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1812 - The Vestry Books of the Parish of Ruislip

                                              

     
The Vestry Books of the Parish of Ruislip

From the sixteenth century until late in the nineteenth century, local communities – Parishes – had oversight of a number of different matters including care of the poor, ensuring roads were kept in good repair, and some responsibility for law and order.   These were overseen by a committee of local worthies, prominent inhabitants, including the parish priest, and their meetings were held in the vestry of the parish church, though often, one suspects out of a regard for greater comfort, in a member’s home or a local inn.

The ‘Vestry’ kept records of its meetings in its minute books; five have survived from Ruislip which cover the period from 1787 to 1923, though from 1894 are largely restricted to St Martin’s annual Parochial Church meetings, the work of the Parish Vestry having been gradually succeeded over the nineteenth century by a succession of Poor Laws, and finally replaced entirely through the enactment of the Local Government Act of 1894.

The Ruislip Vestry Books were initially held at St Martin’s Church but over the course of the second half of the twentieth century transferred to the London Metropolitan Archive for safe keeping (DRO 19/C/01/001 – 5).  While the first four books (DRO 19/C/01/001-4) form a chronological sequence, the fifth (DRO 19/C/01/005) appears to be a copy of sections of the first in series.

While the Parish of Ruislip seems to have had a school as early as 1655 (see A. Humphreys, ‘The Origins and Development of Bishop Winnington Ingram School’, Journal of the Ruislip, Northwood, Eastcote Local History Society (1978), 20-22) little is known of this or any other prior to the early nineteenth century.  The permanent creation of a school, eventually to be renamed Bishop Winnington-Ingram CE School, is to be found documented in the first of the Ruislip Vestry books.  Below, we extract and transcribe the four relevant minutes.  We have also included, by permission of the Standing Committee of the Parochial Church Council of St Martin’s Ruislip, who hold the copyright, and to whom we express our gratitude, reproductions of the relevant pages.

Subsequent to the establishment of the school in 1812, there are only limited references to the school-room and its use (see 1847 and 1851).  It seems likely that the Vestry set up a subcommittee to oversee its maintenance, though if such a committee recorded its meetings, nothing appears to have survived.  Effectively, the recorded history of the school does not resume until a minute book was kept from 1864 by the School’s Managers, following the erecting of a new school building on Eastcote Road in 1862.

(Click on the pictures to open an enlargement in a new window)

The National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church in England and Wales was established in 1811.  Its aim was to have a ‘National’ school in every parish in England and Wales. No doubt this was the catalyst that caused the Ruislip Vestry to consider and then implement the establishment of a Ruislip School.  It should be noted that the minute (and those that follow) seems to refer to an existing school room, albeit one that had fallen into disrepair, almost certainly from lack of use.

[London Metropolitan Archive, DRO 19/C/01/001, pp. 99-100]

Parish of Ruislip in the County of Middx

At a meeting held in the vestry room on the 14th day of September 1812 of the principal inhabitants of this parish for consulting on the best mode of educating the poor children within the said parish, in the principles of the established church.

Present at this meeting

D.C. Lewis [vicar]
R. Deane
H. Edgell
J.H. Babb
Jason Wilshin
James Pritchard
 

It was resolved that a committee be formed for the purpose of making enquiry as to the number of children desirous of receiving instruction Gratis, upon the principles of the established Religion and of transacting the business that may be necessary for promoting that object.  

That the committee do consist of the Minister, churchwardens, Overseers, and the following Inhabitants viz.

R. Deane
H. Edgell
J. H. Babb
Geo. Woodroffe
Jason Wilshin
James Pritchard
 

That a subscription be entered into for carrying the before mentioned Resolutions into effect.  

That the committee or any three of them be authorised to act.  

That a meeting be held in the vestry on the 22nd of this Instant and that the committee do then report as to the number of children desirous of receiving education on the principles of the Established Religion, and the expense attending the repair of the school room.  

That the principal resident Inhabitants be solicited to join the committee  

Present at this meeting

R. Deane Esqr
H. Edell Esqr
D C. Lewis Esqr
Jason Wilshin
D Wishin
James Pritchard
John Phillips
James Ewer
Daniel Deacon

    

Having opened the discussion concerning the establishment of a school for the poor of the Parish, the Vestry took steps to see how many parents would be amenable to the education of their children, the result of which seemed largely positive. The committee also began to look to the appointment of appropriate staff for the school.

[London Metropolitan Archive, DRO 19/C/01/001, pp.107-108]

Parish of Ruislip in the County of Middx  

At a meeting of the committee nominated at the vestry held the 14th Instant and adjourned to Tuesday 22nd of the said Instant September 1812  

It was reported that since the last meeting measures had been taken to ascertain the number of children capable and desirous of receiving education on the principles laid down at the last meeting, but that in consequence of the extent of the parish a complete list had not been as yet procured, that it was the intention of the committee forthwith to visit such parts of the parish as they have not already had an opportunity of visiting for the purpose of completing such list.

That they have great satisfaction in reporting to this meeting that such parents of children as they have seen, have expressed their desire to have their children instructed agreeable to the principles of the established religion, and their aversion to their being educated in any other.

That the committee have required estimates to be laid before them of the expense of repairing and making fit for the reception of a certain number of children a room called the school-room situate in the church yard at Ruislip and of the terms upon which the instructors would be willing to receive them.

Present at this meeting

H. Edgell Esqr
D.C. Lewis Esqr  //
R. Deane Esqr
Jason Wilshin
Daniel Wilshin
Daniel Deacon
George Lawrence
Willm Andreson
James Pritchard
James Ewer
Willm Bigg
Thos Gregory VC [Vestry Clerk]

 

The agreement of a good number of parents to the education of their children secured, the Vestry moved on to raising funds - for the necessary repair work to the School Room, to its material prevision, and to the payment of staff, three such being identified. 

[London Metropolitan Archive, DRO 19/C/01/001, pp.109-110]

Parish of Ruislip in the County of Middx

At a meeting of the parishioners held in the church on the 6th day of October 1812.  

The committee chosen to regulate the affairs of the school reported that the number of children desirous of receiving instruction in the principles of the established church, amounted to between forty and fifty.

At the said meeting it was resolved that a subscription should be immediately entered into for the purpose of educating the poor children.

That Thomas Gregory was present at the sd meeting and stated that he was willing to receive twenty of the said children at 20£. per annum or a greater number at that proportion (which was agreed to.)

That Mrs Seymore engaged to teach fifteen of the said children to read & plain needlework for 13£ 10s. 0d. per annum, (which was also agreed to.)

That Mrs Goulding engaged to teach fifteen of the said children to read and plain needlework for 13£. 10s. per annum which was also agreed to.

It was also resolved that the school-room should immediately be repaired and made fit for the reception of the poor children.  And it was the opinion of the said meeting that the expense of the said repairs, should be borne by the Parish. //

The following donations were made, & subscriptions entered into viz.  

 

 

Donations

£       s     d

 

Annual Subscriptions

£       s     d

D.C. Lewis Vicar

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  0 ,,  0

J. H. Babb Esqr

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  _ ,,  _

Harry Edgell Esqr

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  _ ,,  _

Ralph Deane Esqr

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

10 ,,  _ ,,  _

Jason Wilshin

_ _ _ _

  3 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

  2 ,,  _ ,,  _

Daniel Wilshin

_ _ _ _

  1 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

  2 ,,  _ ,,  _

John Phillips

_ _ _ _

  1 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

  1 ,,  _ ,,  _

John Ashley

_ _ _ _

  ,,     ,,    ,,

_ _ _ _

  _  ,,  5 ,,  _

James Gregory

_ _ _ _

  ,,     ,,    ,,

_ _ _ _

  _  ,,  5 ,,  _

Thomas Gregory

_ _ _ _

  _ ,,  5 ,,  _

_ _ _ _

  _  ,,  5 ,,  _

James Ewer

_ _ _ _

  1 ,,  0 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

   1 ,,  0 ,,  0

Daniel Deacon

_ _ _ _

  1 ,,  1 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

   1 ..10 ,,  6

Samuel Clarke

_ _ _ _

  _ ..10 ,,  0

_ _ _ _

   _     _     _

 

entered in the margin at right angle to table of donations and subscriptions:

All Donations & Subscriptions to be Received by the Minister & Churchwardens

The final minute of the Vestry identifies that 32 children had been enrolled.  The committee was concerned to ensure that the new scholars should be appropriately clothed.  It also set about collecting the initial funds from the wealthy of the Parish who had agreed to provide them.

[London Metropolitan Archive, DRO 19/C/01/001, p.111]

Parish of Ruislip in the County of Middx

At a meeting of the committee held on the 20th day of October 1812

It was reported that thirty two children had received tickets of commission* to the schools of T. Gregory, M(rs) Seymore and M(rs) Goulding.

Ordered that an estimate of the expense of clothing a certain number of the children be laid before the committee at their next meeting.

That the minutes of the meetings be sent to the principal inhabitants and the subscriptions of such as may approve them be solicited.

All Subscriptions to be paid to the Minister or Churchwardens on or before the first day of December.

The meeting was adjourned to Wednesday the 4th of November at one o-clock

Thomas Gregory Vestry Clerk   

* corrected to ‘admission’ in the copy made in DRO 19/C/01/005

    

 

First uploaded: 26 December 2020