Mr Stubbings' Winslow Academy / Winslow School (1799-1812)

By Ed Grimsdale

I write not for praise,
For lucre, or gain,
To benefit youth,
Alone is my aim.
(H.W.S.  in a book of educational advice published in Northampton by J. Abel in 1823)

Henry Watkins Stubbings probably moved to Winslow and opened his “Winslow Boarding School” a.k.a. “Winslow School” in 1799. He was not listed in Winslow in 1798, and an advertisement announcing that the school would re-open in January 1811 spoke of the twelve years of satisfaction afforded by his institution. He married Jane Hogg at Bletchley on 12 Sep 1798, and he was recorded as a schoolmaster at Bletchley in the Posse Comitatus for that year.

Here is a typical advertisement from 1804:

HENRY WATKINS STUBBINGS respectfully informs his Friends and the Public that his SCHOOL will be opened again for the Reception of Boarders, on Monday, January 23rd, 1804
Terms include Education, and Washing. 16 Guineas per Annum. Entrance, Half-a-Guinea.

According to his advert for 1801 he took boys from 6 to 14. The premises were in Horn Street at what is now no.32. The house and its outbuildings must have been capacious since Mr Stubbings talked of educating “40-50” young gentlemen at a time and when he put the business on the market in 1811, he stated that “upwards of 50” students were enrolled.  It’s possible that the death of a son may have affected Stubbings’ decision to sell his school and move at this time. His loss is recorded  upon a black tablet fixed to  the wall of the south aisle of the Bletchley Parish Church, which also commemorates his parents and in-laws:

Sacred to the memory of Henry Stubbings, who died Feb. 15th 1794, aged 57 years. Also of Sarah his wife, who died May 31st 1814, aged 76 years. Also of Henry Watkins Stubbings, grandson of the above, who died April 11th 1810, aged 5 years. Also of Thomas Hogg, who died Oct. 8th 1818, aged 82 years. Also of Jane his wife, who died Sept. 9th 1813, aged 78 years. Also of Ann their daughter, who died Oct. 9th 1815, aged 43 years.
This Monument is placed here to perpetuate the memory of the best parents, by William Henry [=Henry Watkins] Stubbings, a native of this village: late Master of the Academy in Winslow, in this County, but now of Newnham near Daventry, in the County of Northampton, A.D. 1822.
Sola salus servare Deo  Palma non sine pulvere
[The only salvation is to serve God. The palm is not (gained) without (struggle in the) dust.]
Sacred to the Memory of Henry Watkins Stubbings, who died on the 17th of August 1824, aged 50. He was formerly Master of Winslow Academy in this County, and late of Newnham Academy in the County of Northampton; and was universally respected by all to whom he was known.

The school was large enough to need an assistant master and Stubbings appointed Daniel Grace who was probably born in Great Horwood in 1789.

Northampton Mercury, 9 Jan 1808
H. W. STUBBINGS, truly grateful for the numerous Favours he has received during his Residence at Winslow, begs Leave most respectfully to inform his Friends and the Public, his SCHOOL opens again on MONDAY, JANUARY 18th, 1808. – Terms, including Board, Education and Washing, 17 Guineas per Annum; Entrance, Half-a-Guinea, with the usual Vacations.
H.W.S. hopes, from the great Encouragement he has experienced, that his Conduct has met the Approbation of his Friends, which, he assures them, he will assiduously endeavour to retain, by the most zealous Attention to those who are, or may be, committed to his Care.

Daniel Grace became a partner in 1811, leading to the following sale, presumably due to Stubbings leaving:

Northampton Mercury, 21 Dec 1811
On Thursday the 26th of December, 1811, and following Day, on the Premises, at WINSLOW, Bucks.
PART of the valuable and modern HOUSEHOLD-FURNITURE, and other EFFECTS, of Mr. HENRY WATKINS STUBBINGS (in Consequence of a Partner being taken into the Business); comprising a Four-post Sacking-bottom Bedstead, with Plaid Furniture; Tent-Bedstead, with White Dimity Furniture; three Pair of Window Curtains, two Feather Beds, eight Pair of Blankets, 20 Bed-Quilts and Rugs, 18 Pair of Sheets; three large Diaper Table-Cloths, one large Homespun Ditto, three Huckaback Ditto, and other Linen; Carpet, Pair of handsome Bedside Carpets, Hearth-Rug; superb Mahogany Knife-Case, new; very capital Mahogany Sideboard, new; Pair of valuable Pier-Tables, inlaid with Satin Wood; very curious Mahogany Book-Case, Pair of Mahogany Foot-Stools, Brass nailed; very handsome small Organ, by Longman; two Time-Pieces, on Marble Pedestals; Pier and Swing-Glasses; six neat Bamboo Chairs, and two Elbow ditto to match; Mahogany Pembroke Table, Mahogany Wash-hand Stand, Basin and Ewer, Mahogany Chest of Drawers, Oak Ditto, Pair of Oak Dining-Tables, one Tea Ditto; Pair of valuable Paintings by Morland, in Gilt Frames; two Pair of Prints, in Ditto; Print of Lord Nelson, with sundry Paintings on Glass; Pair of plated Opera Candlesticks, and Pair of Reading Ditto, new; Quantity of valuable China, Glass, and Earthenware; Mahogany Dinner Tray, Knife-Box, with Knives and Forks; one Dozen Silver-handled Dessert Knives and Forks; three large Iron-bound Casks, &c.; Land-Measurer’s Chain, Cross, Staff, and Link-Staff, with a Case of Mathematical Instruments complete; several Lots of valuable Books, which will be particularized in the Catalogues. – The Sale to begin at Ten o’Clock each Day.

This advert appeared in the Northampton Mercury, 4 July 1812

H.W. STUBBINGS begs Leave respectfully to return his most grateful Thanks to his Friends for past Favours; and to inform them, that he has declined business in Favour of Mr.Grace, whom he begs to recommend as his Successor
Winslow June 29th, 1812.

He bought 14 Market Square in 1811 and briefly ran a bookshop and stationer's there, which he sold of in 1813. He also sold some other property:

Northampton Mercury, 2 July 1814

ALL that COPYHOLD MESSUAGE, or TENEMENT, situate and being near the MARKET-SQUARE, in WINSLOW aforesaid;  containing a good Shop, Parlour,  Kitchen, and Cellar; three very comfortable  Bed-Rooms and one Attic, in complete Repair; with Barn, two Gardens, and Pump and Well of excellent Water, in the occupation of Mr. Whichello, Hair-Dresser.
N.B. To the above Premises is attached a newly built COTTAGE, in the Occupation of Mrs. Ives and Mrs. Bradbury.
Particulars may be had, and to treat for the same, apply to Mr. STUBBINGS, the Proprietor, Providence Cottage, Bletchley;  near Fenny-Stratford, or to Mr. WILLIS, Solicitor, Winslow

Stubbings moved to Northamptonshire, where he advertised for help in the Northampton Mercury for 1821:

WANTED , at NEWNHAM ACADEMY, near Daventry, a smart active YOUNG MAN, to wait at Table, to clean Knives, Shoes, &c., to milk two or three Cows, to work in the Garden, and to do what may be required of him. ALSO, A respectable MAID SERVANT of all Work, who will have care of the Dairy. […]

In 1823 he advertised for sale at 3s his Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Verse.

The transfer of the premises from Stubbings to Grace was recorded in the Winslow Court Books for 26 Oct 1812 (Centre for Bucks Studies, D 82/3/445):

Surrender: Henry Watkins Stubbings of Winslow schoolmaster & Jane his wife
Admission: Daniel Grace of Winslow schoolmaster

All that messuage or tenement situate in Great Horn Street within this Manor formerly in the occupation of John Redding and Charles Holt since of the said Henry Watkins Stubbings and now of Daniel Grace to which premises Henry Watkins Stubbings was admitted 28 & 30 October 1805 on the surrender of John Norman.
And also all that other messuage or tenement also situate and being in Great Horn Street in Winslow aforesaid within this Manor with the yard garden and barn thereunto belonging heretofore in the occupation of William Roberts since of the said Henry Watkins Stubbings and now of the said Daniel Grace to which premises Henry Watkins Stubbings was admitted at the same court on the surrender of Thomas Bignell.

The Winslow school continued as Mr Grace's High School / Commercial School.