Archibald Allan.

History of Channelkirk online

. (page 25 of 50)
Online LibraryArchibald AllanHistory of Channelkirk → online text (page 25 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


n M




'^




s?


s?








(U


. .


in




= 1 .

?^ .SJ

« ^


>-<

CL rt >>


kJ


2 en 1> <U

^ 2 oJ > «




-^1 ^




> (U <U rt


4> o;




uu^olz


OHZ p!


Wffi






S - 8 ^


p .
3 t:


P


.f-




E^


il
1




"C









S


« *j


d






il


o




s


3 w


■5


V


13


^=-




•si


3
c5







•11


-1




s


c/5



318



HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK






i4
u

w
pq

[^
o

>i

H

o

w

K
H

o
o

p^

O

t-H

H

>

Q

;?:
<:





"^ NO


en


" 2


o


•*


ON








—'
















^ ir^


NO


r^ m


li-1


00


rO








"






H —1






•-'




-


CO o -*


u^


ON "^


NO


ut


ON




UJ


\0 00 o


•*


O ON


o


ro


n




o


00 t^ ►-.


ro


CO






l^




o


M














-*




c«.


s:^














s?




c


















_o


-« O ro






« o










s


'-'
















^


tv U^ "-






N w~>










^"i


















>


l-^ ro On

ON ONOO






« O^

>-H MH










__J_


N 00 "^


NO


(-> -^


o


'^


NO




U3

o


vO Ov N


o


ON O


'^


^


ro




u








N












73




















^ —


"^ M ro


u-l


'* «


HH


o


ir\




tfi


>*


N












rv




r^


^














s:?




U


N O NO






o ^










>,








^










§


cOnO






NO N










G








'-'










O


rONO CO






w ro










^






s?












-s " ' '














i^




rt














g






c
o


c


•|


-o


Xi




s


•a

c


<2 =:

O tn iMlJS


U5

bo
ID


o


(/I

bo


'5

H

en
in
O


c

3


^tn

O






33 .5 (u 12


153
13


>




X!

a




a;


u




oo5


ffi


o


<ffi


u


H


X


o




^










)h
















(L>




<:;


c










^-


c




H


a. _


^ ''3








1)


o




o


i2 o




0)


00


<U


en

'3




(n


H


Kc5




3
1— >


3
1—1


o


o


O










tn


(/)


75


rt


ffi






g


0)


d

0)




d

4J






Uh


^L^


1 — .


1 — .


O


S


o


o






»r "






<u


j-T C










^,




i>


^^


H) o








«


o


u


'C


">


s ^








o


"5


_o


XI


;-.


P^'V,




c
o

(n




1)

£3


J3 ■

Si


a!
H
C


x)


s

o


C/) o

t4 o






Oh


o
o

1^


o


4>


-a
<


J3 (n

gw


in


ti

o






o


Q


Q


d


ffi




Pi





CHAPTER XII

SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS

Education, Priests, Protestants, and Acts of Parliament — Knox's Dream
— First Glimpse of Channelkirk Schoolmaster — Nether Howden
School — Patrick Anderson — Hugh Wilson — Carfraemill School —
Andrew Vetch — John Lang — Cess for Schoolmaster's Salary —
Lancelot Whale — Robert Neill — Channelkirk School and its
Furnishings in 1760 — John M'Dougall — Removal of School to
Oxton — Nichol Dodds — Alexander Denholm — Alexander Davidson
— Henry Marshall Liddell.

As early as 1496 the barons of Scotland were instructed to
send their eldest sons to grammar schools at eight or nine
years of age, and to keep them there until they had " perfect
Latin." It is needless to say that the Roman Church
previous to the Reformation kept the education of the people
strictly in her own hands, just as her polity is the same
to-day, and the priest was the medium of secular as well as
of spiritual instruction. The Protestant Church was also as
fervent in sustaining this scheme as was the Church of Rome,
and has not relinquished it except under the strongest com-
pulsion of law.

In 1567, seven years after the Reformation, a law was
passed placing the schools of the country on a reformed
basis. Teachers, both public and private, had to be approved
by the superintendents of the Church. In 1633 an Act of
Privy Council enacted " that in every paroch of this kingdom



320 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

a school be established, and a fit person appointed to the same,
according to the choice of the bishop of the diocese," which
was carried out by Act of Parliament in the same year.
From which it is clear that Episcopalians were no less zealous
than the Presbyterians in the matter of education. The
latter came into power as a political force again, and so in
1646 another Act insures that a school be founded " in
every parish " by advice of Presbytery. The heritors, rsore-
over, are to provide a commodious house for the school, and
to modify a stipend to the schoolmaster, not less than 100
merks, but not more than 200, or ranging roughly between
^5, 6s. and ;^io, 12s. In the Act of 1658 it was enacted
that the schoolmaster must not be a papist ; in that of 1690,
schoolmasters were taken bound to sign the Confession of
Faith, to take the oath of allegiance to King William and
Queen Mary, to be pious and "of good and sufficient
literature," and to submit to the government of the kirk.
In the Act of 1693 schoolmasters were declared to be subject
to the Presbytery within whose bounds they were resident.
The Act of 1696 was important. It provided that a school
should be in every parish, and a salary for the teacher, as in
Act 1646, paid half-yearly, in addition to the casualties which
belonged to the readers and clerks of kirk-sessions. Tenants
were to relieve the heritors to the extent of half the expense
of settling and maintaining the school and the schoolmaster's
salary.

Again, in the Act of 1700, we find the religious element
emphasized, for papists are proclaimed incapable of acting
as schoolmasters. The frequency of the religious clause
shows how zealously the Kirk guarded the education of the
young, and especially their religious education in school.
The Act of 1803 provided that salary should not be under



SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS 321

3CXD merks Scots per annum, nor above 400 merks. The
sum was to be fixed by the minister of the parish and the
heritors, and at the termination of every twenty-five years
the Sheriff had it in his power to determine the average
price of a chalder of oatmeal, with a view to increasing, if
it were necessary, the yearly allowance granted to the
schoolmaster.

The Act of 1 86 1 comes next in importance, perhaps.
The trend of the century is seen in the twelfth section, which
declares it unnecessary for any schoolmaster to subscribe
the Confession of Faith, or to profess that he will submit
himself to the government and discipline of the Church of
Scotland. His tenure of office is virtually admitted to be
ad vitam aut culpam.

A complete revolution arrived with the Act of 1872. The
parochial system, so long an honourable one in Scotland, and
which many yet regret, was abolished, and the system of School
Boards by popular election set up in its place. All powers
were vested in them ; and while the scholarship of the nation
has not risen higher, the exasperation and friction between
boards, teachers, parents, and ratepayers prove that neither
has the sum of human happiness been augmented by the
change.

We turn now to what concerns us more particularly in
the fortunes of education, and those responsible for the same
in our own parish, during the post-Reformation period.

It was long the proud boast of the parish schoolmaster
that his pupils, when they passed forth from the village
school, needed no " secondary " training in high schools or
"colleges" to enable them to take front places in the
universities. In the turbulent days of the Reformation,
Knox and his coadjutors gave education the same place of

X



322 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

importance which is almost universally assigned to religion
and the poor, God's kirk ; God's poor ; God's bairns : the
"ministers," the " puir," and the " schollis," are the prime
objects of Knox's dream of reform. The nation was sunk
in ignorance, poverty, and immorality. Sound knowledge,
sound health, and sound doctrine alone could save it. And
like Pharaoh and Herod, though for salvation and not
destruction, Knox began at the cradle. It must always
begin there to be a permanency. But Knox, like a true
educator, had no design of dividing the school from the
Church. The one prepared for the other, like apprentice-
.ship for journeymanhood. Like Guyau, he was convinced
that "the morality of the race, together with its health
and vigour, must be the prirtcipal object of education. All
else is secondary. Intellectual qualities, for example, and
especially knowledge, learning, and information, are much
less important to a race than its moral and physical vigour." *
" All must be compelled," Knox declared, " to bring up
their children in learnyng and virtue." " Off necessitie
thairfore we judge it, that everie severall churche have a
scholmaister appointed, suche a one as is able, at least, to
teache grammer and the Latine toung y{ the town be of
any reputatioun." " Yf it be Upaland," (in such places
as remote as Channelkirk, for instance) " whaire the people
convene to doctrine bot once in the weeke, then must
eathir the Reidar or the Minister thair appointed take care
over the children and youth of the parische, to instruct
them in thair first rudiments, and especiallie in the cate-
chisme," t that is, the Book of Common Order, the Shorter
Catechism not yet having seen the light in Knox's day.

* Education and Heredity, p. 96.

f Knox's Works {The Biike of Discipline), vol. ii., pp. 209, 211.



SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS 323

As no minister existed in Channelkirk for many a year
after the Reformation, the double duties of " Reidar " in
church and teacher in school would be performed by 'the
same person.

The earliest notice of schoolmaster, therefore, which we
have in this parish, seems to be given under the year 1576,
if we accept Dr Hew Scott's authority. * He is not
mentioned, of course, under that designation, but as Reader,
and his name is John Gibsoun. Nothing more is known of
him, and we can only conjecture the career he fulfilled in
that capacity from our general knowledge of his period.
The church would naturally be the place of instruction as
well as worship, and the course of education based for the
chief part on religious lines. Readers had only £16 or
;^20 of stipend, with kirklands. The greed of the nobles
made sure that both teachers and taught should learn
first by the things which they suffered, a policy which
extended well into this present century.

Our next glimpse of a veritable schoolmaster, whose
occupation was apart from Church services, is in i654.'f-
Whether he was Channelkirk schoolmaster, however, is
problematical. "July 20, delivered to a lame schoolmaster
recommended by the Presbytery, los. 66." is the legend
of the kirk books. Teachers were often peripatetic, and
taught here and there without continued residence or fixed
salary, in common dwelling-houses, after working hours,
with bed and board from some kind householder as
remuneration. This " schoolmaster " may have been one of
this description, although we have merely conjecture to guide
us. We are on firmer ground when we reach 1657, three
years later. There is no mistake ; it is " the schoolmaster,"
* Fas/i Ecclesiana ScoHcance. f Kirk Records.



324 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

but his name is not given, though we do not quite despair,
for there is reason to believe it is given in 1662. The first
appearance of a system of instruction existing in Channel-
kirk parish is as follows : —

" 1657, Feby. 15. — Coll. 17s., qhilk was fully distribut to
James Alan's two soons to pay their quarterly stipend to
the schoolmaster."

" 1657, April 19. — Collected 13s. 6d. Distribut fully to
Will. Scott's child for paying the schoolmaster's quarterly
payment."

The poor schoolmaster gets what he can quarterly, and
its precarious nature is evident.

The same year, in June 22, " having depursed to the
schoolmaster four pounds."

1658. "Feb. 14. — The week-days' collections kept by
.... in Adam Somervell's hand did amount to three merks,
which the minister, with consent of the elders, ordered to
be given to the schoolmaster for 3 quarts, (payment). . . . Will.
Scott's daughter and Adam (Swinton's) 2 children." The
same year, in March 23, " 13s. given to the schoolmaster
for Will. Scott's child's quarterly payment."

The following defective sentence is interesting as
seeming to point to the original Oxton School.

" 1659. Adam Simmervell, boxkeeper, by warrant of the
Sessione, depursed five pounds to Will. Milkum (Malcolm ?)
in Nether hudoun (Nether Howden) for (hire of) a house . . .
for the schollers to learn in." This school in Nether
Howden seems to have existed at least till 1728. They
proceeded to build a new school shortly afterwards, pre-
sumably at Channelkirk village. On 25th November 1661,
" The elders met and unanimously decided to pay the
builder of the scole for that work." They seem to



SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS 325

have had in view a schoolhouse also for the schoolmaster.
The whole cost appears to have reached ^^50, but "the
Sessione thinks fit, when occasion shall offer, to use means
that the heritors may refund the formentioned fiftie pounds
to the Sessione again." These were the days when Kirk-
Sessions believed in miracles.

1662, March 15. — "^5 given to the burser, and also.
40s. given to the schoolmaster, together with the 23rd day's
collection." It was Communion time, and the collections
of the 15th, i6th, and 17th, together with that of the 23rd,
appear to have been devoted to the Presbytery's bursar
at the university, and the schoolmaster of the parish. The
church, the university, and the school went thus hand in
hand — just as it should be.

The schoolmaster's name comes to light in 1662. After
notice of certain moneys given out of the Kirk-Session
treasury or " box," we have " the rest of the sum distribut
to Patrick Anderson, schoolmaster, James Black, Wm.
Somerville in Glengelt, and James Knight, Ugstone."

1664. "The second of October, counted with Patrick
Anderson, schoolmaster, that had the box and moneys
therein committed to him from the first of November
1663 to the 2nd of October 1664." Doubtless he was
Session-clerk, but was not an elder. " The box is put in the
custodie" of him once more, "and the key delivered to
Thomas Thomson in Hizeldean to be keepit by him."
The teacher had the box, and the former, not an elder,
kept the key ; the division of responsibility in this way
tending to the preservation of kirk property.

Mr Patrick Anderson, schoolmaster of Channelkirk,
vanishes out of the records "the second day of Julie" 1665,
holding the same honourable post of kirk treasurer. A



326 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

worthy man, doubtless. All that we know of him is
good.

The schoolmaster who follows Patrick Anderson seems
to have been Hugh Wilson. Eighteen years elapse after
1665 before he comes into the records, and even then
he remains a very shadowy figure. In 1683, November 15,
we have "given to schoolmaster ^5," and three entries
below, " More to Hugh Wilson in Ugston £2" as if a
reference were made to "the schoolmaster." Again, under
1684, " Given to Hugh Wilson, in Ugston, £2',' is
immediately followed by "More to the schoolmaster, £\r
There is, however, in an old fragment of a single leaf, lovingly
preserved among the records, two entries which appear to
set our minds at ease on the matter. Several notices
here and there are given of " poor scholars' payments
quarterly;" then under 1727, "Poor scholars at Hew Wilson's
school, ^5 " is given, which cannot, it seems to us, on
reasonable grounds, refer to any other person than the
" Hugh Wilson " of the former date, 1683. This implies
that he had been schoolmaster for forty-four years. Another
entry given in the same year of 1727 says: "To poor scholars
at Netherhowden School, £6^' which takes us back at once
to the year 1659, when the Kirk-Session gave Will. Milkum
in Netherhowden £^ " for a house for scholars to learn in."
Two distinct schools must have existed, therefore, in the parish
at this period, viz., Hugh Wilson's "in Ugston" or Channel-
kirk, the latter place most likely, and that at Nether Howden.

The Scottish Parliament, in 1696, passed a law imposing
upon heritors of every parish the duty of building a school
and maintaining it, and also providing a salary for the
schoolmaster. Needless to say, this law was frequently
evaded. The schoolmaster would have fared but sparely if



SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS 327

he had had no other means of living than accrued to him
from his teaching. Kirk-Session contributions of a vary-
ing kind, surveying farmer's fields, putting wills together,
Session - clerk's remuneration, precentorships — these, and
similar perquisites enabled him to live decently. The
heritors seem to have shamefully traded upon his necessi-
ties wherever they could venture it, and cut down his
school salary, which alone they had any right to consider,
to fit into these perquisites. The law compelled them to
provide a- school and give a sufficient competence to a
schoolmaster in every parish, but that burden was for most
part shovelled into the laps of his perquisites, and what
should have been to him comfortable advantages over and
above his fixed salary, became sources of anxiety and worry,
for he was never certain when his perquisites might fall
away, and himself be left to the tender feeding of the
heritors' poorhouse dole. The Kirk - Session seems to
have looked primarily to the fact of education being carried
on in the parish, and contributed to a school or the schools
in it with equal hand, content if the good work were done.
The school, therefore, which seems to have begun at Nether
Howden about 1659, received its help from the church
equally with the parish school at the village of Channelkirk.
It is almost certain that as we find both schools existing in
1728, the Nether Howden School gradually became Oxton
School, and through varying fortunes and changing habita-
tions, continued so to be until the School of Channelkirk
merged into it, and it became the parish school in 1854.
This seems evident, for after 1728 there is no more
mention of "Nether Howden School," but from 1735 the
new designation " Oxtoun School" comes frequently into
view. There is also a natural reason why a school should



328 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

have existed near or in Oxton for so long a time, apart
from the parish school at Channelkirk village, for its
centrality of population and easier access would recom-
mend this course in the children's behalf. The same
reasons apply to " Carfraemill School," which would be more
convenient for the children of Carfrae, Hillhouse, and the
places to the south of it than either Lauder or Oxton schools.
" Carfrae Mill School " was a " Side-school or " subscription
school," and Gordon Stewart was its schoolmaster some
time before 1817.* He is then called " the late schoolmaster
in Carfraemill."

Hugh Wilson was succeeded by Andrew Vetch, but
at what particular date we are unable to affirm. He is
preserved from oblivion by a single reference in a sasine
dated 23rd February 1725, given in favour of the Rev.
Henry Home regarding his possession of Kelphope teinds.
Vetch comes into the sasine as witness. "These things
were done upon the grounds of the lands of Kelphope,
betwixt the hours of three and four afternoon, day, month,
year of God, and of His Majesty's reign as underwritten,
before and in presence of John Henrysone of Kirklandhill,
Andrew Vetch, schoolmaster in Channelkirk, George Hall,
tennant in Kelphope, and James Miller, indweller, these
witnesses." He is never anywhere again mentioned by
name as far as we have been able to discover. In the
kirk accounts from* May 1704 till 1741, there are items
such as, " To the schoolmaster," " To the schoolmaster and
beadle," but no name is given. The schoolmaster who
follows Andrew Vetch is John Lang. He passes his trials
before the Presbytery in 1742, and receives testimonials
of his sufficiency, and in the same year the heritors meet
to fix his salary at Channelkirk.

* Heritors' Records.



SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS



329



As the following extract from the Kirk Records gives
us a clear view of this process, together with the parish's
property divisions, and landowners in 1742, we give it in
full :—

"At Channelkirk this fifteenth day of October 1742 years, We, Mr
Henry Home, Minr., Mr James Justice of Justicehall, William Henryson of
Kirktounhill, being appointed to Divide and Locall a Sallary for the
Schoolmaster, in terms of Act of Parliament 1696, unanimously agreed
upon and modified by a full meting of the Heritors of this parish legally
called for that effect upon the 23rd day of Sepr. last, and our School-
master having produced an Extract of his being tryed and approven by
the Presby. of the bounds, and finding that a month cess of the parish
amounts to Seventy and five pound thirteen shilling and 4 penies, out of
which Sixty and six pound thirteen shilling and four penies being de-
duced there is of overplus nine pound, which is the eight part of the
monthly cess of this parish : So that each Heritor is assesed and hereby
appointed to pay seven parts of eight yearly of his months cess to the
Schoolmaster for his Sallary, and is hereby Divided and Localled as
follows : —



1. Barony of Carfrae, belonging to the Marquis of Tweed-

dale ......

2. Headshaw, belonging to Earl of Marchmont

3. Kelphope, belonging to Mr Henry Home, Minr.

4. Clints, belonging to John Borthwick of Crookstoun

Advoc, ......

5. Justicehall, belonging to James Justice, a principal Clerk

of Session .....

6. Over Howden, belonging to James Justice (Scots money)

7. Airhouse & Oxton Mains, belonging to James Somer

vaill ......

8. Collela, belonging to James Fiergrive

g, Bourhouse, belonging to Charles Binning, Pilmuir,
Advoc. ......

10. Threeburnford, belonging to John Gumming, Minr. at
Humbie ......

Carry forward,



£^9 3 2
2 II 6
2 10 4

2 15 6.

2 14 4
500

468
320

2 16 6

I . 8 10
^46 8 10





1 1


o


2




I


lO


O




o


lO


'y




4


12


O




2


12


6


lling


and four



330 HISTORY OF CHANNELKIRK

Brought forward, . ^46 8 10

1 1. Glengelt and Netherhouden, belonging to Wm. Hunter's

(Merchant in Edinburgh, deceased) Heirs

12. Cardross Teinds, belonging to Ker of Morrieston

13. Heriotshall, belonging to John Murray .

14. Nether Hartsyde and Over Hartsyde, belonging to Alex.

Dalziell ......

15. Kirktounhill, belonging to Wm. Henryson

Amounting in all to Sixty and six pound thirteen shil
penies.

Which yearly Sallary is to be payed to Mr John Lang, present school-
master, at two terms in the year by equal proportions."

The total is actually £66, 1 3s. 8d.

The terms are Martinmas and Whitsunday, and the
same arrangements are to hold good "to his successors in
that office," on their producing sufficient testimonials from
the Presbytery of the Bounds.

Mr Lang is found Session-clerk in 1744; and again in
I753> at a joint meeting of heritors and elders, and a com-
mittee of Presbytery, he is chosen to the same office. The
purpose of this meeting was to inquire into the administra-
tion of the kirk funds, which, during far too many years
of the Rev. Henry Home's incumbency, had been mis-
appropriated to a considerable extent.

"The Committee proceeded to inquire into the manage-
ment of the poor's money since the death of Mr Home,
which happened June i6th, 175 1, find that Mr John
Lang, Schoolmaster of Channelkirk, had received," from
various sources, the sum of ^95, lis. 3d. Lang is charged
with this sum, and after deducting certain moneys they
find him indebted to the Kirk- Session to the extent of
£4.1, i6s. 3d. Scots. In the year 1754, on 20th May, at a
meeting of Kirk-Session, " Mr Lang's bill this day granted
and payable against Martinmas next for £'^0, los. 3d.



SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLMASTERS 331

Scots." But Martinmas comes and Martinmas goes and
the bill remains unredeemed, and on lo March 1755 he
dies, and his successor has written in the Records the
following sibylline legend. (We omit the copperplate pen-
manship and all the embroidery) : —

1755
March 10. Mr JoHN Lang

Schoolm' Deceased

A G 1 B— r & D r.



We humbly interpret the last part to mean "A Great
Beggar and Debtor," with reference, perhaps, to his having
been unable to pay back the poor's money which he had



Online LibraryArchibald AllanHistory of Channelkirk → online text (page 25 of 50)