2. The Foundation at Work

Further indentures date from 1642 and 1684, but apart from changes in trusteeship, differ little from that of 1620. More documents survive from 1763 and 1791, and in the latter we find reference to the £8 1s 8d for the schoolmaster’s salary as well as a more precise statement of aims: ” to keep the school and buildings, and the hedges and fences of the land thereby granted, with all the necessary repairs, and to pay the schoolmaster a salary to teach poor children in reading, writing and arithmetic, and from time to time to repair the parish church of Brailes, in such manner as it hath usually been accustomed, by the direction of the churchwardens and the chiefest of the inhabitants of the said town of Brailes . . .”

Extensive lists of the properties of the trust are included in these deeds, including the “Brailes Church Land” in North Bar, Banbury. This land was not, however, included in a later deed of 1812. Presumably it had been sold!

In 1819 the school and schoolhouse were rebuilt, though a loan of £70 was needed by the trustees. In 1827 the Charity Commissioners wrote a full report on the affairs of the trust, and this revealed not only concerns about non-payment of rents, but also that much of the property was becoming dilapidated. The Commissioners seemed satisfied about the quality of education being provided, which included the 3Rs, Scripture, the Church Catechism, and Church attendance, though the latter were not compulsory for non-Anglicans.

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