St Peter's School and Church, Walworth

St Peter's School and Church, Walworth

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Death of a Headmaster

Mr Samuel Christopher was employed as Head Master of St Peter’s Boys School from 12th October 1874. His wife Mary took charge of the Girls School. Just two years later, almost to the day, Mr Christopher suffered a severe bout of illness, which kept him at home for four weeks. The couple lived in the house attached to the school. This was very convenient, for although his sickness prevailed for some time, he was able to pop in to school several times a week to see how things were progressing. In his absence the Assistant Master covered his duties.

Mr Christopher did not fully recover from the illness he protracted, and as the school broke up for Christmas he resigned from his position as Head of the School. The illness continued into the new year, and sadly Mr Christopher died on Tuesday 23rd January 1877.

On Friday January 26th 1877, Mrs Mary Christopher noted in the Girls School logbook, “In consequence of the death of my dear husband – late Head Master of the Boys School - the school has been conducted this week by the Assistant Mistress and Pupil Teacher.” A week later the children were given the afternoon off to take the opportunity of seeing Mr Christopher’s funeral. Mrs Christopher gave up her job six months later.

Note: Mr and Mrs Christopher had at least four children. Included in an October 1877 list of girl pupils are Kate and Alice Christopher, aged ten and twelve respectively. Both children were admitted in October 1874 as one would expect. In the corresponding list for 1875 we find eleven year old Mary.

Copyright: Jack McInroy © 2010

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