The Board of Guardians of the above union will, at their meeting on Wednesday the 3rd May, proceed to the election of a person competent to fill the situation of school master in the Workhouse Schools, which are under the superintendence of the National Board of Education. The persons applying must be competent to teach in accordance with that system. The Salary (which is not to exceed 25 per annum with apartments, rations and fuel) to be fixed on the day of the appointment. Sealed Tenders Endorsed "Tenders for the Office of School master" containing the names of two Sureties willing to join in a joint Bond for 50, together with testimonials as to character and competency will be received by me up to the taking of the Chair on the above day. (By Order)
Clerk of Union
Tuam Workhouse Office
April 29th 1854".
The lucky applicant for this post was one William Partlan of Carrickmacross. I have found it extremely difficult to trace details of the several Protestant schools which existed in Tuam during the last century. The Diocesan School at the Grove was the most important but no records concerning it appear to have survived. A reference to it in Sirr's Memoirs of Dr. Le Poer Trench indicate that it existed in 1820, but when or by whom it was founded is not stated. The only other reference which I have been able to trace is the following extract from The Tuam Herald: "Died in this town, on the 3rd of October, 1855, the Rev. J.C. Thynne, Protestant Minister and Master of the Tuam Diocesan School for several years". There are still some local residents who remember this school but, apart from the fact that it closed some time in the Eighties and that Rev. Dr. Murphy was Headmaster for many years, there is little further authorities information available.
Tuam Protestant Free School was founded by Dr. Le Poer Trench (The last Protestant Archbishop of Tuam) in 1823 and it was jointly supported by His Grace and the Dublin Bible Society (Pigot1824). Writing of its establishment, Sirr states: "On his grace's arrival in Tuam he found there no effective free school established, nor was there any building existing in which it could conveniently be carried on. He at once determined on building a school house and accordingly, a site being secured after some little delay, there arose a neat and graceful structure opposite the Palace, at an expense exceeding 200, containing two commodious school-rooms, with private apartments for the master and mistress". Slater's Directory of 1864 refers to Edward and Maria Lawler as Master and Mistress and the Directory of 1865 lists George and Maria McDonald as holding these posts. The latter refers to the establishment as "Bishop Plunkett's Free School".
This edifice is now the drapery shop of Mr. James Cummins. There was a London Hibernian Society School situated at Galway Road. According to the First Report of the Commissioners of Irish Education, 1825, "this Society originated with some individuals who associate in London in the year 1806, for the purpose of diffusing religious knowledge in Ireland". They proposed "by the Ministry of the Gospel, by the Dispersion of the Holy Scriptures and religious tracts, by the Formation and support of Schools, and by every other lawful and prudent Measure calculated to promote pure Religion, Morality and Loyalty".
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