The Crypt School
|Religion||None (Founded at St Mary de Crypt Church)|
|Founders||John and Joan Cooke|
|Location||The Crypt School
|DfE URN||136578 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
|Gender||Male (Mixed in Sixth Form)|
|Houses||Brown, Whitefield, Moore and Henley|
The Crypt School is a grammar school with academy status for boys with a mixed Sixth Form located in the city of Gloucester. The school was founded in 1539 by Joan Cooke with money inherited from her husband John.
The original school was part of St Mary de Crypt Church in Southgate Street and the schoolroom can still be seen there. Later, in 1889, the school moved to Greyfriars, known better as Friar's Orchard, and in 1943, to its present site at Podsmead. The site on which the modern school is situated is land given to the school by Joan Cooke in 1539. Despite attempts to change the school, notably in the 1960s with the move to comprehensive schools, the Crypt remains a selective boys grammar school. Since April 2011, the school has been an academy independent of local authority control.
John Cooke (d. 1528) was a wealthy brewer and mercer of Gloucester, one of the City's earliest aldermen, serving as sheriff in 1494 and 1498. He held the office of mayor four times, in 1501, 1507, 1512 and 1518. He was a great benefactor of the City. His will started the process in motion for the establishment of a grammar school in Gloucester, and the scheme was finally given effect by his wife Joan who survived him by 17 years, dying in 1545. It was Joan therefore who created the tripartite deed of 1539, deemed to be the founding charter. The school remains today the most ancient in Gloucester. A full account of the couple and their good works is contained within the book by Roland Austin published in 1939 "Crypt School". A contemporaneous portrait of the pair, John in his mayoral robe, shaking hands in union, is held within the collection of Gloucester City Council.
The following documents, founding the School, are held by the Gloucestershire Records Office (Gloucester Archives):
D3270/1 Conveyance(1528): John Cooke of Gloucester, mercer and alderman, to Thomas Messynger the elder, Thomas Bell the elder, John Hawkyns, Thomas Payne, Richard Halyday, Richard Perkyns (clerico), Thomas Bell the younger, William Pyrry, Thomas Pirry and Lewis Leysant. Conveyance of lands in Ebley, Stonehouse, Oxlynche, Ranwyke, Chaxhill, Rodley, Westbury, Badgeworth and Gloucester 12 May 20 Henry VIII (1528). In trust for the purposes of his will and foundation of a grammar school at Gloucester. Robert Stynchcombe is also appointed as his attorney. Signed by John Cooke.
D3270/2 Grant(1529) 6 October 21 Henry VIII (1529) of Richard prior of Llanthony to Thomas Messenger and others of part of the burial ground of the church of St Mary Crypt for the erection of a school house thereon, rendering yearly to the rector a red rose if demanded. Seals:- (1) Llanthony Priory (2) R.S. (3) Vicar General of the diocese of Worcester
D3270/18 Conveyance(1535) Joan Cooke of Gloucester to Thomas Bell, Thomas Payne (aldermen of Gloucester), Thomas Bell the younger, John Hawkyns, brewer, Richard Halyday, Thomas Pury, Thomas Messyng, Richard Perkyns, clerk, Lewis Lysent and John Partridge of Poddesmede. Conveyance of lands (as described in conveyance dated 22 Nov. 1529) in Badgeworth etc. 8 March 26 Henry VIII 1554/5. With part seal of Corporation of Gloucester
D3270/3 Grant of Letters Patent(1538)12 May 30 Henry VIII, 1538, to the Corporation of Gloucester to hold lands in mortmain not exceeding £50 annual value for the performance of trusts of the will (dated 18 May and proved 19 October 1528) of John Cooke. With great seal (the second seal, used 1532–1541) of Henry VIII. With copy, and translation.
D3270/4 Tripartite Deed(1539/40)11 January 31 Henry VIII, 1539–40, between Dame Joan Cooke, the Mayor and Burgesses of Gloucester, and the Bailiffs and Citizens of Worcester, as to the endowments made for the benefit of the Crypt Grammar School, Gloucester, and for the proper administration of the school lands. Seal: Common Seal of the City of Worcester.
D3270/5 Copy of Grant of Annuity(1540) Lady Joan Cooke of Gloucester, widow of John Cooke, to the Bailiffs and citizens of Worcester. Copy grant of annuity of 6s 8d out of lands for overseeing the provision of her trust for the grammar school is carried out.
In 2003, the school was granted Specialist Status in Science. It remains the only school in Gloucester with this distinction. This award was, in part, awarded in recognition of the quality of science provision at the school – it remains one of a very select group of schools which teaches all of the sciences in depth as separate subjects.
At the end of every academic year, usually on the second Thursday of July, pupils, staff and former Cryptians gather at Gloucester Cathedral for Founders Day, a day when the school remembers its past and how the school was founded. The Headmaster of the school, the School Captain and the president of the Old Cryptian's Club pay the Rector of St Mary De Crypt Church a quit rent of one red rose.
There are four school houses; Brown, Whitefield, Moore and Henley, named after notable former Headmasters or pupils.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Crypt gained a reputation for the quality of its Shakespearean productions. The plays were directed by Charles Lepper, English teacher at the Crypt, and former RSC actor. Lepper's last production at the Crypt was "Much Ado About Nothing" in 1966.
School song – Carmen Cryptiense
Pio cantu celebremus
Scholam, pie memoremus
Conditores, quis debemus
Tot Musarum munera.
Laus Ioanni tribuenda,
Laus Ioannae concinenda.
Vivat schola Cryptiensis,
Vivat in perpetuum!
Stat per annos domus crescens
Fortiorque fit senescens,
Laeta prole revirescens
Dum labuntur saecula.
Viget prisca fide plena,
Viget nova spe serena.
Vivat schola Cryptiensis,
Vivat in perpetuum!
Notable former pupils
- Alumni of the school are known as Old Cryptians.
- John Gordon A'Bear, international rugby union player with the British and Irish Lions, and Gloucester's youngest ever captain.
- Prof Ernest Baldwin, Professor of Biochemistry at University College London from 1950–69
- Peter Bayley, Berry Professor of English at the University of St Andrews from 1978–85, and the first Principal of Collingwood College, Durham in 1972
- Capel Bond, organist
- Prof Derek Brewer, Professor of English at the University of Cambridge from 1983–90, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge from 1977–90, and President of the English Association from 1982–3 and 1987–90
- Thomas Edward Brown (1830–1897) – poet and scholar, former head-master
- Andrew Clements, Music critic of The Guardian since 1993 and of the Financial Times from 1979–93, and Editor of The Musical Times from 1987–8
- Harold Collison, Baron Collison CBE, General Secretary of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers from 1953–69
- Robin Day (1923–2000) – journalist, broadcaster and political commentator
- Jack Edge (1993-Present) - Sports Scientist at AFC Bournemouth
- Ian Dench - Songwriter and musician, best known as the guitarist from EMF
- Group Captain Dickie Haine DFC
- Andrew Henderson, Ambassador to Algeria since 2007
- William Henley (1849–1903) – poet and editor
- Rt Rev Michael Wrenford Hooper, Bishop of Ludlow from 2002–9
- Michael John Hurd, composer
- Prof H. D. F. Kitto – classicist and Professor of Greek at the University of Bristol from 1944–62
- Air Vice-Marshal John Lawrence CB, Station Commander of RAF Wittering from 1964–6
- John Moore (1730–1805) – Archbishop of Canterbury
- Grahame Parker, cricketer
- Robert Raikes (1736–1811) – publisher and founder of Sunday School Movement
- James Roose-Evans, theatre director and priest
- Wayne Thomas – professional footballer (Doncaster Rovers)
- George Whitefield (1714–1770) – a leader of the Methodist movement
- James Frederick Wood, Archbishop of Philadelphia between 1860–83
- Russell Wilson - leading scholar of ancient vertebrate evolutionary history