Heath Grammar School


History of the School

The Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth - aka Heath School and Heath Grammar School – was founded in 1600 by Dr John Favour under a Queen's Charter obtained by Henry Farrar of Ewood in 1585, and was built on land donated by Farrar and his brothers, and with money raised by public subscription and from various benefactors, including the Savile familyEdward and Sir George – and Gilbert, the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury.

The foundation stone was laid on 8th June 1598. The Akroyd family worked on the building. The building cost £120 and the Akroyds were paid a further £20 for building it so well, and a further £20 for building it so quickly.

Originally, 41 boys attended the school, and the scholars were only allowed to speak Latin whilst in school.

On 7th July 1730, a second Charter was obtained.

The school was extended in 1777 when Richard Hudson was Master.

The Leeds Intelligencer [Tuesday 20th January 1784] - when Rev Gough Willis Kempson was Head Master – advertised

The Free School at Halifax was opened on the Twelfth of January 1784 under the direction of a Head Master and Aſſiſtants.

Instruction in English Grammar, the reading of the English classics, Writing, Arithmetic and Modern History: 4 guineas p.a.

Instruction in the Greek and Latin languages: 4 guineas p.a.

Instruction in both above languages together: 6 guineas p.a.

Instruction in Geography, Geometry and Algebra: 4 guineas p.a.

Or any person paying Ten Guineas a Year will receive Instructions in any of the above Articles which may be adjudged Best for him. Enquiries by letter to Mr Bates the English Aſſiſtant, Free School Lane, Halifax, will receive an immediate answer.

This advertisement would have appeared in the Beginning of Last Year but the Headmaster was not willing to offer his services to the Public at large without being firſt able to appeal to the Experience of the Gentlemen of Halifax in particular, for the Succeſſ of his Plan, and an Account of his Character and Ability


In 1878, a new school was designed by John & Joseph Leeming. The new building opened in 1879 and accommodated 250 boys.

In 1883, when Rev Cox retired as headmaster, the School had only the headmaster, one assistant and 13 boys, and funds were so small that the School had to close.

It reopened in 1887, when funds had improved. Nathan Whitley was a strong advocate for the school's reopening after Easter 1887.

It accommodated 190 boys [1917].

In 1925, it came under control of the local authority.

Extensions were added in 1939. There is work – three oak chairs, and a reading desk – by Harry Percy Jackson [1951].

The memorial gates, to commemorate old boys killed in action, were unveiled in June 1949.

The tradition of a half-day holiday per week (originally Thursday afternoon, but latterly Wednesday afternoon) with Saturday morning attendance, was continued until 1965.

The school closed in 1984 and merged with Crossley & Porter School to become Crossley-Heath School.

The apple-and-pear window, constructed by the Akroyd family between 1598 and 1601, is the only remaining part of the old school. It has been suggested that the window was designed by Robert Smythson [1535-1614]

The mason who made the stone over the main entrance mistakenly carved the word grammer and later corrected it.

The building is now the Heath Training & Development Centre [2009].

There were plans to sell the building for use as housing in order to raise funds for proposed changes to the civic buildings and the central library [2011]

Headmasters at the School

According to the original charter, the qualifications of a Master was that he should be

a meet man learned and cunning [skilled] which hath been a student in one of the universities of this realm of England the space of 5 years at the least and hath profited in learning

Headmasters at the school have included:

Ushers at the School

In addition to the Headmaster, the School had an Usher – or Assistant Master or Second Master

The Usher had similar duties to the Headmaster, but received only half the salary

Ushers at the school have included:

The Office of Usher was discontinued in 1876

Teachers & Masters at the School

Teachers and masters at the school have included:

Phyllis Bentley Dr Phyllis Eleanor Bentley
John E. Bissell

[1876] Henry Robert Field Canham
Rev Stephen Carr
[1876] Joseph Clayton
Joseph Chappell Collins
Arthur Comfort
[1901] William Bunting Crump

[1952-1982] Alan Guy

Donald Morewood Hallowes
[1855] S. Franklin Hiron
John Horner

George Lawrence
Arthur Keighley Lister

Cecil Owen Mackley
T. Morley
H. C. Morris

Arthur Owen

Anthime Camille Poiré

Ignace Felix de Rutkowski

[1875] William Edward Sadd
Hugh John Armand Seaton
O. C. Silverlock
William Henry Stopford

T. H. Wheatley

Pupils at the School

Past pupils have included:

John Abbott
Keith Ackroyd
Maurice Lucius Armitage
George Stuart Arthur
Rev Arthur Howard Ashworth
George Wheelhouse Ashworth
Rev Philip Sidney Ashworth
Rev William Atkinson
Ralph W. J. Austin

Sir Leonard Bairstow
Robert Baker
Philip Hugh Ballantyne
Henry Bates
Joah Bates
Rev Thomas Bates
Rev Michael Beaufort-Jones
Lawrence Bedworth
Thomas Washington Benson
Sir John Winfield Bonser
Fred Booth
Martin Walter Bottomley
Henry Hearder Bowman
Sidney Herbert Bray
Graham Brayshaw
Kenneth Gough Breaks
Charles ffrench Bromhead
Edward Thomas ffrench Bromhead
Edgar Deighton Brook
Donald Broughton
Richard George de Fer Byrde

Gilbert Alva Carter
Major Cartwright
David Cawthra
Francis Joseph Chambers
Lindsay Clarke
Philip Clegg
George Clewer
Thomas William Coghlin
Richard Jeffreys Hampton Collinson
Rev Steven John Lindsey Croft
James Crossley

Alec Dakin
William Frederick Wilkinson Davis
Leslie Dawson
William Ernest Denison
Carl Penrose Dixon
Sir Frank Watson Dyson
Stanley Gilbert Dyson

Rev John William Earnshaw
Ian D. East
Rev Dr Joseph Edleston
Rev Edward Ellis
Francis Vaughan Evans
Percy Lewis Evans
Harold Eyre

Richard Edwin Feather
Frederic William Oswald Fleming
Dr Ernest Faber Fookes
Charles Clifford Foster
Sir Lionel Wray Fox
Ralph Fox

Rev Henry Eli Garnet
George Douglas Gelder
Ernest Edward Roberts Gomersall

Charles Norman Greenwood

Dr Jeremiah Hall
Alfred L. Haller
A. L. Halley
Robert Chisenhall Hammerton
Laurence William Hanson
Eric Harrison
John Holroyd Harrison
Rev John Fearby Haslam
James Hardy Heal
Tom Denton Hepworth
George Frederick Vincent Hervey
Sidney Fred Hetherington
S. Franklin Hiron
James Hirst
John Gregson Hitchen
Clifford Holroyd
John Basil Hope
Augustus William Howell
Samuel Hoyle
Geoffrey Knowles Humphreys
William Huntriss

Sir Charles Illingworth
Charles Frederick William Illingworth

Rev Cyril Jackson
William Jackson
Peter Jeffries
George Frederick Johnston
Thornton Jowett

Courtney Stanhope William Kenny
Graham Collow Kerr
Joseph Moxon Kirk

Bishop John Lake
George Lassey
Eric Lewin
George Ronald Lewin
John Lewin
Arthur Thompson Longbottom
Dr Lonsdale
Albert Edward Lord
Sam Leslie Lord

Walter Magson
Stuart Petre Brodie Mais
Jeffery Middleton
John Milner
Arthur Page Mitchell
Joseph Harger Mitchell
Brian McBeath Murrell

Robert Naylor
Right Rev Donald Patrick Nestor
Eric Nettleton
Willie Normanton

Walter Holroyd Oates
William Alexander Wildman Orange
Alan Ostler
Thomas Ostler

George Patchett
Robert Clement Perks
Eric Bateman Petty
Rev William Henry Priestley

Benjamin Currer Rawson
John Frederick Reid
Hugh John Trafford David Robertson
Eric Leslie Robinson
Gerald Holt Rothwell
Edward Peake Rouse
William Archibald Rouse

Daniel Salt
Sir Richard Saltonstall
Gerald Scarborough
Bryce Gilbert Scott
Barry Seal
Leonard Tetley Seed
Rev Samuel Sharpe
Edward Butterworth Shaw
Dr George Shaw
John Ewart Shillito
Harry George Spencer Short
Roland Woolfall Siddall
William Mills Smeeton
Sir Matthew Arnold Bracy Smith
Oliver Smithies
William (Billy) Somerville
Richard Stafford
Rev Samuel John Stancliffe
George Stansfeld
Raywood Micklethwait Stansfeld
Colonel Robert Stansfeld
Sir Walter Stansfield
Edwin Stewart
Arthur Hudson Stocks
Arthur Hudson Stocks
Charles Clifford Stott
Frank Gordon Stott
John Garside Sugden
Thomas Lister Joseph Sunderland
Canon Richard Dawson Swallow
Ernest Edward Sykes

Abraham Thomas
Herbert Edward Thompson
Archbishop John Tillotson
John Ralph Tillotson
Louis F. Tinker
Oswald Edward Meader Travis

Gordon Stafford Wade
Arnold Edgar Walker
Philip Walker
J. E. Walton
Julian Merrall Walton
Keighley Walton
Alan Waring
Arthur James Waring
Roy Watling
Andrew Watson
Eric Webster
George Whitehead
Frank Allison Whiteley
Harry Whitley
Andrew Wilkinson
Percy Wilson
Ronald Edward Wilson
Frank Wolfenden
Arthur Gordon Wood
Leslie Woodhead
Donald Wright

Please email me if you can add the names of any masters or teachers at the school

See Alexander & Hammerton, Crossley-Heath School, Bryan Crowther, Heath Grammar School Memorial, Heath Grammar School: Memorial Gates, Heath Grammar School: Grace, Heath Grammar School: Seal, Heath School House and Dr Cyril Jackson

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 10:40 / 28th March 2024 / 38141

Page Ref: KK_7

search tips advanced search
site search by freefind