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Extracts from Church School Logbooks, compiled by Douglas Ashby in 2001 and transcribed by Margaret Craddock

Extracts from Burton Latimer
Church School
Log Books 1870-72

Commenced school after the Christmas Holidays.  Plough Monday.  Several of the younger children were absent as they were frightened at the boys who go round for money on this day.
One of the 2nd Standard girls, E Haddon, was absent all last week.  I enquired the reason and was told that her mother does not intend to send her any more as she considers she ought to have been transferred to the Mixed School.

Began to teach children “Now the dreary night is done.”

Children very unruly especially the “babies” this is owing in great part to the inefficiency of the teachers of the 4th and 5th classes.  They are obliged to be chosen from the 1st class and are not capable of maintaining order.

A small attendance this afternoon owing to a new grocer’s shop being opened and the children going to see the unusual sight.


The afternoon attendance has lately been very irregular owing partly, I suppose, to the fine weather, many of the children going up to the “allotments” with their parents.


Afternoon – several absent – there was some amusement on the village cross and the children stayed away to see it.


Mrs Bartlett (Rector’s wife) came in to enquire the reason of my refusal to re-admit Job Capps – he is a boy of nearly nine years old and has been already admitted 4 times, I said I really could not have children who attend so irregularly.

School very small this afternoon on account of the Methodists having their Tea meeting.
Several still away picking Cowslips.

Better attendance, but I am afraid it will not last.

Small attendance again as there are more Cowslips about.

Attendance not very good, children seem unsettled.


Small attendance owing to violent thunderstorm which occurred last evening and has not passed off entirely.

Two children (Eleanor Goodman and Fred Norton) absent – they are very ill, not likely to recover.
Very few children (only 40) in the afternoon on account of the Sunday School treat at the Baptist Chapel.

Mrs Bartlett sent some sheets to be hemmed.

Several absent – weeding etc.
Half holiday – Church Sunday School Treat.

Poor attendance – children tired from preceding half days holiday.


The mother of a deaf and dumb child came up and wished to know if I would admit him – I agreed to try him and if I found him troublesome to send him home.

23 Sept
Herbert Blowfield – the boy mentioned above – would not come.  Several away “acorning.”   Acorns are plentiful this year and the children pick them up and sell them.

A large number of children absent – they are busy picking up potatoes in the allotments.

Am still much troubled with irregular attendance in Standard II.  The parents keep the children at home for such trifles – some have not returned since the holidays..
13 Oct
The state of the lower end of school is not at all satisfactory.  The teaching of the 4th and 5th classes has to be left entirely to girls from the 1st and 2nd classes.  As these have to be changed every day they have no command over the children and the consequence is generally great confusion.

On coming to school I found one of the windows broken.  I enquired about it and was told that it had been done by Harry Wittering, a boy in the 3rd class.  I punished him and have promised to bring him before Mr Newman (curate) when the gentleman visits the school.


Went to the 4th class and examined the children – found 4 that knew their letters.  The most backward in the class are the older ones.

Commenced school with a poor attendance – several boys away on account of it being Plough Monday.
Not at all a satisfactory week’s work – the attendance on Monday was very bad (owing to it being May Day) and it has not much improved during the week.  Cowslip picking too is in full force.

I am sorry that Measles have made their appearance in the village – two or three children have fallen.


I find that Harry Stokes admitted last week is not yet 3 years old, he was consequently sent home again.


Have been obliged to take off the name of Ellen Eady as I have discovered that her mother told an untruth about her age saying that she was 3 years old in May when she is not 3 until the 6th of July.


Mrs W Eady (the mother of the child mentioned) brought Ellen after an absence of 3 weeks through measles – of course I told her I had heard her child was not the proper age and I could not have her.  The woman was impudent and I referred her to the Revd F B Newman.


The 1st class have slightly improved in their arithmetic – some of the children in the lower division are very stupid.


Admitted Emma Sarah Miller and re-admitted Frederick Loake who has been absent some time with ringworm on his face.


Ellen Eady brought by her grandmother who apologised for the mother’s rudeness, and as the child is now 3 I took her again.


Two little boys Oliver Dicks and Johnny Capps played truant.


The numbers have been very irregular this week – harvest has commenced and the children are needed to carry dinner and tea.


Dismissed for the holidays – gleaning has begun and the attendance has shrunk considerably.


The numbers are not as large as usual, but the people are busy getting up their potatoes and the children help them.


William Loake a boy in the 2nd class has been very unruly indeed this week he quite upset the school with his disobedience.

William Loake, the boy mentioned above has been again disobedient this morning, he kicked his teacher and so I sent him home referring his parents to the Revd F B Newman.

Commenced school at half past one instead of 2 o’clock – the afternoons are so dark that it is impossible to see after 4.

Punished a boy because he stayed away for no other reason than that he wished to do so.

Punished I White yesterday for playing truant – it had no effect on him for he did the same today.


Albert Freestone left for another school, reason given “Always had a cold when here”.

2 or 3 children absent today on account of the fever.  Attendance not good.

Sent 6 children home because they have the fever in their families.


Numbers continue to decrease as the fever still keeps spreading.

Opened school after the harvest holiday.  The fever is still very bad in the village.
Richard Miller the best of the 1st Class Boys died today of the fever.  Had to send two children home because their fathers are ill.  Commenced lessons on the human body.
F Fox another 1st Class boy died today of the fever.
Punished 2 boys severely for using bad language.
Christmas holidays

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