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Play-days," from 1733 to 1737, to be £3. 16s. The highest amounts-given by Sir Thomas Lowther, Bt., and Robert Fenwick in 1733—were IOS. 6d. each. Oliver Marton gave six sums of 5s. each. Henry Marsden and Mr. Hamilton give 5s. each, and Allan Harrison, Mr. Townley (twice), Peter Bold, Mr. Cawthorne, and Mr. Wilson give 2s. 6d. each.
The books purchased with this amount were:—
On the 1st November, in that year: was then put if the Corporation is willing to allow Mr. Cockin Scrivener and accomptant £10 a year for a salary, and liberty for him to take one shilling entrance for each scholar-ninepence a week for teaching to write and twelve pence to account. The said Mr. Cockin continuing to teach school in Lancaster the whole year, allowing only a vacancy of three months in the winter season, between the first day of November and the first day of March yearly.
"It is agreed unanimously that a Salary of Ten pounds yearly be allowed the said Mr. Cockin, on the Terms above mentioned, if he shall think proper to accept thereof, to comence from the first day of March next, & continue during the good will & pleasure of the Mayor, Aldermen, & Council of the said Corporation."
In 1779 the head master appears to have got into trouble with the mayor, for it is recorded: “At a Meeting of the Council held the 24th day of June, 1779, to take into consideration the Behaviour of the Rev. Mr. Watson, Head Master of the free Grammar School at Lancaster, on the Twenty third day of this instant June, to Master Richard Hinde, Son of Thomas Hinde, Esquire, Mayor of the said Borough, and one of the Scholars in the said School."
It was unanimously resolved in council that the behaviour of the said Mr. Watson to the said Richard Hinde hath been improper and inhuman and unjustifiable, and that by means thereof and from the said Mr. Watson's conduct at this meeting, he hath highly incurred the displeasure of the council.
"And it is further unanimously resolved that if the said Mr. Watson shall in future persist in such conduct proper steps will be taken, at the expense of the
Corporation, to amove him from his office of schoolmaster. And the bailiffs are directed to deliver a copy of this resolution to the said Mr. Watson."
In 1794 the Rev. John Widditt was unanimously elected "High Master of the Grammar School at Lancaster" in the room of the Rev. James Watson, who hath resigned that office. And the council further resolved: "That the thanks of this Corporation be given to the Reverend James Watson, Clerk, for the faithful discharge of the Duties of his office of Master at the Free Grammar School in this Town, for a period of near Thirty years, for the great services he hath thereby rendered to the Publick, and also for the honourable manner in which he hath now resigned."
On Tuesday, the 15th of December, 1801, "the scholars at Lancaster Free Grammar School performed Home's tragedy of 'Douglas' before a genteel and crowded audience in the school." The prologue spoken on that occasion was as follows:
Let no proud critic hither bend his eye,
Can we their passions & their feelings strike?
Ah! let the critic think of this, and then,
To bring to recollection and pourtray
When madding discord shook the world with arms
At peace with all the world, no foe appalls
And lovely peace sheds round her charming smile!
In 1802 the Rev. Mr. Widditt resigned the head mastership, and the council ordered "that a compliment of the Freedom of this Corporation be made to the said Mr. Widditt in consideration of his long and faithfull services."
Mr. Widditt was followed by the Rev. Joseph Rowley as head master, and rules were drawn up for the manage
ment of the school.
The school was to be open "to any Boy who is able to read English pretty well."
"Both the Masters shall teach English and Latin promiscuously as they shall be requested, the former to be taught grammatically as well as the latter."
Seven shillings and sixpence per quarter was to be paid for every son of a non-freeman.
The masters were to exchange sides on Tuesday in every week; Friday in every week was to be set apart "for hearing over what they have said on the preceding days, and every Saturday for the repetition and application of grammar."
The school hours were to be: In summer, from six to eight and nine to twelve and two to five; in winter, from eight to twelve and one to four, and "that prayers be read (as heretofore hath been accustomed) every morning."
"That perquisites, called Cockpennies, shall be given to the Master at Shrovetide only, & since there is no quarterage at all paid by freemen's children, & only a small one by non-freemen's, it is hoped these circumstances will be then considered, & also at the entrance of every new Scholar." Seven-twelfths of the cockpennies were to go to the high master and five-twelfths to the usher.
In 1812 the Rev. Joseph Rowley resigned the head mastership and the Rev. John Beethom was appointed to the post. At the same time the Rev. George Morland was appointed usher. Twenty pounds was added to the head master's salary, £14 to the usher's salary, and £10 to the writing-master's salary "in the expectation that they will exert themselves in promoting the interest of the School by a strict and regular attention to their several duties."
In 1824 a committee of the council reported that there were then sixty-four boys regularly attending the school, of whom forty-six were sons of freemen, and eighteen were not sons of freemen. The master had eighteen boys under his care, the usher had forty-six. Of the above number about fifty boys attended the writing master.
The school was in good order, with the exception of some trifling repairs which the high bailiff would attend to.
The committee recommended that the master should have the appointment of the usher, subject to the approbation of the council. In recommending this alteration the committee felt that the adoption of this plan would be the means of removing that unpleasant feeling which had for many years subsisted between the masters.
"In order to induce men of respectability and high attainments to preside in this School at all times, it was necessary that the Emoluments should be encreased &