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Sheffield Grammar School began in 1604 as 'The Free Grammar School of James King of England within the Town of Sheffield in the County of York' in buildings in the Townhead area of Sheffield, resulting from the benefaction of John Smith of Crowland. In the "Gazetteer and General Directory of Sheffield and Twenty Miles Round", by William White, published in 1852, the author refers to the "FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL", noting that it "is a commodious and handsome stone building in Charlotte Street, erected by subscription in 1825, in lieu of the ancient school which stood near the top of Townhead Street. It was founded by letters patent of James I in 1604, and the Vicar and Church Burgesses are the trustees and governors".
It led a nomadic existence on various sites before taking over the Sheffield Collegiate School on Collegiate Crescent in 1884. James A. Figorski describes the premises at St. George's Square, which the school occupied in 1868, as follows "It was a stone building which I think was in keeping with St. George's Church. From St. George's Square you entered through a stone archway and there to the left was the small caretaker's house, and then the pathway went round to the porch, into which the main door opened to the large main room of the school. The floor was stone flagged and was very cold in winter. A stove stood in the centre of the room, cracked and worn. We had no gas, and water was turned on into an old stone trough at play-hours outside the school".
The school, at its Collegiate Crescent site, was renamed Sheffield Royal Grammar School (SRGS) in 1885. SRGS's motto was "Verbum tuum lucerna pedibus meis" – "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet".
|1604–1606||John Smith||1648–1651||Peter Lanfitt, B.A.||1759–1776||John Smith, M.A.|
|1606–1608||Henry Saxton, M.A.||1651–1658||William Whitaker, M.A.||(1776 Acting||Edward Goodwin).|
|1608–1615||John Hancock, M.A.||1658–1663||Francis Potts, M.A.||1776–1809||Charles Chadwick, B.A.|
|1615–1619||George Young, B.A.||1664–1696||Thomas Balguy, M.A.||1809||Joseph Richardson, M.A.|
|1619–1622||Andrew Wade, M.A.||1696–1698||Charles Daubuz, M.A.||1810–1818||Joseph Wilson, B.A.|
|(1622 Acting||George Wade).||1698–1703||Marmaduke Drake, M.A.||1818–1830||William White, M.A.|
|1623–1625||Godfrey Mason.||1703–1709||George Lee, B.A.||1830–1863||Percival Bowen, M.A.|
|1625–1644||Thomas Rawson, B.A.||1709–1720||William Humpton, M.A.||1863–1884||Joseph E. Jackson, M.A. Ph.D. D.CL.|
|1645–1648||William Young, B.A.||1720–1734||Christopher Robinson, M.A.||1884–1899||Edward Senior, M.A.|
|1648||Roger Steare, B.A.||1734–1748||John Cliff, B.A.||1899–1905||Arthur B. Haslam, M.A.|
|1748–1759||Thomas Marshall, B.A.|