Old Monovians Association; History of the School

Decline and Refoundation; 1820 - 1889 - 5

It is difficult to assess realistically the School's standing in its first years after re-foundation. Allpass most certainly was a popular and energetic master. Reports of the period which survive by disinterested visiting examiners are uniformly good - the mathematical and scientific side being especially strong. A chemistry laboratory was given by W. E. Whittingham, a governor, in 1892, which was a facility few schools possessed at that time. The social and corporate life of the institution seems to have been thoroughgoing prize days, athletic meetings, and school outings being well patronised. The School Song, composed by J. F. H. Read, another governor, dated from 1890. Whether the school less than four years after its re-foundation really was a monument of fame from "England's shore to India's strand" is to be doubted, but the serious lesson of Read's words perhaps is that such a spirit of pride in the school did exist that the School Song's inaccuracies could be unflinchingly and enthusiastically accepted by its contemporaries. The Monoux tradition was often glibly spoken about, but a school has a short memory, and a tradition is often more a product of ten years than of a hundred. We may  accept, I think, that the first decade of re-foundation was one of solid achievement. It was the time when the school's precarious first 350 years, when its existence at all was often to be seen as an  ineffectual fulfilment of the wishes of a long-dead founder, was consolidated into a really thriving institution. Between 1544 and 1886, the School could have closed at any time without many regrets. After 1890, its demise was unthinkable.

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