During the 1800s, there were several schools in Tadcaster. Some were for “Young Gentlemen Boarders” and some were for “Young Ladies”. At this time, Tadcaster Grammar School seems to have existed with a Master but no scholars.
These schools seemed to have moved premises frequently
Miss Tasker’s Seminary for Young Ladies
In 1823, the two Miss Taskers, set up a “Seminary for Young Ladies” in the Vicarage in Tadcaster. They advertised that classes included “French, Italian, Music, (Piano and Harp), Drawing, Dancing, &c.”
By July 1830, the School had moved to Toulston Lodge, outside the town. The Lodge had previously been the dwelling of P Wentworth Esq. They advertised that “A Parisian lady is engaged as a resident teacher”.
In 1834, the accommodation at the school at Toulston Lodge had been improved and they were advertising throughout the country.
In 1837, it was announced “to the Nobility and Gentry of Yorkshire” that Mrs Storry of York was taking over the school.
Stoner and Elsworth’s Academy
In 1830, the Wharf Place Academy, run by Messrs Stoner and Elsworth was offering a “Course of Instruction comprises the various Branches of a Classical. Commercial, and Mathematical Education” for boys in the age range 10-14. The fees included washing and all extras except books and stationary. Exactly where in Tadcaster this was situated is unclear,
By January 1835, their school re-opened as the Vicarage House Academy, having moved into the space in the Vicarage vacated by the Taskers.
By 1837, Mr Stoner was also providing lessons on Writing at the Seminary for Young Ladies at Toulston.
In 1849, after 18 years at the Vicarage, the school had become the Toulston Lodge Academy, still run by Messrs Stoner and Elsworth at Toulston Lodge. It was advertised as an “Establishment for the Board and Education of Young Gentlemen“.
In January 1857, Messrs Stoner and Elsworth are advertising a Boarding School for Young Gentlemen at Toulston Lodge near Tadcaster. Teaching is conducted by “Messrs. Stoner and Elsworth, with the assistance of other Eminent Masters, and a Professor of the French Language”.
By June 1857, Messrs Stoner and Elsworth have decided to retire and the Toulston Academy was sold by auction.
Mr William Stacey’s school
In June 1850 Mr Stacey was advertising the Strafford House Academy. The school was advertised as an establishment for “the communication of an enlightened secular, in connection with a Religious Education, grounded upon Wesleyan principles The course Instruction comprises Reading, Writing, Arithmetic Land Surveying, Drawing, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Mathematics, Gymnastics, Natural Science &c., &c”
He may have had a school in the area for about ten years but had moved his school to Strafford House and now had more accommodation for his pupils. He took pupils from under 10 to 16 and offered tuition to weekly boarders and day pupils.
In February 1855, the school moved and was advertised as “The Classical, Commercial and Mathematical Academy” situated at Stutton Grove, now Stutton Grange.
Adverts for this school ceased after 1858.
Mr James Varley’s School
In 1863 an advert for Strafford House referred to “… Maltkiln, Stables, School-houses, Outbuildings…” in the occupation of Mr James Varley.
In 1868, Strafford House Academy was being advertised run by James Varley for “Young Gentlemen”. It claimed that “In this long-established school a few vacancies occur for gentlemanly boys boarders. The curriculum embraces Science and Art, Language and Literature, Music, Mathematics, and Commercial Subjects”. It was still being advertised in 1878.
Around 1879, Strafford House was being used as the Dawson School and by 1880 Benjamin Braime was running Victoria Brewery from there.
A number of other schools existed some of which were probably known as “Dame Schools” which may have been a cross between child-minding and education. These include Mrs Drake, Miss Vickers, Miss Green, Miss Naylor, Miss Rawson, Mrs Varley and Mrs Reynolds. These existed around 1878 but it is not known which premises were used.