Grace's High School / Commercial School (1812-1898)

By Ed Grimsdale

Daniel Grace took over Henry Stubbings' Winslow Academy / Winslow School in 1812:

Northampton Mercury, 4 July 1812
D.GRACE
BEGS Leave to offer his most grateful Thanks to his Friends for the liberal Support he has experienced since his Commencement in Partnership with Mr. STUBBINGS ; and respectfully informs them and the Public in general, that he separately carries on the above Profession, where all future Favours will be thankfully received, and every Attention paid, to the Health, Minds, and Morals of those Children who are entrusted to his Charge.
N.B. – SCHOOL will Re-open on MONDAY the 20th of JULY instant.

Daniel Grace must have maintained the goodwill that the partnership enjoyed for he advertised for an extra teacher in September 1813:

WANTED immediately, an ASSISTANT in a SCHOOL, A YOUNG MAN, qualified to teach Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and the English Grammar; if he has a Knowledge of the Latin Language, it will render him more eligible. He must be well recommended for Sobriety, Affability of Disposition, as well as expected to assist in forming the Minds of the Pupils.
N.B. Apply personally or by Letter, Post-Paid, to D. Grace, Academy, Winslow, Bucks.

Grace went into partnership for a time with a Cambridge Graduate, William Henry Bond:

1827, 29 Dec: Bucks Chronicle
Education at Winslow 
Mr D. Grace and Mr W.H. Bond of Queens College, Cambridge, impressed with the deepest sense of gratitude to their friends for the liberal support they have experienced since their removal to their present airy and commodious House, beg leave to inform them and the Public that they have vacancies for a few more pupils ...

The removal was to Brook Hall in Sheep Street.  Numbers of pupils may have continued to disappoint Mr Grace who placed these words in the Bucks Herald on 11 July 1835:

Academy, WINSLOW,
_____
MR. D. GRACE,

BEGS leave to inform his Friends and the Public, that in consequence of the depression in the price of Provisions, he has lowered his terms to the moderate charge of EIGHTEEN GUINEAS per annum, including Board and Education in every branch necessary for Trade or Business.
The Rudiments of the Latin and Greek Languages, Mathematics, Practical Surveying, &c., will be charged extra.
Pupils under twelve years of age, Sixteen Guineas per annum.  Expenses of Books and Stationary [sic] very moderate.
Mr. G. feels assured that the long experience he has had, and the numerous improvements he has introduced into his establishment, for the expediting and perfecting the Education of Youth, will give general satisfaction to any Parent or Guardian, who may think proper to make a trial of his School.
N.B. The next Quarter commences July 20, 1835.

The school hosted public lectures by Elkanah Slatterie, a touring speaker who later published A Brief Account of Mesmeric-Phrenology.

Bucks Herald, 1 Oct 1836
Mr. E. Slatterie delivered a series of Four Lectures on Elocution, at Mr. Grace's School-Room, Winslow, during the past week. They were attended by a very respectable audience, who appeared highly gratified by the very clear and comprehensive manner in which he elucidated the principles of this important science; the various parts were ably explained and illustrated, as well as enlivened, by the occasional introduction of 'well-selected anecdotes', thereby connecting the pleasing with the more essential parts of the science. Mr. Slatterie will deliver lectures on Elocution at the Town Hall, Aylesbury, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next.

The Bucks Herald published the following lines on 10 April 1841. They attest to Daniel Grace’s position in the community:

WINSLOW
There are few places in which parochial affairs are conducted with less acrimony and party feeling than in the above village.  – “bear and forbear” appears to be the judicious and conciliating motto that influences most of its inhabitants. In conformity with this “noiseless tenor of their way”, which almost invariably marks the proceedings of the parishioners in the regulation of their internal polity, they have elected , without contention, their Guardians of the Poor for the ensuing year, viz. : Mr Daniel Grace, schoolmaster, and Mr Samuel Cole, farmer, individuals well qualified to sustain the duties of this office.

Daniel Grace was an active Anglican, and a leader in the affairs of Winslow Parish Church. At a Deanery Conference held in Winslow in 1840 to promote the cause of the National Society that espoused the Church of England’s educational principles, his school was mentioned in connection with a proposed resolution “That the Board of Education recently established in this County, in union with the Incorporated National Society, is deserving of the sympathy and support of all friends to education on sound religious principles.”

The Rev. Geo. W. Sandy, Secretary to the Deanery Board supported the resolution. … In the town of Winslow, a schoolmaster, (Mr Grace) had put his school in connexion with the National Society.

The school moved to the High Street c.1842, originally on the site where the Post Office was later built. By 1848, Winslow Academy was under the partnership of  “Messrs Grace and Son”. Daniel Grace had retired by 1851, when he is listed as a farmer. John Grace aged 31 was "Master of a Private Commercial School". He had 2 resident teachers and 16 boarders aged between 8 and 16, including two French boys. The school became known as the “Classical and Commercial School founded 1812”, the date when Daniel Grace acquired it from his former employer Henry Watkins Stubbings.

Oxford Chronicle, 31 Aug 1850:

A silver tea-pot of handsome make, and bearing the following inscription, has been presented to Mr. Grace, of Winslow, on retiring from his scholastic duties, after 36 years active labour:- “Presented to Mr. Daniel Grace, on retiring from his scholastic duties, by his former pupils, as a token of regard and esteem.”

Bucks Herald, 9 July 1859:

Winslow Classical and Commercial School.
Terms, 20 Guineas per Annum.
Under 12 Years of Age, 18 Guineas per Annum.

THE course of Instruction carried out by Mr. JOHN GRACE, comprises a sound, liberal, Commercial Education, with Mathematics, Practical Surveying, French and Latin, in a manner highly qualified for expanding the Youthful mind.
Scholastic Duties will be resumed on MONDAY, JULY 25th, 1859.

By 1861, John Grace had 7 children of his own. As well as his wife Sarah, there was an assistant teacher and 10 boarders. Most of the pupils were probably now day-boys, including the future dramatist Henry Arthur Jones who left at the age of 13 in 1864. Daniel Grace's farm was advertised in the Bucks Herald, 21 July 1866:

13 HEAD OF COW STOCK,
CART HORSES, Poultry, Farming Implements, FINE GROWING CROPS OF CORN, Grass Keeping (up to Michaelmas, 1866)
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, BY
DUDLEY & SON,
On MONDAY, July the 23rd, 1866
On the Land in the occupation of Mr. Daniel Grace, in the Parish of Winslow who is leaving. […]

Account for Winslow Commercial School, 1878In 1868 Daniel Grace left to John the building where the school was now located, later called Arundel House (at the corner of Vicarage Road and High Street, now demolished). Mr & Mrs Grace had 8 children living at home, an assistant master and 7 boarders. Subjects offered ranged from Book Keeping and Mercantile Penmanship to Latin and Mythology. Click on the image on the right to see the account which Mr Grace sent to Mrs Flowers of Padbury in December 1878. In 1881 there was an English teacher and 5 boarders. From the Bucks Herald, 4 March 1882:

Presentation – On Tuesday, the 28th ult, being the anniversary of Mr [John] Grace’s birthday, it was decided by the present and past pupils of the Commercial School to make him a suitable present in recognition of the kindness and attention which they have invariably met with under his care. The presentation took place in the School-room and consisted of an illuminated address and a very handsome piece of plate. The address was received by the boys with enthusiastic applause. Mr Grace, on rising to reply, was greatly cheered, and said that it was a  most agreeable surprise to him. He thanked them all very sincerely for their kindness and good wishes expressed in the address. It was always his desire to make them happy and comfortable, and he hoped that he should long continue to merit their esteem and good wishes.

John Grace died on 23 July 1885 (see his will; the school doesn't seem to have made him very prosperous) and his school was eventually (see below) taken over by William Warne.  Grace was 65 years old and had been the Principal of the Commercial School for over 30 years. According to the obituary in the Bucks Herald he was “widely known and esteemed throughout the district, most of the younger middle-class men having passed through his school in their time.” Apart from his school work, John Grace had been Secretary to the Gas Company, Hon.Sec. of  both the Cattle Assurance Association and Winslow Fire Brigade, Collector of Income-Tax and several times Guardian of the Parish.  John Grace's children included a son, also John, and a daughter, Thalia who married Henry Clift of London.  He was given a choral funeral in Winslow Parish Church and his passing was marked with a muffled peal of bells.

Arundel HouseThe school's new management was advertised as:

WINSLOW BOYS’ HIGH SCHOOL
ESTABLISHED 1812
HEAD MASTER – Mr. WILLIAM WARNE, F.R.G.S.
CLASSICAL & COMMERCIAL SCHOOL for BOARDERS and DAY SCHOLARS. Fees charged from Admission.
Thorough Education. Careful Training. Home Comforts. Moderate Terms.
For Prospectuses apply to the Principal, Arundel House, Winslow, Bucks.

The 1891 Census shows an assistant teacher, Alfred Beer aged 16, with 14 boys boarding aged 11-15. Kelly's Directory for 1895 lists "Warne, William, F.R.G.S., C.M." The Sanitary Inspector found Arundel House (photo on right) to be unsatisfactory in 1897: “… the walls of the dormitory were green and black with the damp coming through the north wall. The end of the back entrance hall was partly fallen down, and the roof of the w.c. was also in a dilapidated condition.” From there, it seems it was downhill for Winslow Boys’ High School. By 1899 William Warne was in charge of  Chipping Norton Grammar School: “Modern Subjects taught, Very healthy good home.” Perhaps Warne had mended his ways, perhaps not for he was bankrupt before the century had ended. In Winslow, Mr Ray's Collegiate School in Sheep Street briefly filled the gap in the market.

The photo below shows the school c.1890. The white arrow points to George Midgley (some of the younger boys may be Midgleys too).

Pupils at the school


Sale of the Winslow Classical & Commercial School (1885-86)

Centre for Bucks Studies, D/WIG/2/7/1885/29&30

Letter from Sarah Grace to George Wigley:

Winslow
July 13th 1885

Dear Sir,
Mr. Wm. Lee Grace has decided to sell those Cottage in Horn St. now occupied by M(es)rs. Sharpe & King at the same time as this house is sold and Mr. Willis said it would be a good plan to advertise all at the same time.
Yours truly,
S. Grace


Advert for first sale:

THE VERY VALUABLE PROPERTY
KNOWN AS THE WINSLOW
CLASSICAL AND COMMERCIAL SCHOOL
(ESTABLISHED 1812),
Centrally situate in one of the finest positions in the Town, and comprising
An Excellent and very substantially-built BRICK AND SLATED HOUSE,
With capital Accommodation, walled Garden, large School-room, roomy Play Ground & Sheds, Coach-house, Stabling & other Out-buildings.
GEO. WIGLEY On WEDNESDAY August 5th, 1885,
At the Bell Hotel, Winslow at Four o’clock in the afternoon in one lot, by Direction of the Executors of the late Mr JOHN GRACE.

THE PROPERTY COMPRISES the OLD-ESTABLISHED SCHOOL, for three-quarters of a century so successfully carried on by the late Owner and his Father and known as “The Winslow Classical and Commercial School” comprising a brick and slated house substantially built and of modern erection, containing Drawing Room, Dining Hall, Breakfast Room, Cloakroom, Kitchen fitted with Flavel’s patent cooking range and copper, large pantry, capital cellarage including dairy, wine and beer cellars, six bedrooms, attics and closets, enclosed walled garden in front of house, and a capital walled garden in the rear, having also a most valuable frontage in the High Street of 64 feet and very valuable for Building Purposes. A large play-ground with two shelter sheds. A capital and lofty School-room with study adjoining. A range of brick and slated buildings comprising chaise house and stable with loft over, wash-house with copper, boot house with laundry over, coal and wood house.
The whole is Copyhold of the Manor of Winslow, but being a very easy Manor, is nearly equal in value to Freehold. Land Tax 5s 1d.
POSSESSION MAY BE HAD ON COMPLETION OF PURCHASE
The property is particularly well adapted for the purposes for which it has been long used, but from its eligible position and the capital roomy premises it possesses is particularly well suited for business purposes, or with some moderate outlay make a capital Hunting Box.
For a view apply to Mrs. Grace, and for further particulars to Messrs. Willis & Willis, Solicitors, Winslow or to Mr. Geo. Wigley, Auctioneer and Land Agent, Winslow and Fenny Stratford.


Separate sale of 32-34 Horn Street (the original location of the school):

  Two Neat Brick and Tiled HOUSES, With YARDS & GARDENS
PLEASANTLY SITUATE IN HORN STREET
TO BE SOLD AT AUCTION BY MR. GEO. WIGLEY
on Wednesday, AUGUST 5th, 1885,
At the “Bell” Hotel, Winslow, at Four o’clock in the afternoon.

The Property Comprises a Brick and Tiled House containing 2 front sitting-rooms, kitchen, cellar and 3 bedrooms, brick and slated wood-barn and walled gardens and adjoining a brick and tiled House containing front sitting room and back ditto, 3 bedrooms, brick and slated wash house wood barn and walled Garden.

They are in the occupation of Messrs Henry Sharp and Joseph King at rents amounting to £19 per annum. Land Tax 3s 3d.

For a view apply to the Tenants, and for further particulars to Messrs. Willis & Willis, Solicitors, Winslow or to Mr. Geo. Wigley, Auctioneer and Land Agent, Winslow.


Letter from Mrs Grace to George Wigley, May 6 1886:

Dear Sir,
My Husband Mr Jno Grace rece(ive)d the rent of the Cottage King occupies up to Dec 25th/84.
Mr Willis was requested by Mr Wm Grace to receive the rents after my Husbands death. Mr Sharpe very punctual in payment.
Yours,
Sarah Grace


Advert for second sale after the first didn't reach the reserve price:

AN EXCELLENT & VERY SUBSTANTIALLY-BUILT BRICK AND SLATED HOUSE,
With capital accommodation, Walled Garden, large School-room, Roomy Court-yard or Play-ground and Sheds, Coach-house, Stabling & other Out-buildings.
Centrally situate in one of the finest positions in the Town and for many years known as
“The Winslow Classical and Commercial School”
Two Neat Brick and Tiled HOUSES,
With Yards and Gardens, pleasantly situate in Horn Street
TO BE SOLD AT AUCTION BY MR. GEO. WIGLEY
On THURSDAY January 21st, 1886,
At the “Bell” Hotel, Winslow, at Four for Five o’clock in the afternoon in two lots.

Lot 1 - Comprises the Capital Property known as “The Winslow Classical and
Commercial School” including a brick and slated House substantially built and of modern erection, containing drawing room, dining hall, breakfast room, cloakroom, kitchen fitted with Flavel’s patent cooking range and copper, large pantry, capital cellarage including dairy, wine and beer cellars, six bedrooms, attics and closets, enclosed walled garden in front of house, and a capital walled garden in the rear, having also a most valuable frontage in the High Street of 64 feet and very valuable for Building Purposes. A large play-ground with two shelter sheds, a capital and lofty School-room with study adjoining. A range of brick and slated buildings comprising chaise-house and stable with loft over, wash-house with copper, boot house with laundry over, coal and wood-house.
The property is particularly well adapted for the purposes for which it has been long used, but from its eligible position and the capital roomy premises it possesses is particularly well suited for business purposes. Land Tax 5s 1d. Possession may be had on completion of purchase.
Lot 2 - Comprises a Brick and Tiled House containing 2 Front Sitting-Rooms, Kitchen,
cellar and 3 bedrooms, brick and slated wood-barn and walled gardens and adjoining a brick and tiled House containing front sitting-room and back ditto, 3 bedrooms, brick and slated wash-house wood-barn and walled gardens in the occupation of Messrs Henry Sharp and Joseph King at rents amounting to £19 per annum. Land Tax 3s 3d.

The Properties are Copyhold of the Manor of Winslow but being a very easy Manor are nearly equal in value to Freehold.
For a view apply to the Tenants, and for further particulars to Messrs. Willis & Willis, Solicitors, Winslow or to Mr. Geo. Wigley, Auctioneer and Land Agent, Winslow.


Conditions of sale: these were Wigleys' standard terms, with handwritten amendments and additions made before printing:

1 The highest bidder for the premises to be the purchaser thereof, and if any dispute arise between two or more bidders, the premises to be put up again at a former bidding. No person to advance at each bidding a less sum than shall be named by the Auctioneer at the time of putting up the Premises, and no bidding shall be retracted. The Vendors reserve the right of bidding generally for the premises by thimselves [sic] or an agent.

2 The Purchaser shall immediately pay down a deposit of £10 per cent upon and in part of the purchase money into the hands of the Auctioneer, and sign an agreement for payment of the remainder on first day of May next at the offices of Messrs Willis & Willis, Solicitors, Winslow, at which time the purchase shall be completed and the Purchaser let into possession or receipt of the rents and profits of the premises purchased by him, but should any delay arise in the completion of the purchase beyond that day the Purchaser shall pay interest at the rate of £5 per centum per annum on the remainder of the purchase money from the said first day of May, to the time of such completion.

3 The Vendors shall at their expense, make out and show good title to the premises subject to these conditions, and at the expense of the purchaser will make or execute a proper assurance to him or as he shall appoint on payment of the purchase money.

4 The Title shall commence with the Admission of the late Mr. John Grace as survivor of the late Mr. Daniel Grace on the 26th Oct. 1868 and no earlier title shall be required on any account whatever.

5 The fixtures on the premises, an inventory of which will be produced at the time of sale, have been valued by the Auctioneer at the sum of £5 9 6 and the purchaser shall take to them at that sum and shall pay for them on completion in addition to the purchase money.

6 All recitals and statements contained in any deed or document dated more than 20 years prior to the date of sale, shall be deemed conclusive evidence of the facts and matters recited or stated therein, or to be assumed therefrom. The Purchaser shall not be entitled to require any further evidence of the identity of the premises respectively, than is afforded by the deeds and documents of title.

7 The production and inspection of all deeds, wills, copies of court rolls and other documents not in the Vendors’ possession, and the procuring of all certificates, official, attested, or other copies of, extracts from, any court rolls, records, registers, deeds, wills, or other documents, and of all declarations and other evidence which may be required by the Purchaser for any purpose, shall be at the expense of such Purchaser.

8 The Vendors being trustees for sale only will not enter into any Covenant for title except the implied statutory Covenant against incumbrances Committed by themselves.

9 All objections and requisitions in respect of the title, shall be stated in writing, and sent to the Vendors’ Solicitors within fourteen days from the delivery of the abstract and  all objections and requisitions not sent within that time shall be deemed to be waived, if any objection or requisition shall be made which the Vendors \are/ unable or unwilling to comply with, the Venders shall be at liberty, by notice in writing to the Purchaser, or his Solicitor, to rescind the sale on paying back the deposit money without interest or costs.

10 If any error, mis-statement, or omission in the particulars of sale be discovered, the same shall not annul the sale, but a compensation shall be made in respect thereof, by the Vendors or Purchaser as the case may require, the amount to be ascertained by two indifferent persons or their umpire in the usual way.

Lastly If any Purchaser shall fail to comply with any or either of these conditions, his deposit money shall be actually forfeited to the Vendors who shall be at full liberty to re-sell the premises by public auction or private contract, and the deficiency (if any) occasioned by such second sale, together with all expenses attending the same, shall be immediately made good by the defaulter at this present sale.


George Wigley's bill to Mrs Grace:

1885 To Cash paid out of Pocket for Expenses ;- s d s d
Paid Printer 350 posters 1 12 6
Man 4 days posting to 4 Market Towns 19 0
Bucks Herald & Aylesbury News Advertisg a/cs 1 19 6
Buckingham Advertiser & Buckm Express D(itt)o 1 8 0
5 19 0
Augt 5 Attending at the Bell Hotel Winslow and offering the School House &c for Sale when failing to reach the reserve it was bought in at 750 1 1 0
Paid Mr Neal Share of Bill for Wine 14 0
1886 To Cash paid out of Pocket for Expenses ;-
Paid Printer 300 posters 1 18 6
Man 4 days posting to 4 Mkt Towns 19 0
Bucks Herald & Aylesbury News Advertisg a/c 2 5 6
Buckingham Advertiser & Buckingham Express 1 10 6
6 13 6
Less Mr W Lee Grace's Share 3 13 6 3 0 0
Augt 21 Attending at the Bell Hotel Winslow and offering the School House for Sale when it was sold to the Revd J. Riordan for 670 13 8 0
Commission on amt Realised at 2 per cent
Paid Mr Neal Share of Bill for Wine     12 6
24 14 6

The school building was sold to Rev. Riordan, the Congregational minister, who then advertised for a tenant to re-open the school:

To Let, With Immediate Possession,
The Winslow Classical and Commercial School.

Established 1812, and since which it has been very successfully carried on by the late Owner (and his Father previously) ; Centrally situate in one of the finest positions in the Town, and comprising a brick and slated House substantially built and of modern erection, containing drawing room, dining hall, breakfast room, cloakroom, kitchen fitted with Flavel’s patent cooking range and copper, large pantry, capital cellarage including dairy, wine and beer cellars, six bedrooms, attics and closets; enclosed walled garden in front of house, and a capital walled garden in the rear, a large play-ground with two shelter sheds, a detached and lofty school-room 27ft. by 17ft., well lighted and ventilated, and with gas laid on with study adjoining.
A range of brick and slated Buildings comprising chaise-house and stable with loft over, wash-house with copper, boot-house with laundry over, coal and wood-house.
   ______________________________

Winslow is a Market Town (population 1630) and Junction of the Oxford and Banbury Branch of the L. & N. Western Railway, 8 miles from Bletchley Junction where 30 express trains stop daily, and 50 miles from London.
The School is close to the Parish Church and Congregational Church.
________________________

The late Proprietor died in June last, and the Widow has had many applications for the School, but being desirous of selling the House with the goodwill, has been unsuccessful. She has since sold the property to the present Owner, who seeks a good Tenant, and who asks no goodwill, provided he secures one who will be successful. The highest number of Boarders received during any Term has been 27, and of Day Scholars 40. The School has been closed since the late owner’s decease.  There is no other Boarding School for Boys in the Town.

RENT £45

(COPY OF LATE PROPRIETOR’S CIRCULAR)
Winslow Classical and Commercial School
TERMS

Board and Instruction in English, Merchants’ Accounts, Geometry, Algebra,
Trigonometry &c.                                                              25 Guineas per annum
Under 10 years of age                                                     22 ditto
Day Pupils                                                                        £1 5s per Quarter
The French, Latin and Greek Languages                         £1 1s ditto
Practical Surveying and use of Instruments                    10s 6d ditto
Laundry Expenses                                                           10s 6d ditto
Use of Globes                                                                  2s 6d  ditto
Drawing, Music, and Dancing by experienced Masters on the usual terms. Each Pupil to bring Knife, Fork, and Spoon.

Vacations at Christmas and Midsummer, and each half-yearly term is equally divided.

Applications to view and other particulars may be had of Mr. GEO. WIGLEY, LAND AGENT WINSLOW.