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Nov 29

Wykehamist Headmasters

In an appendix to the school history written by John Howard Brown he lists all the headmasters from 1570 to 1920. Of the first nine, spanning 1570-1727, eight are shown as being Wykehamists – and at New College – and a tenth from 1814-1841. The school archivist set out to discover if anything was known about them at Winchester College. He wrote to the school giving them the full list.

The full list, as published by Brown, is as follows

Edward Harris born 1534 Thame 1570-1597
Richard Boucher born Handborough Oxon1597-1627
Hugh Evans born c.1600 Harlech 1627-1631
William Burt born 1608 Winchester 1631-1647
William Aycliffe born ? 1647-1655
Henry Beeston born Titchfield, Hants 1655
Hugh Willis born c.1625 Winchester 1655-1675
Thomas Middleton born c.1644 London 1675-1694
Henry Bruges born c.1669 Winchester 1694-1727
Timothy Lee born 1770 Thame 1814-1841

Very kindly Winchester came back with the following information, which was later added to by information from New College, Oxford:

Edward Harris

Born Collerne, elected as a scholar in 1547 at the age of 12. Went on to New College, listed as fellow there 1555-1566. Master of Thame School 1575, died 3 Nov 1597.

From New College: Edward Harris/Harries of Colerne in Wiltshire (which was one of our manors) came to us from Winchester College in October 1553 and became a fellow here in 1555. According to our antiquarian Warden Sewell’s nineteenth-century research for the Fellows Registers, Harris was deprived of his fellowship (and declared ‘non socius’) by Bishop Horne of Winchester during his great and damning Visitation of this college in 1566, which resulted in many expulsions of fellows who were deemed to be too Papist in their outlook; Harris’s crime seems to have been failure to comply with the college statute about taking holy orders, even though this college had granted him leave to defer that step. He must have left soon afterwards to go to Thame School, for a note comments that the Thame School statutes granted him certain privileges, as the First Master, because he had already carried out those duties, in exemplary fashion, for eight years before those statutes were drawn up

Richard Boucher

Not found in our Register of Scholars or in our lists of early Commoners.

From New College: Richard Boucher of Hanborough appears in Sewell’s Register, and also in Foster’s Alumni Oxonienses and Kirby’s Winchester Scholars (p. 147), but under the name Butcher rather than Boucher, which is why we all missed it. The dates tally however, and I think he must be the same man as Richard Boucher. Sewell records him as ‘from Handborough’, the son of a commoner, aged 19 when he came to New College as a scholar in November 1581 (matriculated in December), became a fellow in 1583 and held his fellowship until 1597 when he went to Thame as the Master of Thame school, dying in 1627. He bequeathed the college £10, of which £5 was spent in purchasing a silver goblet. Foster adds that he was the son of Richard Butcher, had been baptised at Hanborough, Oxon, on 7 October 1561, and admitted to Winchester College in 1577. Both sources note that he became Headmaster of Thame School 1597-1627.

Hugh Evans

The Register of Scholars lists a Hugh Evans from St Peter’s, Harlech, who was elected as a scholar in 1613 at the age of 14. He went on to New College and is listed as a fellow there 1619-1627. Master of Thame School 1626

William Burt

The Register of Scholars states that he was elected in 1618 at the age of 10, from the parish of St Lawrence in Winchester. He went on to New College and is listed as a fellow there 1627-1632, then Master of Thame School 1631, HM of Win Coll 1653-1658, Warden of Win Coll 1658-1679

William Aycliffe

The Register of Scholars lists a William Ailife from Church Oakley [Hants] who was Founder’s Kin and elected as a scholar in 1632 at the age of 13. He went on to New College and was a fellow there 1640-1647. Master of Thame School 1648-1655, vicar of Ambrosden near Bicester. Second Master or Hostiarius at Win Coll Sep 1646 to Sep 1649. A note in our register states, ‘killed by a fall from a window, 28 Apr 1664

Henry Beeston

The Register of Scholars lists a Henry Beeston from Titchfield elected as a scholar in 1644 at the age of 13. He went on to New College and is listed as a fellow there 1649. HM at Win Coll 1658-1679 and Warden of New College 1679-1701. Died 1701

Hugh Willis

The Register of Scholars states that Hugh Willis was elected as a scholar in 1638 at the age of 12. His parish of birth/residence is given as St Swithun, Winchester. Master of Thame School 1655

Thomas Middleton

The Register of Scholars states that Thomas Middleton was elected as a scholar in 1660 at the age of 13 from the parish of St Clement Dane, London.

A note in our register states that he was elected via a nomination from Charles II after 3 years in the school as a Commoner at the charge of his aunt, Anne Jordan, a sadler’s widow of London.

Went on to New College, then Master of Thame School 1675. Died 1694 We have the letter of nomination dated 10 Aug 1660.

Henry Bruges

The Register of Scholars states that he was elected as a scholar in 1681 at the age of 12, from the parish of St Swithun, Winchester. Went on to New College

Timothy Lee

The Register of Scholars states that he was elected as a scholar in 1782 and was baptised 26 Dec 1769 in Thame. Went on to Pembroke College, Oxford, died 1791

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