THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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260                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
the need all the more imperative. On January 13th of the year named a public meeting was convened and immediately two factions sprung into existence. The Church of England adherents urged school establish­ment on the National or Church system, and the Nonconformists favoured the British and Foreign School Society. The meeting adopted a resolution favouring the latter, but a fortnight later the Rev. J. N. Harward (Vicar) announced to a second meeting that the site for the new buildings, money for their erection and means for their maintenance were all forthcoming for schools upon the National system. The Dissenters strongly protested, but without avail, and the building of the present Boys' and Infant Schools, with the school-house between, was almost immediately commenced, the date "1859" appearing over the centre doorway. The site and much of the necessary fund for erecting the build­ings were found by the Countess Amherst, a lady who took the deepest interest in all religious work in East Grinstead and provided large sums of money for Church purposes.
On October 23rd, 1860, as the buildings were nearing completion, she and her trustees granted and conveyed them " without valuable consideration" to the Vicar and Churchwardens, as trustees for the time being, "to be used for a school for the education of children and adults or children only of the labouring, manufacturing or other poorer classes in the parish of East Grinstead and for no other purpose." The schools were to be " always in union with and conducted according to the principles and furtherance of the ends and designs of the National Society for promoting the education of the poor in the principles of the Established Church." They were to be managed by a committee, of whom the Vicar was to be one, his curate or curates, if he cared to appoint him or them, others and ten more elected by subscribers of 10s. each, but no one was to be qualified to serve as a Manager unless he subscribed 20s. or more annually and was a member of the Church of England. The first 10 nominated by the trust deed were Messrs. R. W. Smyth,
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