Schools in Somerby, 1818-1914

1818 (population 333 in 1811)

There was a day school containing 16 children which was supported by a payment of £12 from the trustees of the town estate. This charity dated from 1663, and its income was intended to be used to keep the parish church in good repair, for keeping the church clock, for the upkeep of the roads and bridges in the parish, for maintaining a neatherd (to look after the cattle in the fields) and towards the relief of the poor. The poor of Somerby were said to be ‘not very desirous’ of educating their children.

1833 (population 377 in 1831)

By 1833 there were three daily schools in the parish. One of these had 25 male and 8 female pupils, with the parents of 13 boys paying fees, with the cost of educating the remaining pupils covered by an annual allowance of £15 from the trustees of the town estate. Another school had 16 pupils and was funded by their parents. The third school had been established in 1831 and taught 30 children of both sexes, at the expense of their parents.

Anglican schools in 1847

A National School was built in 1842. The 1847 return of Anglican Schools records that it was attended by 15 boys and 15 girls who were taught by the master of the Sunday school. It received £15 annually from the town estate. There were also three dame’s schools in the village, attended by 20 boys and 30 girls.

Board School

A School board was formed in 1875, and built a new school for 120 children, at a cost of £1500. It opened at Easter 1877. Average attendance in 1895 and in 1908 was said to be just under 100 children.

Boarding School

There was also a small boarding school for young ladies, or ladies’ seminary, in Somerby, which was in existence at least from 1873 to 1875. Originally conducted by Miss Goddard, the reins were handed to Mrs Bee in April 1874. The school appears to have closed by 1881


Sunday schools

In 1818, 24 children attended a Sunday school that was maintained by subscription. In 1833, 20 children attending an Anglican Sunday school in the village which was supported financially by the parish overseers, and 30 children went to a Methodist Sunday school there. In 1847 26 boys and 26 girls attended the Anglican Sunday school. In 1851 the Wesleyan Methodist Sunday school met on Sunday mornings and afternoons, and on 30 March 1851 was attended by 15 people in the morning and 16 in the afternoon, while the Sunday school attached to the parish church had 60 Sunday scholars both morning and afternoon.


  • Education of the Poor Digest, Parl. Papers 1819 (224)
  • Education Enquiry, Parl. Papers 1835 (62)
  • Charity Enquiry, Parl. Papers 1839 [163]
  • National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, Result of the Returns to the General Inquiry made by the National Society, into the state and progress of schools for the education of the poor … during the years 1846-7, throughout England and Wales (London, 1849).
  • 1851 Ecclesiastical census
  • Trade directories
  • Grantham Journal
  • Stamford Mercury

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