image image


THH_Jv.L-\S'l'HR's .House

image image



1526 - 1976

A brief history to m3rk tho Four Hund od and Fiftieth nniversary of the Foundation.






- -







The School - Front View









Acknowledgements ii

The Origins of the Grammar Schools 1

The Lif of Sir Thomas Boteler and the 2

Foundation of the School.

The Early Years and the Re-Foundation 4

in 1608.

The Boteler Grammar School from the 5

Re-Foundation to the Twentieth Century: 1608 - 1907.

The Last Years of Independence - 13

the Headship of the Rev. Horace Gray.

The New Boteler Grammar School 1940 16

to the Present Day.

The Outlook for the Future. 25

Appendix 1: Extracts from 'Boteler Grammar School: 26

Prospectus 19361



Line drawings:


The School The Masters The Prefects

The School at Work and at Play

Brasses from the Founder's Tomb Arms of Sir Peter Warburton

The 1829 School Shaw's tablet

The Rev. Edw. Owenp the Rev. Edw. Lloyd

The Governing Body The School Staff The School Roll




I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to the many generations of editors of 'Pincerna' (the first issue of which was published as far back as 1882)9 without whoso diligonce, initiative and imagination, this publication would not have been possible,

For the eorly history of the School I also owe much to the authors of the booklet published to mark the Quatercentenary in 1926,

I also 0xpress my thanks to colleagues and Old Boys who have supplied informetion also to Mr E, Percival who has read through the text and has helped with the production of the booklet, I am also grateful to Mr K. Miller for arranging the typing and duplicating of the booklet. Mr J, Phenix, Mr J, Hughes and the Warrington School of Art have given invaluable help with the photographs and illustrations9 while Mr J, Hughes has producod the attractive cover design.

H. Lievosley,

Senior History Master. May 1976.







The origins of the grammar schools are to be found in the Middle Ages. For instance9 Charity Schools camo into existence as the result of a person loaving 9 by his will9 money or lands to maintain a priest who was to say praye s for the soul of his benefactor. As this would take up only part of·the priest's time 9 it became customary to require that ho should also teach. There were bls6 schools founded by gilds - Merchant Taylors' School is an example of these - where again priests wore the teachers.

Both these types of schools could bo 'primary' or 'grammar' and

as with Boteler Grammar School at first? they could be both in one.

The enaissanco of tho later Middle Ages re-awakened an inte£est in the study of G ook and oman literature; to learn through that literature what sort of men tho Greeks and Romans had beon 9 what lifo they had lived and what we might learn from them. Particularly in the time of the Tudors in England (1485-1603) we see tho founding of many grammar schools whoso main purpo so· was to teach Latin and Greek {possibly mathematics too) to enable boys to acquire a knowledgo of grammar in order to read tho literature of the Ancients.

It was fashionable for tho gantry to leave money in their wills for the foundation of a grammar school for tho education of the young in their locality. Thus it was that Sir Thomas Boteler inst ucted his successor to found a f oe grammar school for the benefit of the boys of Warrington.




The family of Boteler or Butler were descended from the Pincernas of whom we first hoar in connection with the Warrington estates through the marriage of William Pincerna to the daughter

and hoir of Matthew de Villars9 the second Norman owner f. the manor and fee of Warrington. The family dates back to the time of William the Conqueror9 th name being found in the Domesday survey

in the year 1086. In medioval times the name of Pincerna (or Butler) was held by men of distinction9 and considered an honour­ able title. The first Pincerna who took the name of Boteler was the fifth baron Wilhelmus le boteler9 son of nichard Pincerna9 born about 11609 who succeeded to the estates in 1176. Sir Thomas Boteler was the fifteenth baron.

Born t Bewsey in 14619 Sir Thomas Boteler conducted himself very shrewdly through thet:roub:lac.d times of Edward 1V 9 Edward V 9 liichard 1119 Henry Vll and Henry Vlll: an eventful time (the period of the Wars of the noses) for any man of mark. Having weathered all these storms9 a well as many local unsettlem nts taken to law 9 he turned in 1520 to consider the disposition of his worldly goods. He was a friend of tho Church. He gave generously to the fund collected for the rebuilding of the steeple of. Lymm Church. Sir Thom s made a will in which he provided for the

founding df the sthool and bought land in Tyldosley and Warrington, Seforo he dfad on .22nd April 9 ·15229 he had added to his will a. codicil making these lands tho capital property of the school devised in his·will

At one time the school was called 11Boteler's Fr0e Grammar Schooi" and' this intention was expressed in Sir Thomas's will. 500 gold marks out of his estate were to be set aside for the purchase of lands to yield rents of the value o ten pounds

"to founds a free grammar scolle in Woryngton to endure for eve.r ---"

On 16th April9 15269 the Trustees set their hands to a deed which actually founded the School9 four years after Sir Thomas's death . This deod 9 after calling to mind the Founder's intention

to establish a school ;:whereby men's sons might learn grammar to the Intent that they thereby might the bettor learn to know Almighty God", proceeds to make full regulations for the establishment and conduct thereof. The Master to be appointed is to be an 11honest and discreet Priest9 sufficiently and groundedly learned in grammari'9 a house in "Bag Lanen is set apart for his use9 and he is to 11 have a seal made and known for the schoolmaster's seal of Warringtonli9 and "the

same seal to be surely kept and delivered from one schoolmaster to another11 --- in spite of which injunction it has been lost9 and not even a document bearing its impress has survived.


T,he collection of fees from the scholars was.; forbidden except four --p nnie·s for foi.Jr· stipulated c:elebr.1,l'l;;ions.:. .one a cock­ fight at Shrovetide and three others to provide 119 Drinking for all the said scholars.11 No scholar was to wear "ariy Dagger, Hanger or

other weapon invasive, other than his knife to cut his meat with11


The Master was to have no assistants, but the older scholars were to teach the younger ones -11their A.B._ C. and Primar.s and so fort·h until they be entered into the learning of (Latin). Grammar,;11 After they had been _twelve months in Grammar the' boys were t.o use to speak to one another 11at .all times. and in a,ery place,

Latin and no English' II and no scholar was to use ildiceing carding

All the scholars were to go "two and two in processions

on Sunday9 Wednesday and Friday, about or within the Parish Chur h, singing the Litan and Hespond s.1i During the winter months thciy were t9 be at the church libetwoen six and seven of the clocki' every morning, and then immediately go to school, whence they wore not to depart till five in the afternoon-"."-" or four at the discretion

of the master." In summer they were to be at chur_ch between five

and sii. Every year on pril 27th, the Founder's death wa to be commemorated by a spebial· Service · hich was to be held in the Parish Church 9 !'at the costs of every of the said scho(?lmasters." The order of S rvice is specified, and tis to include . the collect, "Deus sirnul spas nostra.11 . (The school motto is,. of c:ourse9 "Deus Spas rJostra11llGod is our hope" and not 11God spies on us" as some boys have thought.)

The ''honest priest" appo·,ir ted as th.e fVlaster evidently was expected to hd e hi hijndi full• . Moreover .he was to look after the school 1s property and lands in his spare; his· salary was to be UO' a year; and if the· school'.s income exceeded

£109 the balance was to bo put into "a coffer9 having three locks

upon it."-




No doubt th0 school began happily enough for the scholars7 as Sir Thomas had designed7 "that perchance they might happen to be tho very clear lanthorn of good examplo in virtuous living to all the country thereabouts 7 to the good encrease and use of vertue and e><pulsion of all vices.11 But unhappily the

t ustees were idle or asleep9 for in the time of Edward Boteler9 a great grandson 9 there was a master named Wakefield 9 and between them they used a part of the funds of the school and its estates for their own enrichment and amusement. The school was robbed by the very men who should have been the first to defend its interests. Wakefield died 9 none too soon9 in 16059 and was buried at Warrington. The Foundation was "in great ruyne and clecay.11

In 16029 Sir Peter Warburton 9 who was a lawyer by profe ssion9 took upon himself the task of recovering tho las estates of the school. With this end in view he filed a Bill of Complaint in the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster 9 to compel tho appointment of new Trustees. Tho court issued its decree in 1607.

In 1608 the new Foundation Deeds wero drawn up in accordance with this decree 9 and two years later they were confirmec by a Commission of Charitable Uses in 1610.

By the new deeds it is provided that the schoolmaster ' 1shall all the tyme that he shall be scholemaster of the said schole9 well and truely keep tho said schole9 and teach and instruct the scholars thereof freely --- and upon every schole

day shall be and continue in the said schole three hours att the least in the forenoon9 and throe hours att the least in the afternoon --- and shall every morning 9 together with his scholars9 use some forme of prayer meet for the purpose 9 giving thanks to God that stirred up the heart of the founder9 Sir Thomas Butler, Knight 9 to soe good a work 9 and likewiso at night before they depart. 11

Sir Peter Warburton added to his benefactions by granting to the school a rent charge of £5 per annum yielded by some property in Chester. A Thomas Tilciesley9 who assisted

#11 ',:#'.

Sir Peter, also contributed to the repair of the school to the extent of £5. In the Hall of( l863 building the arms of

Sir Peter Warburton and Thomas Ireland were emblazoned9 though in fact the latter acted against Sir Peter in the legal proceedings.

(The origin of the names of three of the school Houses are9 of course, to be found here. Warburton, Ireland and Tyldesley.)




After the Ha-Foundation under a succession of well­ qualified Masters the School .would, seem to have prosperedo Close links were established with Srasenosa College, Oxford9 a number of Mast rs having graduated there. In fact, since the very beginning there apparently existed a connection between the School and the College. As a young man, our founder had certainly met Bishop Hugh Oldhams of. Exeter, who founded

Manchester Grammar School, and Bishop William Smith, of Lincoln, who 11was a great benefactor to the neighbourhood;' and one of the founders of Brasenose {in 1509). One of the executors of Sir · Thomas Goteler's will was l o executor of Sir Richard·8uttbn, anc;ither founder of Brasenose.

The finances of the School were a· ontinuingmat£er of concern. Much of the School's property had been let arigi ally on long leases, which began to expire about this time• .The tenants


. renew them at the old rents; but the Hev. Nathan Ashworth9 Master from 162? until 1668, began proceedings which ended in the tenants submitting to take leases at a higher rent.

In 1687 the F ev. Samuel Shaw, who had been f·1aster of

-Wigan Grammar School since 1676 was given 11a licence to teach the. Free School of Warrington. 11 Shaw i proved or· re-built the School-house and premises, to which h affixed a tablet bearing his name and the date 1688. Shaw's tablet still exists, having

been built, in o the.west ,wa·ll of the:1063·· building in School Brow. (A draw ing. of this ,tabletis :iricludec:l .i.n this booklet).· ·Besides cal'ing for· t_he-. fabric.of the School, Shaw also .nobtained the consent· of the. Trustees to the commencement of proceedingsp at

his own _risk, for th.e reco.very of some lands which, were apparently lost to th.a .charity9 and. which after many years of 1'itigation, were restored to the School". ·

In 1691 Shaw became Rector of Warringt9n. He was the'. first to. hold the two offices conjointly· He did much for tha Church. In 1697 he built the square tower which is shown on many old pictures. ( It was pulled down in 18599 when the p-resent spire was erected.) Shaw was also very active in collecting money for the assistan6e of Protestant communities abroad. · Besides being nector9 he was one of the four l<ing's Preachers for Lancashire. It was in 1707 also that Shaw assisted and advised Bishop Stratford in the formation of the Warrington Clergy Charity. In 1709 he concurreq with Peter Leigh of Lymm in the foundation of Holy Trinity Church, Warrington. The ev. Samuel Shaw died in 17189 at the age of · sixty-eight 9 after thirty-one years' service and was buried in the Chancel of the Parish Church.


The ,Rev. John Tatlock. act!:)d_ as Master _for about a y_ear when the· nev. Tho1J!as..:!:! Y'!! l'S1· took charge. · He· was born in Warrington

in 1695 and was a_n Old·:.Boy.,9 f tr, :._$chool. He graduated B.A. at

Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1716, married in 1717; became M.A. in 17199 and immediately took up the d.uties of f1aster, although he was not licen-ed·until 1720. From 1722 ta 1731 he was Vitar of Garstang also, and in 1728 becamei in addititiM Inc mbent f.the re-built chapel at Sankey , Mr Hayward trains many xcell ht scholars, one of whom, described him .as- 11an- able but severe inaster9 an admirable scholei:c, and a very useful man.11 He died· in i 757

after t irty-seven years' ervice nd was buried at Warii gtdn e had no less than sixteen children. ·

School at Great Crosby, the kev. Edward Owen was appointed Ma•ter of the School. He also succeeded Mr Hayward as Curate of Sankey. "He found the School in a dilapidated condition,·the building in ruins, the roof ready to fall in, and the floors and walls all clay. He at once put· it into a state of thorough repair,

converting o e outbuildings into a dining room and bedroomsi nd rendering the house fit for the·reception of boarders --- which it never was before." - Ha also stopped up the Homa-n road which rari:by

'the School9 from Latchford to Winwick, and built his.stables upon it.

Under Mr Owen the School was described as "an eminent free school" and became very famous for a while. Boarders came to it

from distant p rts; as far away as the West Indies nd any , its Old Boys to e· to distinction. Three became Fellows,of Braseriose' College.·

Ow.en was a -good Classics scholar with a ·number of publications to his credit.•. In· 1765 he was·elected·President ci-f Warrington Lib-rary, five years after its foundationp the first public library to. be .founded:-in the .country. Owen was very ·

antagonistic, towards the Warrington Academy (1757-61)·as a Non,-


Confo·rmist institution and probably also as a rival to his own s·chool.

In 1767 Owen was presented to the ilectory of Warrington byJlichard Gwillym of Bews y, second son of Hobert Gwillym, who married ·the- heiress of the Atherton property, and so becam·e Patron. When Owen rat:eived the news of the appointment, which did not involve )esignation from the Mastership, he said that the Patron

ha-d spoiled a, good schoolmaster to make an indifferent llect'or, As


There is an interQsting connection betweon Mr Bayne 1 s son (also called Vere B yne) and Lewii Carroll author of 'Alice in Wonderland' and born at Daresbury; · They became life-long friends and schol rs, bcith becoming fellows of Christ Church, Oxford.

The Rev. Henry Bostock, M.A. was ·noxt appointed. ; The

succession of clergymen as Mastois was, o_f courso because the

Founder had said in his will that the M ster f the School hich he was creating was to be a priest. Mi Bostock was a native of Newcas:l.e-undor-Lymo, and was formerly in charge of Aylesbury · Grammar School. U dor him, as under his predecessor, the Scho9l flourished greatly fbr about ten yriars, and sent boys up regularly to Oxford and Cambridge. By degrees, however,·11it began· to

decline ---- the f-'laster begu.n to absent him_self too frequently

from the great Schools and to have some of the classes in his house. Disorder crept into the School; his boarders, as well es the day scholars, foll off," and finally, when Mr Bostock

accepted t_he Chaplaincy of the Workhouse, in 1861, the Trustees

took this opportunity t.o enforce his resignation. Mr Bostock,

already in failing health, retired to Southport, where he died, on 2nd January, 1863.

Towards tho e d of ·r1r Bostock 1 s mastership, in 1859, the scheme for tho manag·ement· of_tho School was again re-modelled, and after Mr Bostock's retire ent the Truste t decided that t e time had coma .to ro modol the buildings also. T e old master's house9 parts of which had robably stood iince before 1526, was pulled down in 18629 along with the new School, hich had been

buil_t in 1829. Tt-Jey were replac9d by the building which still

stands in Sch6ol row and is ow used by th Co pciration's Highways Department. Built in· the style now ·known as Victorian Gothic, the old school looks very forbidding today 9 but was considored a fine building at tho time. During the re-building some of the boys were sent to Winwick Schcicil, ho e Head, the

Re_v. Ho ry Burrell9 had formerly been an sistant m ster at the

Boteler Grammar School

In 1863 the'Schoolre opened, with only thirty boys9 under the caro of th8 im v. Offley Henry Cary9 M.A. He was a grandson of the Fiev. H. F. Cary 9 ·who translated Dante's 1 Inforno', and ho had married the daughter of Mr Moultrio9 the

:ioctor of Hugby 9 at which place ho was educated.


Mr Cary harl commanding presence9 R gby principles and Rugby traditions. He ciid much good work for the School. He engaged masters to t0ach writing 9 accounts9 mathematics, French9 . . Gorman9 and drawing. It is interesting to note that even a hundred yoars ago some "sotting" took place9 with a numbor of boys in the Lower School (ovon in Form 1) taking subjects such as Mathematics and French with Forms in the Upper School. In 18741 following the formation of the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board

of Examiners 9 Mr Cary began the practice of bringing in a university scholar once a year to. 0xamine the School. The practice survived until the end of indopandence9 thoug by this time (1933) the university visitor was simply an invigilatbr (and 9 since the trivialities of today become the history of tomorrow let it be recorded that in honour of his coming9 the caretaker's daughter

made a special fruit cake shared at tea-time by ·-·the- assistant

master who shared the invigilator's duties). Mr Car_y also ·

introduced the custom of an Annual Spoec Day and he 11 tciok eans to promote a taste for cricket and other athletic sports."

A prospectus for .the School of 1865 gives us further insight into. the curriculum and organisation of the School at that time. The Trustees of tho School incl_uded Cd. Wilson Patten1·f1.P. and Gilb0rt Greenall7 M.P. In addition to tho Headm ster 9 theta was on tho staff 9 the Rev. G. Feather as Second Master and two Assistant Mastors --- Herr Huttmann teaching French and German 9

and Mr Burnett teaching WritiMg 9 . Arithmetic nd S6ience.

rrir Thompson9 an "Extra 1aster" taught Drawing. To quote from the prospectus:-

iiThe places of the boys in the half-yearly lists are determined by the marks of the preceding qu rter and examination combined.

At Midsummer 9 Prizes are given to those boys who p ss t e best examinations in each Fofm of the Upper School in Classics 9 ·of the Lower School in Classics 9· with History and Geography.

Before the Christmas H6lidays each. boy is requiied to prepare for examination two branches of study9 of which the one must b Classics9 the other either Divinity and History 9 or Mathem6tics 9 or French and GermanJ or Natural PhiJosophy. Prizes are given

to those who show greatest proficiency in each subject. Prizes are also given for a Latin Essay 9 for an English Essay9 and for general conduct.

An additional Annual Prize of the value of £39 to be called the Fitchett Ma sh Prize9 has been promised by a ge tleman of Warrington.'' (Fitchett Marsh was formerly Cleik to the Trustees and had produced a history of the Boteler Grammar School9 from which of the information included in this work on tho early

years of the S hool has been obtained).




This _was an epoch whon the nation was endeavouring to introduce some order into its oducational system. · Accordingly, about.1 865 the School was v sited by Mr James Bryce, on behalf

of the Royal Commission appointed to enquire into Endowed Schools.

Mr Bryce said in his report; 11The general character of the School

is more purely classical than that of most Lancashire Grammar Schools - Many of the pooplo whom I s w in Warrington doclarE that thoy never romembored it o prosperous or so popular --- Tho wealth and position of tho School no doubt require that it should continue classical;

and in Warrington -- ono may expect that a supply of boys will always be found whoso parents will lot thoi have tho benefit of a high classic ! or scientific Cour e, and send thorn to the University aftorwai;-ds.11

Many of tho roposals of the Bryce Report were embodied in tho Endowed Schools' Act of 1869. Under this and varioui amending Acts new schemes of management wero drawn up for all endowed schools not already dealt with undor the Public Schools'

Act of 1868. Such a scherrio was drawn up for Boteler Grammar School, and it ·received the 11oyal Approval in- 1880. A special paragraph safo-guirded the position of Mr Cary, but nevertheless - to quote tho works of William Beamont - he resigned at Easter, 18819

"before the new scheme of the Charity Commissioners should come to

its birth."

It was said that "the number of times when f r Cary had been absent from prayers might be counted on ono's fingers." Certain it is that ho servod the School long and well, lifting it complotoly out of the 11stat0 of chaos11 into which it was said to have fallen at the end of Mr Bostock's mastership. By the time of Mr Cary's retirement thoro wore a hundrod boys on the School Roll9 though very fow stayed beyond the ago of fifteen or

sixteen9 while one or two were still being admitted at the ago of sevon or eight. Nevortheless it was a big improvement on the total of thirty when Mr Cary bocamo Master in 1863.

On 20th December, 1880 tho Governors, who had replaced the Trustees9 according to the New Scheme, appointed tho Rev. E. J. Willcocks, M.A. of St.Catherine's College, Cambridge, to succeed the Rev. Cary. Mr Willcocks had already taught Mathematics in the School for eloven years9 before which he had been a master for ten years at Cheam School, in Surrey.

He is said by Old Boys (in 1926) to have been i'an ablem an 9 of

generous heart and human feeling9 11 who 11allowed no slackness, and took a personal interest in ruery boy.11


It is worth recording that tho first issue of the School Maga zine9 'Pincerna1 9 appeared at tha beginning of Mr Willcocks

Mastership 9 in 1882 and ap eared erraticall_y over the nex twenty

. years before be oming a regular fe turo of the school year. Among many articles of interest in tho maga zine9 one describes the uniform worn by pupils in the 1880 1s - Eton collars and mortar­ boards were standard, with boys in Yeirs lV and V addin a black

tassel to their mortar-boards and boys in Year Vl adding a white tassel.

Mr Willcocks, again according r.o Old Boys9 "iived for the School and his boys, and he was always sorry to see the gradual encroachment of works around the building." The view to the Parish Church was completely obstructed by the buildings of

Rylands Wire Works. Until 1905 Mr Willcocks and his family resided9 as his predecessors had done 9 on the School premises9 but in that year alterations to provide additional class-rooms made it necessary for him to remove to· i1Heathfield1; 9 Latch ford Without. He died there in 1907. Upon his grave, in Grappenhall : hurchyard is the simple. but pregnant epitaph: 1 Laborare est orare1 ('To work is to ptay')9 and it is a fitting epitaph for a man whose life was typical fa

scholar and a gentleman• . The Old Boys' Union perpetuatod his

memory by placing a tablet in the O d- School.






In 19079 the Heu Horace Gray 9 M.A., was appointed



Headmaster. Mr Gray began his education at the Perse Schocil9 Cambridge (as did Mr P. r1. Jackson, our mo:re rece·nt Headmaster). In 1893 he enterod Jesus College, Cambridge, as Senior Open liathematical Scholar. He graduated .in 18969 being placed 21st Wrangler in the Mathomatical Tripos.

The yoars of his eadmastership from 1907-1933 were

to prove some of the most critical in the history of the School, for B.G.s., like every other institution could not escape the traumatic effects of the First World War and tho Great Depression

! which followed it. The finances of the School were uHder strain, numbers were low and it became increasingly likely that the independent status of tho School would have to be sacrificed.

. Yet theFe wero alsri yoars of achiev ment. The annual reports of the Oxford xaminers were always full of praise'for tho standard of war and the discipline of the School and, for the size of tho School (120-180 boys of which only 10-20 were · in the Sixth Form), examination successos and univorsity aw rds were consistently good. Conscious of the long history of the

School, Mr Gray revived the Founder's Day S rvice. An enthu iastic sportsman, he introduced a House System to encourage "keen," healthy competition.11 The Houses were na ed Botele 9 Warburton and Ireland -

Tyldesloy came later. Mr Gray also presented the silver cup engraved with the arms and motto of thri School, which we still play for in the House Soccer Competition. Mr Gray mado freque·nt references in his addresses to "educating the whole marii1 and learning to liplay. the game11 at school to ensure one played the

game in later life. Again, this perio_d saw an incieasing number

of holidays abroad to countries such as France, Germany and Greece; there were also regular trips to the Lake District and the annual Ascension Day excursion to Snowdonia was instituted.

It was in the early years of this century, following the

1 02 Education Act, that the Warrington Secondary School was foundod in the Technical Institute. This brought a measure of competition

with Boteler for pupils an.d helped to stimulate a debate about

curriculum. In the nineteenth century, Classics anp Mathematics had dominated the curriculum, but by the turn of the century English Literature, Modern Languages, History and Science wore bsing taught and in 1908 Mr Gray introduced "commercial subjects"

Th ditorials in 'Pincerna' express dreat satisfaction

with the way th_e new B.G.S had succeeded in establishing a cohesion

an·d co mu ity spirit and a hiQh reput tion n the town in so short a

time. How ver; towri d the eAd of the War, as in 1902 and 1 18 following earlier wars, plans for a reorganizatibn of secondary education were afoot, this time with the theme 'Secondary Education for All'. The Headmaster expressed feats that the changes would lead to a levelling down iather than a levelling· up. Hbwever, the Butler Education Act of 1944, with its aim of creating a tri-partite system of secondary education with grammar, technical and secondary modern schools meant that the future of Boteler Grammar School was to bo secure for many years to come. It also meant the end of fee­ paying in state grammar schools 9 which was all to tho good. For one thirig it helped bring about the increase in the size of the Sixth

Form (only about 15 - 25 at this tim_e compa ed with around 125 today)

which the Headmaster was vory keen to obtain. IM fact the academic esults ware invariably ery good, and in 1944 four out of seven Open Scholar.ships offered by ,Ourham1W,iversity were won by boys of the Scho1


By 1946 the School had increased in numbers on the roll to 540 and thi return to normality after the War was quite rapid.

some and boring.1 He was also concerned about the growth of the

herd instinct in tho Sixth Form and stresses the need for leader­ ship and the developmont of individual personality.

In 1950 it was announced that Mr Clripton w a leaving Boteler .to take up the Headship of the King Edward Vll Grammar School 9 Sheffield • . He could be well' satisfied with his achievement in ten years at Boteler Grammar Schoot. The new School was well founded in spite of all the difficulties to be overcome and the exceptional circumstan es created b the Second World War. Tho School had already established a reputation· for "Godliness and

good learning'' in the tradition, of Sir T omas 86teler and was

. highly esteemed both by the members of tho School and by the town of Warrington. ·

In January 9 19519 Mr P. M. Jackson took charge of the School'.- Educated at the Parse School and at Peterhouse9 Ca bridge9 and having alr6ady spent some five years as Headmaster of Ilkeston Grammar School9 D0rbyshir09 Mr Jackson had tho academic training and experience one expected of a headmastor of Boteler. However, tho contrast between the character of r-1r Jacks-on and that of his

redocessor could not have boon greater. His approach to the ta k 9 though no l ss offective9 Was essentially different from that cif Mr Clapton.

Whereas Mr Clapton seemed cold9 severe and rather unappioaphable9 Mr J ckson eemed more relaxod 9. a man who _r lie4

. on his kiils i the art of gentle peisuasion to achiev his aims.


If Mr Clapton had seen his main task as one of welding two former schools into one new school9 ftr Jackson saw his main tas as dofinding the new Boteler Grammar School against pressures

which h felt could destroy tho achievements of centuries at Boteler.

And9 maybe because a (nistorian he had a strong feeling for the past ahd for tr dition,· Mr Jackson was extremely cons ious of the

long history of the Boteler and felt very strongly the responsibility placed 6 him to preserve and to enhance the standing of Boteler as the grammar school of the town of Warrington. Throughout his Head­ ship ho strove to maintain tho highest standards of scholarship

which he felt were being eroded by the superficiality of some modern educational innovat ions9 innovations which ho felt always seemed to involve a lowering of standards and of expectations in young people. He was very concerned about the increasing pressures on adolescents from the outside world to accept much that was trite and tasteless. At all times he insisted on civilized behaviour 9 good manners and smartness in dress and appearance. He sought to perpotuate all that was best i the traditional grammar school.

Thus9 the Jackson era will be remembered as a period of stability and solid achievement before the 'comprehensive' threat loomou up before us. The level of academic success was never less than satisfactory and was frequently outstanding9 with regular awards being obtained at Oxford and Cambridga. Mr Jackson saw it

as his particular responsibility that boys with obvious academic gifts should be given every assistanco to reach their full potential9 and .that all members of the School should be encouraged to mako the most of their ability. Many Old Boys will remember .with gratitude tho assistance and sympathetic encouragement he gave them n furthering theii careet . There was also a much·lower· turnover of staff than was to b0 fciund in many schools9 a sign that the partner­

ship between Headmaster nd Assistant Mastors was close and vital

in achieving the academic successes of those years.

Not that every boy was to achieve high academic honours9 of course• . And even twenty years ago9 Mr Jackson at Speech Day was bemoaning the growth of a could-not-care-less attitude and increasing lethargy9 a reluctance to tako on responsibility and a rathor n gative attitude to life. But the range and number of

activities organized in the School indicates that many were making a positive contribution to the life of·the School

Among the activities introduced cir revived in these years were Sports Day 9 the Swimming Gala 9 the Annual Cross-Country Race? the regular production of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The latter wore very popular and invoivod a largo body of masters and boys and included Mrs Jackson who made a speciality of desi ning and making the dresses for tho "female" characters. School societies cams and wentll as in the past9 but many su1.·vived and prospered. A regular feature became tho exchange of pupils for a fortnight each summer

with boys from a school in Hilden 9 Germany 9 a twin-town of Warrington.


The School distinguished itsolf in competitive games and athlotics9 both against other grammar schools and in Warrington town championships 9 and was rogularly ropresentod in tho Lancashire Schools Athletic Championships. Somo members of the School also went on to further sporting successes. D. W. Grayson and N. Wilson

were to win Cambridge Bluos for Soccer ands. Squi os a Blue for Swimming 9 anci M. s. Warburton an Athletics Blue at Oxford. More r·ecently9 J. ;;icha! ds9 who left the School in 1969 9 was the fi:i:'st Boteler boy to become a Senior Schoolboy International and to play

for the England Under-23 Xl. As a member of the Wolverhampton Wanderers team ho won a League Cup Modal in 1974.

As tho yoais passod 9 of course 9 tho buildings wore no longer so new and were not so wall equipped as they had seemed to be in 1940. The temporary huts of 1944 are still with us in 1976 9 and the heating system 9 for ye3rs so temperamental, has only rocontly been renewed.

Plans for a swimming pool proposed in 1952:hav still not mator ialised 9 though the tennis courts9 proposed at the same time9 were eventually provid ed in 1970 with the help of the Old Boys. Tho purchase of the Droadbent estate in 1965 by the Authority improved the already good · playing field and enabled us to re-introduce ugge as an alternative to Soccer for some boys9 and not without success. In 1971 9 tho generous gift of an Old Doy 9 J. L. Gibson 9 enabled the School to

acqui e a language laboratory.

Ever conscious of th long history of the School9 it is not surprising that Mr Jackson should revive the Old Boys' Union and the nnual Dinner. Ho always responded enthusiastically to

the toast proposed to the nschool;1 ancJ encourag·ed the attendance of

members of Si.x Upper to establish links between themselves in their

last year at th School9 and the Old Boyst Union. It became a tradition for the Head . Bay of tho yea r ta propose the toast 11to the Pious Memory of Sir Thomas 8otalor11 An Old Ooys I tie was produced to a very pleasing cJosign. It should bo romemb e ed that it was

with the oncouragemont of Mr Jackson that the Ol-d Boys' Union set

themselves the task of raising mon ey for additions to the School's amonities. Ag ain9 for years now 9 they have helped finance the pi:oduction of I Pincerna'. l1Jith excellent and devoted lc:iade1·ship from Old Gays such as Mr K. Millar (now Chairman of the School Govurnors) and Mr D. Doherty9 to name only two9 they havb proved of inestimable worth to the well-being of tho School and to the maintenance of its standards and traditions. Thoy have organized

bazaars and the like to prov i_do maney for the tennis courts 9

audio visual and duplicating equipmont 9 recreational equipment9

. and9 of course9 for that superb memorial to the Old Boys who died

. in the World Wars9 namely the wrought iron gates at the entrance to tho School.


The War Memorial Fund rais0d over £19 000 in 1957 to pay for the gates and memorial tablets in the School Library. The dedicatioh ceremony took place in October9 1957 and was described in 'Pincerna' as nan enriching occasion9 simple yet dignified.ff In 1959 a second plaque was placed on the gates commemorating the new School9 which reads as follows:-



16889 17079 18299 1862



('The place changes but not the spirit')

The next year9 the commemorative plaque in the entrance hall was unveiled by Canon Downham9 rather belatedly, owing to the_. circumstances prevailing in 1940. It reads as follows:-




In 1971, the Boteler Association was formed of Parents, Masters and Old Boys and has proved even more beneficial in linking

. ogether all those who have the interests of the School at heart.

in 1969, a School Council was formed when a number of Sixth Formers, pqssibly following current fashion, felt they needed morecpportunity

to express their views on the running of the Scho_ol but,for what

ever reasons, interest soon died away and the Council was to be short-lived.


With tho passing of the years older staff retirod and those who had taught at School Brow or the Old Secondary School became fewer in number. In 1955 Mr William Pryke retired after over thirty years on the staff - a gifted scholar9 a most eloquent speaker and a perfect gentleman. In 19599 Mr Leslie Cockram retired after forty years on the staff. He was a wonderful organizer and a man of wide interest and talents; also a skilful draught sman 9 as his memorial to the Old Boys who died in the 1914- 1918 War in the School Library testifies. Mr Cockram loved to toll how in his younger days he used to cycle to School from Knutsford regularly - difficult to imagine these days. Mr Donald Forsyth retired in 19659 having begun teaching at School Brow in 1927. A man of wide reading and culture 9 he was greatly concerned to develop taste and discrimination at a time when boys were being subjected to much that as second rate and unworthy. For a great many years ho was an excellent editor of 'Pincerna'. In 1967

Mr Charles Hale retired - a man of fine integrity 9 remembered for his even temper and quiet efficiency. The Old Boys' Dinner of that year was a great occasion with Mr Pryke as Guest Speaker. But the Dinner was also attended by Mr Cockram 9 Mr Halo and Mr Jim Boyle? who was about to retire owing to ill-health after thirty four years as the School's groundsman. All three are remembored on Sports

Day through their gifts of competition trophies for the boys of th School. In 1971 the last link with School Brow was broken with the retirement of Mr William ('Bill') Pearson after forty-two

years service. A most likeable character who in his· time had given much to the School in so many ways9 particularly as librarian9 cricket coach and producer of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

Then in 1973 came the retirement of Mr Jackson himself. Although hampered by ill-health after his heart attack in 19629 it seemed that he would go on for ever. When he finally decided to retire it was inevitable that it would leave a gap that would


be very difficult to fill; for r r Jackson was a 11character 1 in

the best sense of the word. We would·s rely miss his presence in morning assembly9 for instance. The majestic entry9 gown flowing and retinue scurrying to match his sprightly pace 1 the intriguing historical digressions which occasionally enlivened post-assembly announcements9 his aptitude for extempore speaking and ability to select the 'mot Juste'. He made much of the fact

that if he came from behind the lectern we knew that something

very serious had happened and wo were threatened with dire consequences if it was not put right immediately. In particularp he would severely castigate anybody who harmed the good name of Boteler in the town How he loved to quote groat figures from history and Guan to assume their part. Queen Elizabeth I was his favourite and when ho took his final assembly before his retirement9 those of us who were there will not forget how moved we were by his quotation from Oueen Elizabeth's last speech to a Deputation from the House of Commons in which the great queen expressed her love for her people and her appreciation that she could not have reigned so successfully without the love and help of her subjects. 23

It may indeed be said with some cortainty of Mr Jackson 9 that we shall not see his like again9 for his type of headmaster is a dying breed.

As has been suggested already 9 Mr Jackson could surely have succeeded in many spheres - the theatre and Parliament are just two that spring to mind - but we at Boteler benefited from his decision to make a career in education and wo perhaps even now do not fully appreciate the value to us of his twenty-three years of dedicated service to tho School.












0- C

:-rI :-rI


nVl nVl












'< °A"

:-rI :::::i

CD .....
















C 0

0- ""O




r j _J _J











:-:i r




















The retirement of Mr Jackson marked the end of an era in the history of the Boteler Grammar School. The outside

pressures which he resisted for so long are becoming even stronger. In particular9 it seems inevitable that the character of the School will be drastically changed as a result of the reorganization of secondary education on comprehensive lines; even the name of the School may be changed. Boteler seems likely in the next few years

to become an 11-16 school9 all Sixth Form education being concentrated elsewhere. The task of steering the School through these changes has fallen to our new Headmaster 9 Mr R. J. English.

In spite of the uncertainty about its future9 the School9 in the meantime remains a grammar school and strives to maintain the academic standards expected of such a school. Extra-curricular

activities flourish as never before. Recent years have seen numerous School trips to places in Britain and overseas at every holiday period. The expansion of the School Shop to support a fleet of


mini-buses9 again provided in part with the help of the Boteler Association9 has proved most valuable in enabling groups of boys to attend camps9 fell-walking excursions and sports fixtures. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme hai encouraged increasing numbers of boys to take up new interests and activities. The recent completion of the Sixth Form Common l oom has considerably. improved the amenities for Six Upper.

Thus wo can face the future with a sense of pride in the achievements of the past and with confidence that we can meet the challenges ahead in the same spirit and conviction that has enabled Boteler to survive earlier crises in its history. Ever mindful

of the traditions of the past9 we may have to change to some degree to suit the demands of contemporary society9 but we shall always seek to preserve standards of excellence in scholarship and to teach Boteler boys a sense of fairness and consideration for others9 and to send thorn into the world as worthy citizens.

And surely these will still be worthy goals no matter what changes may come about.

In the years ahead9 may we still be able to say with a clear conscience that wo are fulfilling the wishes of our Founder9 that this whole school should be brought up to Godliness and

Good Learning9 just as it has been said with justification for the past 450 years.



Extracts from - Boteler Grammar School Prospectus 1936, GENER AL INFORMATION.

The Warrington Grammar School was founded . in tho year 1526 by Sir Thomas Boteler9 Knight9 of Bewsey.

Tho School is recognised by the Board of Education as an efficient Secondary School.

The School is open to sons of residents in the County Borough of Warrington. The sons of non-residents will be admitted to the School if there are vacancies after full provision has been made for the sons of residents.

The curriculum is arranged on such lines as may prepare boys for the Univer sity9 the learned professions9 and the usual Civil Service Examinations. Adequate provision is made for the efficient instruction in those subjects which are of practical utility to mon of businoss.

The feos are £12 a year, payable in advance 9 but they may be paid in three equal instalments of £4 in the first woek of each torm. If total or partial remission of these desired9 special application must be made.

The accounts for Tuition Fees9 Books9 etc.9 are rendered at the end of each torm9 and should be paid on the first day of

the following term 9 the cheque being made payable,to tho Headmaster.


The School is examined every year. The public examinations taken at the School are tho School Certificate and Higher School Certificate Examinations of the Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board.

A report of each boy's conduct9 punctua lity9 industry9

and progress is sent to every parent or guardian at the end of each term.


There arc extensive and well-appointod playing fields at the disposal of the S9hool9 at which all pupils normally attend for organized games on Wednesday afternoons.

No boy may absent himself from School except for illness or other sufficient causo9 previously approved by t o eadmaster9 and a note must be brought to the Headmast r by any boy returning to School after such absence. If a boy cannot attend School9 a written intimation must be sent to the Headmaster.

In case of illness necessitating absence for not less than six weeks 9 half of the proportionate fees will be deducted from

the noxt term's account when a medical certificate has been duly presented to the Headmaster.

The' Headmaster will be glad to receive from parents an early intimation of their son's probable choice of career in after life. He may be seen at the School, by appointment9 on school business.

All property (cap s9 ovorcoats9 etc.) must be plainly marked with the name of the owner.

Particulars of the Admission Examination and the

Examin tions for Scholarships will be found on the following pages*.

Education Dffico 9 Sankey Street9 Warrington.



Chiof Education Officer.

Note - at the time of amalgamation in 1940 there were some 200 on the school roll but with only 4 boys in Six Upper and 8 boys in Six Lower.

Sosides tho Hoadmaste r 9 the staff included 8 Assistant

Masters and 4 Visiti_ng Ma·sters ( e).

* NOT included in this extract.



Chairman: K. Miller

L.E.A. APPOINTMENTS: Cllr. H. Whitehead

Cllr. W. T. Edwards B.Sc. F.R.I.C. Cllr. G. C. Rylands

Cllr. D. Mapp


Cllr. R. G. Crocker Cllr. T. I. Mackrell Cllr. P. T. F. Birchall Cllr. B. s. Arnold


c. W. Sharman Esq.

B. P. Ogden Esq.


A. A. Donald Esq.

J. Walton Esq.


  1. Cleeton Esq.


  2. Millerp J.P.p F.C.I.S. Rev. Father Holdsworth


D. Binns Esq.

Judge E. Steel

H. Hornby Fairclough Esq. Rev. J. o. Colling



HEADMASTER: R.J . English, Esq.9 M.Sc.M.Ed. DEPUTY HEADMASTERS: E. Percival, Esq. 9 M.A. , M.Ed.

G.D. Howard 9 Esq., B.Sc.


Rev. R.J. Brunswick9 c.F. Mr J.A. Charters

Mr M.E. Comer, B.A. Miss M.L. Coylo9 B.A. Mr M,G. Cross9 B.A.

Mr G.R.K. Curtis, B.A.Mus

Mrs D.I. Davies9 B.A. Mr R.M. Duckett

B,LTCL r r

nr Vir

  1. Phenix, B.A.

    C.J. Rees, B.Sc.,M.I.Biol.

    R.E. Rice, B.Sc.

    J.A. Riley

    J.P. Ryan

    D.A. Shade, B.Sc.

    c.w. Sharman, B.A.,J.P.

    D.A. Smith

    Mr P.J. Elliott

    Mr E.W.P. Farrell, B.A. Mr B. Glover, D.A.

    Mr E. Harrison, M.A.

    Mr A.W. Hill, H.N.C.9L. .I.c.

    Mr M.W. Hughes

    Mr N.H. Kilshaw, B.A.

    Mr H. Lievosley9 B.Sc.(Econ.) Mr G.A. Moss, B.Sc.

    Mr B.P. Ogden, M.A.,M.L.C.

    Mr A.J. O'Neill, B.Ed. Mr w. Oxloy, B.Sc.

    Mrs A.F. Patterson, B.Sc.

    Mr c.o. Stobbs

    Mr A. Summerfield, B.A. Mr J. Thomason, D.L.C. Mr J.R. Tweedy, B.Sc.

    Mr I.G. Wilkinson, M.A.,B.Sc. Mrs A.S. Wood, B.A.


    Mrs M. Finch Mrs J. Harrison

    CARE T1 KER:

    fllr T. Dutton


    THE SCHOOL RDLLg 1975-6


    SIX UPPrn:








    YEAR THRf£:




    YEAR ONE :






    DEPUTY HEAD BOYSg A. Conheeney

  2. Conheeney

D. c. Aldred D. i"i. Heaton

R. s. f\ppleton P.H. Hirst

s. P. Behan G. Hurst

J. Oai1nett P. Jones

M. C Bond A. P. l<elly

D. A. Brown s. J. Lewandowski

P. Campbell M. F. Longworth

f-1. F. Caswoll c. Lord

G. I'.. Cliffe D. H. Luker

I. Daniels c. L. McManamin

c. L. Davies F. r ajid

P.R. Davies Jo E.. Marsh

F. J. Evans W. Milne

I. J. Forshaw J. T. Prescott

R. G. Giles J.M. Webster

T. Gordon I. J. White