WATERFORD CITY SCHOOLS

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The Blue-Coat school was founded for the gratuitous instruction of boys by Bishop Foy, who died in 1707; after appropriating several legacies, among which was one of £20 to the poor of Waterford, and another of as much of the sum of £800 expended on the episcopal palace, as might be recovered from his successor in the see, for apprenticing Protestant children, the bishop bequeathed the remainder of his property for the establishment of a school for the gratuitous instruction of Protestant children in reading, writing, and the principles of the Protestant religion. He fixed the number of children at 50, and the salary of the master at £40, and that of the catechist at £10, with liberty to increase the number of children and the amount of salary in equal proportion: the appointment of the master and catechist is vested in the Bishop of Waterford; that of the children in the mayor, three of the aldermen, and the sheriffs, subject to the approval of the bishop.

The executors erected a handsome school-house at the corner of Barron-Strand-street, on land granted them by the corporation, and with the remainder of the funds purchased lands then of the yearly value of £191. 2. 2.; the endowment was, on the death of the bishop's sister, augmented with £48 per annum; the number of boys was encreased to 75, and the salary of the master to £60, and that of the catechist to £15. An act of parliament was subsequently obtained by the Rev. Nathaniel France, the only surviving executor, for perpetuating and regulating the charity, and the endowment was vested in him for life, and after his decease in the bishop, dean, and mayor of Waterford for the time being; the act also provided that the excess of income, after payment of the salaries, £5 to a collector, and the expenses of keeping the school-house in repair, should be applied to the clothing of the children, and if any surplus remained, to apprenticing the boys.

In 1808 another act was obtained, by which the trustees were enabled to sell the school-house in Barron-Strand-street and to erect another on a more convenient site, and to raise the salary of the master to £100 and that of the usher to £50. The funds having increased by the determination of leases and the accumulation of savings to the amount of £4900, the trustees resolved to board and lodge the masters, children, and servants of the institution in the school-house. The school was soon afterwards established on the lands of Grantstown, in the vicinity, in a recently erected house which, by numerous additions to the original building, has been rendered sufficiently commodious for the purpose. The estates of the charity consist of 1400 acres of land, with two or three small plots of ground in the city. The Blue-Coat school for girls was erected in 1740, at an expense of £750, by Mrs. Mary Mason: it is a plain building, with the arms of the Mason family in front, and was originally designed for clothing and instructing 30 girls till of age to be put out to service, the expense being defrayed by an annuity of £60 paid by the corporation, to whom the Mason family bequeathed £900 for that purpose.

In 1784, Counsellor Alcock left £1000 to this charity, the interest of which sum is expended in apprenticing the most deserving of the children. An endowed school in the parish of St. Olave is under the patronage of the corporation, who give a school-house and residence for the master, who is also lecturer of St. Olave's, and receives from the corporation for both appointments a salary of £100 per annum. A school at Newtown, near the city, was established in 1798, for the education of children belonging to the Society of Friends of the province of Munster; the average number of both sexes is about 50, and the usual course of instruction comprehends an English education, with the Latin and French languages. The school-house is large and commodious; there is an extensive play-ground, and the premises are well adapted to the purpose. The national school in St. Patrick's contains in one establishment 150 boys, and in another from 90 to 100 girls, and is supported by subscription, aided by a grant of £12 per ann. to the boys' and of £10 to the girls' school; there are also several Sunday schools in connection with the Kildare-place Society.

There are numerous R. C. schools, of which the principal is the college of St. John, in Manor-street, erected by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Power, for the education of young men for the R. C. ministry; attached to it is a lay school for boarders and day scholars. The building is plain but spacious and commodious, and adjoining it are extensive gardens and pleasure grounds. The greater number of the R. C. clergy of the united dioceses of Waterford and Lismore go through their courses of humanity and theology here, previously to entering Maynooth; several complete the whole course of their studies in this establishment. Of the other schools, the principal are those established in 1803, by the Rev. Edmund Rice, in connection with the society called the order of the Christian Brethren, and in which are generally from 600 to 700 boys, who are taught chiefly by young men who, from religious motives, have devoted themselves to the instruction of the poor without receiving any pecuniary remuneration. The principal female school is conducted by the. Sisters of the Presentation Convent, who gratuitously instruct about 400 girls. A school, also for the gratuitous instruction of poor females, has been established near the Ursuline convent on the road to Tramore.

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