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letters i. h. V. To the right on a bracket is the Holy Virgin crowned, and holding in her arms the infant Jesus. To the left, on another bracket, stands St. Nicholas. He wears a mitre, is vested in chasuble, alb, and stole, the right hand grasps a crosier, whilst the left is held up in benediction. Below the left arm is a tub in which stand three naked boys, a late medieval way of illustrating a miracle attributed to this saint, who is said to have restored to life some Christian children, who had been killed, and then cut up to sell as salted meat.
Beneath all these is a floor of tile pattern, in
the centre of which is a prayer-desk, and upon it is laid an open book. Before it John Dowman is kneeling, clad in a doctor's gown and hood, with his hands clasped. On the right side of the altar is a small shield, diamond shaped, with the letters J.D.m.a. n. so arranged as to make Dowman. The background is powdered with the sacred monogram, and small objects meant for rude crowns. On a quarter inch marginal rim is this legend:-"A rose-Sigillu: coie : frater nofs ihu: bte: marie: sci: niche: de: Poklinton: The Common Seal of the Brotherhood of the Name of Jesus, the Blessed Mary, and St. Nicholas of Pocklington. The date is circa 1514.
The founder of this guild, John Dolman, or Dowman, was the son of William Dolman, whose ancestors had long
resided at Pocklington, and were lords of the manor here.? He was in holy orders, and evidently a man of both learning and note in his day. He is said to have held the Rectory 3 of Pocklington, but for how long is not known. On 4 April, 1506, he was admitted rector of St. Nicholas Acons in the city of London. Resigning that benefice in May, 1507, he was made Archdeacon of Suffolk, prebend of Portpool in St. Paul's Cathedral, and one of the residentiary canons. On 31 March, 1509, he was instituted prebend of Offley in the Cathedral Church of Litchfield, and about this date the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by the University of Cambridge. In 1514 he resigned the stall of Portpool, and was collated to that of Twyford, which he held until his death. He was also Auditor of Causes under Cardinal Wolsey. In 1525 he resigned Offley, and the year following must have failed in health, for on Thursday, November 8, he made his will, and before the 11th the good Archdeacon had passed to his rest. He bequeathed “his body to be buried in the chapel of St. Catherine, on the south side of St. Paul's Cathedral, against a pavement under the altar there by him made.” His will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 6 December, 1526. This generous and distinguished Yorkshireman not only founded the School here, but also five scholarships and nine sizarships in St. John's College, Cambridge, to which boys of his name or kindred, or from Pocklington School, had special preference. He also endowed a chantry in St. Paul's Cathedral
, for which two priests were to be provided, who were both to be scholars of St. John's. The name Dowman is said to have been spelt Doveman, and a rebus, carved upon the school beams, was existing early in this century :-three doves with the letters —M•A•N—under them.
His arms :"Azure, a fesse dancette between 8 garbs or, banded gules," are in the old oriel window of St. John's College Hall, and are worn by all Pocklington Grammar School boys as their badge. They are also over the entrance to the school-house, surmounted by his crest ;—“a garb
2 Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees, p. 86.
3 Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. 1858 ; New
court, I. 200; La Neve ; Dugdale's St. Paul's, 1818 ed. ; &c., &c.
argent, eared and banded or,” and below is this inscription :
A Joanne Dolman
Fundata. A.D. MDXIV.
An Act of Parliament, passed in 1551,4 vested the nomination of master in the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, who were to appoint a “discreet and learned man." An usher was to be chosen by the master, vicar or curate, and church wardens of Pocklington. If the vacancy was not filled up within two months, the Archbishop of York was to appoint both master and usher without delay. The master was to receive two-thirds of the emoluments, the usher onethird—the two forming a close corporation. Of the School, Carlisle 5 says “it is open to the boys of
5 the parish of Pocklington and indeed to any other boys without limitation, but it has not been considered that they (that is those from outside the parish) are entitled to their education free of expense, although the school is designated the Free Grammar School.” It was handsomely endowed by Archdeacon Dolman, and during the reign of Elizabeth it was further endowed by the Rev. Thomas Mountforth, who left an estate at Wetwang, but there is good reason to believe that property has been lost by sheer neglect. The income at the time of the Charity Commissioners' Report (1820) was £1020 9s. 8d. from various properties—683A. 2R. 2p. in extent, but both before and since that date there have been many sales and exchanges. The Rev. Kingsman Baskett, master from 1754 to 1807, had about 50 boys at
4 A copy of this Act is before me. It is very lengthy, and refers more to St. John's than to Pocklington School. It appears, however, that Thomas Dolman, the Archdeacon's brother, was seized of the property bequeathed to the Guild, and meant to stick to it, but this Act
clearly pointed out to him his false posi. tion, and he had to yie.d the estates, though much against his will.
6 Endowed Schools, p. 863.
6 Charity Commission, 19th Report and Appendix, &c., pp. 541-46.
school in his time, but later on "there were only two or three town boys attending and no aliens,—the buildings were in a ruinous condition, the lower class-room being used as a saw-pit and barn."
The Rev. Thos. Shield, master from 1807 to 1848, must ever be regarded as the champion of the School. He found that the estates had been for some time past let on long and ruinous leases under small reserved rents, renewable every seven years on payment of a fine—the income only being £65 per an., the fines so small that “for ten years previous to his appointment the whole average income of the master and usher amounted to no more than £103 4s. 2d. a year”! With praiseworthy zeal he instituted suits in Chancery at very great expense to himself, “ and he alone bore every penny of costs ” though he succeeded in setting aside the leases and restoring the full income to the School. This involved frequent absence, and the Rev. Thos. Brown, who was made usher in 1811, becoming permanently deaf in 1817, and obliged to resign, as a result there was a great falling off in boys. “The master hath not attended for the last twelve months, and the usher being deaf, the children have been sent to other schools.”
“At the time of this Inquiry (says the Report) there were 17 scholars, very young, and, for the most part, from Pocklington.” Mr. Shield was living in a cottage close to the school, there being no master's house, and took two boarders. The Rev. David Jones, who was usher from 1818 to 1825, at which date he left Mr. Shield and started a local school on his own account, so again numbers fell off, and the average was reduced to 12. Mr. Shield still was often absent on account of pecuniary difficulties. He rebuilt the school-house in 1819. It was in his time that the North Eastern Railway was laid through Pocklington, to which he offered strenuous objection, declaring “ that it endangered the lives of the scholars,” and at that time he had only two!
His successor, Dr. Gruggen, re-established the prestige of the school, and in his day most of the present fabric was erected. He died suddenly, 30 March, 1872, whilst on a visit, and for some time the Rev. C. G. Wilkinson (who had been Second Master under him) carried on the school.
On 13 May, 1875, the New Scheme came in force, and an
Order in Council deprived St. John's College, Cambridge, of its former patronage, and vested it in a representative governing body of 13 members, Mr. Wilkinson being elected master in April, 1876, the school under him increasing in numbers. He resigned early in 1884, when the Rev. H. London was appointed; but there was a sad falling off, and, on his resignation in 1889, the Rev. C. F. Hutton, who was Master of Daventry School, was elected. He brought a lot of boys with him, since which all has been highly successful, and Pocklington Grammar School now takes its rank among the leading schools of Yorkshire.
Two boys who in after-life became famous men owe their
education to this Alma Mater :-Daniel Sykes, the statesman, and William Wilberforce, M.P. for Yorkshire-the world-wide known repealer of the slave trade.
Besides the seal, another relic, a little silver bell, is kept in the possession of the head-master. It weighs one ounce and eight pennyweights Troy, is barely 2 inches in height, with a circumference round the base of 7 inches. is a little band handle fixed to the top and underneath a slit 1 in. in length. Round the side in cursive writing is engraved :
"Tho Ellison Moderator 1666 Scholæ Liberæ Grammaticalis de Pocklington."
"Johanes Clarke Moderator 1660 Scholæ Liberæ gramaticalis de Pocklinton."
It was given to the Rev. C. F. Hutton by Rev. C. G.