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Elizabethan Schooling

A copy of the Elizabethan Order of 1571 is in the School Archives. The document contains twenty items; a summary of them is reproduced below.

  1. The Master was required to instruct his scholars in “Virtue Honest Behaviour and good learning” and compel them to attend church.
  2. Hours: from March to October 6.30am to 10.30am and 1pm to 5pm;
    from October to March 7am to 11am and 1pm to 5pm followed by prayers.
  3. There must be prayers each day and on Tuesday and Thursday in Latin.
  4. A school bell to be rung each morning and latecomers punished.
  5. The Master may allow shooting or running once a week on Tuesday or Thursday but not unlawful games.  Each scholar was to have bows and arrows and to use them.
  6. Holidays:Only from the eve of St. Thomas’s Day to the day after Epiphany and from the Wednesday before Easter to the Sunday next after Easter except for “great sickness as the Pestilence, Dangerous Waterings or such like”.
  7. The Master to have “liberty of absence” for 4 weeks but “not above a fortnight together”.
  8. Only the Grammar Book commanded by “the Noble Prince King Henry the Eighth & King Edward the Sixth to be taught in all Grammar Schools within their Realm”.
  9. The Master to be allowed to admit those he “shall judge and think to be meet” according to the Articles following and not otherwise.
  10. The Master was required to keep a register of admissions showing the date of admission and any money received.  Also to render an account of “all such Parcell to be employed towards the maintenance of an Usher”.
  11. The Master’s annual salary was £18 13s 4d.  The “Alderman & Brethren” decreed that the Master should pay 13s 4d towards the stipend of “an Usher to teach the Petits” and they would pay the rest.  The Petits were to be from Grantham or within a mile of the town and were to be taught to read and write Latin and English and also “their Accidence & Grammar Particles without book”.  The Master was to ensure that the Usher did not teach other than the Master permitted.
  12. The “Alderman & Brethren” had the power to appoint and remove the Usher “if cause so require”.
  13. “If a child can Read and Write Latin and English at the first sight so that he be able of himself to Read and Write his own Lessons then he Is admissible or else not, except Children born in the Town of Grantham or within a Mile of the Town” .
  14. Pupils are not to be absent from school nor in the Town during Divine Service in the holidays without the Master’s permission “cause of unfeigned sickness only excepted”.
  15. A pupil who has been rejected but re-instated shall be permanently rejected if away for 6 days.
  16. A pupil absent three times without good cause to be “utterly refused and admitted no more”.
  17. A pupil found “apt in learning” shall not be removed until “convenient proof” that he is “inapt”.
  18. There shall be found to the child pen ink paper in winter and books also with conveniently semelie apparell meet special for warmness in winter”.
  19. No pupil with an infectious disease “as the Falling Sickness, the Leprosie, the white Scab or such like” shall be admitted. Nor any of “evil Disposition or Lewd Condition, as Common Brawlers, Great Swearers, or Privy Prickers or of Natural Filthiness”.
  20. Any controversy between the Alderman and his Brethren and the School Master to be settled by the Bishop or the Archdean in his absence.

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