Winwick: History and Antiquities: Part 7

By WILLIAM BEAMONT. Second Edition, 1878


Part 1. Etymology of Winwick.
Part 2. Oswald, King of Northumbria.
Part 3. The Domesday Survey.
Part 4. The Church.
Part 5a. The Rectors of Winwick. 1192 – 1520
Part 5b. The Rectors of Winwick. 1520 – 1610
Part 5c. The Rectors of Winwick. 1610 – 1659
Part 5d. The Rectors of Winwick. 1659 – 1764
Part 5e. The Rectors of Winwick. 1764 – 1866
Part 6. The Winwick Chantries.
Part 7. The Grammar School.
Part 8. Some Winwick Antiquities.
Part 9. Some Winwick Names and Notabilities.
Part 10. Some Funeral Inscriptions in the Church and Churchyard.

Part 11. Bibliography


When the chantry at Winwick was dissolved Providence put it into a good man’s heart to carry on what some of the chantry priests are said to have laboured at in connection with their more sacred offices, the work of instructing the young, as their schoolmasters. Sir Peter Legh, knight and priest, who died on the 14th August, 1527, only a very few years before the dissolution of the chantries, had not forgotten in his mature years to impress upon his family the paramount claims of religion which his priestly office had imposed upon him. The lessons he gave had evidently not been lost upon Gowther Legh, one of his sons, a man " not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit," who, making his will at his house at Woodcroft, in Winwick, in 1546, wrote it as follows, and as it is curious we give it in extenso :-—

" April 14, 1546.—I, Gowther Leighe, esquyer, direct my bodye to be buryed in the Trinite chapel, within the parishe churche of Wynwyke, by the lycense of my worshippful nephew Sir Perss Leghe, knt., and his heires if it fortune me to dye within xij miles of the sayde churche of Wynwik, with suche nomber of black and whyte gownes and cotes with tapers and torches lighte as my executors think proper. Also, I will that upon the same day that my bodye shal be buryed a trentall of masses, with the sowle masse of requiem and with diriges comendcons be songe and saide, and v. masses of the v. woundes of our Lord Ihesu Christ, on masse of the name of Ihesus and another of all seyntes, and that myne executors shall provyde for an honest dynner at my howse of Woodcrofte, for my fryndes, gentylmen, and priestes the day of my buryall ; and that day monethe to be done within the parishe churche of Wynwycke on masse of requiem with dirige and xv. other masses, &c. My executors to bestowe to the porest householders in the parisshes of Wigan, Prescot, Leighe, Warryngton, and Wynwke 2oli. My wyffe to have 200 li in full recompense of all my goodes, &c ; and she to have yerely, towards the kepying of her howse at Woodcroft, all the demayne lands belongyng to the parsonage of Wynwyk—that is to say, the Parke, the Dowlache, Robcrofte, Kyrkefield, Conyngraye, the Myln of Hulme, the tithes of Law-ton and of the towne of Wynwycke, i.e., the tithe of corne, hempe, and flax. To the buylding and reparacons of Wynwicke Churche upon glasse leade, &c ; ioli. To the making of a gud and substanciali pavement for horse and man in the lane betweene Wynwicke towne and Hulme’s Cross xls. To the makyng of substanciall brydges of stone at Causaybrydges and to rayse up the lone thear with yearth or stone above the water, xxx. li. To every howseholder within the lordship of Wynwick and Hulme, 6s. 8d. I forgyve my nephew, Syr Peryis Legh, knyght, the xx. nobles that he ougheth unto me : and I gif unto hym on of my best geldings, the best he will chose. To Helen and Elizabeth Leghe, doughters of my brother John Legh, 40. li. each. To William. Byrom, 30 li. To Robert Orrell, towardes the exibicion and syndyng his sonnes to
scole, xx. marks. To every god childe that I have alyve at the font or bysshop, 6s. 8d. To my nephew, Syr Peryis Leighe, Khyght, to remayne at the howse of Bradley, all my harnes mete for the werre except the best jacke, on sallet, on payre of splents, on vambrasse [wt. a gorget, to remayne at Wodcroft. Myne extrs. to take yerely the hole profettes of Sergeant’s landss to the brynyng up and syndying to scole of Wm. Sergeant, nowe heire appt. to John Sergeant, and to the releyvyng of his brothers and systers. My wyfe, &c, to delyver to my executors all my goodes and substances. My wyrshipful cosyns and most trusty fryndes, Trustram Tyldesley and Andrew Barton esquyers, executors."

When the testator made this will, which shows that he was not indifferent either to the church or other works of public utility, the chantries had not fallen. Before he died, in the 7 Ed. VI., 1553, however, that event had happened, they were no more; seeing therefore that the office of the Haydock chantry priest in Winwick church was gone, he determined to utilise his services by founding a school and placing in it as its first master the disestablished priest to instruct the young. We may notice here that Thurstan Tyldesly, one of the executors of the testator’s will, and M.P. for Lancashire in 1 Ed., VI., was a friend of education, and so a man like minded with himself, since upon the founding of the great grammar school at Manchester we find that he. was selected to be one of its first feoffees. At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, the whole of Winwick was returned as the patrimony of the church, and so with the exception of about an acre of land it still remains. The canons regular of St. Augustine of the house of St. Oswald at Nostel, after they became owners of the church at Winwick, seem to have made various attempts to appropriate the living to their house, and to endow a vicarage there, the effect of which, had they succeeded, would have been to starve the living to enrich the monastery. The bond, which as we have seen Rector Chisenhall gave to the prior of Nostel to pay him £316, shows the way in which the money of the parish which should have been spent there flowed into the priory coffers, and was spent at a distance without any benefit to the poor of the place. The nearest approach which the Canons made towards effecting the desired appropriation was the ordinance made by Pope Honorius III., on 3rd December, i"2i6, by which he allowed the prior and canons when the parson of any of their churches died, to place three or four of their brethren in his parsonage, one of whom was to be presented to the bishop, and to have the cure of souls.(146) The person here called a parson was of course one of the canons, who being little else than a curate, removable at pleasure, whose stipend was at the discretion of his masters, could not be independent. Whenever livings were in the possession of the monasteries, the parishes suffered, not only by the want or intermission of Divine service, but by the withholding of those alms which were due to the poor, so that the Legislature under Richard II. enacted that vicarages should be sufficiently endowed, and that a competent sum, according to the value of the living, should be distributed among the poor parishioners annually. The injury, however, was not yet remedied, for the monastic owners made one of their own body who was dependent on them, and who would submit to their own exactions, the vicar, and this led to the statute of 4 Hen. IV., which enacted that the vicar should be a secular person, not a member of any religious house, and that he should be a vicar perpetual and not removable at the pleasure of the monastery. This statute, which lessened the value of the living to the Prior and convent of Nostel, possibly coincided with other causes, to dispose them to sell it as they did to Sir John Stanley, knight, in 12 Hen. VI., 1433. Before this, however, under the ordinance of Honorius, the prior and convent had probably taken from the church endowment an acre of land and set it out for the parsonage, and if so this acre, when the living was sold to Sir John Stanley, was excepted out of his purchase, and when Gowther Legh was meditating the founding of a grammar school at Winwick, and was looking about for a site, this excepted acre did not escape him and seemed made for his purpose.(147) At all events before his death he carried his purpose into effect, and somewhere about the year 1553, founded the free school of Winwick, and endowed it with a perpetual yearly rent of ten pounds • for the maintenance of such school for ever. Andrew Barton, by his will, directed that Thurstan Tyldesley and Lawrence Asshun, his cousins, should appoint yj1.1 land yearly of old rent, to go out of certain land to be assured to the free school in Winwick for ever, if the testator should not have made it in his lifetime.(148)

Having founded the school Gowther Legh is believed to have appointed to it—

I.—Henry Johnson, the former curate of Winwick church and afterwards priest of the Haydoc chantry, there to be its first master. After the dissolution of the chantry, and his release from his vow of celibacy, he took a wife; and an entry in the Winwick register in April, 1567, records the baptism of his child, at which time, if we suppose him to have been 25 in 1530, when he rebuilt the south wall of the church, and placed his name there, he must have been 62. He had probably resigned the school before the year 1563, in which year another name appears in the parish register, being that of

II.—Andrew Ryder, who in the parish register is designated "clerk,"’ and was probably the next schoolmaster, and if so, he was appointed by Sir Peter Legh, nephew of the founder, in 1563.

III.—William Horrocke, who is also designated "clerk." In this master’s time we may suppose the school house to have been but a humble structure, and if so the copper plate found in 1817 in digging a grave in the churchyard, on which was inscribed in Hebrew letters these words :—

" Binjan hamed w’gooh comud,"

which has been interpreted to mean— "A building raised to learning in 1600, " was placed upon it to mark its re-erection in that year. Rider, the future bishop, who became Rector of Winwick the same year, may have been related to Andrew Ryder, the second schoolmaster, and his learned pen may have been called into requisition to frame it. Horrocke, who was appointed by the same patron as his predecessor, seems to have been appointed master about the year 1576.

IV.—Richard Mather, the next master who was appointed by Sir Peter Legh, Knight, a successor to his ancestor of the same name, probably succeeded Horrocke; and of him and his history we are able to give some particulars. He was born in 1596, in a quaint house which may still be seen in Mather-lane, Lowton, which has the letters R.M. marked upon it in projecting brick work. His parents, Thomas and Margaret Mather, very worthy people in a humble rank of life, sent him early to the School at Winwick, which was within an easy walk of his home; and in 1611, when he was yet but fifteen years of age, he became master of the school, which he left in the following year to undertake a public school in Toxteth Park, which was then a small rural village very different from the populous suburb of Liverpool which it has since become. In May, 1618, he entered himself at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he seems not to have remained long enough to obtain a degree, for in 1620 he returned to his school in Toxteth, and in the same year took holy orders, and was ordained by Morton, Bishop of Chester. Morton, who was then Bishop of Chester, though well known to be opposed to the Puritans, to which party Mather belonged, was very kind to him, spoke to him after his ordination, and desired to be remembered by him in his prayers. Mr. Mather married Katherine, the daughter of Edmund Hoult, of Much-Wool-ton, by whom he had four goodly sons, Samuel, Nathaniel, Eleazar, and Increase Mather, of whom any parents might have been proud. While he was teaching at Toxteth Park he is believed to have had for his pupil Jeremiah Horrox, to whose singular merits as an astrono mer who was the first to observe the Transit of Venus, men of science until modern times have been slow to acknowledge their obligations. Horrox must have quitted Liverpool and gone to Cambridge a short time before Mr. Mather emigrated to New England. Only the first two of Mr. Mather’s sons were born in England, for in 1633 there being an outcry raised against the Puritans, Mr. Mather, "the minister and schoolmaster" of Toxteth Park, who had been once suspended for non-conformity and been restored and was afterwards again suspended, determined to join the Pilgrim Fathers in their transatlantic home, and in 1635 he carried his purpose into effect. On the 15th April in that year he left Liverpool, the next day he reached Warrington, and on the 23rd he arrived at Bristol. Why, we may enquire, could he not have found a ship at Liverpool to convey him to New England ? But evidently ships then passed to and fro across the Atlantic oftener from Bristol than Liverpool. In his journal he says that they had "a healthy, safe and prosperous journey all the way (blessed be the name of the Lord for the same !) taking but easy journeys because of the women and footmen, and despatching 119 or 120 miles in seven days." An observation by his grandson Cotton Mather, throws a doubt upon the pleasantness of the journey, when he says that his ancestor used to change his apparel every day to avoid the pursuivants who were looking for him. When the vessel sailed from Bristol we do not know, but unless she was detained there some time the voyage to New England must have been unusually long, for the party did not land at Boston until the 17th August, four months after their departure from Liverpool. After being welcomed on his arrival in the new world, Mr. Mather was soon settled as a preacher at Dorchester, where the once master of Winwick School brought up those sons who made his and their names famous on both sides of the Atlantic. He was able to find time from his ministerial vocation to prepare several religious and controversial works which he sent over to be printed in England ; but in 1640 he joined John Eliot, the apostle of the North American Indians and two other friends in prepar ing a translation of the Book of Psalms, from which we may infer that he had some skill in Hebrew, which from the inscription in that tongue formerly on the Winwick School, we might suppose was a favourite study there. This work, which was called " The Psalms in metre faithfully translated for the use, edification and comfort of the saints, in public and private, especially in New England," was by the translators in the year 1640 put into the hands of Daye, a printer, who printed it in America, where it is said to have been the first book ever printed on that side of the Atlantic. In 1644 he printed his’" Modest Answer to Mr. Charles Herle his book," and in 1647 his " Reply to Rutherford." Mr. Mather, who stood high in the estimation of his religious party in America, was appointed by them in 1648 to draw up an outline of church discipline for New England agreeable to Holy Scripture.(149) If he can be truly said to have died, whose name lived after him in so many descendants on both sides of the Atlantic, he died at Windsor, in Connecticut, on the 22nd April, 1669 (150) His son Samuel returned to England and became minister of Burtonwood; and Nathaniel, another son, is honoured with a beautiful Latin epitaph by Dr. Watts. On the arrival of King William and Queen Mary, Mr. Mather’s son, Increase Mather, came to England as a commissioner from Massachusetts and succeeded in obtaining a ; renewal of their charter, on which occasion he had an interesting interview with the Queen.(151) Many other particulars of the Mather family may be seen in Brook’s Puritans and in Sibley’s Biographical Sketches of Harwood University.

V.—Richard Pickering was appointed by the last Sir Peter Legh, of Lyme, knight, in the year 1612. The register contains entries of the births of his children until 1619, and on the 20th August, 1624, the burial of his wife Alice is recorded. In this master’s time the school was rebuilt and the endowment augmented, as this inscription placed upon it shows :—

" This howse was builte by Sir Peter Legh, knight, upon his owne charges, in the yere of our Lord 1618, to be a schoole-hous for ever, for the free schoole of Winwicke, founded by Gualter Legh, Esquire, great uncle of the said Sir Peter Legh, which Gualter gave ten pounds of yerly rent for the perpetual maintenance of the said school; and the said Sir Peter hath augmented the same with ten pounds per annum mor, which he hath assured to be yearlye payde to the same free schoole for ever, for his zeal to God’s glorye and his love to the parish of Winwick and common good of the countrey."

We may imply from this inscription that the site, probably the former parsonage of the parish, had been purchased by Gowther Legh, the first founder of the school. On the gables of this building Sir Peter placed oval carvings of the family crest, surrounded by a fretwork ornament, but these fell down in 1859.

VI.—James Pickering, whose name does not occur among the sons of the former master mentioned in the register, is called schoolmaster of Winwick in the award made of the pews in Warrington Church on the 19th September, 1628. He was probably appointed to the school in that year by the same patron as the last, and he appears to have continued master until 1638.

VII.—John Birch, who appears as schoolmaster in the parish register, must have received his appointment from Francis Legh, Esquire.

VIII.—Ralph Gorse, A.B., the successor of Mr. John Birch, was appointed in 1644, by the heir of Sir Peter Legh. To him belongs the enviable distinction of having prepared for the University that great divine and excellent man John Howe, whose entry as a sizar at Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 1647, tells us that he was educated by Mr. Gorse at Winwick. "Literis institutus Winwick a Mr. Gorse." Howe, who was a man of most catholic spirit, became chaplain to Cromwell, and having the power he extended his favours to many of those from whom he differed widely in politics, and Dr. Watts has honoured his memory with an ode. Edward Gee is said to have been educated at
Newton school, which probably meant the school at Winwick. If so this school may boast of having educated another celebrity almost as great as Howe. Before coming to be head master at Winwick, Mr. Gorse was of the King’s School at Chester, where, on 28th September, 1640, he was admitted as "Radulphus Gorse, baccalaureus," under master of that school. Mr. Gorse relinquished Winwick school, on being elected head master of Macclesfield school in 1667, where he died in 1674.

IX.—Mr. Jones appears to have succeeded Mr. Gorse, and to have continued master of the school for some years. He probably was the master who in 1675 first received the annuity of five pounds left to the school by dame Margaret Ireland, of Bewsey, charged upon and to be paid from her estate at Gate wharf to the master of Winwick School yearly for ever. It was he also who invited the diarist Roger Lowe, on the 8th February, 1688, to come and hear him make a speech to Mr. Legh, the patron of the school on the following Monday.

X.—Mr. John Colebach, who appears in the Bishop of Chester’s register as having been master, probably was the successor of Mr. Jones, but no record of the school in his time has been recovered. He is thought to have died or vacated the school in 1696.

XI.—John Watkinson, who appears in the Bishop’s register in 1696 as the master of the school, continued to hold it until 1717, or a little later.

XII.—Robert Wright, who graduated B.A. of Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1696, clerk, the next master, and who was probably also an occasional curate of Winwick, was celebrated for his mathematical attainments. In 1725, after the Government had offered a great reward for the best mode of discovering the longitude at sea, a number of competitors came forward with their plans. Many of the projectors, in hopes of obtaining Sir Isaac Newton’s favourable opinion, troubled him with their plans ; and Mr. Wright, one of these competitors, who was probably known to Dr. John Byrom, the poet, and knew that he was acquainted with Sir Isaac Newton, requested him to bring his plan under the great astronomer’s notice, and solicit his attention to it.(152) It was commonly said that these plans and their authors so seriously troubled Sir Isaac, that his servant, to save his master from needless annoyance, used to say to every stranger who called and asked to see his master

If it’s about the longitude you come, Sir Isaac’s busy or he’s not at home.

Mr. Wright continued master of the school until 1735, but the fame of his longitude experiments, which long survived him, obtained him the name of " Latitude Wright," and by this title he continued to be spoken of by one of the parish clerks of Winwick, long after the beginning of the present century. Mr. Wright was the author of the following works on his favourite subject:—

"New and correct tables of the lunar motions, according to the Newtonian theory: &c. Being mostly observations of lunar eclipses, &c. Together, with the description of a new instrument for taking altitudes at sea, &c, by-means of which instrument (which may not improperly be called an hypsometer) and the tables, together with a book lately printed, entitled, an humble address to the honourable commissioners, the longitude may be found, &c. The whole design’d for the use of his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, to whom with the greatest submission it is most humbly dedicated. By Robert Wright B.A. author of the book (sic) before mention’d ; formerly of Jesus College in Cambridge. Manchester: Printed by R. Whitworth, for the author, and sold in London by Messieurs Page and Mount on Tower Hill; J. Osborn and T. Longman in Pater-noster Row; P. Potter in Chester; J. Ansdel in Liverpool; J. Higgin-son in Warrington; W. Clayton and R. Whitworth in Manchester; J. Laland in Wigan, and J. Hopkins in Preston. Mdccxxxii. 4-to. pp. viii. and 100."

The book above referred to is:—

"An humble address to the Right Honourable the Lords; and the rest of the honourable commissioners, appointed by Act of Parliament to judge of all performances relating to the longitude wherein it is demonstrated from Mr. Flamsteed’s observations, that by the late incomparable Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of the moon, as it is now freed from some errors of the press, the longitude may be found by land or sea, either night or day, when the moon is visible, and in proper weather, within very few miles of certainty. By R. W. the author of Viaticum Nautarum, now lying before the honourable commissioners. London: Printed for T. Page, W. and F. Mount, at Towerhill; John Osborn and Thomas Longman in Paternoster-row; and James Ans-dell, bookseller, in Liverpool, 1728. 4-to pp. 50."

The first quoted book contains a list of 360 subscribers’ names, principally in Lancashire and Cheshire, among whom occur Thomas Wright, of Cronton, Gent.; the Rev. Mr. Francis Wright; Mr. John Wright, sen. and Mr. John Wright, jun. The author in his introduction recommends Thomas Clark in Warrington as a very ingenious workman by whom any gentleman may be accommodated to satisfaction, [i.e. in fixing the hypsometer.] The "Humble Address" is dated " from Winwick in Lancashire, the 21st of August, A.D. 1727." "A letter of advice to the navigators of Great Britain, from Robert Wright, the first and only true discoverer of the longitude." Manchester: printed by R. Witworth [sic] for the author, and sold by Messieurs Page and Mount on Tower Will, J. Osborn and T. Longman in Pater-noster-row, and the booksellers in Lancashire. 1734. 4-to, pp. 12. This letter is also dated from Winwick, Jan. 27th, 1733 [1733-4]- In 1723, while Mr. Wright was master, this school was further augmented by the gift of Peter Legh, Esquire.(153)

XIII.—Thomas Deacon, who was appointed master in 1735, was also an occasional curate of Winwick. In 1741 he married (probably for his second wife) Mrs. Mary Rat-cliffe, of Stockport, widow. The marriage took place at Gorton Chapel. If Mr. Deacon was not the non-juring bishop of the same name who is buried in St. Anne’s Churchyard, Manchester, he was probably one of his sons.

XIV.—William Worthington, A.B., who was appointed master in 1747, was also curate of Winwick. On 3rd January, 1757, he was appointed to the Free Chapel of Burtonwood on the resignation of Robert Chapman, but he continued to hold the school until 1781, when he died and was buried at Winwick.

XV.—John Prince, LL.B,, of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was appointed master of the school by Peter Legh, Esquire, in 1782. Like several of his predecessors in the school, Mr. Prince became an occasional curate of the parish, but the school which under some of the late masters had languished, became his great concern. He was both a good scholar and a good teacher—qualifications not always found united in the same master, and his merits becoming known, notwithstanding that he did not spare the rod, but was something like Horace’s master, an OrbUius plagosus, the school became famous, and besides the boys of the neighbourhood numbers of boarders from a distance, and some even from Spain and foreign parts, were sent to it for education.(154) Under Mr. Prince the school maintained its high reputation until 1803, when he resigned it, and soon afterwards died. A sermon on the character of King Edward VI., which was printed in London in 1785, is supposed to be from Mr. Prince’s pen.

XVI.—Robert Barlow, the next master, who was appointed by the trustees of Thomas Peter Legh, Esquire, in 1803, was also an occasional curate of the parish. He followed his predecessor’s plan of receiving boarders into the school-house, and educating them with the boys of the neighbourhood ; but although he was more gentle in ad ministering chastisement than his predecessor, the school did not keep up its numbers, and in 1822 he resigned both it and the living of Burtonwood, which he had held with it for a time, and became curate of Lower Peover, where he died on 23rd January, 1823, and where he is commemorated by a marble tablet placed in the church by his pupils, in which the epithet of "benignus" is applied to him. Mr. Barlow was remarkable for the beauty of his reading and for his power in delivering his sermons. In 1808 he printed at Manchester a sermon on the proneness of a philosophizing spirit to embrace error, with remarks on Mr. Lancaster’s new system of education. Under Mr. Barlow the present Lord Bishop of St. Albans, and the present ex-Bishop of Colombo, Dr. Piers Claughton, both received part of their early education at Winwick school.

XVII.—John Williamson, clerk, who was appointed by Thomas Legh, Esquire, in 1822. Under this master the school, which for some time had run a prosperous career, experienced a reverse. Mr- Williamson accepted the living of Burtonwood, and neglected the school, which upon the Charity Commissioners coming to Winwick in March, 1828, drew from them this severe but well-deserved remark :—

" The school has been for several weeks shut up, and Mr. Williamson is residing at a place 20 miles off, without ever coming to Winwick except to perform service at Burtonwood; he absented himself between the usual period of vacation and shut up the school for six weeks together. "(155)

XVIII.—Thomas Hinde, M.A., was appointed in 1829 by Thomas Legh, Esquire. Mr. Hinde, who was born in 1800, and was the son of an eminent Liverpool merchant, received his early education under the Rev. Dr. Pulford, of Liverpool. On November 6th, 1812; however, he was admitted to the Manchester School under Dr. Smith, and his name occurs in the list of speakers there from 1813 to 1817. He went to Cambridge as an exhibitioner of the school, graduated there at Jesus College, A.B., in 1822, and A.M., in 1826. He was ordained to the curacy of Cockerham, and in 1824 he became curate to the Rev. James John Hornby at Winwick, where he still was when he was appointed to the school. He again raised the school to a good position, and educated the sons of many of the Lancashire gentry. In his time the scholars exceeded in number those of the best days of the school when Mr. Prince was master. Amongst those of whom he had the early training were Geoffrey Thomas Phipps Hornby and James John Hornby, the sons of Sir Phipps Hornby, of whom the former is now (1878) the admiral in command of the Mediterranean fleet, and the latter is the head master of Eton College. It is an honour to the school to have had the rudimentary training of both. Mr. Hinde had a great sympathy with boys, joined cordially in their sports, and won their affections, while he never lost their respect. In 1850 he resigned the school in consequence of failing health, and retired to Havre in France, where he died of fever in July of the following year, much and deservedly regretted by his numerous acquaintances and friends, amongst whom were many of his former pupils.(156)

XIX.—Samuel Burnell, M.A., clerk, who was appointed master by Thomas Legh, esquire, in 1850, had been educated at Queen’s College, Cambridge, and had afterwards been second master of the Warrington Grammar School. Mr. Burnell, who had earned a reputation as a mathematician, was a good teacher. Though the number of scholars fell off and the school did not flourish as it had done under his immediate predecessor, he had among his pupils some few from Spain and her once Spanish colonies in South America, which was owing to a lingering memory of the fame the school had acquired in that direction in Mr. Prince’s time. In 1869 Mr. Bryce, the Schools’ Commissioner, made this report upon the Winwick School:—" The endowment of this school amounts in all to £50. The appointment of the master is vested in Mr. Legh, of Lyme, in Cheshire, as heir of the founder, Gwalter Legh; but he does not seem to have other rights over the school; and there are no local trustees. Thus the master is left quite to himself; and the grammar school, except as respects its £50 a year, is to all intents and purposes a private establishment. The place is mainly a boarding school, and on the day of my visit 21 boys were present. It has no great vigour, but the boys struck me as looking happy and contented. Few remain after 15, and none go to the university. There is really hardly anything either to be remarked or suggested respecting this foundation. It is of little or no service to the place where it stands. That arises not from its management, but from the circumstances of the place, in which there are but very few inhabitants who desire a superior education for their children." In making these remarks the learned Commissioner took too confined a view of the value and use of the school. Had he known more of its history he would have seen that it had sent forth scholars as well natives as strangers, whose names will live. Of the former was Mather of Lowton ; and of the latter was Cromwell’s chaplain, the learned Howe. Mr. Burnell resigned the school in 1871, and retired to South-port, where he died on 5th January, 1872, setat 67. Upon his grave is this epitaph—


XX.—Frederic Walters and John Edmund Gillon in 1871 were appointed by William John Legh, Esquire, to succeed him ; and the former of these gentlemen is the present master of the school.


(145) Lane. Chantries, I., 72 note.
(146) Add. MSS. Brit. Mus. 15351. 43.
(147) In the Winwick terrier of 27 May, 1701, all the land in Winwick and Hulme is stated to be glebe, belonging to the rector, except three or four pieces of land in Hulme which are particularized. There is no mention of the school land unless a cottage and an acre of land belonging to Mr. Ed, Herle, and said to be in Hulme, are meant for it, which can hardly be ? How the site of the school in Winwick was acquired is not clear.
(148) Lan. and Ches. Wills, II. 99.
(149) Waddington’s Congregational Hist., 511.
(150) Some years after his death the following epitaph, which was quite unworthy of him, was placed on his grave:—
Under this stone lies Richard Mather, Who had a son greater than his father, And he a grandson greater than either.
Lan. and Ches. Hist. So. 3 Ser. v. 38.
(151) lb- 639.
(152) Byrom’s Remains, Chet So., i. 196.
(153) Report on the Lancashire Charities, 196 and 972. John Sutton, son of John Sutton " in agro Lanca. 31. e schola Winwick, sub pra? sidio mag. Wright," was admitted when he was ig in 1731 to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his A.B. degree in 1733. He was curate or incumbent of the chapel of ease to Garstang church from 1734 to 1736, having previously been schoolmaster of Daresbury.—Information of Colonel Fishwick.
(154) One of these boys, who was called John Joaquim Geta De Bruby de Broquens, had a name long enough to have scared the innkeeper, who refused to open his doors to the don whose many names he mistook for a number of persons.
(155) Report on the Lancashire Charities, p. 196 and 972.
(156) Manchester School Register, Chet. So., vol. iii. part i. 96.




Transcribed by Steven Dowd from the original book which he owns, Originally publication is from 1878, this text version and layout, edits and errors is © 2008 Steven Dowd, for use at the Newton-le-willows website