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Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

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Micklegate School logbooks, York

Selections from the 1880s

From ExploreYork, Reference 4.17 (Acc 158 & 565)


Micklegate Infant School logbook

ExploreYork reference: [labelling was incomplete], Acc 565. It starts in July 1864, but I checked only from 1881)

1881 2 May   Isabella Bratton was monitress this week

1881 30 May   L. Foord’s geography was very unsatisfactory

1881 11 July   [Pupil] Teachers were examined in Arithmetic. Ada Noyes was very good, L. Foord was moderate.

1881 1 August   Attendances were down because of Bank Holiday. L. Foord is absent a lot


1882 13 January   Pupil teachers are regular and punctual

1882 20 January   A. Noyes was working in Girls’ School

1882 31 January   L. Foord was off with a sore throat

1881 6 February   Sent some children to the Girls’ School

1881 20 February   A. Noyes has scarlet fever

1882 20 March   Diocesan Inspection by Henry Toovey

1882 3 April   L. Foord was off a with sore throat

1882 16 April  L. Foord was absent

1882 17 April   Diocesan Inspection Report – “a very satisfactory note on religious instruction” – “the children are bright and intelligent” – “pleased with neat appearance of the children”

1882 28 April   Several children have measles

1882 12 May   Measles

1882 26 May  L. Foord absent all week

1882 June   Measles – L. Foord absent – Yorkshire Gala and Sunday School treat lead to poor attendance

1882 1 September   Monitor Ada Wilson manages the Lower School nicely

1882 22 September   Railway excursion for men and their families

1882 5 October   Inspection by P. Gardner [Her Majesty’s Inspector]

1882 18 October   Louisa Foord returns, mornings only

1882 17 November   HMI Inspection Report – the school suffered from lack of services of a pupil teacher – best features were: singing, sewing, knitting and writing – lower classes not so good as last year – teaching needs “ a little more life and spirit” – “random answering is still unchecked

OBJECT LESSONS: Coal, silver, lead, bread, butter, tea

ANIMAL LESSONS: The cat tribe (lion & tiger), The dog tribe (fox, wolf), cow, deer, sheep


1883 15 January   Sent after several absentees – Mrs O’Reilly visited [she was a frequent visitor]

1883 February   Both A. Noyes and L. Foord were off

1883 2 March   A. Noyes was off because of mother’s serious illness – L. Foord has shown great improvement

OBJECT LESSONS: Cotton, wool, linen, silk, leather

ANIMAL LESSONS: Rat, beaver, squirrel, horse, camel, elephant

1883 16 March   Diocesan Inspection by Henry Toovey

1883 9, 10 May   L. Foord absent because of mother’s illness

1883 18 May   Poor attendance because of Cavalry Review

1883 18 May   Diocesan Inspection Report – Old Testament: very good – New Testament: very good – Catechism: very good – “Repetition was well known, singing pleasing and children very neat and orderly”

1883 1 June  Pupil teachers devote most time to needlework rather than ordinary lessons

1883 22 June   Special attention to Middle Section – reading unsatisfactory – “L. Burgess works hard with the lowest class, which is making fair progress”

1883 28 June   L. Foord has learnt no history in the last two weeks and did no history in the last quarterly examination

1883 22 October   Sent 24 boys to the Boys’ School

1883 23 November   HMI Inspection Report - The Infants Department is in “a very fair state of efficiency. All subjects have received attention, writing and needlework being, as usual, the best. Some more desks are needed and framed slates should be used.” A. L. Noyes, spelling: She must improve generally. L. Foord should improve in spelling, arithmetic, composition and geography. No application has been made for the extension of her engagement under Art: Section 4 of her memorandum of agreement.

1883 7 December   L. Foord is required by the Committee to work more diligently


1884 7 January   L. Foord was withdrawn from the school, the Committee consenting to her immediate removal. Jane Dawney was transferred from Cherry Street School.

1884 28 March   Diocesan Inspector’s Report – “The little children are carefully and kindly taught. I was glad to see them so bright and clean and to find them ready to answer the questions put to them. They sang their hymns nicely and were orderly and attentive.”

1884 12 September   List of songs: What does little birdie say? – A fair little girl – Come, birdie, come – Song of the monkey

1884  2 October   Inspection by C. J. Colson, HMI

1884 6 November   18 girls went up to the girls’ department

1884 20 November – HMI Inspection Report – Elementary subjects have evidently been taught with great care and a fair amount of success has been achieved. Serious concerns about the state of the building: more desks are needed and must be supplied without delay. The school cannot be recommended for the Good Merit Grant unless steps are taken to improve the building and provide more efficient accommodation for the Infants

1884 29 December   Ada Noyes left after completing her apprenticeship in September


Micklegate Trinity Girls' School logbook

York Explore reference:, Micklegate School (Acc 158)

1 June 1863 – 9 Mar 1894. Notes cover 1881-1888 only

1881 9 Mar   Mrs O’Reilly heard a class read. At other times she looked at needlework (10/2/83) and distributed prizes (18/1/84)

1881 2 Dec – HMI Inspection report. Reading, writing and spelling are very fair but arithmetic is poor [This section is very difficult to read]

Regular visitors to the school were: Rev. W.F. Wilberforce, Mrs O’Reilly, Rev. S. H. Bennett, Miss Peel, Rev. J. Metcalf. The clergy gave Scripture lessons and examined the girls on their Catechism. They also helped with mental arithmetic and writing.


1882 30 Mar Diocesan Inspection by Henry Toovey.

1882 29 April   Measles

1882 27 May   The girls attended a Missionary Meeting in the Victoria Hall

1882 24 June   Attendance is down – Sunday School Treats from St Mary Bishophill Junior and St Paul’s

1882 5 August   Children attend the flower show at St Peter’s

1882 23 September  Attendance down – railway trip

1882 21 October   Miss Crompton bought tickets for Pupil Teachers to attend the Winter Garden

1882 16 December   HMI Inspection Report – numbers have increased to detrimental effect on teaching. “Arithmetic is as backward as ever.”  Geography was introduced this year but knowledge was “somewhat partial.” The grant is recommended “with hesitation.” The Girls are in creditable order.


1883 27 January The girls are spoken to about loitering near the Bar when leaving school.

1883 24 February   A girl was kept in over lunch for arriving late.

 1883 14 August   The school was visited by two attendance officers

1883 7 December   HMI Inspection Report – the girls are still overcrowded in one room. “. It has been problematic for three years. Needlework: specimens worked on the day were “decidedly poor.” English, a new subject, fails to satisfy the lower test.


1884 18 January   Girls attended a cookery class from 10 am-12.

1884 17 March   School was inspected on Religious Knowledge with good results. VG for knowledge of the New Testament and repetition of hymns and catechism, in spite of overcrowding.

Revs. Bulmer and Collins are now visiting. Also Rev. G. Trundle

1884 10 October, p. 348   Jane Whittle, Sarah Johnson, Sarah A. Todd, Lilly A. Thorpe, Ruth A. Milner are able to distinguish the letters of the alphabet.

1884 8 November   Fourteen of the 1st Class Girls attended the funeral of Laura Potter. [She died of scarlet fever.]

1884 20 November   HMI Inspection – Crowding is still bad. There is a “large proportion of previously untaught children” in the first standard. Upper levels are all right, though arithmetic and grammar are not good. “Discipline is creditable to the teachers” given the space/crowding.

1884 12 December   The girls were taught some Christmas carols


1885 13 March   Diocesan Inspection – Most subjects are Very Fair or Good. Repetition of hymns and Scripture were Very Good. Recommend that some prayers be taught “for home use.”

1885 23 October  Standards are to be rearranged by recent examination results

1885 11 November   HMI Inspection Report – “The addition of a classroom has not, I am sorry to say, improved the work in the school. Reading is fair, but all the rest of the elementary work is weak”, and “Grammar is absolutely worthless.” Only Needlework is “creditable in every class.”

The Horse Fair and Bishophill Flower Show affected attendance.


1886 19 March   Diocesan Inspection - Generally Good or Very Good.

1886 28 May, p. 371   Isabella Legnard [?] and Lilly Cooper knew nothing beyond the Alphabet when admitted

1886 2 August  The Headmistress E. E. Buckingham notes that 95 children attended on the first day of term. She found “attendance most irregular and the scholars unpunctual.”

1886 9 August  Several girls were punished for bad behaviour in the playground.

1886 13 August   Only 100 children were present out of a total of 152

1886 3 September   Several names were passed to the School Attendance Officer.

1886 10 September   The new ventilators are a boon

1886 17 September   Two girls left on account of being sent home for their school money

1886 3 October    Two girls left on account of being sent home for their school money

1886 8 October   Miss Simpson paid Mary Johnson’s fees

1886 29 October   Admitted 20 children from the Infant School

SONGS: I’m but a little simple flower – Tripping through the meadows daily – The rainbow

POETRY: 1st standard  - The children’s flowers; 2nd & 3rd standards – Rain in summer (Longfellow); 4th, 5th & 6th standards – The building of the ship (Longfellow)

1886 15 November HMI Inspection Report - The school is “sadly neglected … in a miserably low state of efficiency.” Only handwriting and needlework were satisfactory


1887  14 January  A harmonium was received

1887 28 January   5 new scholars were admitted

1887 18 February  A. Hudson was expelled for running home during school hours

1887 28 March Diocesan Inspection: lots of Goods and Very Goods, though Division II confused the early lives of Moses and Our Saviour

1887 29 April The older girls help with spring cleaning

1887 8 August Jane Wright becomes Headmistress

1887 19 August  Nearly half of the scholars are in the 1st Standard

1887 16 September  Reading is very poor

POETRY FOR 1888: Caractacus at Rome – Order for a picture – Llewellyn and his dog – Casabianca (“The boy stood on the burning deck”) – The child and the swallow

1887 14 October 17 girls were received from the Infant School

1887 28 October Annie Shepherd was absent for 2 weeks

1887 4 November The Denham family have scarlet fever

1887 11 November HMI Inspection Report – Discipline is good. There are slight signs of improvement in Instruction. There is “little doubt that when the present mistress has been longer in charge, a great change for the better will be effected.”

1887 24 November Staff: Jane Wright – Headmistress; Catherine Dunn – 1st Assistant; Annie Holmes – 2nd Assistant; Annie Press – Pupil Teacher

1887 2 December Emily Hick and Lucy Burrell were absent for 3 weeks – “no boots.”

1887 9 December Carrie Frankish and Pollie Dawson are very backward new pupils



Measles and scarlet fever are frequently mentioned

POETRY: Mary Queen of Scots (G. H. Bell); The burial of Sir John Moore (Wolfe); The Inchcape Rock (Southey); White pussy for I division

1888 2 November 42 children were received from the Infant Department

1888 28 November HMI Inspection Report – “An appreciable improvement all round.” The Lower standards are better than the Upper ones. Needlework earns a higher grant, and English a lower. “A clock that will go is much needed.”

1888 28 November The 2nd Assistant is now Mary K. Barker


Appendix 1 – children named in the Micklegate logbooks

10 October 1884, p. 348 - Jane Whittle, Sarah Johnson, Sarah A. Todd, Lilly A. Thorpe, Ruth A. Milner

28 May 1886, p. 371 - Isabella Legnard [?] and Lilly Cooper

8 Oct 1886, p. 375 – Mary Johnson

18 February 1887, p. 382 – A. Hudson

28 October 1887 – Annie Shepherd

4 November 1887 – the Denham family

8 November 1887 - Laura Potter

2 December 1887 – Emily Hick & Lucy Burrell

9 December 1887 – Carrie Frankish & Pollie Dawson


Appendix 2 – Clergy who visited the school (From: Crockford’s Clerical Directory 1885, on

Bennett, Simeon Hardy, Vicar of St Mary Bishophill Junior

Bulmer, Edward, Rector of St Martin Micklegate with St Gregory

Collins, William Henry, Rector of All Saints, North Street

Metcalf, Joseph, Rector of Bilborough. Joint author of School round book; Rounds, catches and canons of England; etc

Toovey, Henry, Diocesan Inspector of Schools

Trundle, George, Vicar of St John (Micklegate) Ousebridge (previously Vicar Choral of York Minster)

Wilberforce, William Francis, Vicar of Fulford


Appendix 3 - Who was L. Foord?

Louisa Foord (b. 1865, Malton) was fifteen in 1880 and was a pupil teacher at Micklegate Infants. She was in effect training on the job to be a teacher, and should have become fully qualified after five years. Pupil teachers were required to meet basic standards in reading, punctuation, arithmetic, dictation, geography etc, and were examined quarterly to check their competence. In Church of England schools like Micklegate Girls, they had to know and understand the Catechism, and “the outline of Scripture history.” Girls were also expected to be able to sew.

Louisa was rather a liability in several aspects. She was frequently absent through sickness, mostly unspecified. Although she was good at needlework, her capabilities in most other subjects were very poor, and she did not put much effort into improving her skills or working for her examinations. The school was very long suffering and put up with her for several years, possibly because her father Herbert Foord was an Assistant Overseer, so a respected member of the community.  However, the Committee eventually got her removed in January 1884.

Appendix 4 – who was Mrs O’Reilly?

Caroline Rachel Crompton O’ Reilly (1809 – 1885) was a regular visitor to Micklegate School. She was an elderly and rather wealthy widow who lived at Micklegate House and is named on a family monument inside Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate. Her husband Francis Gammel O’Reilly (1811 - 1878) is described on the 1871 census as a Retired Officer in the Civil Service (Bermuda).