The records came from various sources. From Moss and Haselhurst, solicitors of Northwich, comes a collection of documents brought together for the Chantler Case, 1811, see SL300/13/20 schedule no 1. Other records - account books, admission registers, some case papers and estate correspondence - came from the school, and the rest was found in the office of Chambers, solicitors, of Northwich, sometime clerks to the school see the lists compiled by Mrs Marjorie Cox, S.F. : Witton. All these records were brought together at the school whilst the school history was being written, and then transferred by the Headmaster in February 1973. SL300/1/7 transferred by Vale Royal DEO in Oct 1983. Copy statutes by Sir John Deane, 1558 fragment - see D/3415/34. SL300/4/13A transferred from acc 2776.
Administrative / biographical background:
This school was founded in 1557 as Witton Free Grammar School by John Deane, Rector of St Bartholomew's, Smithfield, London. It was endowed with property mainly in Chester and at Newton-cum-Larton. Two of the 12 trustees or feoffees were to be bailiff feoffees and as such responsible for estate administration. This state of affairs continued until the nineteenth century when an estate agent, based in Chester, was appointed.
The history of the school is remarkable for the number of disputes involving schoolmasters and trustees, three of which resulted in extensive legal proceedings. The longest of these was the Hand Case, when the affairs of the school were in Chancery from 1833 to 1856.
One result of this case was a new scheme for the running of the school. This scheme was revised by the Endowed Schools' Commission in 1874, and amended in 1895. In 1910, under a scheme of the Board of Education, the school passed to the control of the County Council. At the same time it was amalgamated with Northwich High School for Girls, becoming a co-educational grammar school and adopting its present name.
The school buildings have been rebuilt several times: at least once during the eighteenth century, and in 1866 and 1884, and again in 1908 by the benefaction of Sir John Brunner.