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Pocklington 500 Issue 4 - Pock 500 ed.4 - outer low


									                                                                                                                                         Issue 4, August 2010


Current pupils dressed as 1908 debaters

School will soon have the very first archives room      However, he was challenged from the Floor
in its history. As part of the preparation for this a   when he claimed, “I am a scientific man and I
number of presentations are being given in the          know that woman’s brain weighs four ounces
Stoppard Theatre, to which all are welcome. The         less than that of man.” Crick, on a point of
latest one, held on May 4th, explored some of           information, stated that, “Mr Sterling is guilty of
the discoveries and the fruits of recent research.      technical inaccuracy. Woman’s brain, though
Some of the subject matter was dramatised, and          lighter than that of man, is much richer.”
the liveliest item was the recreation of a debate
held at school in 1908.                                 Looking at the entrenched position taken by
                                                        most of the boys one can only admire Mrs
The first debating society was founded in 1894          Pankhurst and the Suffragettes all the more for
and school magazines report the meetings,               having to battle against such reactionary views.
occasionally in considerable detail. This enabled       It was ironic that in 1924, just eleven years after
us to recreate a debate using only the words            the last debate rejecting female suffrage, the
given in the article. The boys discussed women’s        nephew of Mrs Pankhurst came as a boarder to
suffrage a number of times over the years, the          Pocklington. He was Stephen Bach, son of an
final one being in 1913, when it was defeated           Austrian diplomat. His mother was Mrs
by 22 votes to 8, almost exactly the same figures       Pankhurst’s sister, and she too for a while was
as in 1897 when the motion was first debated.           imprisoned for her actions as a Suffragette.
                                                        Whilst Stephen was at Pocklington his famous
In spite of a staunch defence of votes for women        aunt came to live with the family, and he was
by Messrs Wardroper and Brown, the rhetoric of          said to have been much influenced by her.
Sterling and Turnbull carried the day. For the                                                                Hutton with his prefects
Opposition Sterling maintained that, “Women
have no brain power. They were never intended
to think, or to cultivate their brain which could
                                                        A R C H I VE A P P E A L U P- D AT E
never conceive anything great, being intended           Thank you to parents, OPs, governors, staff,          information about the appeal or you would like
rather for the house than for the House”. The           former parents, former staff and other                to make a donation please contact Rachel Dare
report states that there were tears and cries of        supporters who have contributed to the archive        in the Pocklington 500 Office:
Shame! from the back when Sterling asserted,            appeal so far by either making a donation or by
“Their attempt to obtain votes is merely an             attending (or hosting) one of the Pocklington or visit
advanced stage of their eagerness to copy men           500 events that have been organised to help 
in dress, sports, and alas too often in vice”.          raise funds. To date just over 30% of the             which is the Just Giving page for the appeal.
                                                        £50,000 target amount has been raised which
                                                        is an excellent start. If you would like more
We are delighted to announce that a                 College since 2007. The school’s foundation             and a J.P. Lord Halifax has been a close supporter
number of friends of Pocklington School             charter is held in the college library and is a         of the school over many years.
Foundation have kindly accepted the                 testament to the long and active relationship
Headmaster’s invitation to become a                 between school and college.                             The Very Reverend Keith Jones, Dean of York.
patron.                                                                                                     In the early years of the school’s foundation the
                                                    Mr Brian Fenwick-Smith is an OP,                        Dean was one of the few individuals who could
The Honourable Mrs Susan Cunliffe-Lister,           entrepreneur and school benefactor. He has              discipline the Headmaster of Pocklington School!
Lord Lieutenant of East Yorkshire, was the          assisted the school in ‘masterplanning’ recent          In 2007 the school choir was invited by the
guest of honour at our prizegiving in 2009. She     developments to the campus and his generosity           Minster to take part in its Wilberforce
was appointed High Sheriff in East Yorkshire in     allowed the school to build a very fine and much        celebrations and in the time ahead we
2001, the first woman to hold this office since     admired senior boys’ boarding house.                    hope to strengthen the friendship.
its origin in Anglo Saxon times.                    Fenwick-Smith House was opened in 2007.
                                                                                                            We thank each of them for their support and
Professor Christopher Dobson is professor of        The Right Honourable the Earl of Halifax is             look forward to their involvement in our
Chemical and Structural Biology at the University   a Governor of Pocklington School Foundation             celebrations.
of Cambridge, and has been Master of St John’s      and a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for East Yorkshire.
                                                    Lord Halifax is also High Steward of York Minster       Andrew Dawes

                                                                                                            MAN. To show a dove above a man would be a
                                                                                                            more satisfying rebus.

                                                                                                            In a letter to the school in 1950, the Chester
                                                                                                            Herald reported that “the original Grant of Arms
                                                                                                            to John Dowman has been traced… The arms
                                                                                                            are blazoned as follows: Azure a fesse dancette
                                                                                                            between eight garbs or, banded gules, on the
                                                                                                            fesse three doves of the field beaked and
                                                                                                            membered.” That is a blue field with a gold
                                                                                                            zigzag between eight gold wheat sheaves with
                                                                                                            red bands round them. On the zigzag three
                                                                                                            doves in their natural colours, with beaks and

                                                                                                            Almost the same information has come from an
                                                                                                            early document seen by the school: Azure on a
                                                                                                            fesse dancette between eight garbs or three
                                                                                                            birds close of the field beaked and membered
                                                                                                            gules. Crest on a bezant a bird as in the arms.
                                                                                                            In addition, therefore, we learn that the birds’
                                                                                                            feet and beaks were red, and that there was
                                                                                                            also a crest - a bird on a gold coin. The latter is
                                                                                                            certainly different from the crest shown on most
                                                                                                            other examples of the family’s coat of arms.
T H E F O U N DER’S COAT OF ARMS                                                                            In an attempt to sort out the school’s use of
The recent discovery of the school’s Foundation     However, the arms in the Foundation Document            the Dolman heraldry, Alan Heaven was asked
Document of 1514 in St. John’s College Library      show three birds on the fess. These birds are           to examine the subject and produce a report.
was an event of great significance for us. A        doves, and in the days before regularised               He drew these three conclusions:
report of the document was given in the last        spelling, the family used a number of variants             1. The arms which the school presently uses,
issue of ‘Pocklington 500’. The majority of the     for their name: Dowman, Dolman, Dowlman                       in various corrupted forms, are those of
text is in Latin, and this has been painstakingly   and Doveman. It could be that this was the                    the Dolman family.
translated by two OPs, David Stather and Keith      version of the family arms created by our
                                                                                                               2. The arms are not those of the founder,
Walls.                                              Founder as his own.
                                                                                                                  John Dowman.
One intriguing aspect of the document is the        Did he himself draw this sketch? If the coat of            3. The school has been using arms to which
carefully ruled off blank square near the end.      arms had been granted to his father, or was                   it has no right and has no grant of arms of
Into this space at some point a coat of arms        even earlier, was John Dowman seeking to                      its own.
has been drawn. The drawing is amateurish and       produce a difference in the customary way? The
hurried – so very different from the beautiful      space in the document certainly looks as though         He added that “The closing line must be that the
and assured script used throughout. In one          it has been left for a coat of arms, but it has not     school should petition for new arms”. The 500th
significant way the arms differ from the version    been professionally, or even competently, drawn.        anniversary would seem to be a good time to do
the school uses. But first it might be useful to    The four garbs below the awkwardly drawn fess           so. There is, however, a cost to such an initiative,
look at the arms we use today.                      are not spaced evenly as they are in all other          and we have been advised it would be in the
In 2007 the Somerset Herald wrote to the school                                                             region of £5,000. We will add this suggestion to
confirming the Dowman arms as ‘azure, a fess        One intriguing detail is the smiley face added to       our wish list, a list we are soon going to need to
dancetty between eight garbs or banded gules’.      the left-hand side garb. Could this be Dowman           put in order of priority.
This means a blue background to the shield with     trying to create a rebus, that is a pictorial play on
gold zigzag across the middle and eight wheat       his name - Dove - man? An account of the                Copies of the full text of Alan Heaven’s
sheaves, four above the zigzag, four below, each    school written in the nineteenth century says           paper, ‘A Survey of the Heraldry of
of them with a red band around it.                  that in the early 1800s there was a rebus on one        Pocklington School’, can be obtained
                                                    of the beams - below the three doves the letters        on request.
In setting up the new archives room we are not         former railway clock in Lyndhurst, stained glass   very much like to find – if it still exists. That is the
concentrating solely on the written word. Other        in the Chapel and Music School, and so on.         handsome lectern designed by OP Alan Foxley,
aspects of the school’s heritage are being added                                                          who was architect for what was then the school
to the collections and cared for.                      Early photographs show other pieces that we        assembly hall. From information we have
                                                       have so far been unable to trace. For example,     gleaned so far the lectern might have atrophied
A catalogue of other items is being prepared           quite a number of fittings the school acquired     gradually over the years until the last fragment –
and will be useful when regular checks are             when the railway station was purchased can’t       the slope at the top – was also discarded. Or
made. Most of these possessions are spread             now be identified.                                 could there be a different, and happy, ending to
throughout the school – portraits mainly in the                                                           our search? We would like to hear from anyone
Library and Gruggen Room for instance, the             We illustrate one piece of furniture we would      who might be able to help.

Last year we expressed our thanks to David
Stather (OP 1949-1957) for his kind gift of a
valuable Wilberforce letter to the school archive.
Similarly we acknowledged with gratitude the
gift of a beautiful Georgian school desk from
Ian Turner (former parent).

We have since received two further delightful
presents both from Darrell Buttery (Governor)
and, sparing his blushes, I want to take this
opportunity to express our appreciation to
him on behalf of the school.

His first gift is a panel of stained glass now
hanging in a window of the school chapel. The
panel shows the parable of the talents and is by
Harry Stammers who is well known as one of the
twentieth century’s finest stained glass artists.      The second donation is a bisque figure of
                                                       William Wilberforce seated cross-legged in an
Do visit the chapel when you are next in               armchair, and after the famous painting by
Pocklington and do take time to see the glorious       Richmond which it copies in some details.
colour, rich fabrics and distinctive drawings.         He holds his eyeglass in his right hand against
In particular look out for the curiously modern        his chest. A pile of books underneath cleverly
figure digging to bury his talents. When               supports the figure. By his foot lies a scroll
compared to a photograph of Stammers it is             inscribed ‘Abolition slave bill’. It is said by
clear that this is a self-portrait – a nice touch of   Bonham’s to be by Minton c.1840. It is currently
humour given the reality of how he very much           on display with other Wilberforce memorabilia
used his talents and how they are displayed in         within the library.
churches and cathedrals all over the world.
                                                       Andrew Dawes
Sometime in the year 1579, during the                  indictment against Katherine Howard, 5th            From Pocklington Edward went up to Gonville
Mastership of Anthony Ellison, a member of             Queen of Henry VIII, on charges of adultery.        and Caius’ College, Cambridge in October 1580
a powerful Yorkshire family was admitted to                                                                as a ‘pensioner’ or ‘commoner’. Caius at that
Pocklington School. He was Edward Fairfax, born        Edward was first cousin of Sir Thomas Fairfax       time was a hotbed of popery attracting the
at Bilbrough near York in c.1565 and one of the        “the younger” (later 1st Baron Fairfax of           notice and concern of the authorities. Of the
eight children of Henry Fairfax and Dorothy née        Cameron) who would become the father and            Master, Dr. Legge, the Archbishop of York
Aske.                                                  grandfather respectively of the two great           complained to Cecil in 1582 that “all the popish
                                                       Parliamentary Generals of the Civil War,            gentlemen in this country (i.e. county) send their
His maternal forebears included John, Lord             Ferdinando (2nd Baron) and Sir Thomas               sons to him.” At Lent 1581 an ‘Edward Farfax’
Clifford, characterised by the Tudor historians        Fairfax (3rd Baron).                                matriculated as a ‘fellow commoner’ from Clare
and Shakespeare as the murderer of the young                                                               College. Whether this was the same person
Earl of Rutland, brother of Edward IV and              Edward had been attending Coxwold School            moving from one College to another (a not
Richard III, in 1460. Robert Aske, the Yorkshire       for eighteen months before his admission to         unusual practice then) or another Edward Fairfax
Leader of “The Pilgrimage of Grace” against            Pocklington. The reason for this move at the age    cannot be established.
Henry VIII, who was hanged in chains                   of 14 is not of course known. Maybe it was
at York in 1537, was his mother’s great uncle.         because his elder brother Gabriel left Coxwold at   The next record of Edward is in the Visitation of
                                                       the same time to go up to Cambridge. In the         Yorkshire of 1584-5 by Robert Glover, Somerset
His paternal forebears included Sir Guy Fairfax,       early 1570’s Pocklington had been a flourishing     Herald, in which he is recorded (incorrectly) as
an eminent Judge and a Yorkist, who had fought         school with 140 boys attending, but academic        Henry’s ‘second’ son. After that he disappears
on the opposite side to Clifford at the bloody         standards were failing towards the end of           completely. There are records of every one of
Battle of Towton in 1461 and had survived.             Ellison’s mastership which lasted from c.1558       Henry’s children except Edward after that date.
Edward’s grandfather, Sir William Fairfax, High        to 1581.                                            It would be natural to assume that he died
Sheriff of Yorkshire, had in his youth carried off a                                                       unmarried some time after 1584: but did he?
rich and beautiful young heiress, Isobel               An essential qualification would have been          That question will be addressed in a further
Thwaites, from a nunnery at Nun Appleton. She          Pocklington’s strong Catholic sympathies at that    article.
would become Edward’s grandmother and Sir              time. Edward’s parents were Catholic recusants
William would feature in five cases in the Court       and a list compiled in 1572 for Sir William Cecil   (To be continued)
of Star Chamber which involved complaints              had noted Thomas Dolman of Pocklington and
against him, as High Sheriff, of lawlessness and       Robert Aske of Aughton (Edward’s maternal           David Stather (OP 1949 - 1957)
oppression. Later, in 1541, Sir William sat on         grandfather) as being “Lesse Evill” among the       (This article is based on a larger paper by David
the grand jury which found a true bill of              Catholics.                                          Stather, a copy of which is in the School Library.)

DINNERS                                                The event began with drinks on the lawn and
                                                       then the party moved into the astonishingly                   Instead of a dinner, the next
                                                       grand chapel for an introduction to the house                Pocklington 500 event will be:
                                                       and its former owners.                              An evening of music, theatre and discovery at

                                                       A superb five-course dinner was served to 70
                                                       people in three of the great reception rooms, the
                                                       sixth form cabaret team visiting each one in turn
                                                       to perform their light-hearted look at the school
                                                                                                           Yor k              M erchant
                                                       in Edwardian times. The event raised just over
                                                       £2000 towards the school archive appeal.
                                                                                                           Adventurers’ Hall
The first of the fundraising dinners in fine houses    Our thanks go to all who helped to make the
was given a trial run at Knavesmire Lodge, York,       evening so successful, especially to the Guests
                                                                                                           The finest surviving Medieval Guildhall in Europe
in March, and was judged a great success by            for coping with such an invasion so cheerfully.
                                                                                                               Wednesday 15th September, 7.00pm,
those attending. After a lively reception in the
                                                                                                                     Tickets £15.00 each
Regency drawing room, guests moved through
to the dining room, designed by Walter Brierley,                                                             Pimms and Jazz Reception on the lawn
the architect responsible for much of the older                                                             followed by entertainment in the Great
part of school. Here, Darrell Buttery gave an                                                                Hall featuring Pocklington School’s
introduction to the house and its history.                                                                   performance of the famous Merchant
                                                                                                              Adventurers’ Mystery Play, ‘The Last
The sixth form cabaret team, who entertained                                                                   Judgement’ and musical items from
guests so well after dinner, also did a splendid                                                                        current pupils.
job as waiters. The exceptional main course was                                                                    For tickets contact Rachel Dare
prepared on the spot by Andrew D’Arcy and                                                                                   Tel: 01759 321307
Gwen Walton, with delicious soup and desserts                                                                   email:
provided by Jill Atkinson, and the host providing
the other two courses. Sales of antiques
contributed another £200 to the total of £1400                                                             Contacting us: If you’d like to be in touch with
raised.                                                                                                    us about any aspect of the 500th, then please
                                                                                                           contact Rachel Dare at Pocklington School,
The second fundraising dinner was held at
                                                                                                           West Green, Pocklington YO42 2NJ,
magnificent Everingham Park, a Grade I listed
                                                                                                           Tel: 01759 321307,
Georgian mansion by John Carr of York. The
owners of the house, Pocklington parents Helen
and Philip Guest, gave those attending a                                                                   Newsletter edited by: Darrell Buttery,
memorable evening.                                                                                         e-mail:

The Pocklington School Foundation - Registered Charity No 529834

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