the-college
The William Palmer's Trust

Educating the community

The William Palmer Trust

Welcome to the William Palmer College Educational Trust Website

William Palmer was born in 1633, the same year as Samuel Pepys, and described himself as a Merchant.

He inherited the Manor of Grays in 1638 and, after his marriage, lived in the area whilst carrying on business in the City of London.

In 1706 William Palmer established a Trust ‘to teach ten poor children of the Parish to read and write and cast accounts and instruct them in the Latin tongue’.

William Palmer’s Deed instructed the Trustees to build a good substantial Brick Building in the Church Yard.

So the first regulations and syllabus for the school were laid down.

Scheme

The Trust is regulated by the Charity Commission in accordance with the Charities Act 1992, 1993 and 2006 and Trustee Act 2000.

The specific rules for the administration of the Trust have been agreed by the Charity Commission and are contained in a document known as a ‘Scheme’. The present Scheme began on 23rd January 1980 and was modified by a Scheme dated 19th November 1986, Resolutions dated 14th June 1993 and 6th October 2003 and Orders dated 28th August 2003 and 7th December 2009.

If you wish to see the Scheme, please download the document below.

How do you qualify for help from the Trust?

You must live in the ancient Parish of Grays Thurrock (see map) or

Attend or have for not less than two consecutive academic years attended Palmer’s College and

Be under the age of 25 and in need of financial assistance.

How to make an application

If you are a student at the College, contact your Tutor or Nickie Hillebrandt, Student Service Co-ordinator.

Otherwise, your school may be able to assist you with an application but, if you have left school, please write to the Clerk to the Trustees

The Trust is here to help Palmer’s College, its students and young people who live in the Ancient Parish. If you think we can help you, please contact us.

William Palmer College Educational Trust
Palmer’s College
Chadwell Road
Grays, Essex RM17 5TD

Tel: 01375 370121
e-mail: Trust@Palmers.ac.uk

Individual Applications

If you attend a local school, the administrator at that school may be able to assist you with an application but, if you have left school, please write to:-

The Clerk to the Trustees
William Palmer College Educational Trust
Palmer’s College
Chadwell Road
Grays
Essex RM17 5TD

Tel: 01375 370121
e-mail: Trust@Palmers.ac.uk

Trustees

Appointing Body

Governors of the College

Cliff Carter and Mark Vinall

Thurrock Council

Gerard Rice

Vicar and Churchwardens

Reverend Darren Barlow

Senate of the University of London

Brian Little

Co-opted by the other Trustees

Jenny Carter, Maureen Challis, Grace Halden, Nickie Hillebrandt and Graeme Loveland

Ex-officio Trustees

The Chairman of the Corporation, Clive Attwood and the Vice Chairman, Clive Banbury, are ex-officio Trustees.

Chairman of the Trust

Brian Little

Vice Chairman of the Trust

Reverend Darren Barlow

History of the trust

1706 FIRST TRUST DEED

William Palmer established the Trust and conveyed the following properties to the Trustees:

I. Plot of ground adjacent to Grays churchyard
II. Five houses in White Cross Street, Cripplegate, London
III. Shop in Lombard Street, London

He specified that ten poor children of the Parish should be taught to read and write and cast accounts and instructed in the Latin tongue.

He also described the size of the School House to be built (20 ft by 18 ft) and how much the schoolmaster was to be paid (£40 per year) and provided 40 shillings for an annual dinner for the auditors.

1709 Richard Butler became schoolmaster

1710 Land in Orsett Road, near the junction with the High Street, was provided by William Palmer and a house was built for the Schoolmaster.

The following schoolmasters followed Richard Butler although the income of the Trust was not sufficient to pay the whole of the master’s salary until 1787:
1709 Samuel Wright
1732 Revd John Walker
1754 Benjamin Wells
1780 John Horncastle
1815 John Baker
1815 William Horncastle
1848 Thomas Hall

1844 The population of Grays had not greatly increased since the founding of the Trust but the development of brick-making and the demand for chalk changed matters. There was a need for increased accommodation in the school and general improvements in the provision of education. A Petition was presented to the Court of Chancery with the result that an Order was made by the Court appointing new Trustees and immediately increasing the number of pupils to 35. The pupils would still receive a free education and the Order allowed the number of pupils to be increased to 50 when an under-master was in post.

1848 The income of the Trust was only £141 a year but, when enough money was accumulated, a new school was built in Orsett Rd adjoining the master’s house, to accommodate the increased number of pupils, who could come from neighbouring parishes as well as Grays Thurrock. Thomas Hall remained as Master until 1850 when he was succeeded by James Wm. Ward, Edward J Dearman, Charles Prince, Revd J Benington (Black Harry), Nicholas Hukley Torre and John Wilson during the period to 1858.

1856 The Charity Commission authorised the enlargement of the schoolroom and also allowed the Trustees to accept the first fee-paying pupils.

1858 John Rigge was appointed Master and remained in post until 1893.

1860 The first school room had been removed from the site next to the Church Yard. It was not until 1860 that the Trustees realised the Tilbury Railway Company had taken possession of the site without paying for it. The Railway Company adopted a policy of ‘masterly inactivity’ and no compensation was ever received by the Trustees.

1864 In May, the Trustees decided to place the school under the inspection of HM Inspector of Schools. In December, they rescinded their resolution, without recording their reasons. The school was now regarded as an Endowed Grammar School and had 109 pupils. Only 41 pupils were not fee-paying.

1870 Part of William Palmer’s original settlement, the five houses in White Cross Street, Cripplegate, London were sold for £8,750.

1871 After the enactment of the Endowed Schools Act in 1869, followed by the Education Act in 1870, which introduced elementary education for all, the Charity Commission’s attention was drawn to the absence of any efficient provision for the education of Girls and Infants in the Parish of Grays and the need for an Upper School. As a result, a new Scheme was sealed in 1871 which provided for the Trustees to be replaced by sixteen Governors of whom 4 were ex-officio, 4 were to be elected by the parents of children at the school and 8 were to be co-opted by the others. Of the 8 co-opted Governors, 4 were to be women. The Governors were given powers to build a Boys’ School for 40 boarders and 100 day scholars and a Girls’ School for 25 boarders and 50 day scholars. The scholars were fee-paying but the Governors were allowed to grant scholarships, under a system of competitive examination, which would admit the successful pupils at reduced fees, or without any fee, as long as they lived in the Parish of Grays or the adjacent parishes. The number of Foundation Scholars, as they were known, could not exceed one-fifth of the total number of children at the School. At this time, the population of Grays was under 2,000 but the area began to develop quite rapidly soon afterwards.

1873 Work commenced on building a new school at the junction of Southend Road and Chadwell Road after the Governors sold some of their investments and obtained a mortgage from the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Company. The Governors’ resources were so depleted that individual Governors covered temporary loans with their own promissory notes. Disputes arose during the course of construction and both the architect and the contractor instigated legal proceedings which were eventually settled out of court. The Boys’ School was completed in 1874 and the Girls’ School in 1876 and, this time, the Governors collected the proceeds of sale of the old school.

1893 During the twenty years since 1873, the number of pupils attending the new schools had not increased as expected. In 1884, there were 46 boys and 36 girls, in 1890 there were 67 boys and in 1893, there were only 45 boys. The majority of the pupils were boarders from outside the local area. There was a belief that the Charity established by William Palmer to benefit the poor children of Grays, had been wrongly changed to benefit ‘middle class’ strangers and there were demands that the assets of the Trust should be sold and the proceeds used to reduce the general education burden on the ratepayers.

The Charity Commission decided to vary the Trust Scheme to give more control of the Trust to the Local Authorities with the composition of the Board of Governors altered to:

1 appointed by the Vicar and Churchwardens of Grays
2 appointed by Essex County Council
3 appointed by the Grays School Board
3 appointed by the Grays Local Board
1 appointed by the Orsett Board of Guardians
6 co-opted by other Governors

Essex County Council had received funds known as the ‘Whiskey Money’ from the Government. These were derived from a levy on Public Houses, to enable those closed by Parliament to receive compensation, and which was not needed as there was a change of heart towards Publicans. Essex County Council used these funds and others to aid the School.

A new Headmaster, George Silverwood, was appointed in 1893 and he soon commanded the confidence of all those who were interested in the development of secondary education in Grays.

1894 The new Board of Governors built a Chemical Laboratory and Lecture Room and also used the powers, given to their predecessors in 1871, to establish 16 free scholarships (ten for boys and six for girls) for competition by the pupils in the elementary schools of Grays.

1898 Plans were made to provide new classrooms, a physics laboratory, a gymnasium and a swimming pool but financial problems meant that completion of the work did not occur until 1900 with the headmaster contributing £200 from his own pocket.

1905 In a Report, commissioned by Essex County Council, Professor Michael Sadler wrote:

Grays serves an educational area extending from Rainham on the west to Pitsea on the east, and as far north as Upminster. The work of higher education in this district has been so admirably organised that there is little for me to recommend beyond what has already been accomplished or is now in contemplation. Palmer’s Endowed School has already conferred great benefits on the neighbourhood which it serves. It has now been decided to extend its buildings and sphere of work in order that it may become the centre of secondary education (including the instruction of pupil teachers) for the whole district and for evening classes in science and art for Grays. The energy and organising skills which have been shown in the development of the work of this Foundation reflects great credit on all concerned, and not least on George Silverwood, who, helped by the warm support of his Governors and of the leading residents in Grays, has raised the number of the boys’ school pupils, during the first twelve years of his Headmastership, from 45 to 138.

1907 More Classrooms, more laboratory accommodation, technical instruction rooms and an art room were completed.

1918 The Boys’ and Girls’ Schools had separate head teachers from 1876 to 1906 but were reunited under George Silverwood until his retirement in 1918 when they were given their own head teachers. Miss Ellen M Wren was appointed Headmistress of the Girls’ School and the Revd H Aldridge Abbott was appointed Headmaster of the Boys’ School when the number of boys attending the School was 287. During 1918, the Governors purchased the land where the College is now situated, having sold the Trust’s property in Lombard Street in the City of London for £15,000.

From the proceeds of the sale of the Lombard Street property, £3,000 was set aside to provide an income to pay sixteen Palmer scholarships and a further amount was earmarked to assist brilliant but needy pupils to go to university.

1926 The School prospered under the Headship of the Revd Abbott with the number of boys on the role increasing to 450 while, at the same time, Miss Wren also succeeded in increasing the number of girls to 275.

1929 The foundation stone was laid for the new Girls’ School to be built on the site of the current College. The Trustees constructed A block, B block, a small Science block and some ancillary buildings, including the caretaker’s house with the Old Girls’ Association paying for the swimming pool. The School was completed in 1931.

1931 Palmer’s School became a Public School.

1937 from 1933, the Boys’ School was largely rebuilt to provide a Hall, Library, new classrooms, Gymnasium and Headmaster’s House. Both the Boys’ School and the Girls’ School had facilities for boarding pupils.

At this time, the School lost some of its independence and became a ‘voluntary assisted school’ mainly funded by Essex County Council.

1944 With the enactment of the Education Act, education became free for all but pupils were required to pass the 11+ examination to be accepted at Palmer’s School which was now designated as ‘voluntary controlled’. It no longer had a ‘comprehensive’ intake with wealthier parents able to ‘buy’ places for their children even if they were not particularly bright.

1945 The Charity Commission sealed a new Scheme. The Governors became responsible for administering the School with funds provided by Essex County Council, which arrangement continued until 1993. The Trustees retained ownership of the Land and Buildings, with the School having the right to use them. The Trust also retained the Investments, which were then producing an income of £1,000 per year, with the beneficiaries being the same as those in the current Scheme.

1946 The Revd Abbott retired in 1946 and was replaced by Mr F J Jordon who remained Headmaster until 1965. Miss Wren had already retired in 1940 and had been succeeded by Miss A Leworthy who was in turn succeeded by Miss K W Jackson from 1962 until 1975.

1954 Miss Leworthy arranged the building of the Open Air Theatre, on Greek lines, with the help of funds provided by the Trust.

1960 The Charity Commission sealed a new Scheme with the beneficiaries being the same as those in the current Scheme.

1965 Mr A K Smetham was appointed Headmaster of the Boys’ School.

1971 Work commenced on converting the Girls School into buildings suitable for a Sixth Form College. Essex County Council built the rather ‘temporary style’ science block, a new hall, a music centre and a refectory with some classrooms over it and some small offices including a first aid room. The original Science block was converted into the Principal’s office and a general office. The work was completed in 1977 when the Governors decided that the Boys’ School was no longer needed and returned it to the Trustees. Mr Smetham, who had been the last Headmaster of the School and the first Principal of the Sixth Form College, retired in 1979 and Mr F Harsant was appointed College Principal.

1980 A new Trust Scheme, which changed the name of the Trust from ‘Palmers Endowed School’ to Palmers College Sixth Form College Trust’, was sealed and is the one that is currently in force today although various minor amendments have been made from time to time. The Scheme allowed the Trustees to sell the Boys’ School and, subsequently, the North Field when it too was declared redundant by the College.

The amount of money realised from the sale of these assets enabled the Trustees to provide many new buildings at the College and over the years these included the following:

  • Sports Hall;
  • Lecture Theatre;
  • Dance Studio;
  • Garden Room
  • Library Conservatory;
  • Refectory Conservatory;
  • Upper and Lower Students’ Centre;
  • Foyer & Courtyard;
  • Careers Area;
  • Fitness Suite;
  • Trust Room;
  • Offices for Trust, Finance, Examinations; Asstistant Principal; Marketing;Managment Information Systems(MIS) and Personnel
  • and contributions to other projects such as implementing DDA requirements

The Trustees invested the remainder of the proceeds of the sale of the assets with the CCLA Investment Managers and the income is used to help the designated beneficiaries of the Trust, which include the College and its students.

1984 Mr David Kelly was appointed College Principal on the retirement of Mr Harsant. Mr Bryan Coker became Chairman of the Trust and Mr John Vesey assumed the role of Clerk to the Trustees.

1993 When the College became incorporated as a Further Education College in 1993, the Trust changed its name to ‘William Palmer College Educational Trust’. Although the College was now funded and regulated by the Further Education Funding Council, no capital money was forthcoming but when the funding and regulation transferred to the Learning & Skills Council, it provided money to build the 3 Classroom block, 5 classroom block and 12 classroom block (F block) and the College managed to retain its status as a Sixth Form College within the FE Sector.

1998 When Mr Kelly retired, Mr Peter Fenwick was appointed Principal having already been Vice Principal some years earlier. Mr Fenwick retired in 2007 and Mr Mark Vinall was appointed College Principal.

2005 During the years, many former pupils and local residents have contributed prizes and supported the Trust in many ways. In particular, the Watt family have been extremely generous, providing the Hew Watt extension to the Fitness Suite and making a substantial donation towards the cost of the Hew and Molly Watt Dance Studio as well as awarding Hew Watt Bursaries on a continuing basis.

2009 In December, the Charity Commission had issued an Order varying the Scheme so as to regularise the use of the Land and Buildings by the College and also giving the Trustees the power to grant a Lease to the College.

2010 On 1st April 2010, the College became the responsibility of Thurrock Council and the College chose to be designated as a ‘Sixth Form College’. Funding came via Thurrock Council but was provided by the Young Persons Learning Agency.

2011 On 10th July, Mr Bryan Coker MBE died, having been a Trustee for many years and Chairman of the Trust since 1984.

William Palmer's Times

1620 Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America and established a colony in Massachusetts
1624 Statute of Monopolies (Exclusive Patent Rights)
1625 Charles I - son of James I became King
1633 Birth of William Palmer & Samuel Pepys
1642 The English Civil War began - armed conflict and political machinations
between Parliamentarians and Royalists
1649 Execution of Charles I
1651 End of Civil War
1653 Cromwell became Lord Protector until his death in 1658
1654 End of First Anglo-Dutch War
1659 Birth of Daniel Defoe
1660 Restoration of Monarch - Charles II
1665 Black Death or Bubonic Plague
1666 Great Fire of London
1667 End of Second Anglo-Dutch War
1672 Johan De Witt, Prime Minister of Holland, was killed and eaten by rioters
leaving way clear for William of Orange
1673 Samuel Pepys became Secretary to the Admiralty having been Clerk of
the Acts to the Navy Board since 1660. Pepys mentions in his diary
‘So by water down to Deptford, taking into my boat with me
Mr Wm. Palmer on whom I knew and his wife when I was first married’
but this may have been another Mr Palmer.
1674 End of Third Anglo-Dutch War – New York remained an English colony but,
although we won the war, William of Orange became King of England (William III)
1679 Habeas Corpus Act - Better securing the liberty of the Subject
1684 Invention of Calculus by Isaac Newton and (Gottfried Leibniz)
1685 James II - lost throne in 1688 (Died 1701) - Glorious Revolution
1687 Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation published
1688 William III & Mary (daughter of James II) became joint Monarchs
1689 Bill of Rights Act - Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject
1694 Mary died - William III became King in his own right – died 1702
1694 Bank of England established
1695 Refinment of Binary Number System by Gottfried Leibniz
1701 Act of Settlement designating House of Hanover as Royal Family of the United Kingdom
1702 Anne (daughter of James II and sister of Mary) became Queen - she died in 1714
1706 William Palmer founded school
1708 St Paul’s Cathedral completed (designed by Christopher Wren)
1710 William Palmer died
1714 George I became King - Died 1727

THE LEGACY

William Palmer died in 1710 in Stratford. He had lived through an exciting time,
with the execution of Charles I, the rule of Cromwell, The Restoration, and then the
‘Glorious Revolution’. By the time he died, Queen Anne had succeeded William and Mary.

Although he had no heirs, he hoped that his name would live on in the memory of
future generations. His wish was granted and many of us are glad to be his beneficiaries.

Annual Report & Accounts

Every year the Trustees prepare their Annual Report together with the Accounts of the Charity, which are audited by Rowland Hall. A copy of the Annual Report and Accounts are sent to the Charity Commission.

If you would like to see the Report and Accounts for year ended 31st July 2014, please download the document below.

Land and Buildings

The current site was purchased by the Trust in the 1930s when it sold its property in Lombard Street. The Trustees constructed A block, B block, a small Science block and some ancillary buildings, including the caretaker’s house, for use as a Girls’ School. The Old Girls’ Association paid for the swimming pool.

In 1980, when the education authority decided to change Palmer’s School into a Sixth Form College, Essex County Council built the rather ‘temporary style’ science block, a new hall, a music centre and a refectory with some classrooms over it and some small offices including a first aid room. The original Science block was converted into the Principal’s office and a general office.

At the same time, a revised Scheme was sealed by the Charity Commission with the Trust’s name changing from Palmer’s Endowed School to Palmer’s College Sixth Form College Trust. The Trust sold their Boys’ School site in two stages and, over the years, provided the following buildings on the current site:

  • Sports Hall
  • Lecture Theatre
  • Dance Studio
  • Garden Room
  • Library Conservatory
  • Refectory Conservatory
  • Upper and Lower Students’ Centre
  • Foyer & Courtyard
  • Careers Area
  • Fitness Suite
  • Trust Room
  • Offices for Trust, Finance, Examinations; Asstistant Principal; Marketing;Managment Information Systems(MIS) and Personnel
  • and contributions to other projects such as the Astro Turf Pitch, Sports Hall Extension, Tennis Courts Flood Lighting and implementing DDA requirements in the College.

When the College became incorporated as a Further Education College in 1993, the Trust changed its name to William Palmer College Educational Trust. Although the College was funded by the FEFC, no capital money was forthcoming but when control transferred to the LSC, it provided money to build the 3 Classroom block, 5 classroom block and 12 classroom block (F block) and the College managed to retain its status as a Sixth Form College within the FE Sector.

WILLIAM PALMER COLLEGE EDUCATIONAL TRUST

Registered Charity No. 310860

Trustees – March 2015

Brian Little (Chairman), Darren Barlow (Vice Chairman), Clive Attwood, Clive Banbury, Clifford Carter, Jenny Carter, Maureen Challis, Grace Halden, Nickie Hillebrandt, Graeme Loveland, Gerard Rice, Mark Vinall, Lynn Worral

Clerk to the Trustees - Graeme Loveland Secretary to the Trustees - Maureen Challis
Auditors - Rowland Hall Legal Adviser - Clive Tant Bankers - Barclays Bank PLC Investment Fund Managers – CCLA Investment Management Limited
Solicitors – Palmers Solicitors

The Beginning

In 1706 William Palmer set up a Trust ‘to teach 10 poor children of the Parish to read and write and cast accounts and instruct them in the Latin tongue’.

How do you qualify for help from the Trust?

You must live in the Ancient Parish of Grays Thurrock

or

Attend or have for not less than two consecutive academic years attended Palmer’s College and

Be under the age of 25 and in need of financial assistance.

How to make an application

If you are a student at the College, contact your Tutor or Head of Student Services.

Otherwise, your school may be able to assist you with an application but, if you have left school, please write to the Clerk to the Trustees.

The Trust is here to help Palmer’s College, its students and young people who live in the Ancient Parish. If you think we can help you, please contact us.

William Palmer College Educational Trust
Palmer’s College
Chadwell Road
Grays, Essex RM17 5TD

Tel: 01375 370121
e-mail Trust@Palmers.ac.uk

Prizes and Awards

At the Student Prize-giving on 14th November 2014, the Chair of the Trust, Mr. Brian Little, gave the following address:

"Good Evening - It’s my privilege to welcome you to this evening’s annual prize giving on behalf of the William Palmer College Educational Trust.

My name is Brian Little I am the Chairman of the Trust. I will be giving you a brief synopsis of this Trust, but before I do I would like to mention that very recently the Clerk to the Trust Mr John Vesey sadly passed away.

John Vesey had been involved with the college all his adult life and was associated with the Trust for over 29 years. He was passionate about Palmers College and was actively involved until very recently. His passing has left a large void that will be very difficult to fill.

I’m sure that we are all familiar with Palmer’s College but perhaps it worth me mentioning a little about who William Palmer was and how we got to where we are today. William was born in April 1633 and had three sisters, his father died when William was five. He became a wealthy merchant and decided to ‘retire’ to the country in 1666 when aged only 33, this is the same year as the Great Fire of London. We next hear of him residing at Stifford in 1669. Of course his lasting legacy to this community was his vision for the education of children within this area.

On the 27 August 1706 a Trust Deed was drawn up assigning 5 tenements and a shop to 12 trustees to build a school and pay for a schoolmaster in Grays.The first school was built within the churchyard next to where the railway station is today. William Palmer died on the 22nd May 1710 aged 77 and like his contemporary Samuel Pepys he had lived through the English Civil War, the Plague, The Great Fire of London, The Dutch Wars and five royal reigns.

Over the 305 years that have followed since the properties were given to the Trust, times have changed and so has Palmer’s with the much respected Boys and Girls schools eventually becoming an outstanding Sixth Form College.Today the Trust part-funds student visits and bursaries which totalled £61,000 last year. It also part funded visits from school pupils in need who live in the ancient parish of Grays to the tune of £10,000. Support grants are also provided to those who have difficulty remaining at college as their circumstances can change dramatically. These together with Scholarships help students finish their courses and go on to university or work.

The Trust also gave a donation of £125,000 to help provide study rooms at the old swimming pool.

I am confident that William Palmer would be delighted with what he would find today at the College that bears his name.

There is much to celebrate this evening and it is great that we can all be together in one large hall this year. I would like to thank Maureen Challis, Graeme Loveland and Nickie Hillebrandt for all their hard work.

I wish you all good fortune in your future careers and hope that you achieve contentment in your lives. Enjoy the evening and be proud of your achievements, as we are. Congratulations!

I would now like to introduce your speaker this evening

Stephen Clear is a former Palmer’s student who is now resident at Bangor University."

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