G. H Haswell.

The Maister : a century of Tyneside life : being some account of the life and work and times of Thomas Haswell, who for close on fifty years was Master of the Royal Jubilee Schools at North Shields and of a notable essay in the education of the people online

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Online LibraryG. H HaswellThe Maister : a century of Tyneside life : being some account of the life and work and times of Thomas Haswell, who for close on fifty years was Master of the Royal Jubilee Schools at North Shields and of a notable essay in the education of the people → online text (page 35 of 36)
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Mr. William Marshall, of Chelsea, and are fine specimens of the die-
sinker's art.




There was a large attendance of old pupils and friends. The Mayor
was voted to the chair, and at the outset briefly called upon

Alderman J. F. Spence, who asked the Chairman of the School Board
to receive on behalf of that authority the memorial medal, the dies, the
deed of gift, etc.

The Rev. Father Stark said it afforded him the greatest possible
pleasure to receive, on behalf of the School Board, that which had been
handed to him by Alderman Spence, and to undertake the trust that had
been placed in his hands. It was indeed rather a peculiar trust. It was
not often that a School Board was called upon to carry out any work of
that kind, but it had been a source of great satisfaction to every member
of the Board to know that such confidence had been placed in them by
the subscribers to the memorial. Those who had promoted that testi-
monial had not done so in the midst of their school-days, but after they
had passed from school through the turmoils of life. Although they had



326 THE FIRST MEDALLIST—

had many difficulties to overcome since the termination of their school-
days, and had had to fight the battle of life, more or less bitterly, their
minds had gone back to the day when they were under Mr. Has well's
tuition, and naturally enough they felt it their duty to perpetuate his
memory in some way, and thus show their appreciation of his worth as
a master and a gentleman. It was one of the most pleasing things in
life to find that a master's efforts were appreciated by his pupils. (Hear,
hear.) Unfortunately, it was too often the case that boys were inclined
to look upon their master as one who had been placed over them to
give them a practical lesson in the sense of touch and feeling. (Laughter.)
But that had not been the case with the boys under Mr. Haswell's care.
He had commanded the affection and admiration of his former pupils by
his own life and example, and by his model treatment of those placed
under his charge. (Applause.) The boy who was to receive that medal
had not been selected by any individual or from any manner of personal
choice. They knew that he had attained it in an honourable and fair
examination, and he felt sure that all the boys present would be glad he
■had got it, because he had been proved to be the best boy in the school.
(Applause.) But that medal, which was to be presented annually, would
not be given merely for scholastic proficiency, but also for good conduct.
He thought the subscribers had done well to make that stipulation, for he
believed that it would have been Mr. Haswell's ardent wish that the
medal should be presented to the boy whose conduct was considered the
best, as well as for intellectual efficiency. (Applause.) He then handed
William Dowson, an intelligent little fellow, the medal amid loud
cheering.

The recipient briefly returned thanks. " Mr. Chairman, ladies and
gentlemen," he said, " I thank Mr. Stark for presenting me with this
medal." (Cheers.)

The boys then sang " Tynemouth Abbey," the music to which was
composed by the late Mr. Haswell.

Mr. Thomas Atchinson moved that a cordial vote of thanks be passed
to Father Stark for his services that day. Father Stark, he said, took a
great interest in the education of young people, and the manner in which
he had fulfilled the task allotted to him that day must have given every
satisfaction. (Hear, hear.) As an old Jubilee boy, he was glad to notice
that the services of the late Mr. Haswell in the interests of education
had been recognised in the way they had. It was certainly an excellent
idea to have a portrait of the deceased gentleman placed in the Public
Free Library, and to have a memorial tablet fixed on the outside of the
school, but he for one considered the medal was the best of all. The
portrait would become obliterated by the ravages of time, while the
tablet would eventually fall into decay and crumble into dust, but the
memorial medal would last for ever, and thus perpetuate the memory of
their late revered dominie until the end of time. He trusted that the



WILLIAM DO WSON. 3 2 7

boys present would do their best to gain the medal. Of course they
could not all win it, but if they strove to obtain it, and came pretty near
doing so, much good would be accomplished, and the efforts of the sub-
scribers would not be vain. (Applause.)

The motion was carried with acclamation.

Father Stark briefly responded.

Councillor Marshall moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Burnet and the
Committee for their invaluable services in promoting the success of the
memorial.

The motion was carried with applause.

Mr. Burnet, in replying, said it had been a sincere pleasure to him to
do what little he had to help to honour the memory of one to whom
honour was justly due. He must ask to be allowed to take that oppor-
tunity of heartily thanking the members of the committee for the very
kind assistance they had rendered him as their honorary secretary, which
had made his humble duties so pleasant to himself. He sincerely hoped
that the boy, William Dowson, would long live to treasure his medal, and
that there might always be in the future a noble ambition among the
boys in that school to attain what he was sure would always be considered
a coveted prize. He was sorry that they were not able that day to place
the tablet on the front of the school, owing to an accident which
happened to it in the course of its construction. A new one from the
same design was being made, and would be fixed as soon as they
received it. He again returned thanks on behalf of the committee and
himself.

The proceedings, which were throughout most enthusiastic and inter-
esting, were brought to a termination with a vote of thanks to the Mayor
for presiding.

On the following anniversary of the Maister's death, December 8th,
1 89 1, the closing ceremony in connection with the memorial took place.



UNVEILING OF THE TABLET.

The Memorial Tablet erected at the Jubilee Schools, North Shields, to
perpetuate the memory of the late Mr. Thomas Haswell, was unveiled on
Saturday afternoon. Mr. Thomas Hudson presided, and among the large
number of ladies and gentlemen present were Mr. R. S. Donkin, M.P.
(the Member for the Borough), the Mayor and Mayoress (Aid. J. F. and
Miss Spence), Rev. D. Tasker, Mr. J. Burnet (Hon. Sec. of the Committee),
Mr. T. Atchinson, Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Johnson, Mr. A. Wood, Mr. J. E.
Miller, Mr. M. Detchon, Mr. L. H. Leslie, Mr. R. K. Fenwick, Mr.
J. W. Lambton, Mr. John Moffat, Mr. J. Lisle, Mr. McKelvin, Mr.
J. Park, Mr. Geo. Horton, Mr. Shotton, Mr. W. Haswell, and Mr. R.
Bone.



328 UNVEILING THE TABLET

The Chairman said he had been asked, as chairman of the Haswell
Memorial Committee, to express the gratitude of the promoters of the
Memorial to the subscribers for the liberality they had displayed and
which had enabled them to perpetuate their revered friend's memory.
The originators of the movement had, with the view of giving general
satisfaction to the subscribers, adopted a three-fold plan — viz., first, the
presentation to the Free Library of a portrait in oils, painted from life a
few years ago, by a very old friend of the deceased gentleman, Mr. James
Shotton ; second, the tablet unveiled that day ; and lastly, the vesting of a
fund with the Tynemouth School Board for the provision of a bronze
medal to be presented annually to the dux of the late Mr. Haswell's
school. The portrait of the veteran schoolmaster now adorned the walls
of the reading-room of the Free Library, where for many years their
departed friend took a leading part in directing the musical festivals
and entertainments which were the means of raising a substantial sum
towards the erection of the present building. Mr. Haswell for upwards
of forty years was one of the principal members of the old Mechanics'
Institute, which was the father of the present institution. The tablet about
to be unveiled was the beautiful design of Mr. John Park, the celebrated
etcher, whose valuable services had been given gratuitously. The provision
of a bronze medal annually had been secured by a sinking fund, and, they
feared not, the medal would for generations yet to come be duly given to
the dux of the late Maister's school. He was indeed a gentleman who
had done great good in his day and generation ; a man of unbounded
benevolence, of active purity of purpose, wholly void of selfishness and
vanity, filled with a courageous chivalry in denouncing cruelty and wrong.
His penetrating pity extended to the humblest creature in God's creation,
and his whole life was devoted to the welfare of mankind, both socially
and politically. As a schoolmaster he was conspicuously successful, always
inculcating into the minds of the boys under his charge the desirability
of endeavouring to retain an unblemished character through life, as well
as teaching them the subjects contained in the ordinary curriculum. It
was only fitting that they should do honour to one who had so devoted
his life to the benefit of his fellow-men, and he was pleased indeed that
their appreciation of his services had taken the form it had. (Applause )
His great love of music and well-stored studies in astronomy made him a
charming companion. His singular simplicity of life, love of wife and
family, deep devotion to duty and morality, enable us to say with solemn
fervour —

** Green be the sod above thee,

Friend of our happy days.

None knew thee but to love thee ;

Few named thee but to praise."

The Mayor supplemented the remarks of Mr. Hudson, dilating upon



ON THE JUBILEE SCHO OL. 329

Mr. Haswell's great ability as a schoolmaster. The deceased gentleman,
he said, had been responsible for the training of several thousands of boys,
and the education he gave them was sufficient to fit them for almost any
station in life. (Applause.) One thing he particularfy instilled into the
minds of those under his care was the taking care of other people's
property. (Hear, hear.) He remembered one day visiting the school
when Mr. Hasvvell occupied the head mastership. The deceased gentle-
man called him into the playground adjoining the school, and, pointing
to a couple of red-currant bushes laden with their luscious fruit, said
in tones of intense satisfaction, "There's not a boy in the school
who would not sooner cut off his hand than steal a single berry from
one of those bushes." (Loud applause.) Mr. Haswell was unquestion-
ably an able master, and his scholars were always proud of him.
(Applause.)

Mr. J. Burnet, the secretary, said "there are one or two items of interest
with reference to the tablet to which the committee have desired me to
refer. The tablet, as is well known, was designed by Mr. John Park, of
this town, a member of the committee. It is made from a selected block
of red Penrith stone, and has been executed by Mr. William Johnston,
the sculptor, of this town, himself a former Jubilee scholar, who received
his education under the late Mr. Haswell. He has carried out the design
faithfully, and has given his labour in fixing the tablet as a tribute to
the memory of his old master. The panel to the left is filled with a
representation of seaweed, emblematical of the first line in the song,
'Tynemouth Abbey,' 'Where the sable seaweed 's growing, Tyne-
mouth, on thy rocky shore,' to the words of which song the late Mr.
Haswell composed the well-known music. The panel to the right is
filled in with a laurel branch, a fitting tribute to his well-nigh half century
of labour within these walls. Each of these panels is enclosed by the
representation of a rope supported by pulleys at the corners, emblematical
of another well-known song to which the late Mr. Hasvvell also set the
music — namely, 'The Life Brigade,' which I need not remind those
present has so often been sung, and I hope will long continue to be sung,
at the annual meetings of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, by our
worthy Mayor, Alderman Spence. The centre is devoted to the inscrip-
tion, written by one of the oldest living personal friends of the late Mr.
Haswell — viz., Mr. Wesley S. B. Woolhouse, F.R.A.S. The quotation
underneath was suggested by a member of the committee. The whole is
framed in by three lines of polished tiles of harmonising colours. The
committee have had embedded behind the tablet a bottle, which contains
a copy of the Shields Daily News of Tuesday, the 9th December 1890,
containing an account of the unveiling of the memorial portrait of the
late Mr. Haswell in the Free Library by the late Mayor of the borough
{Alderman Whitehorn), and the presentation of the first memorial medal
lay the Rev. Father Stark, the chairman of the Borough of Tynemouth



330 LETTER FROM THE

School Board, at the school here on the same day, together with a list of
the subscribers to the memorial, and a programme of the concert and
dramatic entertainment given in aid by the members of the North Shields
Temperance Dramatic Society. I am also desired by the committee to
express their thanks to the late Mayor (Alderman Whitehorn) for the
kind manner in which he so readily consented to unveil the portrait,
which occasion was, I believe, his first public appearance in his official
capacity ; also to the Rev. Father Stark and the members of the School
Board for the way in which they have met and accepted the views of the
subscribers ; and last, but by no means the least, their thanks to you, Mr.
Mayor, for the generous aid and assistance you have rendered to them in
a way which you have not permitted me to acknowledge more fully.
They, however, cannot allow the opportunity to pass of asking you to
accept their grateful thanks and to express the pleasure they feel that you
are enabled to-day, in your person, and as the Mayor of the borough, to
perform the concluding ceremony, and thereby to add one more tribute
to the affection and regard which you for so many years and in so many
ways showed to the welfare when he was living, and to the memory now
that he is gone, of a man whose characteristics you so much admired."
(Applause.)

The company then left the schools and proceeded to the place where-
the tablet is placed, when the Mayor unveiled the memorial stone amid
lusty cheers.

Mr. R. S. Donkin, M.P., briefly moved a vote of thanks to the Mayor
for his services.

This was carried by acclamation, and the Mayor having replied, the
proceedings terminated.

Finally, as concluding the record of the Memorial proceedings,,
a few passages from a letter written by the honorary secretary of the
movement may be quoted : —

" Personally I feel that what little I have been able to do has only been
a duty I owe to the memory of your father, whom I knew during the
last thirteen years of his life, and to whom I owed a deep debt of
gratitude. When I first came to North Shields from my native place,
Morpeth, a stranger, your father was amongst the first whose acquaint-
ance I was privileged to make ; and I will always remember with a thrill
of pleasure the kindly interest he took in me, and the invaluable counsel
and advice which he gave me as a young man leaving home for the first
time, and separated from all the ties which bind one to ho7ne. It was
during walks I had with him on Saturday afternoons and Sunday morn-
ings (which I look back upon with feelings I am quite unable to express)
that I was able to appreciate the wonderful grasp of his mind, the kindli-
ness of his nature, and his marvellous faculty for illustration by the most



HONOR AR V SEC RET AR V.



331



convincing methods, and his ever-readiness to impart information. The
smile of satisfaction that Ht up his face when he found he was understood
was something to remember. I must say that I am well pleased to think
that I have been permitted to help in doing something to keep green
the memory of so good a man, whose quiet, unostentatious dignity of
character made him so beloved and respected by all with whom he
came in contact."




APPENDIX A.



Jubilee School.



North Shields, Sept. 30, 1811.
At a General Meeting of Suhscribers toivards the Establishment of a School for the
Instruction of the Children of the Poor of this Toiun, and its Vicinity, held
pursuant to public Advertisonent, from the Committee appointed to superintend
the building of a School, in lieu of an Illumination on the 2oth of October, 1809,

JOHN SCOTT, ESQ., IN THE CHAIR.

Resolved,—!. That as tlie sclaool is now complete and ready to open ; and this
meeting being convinced of the facility and economy of the improved British system
of education on the plan of Mr. Joseph Lancaster, concludes, that the same be
adopted ; and appoints Nicholas Joycey, wlio has been regularly instructed in this
method of education, as master of the same.

2. That a president, three vice-presidents, and a committee of fifteen governors be
annually chosen by ballot, for regulating the affairs of this institution ; but that not
more than ten of the committee of the former year shall be re-elected, any five of this
committee of governors shall be competent to act ; and the maintenance of the school
shall be provided for by annual subscriptions and donations, under the direction of
the said committee, consisting for the ensuing year of the following persons :—

JOHN SCOTT, ESQ., PRESIDENT.

STEPHEN WRIGHT, ESQ.— WILLIAM LINSKILL, ESQ.— AND ROBERT LAING, ESQ.,
VICE-PRESIDENTS.



Alexander Bartleman
Thomas Appleby
Robert Spence
William Wright, Esq.
Thomas Curry



COMMITTEE.

Thomas Wilkinson
Joseph Taylor
William Richardson
William Cornforth
William Barnes



Henry Taylor
Myles Foster
William Taylor
Thomas Fenwick
Joseph Procter



APPENDIX, 333

3. That Robert Spence, and Thomas Appleby, be requested to act as secretaries
and auditors ; and William Reed, Esq. as treasurer to the institution.

4. That the first annual meeting be held at the school, on the 25th of October,
1812, at which time the subscriptions for the ensuing year shall be considered as due;
and, in the mean time, annual subscriptions and donations, however small, will be
thankfully received, and applied to the benevolent purposes of the institution.

5. That annual subscribers of half a guinea, shall have the privilege of recommend-
ing one scholar ; of one guinea, two ; and so on in proportion. But, for the present,
subscribers are desired to recommend only one scholar each ; and to be attentive to
the circumstances of the parents of the children they recommend, as it is not the
intention of this institution to interfere with that useful class, the regular school-
masters, by educating those children whose parents can afford to pay for the same.

6. That the committee shall attend at ten o'clock on Mondays, Wednesdays, and
Fridays, during the first fortnight, and its first meeting be held on Monday next, the
7th of October, for the purpose of receiving the children recommended : These must
be accompanied each by a parent, or friend, who shall be informed that the children
must attend the school regularly at the hours appointed, viz. nine in the morning, and
two in the afternoon, and be always sent clean and decent, with hair combed, and face
and hands washed ; and that they will be required on the Lord's day, regularly to
attend the place of worship which such parent or friend shall appoint. Also, that
when any boy leaves the school, due notice of it must be given by the parent or friend
to the sub-committee at the school, on the Monday morning previous to his being
taken away, when the committee will present him with a Bible or Testament, at their
option, provided his conduct has been satisfactory, and such as to merit approbation.
To prevent mistakes, or groundless excuses, the above notices shall be printed on a
card, and delivered to the parent or friend of each child on his admission. That after-
wards, two members of the committee to be specially appointed at the intervening
committee meeting, shall attend on the first Monday of every month, at the said hour,
to receive such children as may be occasionally recommended.

7. That before the children proceed to learn in the morning, silence shall be ob-
served, when a chapter in the Old or New Testament shall be solemnly, and audibly
"read by the master, or, at his discretion, by one of the elder boys : and the same
practice shall be repeated at the close of business in the afternoon.

8. That an annual subscription of one guinea, or upwards, shall constitute a
governor ; and the school shall be daily visited by one or more of a committee of six
governors, taken in alphabetical rotation from the list of those who reside in or near
North Shields ; and a printed form of notice shall be prepared to be filled up by the
master, and sent by the boys every Saturday to the visitors for the following week.
This committee shall however be considered as an open committee of governors, whose
presence in the school, as may best and most frequently suit their convenience, will be
particularly desirable. To facilitate and as much as possible insure the daily visiting
of the school, members of the weekly committee may visit by proxy, such proxy being
a governor. The visitors are requested to enter such remarks as may occur to them,
on the management of the school, in a book to be provided for the purpose, which book
shall always be laid before the committee at its regular meetings.

9. That the treasurer shall keep," or cause to be kept, an accurate account of receipts,
and disbursements, and exhibit the same to the general annual meeting of subscribers,
which accounts shall have been previously examined by two auditors, appointed by
the former general meeting.



334 APPENDIX.

10. Tliat an annual exhibition shall be held of the mode of instruction practised in
the school, when an examination shall take place of the proficiency of the several
classes, and prizes distributed to such of the children as shall have made the greatest
improvement during the year, and whose constant attendance, and orderly conduct at
school, may have entitled them thereto.

11. That the committee make a report to the annual meeting of the number of
scholars admitted and discliarged during the preceding year, and of the present state
of the school ; which report, with a statement of the accounts, shall be published.

12. That all new rules and regulations, and all alterations and amendments of the
present rules and regulations, shall be made at the general annual meeting, or some
special meeting of the governors which may be called for the purpose by the annual
committee, or any ten governors, on giving eight days previous notice by public
advertisement of the business to be brought forward.

13. That strangers (unless introduced by some member of the committee) can only
be admitted on Fridays, from eleven to twelve o'clock ; but for a short time after the
school is opened, it is particularly requested that strangers will postpone their visits to
it, until the plan of education is somewhat matured.

N.B. Strangers visiting the school, are not required to give any thing; but should
any person incline, a box is provided to receive whatever they may choose to give, the
sums contained in which shall be strictly applied to the purchase of rewards for the
children, whose conduct renders them deserving of it.

14. That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to His Grace the Duke of
Northumberland, accompanied with a request from this meeting, that His Grace will
accept the patronage of this institution.

15. That thefolloioing Directions he observed hy the Master.

First. The master shall attend with punctuality during the hours of from 9 to 12,
and 2 till 5 o'clock, or an equal portion of time under any altered arrangement, which
the committee may at any time judge expedient.

Second. The master shall enter, or cause to be entered, daily, in a book kept for
that purpose, an account of the lessons performed by each class, also of the absentees-
from school, and from their respective places of worship on the Sundays ; and shall
keep a weekly account of the causes of such absence. That if the boy so appointed
should from illness or other cause be unable to attend, his parents or friends be
expected to inform the master, who shall in that case appoint a deputy.

Third. That in order to this, he shall make out distinct lists of the children who
are to attend each particular place of worship ; that one boy out of each list be charged
with the custody, as inspecting monitor of worship, who shall return it to the master



Online LibraryG. H HaswellThe Maister : a century of Tyneside life : being some account of the life and work and times of Thomas Haswell, who for close on fifty years was Master of the Royal Jubilee Schools at North Shields and of a notable essay in the education of the people → online text (page 35 of 36)