RepositoryArchives
Ref NoI/HRS
LevelFonds
TitleRecords of the Hamlet of Ratcliff [Stepney Greencoat] School
Date1710-1970
DescriptionRecords including minutes, reports and correspondence, log books, finance, papers relating to trustees, pupils, property, photographs and other records. Includes Stepney Red Coat School, Stepney, Infants Department admission register 1912-1927: ref: I/HRS/13/1.

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Extent49 volumes and 17 items
AdminHistoryThe Hamlet of Ratcliff School was founded in 1710 as a charity school for the education of 50 poor boys from Ratcliff; a girls' school, originally for 30 poor girls, was opened in 1723. Numbers of pupils varied, however, during the course of the School's history. Rented premises were used until 1720, when a school was built on land purchased by the Trustees in White Horse Street (later called White Horse Road), to the south of St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney. This building, substantially enlarged in 1814, was used until 1853 when it was demolished and replaced by a new school on the same site, opening in 1854. An infants' department was opened in 1880 and in 1899 the boys' and girls' schools were merged into a new mixed department.
For a fuller account of the School's history, see Revd. J. V. Pixell's 'Short History of the Hamlet of Ratcliff School', printed by the Stepney Press for the School's bicentenary in 1910 [a copy is available in the Local History Library, L. 3690, classified at 820.1]. At the end of the volume Pixell gives a list of 'old school records' most of which now form part of records listed below. A number of records, however, that he listed appear to have gone missing since 1910, most notably the following:
Managers' Meeting Minutes, 1851-1866
Trustees' Meeting Minutes, 1815-1819
Trustees' Meeting Minutes, 1823-1825
Ladies' Committe Minutes, 1837-1851
Admission and Attendance Registers (numerous volumes), 1766 onwards.
The school was primarily a Charity School, although some fee-paying pupils were also admitted, and many of the children were also provided with free clothing. The official colour of such clothing was changed to green in 1763, although Pixell states that the popular name for the School - 'Green Coat School' - is not found used until in the Minute Books until 1854 [unfortunately this is in one of the missing volumes]. In addition to receiving free education and clothing, many children had apprenticeship premiums paid by the School's Trustees when they left school at about the age of fourteen.
In 1929 the school was re-opened as the first Church of England Mixed Central School in London; in 1951 the school was re-organised, along with the Red Coat (Mile End Old Town) School. In 1970 the premises in White Horse Road were vacated and the school moved to new buildings (on the site of the former St. Anne's Church of England School) at Norbiton Road, Limehouse, changing its name officially to the Stepney Greencoat School. The two statues of a boy and a girl, carved in 1759, were moved at the same time and have been incorporated into the facade of the new school.
CustodHistDeposited by Mrs H. Chillingworth, Head Teacher, Stepney Greencoat School, Norbiton Road, London E14, 6 September 1988.
Related MaterialRecords of the Ratcliff Charity Trust, including some 133 apprenticeship indentures for children apprenticed between 1730 and 1850 were transferred from the House of Lords Record Office and are now held by Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives. The collection is uncatalogued, accession reference TH/8988. Contact staff for details on access. For an index to the indentures see I/HRS/7/5.
Subject(s)Charity schools
Educational foundations
Ratcliff
Early childhood education
Preschool education
Stepney (borough)
Secondary schools
Education
Schools
Access StatusOpen
RequestNO - This does not represent a physical document. Please click on the reference number and view list of records to find material available to order at file or item level.
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