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Devon County

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When it finally closed its doors in 1908, Pencarwick (Preparatory) School was said to have been operating for a century. It is difficult to believe that that is strictly true since Exmouth in 1808 would  have been a very different place from the genteel resort it became later in the 19th century. The building of Louisa Terrace was not begun until 1829 and no other address seems to have been linked with the school and this fact, together with the list of headmasters below, suggests: that the school's life span was closer to 80 years.


Rev. C. Glascott to 1834

Rev. F. Wickham to 1846

Rev. J. Penrose to 1871

Rev. C. R. Carr to 1894

Rev. J. H. H. Copleston to 1908 (closure)

The number of boys in the school at any one time was consistently between 40 and 50 and a brief glance at the list below reveals the sons of the leading families, not only of Devon but of the whole of the South West. The majority of  pupils leaving Pencarwick at 14 went on to Public School or to the Royal Navy for officer training.

The headmaster at the time of the 1851 census was Rev. John Penrose who lived in the school with his wife and three young children.




ADAIR Allan Shafto 14 Bradford, Somerset 1851
BULTEEL Thomas 13 Plymstock 1851
TORDIFFE Stafford 13


HEYWORTH George Frederick 13 Bacup, Lancs. 1851
DAWN William 13 Bath, Somerset 1851
HEBERDEN William 12 Broadhembury 1851
WERE Thomas Kennet 12 Sidmouth 1851
CHAMPERNOWNE Arthur 12 Dartington 1851
BELFIELD Algernon 12 Fulham, Middlesex 1851
WILLIAMS Michael 12 Tregullon, Cornwall 1851
FOSTER William 12 Lanlivery, Cornwall 1851
ATHERLEY Mark 12 Stoodleigh 1851
CARPENTER John 12 Tavistock 1851
SMITH Richard 12 Uffculme 1851
DE GRICE Charles 12 Madern, Cornwall 1851
COLE William 12 Exeter 1851
ADAIR Henry 12 Bradford, Somerset 1851
JARDINE Charles 12 Applegarth, Dunfries 1851
DU BOULAY Henry 11 Lawhitton, Cornwall 1851
SMITH George 11 Uffculme 1851
HODGE De Burgo 11 Pennycross 1851
SHELSON Daniel 11 Launceston, Cornwall 1851
BRUNE Ernest 11 London 1851
EWART Charles 11 Nermuch (BS) 1851
FOSTER Thomas 11 Lanlivery, Cornwall 1851
TOOGOOD Frederick 11 Torquay 1851
PHILPOTTS James 11 Hallow, Worcestershire 1851
HEBERDEN Henry 11 Broadhembury 1851
BULLER Redvers 11 Crediton 1851
SHORT Francis 10 Kenn 1851
MALLOCK Charles 10 Cockington 1851
FURNEAUX Alan 10 St. Germans, Cornwall 1851
BOLITHO Richard 10 Penzance 1851
PAUL Robert 10 Kenwyn 1851
MARTIN Charles 10 Staverton 1851
HOLROYD George 9 Calcutta (BS) 1851
TOOGOOD Seymour 9 Torquay 1851
COPLESTON John 9 Lamyat, Somerset 1851
BULLER Ernest 9 Crediton 1851


In every listing of pupils who passed through this school can be found boys who made their way to the top of the tree in their chosen professions, be it the Navy, the Army, politics, banking, law, medicine, the church or the academic world. In addition, early all of them would serve as leaders in their local communities as well. The list above contains a VC who became a General (Buller), John Copleston who became a great cricketer and returned to the school as its headmaster in 1894,  Arthur Champernowne who inherited  Dartington Hall and the surrounding estates, Charles Mallock who inherited Cockington Court and its estate as well as a host of other names representing the most ancient families of the South West.

The school gave its pupils an excellent academic grounding but it's almost as though it had another function -  to bring together the boys who, as grown men, would become leaders in their chosen fields, forging bonds they could draw on for support in later life. Many leading families sent their children to Pencarwick for generations.


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