A) THE CHARITY BOARDS IN BLITHFIELD AND COLTON CHURCHES
The following inscription appears on a charity board in Blithfield Parish Church :-
THOMAS RUSSELL, OF THE CITY OF LONDON, BY WILL DATED JULY, 7TH.,1589 52s. LEFT YEARLY FOR EVER TO BUY 12d.IN BREAD FOR EVERY SUNDAY IN THE YEAR TO BE GIVEN TO THE POOR OF YE PARISH OF BLITHFIELD CHARGED UPON HIS ESTATE AT MARCHBARN IN THE PARISH OF HERMITAGE.
(a) The inscription at Colton Parish Church is almost identical, but the words “ of ye parish “ are omitted.
(b) The date of Thomas Russell’s Will was 1593, not as shown above.
(c) “Marchbarn” is the present Marsh Barn Farm at Handsacre.
(d) “Hermitage” is the old name for Armitage.
Thomas Russell bought Marsh Farm from his brother-in-law, Thomas Bailey, on the 13th.August, 1591, but allowed Thomas and his wife, Joane, (Thomas Russell’s sister), to continue to live there. Thomas Russell then gave the farm to his nephew, Richard Bailey (as from 1526) on condition that he paid to the churchwardens of Colton and Blithfield the sum of 52s. a year each so that twelve pennyworth of bread ( at 13 loaves to the dozen ) could be given to the poor of the parish.
The money was to be paid in four instalments L- at the Feast of the Annunciation, at the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, at the Feast of St. Michael and on Christmas Day.
B) ADRIAN SARAVIA, RECTOR OF TATENHILL 1588-1595
He was a very important academic and theologian. He was born in the Spanish Netherlands in 1531 and trained for the ministry in the Dutch Reformed Church. He became a Doctor of Divinity, a Professor of Divinity and, later, the Rector of Leiden University. He came to England to escape from the political and religious unrest in the Netherlands and Queen Elizabeth presented him with the living at Tatenhill. Whilst there he supervised the building of Thomas Russell’s school. He was a member of a committee appointed to translate part of the Old Testament for the Authorised Version of The Bible. He was appointed to the post of Canon at several cathedrals, including Canterbury, where he died and was buried in 1613.
NOTE :-His name sometimes appears as ‘Surravia’ or ‘Sarravia’.
C) TIMBER FOR BARTON SCHOOL
The supply of timber for the construction of Barton School is mentioned in correspondence between Sir Thomas Heneage, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Sir Humphrey Ferrers, Surveyor of the Forest of Needwood. 23rd.February,1594.
Reference :- Additional MS. 34668, Section 4(b), British Library.
D) A SUMMARY OF ALL THE ITEMS IN THOMAS RUSSELL’S WILL
|ITEM 1.||Money left for the relief of the poor at Christ’s Hospital, St.Thomas’ Hospital and St.Bartholomew’s Hospital.|
|ITEM 2||Money left for the discharge of prisoners in Poultrey.|
|ITEM 3||Money left for the discharging of prisoners from Woodstreet.|
|ITEM 4||Money left for the relief of prisoners at Ludgate.|
|ITEM 5||Money left for the relief of prisoners at Newgate.|
|ITEM 6||Money left for the relief of prisoners at Kingbench and White Lion.|
|ITEM 7||Two pounds left for the poor parishioners of St.Edmund the King on the occasion of his funeral.|
|ITEM 8||Charcoal left to the parishioners of St.Edmund the King.|
|ITEM 9||Twenty pounds left to Lewes Russell, his brother.|
|ITEM 10||Property at Finchley and Friern Barnet left to Lewes Russell.|
|ITEM 11||Five pounds was left to each of Lewes Russell’s daughters, Margery and Joane.|
|ITEM 12||Twenty pounds left to Joane Bayley, his sister.|
|ITEM 13||Three pounds two shillings and eight pence left to each of Richard and Margery Bayley, his nephew and niece.|
|ITEM 14||Three pounds six shillings and eight pence left to Leonard Piddarke.|
|ITEM 15||Money left to Leonard Piddarke’s sons, three pounds six shillings and eight pence to Thomas, two pounds to John, and one pound to Leonard.|
|ITEM 16||Three pounds six shillings and eight pence left to Russell Webb, his Godson.|
|ITEM 17||Fifty pounds left for building Barton School.|
|ITEM 18||Thirteen pounds six shillings and eight pence to pay for the expenses of a funeral dinner for the Drapers’ Guild and for the gift of a crystal cup.|
|ITEM 19||Two hundred pounds left to the Drapers’ Guild to enable them to make interest free loans of fifty pounds for a period of three years to each of four men who were free of their apprenticeship.|
|ITEM 20||Twenty pounds left to Agnes Harding, and to the apprentices Edward Welch, three pounds six shillings and eight pence, John Harding, two pounds ten shillings, and Thomas Swingfield, one pound ten shillings.|
|ITEM 21||One year’s free apprenticeship given to the three apprentices mentioned above.|
|ITEM 22||Black cloaks and gowns left to those mentioned in Item 20.|
|ITEM 23||Forty black gowns given to poor people.|
|ITEM 24||Black gowns given to Leonard and Izabell Piddarke.|
|ITEM 25||Black gowns given to Lewes Russell and his wife.|
|ITEM 26||Black gowns given to William Merton, his cousin, and William’s wife.|
|ITEM 27||A black gown given to Ann Houseman, his sister.|
|ITEM 28||Black gowns given to Thomas Hill and his wife.|
|ITEM 29||A black gown given to Peter Blower.|
|ITEM 30||Black gowns given to John Tighte and his wife.|
|ITEM 31||Two pounds left to Nathaniell Temple, his great nephew.|
|ITEM 32||Two pounds left to Thomas Hill, his Godson.|
|ITEM 33||One pound each left to Thomas Hill’s six other children.|
|ITEM 34||One pound left to Philip Curtice, his Godson.|
|ITEM 35||One pound left to Thomas Keake, his Godson.|
|ITEM 36||Two pounds ten shillings left to Thomas Bayley of Finchley, his Godson.|
|ITEM 37||Some property left to the Drapers’ Guild and the rent to be distributed to the poor.|
|ITEM 38||Some property left to Richard Bayley,his nephew, son of Thomas and Joane Bayley.|
|ITEM 39||Property left to John Holland, the younger, of Barton-under-Needwood.|
|ITEM 40||Property left to his executors if John Holland does not fulfil certain conditions.|
|ITEM 41||The lease of property in Thames Street left to the Drapers’ Guild, the rent to be used to provide charcoal for poor people.|
|ITEM 42||Property in Shoreditch left to Ann Houseman for the rest of her life.|
|ITEM 43||Property left to Robert Russell.|
|ITEM 44||Property left to Leonard and Izabell Piddarke.|
|ITEM 45||Property left to Robert Stokes.|
|ITEM 46||More property left to Robert Stokes.|
|ITEM 47||Property at Finchley and East Barnet left to Robert Russell.|
|ITEM 48||Bruckhouse Field and Bruckhouse Close, together with cottages at Dunstall, to be sold by the executors, and the proceeds divided equally between his nephews and nieces.|
|ITEM 49||Two pounds left to Agnes Jackson.|
|ITEM 50||Two pounds left to Alice Mosse, his Goddaughter.|
|ITEM 51||One pound left to Elizabeth Sheratt, his Goddaughter.|
|ITEM 52||One pound ten shillings left to _______ Sutton, his Goddaughter.|
|ITEM 53||Extra money to be made available for Barton School, if required.|
|ITEM 54||Executors appointed.|
|ITEM 55||Overseers appointed.|
E) FURTHER REFERENCES TO BARTON SCHOOL
Extract from Charity Commissioners Report,
No.7, Page 302, 1822.
Foundation and Endowment
By Thomas Russell, who by deed poll 6th. July, 1593, gave a rent of 21-10s. out of the lands in the parish of St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, in trust for a master, usher, and visitors of a school in Barton, and by will of July 1593 gave £50 to build a schoolhouse. Two allotments made ( about 1806 , 1816 ) to the school, 1 acre 36 perches from Needwood Forest, the other a garden (32 perches) from Lincroft Common, both in the township of Barton.
The two pieces of land named above (one worth £4-5s. per annum), and the rentcharge £21-10s. : £1 of the above-named was to be for repairs. Total Income, £25 – 15s. gross, £24 – 15s. net. Drapers’ Company contribute £11 – 10s. additional, all paid to the master. Headmaster’s house good, but out of repair.
Object of Trust
For the schoolmaster, usher and visitors, and repairing of a school to be erected in Barton-under-Needwood.
Subjects of Instruction Prescribed
Nothing prescribed by the founder, but classics were taught formerly.
Government and Masters
The Drapers’ Company in London are the trustees and appoint the master, but they have entrusted the management of the school to a committee of twelve of the inhabitants, who recommend a master when a vacancy occurs. The incumbent of Barton and Rector of Tatenhill are the visitors.
A Report on the State of the School
in the Second Half-year of 1864
General Character. Non-classical. In age of scholars, third grade.
Masters One master.
Day Scholars. About eighty eight, of all ages.
Instruction, Discipline etc. This school is conducted as an elementary parochial school for boys, but it is not under Government inspection.
F) CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE 400TH. ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF THOMAS RUSSELL
1. A letter from me informing the Parish Council of the forthcoming event.
May I bring to the notice of the Parish Council the fact that next year, 1993, is the 400th. anniversary of the death of Thomas Russell. He died on the 23rd. July, 1593.
It was in his will, dated 7th. July, 1593, that he made provision for the building of the first school in Barton. He left it to the Vicar ( Rector ) of Tatenhill to construct the building, completed in 1595, but the maintenance of the building and the appointment of the Master were the responsibility of the Drapers’ Company in London, which carried out the wishes expressed by Thomas Russell’s will until comparatively recently.
I was wondering whether the Parish Council would like to mark this event in some way, and I would like to suggest the possibility of a plaque placed somewhere near the Infant School.
Furthermore, if the idea of a plaque was thought worth pursuing, it might be a good thing to approach the Drapers’ Company, in view of their long association with the school, to see if they would provide one bearing the Drapers’ coat of arms. Apparently the original school had these arms carved in stone. There would certainly be no harm in asking. If the Parish Council wishes, I am quite prepared to draft a letter to the Drapers’ Company which could be sent on Parish Council notepaper.
2. A draft of a letter to the Drapers’ Company ( for parish council use ) written by me in response to a request from the Chairman of the Parish Council.
The Drapers’ Company.
London, EC2N 2DQ.
Thomas Russell, Draper and Barton under Needwood School
The village was very fortunate when, on the 7th.July, 1593, Thomas Russell, Draper, made a will providing for the building, and maintenance, of a school in Barton under Needwood “ sufficient for teaching three score and tenne scholars “. When he died on the 23rd.July, 1593, his wishes were carried out and the school was completed in 1595. The Drapers’ Company were responsible for the administration of the school and the Company’s coat of arms was carved, initially in alabaster, and later in more durable stone. Unfortunately, the original school building was replaced by the present building, now the Thomas Russell Infant School, in 1885.
To remember the 400th. anniversary of Thomas Russell’s death in July, 1993, and to mark the long connection between his school and the Draper’s Company, the Parish Council wondered whether the Drapers’ Company would be kind enough to consider giving a commemorative plaque to the village, suitably inscribed, and bearing the Drapers’ Coat of Arms. In that event we would consider it a great honour if a representative of the Drapers’ Company could be present to unveil the plaque. We feel that it is very important for the village to remember its long association with the Drapers’ Company and the City of London, as well as our benefactor, Thomas Russell.
SUGGESTION FOR THE WORDING OF THE PLAQUE
THIS PLAQUE WAS PRESENTED BY THE DRAPERS’ COMPANY
OF THE CITY OF LONDON TO THE VILLAGE OF BARTON UNDER
NEEDWOOD TO COMMEMORATE THE 400TH. ANNIVERSARY OF
THE DEATH OF THOMAS RUSSELL, DRAPER, AND FOUNDER OF
BARTON FREE SCHOOL.
23rd. July, 1993.
3. The following letter was actually sent to the Drapers’ Company by the Parish Council on council notepaper.
The Master and Wardens of the Worshipful
Company of Drapers,
THOMAS RUSSELL, DRAPER AND BARTON UNDER NEEDWOOD SCHOOL
The village was very fortunate when Thomas Russell, Draper, made a will on the 7th.July, 1593. His will provided for the building, and maintenance, of a school in Barton under Needwood “ sufficient for teaching three score and tenne scholars “. After his death on the 23rd.July, 1593, his wishes were carried out by the Vicar ( Rector ) of Tatenhill and the school was completed in 1595. The Drapers’ Company were responsible for the administration of the school. The building was adorned with the Company’s coat of arms, carved initially in alabaster and later in more durable stone. The original school was, unfortunately, replaced in 1885 by the present building, now the Thomas Russell Infant School.
We feel that it is very important for the village to remember its long association with the Drapers’ Company and the City of London, as well as our benefactor, Thomas Russell.
The Parish Council and School wish to mark the 400th. anniversary of Thomas Russell’s death in July 1993, and to acknowledge the long connection between his school and the Drapers’ Company. We wondered whether the Drapers’ Company would be kind enough to consider bestowing a commemorative plaque to the village, suitably inscribed, and bearing the Drapers’ coat of arms. In that event, we would consider it a great honour if a representative of the Drapers’ Company could be present to unveil the plaque.
If we may be so bold, we would suggest that the plaque be worded as follows :-
( COAT )
( OF )
( ARMS )
THIS PLAQUE WAS PRESENTED BY
THE DRAPERS’ COMPANY OF THE CITY OF LONDON
TO THE VILLAGE OF BARTON UNDER NEEDWOOD
TO COMMEMORATE THE 400TH. ANNIVERSARY
OF THE DEATH OF THOMAS RUSSELL, DRAPER,
AND FOUNDER OF BARTON FREE SCHOOL
23RD. JULY, 1993
I would like to thank all the people who helped me in any way in writing this account. There is no significance in the order in which the names appear.
|Mr.N.E.Bailey.||Sir Robert Douglas|
|Mrs.D.S.Smith.||Mr. & Mrs. G.Webster.|
|Mr. & Mrs. D.W.Harvey||Mr.G.T.Morgan.|
|Mr.N.Barton.||Mr. & Mrs.N.Horton.|
I would like to give particular thanks to Mr.G.S.Joiner who helped me greatly with the transcription of seventeenth century documents, to Miss Penelope Fussell, Archivist of the Drapers’ Company, for all her assistance, and to my sons, Clive and Andrew, for their help with the revision.
I would also like to thank the following bodies which provided me with an enormous amount of information :-
- The Drapers’ Company, Drapers’ Hall, London.
- The Libraries Department of the London Borough of Hackney
- The Education and Libraries Department of the London Borough of Barnet.
- The Public Records Office, London.
- The Literary Department, Principal Probate Registry, Somerset House,London.
- The Photographic Section, The British Museum, London.
- The Corporation of London Records Office, Guildhall, London.
- The Staffordshire County Library, Stafford.
- The Lichfield Joint Records Office, Lichfield.
1. The Drapers’ Company History of the Company’s Properties and Trusts (Vo. 1).
2. The History of the Worshipful Company of Drapers of London. Rev. A.H. Johnson.
3. A History of Tatenhill (Vols. 1 & 2). Sir Reginald Hardy.
4. Barton-under-Needwood Parish Register (1571).
5. Tatenhill Parish Register (1563).
6. Thomas Russell’s Will. Prerogative Court of Canterbury
(Ref. 56 Folio Nevell), Somerset House, London.
7. The 1883 Edition of the 25 inch Ordnance Survey
Map of Barton-Under-Needwood.
8. Sundry Letters between The Drapers’ Company and the School Visitors, Stowe Manuscript 1046 – Folios 58-71. British Museum, London.
9. Deed N.S.124-2. London Records Office, Guildhall, London.
10. A History of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Barnet. C.L.Tripp.
11. Sundry Letters between The Drapers’ Company and the Visitors of Barton School from 1593. The Drapers’ Company, London.
12. The Victoria County History of Staffordshire.
13. A History of The Drapers’ Company. P. Hunting.
Barton under Needwood, 1999