Ancient charter ‘on parade’

Army cadets from the school bringing the Charter to the High Altar.
Parents and school youngsters gathering outside Bath Abbey.
Parents and school youngsters gathering outside Bath Abbey.

Joined the congregation at Bath Abbey today for the Founder’s Day service which is organised by King Edward’s School in the city to celebrate the end of the school year and the foundation of their ancient teaching establishment which was granted a Charter by Edward the Sixth in 1552.

Principal Archivist Colin Johnston with the ancient charter.
Principal Archivist Colin Johnston with the ancient charter.

My thanks to Colin Johnston, who is Principal Archivist at Bath Record Office, for letting me see the precious document at close hand before it was taken over to the Abbey for the service.

Many of the younger members of King Edward’s School had earlier visited the Guildhall to take a closer look at the charter.

After the Mayor of Bath Cllr Malcolm Lees and Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Cllr Neil Butters were led into the Abbey – along with other guests – the Charter was ceremoniously taken up the aisle and laid at the High Altar for the service of commemoration.

Army cadets from the school bringing the Charter to the High Altar.
Army cadets from the school bringing the Charter to the High Altar.
The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Malcolm Lees, being led to his seat.
The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Malcolm Lees, being led to his seat.

It is 461 years since the first headmaster was appointed on an original starting salary of £10 a year!

It was a day for quite a few young people to take their leave of the historic grammar school – set up to provide education for local boys after the dissolution of Bath Priory and the closure of an educational facility formally run by the monks.IMG_4276

The Royal Charter made provision for some of the property of the ‘dissolved’ Priory to be set aside for the endowment of the new school. Prayers were also said for more recent benefactors and a collection made for charity.