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Social history

Biography of Amy Flint (schoolmistress)

Clarendon schoolContents

Overview

Principal of school

Family

References

Overview

About 1898, Amy Flint assisted her younger sisters Annie, and Mary started a girls' school in Cowleigh Road, North Malvern which they called Clarendon. The school remained in Malvern until about 1948, when it relocated to larger premises at Kinmel Hall, Abergele, in north Wales. Following a fire in 1975, which caused extensive damage, the school relocated to Hawnes or Haynes Park mansion in Bedfordshire, taking over the premises of  Hawnes girls' school which was in existence from 1929 to 1975. Finally in 1992, due to financial pressures, Clarendon merged with Monkton Combe School in Bath (ref 1).

Amy Flint, the founder of Clarendon was born in Stratford upon Avon about 1870. Her father was a Brewer's Clerk and her paternal grandfather was a Relieving Officer for the Guardians of the Poor of the Stratford Upon Avon Union (ref 2). We guess she grew up in a middle class family, probably with Christian values and a concern for the poor.

Principal of school

The 1891 census recorded that Amy Flint was first a Governess (school) living with her parents in Shakespeare's town of Stratford upon Avon. Perhaps Amy first came to Malvern to work as a governess in a girls' school, but by 1900 she had started a small school of her own. Kelly's Trade directory of Worcestershire, 1900 listed:

Flint Amy (Miss), girls' school, Clarendon villa, Cowleigh Road

The 1901 census recorded in residence at Clarendon Ladies' School:

Amy Flint, aged 31, Principal, Annie Flint, aged 25, governess, Mary Flint, aged 24, governess (music), Ruth Petter, aged 19, pupil governess, Ellen D Fletcher, aged 16, pupil governess, Mary B Prosser, aged 16, pupil governess, plus 21 pupils aged between 10 and 16 years, a cook, housemaid and under housemaid.

By 1911, Amy's sister Annie Flint had become Assistant Principal but Mary was still a music governess. In addition there was an English governess, a German born German governess, plus 24 pupils, a cook and two housemaids. At that time two of the pupils were born in Australia, one in New Zealand, one in India and one in British Columbia.

Trade directories record Amy Flint as Principal until 1928.

The history of Monkton Combe School (ref 1), includes an interesting account of the history of Clarendon girls' school. It records Amy Flint was headmistress until 1930, when there were 46 pupils, and comments on the Christian ethos of the school.

Amy Flint died on 8th August 1941 at 'Pillerton' 41 Hornyold Road, Malvern. Her executors were her three sisters, and she left effects of 1,375. Her sister Kate died at the same address in 1963, as did Mary in 1964. Amy's mother who was widowed in 1905, had also died at that address in 1930 (ref 4). Amy's house was probably named after Pillerton Hersey, the village near Stratford upon Avon where her grandfather Robert was born.

Annie Flint, the last of the four sisters, died at Malvern in 1968 aged 92 years.

Clarendon in later years

The school in Cowleigh Road continued to expand under later headmistresses eventually growing to 150 pupils and occupying 11 houses including Little Clarendon and Westbury. In 1948 the school left Malvern for larger premises in North Wales.

The photo at the top of the page is annotated Clarendon Senior School House Malvern - we don't currently know who the photographer was or when the photo was taken. Can you tell us?

Family

Amy Flint was the daughter of Thomas William Flint (1844 - 1905) and Mary Ann Butcher; her father was recorded in the census as a Brewer's Clerk and her mother was the daughter of a nurseryman.

Amy's grandfather Robert Flint was a Relieving Officer for the 'Guardians of the Poor of the Stratford Upon Avon Union'. In those days the worthy poor needing relief might either receive it by entering the workhouse, or in special circumstances receive aid enabling them to stay at home. Click to read more about the Stratford Workhouse. Inmates of the workhouse were housed in categories, for example men, women and children. Tramps and vagrants of no fixed abode were expected to stay in the Tramp Ward, one night only, and then move on.

In 1881, Amy's uncle John Charles Flint (1846 - 1898) had been Master of Stratford upon Avon Workhouse. In 1891 he was Master of Steyning Union Workhouse. So what became of his children who were Amy Flints cousins? In 1911 Fred was a married cycle maker and restorer living in Shoreham; his brother Robert was a cycle maker, assembler and a shop-keeper; John was a married motor fitter living in Worthing; Margaret was a teacher working at a small private girls' school in Fokestone; Oscar, the youngest, was an assistant master at a school in Maidstone - in WWI Oscar served as a driver with the Royal Army Service Corps when his enlistment papers described him as an advertising agent. All Amy's cousins survived the Great War and lived to a good age.

Besides her three sisters, Amy had three brothers, Charles, Walter and Thomas William. Unlike her sisters the brothers all married. Charles became a pharmacist and optician; Walter became a chemist and emigrated from England to South Africa, while Thomas worked for a bank.

Sadly, Amy's nephew, Eric Flint, the son of her brother Charles, was killed in WWI. He is mentioned in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour thus:

Flint, Eric, Private No 2808, Anson Battalion, RND, third son of Charles Flint of 28 Bargery Road, Catford, London SE, FSMC, Optician and Pharmaceutical Chemist, born Exeter, Devon 11th July 1895; educated Colfes Grammar School, Lewisham SE; was a clerk in the head office of Messrs Barclay's Bank, Lombard Street SE; joined the RNVR early in 1913; served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary force in Gallipoli, and later proceeded France, and was killed in action at Beaucort 13th November 1916. Buried on the battlefield. Unmarried.

Although Eric joined the Royal Navy, it seems recruits who were not needed for duty at sea were formed into infantry units. It is sad he survived Gallipoli but perished at The Somme.

Though Amy Flint never married, she was survived by several nephews and nieces, including Charles Norman Flint who was an executor of her sister Kate's will.

 

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References

  1. Cuthbertson, Michael J, the history of Clarendon
  2. Census of England and Wales
  3. Index of Births Marriages and Deaths
  4. National Probate Calendar
  5. Wikipedia

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