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Radcliffe and Browne's School, Stamford - Prize Volume

Chris Hunt 2021

With the reorganisation of the School in the early 1870’s the Governors began to provide a number of prizes for both academic and non-academic achievement in the form of specially bound hardback books. Over the years the binding changed from special calf bound boards to normal publisher’s cloth with a school/town crest in gold tooling on the front outer board.

The ones issued by the Boy’s School in the last quarter of the nineteenth century have the Borough seal on the front cover with the words ‘Schola Stamfordiensis’ underneath, and inside the front cover the prize label with the name of the recipient, details of the prize, and the signature of the Headmaster.

These sort of school-prize books rarely carry binder’s stamp and those issued by the School are no different. However, a recently discovered volume awarded to Cecil William Thorpe at the Midsummer Examination in 1890 (Drawing Prize) has ‘bound by Bickers’ in pencil written on the front flyleaf. Other known similar volumes from before World War One are almost certainly bound by Bickers’ including one awarded at the Girl’s School.

Bickers & Son were booksellers and bookbinders at No 1 Leicester Square, London.

As to Cecil William Thorpe, he was aged 13, and lived with his grandmother at 51 High Street, St Martins when the Census Enumerator called in 1891. By 1911 Cecil was living at 42 Spilsby Road, Skirbeck, Boston and is recorded in the census as being a Bank Clerk. He later served and survived World War One in the Army Service Corp.

And the volume he chose was; ‘Frondes Agrestes, Readings in Modern Painters’, a ninth edition published in 1889.

A print version can be downloaded HERE

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