Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 17 2016
Webpage updated: November 27, 2018

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On Monday September 14th 1846, the Earl of Auckland, First Sea Lord, laid the memorial stone of a new building in King Street.

This foundation stone of the
Royal Naval and Military Free Schools, for the education of the
Sons, Daughters and Infants of Seamen
Retired Marines and Soldiers, Fishermen, Watermen, etc.,
Was laid on 14th September 1846
By the Right Honourable, the Earl of Auckland, KCB. First Lord
Commissioner of the Admiralty
A Vice Patron of the

The building, which was designed by Mr John Greenwood, of Stoke, and built by his father, Mr William Greenwood, was completed in 1848 at a cost of between 2,000 and 3,000.  Queen Victoria gave 50, the Prince Consort, 25, the Lords of the Admiralty, 200, the Duke of Northumberland, 100, the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, 50, a Mrs Kennedy, 200, Mrs R R Adams, 400, Mr E B Mills, 50, Sir J Jeejeabhoy, 100, the Trinity Board, 75, Mr J E Jeffery, 20, Mr Trounsell, 40, and the English residents of Foo Chow, 27 14s 8d.

The building itself was well commended.  It stood three storeys high, with residences for the master and mistress, plus committee rooms and the infants' school, on the ground floor.  The girls' school occupied the other two floors.  The boys' school was at the rear and was reached by crossing the paved playground for the girls and the infants.  The boys' playground was a room on the ground floor while above were seven rooms used for the classes.

By 1864 the boys' school room had been enlarged twice and plans were made in 1865to extend it yet again but the plan was dropped.  However it was carried out in 1867-68 by the addition of a room at the south end of the boys' school.  This allowed the School to take an additional seventy boys, so hat in 1868 there were 370 boys, 203 girls and 227 infants on the registers.