result of the Education Act which makes it imperative on every
parish or township without exception to provide Schools both sufficient and
efficient. If every township had been so well provided as Speke is, there would
have been no need of the Act but now we are all to be judged by the same
Standard & if we have any shortcomings which cannot be remedied voluntarily
the Act provides other means for the purpose, the Inspectors report being the
first step, of course I cannot say what the report may be, I have at all events
tried to make it as favorable as I could. I should however be very sorry to
think that compulsion in any form would have to be resorted to by the Government
as in that case the probability is that the Authority of the trustees over the
School if not entirely overthrown would be seriously diminished & no one
would regret that more than myself. In justice however to the Act I may say that
though many of its provisions are in my opinion obnoxious, we can I believe keep
the School under its present constitution & also carry on the religious
instruction as before, provided that we voluntarily remedy any defects
which may be pointed out in the report, this explanation must be deemed
satisfactory to you & Mr. Sprot or any reasonable person.
J. F. Hewson
I may add that both yourself & Mr. Sprot led us
to believe that the alterations in the School asked for by the Mistress &
myself should be carried out, in fact Mr. Sprot said to me last Xmas “Let us
leave the matter for a short time to see how the School works under the new
change, it does so well so far but as you know the old adage “A new broom
sweeps clean” then in his exact words I believe “if necessary we will make
the alterations you ask for” this applied to the class room &c there is no
mistake in this matter.
The Inspector informed the Mistress on his last
visit that the Government would be satisfied with a slated roof, a class room
& a sufficiency of furniture, Books &c
Mr. G. Whitley
from letter from 1/8/1871 from Geo Whitley
I have heard nothing more of the Government report.
I hear that Mr. Hewson is come home but not much improved in health. Miss
Shepherd called on me last Saturday & shewed me a letter from the Clergyman
of the place where she was last employed making her a good offer if she will
return, she says fairly enough she thinks she ought to accept it to which I
suppose we cannot object but as she would not leave until the 1st of
Decr. next we have plenty of time to consider what course ought to be
taken when we receive the report. I enclose a copy of the letter.
from letter from 21/9/1871 from Geo Whitley
and he is of the opinion that we shall hear no more of Government interference, the schools in the meantime being respectably and well conducted which I was glad to hear. Mrs. Hewson and family were at Chester, the pony looking happy & fat and conduct approved.
from letter from 2/10/1871 from Geo Whitley
Mr. & Mrs. Hewson called upon me yesterday after service there which
I hear is much appreciated and I intend to judge for myself. Mr. H shewed me a
letter of which the following is a copy:
“49, Bedford St. North, Liverpool.
Sept. 29 71
I fear I must trouble you once more about the Speke School. The children
of the district can be accommodated without the help of any new school if I can
get from you an assurance that the present building will be properly furnished
with desks and generally put into an efficient state,
I remain dr Sir,
T Shute Robertson”
to Mr. Hewson.
seems a reasonable proposition and I shall be glad to have your opinion upon it.
If approved of, Mr. Hewson must be requested to look out for a new
schoolmistress in place of the present one. My only difficulty is how to
interpret the word “efficient” because the building is not in a bad state of
from letter from 4/10/1871 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Hewson has just called upon me to say he met the Government Inspector
yesterday who is very reasonable in his requirements as the school is
voluntarily supported, the arrangement of the Desks and the addition of the
adjoining shed for a class room is all that he at present suggests, next year he
thinks the thatch on the buildings ought to be removed and to be replaced with
slates and an alteration made in the privies. This work may be done partly by
own men and at a moderate cost.
from letter from 14/10/1871 from Geo Whitley
I attended the afternoon service at 3.30 and was much pleased (last
Sunday) with it, the children were very attentive, the building well filled and
the general congregation to appreciate it, Mr. Hewson
and got through his duties efficiently though he looks ill and his proposed
operation still hanging over him. I took a seat towards home behind the grey
pony and I believe it will prove a great acquisition to its master. I have
ordered some books and am making enquiries as to the sort of desks in use in
schools of our description. Mr. Hewson assures me that the Government
will not in any way interfere with the schools as they will be supported voluntarily.
49, Bedford St. North.
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th
Ult. & beg to apologise for being so long in answering it.
First with regard to the question of interference; that ceases, in the
case of a school not applying for an annual Government Grant, as soon as My
Lords are satisfied that the School is efficient in respect of premises and
instruction. It is not in my power to give any such guarantee as you ask for,
nor do I think it constitutionally possible for one Government in that
way to control the acts of any future Government. With regard to efficiency; My
Lords are not prepared to recognize any School as efficient which does not, in
the matter of premises & instruction, come up to the standard hitherto
required as a condition of annual Grants. This Standard has not been a high one,
because, if the accommodation offered by the Managers of voluntary Schools were
rejected, no means existed of securing any better provision for meeting the
wants of a parish. But this is no longer the case. The duty of supplying School
now imposed upon each locality; the Education Department is entrusted with the
power of causing the duty to be performed in a suitable manner &, if
voluntary agents come forward to undertake their public duty, it is not
unreasonable that their performance of it should be tested by a standard, which,
within the experience of the Department, has been already attained by many
thousand Schools throughout the Country.
The expense necessary to put the present School in such a state of
efficiency as to meet the requirements of the Education Department would be but
slight, & I was anxious, taking into consideration the nature of the
District, to avoid putting the ratepayers to the expense of building a new
It is not at all incompatible with a School’s being a Private School
that it should also receive Government aid, provided only that it is not carried
on for the emolument of the proprietor & conforms to Section 7 of the
Elementary Education Act 1870.
What I intended to be understood by my letter of the 28th of
September was, that supposing the present Speke School was rendered efficient
then the surplus children that could not be accommodated there might be sent to
the Schools in the neighbouring Townships, but of course if the Speke School is
discontinued some other arrangement must be made.
The reason of my putting myself in communication with Mr. Hewson was that
his name appears officially as the Correspondent of the School & is likewise
the only name on the list of Managers
I am, Sir,
Yr obedient Servant
49, Bedford St. North
Since receiving your letter of the 27th I have been in
communication with the Inspector of Schools for the district on the subject of
the Speke School.
To render it efficient in the eyes of the Education Department it will be
necessary to have the thatch removed & slates of tiles substituted, to have
separate offices for boys & girls erected, & to have a classroom for
infants thrown out at the end, & of course to have it properly supplied with
desks & school furniture throughout. It would be very desirable also, I
think, to have the roof raised a little as at present it is very low. It then
would be capable of accommodating the children who live in the centre of the
Township & those on the outskirts can be divided between Garston & Hale.
In the event of the Speke School being given up, a new School would have
to be built capable of containing all the children in the Township & the
expense of such a new School would fall upon the ratepayers of the Township
& the managements duty of having such a new School erected would devolve
upon a School Board to be constituted.
The question of site is met by the “Lands Clauses Consolidation Act
1845” which is incorporated in the “Elementary Education Act: 1870”.
With regard to the question of Government Inspection, I of course think
it a great advantage to a School, apart from the consideration of pecuniary gain
in the way of annual grant, it keeps the teachers up to the mark & places
the School through the medium of the Inspector in comparison with other Schools.
I think it very probable that ere long Government will insist upon the
right of inspecting yearly all Schools, whether public or private or receiving
annual grants or not.
As Liverpool is not in my district I am always away during the day &
should be sorry to give you the trouble of coming up here without a certainty of
finding me at home.
T. Shute Robertson
from letter from 25/11/1871 from Geo Whitley
I have seen Mr. Hewson twice and arranged with him to advertize for a
schoolmistress and he has promised his best assistance and I think we are
settling down to our old work for a few months.
Nov. 1 1871
I recd your letter of the 27th inst on my return
from Rhyl yesterday. I did not intend my letter to be offensive to you & am
sorry you have taken it so, but I thought I had not been treated courteously nor
kindly by you on several occasions, particularly of late in the matters
connected with the Speke School.
The Trustees of the Estate appointed me independently of my office as
Manager of the School. This I have done to the best of my ability & I
believe to the satisfaction of every one. A new Mistress selected by me was
appointed, who succeeded in obtaining from the Inspector one of the most
creditable reports I have read. Through the kindness of Mrs. Leyland & with
the assistance of some of the farmer wives – as Mrs. Sutton, Mrs. Leigh &
other ladies the school was progressing in the most satisfactory manner
possible. While a correspondence between myself & Mr. Robertson was being
carried on with every probability of arriving at a most satisfactory issue
(& which I believe had the full approval of your co-Trustee) you
stepped in & in the most uncourteous way disturbed all existing arrangements
& was the chief means of causing our present valuable Mistress to send her
resignation & totally ignored my position as Manager of the School &
Clergyman of the Parish, as I said before I felt strongly on this point &
(---) (---) strongly. This is quite an unknown course in this country & as a
case in point I may say that our large school at Garston built solely for
Garston children, (700 in number) & at a cost chiefly of the Managers
themselves who are the most influential & business like Gentlemen about
L’pool, every thing is done by my sanction & the whole
correspondence with Inspectors and Government passes through my hands. As to the
service I do not wish to enter into any further arguments since that fact of the
expense connected with (---) (the Stipends of myself Jones & Brack, Mrs.
Wyke (---) Banking as well as I your expressed wish to me in writing, which I
have, that I should continue to act as Mr. Brack had done, all sufficient
evidence that you must have approved of them to say the least. I know you have
repeatedly asked concerning the attendances & in an interview with me when
arranging for the new Mistress you said you could leave all matters connected
with the School & service in my hands, “since I am at a distance while you
are on the spot & know the peoples wishes & wants” beyond what I can
bear witness to myself & should have no difficulty in substantiating my
statement by the most reliable evidence. The first hint I had of
your disapproval of the service was in the official letter received in Harrogate
which I considered most unkind, uncalled for & unjust on your part &
which greatly retarded my recovery from a severe illness which you were informed
I was suffering from. With respect to the licence, I obtained it as it is usual
from the Bishop so as to have every thing done legally & with his sanction.
I immediately forwarded it to the office for submission to you which I should
not have done so had I thought you disapproved of the service. I am indeed
greatly grieved that you should express such views as to the non desirability of
providing for the residents in the Township of Speke any means in public
worship. You say those wishing to go to Church might easily walk, some both aged
& infirm do attend at the School but even if they could walk so far we
cannot possibly accommodate them at Garston even with the additional service in
prospect & at Hale. Mr. Stewart has been obliged to take Mr. J. Sutton’s
pew (which they have occupied for years) for his own parishioners so they have
no place to attend at present but the School. Whatever I have done in Speke was
in conscientious discharge of my duty to the best of my poor ability & also
to please you (---) with doing so & should I be restored to health I
hope to be for more action (now that I have a Curate) in discharging the duties
of my office. This, Sir, is a plain statement of facts & as
far as I am aware is entirely free from error
from letter from 9/12/1871 from Geo Whitley
advertizement has this morning produced four applications and so far as I can
judge from respectable persons, they all are desirous of not being under
Government inspection. When I think a sufficient number have come in I will
confer with Mr. Hewson and we will endeavour to make the best selection we can.
from letter from 16/12/1871 from Geo Whitley
We have had numerous testimonials for the appointment of a schoolmistress
and I enclose two applications (X) which Mr. Hewson and myself think the most
preferable. No 1 (Mrs. Christie’s) We have seen the applicant and
as she refers us to the Revd. Edward Campbell whom we know here very
well, I do not fancy we could do better than accept her as she appears to
possess the requisite qualities. She will go over to Speke on Monday and see
Miss Shepherd and obtain what information she wants and then decide. No
2 (Miss Smith’s) a very respectable looking person with good testimonials and
would apparently be a desirable appointment.
Please to let me have your opinion, if you wish I will send all the
from letter from 5/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
I saw Mr. Hewson at Church yesterday afternoon who is as well as usual.
The new Schoolmistress I believe gives satisfaction.
from letter from 25/1/1873 from Geo Whitley
The Lords of the Committee of Council on education have at last determined to take us in hand and it will be much to our annoyance. I enclose a notice from them which was sent to Mr. Hewson, it must of course be complied with & will upset all our arrangements including the discharge of our schoolmistress who is not a certificated teacher. Please to return it with your observations.
from letter from 3/3/1873 from Geo Whitley
I saw Mr. Hewson yesterday and he delivered to me the papers sent
herewith. I have forwarded them to you for your perusal before answers are
returned and that you may see the difficulties with which a purely country
school is surrounded before the Government requisitions can be satisfied and my
great fear is that when the Plans (see plan circular) and fittings for a school
for 49 boys and girls and 25 infants (referred to in the first circular which
you saw) are sent for inspection “My Lords” will require the old thatched
school to be reconstructed particularly with regard to ventilation. Mr.
Shelmerdine could not get out there either Saturday or to day the weather having
again become very wet.
from letter from 7/3/1873 from Geo Whitley
I have now got from Mr. Shelmerdine a plan of the present building with
measurements and can at once answer any observations from the Commissioners
which I fear are still to be made as on the notice first sent, which you have
seen, is written “For information only” which I did not previously observe.
I send by post a copy of the rules to be observed in planning and fitting up
schools but I hope they will not be held to be applicable in the present
The particulars already asked are “If the Speke school is at once made
efficient by the erection of offices with separate approaches for boys and
girls, the improvement of the drainage and ventilation, the provision of
parallel desks benches books picture cards and maps and by the appointment of a
certificated teacher and if a class room be added for the accommodation of 25
infants no further accommodation will be required”. Now My Lords cannot
possibly judge the efficiency of the buildings without plans & measurements
and if we are compelled to produce them it is quite clear they will not come up
to the Government requirements. On second consideration, I think you will not be
able to understand all the bearings of the case, I forward the plan and rules
therefore for your perusal to enable you to do so.
from letter from 18/3/1873 from Geo Whitley
I return to you plan with the proposed alterations suggested by yourself
and if approved of you shall have an estimate of the cost, then arises the
question are we bound to submit our plans, previous to the alterations being
made, to the Committee of Council on education because if such be the case as
their rules apply “to alterations in the internal fittings of an existing
school room” our plans will be thrown over board and the money spent on the
school lost. Will you give this matter your consideration and let me hear from
Mr. Pearson was over at the church last week but I only saw him for a few
Lunt has finished the alteration of the spouts at Rob. Edwards’s but
has postponed the repairs of the house for the present owing to the severe and
wet weather as the walls are so damp that the plaster would not dry. He is going
on with the repairs at James Stockton’s opposite the Church and I am looking
out for gate posts which were to be furnished by the estate.
I shall have the opportunity tomorrow of seeing Mr. Hewson and will
consult him on this subject, and will also observe what you say about the
Mr. Shelmerdine tells me the proposed absence of Mr. Roberts will be of
no consequence and the estimates will be gone on with as a matter of course and
that in fact their bricks cannot be ready before the beginning of May.
I shall have the opportunity tomorrow of seeing Mr. Hewson and will
consult him on this subject, and will also observe what you say about the
Mr. Shelmerdine tells me the proposed absence of Mr. Roberts will be of
no consequence and the estimates will be gone on with as a matter of course and
that in fact their bricks cannot be ready before the beginning of May.
Extract from letter
2/4/1873 from Geo Whitley
I have this morning had a long interview with Mr. Hewson & Mr.
Shelmerdine on this subject and upon a rough calculation Mr. S thinks that the
proposed alterations according to the plan, which you have seen, could not be
made under £100 and that new schools erected under the authority of The
Committee of Council on Education would probably cost about £300.
It was suggested that I should write to the Secretary and state that the
owners of the Speke school were willing to comply with the suggestions contained
under the head of “Particulars in their Lordships’ notice” which you have
seen but probably may not recollect & therefore send a copy and ask whether
we might without further communication commence the proposed works and say
nothing about a plan until it is asked for which we think however is sure to be
the case and which they will most probably reject. I did not like to go to the
expense of a detailed estimate without your approbation and shall be glad to
know your views.
I am Dear Sir
2. If the Speke school is at once made efficient by the erection of offices with
separate approaches for boys and girls the improvement of the drainage &
ventilation, the provision of parallel desks, benches, books, picture cards and
maps and, by the appointment of a certificated teacher, and if a class room be
added for the accommodation of 25 infants no further accommodation will be
Amount & description of accommodation required A school for 49 boys
and girls and 25 infants
from letter from 14/3/1874 from Geo Whitley
I have had a long conversation with Mr. Hewson on the subject of the
letter a copy of which I enclose. He has asked me to send it for your perusal
and advice. It is quite clear action must now be taken on behalf of the owner of
the Speke estate. He has requested me to go over to Garston & has promised
to shew me schools recently erected near his house by a lady to hold from 80 to
100 children at a cost of only about £200, and kept up at her own expense,
subject only to the supervision of a Government Commissioner who if he reports
favorably a capitation fee will be granted and we shall be quit of the meddling
of a local board. The building of a new school will however I fear be
Whitehall, London S W
11th March 1874
– E A N Lancs.
I am directed to request that you will within a fortnight from this date
inform this Department whether any & if so what steps have been taken to
make the alterations & improvements at the Speke School require by their
Lordships’ notice numbered 4397 a copy of which was enclosed to you on the 20th
I am to point out that should it be found necessary to publish a final
notice in this district my Lords cannot after the issue of such final notice
accept as efficient any school which is not a Public Elementary School
fulfilling all the requirements of section 7 of the Elementary Education Act
I have the honor to be Revd. Sir
Your Obedient Servant
The Revd. J. F. Hewson
from letter from 9/5/1874 from Geo Whitley
I enclose a cutting from one of the Liverpool papers dated 22nd
April last which I did not see till yesterday which probably the Sec. to the
Board may have called your attention to, the expiration of the notice will
expire on the 22nd October next.
Whitehall London SW
8th June 1874
A N (3610) Lancaster
I have the honour to acknowledge the rect. of your letter of the 22nd
The arrangements shewn by the revised plan on tracing cloth enclosed
herewith is generally satisfactory but it would be better if the wall of the new
Infants room were made of the thickness of one brick & a half.
My Lords do not see how it will be possible to retain the present
position of the fireplace in the principal Schoolroom without interfering with
the proper arrangements of the desks & benches along one side of the School
room (which is already broken by a door) and thus reducing the accommodation of
the room. If the position of the fireplace now shewn on the revised plan at
“B” is thought to be seriously objectionable it would perhaps be possible to
shift the position of the fire place at “A” nearer the doors so as to leave
a space of about 9 feet between the side wall of the School room & the front
of the fire & thus allow the groups of desks and benches to be extended up
to the end wall.
The original plan is likewise enclosed herewith
I have the honour to be
Your Obedient Servant
from letter from 10/6/1874 from Geo Whitley
I also enclose copy letter from the Secretary and have got Mr. Joynson to
amend the plan and have returned it to the Board.
is rather amusing to read what they say about the Infants school as there is not
a single scholar the distance from Oglet being a bar to the attendance of
children of such tender ages of 3 but we had better not notice it.
from letter from 23/6/1874 from Geo Whitley
Was to have broken up next Thursday but I recommended them last Sunday to
close it at once as Mrs. Christie’s little girl has an attack of Scarlet
from letter from 28/7/1874 from Geo Whitley
Annexed I send you copy letter from “My Lords”. We have a treat for
the school children on Thursday next which was deferred at the holidays in
consequence of the sickness and I will enquire from the
whether she has prepared herself for the situation as pointed out by the
Whitehall, London SW
27th July 1874
E A N
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th
The revised plan for the enlargement and improvement of the Speke School
is now quite satisfactory. If on the expiration of the time limited by the final
notice my Lords are satisfied that these alterations are actually in course of
being carried out with due dispatch & that the School will be placed under a
certified Teacher so that it may be recognized as a Public Elementary School my
Lords will be released from the necessity of taking any further action upon the
notice. If the present Teacher were prepared to sit for a certificate with the
view of rendering the School a Public Elementary School the above conditions
might in this way be fulfilled & the first step would be to complete and
return to this office one of the forms of Preliminary Statement which were sent
to the Revd. J. F. Hewson in September last.
I have the honour to be
Sir, Your obedient Servant
from letter from 28/8/1874 from Geo Whitley
I have had a letter from the Sec: who says “Mrs. Christie’s service
is not sufficient to satisfy article 59.1.c”, she however fancies she has
still a loop hole.
from letter from 28/9/1874 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Joynson is gone over to Speke to day & will revise Lunt’s
estimate and you shall have his report, he will also see that all is going right
at Speke road cottages.
has had an offer for a better situation in Buckinghamshire and I have
told her if she is successful in her application she may leave on the first of
October next as the school will then be closed for repairs.
from letter from 29/9/1874 from Geo Whitley
The alterations have been commenced and we have been obliged to suspend
the Sunday services there for a few weeks. It has happened very opportunely as
Mrs. Christie leaves us on Thursday next and we shall have time to look out for
another schoolmistress. I have not seen Mr. Hewson for the last two Sundays to
consult him on the subject indeed I do not know whether you wish me to do so. I
this morning received an application from our former schoolmistress (Miss
Shepherd) and shall be glad to have your opinion on it. She holds a Certificate,
I enclose a copy of her application.
Nr. Shipton on Stour
Sep. 26th 1874
Having heard that you are likely to want a Schoolmistress for Speke
School I beg leave to offer myself as an applicant for the vacancy. Should I
again be appointed it will be my earnest endeavour to give you satisfaction.
References can be made to Revd. W. Finch, Burnington Parsonage, Nr.
Shipton on Stour.
I should be glad of an answer at your earliest convenience.
I remain Sir,
S. A. Shepherd
from letter from 10/10/1874 from Geo Whitley
I have written to Miss Shepherd & also to the Clergyman of the
District in which she is now employed for a recommendation. Mrs. Sutton speaks
highly of her abilities and says as far
she knows she was popular both with the Parents and children, but she much
wished that Mr. Hewson should be consulted. The schools are of course closed at
from letter from 26/10/1874 from Geo Whitley
I have had a very satisfactory answer from the Clergyman under whose
control Miss Shepherd now is as to character and abilities but there is some
difficulty as to the time of the vacating her present situation which I will
endeavour to arrange if you agree to engage her.
have heard of the death of Mr. William Watt, did he make
Will and who is the next in the entail? I beg to offer my condolence on the
from letter from 17/11/1874 from Geo Whitley
I have had the Government inspector down here and he will call again this week and I have promised to send Mr. Joynson over with him to enable him to report progress, he was very civil & does not appear inclined to give unnecessary trouble, he alluded to the thatching and I stated it was intended to entirely renovate it, he asked if you intended to put the school under Government inspection & so be enabled to receive the annual Government grant. Our time for making the alterations has expired.
from letter from 26/6/1875 from Geo Whitley
had a most glorious day on Thursday last & the treat to the youngsters,
numbering 93 passed off very well, & there was much enjoyment amongst
them. Mr. & Mrs. Hewson, their daughter and Miss Leyland were present. I
will give directions to Miss Shepherd to make out a list if all the interior
fittings required and submit it, together with the prices, to you.