Pinchbeck Endowed School

BUTTERWICK SCHOOLS - the early years

The very first school - opened in 1666.

On November 2nd 1665 Anthony Pinchbeck signed an indenture giving various parcels of land to provide a free Grammar School “for the love and goodwill which he beareth the inhabitants of Butterwick”. (Trotter, 1936)

The Pinchbecks were an old established family and are recorded in Butterwick in 1211.  Thomas Pinchbeck was Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1486; another Pinchbeck was Mayor of Boston in 1661 and the last record is of the burial of Elizabeth in Freiston in 1767.

A sense of public duty and a fine generous nature caused Anthony Pinchbeck to found the school.  One condition of the indenture was that the headmaster had to be a clerk in holy orders; and the first head was Martin Pinchbeck a nephew of the founder.  He lived in the school house (now known as Pinchbeck House), built a little later than the school.  He was deprived of his living in 1702 owing to being a victim of the troubled politics of those times.


For the Management of

On the seventh day of June 1852

That at this school “the children of all the Inhabitants of Butterwick and the Hundred thereof, be instructed gratuitously in all the ordinary branches of a sound English Education, with the addition of Latin and Greek, when required.

That the duties of the School be opened and closed by the reading of Prayers selected by the Master from “the Book of Common Prayer,” and that all the Children be required to attend the Services of the Parish Church ever Sabbath-day, unless prevented by some reasonable excuse.

That the hours of attendance, be in the Summer half-year, from 9 to 12 and 2 to 5, and in the Winter half-year from 9 to 12 and 2 to 4.

That no boy be admitted into the School before he can read and spell correctly simple words of at least one syllable.

That the Master be authorised to send home, any boy who presents himself either filthy in his person or ragged and slovenly in his dress.

That the ordinary Vacations be six weeks at Harvest, and three weeks at Christmas.

That every boy using Pens and Ink, be required to pay for the same at the rate of one shilling per annum.

That any complaint or objection on the part of Parents or of the Masters, be made at the annual meeting May, but if urgent, and requiring immediate attention, to the Vicar of the Parish (as the resident Trustee,) who, after hearing both parties, may either dispose of the same, (if not important,) or summon a special meeting of the Trustees and Feoffees.

That these Rules be printed and freely distributed in the Parish of Butterwick and the Hundred thereof



The curriculum in those days consisted of instruction in religion, Latin and Greek.  The headmaster had to be a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge and the trustees had to meet from time to time to examine the scholars concerning their right spelling and reading of English and learning of other tongues.  “Children were admitted as early as six years of age, if able to read in St John’s Gospel in the vernacular tongue, and are prepared for the university, if their parents think proper; but the population being chiefly agriculturists, very seldom more than an English education is required”.  (Thompson, 1856)

By 1859 its thatched roof was in poor condition and it was stripped and the present slate roof built.  This part of the building, by its brick work, gable end and lattice windows, can be easily picked out from the rest of the building which was added later.  The porch, in imitation style, was erected in 1859, two adjoining classrooms were built in 1878; the latest additions are the classroom in the playground and the canteen.

“On 23rd October 1876, under the Endowed School Acts, the endowment of the school is henceforth devoted to elementary education.  The old Buildings were adapted as a Girls’ School, and a new Boys’ School (on the site of the present School in School Lane), with a Master’s residence at the cost of £2100 were built”. (Trotter, 1936)

The scheme drawn up by the Charity Commissioners in 1876 for administration of the Pinchbeck trust provides for 13 Governors.  “The Religious instruction according to the scheme is to be directed by the Governors.  Such instruction shall be in accordance with the principles of the Christian Faith”. (Trotter, 1936)  At a Public Enquiry held in 1939 it was decided the school was a Church of England School.

From Freiston National School on 15th July 1878 all the boys of seven years and upwards were transferred to the new Butterwick Boys School.  The next year saw the transfer of the Freiston girls and infants to the New Girls’ School and the Freiston National School was closed.

In the 1800’s there were 60 to 70 pupils at the school, though attendances tended to fall off in the summer and autumn.

In 1962 the girls and infants moved to combine with the boys as a mixed junior school.  The senior pupils moving to the new secondary school at Old Leake.

Two Benefactors of the School deserve notice.  In 1922 Mr Samuel Barnett gave £600 of War stocks to found the Barnett Scholarship.  Many students of agricultural and horticulture have been helped by the income from this gift. In 1936 the Rev John R Trotter who gave so generously to these two parishes gave £2000 to augment the funds of the trust. 

This has enabled the Governors to undertake the building of the school we see today, which was officially opened on 13th July 1973.  The dedication and official opening was by Miss D E Calthorp and Mr W E Greenwood MBE, JP and The Venerable A C Smith VRD, MA, Archdeacon of Lincoln.

In 1965 the school celebrated its tercentenary celebrations.  (300 years).  The School today is still known officially as The Butterwick Pinchbeck Endowed CE School.

For information today contact the School direct for their brochure:

The Butterwick Pinchbeck's Endowed C of E Primary School


School Lane, Butterwick, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE22 0HU
Tel: 01205 760256


Compiled by J W & Mrs J Barnes from local knowledge together with information taken from:
Boston Library (Butterwick - reference)
Freiston with Butterwick - A compilation by The Rev J R Trotter MA (1936)
History and Antiquities of Boston by Pishey Thompson (1856)

March 2008

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