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A History of Giggleswick School by Bell

Vicar of the Parish Church of Giggleswick


These

lands were situated in the East Riding and their whole value amounted annually to L23 3_s._ of which they had to pay an annual rent to the King of sixty-three shillings. The Trustees were further allowed to purchase or receive gifts of land, etc., for the maintenance of the School, provided that such additional endowment did not exceed the clear yearly value of L30.

The grant does not sound over-generous, but it is necessary to multiply money to twenty times its value, in order to obtain a clear estimate of it in this century. On such a computation it would amount to L400 a year after paying the King's rent, and in addition, it would be possible to acquire by gifts or legacies another L600, making a possible income of L1,000. The Common Seal that the Governors used is of an origin altogether obscure. It represents presumably the Virgin and Child while below is the figure of a man praying. Round the rim are the words:

Sigillum Prebendarii de Bulidon

It may be that Bulidon has in course of time been corrupted and that some modernized form of it exists, with records of a collegiate church. It is quite clearly the seal of a canon or prebendary, but as yet no one has discovered his church or his name. Perhaps Nowell was a prebendary and this was his seal, which he transferred to the Governors for their corporate use.

The Governors were empowered

to make "de tempore in tempus" fit and wholesome Statutes and Ordinances in writing concerning the Governors ... how they shall behave and bear themselves in their office ... and for what causes they may be removed; and touching the manner and form of choosing and nominating of the chief master and undermaster, and touching the ordering, government and direction of the chief master and undermaster and of the scholars of the said School, which said Statutes were to be inviolately observed from time to time for ever.

No record remains of Statutes made in accordance with this royal permission until thirty-nine years later. Custom no doubt played a great part in the government of the School and it continued steadily on the lines first laid down by James Carr. But towards the close of the century the country was awakening from the materialism which had girt it round. The danger of invasion had passed away. The seeds of religious fervour were bearing fruit. A militant, assertive Puritanism was vigorously putting forward its feelers throughout the length and breadth of England, nor was education the last to be affected. Throughout history it has been the aim of the enthusiast to make education conform to a single standard. Sometimes it has been the value of the disputation, sometimes of the sense of Original Sin, sometimes of the classics. At the close of the sixteenth century Original Sin had become an important factor in the theories of the expert, and its presence is marked in the Giggleswick Ancient Statutes of 1592.

On Sunday the 2nd of July, 1592, between the hours of three and five in the afternoon, Christopher Foster, public notary and one of the Proctors of the Consistory Court at York, appeared personally before John, Archbishop of York, in the great chamber of the Palace at Bishopthorp. He there presented his letters mandatory, sealed with the common seal, for Christopher Shute, Clerk, Bachelor of Divinity, Vicar of the Parish Church of Giggleswick, Henry Tenant, Antony Watson, Richard Chewe, gentlemen, Thos. Banckes, and Roger Carre, yeomen.

He had brought with him "Letters Patent wrote on vellum of the late King Edward the Sixth of happy memory concerning the foundacion of the said ffree Grammar School and sealed with the great seal of England." These he shewed to the Archbishop together with certain wholesome Statutes and Ordinances, which they had determined upon. The Archbishop consented to deliberate concerning the matter and consulted with counsel learned in the law in that behalf. Later on the 3rd day of October after mature deliberation, he was pleased to transmit the said Statutes to be registered in the Chancellor's Court at York by the hands of John Benet, Doctor of Laws and Vicar General. The Statutes were accordingly confirmed and remained valid for over two hundred years.


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