Excerpt from The Old Order Book of Hartlebury Grammar School: 1556-1752
This old Minute and Account Book of Hartlebury Grammar School was found in the iron chest belonging to the Governors which stands in the Vestry of the Parish Church, along with the original Charter granted to the School by Queen Elizabeth, the Seal of the Corporation of Governors, and many old documents.
The Book it may be said is only an old account book, and therefore of little interest. But it is more than that - it contains the history of one of the oldest Grammar Schools in England, from the days of Queen Mary (1556) to those of George II. (1750). It tells us how our ancestors managed or mismanaged village education 300 years ago - without the aid of Inspectors or County Councils or Boards of Education.
No one knows the age of the School.
The Bishops of Worcester have resided at Hartlebury Castle for 800 years. It is more than likely, therefore, that one of them was the founder of the School. It may have been Bishop Carpenter (1444), who lived for 35 years at Hartlebury and was one of the most munificent of the Bishops; or Bishop Alcock (1477), the Founder of Jesus College, Cambridge. We cannot say for certain, but one of the title-deeds dates from 1480 and the Charter of 1558 speaks of the School as having existed "for the space of divers years, although for default of necessary foundation good government, it hath brought but small commodity."
Queen Elizabeth did not therefore found the School, she only remodelled it, and, at the advice of Edwin Sandys, Bishop of Worcester, gave it Statutes and a Charter.
The titles of the property of the School throw some light on the matter. A large portion of the land is named "Virgin Marys," and another portion "Chaunters Medowe."
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