Abstract of the Future and Principal Foundation Deed of the Manchester Free Grammar School, Containing the Statutes

Posted by Rachel Kneale on 03 Oct 2022

Modified by Rachel Kneale on 05 Oct 2022

Deeds

" By Indenture of feoffment, bearing date 1st April, 16th Henry VIII, reciting, that Thomas West Lord La Warr had by deed indented, bearing date 3rd October, 1st Henry VIII, granted and confirmed to the said Hugh Bexwyke and Joan Bexwyke, with the said Ralph Hulme, since deceased, all the lands, tenements, rents, reversions, and services of his water-corn-mills, called Manchester Mills, situate in the town of Manchester, on the stream of Irk, and also the tolls of all the tenants and servants of the said Lord La Warr in Manchester, and of all other residents there; and also his fulling-mill there, called a Walke Mill, on the same stream of Irk, and a close of land in Manchester, called Walker's Croft, and the water or stream of Irk, and the free fishery thereof from a place called Asshelle Lawn unto the river Irwell, and all his lands and tenements adjacent and adjoining without the several closes and burgages on both sides of the said stream of Irk, from Asshelle Lawn to the river Irwell; and also full power and authority to make and fix mills or messuages, and so many and such weird, engines, and fastenings on both sides of the said stream of Irk, and upon, through and across the same stream, from Asshelle Lawn to the river Irwell, as to them should seem fit, and to repairing the same weirs, &c.: to hold to the said Hugh and Joan, and the said Ralph Hulme, and their heirs to their own use: The said Hugh and Joan granted and confirmed to Lewis Pollard, knight, Antony Fitzherbert, justice and knight, William Courtenay, knight, Thomas Denys, knight, Alexander Ratcliffe, knight, John Beron, knight, Edmund Trafford, Richard Assheton, Thurstan Tildesley, Robert Langley, Richard Holland, and John Reddiche, esquires, and their heirs, all the said mills, lands, tolls, and premises; and the said Hugh and Joan further granted and confirmed to the said Lewis Pollard and others, and their heirs, all their messuages, lands, rents, &c., in the hamlet of Ancoats, in the town of Manchester; and one burgage, lying in the Mill Gate in the town of Manchester, between a burgage lately of one John Platt on the one side, and the Hunt Lode on the other side, which burgage the said Hugh and Joan lately had to them and their heirs from the gift and feoffment of John Bishop of Exeter, and Thomas Marler, as appeared from a deed indented, bearing date 19th May, 16th Henry VIII. And the said Hugh and Joan thereby granted to the said Lewis Pollard, and others, and the land on which the same was built, in the northern part of the town of Manchester, between a stone chimney of George Trafford on the east, the eastern part of the college of Manchester on the west, the road leading from the said college to a street called Mill Gate on the south, and the water called Irk on the north; which messuage and land they had to them and their heirs of the gift and feoffment of Thomas Langley and Hugh Marler, as appeared by the deed dated 31st March, 16th Henry VIII.; to hold the said mills, messuages, lands, and premises to the said Lewis Pollard and others, and their heirs, to the use of the said Hugh and Joan for their lives, and the life of the survivor, so that they and the survivor of them should fulfil all the ordinances and constitutions contained and expressed in a certain schedule annexed to that deed; and after their decease, to the use and intent that the said Lewis Pollard and others should fulfil the said ordinances and constitutions.

In the annexed schedule, after reciting that the right reverend Hugh Oldham, late Bishop of Exeter, deceased, considering that the bringing up of children in good learning and manners was the chief cause to advance knowledge, and that the liberal science or art of grammar was the ground and fountain of all the other liberal arts and sciences, and for the good mind which he had and bore to the county of Lancashire, where the learning of grammar had not been taught for lack of sufficient schoolmaster and usher, had at his great costs and charges within the town of Manchester builded an house, joining to the college of Manchester in the west, the water called Irk in the north, the way going from the said college into a street called Mill Gate in the south, and a stone chimney of George Trafford in the east, for a free school, there to be kept for evermore, and to be called ‘Manchester School’, and that for the same intent the said bishop at his further charge had purchased a lease of many years then to come of the Corn Mills of Manchester, with the appurtenances, and had also caused other lands and tenements in Manchester, called Ancoats, and a burgage in Mill Gate, to be disposed and converted to the use of the continuance of teaching and learning in the same school for ever as thereinafter was declared; and also that for the continuance of teaching and learning in the same school for ever as thereinafter was declared; and also that for the continuance and maintenance of the same school, the said Hugh and Joan Bexwyke, at their cost and charge had purchased to them and their heirs, and to the said Ralph Hulme deceased, all the mills, lands, tenements, rents, reversions, services and hereditaments contained and specified in the said indenture: It is stated that the said Hugh and Joan had by the said indenture given and granted all and singular the same premises to the said Lewis Pollard, knight, and others, and their heirs, to the intent, that they, their heirs and assigns for ever should stand thereof seised to the use therein specified, and should perform and observe all the acts, ordinances, and constitutions thereafter ensuing by the said Hugh and Joan made and specified in the said schedule for the maintenance of the same grammar school; that is to say,

'First, The said Lewis and other his co-feoffees beforesaid, their heirs and assigns, of the issues, revenues, and profits coming, rising, and growing of the said mills, lands, tenements, and other the premises contained and specified in the said deeds indented, the said school-house called “Manchester School,” sufficiently shall repair, sustain, maintain, or cause to be repaired, sustained, and maintained for evermore, in coving, walling, and such other as by the discretion of the warden of the said college of Manchester or his deputy, and the church-wardens of the said college church for the time being, shall be thought necessary.

'Item, Within the same school, nor library of the same, by night or by day, any other arts, things, plays, or other occupations to be had or used in them or any of them, but always kept honest and cleanly, as it beseemeth a school or a library, and that after the cleanest manner, without any lodging there of any schoolmaster or of any usher or either of them, or of any other person or persons.

'Item, That the said school be weekly, once in the week, made clean, by two poor scholars of the same house thereunto assigned by the high master for the time being, or in his absence by the usher; the same poor scholars therefore to have of every scholar, at his first admitting, one penny sterling, and therefore to write in a several book all the names of the scholars that do come to the school as scholars, and that book and books thereof always to be kept, and every third year to be delivered to the warden of the said college of Manchester, or his deputy, to the intent that therein may and shall always appear, which have been brought up in the same school, and so they to have exhibitions to Oxford or Cambridge as hereafter is expressed.

‘Item, If there by sickness infective, as pestilence universal, the school to be left for the time being, by the discretion of the warden of Manchester college for the time being, or his deputy, and if such sickness continue by the space of twelve weeks whole, so that the master and usher there teach not usually by the same space, then the master and usher every of them to have but half the said wages for that time; and if it continue the half year, they to have in like manner; and if it continue by the space of 12 months, so then they to have £6. 13s. 4d. and no more, that to be divided between them according to their portions of wages; and the rest of their said wages then to go to the store chests set and ordained to keep the money and receipts of the said lands and tenements.’

'Acts concerning the naming of the Schoolmaster, and Usher, and their Ordinances.

'Item, The said Hugh Bexwyke and Joan Bexwyke, during their life and the longer liver of them, shall name, choose and elect a convenient position person and a schoolmaster, single man, priest or not priest, so that he be no religious man, being a man honest of his living and whole of body, as not being vexed or infect with any continual infirmity or disease, and having sufficient literature and learning to be a schoolmaster, and able to teach children grammar after the school use, manner and form of the school of Banbury, in Oxfordshire, now there taught, which is called “Stanbridge Grammar,” or after such school-use manner as in time to come shall be ordained universally throughout all the province of Canterbury.

'Item, The said Hugh and Joan, during their life as beforesaid, shall name, choose and elect a convenient usher in like manner as they do elect and name the abovesaid high master.

'Item, After the death of the same Hugh and Joan, and either of them, the president of Corpus Christi College of Oxford for the time being, and his successors, shall within one month after the death or departure of every schoolmaster and usher, and either of them, name, elect and choose a schoolmaster and usher, and either of them as before is expressed, being a man honest and literate, not regular, as he shall think convenient; and if the said president do not name, elect and choose the master and usher within the said month as is after expressed, then the said warden or deputy of the college of Manchester for the time being shall, within one other month then next ensuing, name, elect and choose such master and usher, and either of them, as before is expressed in the first chapter of the master, being a man honest and literate, as they shall think convenient.

'Item, that every schoolmaster and usher, for ever, from time to time shall teach freely and indifferently every child and scholar coming to the same school, without any money or other rewards taken therefor, as cock-penny, victor-penny, potation penny, or any other whatsoever it be, except only his said stipend and wages hereafter specified.

'Item, That the high-master and his usher for the time being, if they be within holy orders, at every festival day and double feast, being kept holy day, in the year, yearly be at Divine Service in their surplice in the choir of the college of Manchester aforesaid, and be there at the commandment of the warden of the said college, or his deputy for the time being

‘Item, The high-master and the usher, for the time being, every Wednesday and Friday weekly for ever, with their scholars being and going two and two together, shall go in procession solemnly before the warden of the same college, or his deputy for the time being, and fellows of the same, and their successors for ever, if they have any procession for the day; and every scholar to say, if he be able to learning, the common Litany, with the suffrages following, and “De profundis” for the soul of Hugh Oldham, late bishop of Exeter, and founder of their school, his father and mother’s souls, and for the souls of Sir Richard Ardern, Henry Trafford, and Thomasin his wife, deceased, and for the souls of George Trafford, of “The Garrett” and Margaret, his wife, then next and immediately ensuing, when and what time it shall please God Almighty of his mercy and grace to call for the said George and Margaret, or either of them; and for the souls of Hugh Bexwyke, clerk, and Joan Bexwyke, widow, special benefactors of the said school, when and what time it shall please God Almighty of his mercy and grace to call for the said Hugh and Joan, or either of them, and for the souls of all the feoffees and benefactors to the maintenance of the same school at that day departed, and all Christian souls, and for the good prosperity of the feoffees and benefactors then being in life.

'Item, That no high-master or usher be expelled or removed against his will from the said school and office of high-master or usher, except it be for his or their mis-living, or insufficient attending or teaching the scholars there, or having any sickness or disease incurable, as pox, leprosy, or such other great offences or sicknesses, which be and shall be reserved to the discretion and order of the warden of the college church of Manchester aforesaid for the time being, or his deputy.

'Item, Every schoolmaster and usher, in form aforesaid elect and chosen, within one month of his said election or putting in to the said office, shall, before the warden of the said college of Manchester, or in his absence before his deputy of the same college, swear upon the Evangelists that he shall diligently and indifferently teach and correct all and every the said scholars of the same school for the time being, all fraud, guile and deceit in that behalf only laid apart.

‘Item, The master or usher, which of them cometh first into the school in the morning, say openly with the scholars there, this psalm, “Deus Misereatur nostri,” with a collect as they use in churches Dominical days, and every night in such like manner, the master or usher to sing the anthem of our Blessed Lady, and say “De profundis”, for the soul of the late bishop of Exeter, Hugh Oldham, founder of that school, his father and mother, and for the souls of Sir Richard Arderon, Henry Trafford, Thomasin his wife, deceased; and for the souls of George Trafford, of “The Garrett”, and Margaret his wife, then next and immediately ensuing, when and at what time it shall please Almighty God of his mercy and grace to call for the said George and Margaret, or either of them, and for all the souls of the feoffee and benefactors of the same departed, and all Christian souls, and to say in audible voice in the school before the beginning of “De Profundis”, in this manner, For the soul of Hugh Oldham, late bishop of Exeter, founder of our school, and his father and mother’s souls, and for the souls of George Trafford and Margaret his wife, and for all the souls that they be bounded to pray for, and for all the benefactors' souls, and all Christian souls, “De profundis”.

‘Item, That no high-master nor usher leave or depart from the said school, except he thereof give openly knowledge to the warden or his deputy, and openly in the school before the scholars, by the space of 14 weeks before his or their departure, or else to leave and lose his of their quarter’s wages that so departeth.

'Item, The said high-master, nor his usher, shall grant no license to the scholars there to play or depart from their school and learning, except it be by the consent of the warden or deputy of the said college of Manchester for the time being, and then to play honest games and convenient for youth, and all together and in one place, to use their Latin tongue.

'Item, The said high-master and usher to continue teaching in their schools before every feast, unto four days next before every feast, as Easter and Christmas.

'Item, Every high-master and usher shall take yearly only 20 days to sport them at one time or sundry times, as they be not both absent at one time.

'Item, That if the high-master be sick of sickness incurable, or fall into such age that he may not conveniently teach, and hath been a man that long and laudably hath taught in the said school, then he to have of the surplusage and store belonging to the same school, yearly, £4 sterling.

'Item, In like manner the usher to have yearly four marks

'Item, If the high-master be sick of sickness curable, the usher to help him, and to take the more pain upon him, and also to have for his said pain, by the discretion of the said warden or deputy of the said college of Manchester, of the wages of the said high-master; and in likewise if the said usher be sick, then the high-master to take more pain in teaching the scholars, and to have part of the wages of the said usher, by the discretion of the warden of the said college, or his deputy.

'Item, The high-master for the time being shall always appoint one of his scholars, as he thinketh best, to instruct and teach in the one end of the school all infants that shall come there to learn their A B C primer, and so forth till they begin grammar, and every month to choose another new scholar, so to teach infants; and if any scholar refuse so to teach infants at the commandment of the said high-master, or in the absence of the high-master at the commandment of the usher for the time being, the same scholar so refusing to be banished the same school for ever.

‘Item, The usher being well literatured and honest of his living, shall have the high-master’s room and office, whenever it is void, before any other, if he be able in learning.

‘Item, If it happens the high-master and usher to be both sick at once, and of sickness curable, as agues and such other, then they to hire one sufficient after the use aforesaid, to teach for them, and they to pay his wages, that is to say portionably, after their wages, the high-master more than the usher or sur-master, after the discretion of the warden or his deputy.’

Acts and Ordinances concerning the Scholars

'Item, There shall be no scholar nor infant, of what country or shire soever he be, being man-child, be refused except he have some horrible or contagious infirmity infective, as pox, leprosy, pestilence for the time being, or such other infirmities which be, and shall be always remitted to the discretion of the warden or deputy of Manchester college for the time being. 

'Item, Every scholar within the same school shall be obedient to help the schoolmaster and usher for the time being, for the correction lawfully of any scholar or scholars of the same school, at the commandment of the schoolmaster or usher for the time being.

'Item, No scholar then being at school, wear any dagger, hanger or other weapon invasive, nor bring into the school staff or bat, except their meat knife.

'Item, That no scholar there make any affray within the same school upon the master, the usher, or upon any other scholar of the same school, upon pain of leaving off his said school by one month; and if any scholar there make two frays as above is said, then to leave the same school by the space of two months; and if any make the third, he to be banished the same school for ever without any favour.

'Item, The scholars of the same school shall use no cockfight nor other unlawful games, and rising about for victory and other disports had in these parts, which be to the great let of learning and virtue, and to charge and costs of the scholars and of their friends.

'Item, That every scholar of the same school be at the said school in the morning betwixt Michaelmas and Easter before seven of the clock, and between Easter and Michaelmas at six of the clock, except such as come daily far to their learning, which shall come to the school at such an hour as shall be limited to them by the master, according to the distance of the place that they come from.

'Item, That the master or usher be in the school at the hour limited to the scholars.

‘Item, Every scholar pay at his first admitting and writing in of his name in the book of scholars one penny sterling, and not above, that always to be paid to the two poor children for the time being which keep the book of scholars’ names, and make clean the school, as is before rehearsed.

'Item, That no scholar shall bring meat or drink into the school, nor there to use their meat and drink; but always, if any such poor scholars there be, that for their great poverty bring their meat and drink with them, they to go to some house in the town there to eat and drink, and so to resort again to the school.

'Item, That if any scholar of the same school go from and forsake the same, and repair to any other school, and after return again to the same school, he to be taken again for one time; but at the second departure he to be excluded and banished the same school for ever without any favour.

'Item, That the schoolmaster and usher shall cause all scholars, being learned in grammar, at all times to use to speak their Latin tongue within the school, and all other places convenient."

Acts for the Wages of the Schoolmaster and Usher

'Item, The said Hugh and Joan and either of them longest living, with the issues and profits of the above-named mills, lands, tenements, reversions and services, called “Manchester Mills”, shall by them, or their sufficient deputy, pay or cause to be paid yearly, without fraud, guile, delay or deceit, at the feasts of Easter, the Nativity of St. John Baptist, St. Michael the Archangel, and the Nativity of our Lord, by equal portions, £10 sterling, that is to say, at every of the feasts aforesaid 50s. to the high-master there for the time being teaching. 

'Item, That the said Hugh and Joan, in like manner, shall pay or cause to be paid of the issues and profits aforesaid yearly £5 sterling to the usher sur-master there for the time being teaching, that is to say, at every of the feasts aforesaid 25s. sterling

'Item, After the death of the same Hugh and Joan, the within-named Lewis Pollard, knight, Anthony Fitzherbert, Justice William Courtenay, knight, Thomas Denys, knight, Alexander Radcliffe, knight, John Beron, knight, Edmund Trafford, Richard Ashton, Thurston Tildesley, Robert Langley, Richard Holland and John Reddiche, and their heirs, by them, or by their sufficient deputy, shall, with the issues and profits aforesaid, pay or cause to be paid the wages yearly of the high-master and usher in manner and form as is aforesaid, for ever.

'Item, That if any man, being high-master or usher surmaster for any time being, happen to die before the quarter payment asis aforesaid, then the same master or usher sur-master, his executors or assigns, that so shall happen to die, shall be paid after the rate and time of his death as the same quarter wages will amount.

'Item, In like manner the high-master or sur-master that happen to come and teach in the same school before the quarter, he to have after the rate of his quarter wages for the coming and teaching before the quarter. 

‘Item, The wages of the receiver of the lands concerning the same school shall be 20s. yearly, to be paid at Michaelmas, when he maketh his accomts, and not otherwise.’

Acts for the Feoffees

'Item, When it shall happen the said feoffees to die to the number of four, then the same four to make like feoffment and articles, in manner as this is, to twelve honest gentlemen and honest persons within the same parish of Manchester, and so hey in like manner to make from time to time for ever, when it cometh to the number of four, to the use aforesaid.

'Item, The feoffees for the time being shall make no manner of lease or estate of the said mills, lands, or tenements belonging to the same school, or any parcel thereof, above ten years.

'Item, The abbot of Whalley for the time being shall name from time to time one substantial person dwelling within the parish of Manchester, putting in surety to be bounden to two of the said feoffees, to make true accompts and pay quarterly the master and usher as is aforesaid, and also paying to the lords their rents due and accustomed, which shall receive the rents and profits of all the whole lands concerning the same school; which receiver shall make his accompts for the said receipt, and for all necessary reparations and payments done there, once in the year at Manchester, before the warden of the college, or his deputy, two of the feoffees, and the high schoolmaster for the time being, if they can be at it, or two of these persons at the least there, to make a true account of everything, and true allowance ask upon his oath, and bring and deliver yearly the surplusage above all wages, reparations, and such other necessary expenses; the same surplusage to be, by the auditors aforesaid there being present, put into a chest therefore made, remaining in the vestry of the said college of Manchester, whereof the feoffees for the time being shall have one key, and the master of the college for the time being, another, the abbot of Whalley for the time being the third, the high schoolmaster for the time being the fourth key, so that the said chest in nowise may be opened except all four keys come together.

‘Item, The said warden or deputy, the two feoffees, and the high schoolmaster for the time being, for their pain in hearing and viewing the said receiver’s accompts, shall have a dinner of 5s. charge among them that be present at the said audit yearly.

'Item, When it shall happen the chest to be at surplusage the sum of £40 sterling, the rest to be given to the exhibition of scholars yearly at Oxford or Cambridge, which hath been brought up in the said school of Manchester, and also only such as study art in the said Universities, and to such as lack exhibition, by the discretion of the said warden or deputy and high-master for the time being, so no one scholar have yearly above26s. 8d. sterling; and that till such time as he have some promotion by fellowship of one college or hall, or other exhibition, to the sum of seven marks.

'Item, The feoffees of the time being shall pay of the stock being in the said chest all charges in the law, if any happen to be, for the defence of the lands of the said school, of any part thereof; and also shall pay the costs and charges of making of new feoffments, and acts and ordinances for the good maintenance of the same, when need shall require, as well to substantial learned counsel in the law, temporal and spiritual, as also for writing and engrossing of the same, with all other necessary expenses belonging to the same.

'Item, The masters and fellows of the said college shall have yearly for their good and safe looking to the same chest, and because it shall stand in their vestry, the sum of 3s. 4d. every Michaelmas yearly to them and their successors for ever be truly contented and paid.

‘Item, Notwithstanding those statutes and ordinances before written, yet because in time to come many things may and shall survive and grow by sundry occasions and causes, which at the making of these present acts, ordinances, were not possible to come to mind; in consideration whereof, we the said Lewis, Anthony, William, and other our co-feoffees, trusting greatly to the fidelity of the above-named feoffees, and other hereafter to come, will that they hereafter from time to time, when need shall require, calling to them discreet learned counsel and men of good literature, they to have full power and authority to augment, increase, expound and reform all the said acts, ordinances, articles, compositions, and agreements, only concerning the schoolmaster, usher, and the scholars, for their and every of their offices concerning the said free school for ever.’

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