DUBLIN ROAD SCHOOL, LISBURN.
By Joseph Allen.
Towards the close of the 18th and early in the 19th century a wave of philanthropy spread over England, and we find Robert Raikes in 1781 founding the first Sunday School, where the children of the poor were instructed in religious and secular subjects. In 1802 a. great step forward was made by Joseph Lancaster, a Quaker; and Dr. Andrew Bell, a member of the Church of England, who were really the pioneers of the schools for the proper instruction of the children of the poor.
We one to them a debt which should never be forgotten, and their names will always be enshrined as the real founders of the schools for the poor. It is impossible for us at the present time to imagine, even faintly the state and condition of the then poor in matters of education, and it is pleasant to think that we had in our midst ' in the early part of the nineteenth century a young man in the person of Mr. John Crossley, jun., of Lisburn, who determined to give the benefits of a sound religious and secular education to the poor children in our midst. He it was who in the year 1805, (his epitaph states 1810) commenced the first school in Lisburn under the system of Bell and Lancaster, doubtless on the site of the present Dublin Rood School or near thereto. John Crossley passed to his rest at the early age of 31 years, but his good work cannot be measured by his length of years. His remains were buried in the Cathedral Churchyard beside those of. his father, John Crossley, sen. A pilgrimage, to the south-west corner, will find the gravestone, whereon is inscribed the following
To the memory of John Crossley, Jun., of Lisburn, who, in the year 1810, established the first free school on the system of Bell and Lancaster in this province, and although struggling with a feeble, constitution continued until his last illness to exert himself with great zeal and judgment in communicating the blessings of religious and moral knowledge to many poor children.
A pious and practical Christian, humble, in himself, charitable to others, affectionate to his friends and devout towards his God.
He did much good, with limited means; and was called to his everlasting reward on the 10th March, 1816, aged 31 years.
Here also are interred the remains of his excellent father, John Crossley, sen., 'who departed this life on the 11th, March, 1830, aged 84 years.
Lisburn people were and ever are mindful, of generous hearts and loving dispositions, and as a memorial to his memory they erected the present building in the year 1821, and a. tablet' placed above the ' entrance: door reads thus :- -
This Free School commenced A.D. MDCCCV. under the direction of the late Mr. John Crossley, junior. The inhabitants of Lisburn to perpetuate its benefits have erected this schoolhouse A .D. MDCCCXXI. on a site allowed for it by the Most Honourable the Marquis of Hertford.
Since the erection of the school till the present year, 1918, the principles of his teaching have been faithfully: carried out, and doubtless hundreds of children enjoyed the blessings of a generous education, which, fitted them for the duties of citizenship and for the work of active life.
It is evident that a committee was appointed to carry on efficiently the school, and in the year 1825 the number of scholars on the roll was 190 and the entire expenditure was a sum of only £55 16s 11d.
In a poem of six cantos on Lisburn. written by Mr. Henry Bayly (the historian of Lisburn), published in the year 1834 printed By Mr. Thomas Mairs, of Joy's Entry, Belfast, the following verses written on this School and its founder, Mr. John Cossley, junior, appear:-
Lisburn's Free School! the seeds of virtuous love,
In Mr. Bayly's history of Lisburn it is stated that the Schoolhouse yard front gates of wrought-iron and other appendages cost the sum of £387 7s 7d. and that the Master's house adjoining cost the sum of £95. ,
The name of Rowly F. Hall must lie associated with the founder of this school. He was an attorney by profession, and was the legal agent of the Marquis of Hertford. Like Crossley he was much esteemed by the people of Lisburn. Mr. Hail presented in 1822 a bell for cupola. of. the school which Weighed 43 pounds. Alas, the, bell and it's cupola are no longer existent.
A fine monument to the memory of Rowley F. Hall adorns the north side
of the, gallery of the Cathedral; It represents at top the Good
Samaritan, and the wording there under is, as follows:
"Go Thou and Do Likewise."
Erected to the memory of Rowley F. Hall, Esquire,. Attorney-at-Law; by personal friends in Lisburn, in testimony of their affection and of his worth in the discharge of the laborious duties of his profession. He was more studious to prevent litigation than to desire emolument.
He exemplified the conduct of the Good Samaritan' in visiting and relieving the sick and afflicted in seasons of epidemic and infectious diseases. He was indefatigable in promoting the education of the poor and the charitable institutions of this parish.
Of the practice of religion and virtue the uniform tenor of his life afforded a bright example.
Died September 22nd, 1826, in the 39th, year of his age.
According to the printed report of 1866, the then committee consisted of the following-The Dean of Ross, Rev. Robert Lindsay, Mr. Redmond Jefferson, Dr. Campbell, Rev. W. D Pounden, treasurer; David Beatty, secretary.
It will thus be seen two members were of the Cathedral Parish and four of Christ Church. Moreover, the School Building since the year 1863, is in Christ Church Parish, and it is said (but it is difficult after such a lapse of time to confirm it) that prior to the building of the church, ' the members of the congregation were wont to worship there. Some Lisburn gentlemen, namely, Mr. Hall, Mr. J. Coulson, and Mr. G. Whitla, mindful either of the founder or of the good work done, bequeathed certain moneys towards the School, the interest of which has been regularly paid.
The first schoolmaster was Mr. Wm. M `Cann-well known to the older inhabitants as an excellent teacher. He held the position for the long space of 57 years. The school was familiarly known. as "M'Cann's School" He retired in 1873. His successor was Mr. G. Ruddock. Other teachers were Mr. Dalt on and Mr. M'Donagh, the latter holding the position for a number of years. The present teachers are Mr. Mulligan and Miss Gowan.
By deed, dated 16th February, 1901, Sir John Murray Scott vested the School Building in the Diocesan Board of Education in fee-simple, and the teachers' residence is held by trustees in fee-simple.
Sir John Murray Scott also transferred to the Diocesan Board a sum of £117 6s .towards the endowment of this School.
Canon Pounden during his incumbency of Christ Church (1863-1884), and subsequently as Rector of Lisburn, until his death, superintended School and ----------- there and it was felt that Christ Church should continue same; and the Diocesan Board of Education, at their meeting held on the 5th day of June, 1918, passed the following resolution:
'That the Dublin Road School, Lisburn, be affiliated with Christ Church, 'Lisburn, and so much of the endowments as are appropriated to the Dublin Road School, Lisburn, by the grant of the 16th February, 1901, from Sir, John Murray Scott and others to the Down and Connor and Dromore Diocesan Board of Education, be paid to the Rector of of ' ` Christ Church, Lisburn, for the benefit of the said School.
That this meeting desires to place on record their thanks to the Rector and Select Vestry of Christ Church, Lisburn for taking over this school, Which they have so kindly volunteered to do, and to continue the good, work so long carried on by the late Canon Pounden.
At a recent meeting of the Select Vestry that body accepted the terms of the resolution, and appointed a small committee consisting of Rev. R. H. S. Cooper, M.A., Miss Pounden, Mr. G. H. Clarke, Mr. F. W. Ewart, and Mr. Joseph Allen to take charge of the School.