History

Sir Thomas Boteler was founded in 1526. For nearly 500 years, we have provided high quality secondary education to the people of Warrington. 

A brief history

The founder of the school was a medieval Lord of the Manor, born at Bewsey in 1461, and knighted by Henry VII.

Sir Thomas Boteler made a will in which 500 gold marks out of his estate were to be put aside for the purchase of land to yield rent “to found a free grammar school in Warrington to endure for ever”.

On 27 April 1522, Sir Thomas Boteler died and was buried in the Parish Church. Each year, around that date, a service is held in the Boteler Chapel in his memory.

Sir Thomas Boteler’s wishes were carried out when a deed was signed on 16 April 1526, four years after his death, establishing a school “whereby men’s sons might learn grammar to the Intent that they thereby might the better learn to know Allmighty God”. The Master was to be an “honest and discreet Priest, learned in grammar”.

Richard Taylor was the first Master. The school was located near the Parish Church so that boys could pray every morning “and likewise at night before they depart”. During the winter they were to be at the church “between six and seven in the morning” and not depart “till five in the afternoon”. In the summer they had to arrive one hour earlier. No scholar was to wear “any Dagger, Hanger or other weapon invasive, other than his knife to cut his meat with”.

Although the earliest buildings have long since been replaced, the Boteler Grammar School of  1863 could until recently still be seen at School Brow behind the Sainsbury’s store. A stone tablet originally erected by Samuel Shaw (Master from 1687 to 1718) was built into the west wall of the 1863 building and the sun dial erected in the time of Thomas Hayward (Master from 1720 to 1757) is currently on display in the Memorial Garden of the present school.

In 1932 the independent status of the school came to an end when it became clear that governors of the school would not be able to finance a new school building and responsibility was transferred to Warrington Corporation.

Amalgamation with the Warrington Secondary School and the move to the present site at Latchford occurred in 1940. The school’s architectural design was given “every consideration to securing a distinctive appearance of dignity and character in keeping with a school of this importance.”

During recent years a great deal of money, energy and imagination have gone into ensuring that the standards set in 1940 are maintained for future pupils.

The introduction of comprehensive schooling in 1979 (and the creation of a mixed school for the first time) was followed by the amalgamation with the Richard Fairclough High School in 1983,   the school being known as Victoria Park High School until it was changed again in 1988 to the Sir Thomas Boteler High School.

In 2002, the school’s original association with the Church was renewed, as it became Warrington’s first Church of England High School.

In addition to this, in 2008 the school achieved Specialist Music College status.

Extract from Sir Thomas Boteler’s will

“And where I, the saide sir Thomas, have delyvered by indenture tripartite into the custody and kepynge of the right reverend father in God John th’abbot of Whalley that now is 500 markes in gold, savelie to be kept to myn use and to be disposed at my pleasure, it is my full will and mynde that myn executors shall have the dispocion and orderinge of the saide summe of 500 markes to purchase and obteyne lands and tenements or rents to the yerelie value of ten pounds above all chardges, or as much thereof as shall be unprovided and unpurchased by me the saide sir Thomas, and therewith to founde a free grammar scolle in Weryngton to endure for ever …..

And it is my will that my executors during theire several lyves, and after theire decease that my heires from tyme to tyme shall denominate, name and appoynte an honeste preste, groundely lernede in grammar, to be maister of the saide scolle, whiche shall saye masse, pray and do dyvine service at the saide paroche churche of Weryngton for the soule of me the saide sir Thomas, dame Margaret my wyffe, myn ancestors, and myn heires after their deceases”.

 

Headteachers of the school:

1526 -1576 RICHARD TAYLOR

1576 – 1605 JOHN WAKEFIELD

1605 – 1619 OTUELL KINSEY

1620 – 1673 NATHAN ASHWORTH

1673 – 1679 JOHN WRIGHT

1680 – 1683 J.CLAYTON

1683 – 1686 JOSEPH WILLOTT

1687 – 1718 SAMUEL SHAW

1718 – 1719 JOHN TATLOCK (acting)

1720 – 1757 THOMAS HAYWARD

1757 – 1807 EDWARD OWEN

1807 – 1814 ROBERT A. RAWSTORNE

1815 – 1828 WILLIAM BOARDMAN

1828 – 1842 THOMAS VERE BAYNE

1842 – 1861 HENRY BOSTOCK

1863 – 1881 OFFLEY HENRY CARY

1881 – 1907 EDWARD JOHN WILLCOCK

1907 – 1932 HORACE GRAY

1932 – 1940 EVAN PRICE EVANS ( acting)

1940 – 1950 NATHANIEL CLAPTON

1951 – 1973 PETER MARTIN JACKSON

1973 – 1981 ROBERT JAMES ENGLISH

1981 – 1983 ERIC PERCIVAL M.A. (acting)

1983 – 1986 JOHN ROBERT BAKER

1986 – 2001 JOHN HIGGINS

2001 – 2014 JOHN SHARPLES

2014 – present BEVERLEY SCOTT-HERRON

Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB