Powys Digital History Project

The National School

For more about
the origins of the
National Schools
see our
Education pages
Established upon "liberal principles"
The National School at Machynlleth to a great extent owed its foundation to a grant of of £1000 by Mr John Jones, a far from typical local philanthropist.
In an effusive Letter to the Rev. John Roberts, "Minister of the dissenting congregation at Llanbrynmair" dated 20th May 1828, , part of which is reproduced below, he displays a rather liberal attitude to the local provision of education:
County Archives
Extract from letter of 1828
  The above extract from the letter reads:
"Dear Sir
I should deem myself deficient in civility and that Christian Philanthropy which I profess, did I not acknowledge the receipt of your kind letter. I am decidedly of your and Mr Morgan's sentiments on the subject respecting the Establishment of the school at Machynlleth, that it should be established and conducted on liberal principles; my extreme concern to perceive the want of education in Machynlleth and its neighbourhood induced me to propose to subscribe and giveing my aid towards its establishment and thus afford the means and the opportunity
under the blessing of God of instruction moral and religious to the existing and I trust to future generations; and I thus expressed my hope and trust and it should be established upon liberal principles, making no difference between those of the established church and the protestant dissenters..."

 Mr Jones claims in the letter that he does not care where he worships, "nor under what denomination" and hopes that children of dissenting parents at the new National School will be released to there own chapels on the Sabbath. This was a very tolerant attitude for the early nineteenth century when the National Schools very much represented the interests of the established church.

There are 3 pages on the National School. Use the box links below to view the other pages.