A Lasting Legacy
The Trustees were instructed to:-
“raise a yearly sum of money of which £4 is to be paid to four or six poor people of Bispham such as by age, sickness, lameness, or any other infirmity should have need, £2 for repairing the high lanes of Bispham Green and Grimshaw Green and the house of Peter Travis, and the high lanes of Wrightington, £5 for the binding of poor children apprentices in the townships of Bispham, Parbold, Mawdesley and Wrightington, £5 to be paid and distributed among two or more of my poor kindred, £2 towards the support of a preaching minister at Douglas Chapel.”
The residue of the said rents and profits was to be “employed for not more than five years for the building of a school in some convenient place near Bispham Green which should be a Free Grammar School and when finished the residue to employ a good schoolmaster.” He further stated that the school should cost £100 and should be built on “20 rods of land on the side of the close called Dickon’s Ground in Bispham Green or his property in Wrightington the Ferrars Croft.” In the event the school was not built on either of these but on an area known as Higher Jack’s Field. The school opened shortly after the first meeting of the Trustees in 1693, the first master being Thomas Hall at a salary of £7 14s 11d.
Click here for a full list of Headteachers of the school since 1693 to the present
DONUM “Given” 1692. This carving on the gable recognises the legacy of Richard Durning.
The £4 to the poor of Bispham was paid with some difficulty, up to 1991 when the new scheme stopped this. Similarly the stipend to the Vicar of Douglas was paid until the same date though by then it had risen to the princely sum of £20. The payments to the founder's kin and for the maintenance of the roads had ceased many years before, although many would welcome something towards the upkeep of the roads the are today! The binding of apprentices carried forward today in the form of the education grants and annually by the Charity.