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Walter Morrison MP - Chairman of the School Governors




Rev Thomas Clarke Henley - Vice Chairman of the School Governors


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The History of Education in Malhamdale

Correspondence with William Atkinson - schoolmaster

William Atkinson was the Master of Malham School from 1848 until it's closure, when it amalgamated with the Kirkby Malham Grammar School to form the Kirkby Malhamdale United School in 1872. The new school was initially run in the old Malham school buildings and Mr Atkinson was appointed as the temporary headmaster of the combinede school until the new School buildings were completed between the two villages. He was awarded a pension of £20 per annum for life for his original post at Malham.
He was a strong willed charachter, he had various disputes with the Trustees (see the Malham Free School page), but the following is correspondence referring to his appointment and resignation as the acting head of the new Kirkby Malhamdale United School.

October 19th 1872
Transcript of letter from W.Atkinson to the Governors


Letter Letter


The Governors of Kirkby Malhamdale United Schools

Agreeably with the resolution of the Governors of the Kirkby Malhamdale United Schools passed in the 3rd inst., I beg to forward to you the roll-book for Malham school, with a statement of the capitation fees paid by the non-foundationers and a list of the free scholars. The Governors will understand that the filled-up spaces in the roll-book represent attendances – the vacant spaces – absences.
I regret the scanty information that the roll-book will afford the Governors, and would have been glad to have adopted a system of registration that would have exhibited not only the attendance of the scholars, but also their behaviour and the work done in the school. But the school having been, with the exception of a very few years, without inspection – governmental, diocesan, or private; without any immediate and tangible rewards to stimulate industry or recompense punctuality; and being completely single handed in the working of the school, I have felt that such a system of registration would be, in the position in which I found myself, if not impracticable, at any rate it would be inefficient.
That the school may be as efficient as its present circumstances and transitional state will permit, I beg respectfully to suggest that a more copious and better supply of books be provided, to be placed in the hands of the scholars at a reduced price – not gratuitously. A lengthened experience has convinced me of the injurious effects of gratuitous instruction or gratuitous school books.

I am, Gentlemen
Your obedient Servant
W. Atkinson
Kirkby Malham October 19th 1872


December 4th 1872
Transcript of letter from W.Morrison to W.Atkinson

Malham Tarn
Bell Busk, near Leeds
Kirkby Malham
December 4th 1872
Mr William Atkinson

I am directed by the Governors of the Kirkby in Malhamdale United Schools at a meeting held today, to invite you to continue to take charge of the Malham School under their control, from January 1st 1873 on the following terms.
The salary to be at the rate of £100 one hundred pounds a year, paid quarterly, together with one half the school fees paid by the scholars attending the school, the balance being paid over to the Governors. The salary up to December 31st 1872 to be apportioned on the basis of the present rental of the Malham School estates for the current year in proportion to the number (of) days between November 11th and January 1st.
The engagement to be terminable on either side at any time by giving three months notice in writing.
We should be obliged by an answer in a week’s time.

Thank you
W. Morrison

P.S. The scale of fees for all scholars who are liable to pay fees, viz all who have entered since August 1870, is fixed at 4d a week for ordinary scholars and 6d a week for all who learn Latin or French.


December 10th 1872
Transcript of letter from W.Atkinson to the Governors




To the Governors of Kirkby-in Malhamdale United Schools

With sincere gratitude I accept the offer of the continued Mastership of the Kirkby-in-Malhamdale United Schools on the conditions which you have done me the honour to propose for my acceptance.
The kind terms in which the offer is conveyed enhance the obligation on my part to exert to the utmost whatever abilities I may possess for the benefit of the school – conscious that by doing so I shall best evince the gratitude I profess, and prove myself in some degree worthy of the confidence so indulgently reposed in me.

I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
William Atkinson.
Kirkby-in-Malhamdale, Dec 10th 1872

March 13th 1874
Transcript of letter from W.Atkinson to Rev TC Henley





Kirkby Malham
March 13th 1874

Reverend and Dear Sir
Enclosed you will receive my resignation of the Mastership of the Kirkby Malhamdale United Schools. Permit me to avail myself of the opportunity to express my sincere gratitudeto yourself, and the other Governors of the School, for the kindness, gentlemanly feeling and generosity exhibited towards me since I have had the pleasure of holding my situation under you - the more to be appreciatedas the sentiment with which these favours were perceived could be but of infinitesimally small importance. "One does a generous thing said the late Mr Dickens, because it is right and pleasant, andnot for any response it is to awaken in others." Had my tenure of office been previously as agreeable as it has been during the last two or three years, I should have retired gladdennedwith pleasing retrospections, alloyed only by the regret that I had not been able to do morefor the benefit of those for whom I had laboured.

I am Revd and Dear Sir
With feelings of sincere respect
Your obedient Servant
W Atkinson



April 1st 1874
Transcript of letter from W.Atkinson to Rev TC Henley




Kirkby Malham, April 1st 1874
To the Chairman, Vice Chairman, and other Governors of the Kirkby MalhamdaleUnited Schools.

I hereby beg respectfully to tender you my resignation of the Mastership of the Kirkby Malhamdale United Schools, to take effect in three months from the date hereof; that is to say, on the thirtieth day of June next ensuing - the date usually adopted for the closing of Malham school for the Midsummer vacation.

William Atkinson
Master, Kirkby Malhamdale United Schools



July 1st 1874
Transcript of letter from W.Atkinson to Rev TC Henley




Kirkby Malham July 1st 1874.

Rev Dear Sir,
I beg to forward to you the key of the Schoolroom, the School Registers and receipt for Cheque value £27.6.7d. In taking a final leave of yourself, Rev Dear Sir, and the other Governors of the United Schools, permit me respectfully to offer to you, and through you, to them my most sincere gratitude for the liberality and indulgent kindness with which I have been treated.

I am, Rev Dear Sir,
Your obedient Servt.
W. Atkinson
Late Master K.M.U.Schls
Rev T.C.Henley M.A.
Vice Chairman of the Governors K.M.U.Schls.


October 3rd 1874
Transcript of letter from W.Atkinson to Rev TC Henley

Stainton, Penrith, Cumberland
October 3rd 1874

Revd Dear Sir
Permit me to express my gratitude to yourself and the other Governors of the K M U School, for the equitable view taken of my claim to the £7.15.0d handed over by the late Trustees of Malham School. To explode in a long ? on the generosity, liberality, beneficence etc etc of the Governors, would tend rather to create disgust than give pleasure, since no set of gentlemen need understand more clearly than the Governors do, that there is precious little generosity in giving a man what is equitably, if not strictly legally due to him.
From a copy of the Pioneer with which I was favoured about the time when your new School was opened, I observed with great satisfaction that the proceedings attending the opening proved an entire success – one proof of which was, what generally carries conviction to the obtusest intellect – the financial results. If your Reading Rooms have opened, I trust that the attendance at them will be such as to yield some satisfaction for the generous labour you expend in working them.
Stainton, though a village assez agreable et tres sulubre, is rather unfortunately situated, being to near Penrith to throw the inhabitants on their own resources for intellectual amusement and profit, and yet frequently found too distant for pedestrians at any rate; hence we have neither Reading Room nor Entertainments, and from being habituated to them, I rather fear I shall feel the lack of them. Though this place is without church or chapel, still the interests of the church are vigorously looked to – Mrs Hasell, widow of the late E W Hasell of Dalemain, for a long series of years Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for Cumberland and Chairman of the Lancaster Carlisle Railway Company, taking a leading part in the quest after absentees on Sundays from Dacre Church, or the Schoolroom in Stainton. I give the lady credit for being in earnest, and certainly she has the happy art of rendering herself very agreeable, never exhibiting a shade of hauteur, or anything savouring of snobbishness.
Dacre Church which is being re-built, dates I believe from a much more remote period than Kirkby Malham Church, and possesses several monuments of great value in an antiquarian point of view. In the churchyard there is a very touching proof of affectionate remembrance – the graves of the late Mr Hasell and his son being adorned with crosses laden with beautiful blooming flowers, and, from the well-worn paths these crosses have made along the graves, it is clear that this act of devotion has been continued since the occupation of the graves by those, who, though lost to sight, are still to memory dear.

I have the honour to be,
Revd Dear Sir,
Your much obliged Servant,
Wm Atkinson
The Rev T C Henley
Kirkby Malham.


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