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Not Brentford

Brentford British School Certificate 1894

Certificate has ornate surrounds and reads: This is to certify that Jane Richardson has passed the highest Standard in Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, English Grammar, Recitation, Geography, Mapdrawing and Music and that her conduct has been Excellent

The pupil

The certificate was awarded to Jane Richardson who was born 18 September 1880 and therefore aged 13 when she received the certificate. She was the daughter of a bailiff from Isleworth and married John Tazewell Lockyer in 1904. There are two other certificates for Jane:

1895 This is to certify that Jane Elizth Richardson has been examined by H.M. Inspector and passed in the ordinary subjects of Standard 7 and also in English Grammar & Composition, Geography, Map Drawing and Music and that her conduct has been Excellent. Winner of Needlework Prize. The signatories were the same as in 1894.

1896 This is to certify that Jane Richardson has attained the highest standard in the above school, is proficient in the ordinary subjects of the Code and also in English Grammar, Composition, Map Drawing, Geography, Music, Needlework and the use of the sewing machine, also that her conduct has been Excellent'. This was signed by Emma Phillips, head teacher and John Meyers, secretary.

In 1901 Jane was living with her parents, Mark & Eliza and four younger brothers at 9 Glenhurst Road, Old Brentford. She was a tailoress.


The signatories

Head teacher: Emma Phillips appears in the 1881 census living in The Butts and in the 1891 and 1901 censuses living in Windmill Road. She was from Nuneaton Warwickshire and was married to Evan Phillips. They were 'certificated teachers' in 1881 and 'head schoolmaster' and 'head schoolmistress' in the 1891 and 1901 censuses. Emma and Evan (who was from Brecon, Wales) had a family of four sons aged 3 to 13 in 1891. The 1894 trade directory confirms Evan and Emma were the British School head teachers. By 1911 Evan Phillips was still the boy's head master but Emma had been replaced by Miss Brace, head mistress. In 1914 Evan Phillips served on the Urban District Council: see research by Janet McNamara into his life and teaching career.

The ages of Evan and Emma in successive censuses vary considerably: in 1881 they were 24 and 36; in 1891 45 and 46; in 1901 44 and 46. In 1911 the couple were aged 54 and 55 and were living at Grosvenor House, Brentford, a property with 12 rooms. Evan was 'Headmaster Rothschild School'. (Thanks to Muriel Wallington for providing the 1911 census image).

Checks of earlier censuses and central registration records suggest Emma was born Emma Taberer in Nuneaton in 1844. In 1861 she was living with her mother and step father in Nuneaton and was a 'Pupil Teacher National School'. By 1871 her mother was widowed and living in Cardiff in the Canton area. Emma was a 'National Schoolmistress' aged 26. Interestingly, Evan Phillips was aged just 14 in this census and was also living in the Canton district of Cardiff with his parents. Evan was a 'Pupil Teacher'. Whatever their relationship at the outset, they married in the July - September quarter of 1876 in the Newport Registration District, by which time Evan would have been 19 or 20 and Emma around 32.


Secretary: John Meyers lived at 'The Lindens', Boston Road, with his wife Martha and family in 1891. He was a gardener & florist, born in Brentford. When he signed the certificate in 1894 he would have been about 62 years old. In 1901 he is recorded as a retired market gardener, still living with his wife at 73 Boston Road. John Meyers served as a Brentford Local Board member: see research by Janet McNamara.

President: Leopold de Rothschild was a descendant of the Rothschild family who gave the land for the British Schools. He lived at Acott House, Wing, Buckinghamshire in the 1891 and 1901 censuses and was a merchant banker. He bought Gunnersbury House in 1889 and died in 1917.

The school

More information and a postcard showing the school in the early 1900s.


Published September 2006; updated November 2011