Education in Bovey Tracey 1833-1870

Frances  Billinge  2019


In 1833 the educational establishments in Bovey Tracey had limited provision  for children of poorer families. To improve such provision a National  School  was established in 1834 led by the vicar and  others. From 1860 a local woman of the ‘middling  sort’ developed increased provision for poorer children by  establishing the British School. Expansion of the ‘grammar’ school was driven by a major local  landowner who lived on the prestigious Parke estate.


Who were the people behind the development of education in Victorian  Bovey  Tracey? They were not starting from scratch.  By 1830 there was already  charitable provision associated with the established church, based  on  endowments as far back as the seventeenth century. These endowments were  from previous lords of the manor and some wealthier residents.  Although the  lord of the manor did make an annual £5 subscription to the church/National  school from 1834, the expansion of education for children from poor families came from the vision of the local ‘middling sort’, and one woman in particular, Annie Croker, daughter of a local surgeon.  Provision for more able children  was driven by William Robert Hole, a local magistrate who resided at Parke,  and through his generosity a new ‘grammar’ school was built on his land in the  1870s.

SCHOOLS  IN  1833 

The  upper classes mainly educated their children at home and then sent them to public and other independent boarding schools.  A school similar to a grammar school, and some private schools, were available for the middle classes in Bovey Tracey. Provision for poor children was limited.   

In the 1833 Parliamentary Enquiry Bovey Tracey was described as having:-  Nine day schools one with 66 children partly supported by an endowment of  £25-30  p.a. arising from land for the education of 20 boys and partly by  payments from the remainder of the children. The endowment is conducted  under the superintendence of trustees of whom the vicar is always one. In the  other 8 schools, (one of which with 30 children commenced in 1833) 154  children of both sexes are instructed at the expense of their parents. Three  Sunday schools, at one (of the established church) are 40 males and 41  females-  at another (of Wesleyans) 42 males and 49  females-  at the other (of  Baptists) 127 children of  both sexes-  these schools are supported by  subscriptions. [1]

Not all  of  these  have  yet  been  identified.  The ones we know of are as follows: 


Figure  1  Yew  Tree  Cottage.  Frances  Billinge  2106. 

This school was on Fore Street comprising a master’s house and an orchard  called  Yew  Tree  Cottage.[2]  (Fig. 1).  It was an ‘ancient school’, but  not actually a grammar school as the locals described it. Sellman, in his survey of  early Devon schools, quoted from the Schools Enquiry Commission (Taunton Commission) Report  of  1864-1864 which stated that it was really an English school, that is taught by an  ‘English’ schoolmaster, rather than by a teacher of  ‘grammar’(Latin), although the master was licensed by the Bishop.[3] It  was  funded partly by endowments from various lords of the manor an others since the 1600s. In 1812 William Chudleigh junior obtained a licence to teach there from the Bishop.[4]

In 1828 Chudleigh advertised the term date for his commercial and  mathematical academy; interestingly he was not describing it as a grammar school but rather as a more modern establishment. This would have been attractive to the middle classes who were seeking an education for their  children which would better equip them for business and enterprise. Chudleigh was also seeking a new assistant.[5] He advertised again in 1830 describing the  school as the Bovey Tracey Academy near Chudleigh.[6] The school was  conducted as a public elementary school and  ‘grammar’ school with the master  licensed by the ordinary, in other words the established church. This school was  funded from various ancient charities. These were

1.1 Hele’s Charity.

Elizaeys Hele was lord of the manor c. 1618-1836. His estate, which included Parke, was left initially to his wife who died shortly  after him, and then to John Maynard. Hele’sestate was intended for pious uses.  This money mainly went to developing more prestigious establishments in the  county. Hele is remembered for Hele’s schools in Exeter and Plympton, and also St John’s Hospital in Exeter.Maynard, using the money he inherited from  Hele, continued with Hele’s  ‘pious’ vision and established the Blue Maids’ School in Exeter, which became Maynard’s School.[7] There was some lack of  memory in Bovey Tracey about the educational provision Hele had made for  poor local children. This was investigated and in 1839 and 1840 it was rule by  virtue of the Queen’s Royal Warrant that £30 was to be paid to the school  master annually for the application of Hele’s charity.[8]

1.2.William  Stawell’s  endowment

Stawell was lord of the manor from 1669-1702 and he also endowed the  ‘ancient’school. Stawell gave Mannings Meadow in Bovey Tracey with its  annual income to be managed by a group of feoffees with the rents to go to the  schoolmaster to maintain an English School. Stawell made other gifts to the  parish as seen in the exquisite silver church plate which is on display at the  Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter.[9] In 1810 this endowment was  increased through a gift from Robert Hole’s estate which provided a  schoolroom. This was built  c.1813  at Robert Hole’s expense on condition that  the schoolmaster taught two children appointed by Hole or his heirs. This  schoolroom was next to the school house and  its  orchard.  From the indenture  we learn that the schoolmaster was entitled to £35 12s  per annum and a  dwelling house and  garden.[10]

1.3  John Stooke’s Charity   

John Stooke’s charity came into existence some time before 1709.  The  property he left was known as Foot’s tenement in Bovey Tracey, the rents of which were partly to fund communion, partly to help poor  people, and the  charity commissioners of 1833 concluded it was also partly for  education.[11]

1.4.Wise’s Meadow  

This  as an endowment from at least 1709, given by Thomas Tothill.  It  comprised the land and tenements of Wise’s Meadow, the rents of which  were to provide funding for the licensed teacher to educate seven poor  children of the parish. These children were to be appointed by Thomas Tothill’s heirs an the  trustees. Thomas Tothill was a local man, and with this  endowment he added £20 for pious uses to Stooke’s endowment.  his  meant  that with the six children supported by Stooke’s gift and the seven by the  Tothill’s,  the schoolmaster should be teaching thirteen poor  children.[12] In 1715 Tothill’s sister confirmed this gift.[13] The education was described as ‘instructing  them to read or write or such of them to  read and such to write,  and  for the training  and instructing  of  them  in  church  catechism,  and  for  buying for such of them that shall  be  appointed  to  read,  books  for that purpose but not to be carried off from  the school’

1.5. William Steer’s Charity/Foot’s  Tenement

As there was some confusion as to which charity was meant to do what in 1833  it was concluded by the commissioners that Stooke’s earlier endowment also  included the rents from part of New Inn/Foot’s  tenement. By this time this  property was owned by William Steer and so the charity became associated  with Steer’s name.

Clarifying the Endowments of the ‘Ancient  Grammar’ school in 1833 

The Commission recorded that in 1811 the schoolmaster was teaching ten  poor boys and girls, appointed by feoffees, on the ‘Madras’system.  He was  also meant to be teaching six poor children in respect of the rent of Wise’s  Meadow and these children were to be appointed by Joseph Steer esquire, as  one of the other trustees of Mannings Meadow. But as we will see things were  not working out like that. 

When William Chudleigh became the schoolmaster in 1812 he understood that he was to teach ten poor parish children in the Madras System, under  Stawell’s/  Tothill’s/ Stooke’s  gifts. Those children were to be appointed by the feoffees  who would keep the dwelling house and  schoolroom in repair. The Commission  found that seven more poor children were meant to have been taught under the  rents from William Steer’s  gift/Foots  tenement. However as this money had  never been paid the schoolmaster explained that he had not instructed these  poor children and he argued that their number was covered under the ten children he had already agreed to in his contract at the start. This tells us that  only ten poor children were receiving instruction at the ancient school, despite  endowments to teach slightly more than that. 

The commission also found that poor people in the town were angry that the  schoolmaster, William Chudleigh, had asked them to pay for stationery. He had  said they should pay him 2s  6d  a quarter for pens, ink and paper or provide it  themselves. In 1822 he reduced the sum to 2s per quarter. The commissioners  noted that none of the charitable gifts had made provision for stationery, but the  gifts had said books would be provided and the parents were in fact paying for  these books. The commission concluded that as the schoolmaster had not had  all the rents he should have had, but he was not teaching the extra children  anyway, he was not over-remunerated. They adjudged that he should have the  rents for Foot’s tenement but should admit more children to justify his salary. 

What  did  the  ‘Ancient  Grammar’ School  teach? 

When the previous master retired the advertisement for his replacement in 1810  informs us that by then the school taught Latin, reading, writing,  and  arithmetic and all it  branches. It firmly stated, ‘No-one need apply who is not a  member of the established church’.[14]


H. Cragg advertised her day and boarding school in 1804.[15]  No evidence has so  far been found to confirm that this school was still in existence in 1830, but as  the Charity Commission referred to as many as nine schools it is a possibility.  The n 1804 advertisement stated: ‘H.  Cragg respectfully informs her friends and the public that her boarding and day school for young ladies will open after  the present recess on Monday the twenty third instant.  H. C flatters herself  her  unremitted attention to the improvement of her pupils will render her worthy the  patronage of those who are pleased to distinguish her by their favours         


Board, washing, the English Grammar

Plain  and  fine  needlework     £14          14s            0d 

Entrance  £1 1s    0d                                                                                        

Writing and arithmetic     £16 0s     0d                                                      

Christmas gratuity            10s     6d 

Dancing etc on the usual terms 

The strictest regard to health and morals may be relied  on.  

This was a private school run by the owner and pupils’ parents paid fees.  They were all girls and learnt grammar, needlework ,writing, arithmetic, and dancing  was also available. It is not  known  where  this  school  was  sited. 


In 1810 Miss Elizabeth Torr Puddicombe advertised her preparatory boarding school for young ladies under twelve years.[16] This is another school which we  are not sure was still functioning in 1830.  The fees were £20 p.a. sundries  included. Miss Puddicmbe lived at Church Style, a large house in a prestigious  position next to the church. The current house is of a later date but a sketch  by  Annie Croker, not only a philanthropist but also an active local artist, is thought  to illustrate the earlier residence (Fig.  2).  Miss Puddicombe was born in  Teignmouth in 1765 and she, and her sister who lived nearby in East Street, were of independent means. Miss  Puddicombe was a Baptist and in her will of  1849 she left £1,000 to the local Baptist chapel.  [17]

Figure  2. Sketch by Annie Croker thought to be of Church Style in 1836. By  kind permission of Devon Archives and Local Studies Service.     


The school was run by W. Welch and was the new sort of school offering  commercial subjects. It was advertised in the local press in the 1820s.[18] It taught reading, writing and arithmetic, English grammar, merchants’ accounts, geography, use of globes, land surveying, and other branches of mathematics.  The health education was solely by W. Welch. It was a boarding school with  fees at £16 per annum, plus a guinea a year for washing. This made it £3 cheaper per annum than Miss Puddicombe’s girl’s school. Welch stated that there was  no entrance fee, and apart from payment for books, no extras on top of the  annual fee. He was doing well as in 1828 he was advertising for an assistant. It  is not yet known where this school was sited. This development of commercial  and mathematical education was part of a growing trend. McLain in his study of  the evolution and expansion of Victorian Public Schools explained that between  1840 and 1870 the middle classes were showing a wish for education for their  children and their sons in particular, and that the  business middle classes followed the lead of the professional middle classes i  this.[19]

Bovey Tracey at this time had a developing pottery industry which attracted workers from as far afield as Staffordshire.[20] This might have helped to expand  acommercial  school. 


This school was listed as a day and boarding establishment  in Morris’  1879 directory.  From the 1881 Census we learn that it was at Church Hill  House, East  Street. By then it had five female secondary aged boarders aged  12-17  years. Two of these were sisters who had been born in India. Their mother, Elizabeth Coombes, had been born in Hennock  As the school mistress  had been living in East Street from at least 1851 it is possible that her school  was  established by then.  No boarders were referred to in either the 1851 or  1861 Census, but two boarders were listed  by 1871. These were girls who had  been born nearby in Lustleigh and Manaton.  No further information has yet  been found on this school.


Three Sunday schools were held run by the Church of England and the  Wesleyan Baptist chapels An  advertisement of 1835 referred to an anniversary  celebration of the Baptist Sunday School but how long it had been running is  not known.[21] The Church of England Sunday school met in the newly built  National School building from 1834. A drawing of 1836 shows it at that time  (Fig. 3). It is probable that the other Sunday schools met in the premises of  their own churches.

Figure 3. Bovey Tracey [Parish  Church] Sunday  School 1836, pencil drawing Annie Croker. By kind permission of Devon Archives and Local  Studies Service,  reference  DHC  2160A/PZ/3


We have so far accounted for only three day-schools – the endowed ‘grammar’ school, Mr Welch’s Mathematical Academy and Mrs Loveys day  and  boarding school. We have found the possibility of a further day-school for  girls which had been run by Miss Cragg. The other school possibly still  running was that of Miss Puddicombe’s, but that was a boarding school for  girls. This means that only three or four day-schools have so far been found.  This is far fewer than the nine recorded. The other schools known to have existed did not seem to have advertised for pupils or staff and local memory has not recalled anything about them. 


Not all land in Bovey Tracey which was endowed for education was actually  for local children. An indenture of 1830 confirms that land by Drake’s Lane  was part of Christopher Coleman’s charitable endowment for the education of  children in Bishopsteignton.[22] It might seem surprising that an educational  endowment of local land was not being used to support local children but land was owned by people living far and wide and they could do with it as they  pleased. Perhaps Coleman at some time had a connection with both places and  he chose to support education elsewhere than in Bovey Tracey.


The Anglican National Schools movement developed to provide education for  the working classes. These schools were run by the local church and the clergy  were their head teachers.[23]

In 1834 a National School was erected in the building which is now called the  Church Rooms, as already illustrated in Figure 3. This was on land given by  Francis Berry esquire, woollen mill owner of Barnstaple for the education of the  poor of the established church.[24] Initially this school catered for thirty children  whose parents paid for their attendance.   

The school was erected by public subscription of £250 and aided by a grant from the National Society. It was further assisted by Joseph Harris’ charity in  1839 by which he left £30 to be put in government security for the dividends to  go to the National School.[25] In 1845 there were thirty three children on roll. The  school was funded by £18 of subscriptions, £5 taken in fees and paid a salary  of  £20. A year later the numbers had nearly doubled  to seventy six. In 1847 it was  noted that the pupils were mostly girls. By 1853 there were four classes each of  boys and girls.[26]

The local population was expanding and eventually the schoolneeded  new  premises.  In 1864 the vicar The Reverend Honourable Charles Leslie  Courtenay gave land for a new school to be erected nearby.[27] He made this gift  ‘for the education of children and adults, or children only, of th  labouring,  manufacturing, and other poor classes of the parish. The master and mistress has  to be of the Church of England, duly qualified, with a committee of five ladies to manage the girls and infants schools.’ The boys  moved  to  these  new  premises. 

The National School is the only one for which we have records.[28] Much  emphasis was given to teaching religion, the catechism and studying the Bible.  Absenteeism was a problem with the reasons given as carrying the father’s  food to harvest, a menagerie in the town, and, ‘Got  no  boots’.The need for practical mathematical knowledge was shown in the lesson in  1865,‘taught  them  bills  and  parcels’.  In 1866  we  hear  that, ‘the  Miner’s holiday kept  man boys  away’, as there would have been many parents involved in the    several mines around the area. In October boys were absent for acorn picking,  followed by more absenteeism because of a circus on the Heath. 

On 15 May 1867 Miss Hole, whose family continued to contribute financially  to local education, visited to say she was giving two prizes in each class for  boys who did best in class by the end of the year. Local wives of high  social  standing visited  – Mrs  Bentinck being Lady of the Manor, and Mrs Harris the  wife of a prominent member of the Borough administration. The cash book of  the school tells us who was supporting it financially.[29] For example in 1864 the  following were subscribers:

Wm  Adair  esq  £5  R

ev  F.B.  Anstice  £2  2s 

C.A.  Bentinck  esq  £2 

W.  Buller  esq  £3 

Miss  Campbell  £1 

Rev.  Hon  Courtenay    £10

Earl  of  Devon  £5 

John    Divett  esq.  £3 

Wm  Harris  esq  £1 

Jabez  Mugford  £1  1s 

Rev.  C.A.  Raymond  £1  1s 

Rev.  Marwood  Tucker  10s   

W.  Watts  esq.  £1  1s 

Rev.  Nutcombe  Gould  £1 

Total  £35  14s 

These were mainly those also involved in the workings of the vestry, borough  and manor together with major land owners or businessmen. The school  received a £40  4s capitation grant from the National Society making its income  for that year £68 13s 11½d. Another source of income was by sale of the  children’s work which made £7 3s 2½d in 1864. It was not only local men who  supported the school financially as quarterly payments were received from Mrs  Divett  3s, illegible  initials 5s, Miss Manning 4s, Miss Hughes 3s,and  Miss  Pike 1s.   


The children who worked at the pottery had two educational opportunities. A  newspaper article in 1855 headed ‘School at the  Pottery’ made it seem as if the  pottery owners were being public spirited in making such provision, but actually  they were required to do so by law.[30] The article praised, ‘extensive work by  Divett and Buller to provide one hour a day for children’s mental improvement.  Recently opened entirely at proprietors’ expense and they provide the books.’

We also find that at least by 1863, the time for which we have extant records,  some pottery children were taught before school hours at the National School.[31]By the time of the 1871 Census only two children were described as half time at  school and half time at the pottery


On the 1861 Census Mary Palmer who lived in a house in the area called College described herself as a schoolmistress. She might have been running a  dame school as in 1851 she had been described as the wife of an agricultural  labourer.

On the 1861 Census Jane Pitts of Fore Street, born in Okehampton, described  herself as a teacher of grammar, geography etc. She was a new arrival in the  town as she had not lived there in  851. Possibly she was teaching at her house

On the1871 Census locally born Annie Treleaven of Townsend House was  described as a schoolmistress.


On the 1841Census Mary Harris described herself as a teacher and by 1851 as the schoolmistress of a dame school. She lived in Fore Street. By 1871 she was a blind pauper living in a house where a pupil teacher  also boarded.


This was opposite the church of St John the Evangelist on the Ashburton  Road, and catered for infants who as juniors passed on to the National or British  Schools. It is now the Wickham Hall (Fig. 4). In 1870 Miss Sarah Smallbridge was the schoolmistress and she lived nearby at Heathfield Cottages.[32]

Figure  4  St  Johns  School. Frances Billinge 2018.


The British, non-denominational, school opened first in hired rooms in 1861  and then in the Temperance Hall on Fore Street in 1864 (Fig. 5).[33]

Figure 5.  Temperance Hall used by the British School in 1864. Frances Billinge 2018.

This was a development driven by Miss Annie Croker who was critical of the Tractarian/high church nature of the education the local vicar was providing in the church schools.[34] Sellman gave a full description of the difficulties Annie Croker experienced in establishing this  school and finding staff, and of her commitment  o non-denominational  education.[35] Annie Croker’s school newsletters and related newspaper cuttings are lodged at the Bovey Tracey Heritage Trust Archive. She experienced considerable difficulty in raising money for the school. Despite it being her efforts which established the school she was not chairman of its committee but worked tirelessly as its treasurer. In 1867 John Divett, the proprietor of the local Pottery business, leased ground on Mary Street to a group of local people so that the British School room and playground could be erected there (Fig. 6).[36] 

Figure 6.  British School Mary Street.  Frances Billinge 2016.

By 1866 a hundred and twenty children were attending. We learn that another  daughter of an influential local  family was involved in the school as in 1880  Miss Divett joined Annie Crocker as representatives of the British  School who  sat on Lady Clifford’s committee to improve needlework in schools. A Miss  Fock and Miss Divett also represented the National  School.[37]

At Annie Croker’s memorial event in Bovey Tracey in 1907 Miss Tracy  described her as,  ‘Founder and supporter, by God’s help, of the British School.  She probably did as much for Bovey as anyone, but she did it in a quiet way’.  Maybe her commitment was to providing education for the poorest children  as  in her obituary of 1906 she was described as having always attended the  established church in Hennock rather than a local non-denominational  chapel.[38]


This school was in Lower Brimley,  but  no  dates  are  known  for  its  establishment.[39] Jervis stated that twenty children attended  (Fig. 7).  It is  difficult to understand how a school could be financially viable in such a tiny  hamlet with few children nearby.  On the 1861  Census an Ilsington  born  schoolmistress called Susannah  Carpenter aged 50 was living in Lower  Brimley. If Stentiford Lane  school was established by then she lived near  enough to work there.

Figure 7. Brimley School, no date, handwritten on reverse MissTreleaven  Headmistress.  By kind permission of Bovey Tracey Heritage Centre.


What about the education of the wealthier residents of the parish? Some would  have sent their children to independent boarding and public schools elsewhere.  The only family with a resident governess on the 1851 Census was that of  George Manning, Lieutenant R.N. who lived at the prestigious Colehayes estate.  The governess was London born Miss Maria Bartholemew aged 29. On the 1861 Census the children at Frost Farm had an unmarried governess called Jane  House, she was 21 and had come from Somerset. Many families in the larger  houses locally also had children and plenty of servants such as cooks,  dressmakers, nurses and parlour maids, but no governesses.[40] We know that  one ‘lady’ governess of Bovey Tracey was seeking employment, but as we only  have her initials she is too elusive to find. In 1839 she advertised that she could,  ‘teach English, French, Italian, grammar (Latin), music, drawing, use of globes  and different branches of polite education. Apply A.E. Bovey Tracey  Office.’ [41]


We have seen that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was the lord of  the manor, and after that other notable residents who gave endowments to the  ‘grammar’ school. In the 1800s there was to be a change. The lord of the manor  at the start of the century was William  Courtenay, Earl of Devon who did not  endow any local school. He sold the lordship of the manor of Bovey Tracey to  Count Charles Bentinck in 1855. Courtney was succeeded in the earldom by his  son William  in  1859.  As eleventh earl of Devon William had a keen interest in  social matters both in the county and nationally. McLain has described that  Courtenay campaigned in the House of Lords to improve education for the  middle classes in the mid- Victorian  era. Courtenay had important national posts, he was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1866-7, was created a Privy  Counsellor in 1866, and from 1868 he was President of the Poor Law Board. In  Devon Courtenay chaired the governing body of Blundell’s School.[42] His  contribution to education in Bovey Tracey seems to have been limited to making an annual subscription to the English/church school. This was an  important endorsement of that school. 

However his brother, the Rev. Hon. Charles Leslie Courtenay was the  vicar and  as such was an automatic trustee of the church school, which linked the  prestigious Courtenay family name with that school. As we have seen  Rev.  Courtney gave land to assist the expansion of the National  School. 

Charles Aldenbugh Bentinck was descended from Counts of the Holy Roman  Empire and had a pedigree going back to William of Orange. He was great, great grandson of the first earl of Portland, his mother was the daughter of an  earl, and he was married to Harriet Fulford, daughter of Sir Francis Fulford  of  Great Fulford. His family was known for its socially pioneering work as his  third cousin Lord William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, as Governor General in  India, had campaigned successfully against the practice of suttee and  introduced regulations against it in 1829.[43]

Charles Bentinck, Lord of the Manor of Bovey Tracey, made an annual  subscription to the National  School. He also made charitable donations for  repairing the  parish church. He lived locally, satas  a J.P. and his other generosity was in contributing to local life by hosting various festivities on his  prestigious estate at Indio.[44]

The Hole’s were local landowners who had a strong involvement with local  education and civic life. They had settled in Bovey Tracey in the 1700s and in  the 1820s moved to Parke. They were about to increase their Bovey Tracey  land holdings even more, so that by the turn of the nineteenth century they  owned more local land than the lord of the manor. Their financial support of  local education was a positive contribution. It was later through Hole’s  generosity of a gift of land that the grammar school expanded and moved to a  new site in 1876, although this school closed in 1908. Hole sat on various local government bodies such as the petty sessions, and the poor law board, and he  also assisted in the improvement of the local water supply.   

The change we see is that it was the daughter of the local surgeon, a ‘middling’ sort, who initially pushed for increased education for poor children by establishing the  British  School. Her family did not have extensive land  holdings and they were known to be opponents of the Tractarian developments  in Bovey Tracey. Through her efforts, and with the support of the Divett family  which was the main local employer, more education was made available for poor children (Fig. 8).  This trend for educational philanthropy being supported  by the ‘middling’ sort of landowners, clergymen and businessmen was  described by Mitch, and in this respect Bovey Tracey was similar to other  places.[45] The  difference was that in Bovey Tracey a local woman was the  driving force for education to be available for all. 

Figure  8.  Annie Croker.  By  Kind  Permission of Bovey Tracey Heritage  Trust. 

By 1870  Bovey Tracey had the National School with boys and girls at  separate sites, the British  School,  and  the  endowed  ‘grammar’  school, and  probably some private  schools. In 1911 the British School closed as a Council  school had opened on a new site which meant free elementary education was then available for all (Fig. 9).  

Figure  9.  Bovey Tracey Primary School, site of the 1911 Council School.  Frances Billinge 2018


I would like to thank Jackie Paxman, Librarian, Bovey Tracey Library for her  untiring assistance in obtaining references.


[1] Abstract  of  Answers  and  Returns,  Education  Enquiry  1833,  Vol  1,  Bedford  –Lancaster,  London,  House  of Commons,  1835,  Page  72  . 

[2] The  Western  Times  10  June  1854,  p,4,  refers  to  site  of  the  school  house,  orchard  adjoining  the  endowed  school  on  the  High  Street  [Fore  Street];  site  also  confirmed  in  Charity  Commission  Enquiry  into  the  Parish  of  Bovey  Tracey  1907,  p,  8. 

[3] Sellman,  R.R.,1984.  Early  Devon  Schools.  Unpublished  MSS,  Devon  County  Council,  p.136. 

[4] Trewman’s  Exeter  Flying  Post,  9  July  1810,  p.2. 

[5] Exeter  and  Plymouth  Gazette,  12  January  1828,  p.3.

[6] Trewman’s  Exeter  Flying  Post,  15  July  1830,  p.  1.

[7] Billinge,  Frances,  2016.  The  lords  of  the  historic  manor  of  Bovey  Tracey.  Trans  Devon.Assoc  Advmt  Sci.,  48,  forthcoming. 

[8] Charity  Commission  Enquiry  1907,  p  5,  refers  to  Hele’s  Charity  and  Queen’s  Royal  Warrant  of  9  November  1839  and  4  March  1840,  see  note  2. 

[9] Ibid.,  p.  2. 

[10] Ibid.,  p.  3

[11] Ibid.,  pp.3-4. 

[12] DHC  2160A/PF  9:  Indenture    1715  confirms  Thomas  Tothill’s  gift;  also  explained  in  Charity Commission  Report  1907,  pp.1-2,  see  note  2.    

[13] Ibid. 

[14] Trewman’s  Exeter  Flying  Post,  24  May  1810,  p.1. 

[15] Trewman’s  Exeter  Flying  Post,  5  January  1804,  p.  1. 

[16] Trewman’s  Exeter  Flying  Post  24  May  1810,  p.1;1841Census,  address  of    Elizabeth  Torr  Puddicombe  confirmed  at  Church  Style  27  October  2016. 

[17] 1849 Will  of  Elizabeth  Torr  Puddicombe accessed  27  October  2016. 

[18] Trewman’s  Exeter  Flying  Post,  25  December  1823,  p.1. 

[19]   Richard  Dalton  McClain,  2003.  The  Evolution    and  Expansion  of  the  Victorian  English  Public  Schools,  A  Comprehensive  Case  Study  of  Blundells,  Clifton,  Eton,  Lancing  and  The  Leys.  Unpublished  Ph.D.  thesis  University  of  Exeter,  p.90. 

[20] Adams,  Brian  and  Thomas  Anthony,  1996.  A  Potwork  in  Devonshire (Bovey Tracey, Sayce). 

[21] The  Western  Times,  11  July  1835,  p.  2.

[22] DHC  4187M/SS  1-7,  1830,  indentures  of  Christopher  Coleman’s  charity  giving  land  below  Drakes  Lane  to  Bishopsteignton  for  charitable  (school)  purposes;  Coleman’s  will  of  1729 shows  he  was  of  Bishopsteignton,

[23] McLain,  2003,  p.98,  describes  that  the  clergy  were  the  heads  of  these    schools  p.98,  see  note  19.

[24]   Charity  Commission  Enquiry  1907,  pp.12-13  describe  in  1834 Francis  Berry  conveying  to  14  trustees  the  land  and  garden  in  churchyard  to  build  a  school  house  to  educate  the  poor  of  the  established  church,  see  note  2;  Trewman’s  Exeter  Flying  Post,  29  January  1835,  p.2  describes  the  grant. 

[25] Charity  Commission  Enquiry  1907,  p.13  describes  Joseph  Harris  charity  of  9  October  1839  leaving  £30  to  be  put  in  government  securities  and  the  dividends  to  be  devoted  to  the  National  school. 

[26] Sellman,  1984,  p110,  see  note  3. 

[27] Hyde  ,  unpublished  manuscript,  DHC  Devonshire  Association  files,  Bovey  Tracey,  refers  to  30  July  1868   Rev  and  Hon  Charles  Leslie  Courtenay  granted  meadow  no.  2095  on  Tithe  Map  called  Orchard  meadow  1  rood  ¾  perches  for  a  school;  also  confirmed  in  Charity  Commission  Report  1907,  p  13,  see  note  2;  DHC  1473C/EB14  C  1870 architect’s  plan  drawn  up  for  proposed  new  National  School  by  Joseph  William  Rowell  of  Newton  Abbot.

[28] DHC   2160A/PE/1,  National  School  Log  Book  from1863,  20  May  1865,   ‘sent  boy  to  enquire  about  absentees    most  were  kept  home  to  carry  their father’s  food  to  the  harvest  field’;  11June  1865,  ‘very  few  children  at  school  today  on  account  of  a  menagerie  being  in  the  village’;  12  June  1865,  ‘Coniam  played  truant    in  the  afternoon ’and  on  13th ‘cautioned against mitching in the future’;  21 July  1865,  ‘sent  after  absentees , excuses made for being kept home were trying,  ‘Got  no  boots’;  29  October  1866 ,  ‘absentees  4/5  boys  employed  picking mast  alias acorns’;  30  Oct  1866,  ‘Circus  on  the  heath  [absentees]’;  15 May  1867,  ‘Miss  Hole  visited  to  say  she  was  giving  2  prizes  in  each  class  for  boys    who  do  best  in  class  by  the  end  of  the  year’;  24  September  1867,  ‘school  visit  by  Mrs  Harris’;  25    September  1867,  ‘school  visit  by  Mrs  Bentinck’;  29January  1867,  ‘requested  to  put  T.  Meads  name  in  Pottery  book’. 

[29] DHC2160A/PE/10,  1864,  Bovey  Tracey  National  School  Cash  Book. 

[30] Exeter  and  Plymouth  Gazette,  24  February 1855,  p4.   

[31] National  School  Log  Book,  19 February1867,  ‘the  pottery  boys  will  continue  to  attend  school  before  time’,  see  note  28.     

[32]   Barry  Jervis,  2004.  Schools,    in  Kennedy,  Victoria,  The  Bovey  Book(Bovey  Tracey,  Cottage  Publishing),  p.93.

[33] Roger  R.  Sellman, 1967.  Devon  Village  Schools  in  the  Nineteenth  Century  (Newton  Abbot,  David  and  Charles)  p.  42. 

[34] Frances Billinge et al., 2019. Schools for the Poor in Mid-Nineteenth Century in Devon inStudies in Church History, (Cambridge University Press) vol. 55, pp.307-323.

[35] Sellman , see note 33,  pp.42,  71.

[36] Charity  Commisson  Enquiry,  1907,  p.16,  see  note  2. 

[37] The  Western  Times  28  August  1880,  p.  6.  

[38] The  Western  Times  article  on  funeral  held  at  Hennock  25  may  1906,  p  13;  Exeter  and  P  Gazette  18  may  1907  p 4.article on  memorial  event 

[39] Jervis,  2004,  p.101,  see  note  32. 

[40] 1851  Census accessed  27  October  2016 

[41] Exeter  and  Plymouth  Gazette,  12  January  1839,  p.3.   

[42] Mc  Lain,  R.D.,  2001.  Aristocratic  Leadership  in  the  Advancement  of  Secondary  Education  during  the  Mid-Victorian  Period:  the  Earl  of  Devon,  Earl  Fortescue  and  Sir  Stafford  Northcote.  Rep.  Trans  Devon  Ass.  Admt  Sci.,  133,  175-190,  pp,  175,180 

[43] James  Peggs , 1832.  India’s  Cries  to  British  Humanity  (London) accessed  6  February  1017

[44] The  Western  Times,  25  August  1880,  p.3.  flower  show  of  the    Cottage  Garden  Society. 

[45] David  Mitch,  2016.  Schooling  for  all  via  financing  by  some;  perspectives  from  early  modern  and  Victorian  England,  in  Pedagogica  Historica,  52, no.4,  pp.325-348,  p328,  331.