Rules Made By Erasmus Smith

The Report of the Governors of 1857 gives the rules made by Erasmus Smith for his schools.

Schools Founded by Erasmus Smith, Esq

  • Lawes and directions given by Erasmus Smith Esq., under his hand and seal for the better governing and ordering the public schools lately founded and erected by him.

For the Schools

The schools are founded as free Grammar Schools in behalf and for the benefit of the children of the tenants of the said Erasmus Smith, as also for the children of the tenants of this corporation, together with the children of the inhabitants, residing in, and about the towns and places where these Schools are erected, that is to say:-

  • The child or children of any tenants of the said Erasmus Smith, or to the said corporation, as also the children of any sub-tenant that is present occupier of any of the said lands or possessions. These all and each of them, if sent by their parents of friends, are to be taught free, and exempted from all salaries, and payments, in respect of their education, while they remain in any of those Schools.
  • the twenty poor children of the inhabitants of each of these townes, or within two miles distant where these Schooles are, or shall be erected, and to enjoy the same privileges of their education in all respects as the tenants children.
  • upon the death or removal of any of those twenty before mentioned, three or four of the Aldermen of Drogheda and Galway, respectively, and in Tipperary, the schoolmaster and two or three of the oldest inhabitants upon my lands there, may please to signify the names of such children to the Governors of he Schooles as are fitted in their judgement, for this charity, that the number from time to time may be made up.
  • Those children are to be instructed in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, according to their respective capacities and fitted for the University, if their parents or friends desire it; others of them to write, cipher, that they may be fitted for disposement of trades or other employment.
  • There are further encouragements in relation to the poore children - as clothing while they remain in the Scooles, pensions for those that go to the University, and provisions also for those that are bound apprentices, some whereof are expressed in the charter all of which will be declared by the founder's appointment, when the revenue comes to be more fully stated.

For the Schoolmaster and Ushers

  • None are to be admitted schoolmasters of the said Schools but such as are the Protestant religion ...
  • The schoolmaster, and in his absence, the Usher shall publicily every morning read a chapter out of the Canonical Scripture and then pray, concluding at night also with prayer ...
  • The weakness of children is such that many times varieties of Chatechismes confounds their understandings, and the Lord Primate Ushers Chatechisme being specially commended to those Schooles in the Charter, the masters are diligently and constantly to chatechise them in that forme.

The peculiar political and religious conditions prevailing in Galway where the tenants on the Erasmus Smith property were Catholics were responsible for the comparatively poor attendance at the Grammar School up to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The Catholics of Galway seldom sent their children to the school, which was situated in High Street. In 1788 the celebrated and great philanthropist, the English reformer of Prisons, John Howard, visited this school, and stated that it was well conducted and provided with an able master, Mr. Campbell. "With this worthy master", says Howard, "I had much conversation relative to a more general and liberal mode of education in that country. Mr. Campbell testified the readiness of many of the Catholics to send their children to Protestant schools; and he is of opinion that many would be these means be brought over, were the most promising of them enabled, by moderate aids, to pursue their further education in the University". In 1813, the present Grammar School was erected in College Road at a cost of 5,700. It was opened on the 1st August 1815, under the Headmastership of the Rev. Mr. Whitley. The subjects taught were English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, composition in prose and verse, history, geography, the use of the globes, algebra, astronomy, and mathematics.

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