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Early Education in Tingrith

This article was written by Chris |Schuste

The church from the south-east February 2016
The church from the south-east February 2016

Returns from Episcopal Visitations carried out in 1706, 1717 and 1720 stated that there was no school in the parish of Tingrith.

In 1818 a Select Committee was established to enquire into educational provision for the poor.  This was no doubt prompted, in part, by the recent foundation of two societies promoting education and specifically the building of schools: the British and Foreign School Society (non-conformist) and the National Society (Anglican). A questionnaire was sent to all parishes in the country asking for: particulars relating to endowments for the education of children; other educational institutions; observations of parish needs etc.

The 1818 return from Tingrith stated that there was a Sunday school: “supported by voluntary subscription, in which 19 boys and 10 girls are instructed. The number of children is small, and there is a school in an adjoining parish, the poor have the means of education”.

In those days a Sunday School was just that, a school which met on a Sunday, usually in the church or nonconformist chapel or other similar building, teaching more than the religious topics with which they are associated today.  The ladies of Tingrith House (the Manor) Misses Catherine, Elizabeth and Mary Trevor, taught on a Sunday from 1816 until 1876.

The number of schools built in England continued to grow over the next fifteen years so that by 1833 the government agreed to supplement the work of the two societies and local benefactors, by making £20,000 per annum available in grants to help build schools. It also prompted another questionnaire to be sent to each parish in England asking for details of local educational provision.

The 1833 return from Tingrith read: “One Sunday School, wherein are 9 males and 26 females, supported by a subscription of £5 5s per annum”.