The foundation, maintenance and management of a free grammar school in South Lancashire, 1520-1842.
This thesis is a study of educational administration as
exemplified by the foundation and maintenance of a free grammar school
in Warrington, by Sir Thomas Boteler, 15th Lord of the Manor of
Warrington, by his will (1520), its foundation (1526) and its
governance up to 1842, ie to the onset of state intervention in the
provision of education in the 19th century. The foundation's
regulations established a basic administrative structure of a patron,
a body of feoffees, and a schoolmaster.
By the end of the 16th century, as a result of despoliation, the
School was brought to a "ruinous" state, so that a decree from the
Duchy Court of Lancaster (1607-10) was required to ensure its revival.
In the 17th century, the feoffees failed to carry out the Duchy
Court's injunctions concerning the management of the School's finances
which were thenceforward assumed by the masters. This practice
resulted in constant tension between masters and feoffees which
continued until 1807 when the School's usefulness had so declined that
some Warrington citizens, concerned that the foundation's terms were
no longer being complied with, gave information from which a bill was
filed in Chancery to rectify the maladministration of the Charity.
This resulted in a judgement in 1814 which, in 1820, led to a series
of rules which were an updating of the foundation's provisions, their
most important reform being a revival of the responsibilities of the
feoffees/trustees and an insistence on their accountability and
documentation. The tension continued between the trustees and the
schoolmaster, resulting in the resignation of the incumbent.
Overall, the work is a study of the nature and origins of the
problems encountered in making and maintaining schools and of the
tensions arising from interested parties and wielders of influence who