Aspects of the History of the Grammar Schools in Monmouthshire during the Nineteenth Century by Anthony Corten In recent years much attention has been paid to the contribution which local history can make to our deeper understanding of the great events which have formed British history. Historians of education have also been affected by this trend towards local history and some have come to realise that whilst studies of, for example, the 1870 Education Act or the 1944 Education Act are interesting and, of course, important, such studies are sterile unless the effects of such legislation on the many local communities which make up England and Wales, are examined in depth. Perhaps in the past historians have concentrated far too much on central government educational policy. It is my feeling that important changes in education introduced by the government in London are the 'end products' of a change which had its origins in the local commun- ities. Far more serious research needs to be done if such 'feelings' are to be verified. For this short study I have chosen to examine four grammar schools in the county-Monmouth, Abergavenny, Llantilio Crossenny and Usk. The evidence of government reports, school minutes and other docu- mentary information is consistent in describing the rather decayed state of all four of the Monmouthshire schools. One reason for this pheno- menon seems to lie in the nature of the origins and endowment of the grammar schools. The four Monmouthshire grammar schools had been founded and endowed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and from an examination of their foundation charters the schools seem to have been endowed for the education of boys of the district in the Latin and Greek languages. Such endowments were in the form of bequests of land and as a result of the decreasing value of land rents during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the income of many grammar schools declined thus causing some of the schools severe financial embarrassment. The earliest Monmouthshire grammar school was that of Abergavenny which was founded by Henry VIII from some of the monies from the dissolved priory churches of the town. One early seventeenth century source tells us that "King Henry VIII by Letters Patent 24th July 34 of his reign did erecte a schoole at Burgavenny and for the maintenance of a schoolemaster and usher did grante to the plaintiffs and their successors the rectories of St. Michael Kylcorney, Landewy Rethergh and of Badgworth, yielding to the King and his successors 40/- rent, paying £ 13.6s.8d. to the schoolemaster and £ 6.13s.4d. to the usher". Although there was a reorganisation of the charity in the eighteenth century it remains true to say that throughout the nineteenth century the school at Abergavenny still depended on the