partly appropriated to the



THOUGH WE CANNOT point to any Scholarship or Exhibition in either of our Old Universities exclusively appropriated to the School, a very valuable preference is enjoyed by the boys there educated for the Hastings Exhibitions and Milner Scholarships, of which we subjoin a brief account.


BY A CODICIL to her will dated 24th April, 1739, Lady Elizabeth Hastings devised her manors, lands, and hereditaments in Wheldale in the County of York, to the Provost and Scholars of Queen’s College, in the University of Oxford, appointing five Exhibitions to be paid from the rents unto five poor scholars chosen after the following manner:—

The Grammar Schools of Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Beverley, Skipton, Sedbergh, Ripon, and Sherborne, in Yorkshire, Appleby and Heversham in Westmoreland, and St. Bees and Penrith in Cumberland, were under the terms of the codicil “to have each of them the privilege of sending one poor scholar every five years” to be publicly examined at Aberford on Thursday in Whitsun-week by the Rectors of Barwick, Spofforth, and Bolton Percy, together with the Vicars of Leeds, Ledsham, Thorparch, and Collingham.

The subjects and plan of examination were particularly specified: each candidate was to bring with him a certificate “that he hath distinguished himself above the same rank in his school for morals and learning, is well grounded in the principles of the Church of England, is possessed of competent parts and remarkable industry and hath applied himself to the reading of Greek authors at least four years.” Further, the candidate was to bring a certificate of his age, signed by the minister and churchwardens of the parish in which he was born, as the Testatrix required that every candidate “shall be entered upon the nineteenth year of his age, and that none be allowed to stand after his one-and-twentieth year is completed.”

The exercises of each candidate being fairly written upon one sheet of paper and signed with his name, the ten best were to be selected by the examiners then present and sent to the Provost and Fellows of Queen’s College, Oxford; a second selection of those eight which, after due and impartial examination, appeared to be of the greatest merit was then to be made, and the names of their composers submitted to lot.* (*The Testatrix excuses this somewhat strange method of election with a quaint shrewdness which deserves record. She says, “And though this method of choosing by lot may be called by some superstitious enthusiasm, yet as the advice was given me by an orthodox and pious prelate of the Church of England as leaving something to Providence, and as it will be a means of saving the scholars the trouble and expense of a journey to Oxford under too great an uncertainty of being elected, I will this method of ballotting be for ever observed.”) Those candidates whose five names are first drawn “shall,” continues the codicil, “to all intents and purposes, be held duly elected and entitled to the whole profits each of his Exhibition for the space of five years from the Pentecost immediately preceding his election.”

The estates thus devised by Lady Elizabeth were at the time of her death let for a term of 99 years, determinable on the lives of annuitants. The last of these died in January, 1764, and Exhibitioners were for the first time elected at the following Whitsuntide.

FOR MANY YEARS Leeds but rarely sent up a successful candidate; indeed, up to the date of the publication of the Brief History in 1822, only seven Leeds boys had been elected. The author somewhat plaintively says: “The age required of every candidate, who may be rejected by lot whatever be his merit and so be sent to seek for similar advantages at some other college, undoubtedly diminishes the value of this otherwise excellent Exhibition. Still it is hoped no future series of years will afford a list as deficient as that given in the last page.”

The limited nature of the examination had been felt even before the first election to be unsatisfactory, and the then Headmaster of Leeds, Mr. Barnard, who published the codicil to Lady Hastings’ will “with some observations resulting therefrom,” remarks that if “some other extended trial of thought and invention” were added, he conceived that there would be no infringement of her ladyship’s rules, inasmuch as the examiners would thereby see farther into the parts and genius of the scholars.

Various changes have taken place from time to time in the rules regulating the subjects and method of examination and in the schools privileged to send candidates.

With regard to the schools who compete for the Exhibitions, Sherborne and Beverley have been replaced by Giggleswick and St. Peter’s, York, and Richmond and Carlisle have been added.

THE VALUE OF the Exhibitions has steadily increased; in 1822 it was about £75 per annum, it is now £90. The number awarded has also increased, and on the whole, Leeds has probably had fully her share of the benefits of the Foundation. In 1882 no fewer than four Leeds boys were elected to Exhibitions, and on other occasions three have been elected at the same examination.

The Exhibitions are now regulated by a Statute made by the Oxford University Commissioners, which was approved by the Queen in Council, 3rd May, 1882. Put very briefly, the chief of these regulations are as follows :—

The Exhibitions are not to exceed £90 per annum in value: the examination is to be at Oxford, and the Exhibitions are to be awarded for excellence in (1) Classics; (2) Mathematics; (3) Natural Science; (4) Modern History, Languages, and Literature: the old rule as to the necessity for candidates being at least in their nineteenth year is abolished: the examiners may, in the absence of candidates of sufficient merit from the privileged schools, throw open the Exhibition pro hac vice: a school which for 20 successive years sends up no candidate who is either elected or deemed meritorious shall cease to enjoy the benefits of the Foundation.

WE MAY ADD that there is a provision for allowing the Provost and Fellows of Queen’s to award to unsuccessful candidates of merit a sum of £5 for the expenses of the journey to Oxford—a very wise provision and fully in accordance with the founders’ eminent common-sense which induced her to provide that a sum of one shilling should be given to boys from Yorkshire schools, and a larger sum to those from Westmoreland and Cumberland for a like purpose.



BY HIS WILL, dated September 5th, 1721, the Rev. Thomas Milner, M.A., Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and afterwards Vicar of Bexhill, in Suffolk, left the reversion in certain lands “for the maintenance of three scholars who shall have been of the Grammar Schools of Heversham, Halifax, or Leeds, and have been admitted from them pensioners of Magdalene College.”

His sister, Mrs. Mary Milner, by her will, dated June 30th, 1733, gave £200 to be applied by Magdalene College for the same purposes. This bequest enabled the College to increase the number of Scholarships to four.

WE LEARN FROM the Brief History that the annual income applicable to the purposes of these Scholarships was in 1822 about £176.

The value of the Scholarships was considerably diminished by two clauses in Mr. Milner’s will:—

1st.—The candidates must previously have been admitted pensioners of the College whereby, as the author of the Brief History remarks, an addition of annual expenditure was incurred which to a poor scholar was nearly equal to the value of the Scholarship.

2nd.—It was merely said that the scholars should have been at one of the three schools—so that an attendance of a single day would suffice.

These objections have now been both removed, and by the new Statutes of the College the preference given to scholars from the three schools is to be limited to persons who have been educated for at least two years at such schools. It is also no longer necessary that the candidates shall have been admitted pensioners of the College.

The annual value of the Scholarships, of which the number is still four, is about £65.

A LARGE NUMBER of the Milner Scholarships have been obtained by candidates from the School, but of late years full advantage has hardly been taken of the preference given by Mr. Milner to Leeds boys.


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