Transcribed by: John Dunning

The school head was Benjamin Swann

The teachers were: Walter S Whitaker (pupil teacher)

In 1883, Queen Victoria had been queen for 46 years and William Gladstone was prime minister. Krakatoa, west of Java, erupted, killing 36,000 people. Robert Stevenson published Treasure Island. Kafka and Tolstoy were born; Karl Marx and Manet died.


Date of entry

Log entry

Editorial notes



Average for the week 76. Holiday on Tuesday. Master attending his sister’s funeral in York. Walter S. Whitaker commenced teaching on the 1st. Work, conduct and appearances satisfactory. Learnt the 2nd.and 3rd. verses of “The Voice of Spring”.

Walter Seth Whitaker was born in Cherry Burton in about 1869, the son of Seth and Jane Whitaker, variously farmer, tailor, draper and innkeeper in the village.  He would only have been aged 14 years on starting as a pupil teacher. In 1891, Walter was working as a schoolmaster in York and lodging in Bewlay St. In 1901 he was married with a family and was school master in Great & Little Preston. They are small villages about 8 miles to the south east of Leeds; the school is about half-way between the two villages and is still open today.



Average for the week 83. 3 Risehams withdrawn – left the village on the 7th for Australia.  Sarah J. Lacey (an orphan child) admitted. Meeting of the managers in the School House to verify returns and audit the accounts for the year ended 31st. Dec. 1882.  Examination of Standards on the 11th by Mr. Corris (Pupil Teacher) work and conduct satisfactory.

The Risehams are included in the census return of 1881 for Bishop Burton. The parents are James (b. about 1843 in BB) and Rebecca Preston (b. about 1846 in Nafferton) who married in 1867. James was an agricultural labourer and was the son of Carling Riseham and Sarah Woodmancey. In 1881 they had five children all of who were born in the village: William (1869), James (1872), Sarah Ellen (1874), John (1877), and Tom (1880). It’s probably the middle three who left school. There was also a daughter Louise, born in 1868. In March 1883 there is an immigration record for them in Townsville, Queensland, Australia.  They arrived at the port of Townsville on board the ship Bulimba (probably on its maiden voyage) but they would not necessarily have remained there. Indeed there are records for John Riseham which put him in Mackey and Townsville in the first two decades of the 20th century where he worked as a storekeeper.  There was also a Roland Riseham born in Townsville in 1884, the year after their arrival.



Inspection  R. Stevelly





Average for the week 84. Work and conduct and appearance satisfactory.  Holiday on Friday afternoon through the kindness of R.S. Stevelly Esq.




Average for the week 84. Admitted Geo Ranson and Arthur Akeister infants of 4 years.  Learnt the song “The Fisher Boy”. Work, conduct and appearance satisfactory




Average for the week 83. A little sickness among the children this week. Partly learnt “Jubilate” by G. Vaughan. Work, appearance and conduct satisfactory.

W. Whitaker’s work is as yet without result – he has not become interested in his work.




Average for the week 83 Admitted Frank Dunning – 4 years old. The Vicar gave the children a half holiday on Shrove Tuesday. P.T. away most of Thursday in connection with a communication from the Education Department about his home.  The Rector of Cherry Burton gave written testimonial as to respectability and suitability for pupil teacher’s home.

Frank’s correct name is Francis Johnson Dunning. He qualified as a vet in Edinburgh and worked as a vet in South Africa until his death in 1948. He took part in both the Boer War and WW1. He married Grace Baylis, sister of Lilian Baylis the famous manager of the Sadler Wells Theatre in the early 20th century.



Average for the week 80 Mary Lonsbrough withdrawn for work. Pupil Teacher at the Beverley Wesleyan examination on Tuesday.  A little sickness among the children this week.  Work, conduct, order and cleanliness satisfactory.




Average for the week 21. Jno Siddall withdrawn for work at the AER Station at Beverley. The P.T’s work not prepared satisfactorily this week, his time is taken up with the Blue Ribbon meetings.  Work, conduct and cleanliness

We don’t know what the AER station was.


The Blue Ribbon movement was a temperance society originating in the USA. It grew very rapidly in Britain in the early 1880’s but lost momentum in the late 1880’s perhaps as pledge takers resumed their wicked ways.



Received the following report dated 24th February:-


“Sickness was prevalent in the village for a considerable part of the year, and the work was of course interfered with.  The infants read well, and have learnt a great many pieces of poetry for recitation, but they are in other respects backward, as also are several of the 1st Standard. The neatness of the written work in the four upper Standards, as well as their spelling and handwriting, are all praiseworthy.  The Grant for Answering is earned though Geography is barely passable.  The Girls needlework is creditable to their mistress and order in school is remarkably good.”


Benjamin Swann Certified Teacher 1st Class. Walter S. Whitaker pupil Teacher

1st year.




Average for the week 75. Several little ones away from school with bad coughs.

Mrs, Coulthurst kindly presented to the school for the use of the children a 3rd set of Reading books – (History – 75 in number) P.T’s work better prepared than last week but he is very poor yet at teaching. Work, conduct and cleanliness satisfactory

Mr John Coulthurst  acted as squire until E.R.B. Hall came of age and adopted the name Hall-Watt. Their family home was at Gargrave near Skipton  Hall-Watt was Lord of the Manor of Bishop Burton and  Carr Head which is also near Skipton. E.R.B.Hall-Watt’s father John Hall had married Mary Amelia Wainman of Carr Head, whose second marriage was to John Coulthurst.



Average for the week 73. Herbert Rodmell withdrawn to live with his parents in Hull The rough weather this week has diminished the average. The P.T. was not able to have his lessons at 8am on account of the snow delaying him.  Lessons both school and home satisfactory. Cleanliness and conduct what they always ought to be – quite satisfactory.

The school hours appear to have been 8am to 4pm



Average for the week 72. The whole week has been rough weather. Some little ones and others from a distance have not attended.  The P.T’s. work better done this week.  Commenced teaching music from notes.  Order and cleanliness satisfactory.




Average for the week 76. The weather has again caused a few to be absent. The weeks school lessons satisfactory, the home lessons poor. Left off on Thursday afternoon. Good Friday 23rd.




Average for the week 73.  Three Guests [?? Quests] left the village to live at Sancton. Elizabeth Bratten and Geo. Akeister withdrawn for work. Work and conduct satisfactory.




Average for the week 72. Four boys bird tenting and others absent who should be at school.viz  3 Hornsey’s and two Eastwood’s. Work, conduct and appearances satisfactory.  The P.T’s. work better prepared this week.




Average for the week 69. Admitted R.H.Hornsey a little boy of 4 years.  The mother of T Ranson separated from her husband and living at Cottingham came the private way to the school, asked to see her little boy, took him up in her arms and walked off with him.  The Master’s efforts to regain for his grandmother were unavailing.  The grandfather followed on the road, overtook them and saw a magistrate in Beverley but the mother had acted legally

Richard H Hornsey was the son of the auctioneer who lived at Mill House in the village. Young Richard also became an auctioneer.



Average for the week 69. More boys bird tenting this week.  Wm. Curtis engaged to Mr. Scott for summer tenting.  Two or three girls away who ought to be at school.  Conduct, work and appearance satisfactory.




Average for the week 72. Mr. Lawson of Walkington brought his two sons for admission into the school on Monday morning. The managers were acquainted with the circumstances, and to see how the boys themselves went on. Work and conduct satisfactory.  Two Eastwood’s names taken off the register admitted in December 1882 but not once at school during the first four months of 1883.




Average for the week 67. Two Oustons, two Harrisons, Quest and another or two absent this week – no more boys out at work. The conduct of some not satisfactory – the girls when at sewing are becoming more talkative.  Two Haytons punished for talking incessantly when in the sewing class..  Home lessons nearly useless in the summer months, unsatisfactory this week.

Pupil Teacher left early on Friday to attend a tea meeting at Cherry Burton.





Average for the week 70 The attendance considering the bad weather for little ones satisfactory. P.T.’s work fairly attended to.  Received notice for the Scripture Examination on the 11th. Put up the 14 days notice as required. Conduct and tidiness satisfactory.  Home lesson work nearly worthless.




Whitsuntide Holidays 1 week.




Inspected the school under section 76 of the Elementary Education Act 1870

P Kennedy Hon. Dio[cesan]. Inspector.





Average for the week 68. Admitted Tho. Lancelot Duck an infant of 4 years. His brother Fred fell off the Mere railings and broke his arm on Wednesday night.  The master had cautioned the children the same day about the Mere.  The attendance has not been satisfactory this week especially on Friday afternoon at the Scripture examination.  All have learnt well, behaved properly and come tidy this week. 


Copy of the following sent to Mr. Dunning


Bishop Burton School

1st June 1883


Mr W. Dunning

You have in your employ Arthur Slater a boy of 11 years, who has only attended school 121 times this year.  This morning you have his brother George in your employ, a child of 8 years. Neither you nor his parents have obtained my consent to this.


B.Swann Schoolmaster.   

William Dunning farmed at Westfield Farm

He served as a Church Warden for 20 years firstly with John Coulthurst and then with E.R.B. Hall-Watt. At the 1881 census he employed 2 men and 2 boys



Thomas Duffield absent 4 times and on sending to enquire on the reason for the fifth time of absence, the message returned was that he was required at home but would be at school in the afternoon.  He was not present according to promises, this makes a total of 6 times absent during the week.




Average for the week 68.  The Pupil Teacher’s home work not satisfactorily attended to – his class makes very little progress.  Conduct, work and tidiness satisfactory.




Average for the week 70. P.T.’s lessons satisfactorily prepared but his teaching is still without results.  T. Duffield absent 8 times this week.  Both Arthur and George Slater at school this week except on Friday.  Conduct and appearance satisfactory.  Home work worthless.




Average for the week 68 Only one absent for the Beverley Races, several absent for other reasons.  Conduct and cleanliness satisfactory.  School and home lessons not well done this week.  P.T.’s class not making progress, nor kept in order.




Average for the week 66 On Thursday the Baptists of this place had their Sunday School Treat.  Only 31 were left in school on that occasion thus reducing the average for the week.  Work of P.T. more satisfactory.  Conduct and appearance of children satisfactory.




Average for the week 68.  Received a letter from the clerk of Walkington School Board asking for a statement of Geo. Lawson’s attendance. The request complied with.  Several boys absent the first 2½ days of this week intending to work at pulling ketlocks for Mr. Daniel Dunning:- three of them returned at the master’s request. P.T. sick on Friday.  Work, conduct and cleanliness satisfactory.   Admitted Charles Henry Ellerington a child of 4 ½ years.

Mr Daniel Dunning was the farmer of Cold Harbour Farm from 1888.



Average for the week 68. Two Eastwoods who were admitted in Dec. 1882 and only attended two or three times during the week admitted, and whose names were taken off the register in consequence were re admitted on Monday.  A few boys out pulling ketlocks this week and a few others absent in consequence of the unpleasantness in connection with Mrs Coulthurst’s picnic. Order, tidiness and work satisfactory.




Average for the week 66 Several children singling turnips.  The work of the school has not gone on with the accustomed satisfaction, the attendance, home lessons and conduct not being what they should be after the encouraging treat of last Saturday.  The P.T. has not been well all this week.




Average for the week 55 The attendance for this week most unsatisfactory. Many children not profitably employed.  The Schoolroom was in a very untidy state on Friday morning after being used the previous evening for an entertainment. The fireguard was broken and the floor in places wet.




Average for the week 58. The attendance is again unsatisfactory – again many children are absent who are not profitably employed.  Work satisfactorily done, tidiness and conduct very fair.  P.T.’s work both private and school quite satisfactory this week.  Commenced learning  “Never say Fail”

While “Never Say Fail” might sound like an early endorsement of 1960’s educational philosophy, the reality of the lyrics is that Never Say Fail = Never Give Up! The lyrics and music can be viewed at




Average for the week 60 pupil Teacher at home on Monday.  The attendance is still unsatisfactory.  School work well done, home work worthless this week. Cleanliness and tidiness fair, conduct satisfactory.




Average for the week 61. The P.T. absent on Monday afternoon Cherry Burton Feast- also on Wednesday at Bridlington with Warter Church. Several absent at the Beverley Athletic Sports on Friday.  Two Eastwoods have made 16 attendances to this date.  Conduct, work and cleanliness satisfactory.




Average for the week 64.  Conduct , work and appearance satisfactory.




Average for the week 61. harvest work commenced during the week. Meeting of the School Managers in the School House on Wednesday afternoon.  The children mentioned above attended again this week.  Home lessons poor.  Work at school, conduct and tidiness satisfactory.                                                                                 




Average for this week 57. P.T. at a cricket match on Wednesday afternoon.  Several children absent in connection with harvest work.  Conduct and work satisfactory.


Left off for Harvest Holidays 5 weeks.




Average for the week 43 Pupil Teacher absent on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Several children gleaning this week.  Conduct, appearance and work satisfactory.  Seven names taken off the Register. 




Average for the week 68. Pupil Teacher sick on Monday remaining in the Master’s house all morning and not equal to much work the whole of the week.  Admitted Flo Walker, Tom Wilson, Thos Hayton and Jane Dunn, the latter staying with friends in the village. Better work than last week but conduct of some unsatisfactory. The tidy appearance of some spoilt by walnut stains

Walnut stains.  The present immature Walnut Tree in Cottage Field was planted to replace a very prolific mature one that blew down some years ago. To we children’s delight it always  produced a good crop but the rubbing off of the outer husk badly stained ones hands




Average for the week 65. Elizabeth Barrow and F. Wilson withdrawn this week, the former gone to Miss Chaffer’s at Beverley and the latter to work.  Several children sick at school this week probably through eating yew berries, or similar things.  The P.T.’s class has not got on satisfactorily with work this week.  Home lessons imperfect.  Conduct and tidiness satisfactory.  Miss Watt at the sewing class on Monday.





Average for the week 60. A. Nicholson has not attended since harvest holiday and the attendance of others still irregular. The P.T.’s class does not make much progress, he is not able to keep order yet.




Average for the week 69. Herbert Bailey’s name taken off the register – not attended since April.  Commenced fires on the 14th. Miss Watt at the sewing class also at the school during the week.  Conduct. Work and appearance of children satisfactory.




Average for the week 55. Several boys bush beating for J Coulthurst’s shooting parties during the week – others sick and some absent who ought to be at school.  E. Berridge’s name taken off the register – not attended since April 4th.

Conduct, work and tidiness satisfactory.




Average for the week 56. Several absent on account this being Martinmass Week. Others suffering from bad colds.  Work, conduct and tidiness satisfactory.




Average for the week 66.  W. Curtis returned to school after tenting all the summer months.  A. Slater returned after being at work some time. The P.T.’s class not well disciplined this week.  Work and tidiness satisfactory.  Received notice of annual examination Jan. 22nd.




Average for the week 67. Many children with bad coughs this week. The work and tidiness of the children satisfactory. The discipline has not been good on account of the continuous coughing and sneezing.  Carol singing instead of songs. Christmas Holidays  one week.



31st. Dec.- 5th. Jan.


Average for the week 63. Several children absent on New Years Day. J. Crust Esq. at school on Monday. Mr. Barrow an old scholar, now a school master and B.A. of Dublin at school on Thursday. Conduct, work and cleanliness satisfactory. Allowed the children to see the fox hounds meet on the Village Green on Tuesday from 10.45 to 11am instead of recreation in the play ground.

Mr Richard Barrow was the elder brother of Page Barrow. He had also done some teaching practice in the school in 1875. A fuller profile of him is in the Who was Who article.