The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Dence Free School  Waterloo Road  Cranbrook Town  Cranbrook  

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1866An Historical Account of Dence's School & Schoolmasters from 1568 to 1865 by William Tarbuttp. 1
1868School Inquiry Commision Vol XI South-East Division by C. I. Elton and H. A. Giffard ⇒ p. 47
2008A History of Cranbrook from the earliest times to 1914 by Peter Allenp. 38; p. 105

Historical records

1568HistoryAlexander Dence, of Dence's Free SchoolDence Free SchoolDence's School
It is to be remembered, that the new house in the Church-yard, was built by Alexander Dence, for the commodity of the parish of Cranbrook, for children to be taught in it, and is builded by the assent of the parish upon the parish ground, and the Schoolmaster shall pay to the parish for the acknowledging of the same house, 4d.

1568AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 5 yearsAlexander Sharpe, schoolmasterDence Free SchoolDence's School

1574AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 2 yearsRobert Brito, schoolmasterDence Free SchoolDence's School

2nd Apr 1622AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 24 yearsJonas Botting, schoolmasterEnglish Free SchoolDence's School

23rd Nov 1668AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 4 yearsJonas Botting, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

31st Mar 1673AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 1 yearRobert Hattley, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

20th Apr 1674AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 1 yearJohn Avery, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

1675AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 2 yearsJohn Lake, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

24th Jul 1677AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 10 yearsJohn Barnden, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

7th Jan 1687AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 5 weeksJohn Hosmar, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

14th Feb 1687AppointmentSchoolmasterRichard Rabson, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

c 1690AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 7 yearsSamuel Bailey, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

16th Jan 1696AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 3 monthsJames Bullock, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

c Apr 1696AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 1 yearJohn Rossam, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

4th May 1697Headmasterre-elected Schoolmaster - for 16 yearsJames Bullock, schoolmasterEnglish SchoolDence's School

21st Dec 1713AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 43 yearsJohn Hassell, schoolmasterEnglish Writing SchoolDence's School

4th May 1757AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 5 yearsRichard Willis, schoolmasterEnglish Writing SchoolDence's School

30th Apr 1762AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 10 yearsJohn Adams, schoolmasterEnglish Writing SchoolDence's School

3rd Apr 1772AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 8 yearsJohn Wooton, schoolmasterEnglish Writing SchoolDence's School

15th Jul 1780AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 40 yearsSamuel Waters, schoolmasterEnglish Writing SchoolDence's School

5th May 1820AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 15 yearsGeorge WatersEnglish Free SchoolDence's School

29th Oct 1835AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 4 yearsMark Andrews Smith, schoolmasterEnglish Free SchoolDence's School

30th Apr 1839AppointmentSchoolmaster - for 22 yearsAlfred Harbroe AndrewsEnglish Free SchoolDence's School

Mr. Andrews, who had taught a Day School in the town for some years, was elected on the 30th of April, 1839, and I believe by a larger number of parishioners assembled in vestry, than at the election of any previous Master, there being no less than 65 persons present. At the election, it was appointed that Mr. Andrews should teach, as other late Masters had done, sixteen boys on the foundation, "reading, writing, and arithmetic," and the application for admission was to be made to the "Churchwardens and Oversees, which officers were appointed to attend to any regulation that might be desirable." Mr. Andrews continued Master 22 years, and then resigned through blindness. Mr. Andrews’s resignation was tendered and accepted on 11th of April, 1862.

6th Jun 1862AppointmentSchoolmasterJohn Edward Tompsett, schoolmasterEnglish Free SchoolDence's School

1868HistoryDence Free SchoolSchools Inquiry
The inhabitants are anxious to restore the school and repair the old house, and have drawn up a set of excellent rules for the master and future scholars. They have applied without success to the Charity Commission for leave to spend their endowment on repairs. The commissioners recommend them to sell the present schoolhouse, adding the sum received to their present capital.
The Poor Law Board has also declined to allow any part of the parish property to be applied to the repair of Dence's school.
Various other plans have been considered, with no result as yet.
1. The vicar has offered to the parishioners a site upon the glebe, in consideration of regaining the old site for the churchyard ; but they are unwilling to destroy the original building.
2. It was wished to incorporate this foundation with the National schools : this could not be done, the children in the latter being instructed in the principles of the Church of England, while Dence's school was free to all.
3. The best course appears to be this: to sell the old house, and to increase the master's stipend, requiring a commercial education at a low charge for a few foundationers; and, if possible, to affiliate this middle school to the grammar school, thereby removing some of the inconveniences caused by the narrowness of the classical foundation, of which the inhabitants complain.

2008Formerly Dence's SchoolFormerly Dence's School, CranbrookAllen's History of Cranbrook

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