Text Size

Article Index








George Monoux, one of Walthamstow's greatest benefactors, lived during a most remarkable period of our history. He was born about the time when Caxton introduced printing into England (1477), and he lived to see the triumph of that invention, when a copy of the Great Bible was placed in the Parish Church of Walthamstow (1540). Monoux lived through the transition from mediaeval to modern history, for as a lad he saw the Plantagenet feudalism come to an end at the battle of Bosworth (1485), which heralded the New England and the New Learning of the Tudors. When he reached manhood, his outlook on life was coloured by the news of the discoveries of Columbus and Cabot in the New World, of the voyages ' of Vasco de Gama and other navigators in the Old World, and by the resulting foundation of The English Royal Navy. The Tudor period developed dramatic changes in Church and State, and Monoux passed through the years when the Church of England was separated from Rome, when the Pope's authority in England was abolished, when Henry VIII was declared °supreme Head of the Church of England', and when that rapacious King plundered the monasteries and sent the learned More and pious Fisher to the block. In those tragic times and amid all that welter, Monoux kept his head, although he saw the entry and exit of Henry's six queens, the ri5e and fall of Wolsey, the rise and execution of Thomas Cromwell, the beheading of the Countess of Salisbury, who owned the manor of Salisbury Hall, Walthamstow, and the death of many others who opposed the fruition of the state policy of Henry VIII.
Such was the age in which George Monoux lived. And now after the passing of four centuries, and when the Grammar School bearing his name is about to enter on a new phase in its history, it seems right and proper that there should be some record of the Founder and his work. Citizen and merchant of London and Bristol, Alderman and Lord Mayor of the City of London, benefactor and philanthropist of Walthamstow, where he so long resided, George Monoux has left his mark on the history of our parish; and St. Mary's Church, the Monoux Almshouses, and the Monoux School are abiding memorials of this Tudor worthy who left Walthamstow better than he found it. "



We know very little of the early days of George Monoux, but according to Heralds' ' College he was descended from John Monoux of Stanford, in the County of Worcester. There is no evidence of his place of birth, although several writers say he was born in London. However, we do know that he spent the best part of his life as a London citizen, and showed himself a man of considerable ability. He had much influence in the City and became possessed of great wealth. His first wife, Joan, probably died in 1500, and he afterwards married Ann, the former wife of Robert Watts, but of this "some-time consort" we know little. George Monoux had two sons-Thomas, who died in 1537, and George who also died before his father and left a son, William, who died without issue. 'The heir to the property of Monoux was George, the son of Thomas, who was born in 1529. Monoux had also two daughters-one married to William Woodball, and Elizabeth, who was twice married, first, to Sir Thomas Denny of Hoo, in Norfolk, and, secondly, to Robert Dacres of Cheshunt in Herts.
There were other branches of the Monoux family, and for a long time they flourished in Bedfordshire. In Sandy Parish Church there are several monuments to various members of this family, which came to an end by the death of Sir Philip Monoux, Bart., in 1814.
The Monoux Arms and Crest are as follows :-ARMS : Argent, on a Chevron Sable, between three Fig Leaves, Vert, three Besants, Or. On a Chief Gules, a Martlet between two Anchors erect, Argent. CREST: A Bird Blue, Beak and Legs Gules, Wings Or, in his Beak an Acorn-slip proper.


George Monoux probably began his residence in Walthamstow in the early years of the sixteenth century, and he resided at his seat, known as "Moones" in Moones Lane, now Billet Lane, near Chapel End, till his death on 9th February, 1543-4. "Moones" is described as a spacious building, moated around, with several enclosures of land and many large meadows. This estate was sold in 1589 to Thomas Hale, from whose family it passed in 1596 to Ralph Harrison. Eventually, in 1635, it came into the possession of the Rowe family of Higham Hill. The last reference I can find to the house is in 1817, when it was sold with other property belonging to Salisbury Hall. The house no longer stands, but "Moones" is still marked on the Ordnance Map. Such was the home where Monoux passed the years when he was playing his part as Citizen, Alderman, Lord Mayor, and Member of Parliament for London.



Monoux became a member of the Drapers' Company in 1507, and was Master no less than seven times, viz.: in 1508-9, 1516-17, 1520-21, 1526-27, 1532-33, 1539-40, and in 1544, the year of his death. He was Alderman of Bassishaw from 1507-41, Sheriff of the City of London in 1509- and Lord Mayor in 1514-15.'~ Monoux was re-elected Lord Mayor in 1528, and on the l5th October following it was necessary to address a letter to him to take upon himself the office. On 28th October he was ordered three times to appear and take the oath of office, and on his failing to do so he was fined £1000. On the 6th May the next year, he petitioned, owing to ill-health, to be discharged from both the offices of Mayor and Alderman. His request was agreed to by the Common Council, but does not appear to have been carried into effect, as we find from the City Records that the Lord Mayor would not give his assent thereto. Eventually, however, Monoux agreed to continue to be an Alderman, and the City undertook to release him from the Mayoralty. He continued Alderman until his resignation in 1541, or seventeen years after he had described himself as "aged and feble yn his lymes." It is evident, however, that Monoux did not concern himself about his Ward towards the end of his Aldermanry, for we find in 1540 that there was complaint of "moche evyll and vycyous rule" in Bassishaw. He had previously been Merchant and Mayor of Bristol.


George Monoux was M.P. for the City of London in 1523. The Parliament of that year was memorable. Sir Thomas More was Speaker of the House of Commons, and the members refused to give the King the subsidies he requested. We may well believe that Monoux voted against the encroachments of the King just a~ strongly as he refused to be Lord Mayor the second time.


The sturdy character of George Monoux was well known in the City, for in 1538 Sir Richard Gresham and some other citizens were wanting some of Monoux' city property about Lombard Street in order to build a City "Burse." There is a letter extant in which 'Gresham describes Monoux to Thomas Cromwell as "of noe gentyll nature," and asks that a letter "sharply made" should be sent to Monoux requesting the sale of his property. On l3th October, 1538, Henry VIII himself wrote to Monoux asking him to dispose of his property, which was required for the commonweal of merchants of the City, and he urged him to come to terms with Gresham. Monoux was offered twenty marks per annum, but he refused the sum. Another letter from the King followed, urging Monoux not to stand in the way of a project " to the beautifitye " of the City. Monoux at length gave way, and received the cordial thanks of the King on the 25th November, 1538.


It must not be thought that Monoux was not a good citizen of London. Assuredly he was; for if we measure his services only by his many offices, and the long period over which they ranged, we shall feel that London owed much to him. At one time he gave his brewhouse, near Bridge House, Southwark, to the Corporation, and in his will he left some tenements to the City for the repair of London Bridge. Monoux was not only a wealthy City merchant, but he was also a large landowner. Besides his City property he was possessed of manors and estates in several counties, especially in Norfolk, Hertford, and Essex, and we know from his own Ledger Book how carefully he conducted his business as a landlord.


Having considered the part Monoux played in the City and in Parliament, let us return to his life as a resident in Walthamstow, which, we may conjecture, he reached through Hackney and Clapton, over Lea Bridge, and thence along Markhouse Lane and Blackhorse Lane to his seat at "Moones" in Billet Lane. There is no doubt that in driving home from the City his progress was often impeded by the roadway through the Marshes being flooded. So, we are told by Strype, in 1694, that "he made a Causeway over Walthamstow Marsh to Lock Bridge over the River Lee for the conveniency of Travellers from those Parts to London, and left wherewith to continue and keep it in Repair ; but that also is lost and the Ruins now only to be seen.'' Besides constructing this causeway, Monoux built two bridges called the " three arches" and the "eight arches," which carried the flow of water beneath the Lea Bridge Road. It is interesting to note that an ancient ferry, known as Jeremy's, existed on the south side of the present Lea Bridge, which was first built in 1757. In order to keep the bridge in repair, a toll was taken for horses and carriages throughout the week, and for passengers on Sundays only. At the end of the eighteenth century this road and bridge were considered among the greatest improvements that had been made near; London; and it was remarked that "when the passage was over a ferry it was disagreeable and dangerous, whereas now it is one of the best roads near London."


Monoux was the leading man in the Walthamstow of his time. He was concerned with its social, educational, and religious progress, and no one who has studied his good work in our parish can hesitate to rank him very high among our worthies and to praise him as a very famous man. He was of a practical character, as is evidenced by his many reforms. In a collection of "Anecdotes" relating to him, written by some one in the eighteenth century, it says that "George Monoux was possessed of a considerable estate at Walthamstow, and very much resident at his seat called ° Moones,' to which he brought a constant supply of fine spring water from a spring in Brandands, the upper part of Mill Field, through all the fields, then his possessions, conducted through earthenware pipes and in the form of long hollow bricks." Here then we find him as the purveyor of pure spring water, which was not only for his own benefit but for that of his dependents and neighbours at Chapel End. '
It is also pleasant to think of Monoux as a firm believer in the encouragement of the social life of his fellow parishioners. I find that he " built a kitchen, galleries and a large room in the Churchyard for parish feasts and wedding dinners, and also furnished the same with necessary utensils. The room in the master's house was furnished with great spits and irons and pewter and other necessities for the dressing of the said dinners." For the benefit of his neighbours he showed his thoughtfulness by leaving money " for a salary for ever for ringing the great bell at a certain hour in the night and morning the winter half-year."
Monoux was also in considerable favour with the ecclesiastical authorities, for in Strype's '°Life of Cranmer" there is the following passage: "The Archbishop granted a Licence dated July the 24th, with the full consent of Richard Withipole, Vicar of Walthamstow in Essex, to George Monoux, Alderman of London, and Thomas his Son, to have the Sacrament administered in his Chappel or Oratory, in his house, De Moones, now a Farm near Higham Hill, in the said parish of Walthamstow. Indulging therein to the Wife of the said Thomas to be purified or churched in the same Chappel."


This last reference brings me to the great work of Monoux in our parish, viz., the restoration of St. Mary's Church and the founding of the Grammar School and Almshouses. And perhaps the best introduction to this section will be in the words of Strype, who wrote thus in 1694 : " I the rather mention this, that it may serve to recall the memory of that pious and charitable Citizen and Draper, Sir George Monoux, who built the fair steeple of that Parish Church. He built also the North Aisle of the said Church, in the Glass-windows whereof is yet remaining his Coat of Arms. In the Chancel his Body was interred, under a fair altar monument yet standing." I make some reference in church work of Monoux so that here I need only mention that besides building the Tower of red brick and the north aisle, in 1535, he also founded a Chantry in Walthamstow Church, the revenues of which, at its suppression in 1547, were valued at £6 13s. 4d.


This brass, now on the chancel pillar in the north aisle, was originally mural and affixed to the wall above a fair altar monument of stone at the east end of the Monoux Chapel. The effigies of George Monoux and his lady are well engraved: each is represented as kneeling before a fald-stool, on which is an open book. The original brass inscription is lost, and that now cut on the stone of the pillar is of later date and not accurate. The inscription is: "Here lieth Sir George Monox, Knt., sometime Lord Mayor of London, and Dame Ann his wife: which Sir George died in 1543 and Dame Ann in 1500." The shields with the arms engraved are of- (1) The City of London, (2) Monoux, (3) The Drapers' Company, (4) The City of Bristol, and-merely cut in outline on the stone-Ipswich.
It may be well to remark that there is no evidence that George Monoux was knighted the "Sir" was probably used in courtesy; and in his will and later documents he appears as George Monoux, gentleman. His wife, Ann, was alive when he died in 1543, and the date for her death should probably be 1560.


It may be interesting if I introduce the following account of the Monoux Grammar School by giving a summary from the Founder's own book of the beginning of the School and the Almshouses. A Record of Delivery was made on the third Sunday in June, 19 Henry VIII. by the prior and convent of Christchurch, London, patrons and owners of the rectory and vicarage of Walthamstow, Essex, with the consent of Thos. Hickman, LL.B., incumbent there of a piece of ground on the north side of the Churchyard of Walthamstow, for the erection of 14 rooms for a schoolmaster and 13 poor men and women. "All whiche premises I will shalbe always for ever ordered-and kepte by my executors and feofees of my last w lle and testament." When the building was finished we do not know. ' Here then in 1527 we have the beginning of the Monoux Grammar School and the Monoux Almshouses, buildings with which we are all so familiar, and whose bricks and tiles have mellowed to a delightful red, presenting a charming picture when seen through the greenery of the churchyard. The piece of ground so granted was in length, from east to west, 192 feet; in breadth, at the east end 40 feet; in the middle and at the west end, 34 feet. The Faculty for the grant of the ground is in the London Register of Bishop Tunstall. Fol. 151.
It will be gathered from earlier remarks that Monoux was a man of considerable wealth, and he followed the example of other wealthy London citizens by endowing almshouses and a school. One needs but a slight acquaintance with the history of the Tudor period to realise that the Renascence manifested itself by the impetus given to education as well as the quickening of ecclesiastical life, It is quite probable that Monoux was led to found his Grammar School by the example of Colet, dean of St. Paul's; 1504-19, who founded St. Paul's School, 1509, and : wrote for it a Latin Accidence. There is not space in this sketch of the work of Monoux to do more than mention some of, the educational improvements of that period; but to those who wish further to pursue this question of Schools at the Reformation, 1 would recommend Mr. Leach's book on the subject. In that valuable work we are told that of 204 schools mentioned in the Chantry Certificates, 132 still exist, though 19 of them have been degraded to Elementary Education, and four are only Exhibition Funds. It is certainly of great interest- to us that the Monoux School has lived through four centuries and that its work has left its mark on our town.


Now we will consider the question of the Endowment of the Almshouses and Grammar School, which must be treated as one foundation for many purposes. George Monoux was possessed of "divers messuages and tenements, lands and hereditaments" within the ward of Langbourne in the City of London, and " were situate near the Church of All Hallows Staining, in a certain lane there called Craddock Lane, otherwise Star Alley, leading into Mark Lane, and from thence turning by the Church on the left-hand side into Fenchurch Street." This property in London and the suburbs was left to Trustees-Giles Bragg, Robert Alford, Edward Brooke, William Monoux, Richard Monoux and Richard Vaughan. The property so devised produced about £50 a year, and with this sum the trustees were to keep in repair, among other buildings, a Chapel and the Almshouses built by Monoux, and to pay out £42 17s. 4d. for the following purposes :-

(a)To an honest priest, who should keep the Free School of young children (20 to 30), and to sing and pray " for the soul of me, George Monoux, and Dame Anne Monoux, and Joan Monoux my late wife, and for the soul of Robert Watts, sometime the husband of the said Dame Ann "

£6. 13 4
(b) To the Parish Clerk, in case he assists in teaching £1. 6. 8
(c) To 13 Alms Poor, 8 men and 5 women, 7d. to each weekly, per ann £5. 0. 0
d) To ditto. ditto in Coals £19 14 4
(e) To the Priest for an Obit £5 13 4
Sub total .£38. 7. 8
Thus leaving a residue of .£4. 9. 8
Total £42. 17. 4

*The Schoolmaster was also to "pay the almsfolk 7d. each weekly, and see that they kept the rules, and said duly their 5 Paternosters, 5 Aves, and a Creed daily in honour of the 5..prineipall wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ:"


Everything seems quite straightforward, and Monoux evidently left more than enough money to produce the necessary yearly income for the support of his charities. The trustees, however, did not deal faithfully with the charities, and it is reported that "for some time the poor were deprived of many of the privileges connected with the, almshouses. . . . . This seems to have been owing to Richard Vaughan . . . . who afterwards died in the parish miserably hating the sight of light, and most perplexed with fearfull speaches concerning affrightment by the devil." Another trustee, Robert Alford, died, and his son, Edward Alford, succeeded to his father's share of the devised premises, and afterwards purchased the shares of the other trustees, which were conveyed to him by them. Being thus in possession of the premises, Edward Alford made a further charge upon them of £9 for the benefit of the Charity. This, however, was the beginning of trouble, for 1 find that Edward Alford detained the annuities from the almsfolk, took money from the poor people to be put in the houses, and even brought in people for this purpose from distant parishes. A grant to new trustees under Alford's will was made on 8th October, 2lst James I., and there is nothing further of interest till some law proceedings in 1658, when an effort was made by the parishioners to get the Monoux Charities properly administered. On 24th March of that year a Commission was issued to William Conyers, Serjeant-at-law, Robert Smith, John Brewster, Francis Higham, John Trafford, and Thomas Preston, before whom an inquisition was taken at Leytonstone. The parishioners lost the lawsuit and borrowed money to pay the costs. The following is the entry ~ " Walthamstow, Essex, 5 day of April, 1659. Ordered at a general meeting of the parishioners of the said parish that the Churchwardens for the present year borrow the sum of £30 for the prosecuting a cause concerning an argument for the almspeople, etc."
This entry is signed by Thomas Cartwright (Vicar), John Searle, Robert Christmas (Churchwardens), and Wm. Batten, Wm. Conyers, R. ,Cooper, Wm. Holcroft, Wm. Harlow, Robert Shipman, Michael Garnett, John Stanton, Lewis P. Powell, John West, William Johnson, Edward Brantley's mark " E," John Overal's mark °' E."


From this last entry there is nothing of interest' relating to the Monoux School and Almshouses till 1782, when a Deed was drawn up respecting this Charity between the parish and the owners of the property, charged with its support. Briefly this Indenture of 30th September, 1782, released to the parish the North Aisle and Monoux Chapel in the Church, and the Grammar School and Almshouses in consideration of the Rent Charge payable by the Monoux Trustees from .£41 14s. 4d. per year to £21. The £41 14s 4d. was to be made up to the Schools by rent of pews in the Chapel and North Aisle and from other dues payable to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the parish. The whole of the £41 14s. 4d. was still to be paid to the Almsfolk except £6 13s. 4d., which was to be paid to the Almspriest School- master and £1 6s. 8d. to the Parish Clerk, in case he should assist the Almspriest. This *' I have a note that at an Inquisition taken 8th June, 1699, there was only one Executor, viz., Sir William Scawen. Indenture of Lease and Release was signed by the Rev. Edmund Marshall and Joshua Marshall, representing the Monoux Trustees, and by Joel Johnson and John Haffey, Churchwardens of Walthamstow, and other gentlemen representing the parish. The Commissioners who were appointed to inquire into Charities in 1832 ~ say of this transaction that "it was effected without any sufficient authority, and could not be upheld in a Court of Equity. The parish could have no right to release or convey away any part of the endowment which Sir George Monoux had provided for his Charity." However, the deed was signed and carried into effect, and in 1821 it is recorded that "Sir Thomas Richard Dyer is now possessor of the Estate in Star Alley, etc., and pays the sum of £21 per annum, the Parish of Walthamstow having agreed to pay the remainder." This arrangement continued from 1782 to 1875, "when the Rent Charge was redeemed in consideration of the purchase of £700 6s. Consols, now standing in the names of the official Trustees of Charitable Funds."
We may here note that on 23rd May, 1876, thirteen Trustees were appointed by Order of Charity Commissioners, and it is then recorded that " the agreement by the Trustees to pay the remainder of the Rent Charge as stated in the Deed of 1782 has not been performed."


Now let us retrace our steps to 1815, when meetings of the Trustees began, and from which year the Minutes have been entered in the proper books to the present time. There is nothing of striking interest in these records, which are concerned with the almspeople and their troubles, the school and its masters working with and against the Trustees. The buildings fell into disrepair, and it was not till 1842 that the funds were obtained to put them into proper condition. It appears that the Northern and Eastern Railway had infringed the Marsh Rights of the inhabitants of Walthamstow, and as compensation they gave the sum of £450. After paying expenses there was a residue of £429, and this was appropriated to put the Monoux building in substantial repair. The work was of a conservative character, and nothing further of importance was done till a few years ago, when the roofs were re-tiled and new and incongruous casement windows were inserted, in lieu of the old diamond-paned windows.
When the Charity Enquiry of 1832 was held, it was found that eight of the alms- houses were for men and five for women. The inmates received their annual payments from a sum of £99 6s. 9d., besides gifts of coals and bread. It will thus be seen that other Charities had been left for the Monoux almsfolk, and their position was considerably improved at later dates, when there were new schemes for the administration of Charities in Walthamstow.


We get the first glimpse of the Monoux School and its Schoolmaster from the Chantry Certificate of 1545, where it is stated that, "Londes and tenements in. Waltham Stowe . . . Put in feoffament by George Monox, gentleman, to the Maintenance of a Priest, the seid priest to singe masse in the Church of Waltham Stowe aforeseid, and also to teache a free scole their during the term of 20 yeres. And one Sir John Hogeson, clerke, of the age of 40 yeres, and of goode vsage and conversacion, litterate, and teachethe a scole their, is now incumbent thereof. . . ." Here then we find that the schoolmaster was the vicar of Walthamstow, and it is quite probable that he was the only man who was capable of filling the office. We have no means of ascertaining what was the course of instruction given in the school when it was founded, for neither the Will nor the Ordinances of Monoux prescribe anything on the subject. We do know, however, that the trustees placed schoolmasters " who were not able to teach the Latin tongue," and we also know that in 1658, it was ordered that a man should be appointed who was " an able scholar " and " who was a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge and should be able to teach the Latin and Greek tongue." Further, we know that this "honest Priest" was "to keep a Free School, and to teach therein from 20 to 30 young children, and not more, but at his own will and pleasure," and for this he was to receive yearly £6 1.3s. 4d. and the assistance of the Parish Clerk, who " in case he assists in teaching " was to receive £1 6s. 8d.


There is no proper record of the masters of the Monoux School before 1782, but I have a list of the surnames of those who were almspriests after Hogeson. The first is Colby, who is said to have died of the plague in 1609, and then follow-Yarner, Dawson, Groom, Cain, Aaron, Harris, Davis, Cook, Mattocks, Walker,'~ Lewis, Forbes, Johnson, Ford, Birdsey, Vandeleer, Moody, Carter, Briercliffe, Tough, Archer, Tate, Mills, Gawthorne, and Cunningham. Of all these little or nothing is known, but there is a tablet in the Church in memory of Matthew Tate, B.A., Master of Walthamstow School, 1720.


In 1782 the School was put on a new basis, after a long period of neglect by the proper trustees, and one is pleased to find this entry in Joel Johnson's "Anecdotes": "The Free School was re-established 1782: 22 boys were on the Monoux Foundation, and eight on Maynard's." The parishioners further decided to educate 20 girls " who were put to School by voluntary contributions," which was an idea that never entered the brain of Monoux, and 1 think I am right in saying that in none of the old Foundations was provision made for the education of girls. Joel Johnson, who was much in evidence at this period, "clothed 25 boys and 13 girls at his own risk," and the balance sheet for 1782 shows that £26 8s. 8d. was spent on boys' suits, hose for boys and girls, serge for gowns, caps for boys, hats for girls, etc. The money was raised by collections at the Parish Church and by voluntary contributions. This continued from 1782 to 1789, and during that period "church people and dissenters both contributed." Mr. Lloyd was then almspriest and resided in the apartments at the almshouse, where he took boarders, to whom he gave classical instruction. The free school was under a distinct master or usher, and no Latin was taught there except to a few pay scholars, who were instructed by a teacher from a neighbouring school and who paid him for their instruction. The free scholars' instruction was " that of a common English School-reading, writing, and arithmetic," and the '* Alexander Walker received a salary of £37 in 1698. small payments were as follows :-" Pens and ink, 1s. 6d. per quarter ; copy books, about 2s. a quarter ; ciphering book once a year, 2s. 6d. ; firing, ls. 6d. ; in all, 18s. a year."
Some difficulty arose in 1789 and disturbed the harmonious working of churchmen and dissenters. It appears that " on a certain Lord's Day the son of a dissenter attended the Meeting House with his father," and for this the scholar was chastised by the Headmaster, "So on Sunday, March 8th, i789, the Protestant Dissenters held a meeting and determined to start a school for the teaching of both sexes in the principles of religion, as professed by Protestant Dissenters." The Society was called the Philanthropic Society, and the children were admitted on April 8th, 1789. About £40 was raised, but the Society did not flourish and came to an end in August, 1790. I have referred to this little episode as it tends to show that our parish had its religious troubles in those far-off days.


There are no minutes of the Grammar School earlier than 1815, but 1 find that the Rev. F. Parsons was appointed almspriest in possession of the School on April 29th, 1819. In a short time the trustees found that as Mr. Parsons "neither instructed the boys himself . . . . nor employed proper assistance for that purpose," they would be under the necessity of dismissing him unless he made improvement. Evidently he did not make improvement, for in the following year the Rev. James Foulkes Roberts was appointed as almspriest and schoolmaster at a salary of £65 per year, and for a period of sixteen years he was a thorn in the side of the Vicar and his co-trustees. Mr. Roberts put a queer construction on the nature of his duties, for, when questioned as to his actual work, he said that " he attended the school on an average once a week," that "the education of the children was efficient but not by himself," and that "he superintended and gave some instruction." He was a most recalcitrant pedagogue, and I should think no master was ever more often dismissed by the trustees and then re-appointed on promising to do better. After one dismissal, Mr. Roberts waited on the trustees and said " he did not understand he was to attend the whole of the school hours, but after September 29th he would attend from the period the boys went into school till when they came out." He did not keep his promise, and then it is recorded, "In consequence of general neglect of duty by Mr. Roberts, the situation of schoolmaster be declared vacant." He did not resign, but secured another lease of office for a time. It was during the headmastership of Mr. Roberts that the Charity Commissioners made their enquiry into the School, and they report that there were only five boys on the foundation, three of them brothers, and the other two the master's sons. It appears that Mr. Roberts had had no boys under Maynard's Charity, and but few under Monoux's. Mr. Roberts taught Latin and Greek to every scholar, but made an annual charge of six guineas to each scholar for instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, and mathematics. The unsatisfactory state of the school called for special notice by the Commissioners, who suggested that Mr. Roberts should give gratuitous instruction in the common branches of English education to all those poor scholars who should be appointed by the Monoux and Maynard trustees. Mr. Roberts, however, refused to do what was wanted, and, after much forbearance on the part of the trustees, we find in 1836 the following resolution was carried into effect : " That . . . . the Rev. J. F. Roberts be forthwith dismissed from the situation of almspriest schoolmaster." This was the end of the career of Mr. Roberts, who had shamefully neglected his duties as schoolmaster, who had frustrated the intentions of the Founder, and who did not "read prayers in the Church, or assist the vicar or curate in the performance of service there."
The appointment of Mr. Roberts was terminated in 1836, and in the following year, after much careful consideration, the trustees appointed the Rev. Thomas Waite to the vacant office, after he had made a declaration that he would conduct the school in strict accordance with the regulations, and that he would resign the office whenever he was required to do so by a majority of the trustees. At this time there were about twelve boys in the school, and in 1838 Mr. Waite obtained leave to appoint a deputy. In 1842 Mr. Waite resigned his position on his appointment to the Chaplaincy of Giltspur Street Compter, and then the Rev. W. Wilson,, Vicar of Walthamstow and Chairman of the Monoux Trustees, announced that, owing to increased ecclesiastical responsibilities and duties, he should feel himself obliged to require the person appointed to fill the vacant office of almspriest schoolmaster to assist him in reading prayers every Sunday and Holidays in the Parish Church. The Vicar's request, in accordance with the Monoux and Maynard wills, was agreeable to the other trustees, and the Rev. J. N. Dalton, curate, was appointed to the office and allowed to have a deputy. From 1848 onwards, each successive curate was appointed almspriest and schoolmaster, until, in 1869, Mr. Hignett refused the appointment, on the ground that as there was no additional remuneration he declined to undertake the responsibilities involved in the office of almspriest and schoolmaster. For many years before 1869 Mr. Griggs had acted as deputy school- master, and from this year to his death in 1878 he was the Monoux schoolmaster, whom a good many residents in Walthamstow still remember as a learned and painstaking pedagogue.
It was during Mr. Griggs's tenure of office as deputy-schoolmaster that the school was visited in 1866 by Mr. Fearon, one of the Endowed Schools Commissioners. We learn from his report that the deputy-master received £30 from the endowment and £4 4s. a year from each scholar. There were seventeen day scholars but no boarders, and the course of instruction was modified to suit the boys' subsequent careers. The school work began and ended with prayer, taken from various sources ;promotions were by efficiency ; and examinations were held twice a year by the almspriest. The report adds that the punishments were impositions, confinement, and rarely caning; that there was no playground, and that no boy had gone to any university within the last five years. The school time occupied 43 weeks per year, and the study covered 28 hours each week. Mr. Griggs reported to the Commissioner that unpunctuality and irregularity of attendance were his chief difficulties, and that reading, book-keeping, and arithmetic were the best subjects of the school. It will be gathered from this report that the school under ;Mr. Griggs had become,to all intents and purposes, a private school subsidised by a small endowment. After the death of Mr. Griggs, the school was closed, and in 1880 the Walthamstow Charity Governors came into possession of it. The endowment consisted of about £36 a year, the master's house, and a school building, which was picturesque but unsuitable for school purposes.


The school was reorganised under a scheme of the Charity Commission in 1884. An increased endowment had been provided by the Vestry voting £130 a year to the school from the Inhabitants' Donation Trust, and by the Churchwardens and Overseers giving £50 a year from the surplus income of Wise's Gift, a fund left for the repair of a tomb. The new scheme provided that not less than twenty scholarships should be maintained in the school, and as the old school was found to be unsuitable for school purposes, the governors were empowered to hire premises pending the erection of new 'buildings. The school was reopened on the l4th January, 1886, in the Trinity Schoolroom, West Avenue, under the headmastership of Mr. H. A. Allpass, B.A., who subsequently took orders and became curate of St. John's. It may be as well to say that the great success of the school was almost entirely owing to the personality of the headmaster. The Rev. H. A. Allpass became a real social force in our parish, and the school was soon filled to its utmost capacity. The temporary premises were vacated in 1889, when the building in High Street was opened. The foundation stone of the new school was laid by Mr. J. F. H. Read, J.P., on July l3th, 1889, and the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London were at the opening ceremony on December l8th of the same year. This was a red-letter day in the history of the school, for in the evening the prizes were distributed at the Victoria Hall by Lady Leucha Warner, and the music was under the direction of Mr. J. F. H. Read, a musician and composer of considerable merit. The words of the Monoux School Song had been specially composed, and Mr. Read set them to music. Since that first opening of the new school, the annual winter prize-giving has been one of the events in the social life of Walthamstow, while the athletic sports in the summer have always attracted a large number of parents and friends.
In 1893 the scheme of 1884 was amended and the school placed under a separate body of governors, who were fifteen in number, and consisted of the churchwardens and overseers ex officio, seven representative governors, and four co-optative. By a scheme dated March 3rd, 1896, the number of representative and co-optative governors was altered to six and five respectively. The governors of the school showed much interest in their work, and it may be mentioned that a very large share of the success of the institution was due to the unfailing interest of Mr. W. E. Whittingham, and the clerk to the governors, Mr. W. Houghton. The chemical' laboratory and lecture room were the gift of the former in 1892, and Mr. Houghton and some other friends gave £1.00 for the fitting up of the room. In the school a brass tablet with a Latin inscription was placed, on February 5th, I897, to commemorate the benefactions of Mr. W. E. Whittingham, who died on September 7th, 1896. The initials in the four corners are those of the donors :-Messrs. David and Eliot Howard, W. Shurmur (Treasurer and Vice- Chairman), and the Rev. H. A. Allpass.
! The school continued its excellent work till' 1903 under the popular headmaster, who then left owing to ill health. He acted for some time as chaplain at Monte Video, and on returning to England he became Vicar of Stanway. This appointment he resigned after a few years, and then lived for a short time at Chingford, where he died in 1916, much to the regret of his many friends and old scholars.

"New" School. Print dated 1888


From 1903 to 1914, Mr. W. Spivey, M.A., a colleague of Mr. Allpass from 1888, was the headmaster, and he did all in his power to continue the traditions of the institution. He, however, laboured under great difficulties, and found the resources and staff quite inadequate to keep the school in a state of thorough efficiency. Dr. M. Sadler, who made a report on the school in 1906, (There were then 193 boys in the School. The net income from endowments was £146 7s. ; the Essex Connty Council grant was £250 ; and that of the Board of Education £387. 16)* said that Mr. Spivey "deserves high praise for the pluck and tenacity with which he has contended against adverse conditions, and for the unremitting care which he has devoted to his duties." The governors were unable to provide the funds for the necessary increase of staff and for the proper payment of the masters ; and, as a result, the constant demands of the Board of Education made Mr. Spivey's work very difficult. He fought bravely, however, till the end came in August, 1914. Mr. Spivey's friends and old Monovians have placed a bronze tablet to his memory in the school, and the following is the inscription on it :-
"Sir George Monoux Grammar School. This tablet was erected by Old Monovians in affectionate memory of WILLIAM FRANCIS SPIVEY, M.A., Assistant Master 1888 to 1903. Head Master 1903 to 1914. Died 30th August, 1914. Aged 47 years. ' A good life hath but few days, but a good name endureth for ever."'
The governors then appointed Mr. A. H. Prowse as Acting Headmaster. He had entered the school as Senior Mathematical Master in 1892, and had assisted the school in many ways. It was under the care of Mr. Prowse that the school was conducted till July, 1916, when it was transferred to the Essex County Council. At that time there were i75 pupils on the books, of whom 19 were minor scholars and five were on the foundation. The transfer of the Monoux School was completed when the following were the governors :-Rev. H. D. Lampen, M.A. (Chairman), and Messrs. W. M. Beck (Vice-Chairman), F. J. Hitchman (Treasurer), A. Attwell, J.P., H. Chappell, G. E. Clarke, F. W. Cross, J. Higham, T. How, J. Lyne, W. McCall, E. C. Seear, C. Watkins, and Mrs. Elliott and Mrs. G. Reeve. The clerk to the governors was Mr. T. S. Taylor, who had held this position for a period of nineteen years. It is only right and proper that these names should be recorded in this monograph, for it is owing to their action that this old Foundation starts on a new career to meet the educational needs of our town.


Here, then, I close the record of George Monoux and his benefactions to Walthamstow, with the hope that this Tudor worthy may long be remembered as a famous man in our town, which was his home ,'and resting-place four hundred years ago. This sentiment is expressed in the school song, which has been used during the last 30 years at all the school functions :-
" May Monoux School for ever stand
To bear its founder's name :
Known far and wide throughout the land,
From England's shore to India's strand
A monument of fame."

The author expresses his indebtedness to Mr. V.Hopwood for the use of the excellent photographs of the Almshouses and of the interior of the old Grammar School, and to the proprietor of the " Building News" for permission to reproduce the exterior of the Grammar School in the High Street.