Outline History Of The Whitgift Foundation

Page 1

1595 John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury 1583 - 1604, conceived the idea of founding the Hospital of the Holy Trinity at Croydon.
1596 On March 22nd Whitgift laid the Foundation Stone of his Hospital. This date is celebrated as "Founders Day"
1599 The Hospital was established for the maintenance of between thiry and forty "poor, needy or impotent people" from the parishes of Croydon and Lambeth, who received, as well as their lodgings, a small regular stipend. Attached to the Hospital was a grammar school conducted by the chief official of the Hospital - the Schoolmaster and Chaplain; there was also a Warden, elected by the Brethren and Sisters. The Schoolmaster and the Warden were responsible for the administration of the Hospital and it's estates in the Croydon area with which it had been endowed by the Founder and other benefactors. The Founder appointed his successors as Archbishops of Canterbury to act as Visitor or Overseer of his foundation.
1600 The School, which was opened in this year, and the Hospital were to be governed according to the Statutes drawn up by the Founder, which provided for the Schoolmaster to be one 'learned in the Greek and Latin tongues , a good versifier in the foresaid languages ...' i.e. a university graduate. He was to teach freely certain "children of the Parish of Croydon of the poorer sort", but he was empowered to charge fees to others from Croydon or elsewhere who could afford to pay.
There were three seperate buildings: the Almshouses, or Hospital, the Schoolhouse and the Schoolmaster's House. The first still stands at the corner of North End and George Street, and the other two stood nearby in George Street.
1801 For the first fifty years after its foundation, the school was mainly flourishing; during the next one hundred and fifty years it experienced irregular fortunes until at the beginning of the 19th century, in common with many other old-established grammar schools, it's numbers fell to zero.
Home Page 2