The Thomas Adams School in Wem
The Grammar School Gates.|
|The Thomas Adams School was founded as a Grammar School in 1650 by Sir Thomas Adams Bt.who was born in Wem in 1586 and became Lord Mayor of London following a period as Sheriff. He was described as 'filling the office with great disinterestedness'. A monarchist, he sent £10,000 to Charles II in exile, and received a baronetcy on the return of the monarchy. He set up a free school for boys in his home town with income derived from property. Most of the income went to pay staff. The pupils were free to study classics and English, but had to pay for other subjects (e.g. writing and accounts were up to 10 shillings and sixpence a quarter). The Rev. William Boulton was the headmaster, and in 1850, there were only 6 pupils. In 1828, it was described as 'a free school liberally endowed'. The headmaster was the Rev. Francis Salt, and the 2nd. master, Thomas Kynaston.
|It was rebuilt in 1776. In 1899, a chemical laboratory and lecture room was built. In 1900, there were 2 scholarships of £60 each at Christ Church Oxford, founded by Mr. Careswell.|
In 1900, the school had an annual income of £269 and the school was presided over by Joseph Ohm M.A. and the school had 72 pupils and 40 boarders.Mr Ohm was the grandfather of the British actor, Peter Vaughan.
A photograph of Mr Ohm (front row right centre, is shown with his pupils. He was headmaster until 1911.
1917By 1917,there were 52 pupils, but the number of boarders was only 8. G.L Bretherton M.A. of Trinity College Dublin was by this time listed the Headmaster of a school, though an acting headmaster, E.C. Carter BSc was apparently in charge. JL Rylance of Harper Adams taught horticulture, S.S. Jones taught Music and Sterling Brown taught Art. Major ASC Fothergill, Miss Bryant and Harry Reynolds were also listed as assistant teachers.
1926-34G.L. Bretherton continued to preside over a school that had 116 pupils, including 20 boarders. A further scholarship of £70 donated by the chairman of the governers, Lt.Col. Eckersley,J.P. was available. By 1934,when Mr Bretherton retired, there was accommodation for 120 boys. A larger laboratory was built in 1932, together with a Fives court and a library. Ornamental iron gates had been erected in memory of those pupils who died in the 1914-18 war.
In 1934, J.S. Shields took over as Headmaster, a post he retained until 1947. This was followed by contined expansion until, in 1976, the Grammar School and the Secondary Modrn school in Lowe Hill road united under the headship of Edward Aspinall and became the Adams School. The old grammar school buldings became the sixth form centre.
Below that is an account of one of the Adams School's famous pupils of the 20th century, Peter Jones as recounted by his cousin, Ruby Musgrave to the Wemian magazine. Our thanks to the magazine for allowing us to reproduce the article here.