Robert Whiston & the Worcester King School Endowments

  • 15 Dec 2018
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Robert Whiston, celebrated headmaster at Rochester and reformer of Cathedral schools, was friend and life-time correspondent of James Knight, the Editor of the Worcester Chronicle. Robert Whiston was headmaster of Rochester Catheral Grammer School from 1849-1853. He examined records and found that funds for scholars, and for four scholars at Oxford, were going into the Dean and Chapter's pockets. When informed, they and the Bishop refused to do anything. (The Bishop, Dr George Murray, had also held the post of Dean of Worcester in plurality with Rochester until 1845).

Whiston published a book on his researches, and the Dean and Chapter immediately sacked him. After three years of litigation, and great national publicity, he was re-instated, and part of the money returned to rightful use. James Knight found similar misuse of funds with the Worcester King School Endowments,  and as at Rochester, there was powerful opposition. The two men were fearless champions of public rights. They were the standard bearers. To get changes made, it was necessary to get redress by Act of Parliament. Knight was well placed with his newspaper, ut it was Alderman Rowley Hill, MP who saw the Bill through Parliament.

Whiston received a public subscription of two thousand pounds for legal expenses and for his suffering from his powerful neighbours.