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Earliest Days

The Lateran Council (1179) had required all teachers to be licensed by their Bishop.

There were many priests and others who had taught the Collects and Scriptural Stories to their young parishioners and Chantry Priests teaching Latin and Greek to the more able.  There were at least six Chantries in Grantham before 1547.

In 1329 Walter Pigot was licensed by his Bishop to teach in Grantham Grammar School.  No earlier records of a school have been found but it is likely that Grantham was similar to other such market towns of the day.

As early as 635 the Venerable Bede records that Sigbert, King of Essex (650 to 660), instituted a school in East Anglia to teach Grammar and that would have meant Latin.  In 894 King Alfred wrote, “All the free-born youth who could be supported at the task” should be taught to read English “and those for whom the Priesthood was designed to turn to Latin”.

Richard Fox was born in Ropsley in 1448, son of Thomas and Elinor Fox.  Thomas has been described as “above a yeoman though perhaps not entitled to bear arms”.  Richard Fox advanced from Prebend of South Grantham through many ecclesiastical and political offices to Bishop of Winchester and Lord Privy Seal.  In 1528 he signed the deed to endow this school.  It had been built under his instructions over the previous few years.  Corpus Christi College, Oxford, which he had established and endowed with property, including property in the Grantham area, was required to keep the buildings in repair and provide the Master’s salary.

From 1530, and especially by the Acts of 1545 (Henry VIII) and 1547 (Edward VI), the Monasteries and Chantries were dissolved.  Rents from Chantry properties in Grantham were entrusted to the Alderman and Burgesses (the Civil Authority of the day) to provide income for the school.

Until the nineteenth century the school premises consisted of what is now the Old School Hall (then the School) and the Administration Block (then the Master’s House).  The entrance to the property was in Church Street (Alms House Lane) and the entrance to the school was at the west end (where the War Memorials are). The Cloisters were a Victorian addition.

The present Brook Street was an open stream, the Mowbeck, and what is now the Quad was a garden and an orchard leading down to it.  The School was free to boys living in Grantham, the boundaries of which were the Mowbeck, west of Westgate from the present Dysart Road, along Brook Street to the River Witham and along it to the present St Catherines Road and westward to and along, what is now, Wharf Road.

From early days the Master was allowed to take “private” boarders from outside Grantham

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