1850 to 1899 - The OldWinburnians

The OldWinburnians
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The History of the School

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1800 to 1849

Events and Headmasters  1850 to 1899

By Graham Powell




New school building completed. It was built partly using materials recovered from the earlier one. The style was reminiscent of Etonian brickwork, with a churchlike entrance and double turrets. It incorporated a “big school” as the main hall was called, an organ loft with organ, which had to be pumped, and a dias for the headmaster. To the north were the Headmaster's flat, the accomodation for boarders, a kitchen and various rooms. On the south side, the Head's study and accomodation for the under-Master.
The Illustrated London News gave a full page illustration of the imposing new block..

Rev'd William Fletcher, has 15 boarders in his wing of the house, the second master Rev'd Charles Scott lives in the other wing having 6 boarders. Cornelius O'Callaghan taught Greek, Latin, French and German, Edward Lamport was also on the staff.


The Minster re-opened after restoration, financed by the same funds, i.e arrears of tithes, which were used to new build the school.


We have a picture of a plaque listing the Governors in the year 1864. The list is led by Lt. Gen. Sir E H Greathed, KGB. This gentleman was the hero of the relief of Cawnpore during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, and lived at Uddens. Could he have been an old boy? Other Governors are: Lord Alington, Mr Bankes, Mr Webb, William Druitt, Rev. Carr Glyn, Mr Hatchard, Mr R P Hopkins, Mr Monro, Rev. T M Patey, Mr Rowe, Mr T W Skettle, Rev. E F Trotman


The accounts of Mr Fitch.
At this time a plan was afoot to separate the Governors into two teams, one for the Minster Church, the other for the Grammar School. Since the Charter of Queen Elizabeth, the Governors of the Free School had constituted the Corporation of Wimborne Minster, and they ran both institutions. In fact, they were the chief authority in Wimborne Minster the town, since there was no council and no Mayor, which made Wimborne rather special. Fitch was given the task of calculating the total costs of the two and separating them out.
The figures for the school:
____£1177. 1. 6d______£540.15.00d
____£1192.10. 5d_____£459. 7. 6d
____£1069. 4. 1d______£355.11. 9d

This was carried out under the provisions of the Endowed Schools Commission Act 1869.


Rev. Henry Pix M.A. St John's College, Cambs nd He was admitted at Emmanuel 1840, was 32 wrangler. Subsequently wrote a maths textbook “ Arithmetic and Algebra” which was widely used. Had become Usher at Wimborne in 1856.


W Chambers Harris, matric Exeter 1860, then Brasenose MA 1867. was in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1882, and at Christ's College, Canterbury, New Zealand 1865-74.
“Rusty” starts school. He left a small memoir in the 1929 edition of “the Winburnian”. It seems that Chambers Harris had a beard of monumental proportions. At the time, Pix was the under-Master and had the quarters on the right-hand side of Big School, where he lodged boarders. Until Pix left, there were no other rooms available as classrooms and all classes were taught in Big School. At the time, French was taught by a M. Henri Dabner, known as “Dabby”, whose lessons were particularly riotous. Rusty was present also during the masterships of Dr Pentreath and Mr Clinton. He is uncertain exactly when the school colours of cerise and chocolate were chosen, but it was during his time. There was no school uniform as such, but they all had to wear caps in these colours. He states that pupils stayed on until the age of 18 and it was not unusual to see senior boys wearing moustaches. Cricket was played on a very poor pitch on the Leaze, next to the River Stour. Rugby was played, but not soccer. He recalled the arrival of Charles Fowler at the school, who went on to become one of the great characters in the school's history. (there seem to be clashes of sequence here, but no-one has total recall)


On 24 July 1875 a circular was sent to persons, who were parents or relatives of boys then at the Grammar School, follow this link for the list of names.


Frederick R Pentreath D.D . Matric. Exeter College Oxford 1853, then Worcester College 1854-59. This year the Governors were separated into two committees, one for the Church, and one for the school. The Headmaster salary is £200, the under-Master received £120


Eustace Fynes-Clinton headmaster. Admitted St. John's College Cambridge 1864. nd M.A. 1872, taught at Cheam School, then 2 Master at Grantham before arrival at WGS


On the 22nd July H S Joyce born at White Mill in Shapwick, Sturminster Marshall. As a country boy he developed a knack of hitting rabbits from a distance with a stone, which came in useful when he played cricket for the Grammar school team. The captain always positioned him at a distance where he could throw down the wicket of a running batsman. Once he knocked down 3 wickets in a single match.
But most of all he left a singular series of 7 books describing the country life he knew, starting with
I Was Born in the Country, which so eloquently describe Dorset's countryside and personality. The essence of Dorset is in them. Presently available is A Country Childhood, published by Red Post Books.
The Winburnian of 1946 reports that he visited the school and had tea with Mr Airey.


Date on which Charles Robert Fowler joined the school. Brother of Henry Fowler of Modern English Usage fame, he was admitted to Christ's College, Oxford May 1878. Remained at the school until 1923, undoubtedly the greatest character to have taught there.  


Construction of the Gym. Here began the long association of Sgt-Maj. C T Stride, who taught swimming, drill, gymnastics. His kindness and readiness to help made him popular and respected. Sons of his prominent in school sports and activities. d. 1914.


Picture of Big School.


In this year H S Joyce joined the school, leaving in 1898. His father was the owner and operator of the White Mill in Shapwick, Sturminster Marshall.


THE WINBURNIAN founded. Intended  “to serve as a record of cricket and football matches and other events of interest”. No. 1 also informs us that on 7 April a meeting was held at The King's Head, with Henry Chislett in the Chair, to discuss the foundation of an Old Winburnians Association. They had managed to secure a list of 300 names and a prospective membership of about 100.
The Glee Club at a concert in Poole's Seaman's Mission gave renderings of popular songs and musical pieces, E M Bartlett much applauded on the banjo. Boys and masters took part.


January 8 foundation of the Old Winburnians Association. Lord Wimborne was in the Chair, and Montague J Raymond served as Secretary. Dinner was at the King's Head. On Sports Day Lady Wimborne presented the prizes, tea was taken in the gymnasium, and all the boys cheered as she drove away.
In this year The Winburnian no. 2 was issued, and they afterwards follow in unbroken succession, detailing the events and the personalities until about 1968. The whole series is held at the Priests House Museum in Wimborne.
Saturday July 25 chosen for the 400 Anniversary service. The Bishop of Salisbury accepted invitation to attend, and devised the order of service. The Headmaster, the assistant masters, and the School Governors met the Bishop at the School and went in procession from there to the Minster singing Onward Christian Soldiers, where the clergy and choir, re-inforced by the school choir, met them and led the procession up the Church. Special versicles and prayers were used. The Bidding Prayer was recited. The Bishop preached a sermon based on St Matthew xx 20 and 21. He referred to the public spirit and devotion of the Foundress, Lady Margaret Beaufort, and urged the boys to carry the same with them in their future lives. He suggested that the School continue to celebrate every year in the same way.


July. In accordance with the wishes of the Bishop of Salisbury, Commemoration was celebrated in the Minster before a large congregation. Followed by prize-giving in Big School, by Rev'd Canon Bernard, Chancellor of Wells.
The Winburnian prints letters from G Knapp l. 1890, retelling his experiences in Argentina.
2nd annual meeting of OWA. Mr Budden proposed, Mr Chissell seconded vote to contribute to the fund for the creation of a laboratory for teaching science.
The Winburnian prints reminiscences of a boy who joined the school in 1837, in the time of James Mayo II. Reproduced elsewhere, it certainly paints a lively picture of life at that time, when the school had reached a low point before the 1851 rebuilding.


OWs serving in Afghanistan include G A Ellis and Capt. Blount, who was at the battle of Atbara.
Capt. Thring and Lt. Maclean have been in West Africa, where the latter was wounded.
OWA dinner at Holborn Restaurant on April 20

Canon E F Trotman preached the sermon at Commemoration on July 28. Prizes were given by Canon Bernard.
17 August, a school party goes to Antwerp, and visited the site of the Battle of Waterloo
The Winburnian prints the first of a series entitled “ Hints to Young Picture Makers, by one of Themselves”. Someone has spotted the opportunities presented by photography.


July Speech Day. Sir Richard Glyn took the Chair, prizes given by Sir John Hanham. The Schools Examiner, Rev'd E Bodington MA reported that work was good and that the school has “a good tone”. Sir Richard alluded to the new laboratory, funded by the OWA, which had by now been completed. Sir John referred to his own time at the school under Dr Fletcher, who, he was glad to say, still enjoys good health.
July, OWA reunion, well attended, at the Victoria Hall. The committee re-elected as follows:- H Budden, E Fynes-Clinton, J Druitt junior, E R Ensor, W J Fletcher, G F Huntley, C G Paget, A Paris, J V N Plumptre, E Clavell Salter, C R Fowler and E Frampton. A venerable old boy, John Low, from 60 years ago, was welcomed. (possibly the author of the account of life in James Mayo II's time).


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