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THE FREE GRAMMAR-SCHOOL.
THE Free Grammar-school of Exeter derives a peculiar inte from its association with the ancient Hospital of St John the Bapt The deed of endowment of the school bears the date of the twent day of February in the fifth year of Charles I. who also in thirteenth year of his reign issued letters patent for the settlement the school. To the liberality of Thomas Walton, Esq. and daughter Elizabeth, Walter Brough, Esq., and others, together w the charity school founded by Hugh Crossinge and others in twenty-first year of James I. the present grammar-school owes existence.
1745. Rev. Lewis Stephens, D.D. Archdeacon of Chester a Rector of Drokinsford in the county of Southampton, directed t £3000, after the death of certain persons named in his will, should employed for ever in assisting six Exhibitioners at either of t Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, to be styled "Doctor Stephen Exhibitioners."
The present value of each of Dr Stephens' exhibitions is £40 p
* The following extracts from Dr Stephens' will explain the design and obje of these exhibitions.
"When both annuitants' are dead, I appoint and ordain that the whole annua interest of the £3000 shall be applied for ever for the maintenance of six Scholar who have been educated three years each in the free-school at Exeter; two whereo shall always be sons of freemen and natives of Exeter; two always natives of the county of Devon; and two always of the county of Cornwall......In every future election a Cornish man shall always succeed to a Cornish exhibition,-a Devonshire man to a Devonshire vacancy,—and a freeman's son of Exeter to the like vacancy; that there may be always two for each of the three respective places. And when the exhibitioners are chosen, they shall repair within two months to Oxford or Cambridge, and shall enjoy their exhibitions for seven years next ensuing from the day of their election, unless expelled by the University for immorality, and no longer,-for, my full intent is, that no person whatever shall enjoy it longer than seven years, nor be capable of being ever again re-chosen to it, after his seven years were expired. If the natives of Devon or Cornwall neglect to send their sons to Exeter, to be educated in the free-school there, then the mayor and chamber shall choose into the vacant exhibitions, sons of freemen, natives of the city of Exeter, pro hac vice, and no more, provided there are natives of Cornwall and Devon qualified to succeed into the county exhibitions at the end of the next seven years, when those exhibitions become vacant again. And my will and intent is, that an
Mr Stephens founded one Exhibition of £40 per annum, to be held by the son of a freeman or native of Exeter, for five years at Oxford or Cambridge.
intermission of choice, for want of qualified persons, shall not break off the right of either county, nor be an obstacle to the right of future claimants duly qualified by school and county.
"When the £3000 is settled, my desire and intent is, that the mayor and chamber shall choose, out of the freemen of the city, a sober, frugal, substantial person, a tradesman, and not an attorney, to receive and pay to the two annuitants during their lives, and after their respective deaths, to the exhibitioners, the annual interest er income of the said £3000, as is directed by this will: which receiver shall enter into a register all certificates of residence which are sent by the exhibitioners to the mayor and chamber; and he shall call for them at the end of the year, if they are not sent; and if no certificate comes from the exhibitioners in due time, he shall stop the payment of the exhibition, until it does come.
"If any dispute arise between the trustees and the guardians of the settlement, they shall, within one month of the said meeting, choose a gentleman of Somersetshire, to make a fifth man for that time only, and determine it by the majority of five; and if that does not end the dispute within three months, then the dispute shall be referred to the mayor of Exeter, whose sentence shall be final; and if any suit at law commences, then I will that the whole benefaction shall become void; for my design is to assist exhibitioners, and not attornies.
"If the trustees and guardians of the settlement think it necessary to convert the £3000 into lands, then 1 will and ordain, that they lay it out in farms of as large value as they can purchase, not in houses in Exeter, or in any other town, or village, unless they have a considerable quantity of lands adjoining; not in parochial tythes, nor lands which have a great deal of timber on them, nor in leases from bishops, deans and chapters, single dignitaries, prebendaries, archdeacons, or other ecclesiastical bodies, nor in leases from colleges.
"I do by this will exclude all sons, grandsons, nephews, first cousins of all bishops of Exeter, deans of Exeter, internal or external dignitaries of the cathedral church of Exeter, from enjoying any benefit of these exhibitions; for the laborious part of the parochial clergy, and the sons of country gentlemen of moderate fortunes, I do intend to have the benefit of these exhibitions, and for the advantage of the city : and therefore I solemnly desire and strictly enjoin, that in all elections, no particular regard shall be had to my relations within any degree of kindred whatsoever; but that every exhibitioner shall be chosen according to merit only; therefore, I have placed this trust in the mayor and chainber of Exeter, preferably to ecclesiastical bodies; I confide in their honour, justice, and integrity, as plain men and honest men, and as those that will act with the same impartiality that the Company of Merchant Tailors do in the election of scholars from that school to St John's College in Oxford; and I make it a reward, and not a charity.
"If the mayor and chamber, through any quarrel among themselves, or through any neglect, or any design of serving particular friends or relations, delay the election of exhibitioners of any of the respective counties or city, longer than six months after any vacancy, then my will and intent is, that the vacant exhibitions shall be filled up, pro hac vice, by the trustees and guardians of the election for each respective place, within the next six months, and after that, to devolve to the sole nomination of the mayor of Exeter for the time being......And that there never may
Mr Vidal founded two Exhibitions of the value of each, and tenable for four years by students at St John's Coll Cambridge. These exhibitions are open to all the scholars in school, with a preference, cæteris paribus, to boys bearing the name
be wanting trustees and guardians of the election by any failure, I appoint ordain that whenever any trustee and guardian of the election dies, the survi guardian and trustee shall nominate another trustee and guardian of election for same respective place, and so on for ever; always intending that such persons s be chosen as live within the city or county for which they are chosen.
"At the election of every exhibitioner, I desire the mayor and chamber to t to them two learned clergymen, or more, to examine the candidates; the clergyn to be of the city or county of Devon, as the mayor and chamber shall think fit; enjoin that they shall examine publicly in the free-school, that any persons may h the examinations and judge of the merit of the boys. After the election is ma I insist on it, that the exhibitioner so elected, shall within two months after election repair to Oxford or Cambridge, and enter himself in some College or Ha and reside therein nine months out of twelve, every one of the first four years, fr the day of his election, without fraud or collusion; this I insist on as an indispensa condition, and therefore I require, that every exhibitioner shall, for the fi four years, send a certificate to the mayor and chamber of Exeter, signed by tutor and the bursar or steward of his College, that he has resided nine months: twelve that year; which certificate shall be registered by the receiver at Exeter, an if not sent, the next payment of his exhibition shall be stopped, until it is sent.
"I will and ordain, that any person duly qualified, may be chosen unto my exh bition that is under the age of twenty-two; and that any person above that age sha be incapable of being chosen: and I appoint, that before every election of an exh bitioner, notice shall be given in the public news of the election, addressed to th gentlemen and clergy of the county for which he is to be chosen; and after th exhibitioners are members of a College in the University, they shall not be deprive of their exhibitions for any other cause but immorality, writing against the doc trine of Christ or his Apostles, or turning papist at home or abroad: therefore a bare exhibitioners, and not fellows or scholars of Colleges or Halls, I do not subjec their exhibitions to the penalties of College statutes,-for I would have them brea up in a free, generous, English spirit, and in the best morality of the philosophers. heightened and improved by the nobler precepts of Christianity.
"If any of my exhibitioners, after they have kept four years' residence, and taken the degree of B.A. in one of the Universities, (which I positively insist upon) desire to apply the remaining years in the study of the law, in any of the Inns of Court in London, or in the study of civil law, or divinity, or physic, in any foreign Universities, or to travel for the improvement of botany, architecture, painting, or foreign trade, I will and ordain that such exhibitioner shall receive his or their exhibitions annually, to the full end of the seven years, as if they were actually residing in one of our English Universities; provided that they send a certificate once a year to the mayor and chamber, signed by the chiefs where they reside, setting forth what they are studying. And I further ordain, that any exhibitioner shall continue his exhibition seven years from the day of his election, that goes abroad the last three years in any public office, under an envoy or ambassador; for my desire is that my exhibitioners may be mingled in all professions, and make a figure in every science, language and nation.
Vidal. The electors are the dean of Exeter, and senior canon in residence, the mayor and the recorder, the master and the two senior fellows of St John's College, the master of the school, and the proprietor of the Conworthy estate, if he be of the name of Vidal.
Besides these exhibitions, there are others which may be held by scholars from this school at Exeter College, Oxford.
THE FREE GRAMMAR-SCHOOL.
FOUNDED 1599, A.D.
THIS School was founded by the munificence of Mr Peter Blundell, clothier, a native of the place, who by his will directed that his executors should purchase a piece of ground in a convenient place and erect a school-house, &c., and that £2400 should be expended thereon, if necessary. He directed that the number of scholars should never exceed one hundred and fifty.
"If any of my exhibitioners shall be chosen scholars or fellows of any College or Hall, it shall not deprive them of their exhibition till the seven years are expired.
"I do further ordain, that there shall be no feast or dinner, nor any other entertainment at the expence of the benefaction or of the exhibitioners, at any time whatsoever; and I positively enjoin that no alteration shall be made by the mayer and chamber, of any rules prescribed by this my will, for the education of my exhibitioners after they are elected to the University; but they shall remain in the same latitude and extent which I have laid down in this will, that boys of genius may be left to their own genius, and not chained to a law-book or a concordance; therefore I allow the mayor and chamber of Exeter to choose one of the exhibitioners for the city to travel abroad for the benefit of trade, and I exempt that travelling exhibitioner from going to the University; but subject him to such rules as Mr Alderman Heath shall be pleased to draw up for his direction, both at home and abroad. I require that he shall spend four years in trading towns in foreign nations, and the other three in trade at home; and that he shall receive the yearly exhibition of the whole seven years. This is a permission to the mayor and chamber for the benefit of trade; but I require that the person so chosen shall have learnt Latin three years at the free-school, and shall have a genius for trade, and that there be no more than one travelling exhibitioner, and chosen no oftener than one election in three, notwithstanding anything in this will to the contrary.
"I do declare that, by the Free-School in Exeter, I mean that school which stands within the hospital of St John, founded by Hugh Crossinge, Esq. and others, and no other school whatsoever; for I would make the mayor and chamber electors of my exhibitioners, as they are electors of the schoolmaster, and do not doubt of their will to perform the said trust, with integrity and impartiality, for the advan tage of the school and the honour of the city."
Mr Blundell also directed his executors to bestow £2000 in blishing six Scholarships (the six scholars to be students in divin in the university of Oxford or Cambridge, or in both, for ever. six scholars are to be elected by the trustees, with the advice of schoolmaster, out of the said Grammar-school at Tiverton, of aptest in learning, and such as are the least able to maintain th selves in the ministry.
Mr Blundell left the settlement of the scholarships to the chief justice, who, within a year after the founder's death, ordain that two scholarships should be founded in Balliol College, Oxfo two in Emmanuel College, and two in Sidney Sussex College, Cambrid
It happened that Emmanuel College would not accept the nomi tion, which was therefore revoked, and the two scholars intended that college were added to those in Sidney Sussex College. In 16 the trustees gave £1400 towards the purchase of lands for the ma tenance of two fellows and two scholars at Sidney Sussex Colle (See page 374.)
1678. Mr John Ham of Uplowman, gentleman, by his w directed his executor, with the advice of Mr Blundell's feoffees, bestow £200 towards the maintenance of a fellow and a scholar Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, or in Balliol College, Oxford, to chosen out of the scholars of Tiverton School, and born in the tow if any be fit, or in default of such, to one fit and born in the parish nearest adjacent, and taught in the school of Tiverton. (See page 378
1783. Benjamin Gilberd, grocer, of the city of Exeter, by h will, devised to his trustees sufficient money to purchase £2000 consol and, upon the death of the person to whom he gave a life interest i the same, to be transferred to the trustees of Blundell's Free-school a Tiverton, to be employed for the benefit of the school and the scholar educated therein, at the discretion of the trustees.
This benefaction came into the hands of the trustees in 1801, and at their meeting in 1802, it was ordered that £10 per annum should b paid to each of the two senior scholars at Balliol College, and that the like sum should be paid to each of the two senior scholars at Sidney College, in addition to their present stipend, and that an exhibition should be founded, to be called "Gilberd's Exhibition," with a stipend of £20 per aunum.
The first exhibitioner was elected at the meeting in 1803, and was permitted to enter at any college in either of the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge.