Taunton Grammar School

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The Old Grammar School

Taunton Grammar School was an English grammar school in Taunton, Somerset, founded by Bishop Richard Foxe in 1522.[1] It was sometimes called Bishop Foxe's School. The current Bishop Fox's School traces back to Taunton Grammar School.

The founder, Richard Fox, was both Bishop of Winchester and Lord Privy Seal, and he gave the school an endowment in the shape of a small manor near Chard. In the late 18th century this was producing an income of some £40, enough to pay a schoolmaster but little more.[2] On Foxe's instructions, the mastership of the school was to be in the gift of the Warden of New College, Oxford "for ever".[3]

One of the school's masters, James Upton, was appointed in 1706 at the instigation of Lord Poulett and built the school up to the point of being a leading provincial grammar school, with over two hundred boys.[4]

In 1818 a writer on schools was puzzled to note that although the school had fine buildings, including a school-room "of vast dimensions", it had had "no scholars" for many years.[2] In 1820 The Gentleman's Magazine reported that

The endowed Grammar-school at Taunton, which has been held as a sinecure for the last 25 years, is about to be restored as an efficient Seminary for the children of the townsmen, under the care and management of the assistant preacher of the parish.[5]

The school was closed in 1870. Its building survives today as Taunton's Municipal Hall.[1]

Notable old boys[edit]


  1. ^ a b Municipal History, Taunton Town Centre Company Ltd.
  2. ^ a b c d e Nicholas Carlisle, A Concise Description of the Endowed Grammar Schools (1818), p. 432
  3. ^ Joshua Toulmin, The history of Taunton, in the county of Somerset (1822), p. 195
  4. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Upton, James". Dictionary of National Biography. 58. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  5. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle (1820), p. 366
  6. ^ The Monthly Repository dated June 1821, vol. XVI, pp. 325-327
  7. ^  "Wakley, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

Coordinates: 51°00′56″N 3°06′17″W / 51.015672°N 3.104598°W / 51.015672; -3.104598