EDUCATION AND SCHOOL BUILDING IN FLINTSHIRE DURING THE EARLY VICTORIAN PERIOD By M. V. J. SEABORNE Two years after Queen Victoria's accession to the throne, the complete series of reports of the Charity Commissioners' examination of the school endowments in Wales was published.1 This composite report of 1839 is not to be confused with the notorious Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales which appeared in 1847 and is known to history as the 'Treachery of the Blue Books' The Charity Commissioners were legal officers seeking to describe the charitable endowments which existed in Wales and to draw attention to any irregularities in their administration. The Charity Commissioners dealt with schools under the broad headings of 'classical' and 'non-classical', or, as such schools might later have been called, 'grammar' and 'elementary'. There had been much discussion in the 1830s about the neglect or misuse of charitable endowments and, in particular, the extent to which the old-established grammar schools had ceased to carry out their original statutes. More recently, educational historians have pointed out that the statutes of some Elizabethan and Stuart grammar- school foundations had not confined their curricula to the teaching of Latin and Greek and that many others, owing to the declining usefulness of the classical janguages, had adapted to local demand by concentrating on the elementary subjects. Thus, in Flintshire, Northop Free School, whose building of 1608 is today usually referred to as Northop Grammar School, was included as a non-classical school by the Commissioners because by the early nineteenth century it was teaching wholly elementary subjects.3 The classical schools listed in 1839 were located at Hawarden, Holywell and St. Asaph, with a note that Wynne's school at Trelawnyd had been founded as a classical school in 1713 but had been discontinued in 1764.4 As in many other 1 For Flintshire, see The Charities in the Counties of Denbigh, Flint, Anglesey, Caernavon- shire and Merionethshire Selected from Voluminous Reports (London, 1839), hereafter referred to as the 1839 Report. 2 For Flintshire, see Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales appointed by the Committee of Council on Education, Part III (London, 1847), hereafter referred to as the 1847 Report. 3 See further, T. W. Pritchard, 'Northop Grammar School', in Flints. Hist. Soc. Journal, vol. 29 (1979-80), pp.3-17. 4 For Wynne's school and other early charity schools, see A. Teale, 'The Battle against Poverty in North Flintshire', in Flints. Hist. Soc. Journal, vol. 31 (1983-4), p.98f..