History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonTHE SCHOOLS


Before Education received any national assistance the village had several private or “Dame Schools”. These were kept by:-

  1. MR. BENJAMIN HALLAM, a Wesleyan preacher (whose son was Mayor of Sheffield some years ago). This was a day and night school, and was kept in a house in High Street. There were different approaches for boys and girls. The fees were 1d. per night and 1s. per session for coal.

  2. MISS JEMIMA WHITE kept a small or early kindergarten school at what is now known as “Spa Cottage”. It was an infant school, and was attended by children of any age. The fees were 2d. per week.

  3. MISS FURNESS came from Stanley Lodge, Hucklow, and kept a school at Verandah Cottage. Afterwards she married a Mr. Oldfield, and kept school at Brookside Cottage. She was a good teacher, and a good needlewoman. Her fees were 4d. and 6d. per week, and a quarterly account for fire, books, etc.

  4. MISS SPINK kept a private school in a house below the old Unitarian Chapel (since been converted into the Reading Room).

  5. MRS. OLIVER kept a small school near the Post Office. She was a victim of the Blakelow murder.

  6. MR. DYER kept a school in the Unitarian Chapel for a short time. He was Dyer by name and dyer by trade.

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In 1835 a NATIONAL SCHOOL was built on common land by public subscription. This was only a small room with a gallery at one end for the infants. In 1845 this room was enlarged at a cost of £200. The room then would accommodate about 100 children. There was a stone floor in the school until 1887, and this had to be removed owing to it being detrimental to the health of the children. In 1893 a classroom and cloakroom and additional playground were added to the school. This classroom was for the infants. The school has now an accommodation for 120. The following are the names of the school-masters: -William Birks, 1835-1848; William Rawson, 1848-1853; Henry Jones, 1853-1864 (about); Henry Aldridge, 1864-1865; James W. Elliot, 1865-1867; Thos. J. Foster, 1867-1871; John R. Matthewman, 1872-1875; John Mansell, 1875-1877; Henry P. Battersby, 1877-1879; Henry J. Wadlow, 1879-1894; Henry Molineaux, 1894 (May 3rd, Sept. 10th 1894; Thomas Shearer, 1894-1896; Arthur Saunders, 1896-1902; Thos. E. Cowen, 1903-present time. An early school-master used to boast “I'm the master of Middleton”. A villager challenged the truth of this, and asked how it was. The Pedagogue answered, “I'm the master of the children, the children are masters of their mothers, the mothers are masters of the fathers, therefore I'm the master of Middleton”.

The inscription on the Tablets of 1835 and 1845 reveal the high ideals of the founders of the School:-

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
“Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.”

End of Chapter IX: => THE HOSTELRIES

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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