Aughton, being an agricultural parish, had little need for formal schooling for its children, most being required to start earning their way as soon as they were able. However, it would be wrong to say that there was no provision for education for children, for those whose parents wished it.


The Act Books and Visitations Returns of the Archbishops of York provide useful evidence of schooling in even the smallest parishes in the Diocese of York.


The Visitation Act Book of Archbishop Herring in 1743 contains the answers from each parish on a number of questions put to them, including the answer to the question: 'Is there any Publick or Charitie School, endow'd or otherwise maintain'd in your Parish?' to which the answer from Aughton was, ‘We have no Publick or Charity School in this Parish.’


The same question was posed in Archbishop Drummond's Visitation of 1764, to which the answer was, ‘None’.


The Parliamentary Papers for 1833 contain an Abstract of Education Returns. The evidence from these is more encouraging:




Aughton Township (Pop. 217) -- One Sunday National School (commenced 1829), is attended by 14 males, and and 17 females, and supported by annual subscription. In addition to the above a few children are occasionally taught by two females.


Cottingwith, East, Township (Pop. 310) –- Four Daily Schools (commenced since 1818), wherein are 30 males and 28 females, whose instruction is paid for by their parents. -- One Sunday School (commenced 1825), in which 60 children of both sexes are taught gratuitously by Wesleyan Methodists. The oveseer states that “there is land in this township, let for 25 l. per annum, out of which 3 l. per annum is paid to place 6 poor children at School; the remainder goes in to the poor's rate; by whom, or for what purpose the land was left he knows not, but believes that the whole of the rents ought to be applied to teaching poor children.”


Laytham Township (Pop.138) -- No School in the township.


ELLERTON PRIORY Parish (pop. 305) – One Infant School, in which there are 8 males and 1 female; and - - One Daily School (commenced 1828), wherein are 7 males and 6 females; in both schools the children are paid for by their parents. - - One Sunday School, of 40 children of both sexes, is supported by a collection.




Further evidence can be found in the 19th century Trade Directories and Topographical Dictionaries. The Baine's 1823 Directory makes no mention of any schools nor schoolmasters, but White’s directory of 1840 lists a Isaac Morley, schoolmaster in Aughton, and a Henry Marton, schoolmaster in East Cottingwith.



By the time of The 1851 Parliamentary Gazetteer, the situation seems to improved yet again, when the entry for Aughton says: ‘There is a Sunday National School in the township of Aughton’, while East Cottingwith boasts – ‘4 Daily Schools in this township’.


The 1857 Post Office directory explicitly mentions ‘a school for boys and girls’  in Aughton, and Robert Arnott, schoolmaster, is resident in Aughton, while residents Henry Martin and Miss Ellen Nottingham are schoolmaster and schoolmistress, respectively,  in East Cottingwith.


The Visitation Act Book of Archbishop Thomson in 1865 contains the answers from each parish on a number of questions put to them, including questions about schooling in the parish. The replies to these queries from Aughton were as follows:


14. Objects for which collections have been made?

The Church Missionary Society and The Village day School.


15. What schools are there in your parish, distinguishing daily schools for adults, children, and for infants under six years of age, and Sunday Schools, how are they supported and how many scholars are there in each?

Only the Parish day School (consisting of about 20 to 30 children) supported by annual Subscriptions and the children's pence. The Sunday School is supported and conducted solely by the Vicar's wife.


16. Are you able to retain your young people in your Sunday School after they have ceased to attend the Daily School?

Not generally, as they are sent into farm service, as soon as they are able to work.


17. Have you adopted any other mode of retaining them under instruction by Adult or Evening School? And, if so, what success have you found to attend to such Schools?

An attempt was made to establish an Evening School for the farm servants, but unsuccessfully, as some of the farmers refused either to support it or allow their servants to attend.




The Post Office Directory for 1872 informs us that ‘there is a National school for boys and girls’, but no schoolmasters are listed in the lists of residents. However, the 1879 Directory gives Robert Banks, as Master of the National School (Robert is also the Parish Clerk).


Kelly’s 1889 Directory gives us – ‘National School (mixed), erected in 1878, for 30 children; average attendance 15; Miss Kirkham, mistress’, while under East Cottingwith – ‘A Board School of 5 members was formed March 10, 1876, for East Cottingwith & Storwood United District, R. Banks, clerk to the board.’


Bulmer’s 1892 Directory is quite informative, it tells us that ‘The National School in the village is attended by about 20 children’ , and in East Cottingwith there is a – ‘Friends' meeting-house, built about a century ago, and now rented and used by the School Board as a day school. The Board was formed in 1876, for the United District of East Cottingwith and Storwood, and consists of five members.’ Among the residents we find – ‘Kirkham Miss Mary Jane, schoolmistress’, in Aughton; and in East Cottingwith – ‘Arnold George, master, Board school’, and ‘Slights John Thomas, estate blacksmith, and and clerk to East Cottingwith and Storwood School Board’.


Kelly’s Directory for 1913 gives under East Cottingwith - ‘Public Elementary School (mixed), for 80 children; average attendance, 55; Frederick Vicars, master; the school is under the control of six managers’, while the Directory for 1925 now lists Miss May Joughin as the Mistress.