Many accounts state that Langport Grammar School was founded as a result of a bequest from Thomas Gillett, left in his will dated 6 December 1675. A stained-glass window in All Saints’ Church commemorates this. However, this is not accurate. It is contradicted by D M Ross in his history of Langport, Langport and its church, and also by the writers of the Victoria County History of Somerset, both authoritative sources. Both works maintain, based on the Minute Books of Langport Corporation, that it was based on a much earlier school, probably founded by the Corporation.
A court case was brought concerning Gillett’s will, following which the bequest was used to buy 63 acres of land in Isle Abbots in 1704-5. Subsequently, Langport Corporation probably gave the trustees the use of the Hanging Chapel as a schoolroom. The trustees decided that the school should be a grammar school for boys and that the master should be over 23 years of age and neither a curate, a vicar nor a parson.
It seems that the school remained in the Hanging Chapel until 1790. When William Quekett was appointed as master in 1790, he held the school in his own house in Bow Street. The school was open to all boys of the town who were able to read the Bible. The average number of pupils was 30, some of whom were taught Latin and Greek. The school premises on The Hill were not occupied until 1850. The school was reorganised after 1892 and became more successful, the average number of pupils being 60. eventually, however, falling numbers led to its closure in 1933.
The school’s motto, ‘Conemur’, is Latin for ‘Let us strive’. It has also been adopted by Huish Episcopi Academy.
In 1901 they issued their first school magazine, The Alfredian. You can find out more about it here.
Henry Norman (son of the above)
Henry Hart (son of the above)
Rev. E D Green
E F Smith
Rev Joseph Stubbs
Rev. E W Smith
Solomon G Day
Charles W Pinton
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