From the 1851 History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Staffordshire by William White.

The Free Grammar School, (now in two departments called the Grammar and Commercial Schools) was founded in 1554, by the letters patent of Queen Mary, who endowed it with land at Woodend, Shelfield, Bloxwich, Norton, and Tipton, which now consists of about 298 acres, let for £418 per annum. She also appointed "ten of the more discreet and honest inhabitants of Walsall to be governors, and be a body corporate, with power to hold lands, elect a master and usher, etc."

The property of the charity has undergone some alteration, and its objects considerably varied by an Act of Parliament passed in 1797, "for enabling the governors of the Grammar School to sell certain mines under part of their lands, and to sell and exchange certain parts of their lands lying dispersed; for improving and extending the benefits of the said school; for enlarging the trust and powers of the said governors, and for enabling them to build a chapel," etc.

Under this act, the governors sold the coal under the land at Tipton, for a term of 42 years, at £505 per acre, amounting in the whole to £12,243, which, agreeable to the terms of the act, was paid over to the accountant general of the Court of Chancery, with some other portions of the school funds, to be reimbursed for the future extension of the charity.

The act empowers the governors to purchase freehold land in Walsall, and erect a chapel thereon, to be in their patronage, and under the pastoral care of the master of the grammar school; to build and establish as many schoolhouses and schoolrooms, in convenient situations in the town and parish of Walsall, as they should think necessary, and to direct how many boys and girls should be admitted into the said schools; what they should be taught, and how many to be maintained, clothed, and put out apprentices, or to service; and from time to time to appoint masters and mistresses to teach boys and girls of the parish of Walsall in reading, writing, knitting, sewing, arithmetic, mathematics, etc. so that nevertheless there should always be one headmaster and one usher, to teach the classics, in conformity with the letters patent of Queen Mary; such headmaster to be a clergyman of the Church of England, in priests’ orders, and a graduate at one of the universities; and have, in addition to his school salary, an annuity of £50, as minister of St. Paul’s Chapel, which was built in 1826, at a cost of more than £2,300, exclusive of the site and the land called The Close, for which the governors in 1822 paid the enormous price of £919.

In 1813, £2,750 was paid for the purchase of a house, warehouse, and other buildings, with a garden in Park street, to be converted to two schools and two schoolhouses for the master and usher of the grammar school; and in 1817, no less than £940 was paid for altering the said premises; swelling the total cost of the old school premises to £3,690. These premises were sold to the Railway Company a few years ago, and the present large and commodious schools, in Lichfield Street, have been recently erected in the Elizabethan style, with dwellings for the two Classical masters and the head Commercial master.

The entire foundation now consists of the Grammar and Commercial Schools, and the number of free boys in the former is limited to 45, and in the latter to 70. The freedom of these now ably conducted schools extends to the whole parish, for boys eight years of age and upwards, who are able to read, spell, and write. Parents have the choice of the school into which they propose to enter their children, and every boy is required to wear the cap appointed for his school, and to attend divine service on Sundays at St. Paul's chapel.

The scheme of instruction in the Grammar School embraces Greek, Latin, Ancient and Modern History and Geography, English Grammar, Composition, Writing, Arithmetic, Mathematics, General Science, etc. The scheme of instruction in the Commercial School is the same, with the exception of the Classics, Ancient History, and Ancient Geography; and it supplies a business education of a superior character to those who do not wish to learn Latin and Greek. The present masters and their yearly salaries are - the Rev. J. B. Pugh, M.A. head classical master, £250, of which £50 is paid to him as chaplain of St. Paul's; Mr. Thomas Conroy, second classical master, £110; Mr. Thomas Hughes, commercial master, £90; and Mr. Samuel F. Blower, assistant commercial master, £70. The three first named are also provided with commodious dwellings in the school premises.

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