History of Waltham Abbey

Waltham Abbey, Market Square 1921.  (Neg. 70158)  © Copyright The Francis Frith Collection 2005. http://www.frithphotos.com
Waltham Abbey, Market Square 1921
Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.

History of Waltham Abbey >> Education in Waltham Abbey

Education in Waltham Abbey

Reports and returns on schools and education in Waltham Abbey. These allow a glimpse into the education your ancestors may have received if they were from this parish.


"Population 2,287. Containing the hamlets of Holyfield 268, Sewardstone 583, Upshire 547. Three national schools at Waltham Abbey: one comprising 102 children, another held on alternate nights consisting of 34, and a Sunday school of 211 children. Four other schools in different hamlets on the same system, kept by women; two containing 70 girls and boys; one in which 40 are instructed, and another where 22 children receive education. The whole being supported by voluntary subscriptions amounting to £116 per annum; and two endowments, one of which is a moiety of £200 navy 5 per cents, left by John Halfhide, esq. towards the support of the Sunday school, and the other half to be distributed among poor widows receiving pensions from the parish; the other bequest arises from the rent of a small estate producing £6 per annum. The poor, though very desirous, have not sufficient means of education."

Source: Digest of Parochial Returns. Select Committee on Education of the Poor, 1818


"Waltham Abbey or Holy Cross Parish, including the Hamlets of Holyfield, Sewardstone, and Upshire Population 4,104. One Infant School (commenced 1833) supported by voluntary contributions, containing 135 children of both sexes. Three Daily Schools: one whereof, the 'Leverton School' containing 20 males and 20 females, is supported by an endowment bequeathed by Thomas Leverton, Esq. of Bedford-square, London, from which the master and mistress are respectively allowed salaries amounting to £30 and £20 annually; this School was established about six years ago, and until the present year was maintained (for 25 children) by Mrs Rebecca Leverton, widow of the above; at her decease the endowment of her late husband became available, and the School was increased to the present number.

Another School (at High Beech) contains 24 males; and a National School, 60 females; these, together with an Evening School, containing 42 males, are supported by contributions and donations.

Four Sunday Schools: two of which are National Schools, and are attended by 40 males and 60 females; another, appertaining to Wesleyan Methodists (including a branch at Copt) consists of 95 children; the other, of 115 of both sexes (including a branch at Holyfield) of the Baptist denomination: these Schools are supported by voluntary contributions. No return could be obtained from the overseers of this parish, and the above particulars have been furnished by the Curate, the Rev TL Capper, who states, that in addition to the Schools herein enumerated, there are from twelve to fifteen small Daily Schools in various parts of the parish, wherein many children are receiving instruction at the expense of their parents."

Source: House of Commons papers, Volume 41. Abstract of Education Returns 1833

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Waltham Abbey - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Waltham Abbey - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805

This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0

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