c. 1900

Coopers’ School

Coborn School in the 1900s. Note the girls in panama hats and the tram running past the school.

c. 1900

Coopers’ School

The Coopers’ Company’s School in Tredegar Square, Bow.  At this time Mr George Frederick Perrot had just taken over as Headmaster from Rev. Henry Pinder. The school’s motto was ‘Aut Disce Aut Discede, Manet Sors Tertia Caedi’, roughly translated as ‘ Either Learn or Leave; there remains a third fate – being beaten’.  ‘Love as Brethren’ it seems came later!

c. 1899

Group photo Coborn Girls

Following the Education Act of 1870, which provided for free schooling for all primary aged children, a new scheme was formed for the Coborn School under the Endowed Schools Act. Initially, the Coborn Governors sold some property in Essex to provide the funds to purchase and renovate the Stepney Grammar School in Tredegar Square; however, the Governors had overstretched themselves financially and the new school did not prosper.  The girls’ department was eventually closed down and the school was taken over by the Coopers’ Company to re-house their Grammar School. The picture shows girls sitting under the mulberry tree that was planted in the 1700s by the French Huguenots. The headmistress, Miss Sarah Chell, was a real Victorian who imposed strict rules of conduct.  Girls were expected always to wear gloves, never to go upstairs on buses or trams, and never to talk to the Coopers’ boys.