Transcribed by: Bryn Jones

The school head was Benjamin Swann

The teachers were: William Robinson (pupil teacher)

In 1873, Queen Victoria had been queen for 36 years and William Gladstone was prime minister. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a US patent for blue jeans with copper rivets. Jesse James and the James-Younger gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American west. Jules Verne published "Around the World in Eighty Days". David Livingstone and John Stuart Mill died. Bertram Mills, the circus owner, was born. The first sleeping car is introduced in Britain, on the Glasgow to London night express.



Date of entry

Log entry

Editorial notes



None of the Walkington children present at school this week. The Vicar at school on Thursday. Learnt the song “Chime again beautiful bells” Drill in school and singing instead of the usual time in the playground. Average for the week 64.




The conduct and attendance both good this week. The home and school lessons well learnt and remembered. The Vicar at school on Friday afternoon and closed the school with prayers. Learnt the song “Our dear old Church of England”. Drill in school instead of allowed time in the playground.

A song by J L Hatton with words by J E Carpenter.



Received notice of examination. The Rev. the Vicar at school on Tuesday remaining until the close. Also on Friday and took the 2nd class. The attendance the same as last week. Three boys punished for climbing over the door of the churchyard and playing about there after being repeatedly cautioned against the improper practise.




Meeting of Managers in the school house on Monday to audit accounts and verify the returns for the year ending Dec 31st 1872: - present the Vicar, James R Pease Esqre and Mr Slainsby.


23 January 1873

Benjm. Swann Master

George French


Half holiday on Friday afternoon after the previous day’s examinations.

James Pease was a banker in Beverley who lived at Westwood House; the Pease bank was where Barclays now is. James was born in Hesslewood in 1825.



Wednesday afternoon the annual treat was a holiday:- over 100 children sat down to tea. The weather has been against the regular attendance of the little ones. All the standards raised for next year’s work. Wm. Robinson – the candidate for P.T. attended the examination of pupil teachers at Beverley on Friday the 31st.




The attendance for the week has been less than last week’s on account of the inclement weather. The Vicar took a class on Wednesday afternoon and was also at school on the Friday, remaining till the close. Learnt the hymn tune “Lead kindly light”. Commenced the poetry for the year – “The last minstrel”. The lessons and the conduct for the week good.

The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805) is a long narrative poem by Walter Scott. Lady Margaret Scott of Buccleuch, the "Flower of Teviot" is beloved by Baron Henry of Cranstown an ally of the Ker Clan, but a deadly feud exists between the two border clans of Scott & Carr/Ker, which has resulted in the recent murder of Lady Margaret's father, Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch by the Kers on the High Street in Edinburgh.




The attendance for the week very good, conduct and lessons both satisfactory. The Rev R. Birtwhistle at school on three occasions during the week and took the 1st class on Friday.

The Rev Robert Birtwhistle was born in Richmond in 1834. He was married to Ann Parker Heelis. He was the Vicar of Bishop Burton from 1872 to 1873. Later this year he left the village to become Rector of Withycombe in Somerset where he died in 1893. He married T Oliver and Dinah Horsley at Beverley Minster in July 1867.



The average attendance for the week again very good, conduct and work also satisfactory. Holiday on Wednesday afternoon to prepare the room for a concert in the evening. The Vicar at school several times. Received and put up the notice of the examination in religious subjects on the 25th of next month.




Received the following report on the 24th:-


“The school maintains its high position among the rural schools of my district. Mr Swann’s industry and conscientious industry are worthy of great praise.. The children looked very bright and happy on the day of the inspection, and their behaviour was exemplary. The examination this year was very satisfactory. The singing and sewing are as good as they have ever been”


Benjamin Swann Certificated Teacher of the 1st Div: 2nd class.

William Robinson pupil teacher of the 1st year


Robert Birtwhistle  Secretary


The stormy weather of this week has caused a considerable falling off in the attendance. The average for the week 56 against 83 of the corresponding week of the previous year. 




The lessons well learnt this week. The children’s behaviour with one exception good. Christopher Thompson was punished for lying. Holiday on Thursday afternoon being the first suitable day after receiving the above report. Admitted 2 Grays from Walkington who have attended most irregularly for the first week.





The weather has again been severe, this and the whooping cough which is now prevalent in the village has brought the average for the week down to 63. The Managers received Memorandum of pupil teacher’s agreement. The Vicar at school on Wednesday. The boys alluded as attending so badly last week have attended worse this week.




The attendance has been better this week. The average being 69. Admitted Thos. Duck and Mary (??) Risham both 4 years old. The Grays who were admitted on the 3rd withdrawn as recommended. Home lessons well done especially maps by 2 Walkington boys. All has gone on well.




The conduct, attendances, school and home lessons have been all that could be wished. The examination in religious knowledge took place on Thursday afternoon, 74 children present. The Rev Mr Kennion requested a half holiday.

George Wyndham Kennion was born in 1845 in Harrogate, the son of a doctor. He was educated at Eton College and Oriel College, Oxford.. In 1873 he was an inspector of schools and vicar of St Paul’s on Bridlington Avenue in Hull. In 1882 he was appointed Bishop of Adelaide and in 1894 became Bishop of Bath and Wells. He died in 1922.



Foster Todd withdrawn to go to Bridlington. Bird tenting commenced this week, 4 being absent for that purpose on Monday. The average for the week was 68. Discontinued fires for the season that is if the weather continues as mild as it has been during the past week.




Admitted 2 little ones Eliza Brattoor (??) & Geo. Alison both 4 yrs old.


The following report was received on the 9th from the Rev G Wyndham Kennion, inspector in religious subjects of the elementary schools in the York Diocese; - “This school in a very thoroughly efficient state as regards Religious knowledge. The children passed an extremely good examination, and entered into their work with great interest and intelligence. In every respect the school seems to do great credit to the able and painstaking master.


Holy Scripture. Very good.

Catechism and Prayer Book. Very good.”

No. ?? 74          Robert Birtwhistle




Admitted Wm. Slater and Mart. Robinson both 4 yrs old. The Vicar at school on Tuesday. More boys bird tenting. Weekly average 63. Conduct and home lessons both satisfactory.




The Vicar at school every morning this week for the 1st hours. The average for the week has been 69. Satisfactory attention and progress given and made in all secular lessons. Music on Friday afternoon.




Admitted John Anderson of Walkington. The Vicar at school every morning during the week and took a class in the 1st lesson each time. Average for the week 71. Conduct and progress satisfactory.

I get the impression that Mr Swann is getting a little fed up at the constant attendance of the Vicar.



The very wet weather of Monday and Tuesday has diminished the attendance this week. The Vicar at school every morning except Wednesday. Conduct and progress satisfactory to the Master.




Admitted John Witty a youth of 14 from Walkington. The attendance good for the week. Conduct good except Henry Sills satisfactory; he having been found guilty of stealing pens off the desks. The Vicar at school every morning this week.

John was the son of Michael Witty a farmer from West End, Walkington.



The attendance for the week good. Bird tenting for some is over. Home lessons of 1st and 2nd class boys grammar and geography instead of poetry. Thos. Spencer a Walkington boy withdrawn. – Learnt another of Martin’s pieces of secular music on Friday.




The attendance again good. James Hay a Walkington boy admitted. Nothing beyond the ordinary routine of work to record. The Vicar present during the religious instruction each morning.




The customary Whitsuntide Holidays




A capital attendance for the time of year. Admitted Mary Lonsbrough. The Vicar at school every morning taking a class in Scripture. All school work has gone on well this week. Practised some of Martin’s secular pieces of music on Friday afternoon. 




The average for this week is the highest for the present year. The Vicar at school during the Scripture lesson. Wm. Waslin withdrawn for work. Lessons and conduct satisfactory’ Learnt another of Martin’s pieces of secular music on Friday afternoon.




The attendance has diminished this week owing to some of the older boys pulling ketlocks at Mr Ouston’s. The vicar at school for part of the week for Scripture lessons. Miss G Watt has kindly intimated her intention of purchasing Heywood’s set of reading books for the use of the school for which in the name of all, the Master is very grateful.




The attendance has diminished considerably so many singling turnips and pulling ketlocks. The Vicar at school during the 1st lesson. Nothing beyond the ordinary routine of duties and lessons.




For the same reason as last recorded the attendance is again small. The little ones who can’t work in the fields having to remain at home whilst their mothers work in the hay fields. The Vicar took a class as usual during the 1st lesson.




The attendance this week is slightly better than last. The work has proceeded as usual nothing needing special mention.




A better attendance this week. Some of the turnip singlers having finished. Lessons and conduct satisfactory. The pupil teacher is now able to take the infants in practising the songs learnt during the year.




The attendance has again been good. On the 29th, the Sunday school teachers’ meeting was held at Dalton, a half holiday given in consequence. Admitted Mary Curtis a little one of 4 years.




The good average of 65 in attendance this week. The Vicar at school during some of the 1st lessons this week; also took the 1st class in a reading lesson from the new books. The children of the whole school practised the songs together on Friday at the time as pr. The time table.




The attendance the same as last week. The Vicar at school during the 1st lesson. Everything has gone on well for the whole week. Singing on Friday afternoon.




Harvest has commenced and several children have gone to work in the fields. Left off on Friday afternoon for 4 wks.


Harvest Holidays




Commenced with an attendance of 40, children harvest work not being over on the Wold farms. The Vicar at school on Monday morning. On Friday’s the boys were at tea at Mr Ouston’s.




Admitted Jane Hudson and George Akester both children of 4 years. The attendance nearly the average. The Vicar and friends at school on Monday afternoon. Put up new text on the school walls.




The attendance and conduct of the children ‘very fair’ for the week. Learnt the ‘Song of the Robin’. Miss G Watt at school on Tuesday. Cautioned some of the boys against throwing stones into the chestnut trees. Singing on Friday afternoon.




The attendance and conduct for the week very satisfactory. Learnt a hymn. The Vicar at school on Wednesday afternoon. Progress of all standards satisfactory.




Admitted Selena Waslin 6 years old. The attendance for the week very good. Learnt a hymn and tune, also the song ‘Row, row homeward we go’. The Vicar at school on Friday afternoon for the last time before leaving for Somersetshire.

The girl’s name Selena is of Greek origin, and its meaning is “the moon”. Selena was the moon goddess, sister to Helios, the sun.


Row, row homeward we go seems to be a mid-19th century American song, words by J E Carpenter and tune by N J Spearle.



Mary Slater and her brother Ashby Slater withdrawn on account of their leaving the village. The average for the week has been the highest since harvest. Learnt ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’ and the words of the song ‘Home by the river’.

Mary and Ashby’s father was John Slater. He was born in Etton in 1831. In 1871 he was a farm bailiff in Skidby and was married to Maria. By 1881 he was running the Crown and Anchor Inn in Tickton but now married to Ann, a woman ten years his junior. I don’t know what he did while in Bishop Burton.



The attendance was not so good this week owing to the annual servants’ hirings at Beverley. Learnt ‘O Paradise’ and ‘Kindly words and smiling faces’. The conduct, work and home lessons satisfactory to the Master.

"Kindly Words and Smiling Faces" was written in 1863; words by George Cooper, 1840-1927; music by John Rogers Thomas, 1830-1896
The first verse and refrain:
Though our way is dark and dreary,
And we toil from day to day,
While the heart is sad and weary,
At our home there shines a ray.
[REFRAIN sung after each verse]
Kindly words and smiling faces,
Gentle voices as of yore,
Loving kisses and embraces
Ever wait us at the door.




The week’s average 72. Holiday on Wednesday on account of the annual sale in connexion with the clothing club being held in the school. All things have gone on satisfactorily. Learnt the words to “Father pray with me tonight”.




The average for the week 69. Some children remain from school without leave while others always observe the rule by “asking leave”. The 1st class home lessons have not been satisfactorily learnt. The conduct during the week satisfactory. Learnt the song “Never say fa??”




The average for the week 62. The attendance always falls a little off during Martinmas week. The Rev Mr Kennedy at school on Monday. Learnt the song and tune “Sunshine”. The home lessons have not been got up so well this week. The conduct of most scholars satisfactory.

The Rev Kennedy was not the replacement Vicar.



Admitted 3 Carless from Cold Harbour. A better attendance than the previous week 6?. Learnt “the bells” – home lessons more satisfactory. Service in the schoolroom on Wednesday evening so school work not interfered with.




Good attendance this week average 78. Two clergymen visited the school on Wednesday afternoon. Learnt “Christmas Evergreens” and two carols. Home lessons and conduct satisfactory.




Learnt the song “The Glad Christmas time”. Work in accordance with time table, drill and singing in school instead of play in the yard. Conduct and home lessons satisfactory. The new Vicar visited the school on Friday afternoon.

This is probably the Rev Edward George C Parr who was vicar from 1874 to 1877. He was born in Dover in about 1842 although the family was mainly based in Devon where his father was a county magistrate. In 1871, he was curate in charge of St Peter’s Mission n Middlesbrough. In 1881 after leaving Bishop Burton he was assistant chaplain at Wakefield Prison. In 1891 and 1901 he was still a clergyman based in Bolton Gardens, Kensington. He married Anna Maria Upjohn of Norfolk but they do not appear to have had any children.



Many children sick – colds and sore throats. All school work satisfactory. The attendance 53. Left off on Christmas Eve for


Christmas Holidays















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