SKIPTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL

 

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OLD GRAMMAR SCHOOL BUILDING

The school was first founded by Peter Toller in 1492 as a chantry school in the parish church of St Nicholas. In 1548 King Edward VI took over all chantry lands. The school was then re-founded at the bottom of Shortbank Road by William Ermysted, Canon Residentiary of St Paul’s and Chaplain to Queen Mary and the Charter of the Free Grammar School of Skipton was granted in September 1st 1548. Its income was derived mostly from lands in Skipton, Addingham and Eastby owned by Sir Ingram Clifford, William Tankard, Stephen Tempest, Tristram Bolling, Lancelot Marton and Thomas Lister. The principal terms of this complex document were:

“…. the said William Ermysted ordained, that there should be a school in Skipton-in-Craven, from time to time for ever, for the instruction of boys there in grammar…. That the said school shall be kept in a house in Skipton, which he purchased of Henry, Duke of Cumberland, on 20th August 1547…. That there shall be one master. He shall daily enter and teach in the same school…. immediately after six in the morning and shall there faithfully exercise himself in teaching the boys until eleven, and from one on the afternoon until six…. that the said master shall be a priest and…. shall teach the boys the alphabet according to the proper pronunciation of syllables and shall afterwards proceed in order in the grammar art, and the rudiments thereof, with the frequent use in the Latin tongue according to their capacities, from the advanced scholars, and that they compose epistles, orations and verses.”

Over the years local families supported the school financially. In 1707, William Petyt, a London barrister and former pupil who was born in Storiths, Bolton Abbey, left £50 to the school and in 1719 his brother Sylvester, also born in Storiths and a former pupil endowed the school with £30,000. Between them the brothers also left all their papers and books to Skipton. Some 5,000 items, these form the basis of the Petyt Library.In 1739 Lady Elizabeth Hastings founded a scholarship at Queen’s College, Oxford for poor pupils of eight principal schools in Yorkshire which included Skipton, “Provided that scholar hath distinguished himself above the rest of the same rank within his school.”

Early Headmasters:

1590

 John Livesey

1617

Lawrence Taylor

1685

Timothy Farrand

1627

Thomas Barker

1715

George Crofts

1724

Richard Leadal

1727

Matthew Wilkinson

1730

William Banks MA

17–

Thomas Carr MA

1772

Samuel Plomer

1792

Richard Withnell

1820

Thomas Gartham MA

1834

William Sidgwick MA

1841

William Cartman MA

1867

Horatio Nelson Grimley MA

1873

Frederick George Fleay MA

In 1875 the new school was built on Gargrave Road. It opened in 1876 with accommodation for 50 day boys and 50 boarders under the new headmaster Edward Tomson Hartley.

 

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Later history to be added by a former master at Ermysted’s who is an SCHS member.