View Full Version : Bisley Chalford - Gloucestershire

22-08-2013, 3:12 PM
Some of the ancestors I am researching lived in the Bisley and Chalford area does anyone know the name of a school/schools they may have attended. My interest is Ephraim Gardiner b. 1812 could sign his name occupation and where he lived (parish register marriage) and surprisingly on one of his children's birth certs however it seems neither his wife Mary Ann Jefferies nor his children could sign their names.

The only school I know of was the one I went to in Chalford Valley but I don't know the date this opened I would appreciate any information anyone has or where I might find this out.

Many thanks.

Peter Goodey
23-08-2013, 7:47 AM
County Directories would be a good source here. You may want to build up a little collection as you have an interest in the area. You can buy them on CD from genealogical suppliers.

Dipping into one at random I see that there was a National School in Bisley by 1851 which isn't much help because you would be more interested in 1820ish

If he could write his name, he may just have learned at Sunday School. That was all that was available for most working people in rural areas until somewhat later in the century.

23-08-2013, 8:05 AM
I would have thought that in the time frame you mention the most likely place would be a Sunday school, unless he came from a family with a little money who could afford a dame school or something like that. There was no legal requirement to educate children then, this didn't happen until the final quarter of the 19th century.
You could look at the British Newspaper Archive website and see if any local schools were advertised or if there are any references to local Sunday school treats. There could even be a mention of prize giving.

Peter Goodey
23-08-2013, 8:11 AM
By the way, I wouldn't assume that if people didn't sign their names it was because they couldn't. There are many examples of people being very inconsistent about whether they signed or made their mark. When a gruff official said "make your mark here", many people would do what they were told even if they could write their name.

Many well-to-do people at the time did not agree that the working classes should become literate and were suspicious of a labourer who could read or write.

Peter Goodey
23-08-2013, 9:11 AM
See British History Online. There is a lot of information here (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=19023) about education in Bisley and thereabouts.

23-08-2013, 12:03 PM
Here you go Scone

Visit the website


23-08-2013, 1:52 PM

My thanks to you all. I didn't think of Sunday schools. The family were not wealthy Ephraim had a conviction for theft of hay, and I take the point of officials and doing as you're told. I love the idea of a prize giving and will certainly look further into that, I remember winning a bible at Sunday school.

Love the web site many thanks.

30-03-2014, 11:45 PM
As an ex pupil of Chalford C of E School (I spent 2 terms there before being transferred after my parents moved) I have looked at the net and came up with the following site which might be of some help. The school itself looks Victorian and probably dates from around 1880's but that is an educated guess. Hope this is of some help. Malcolm J.
'Bisley: Education', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds (1976), pp. 37-40. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk