The Revd Dr A J Milne left Jamaica in the early months of 1870 and the Collegiate School entered a
decade during which it was led by the Revd John Radcliffe and Mr William Morrison, with considerable
success and distinction. Milne's departure was recalled by a Gleaner writer in 1895 in the lines below,
though there was apparently little written in the Gleaner in 1870.
Doctor Milne remained in Jamaica as head of the Collegiate School and assistant in the Church for nearly fifteen years, and on his leaving the island was
made a recipient of
addresses with very valuable presents of massive silver plate, from various associations,
as we noticed in our columns at the time. Especially we might refer to the handsome
testimonial from the Kirk Session and members of the congregation, and to that from his
fellow Scots of the Caledonian Society, of which he was virtually founder, and of which he was the President.
Daily Gleaner, July 27, 1895
[I'm working on material from the Colonial Standard. JL]
Church Street, illustrates William Morrison's involvement
with the school, and also perhaps that he was not a very
good shot, though having a compassionate nature. I have
now picked up a reference to the trial of the unfortunate
James Abrahams, and there are further references which appear to deal with the case >>>
a supply of food for the neighbourhood and targets for the guns of sportsmen, for whom the place was a favourite resort until about 80 years ago [i.e. mid 1870s], when the picturesque but most insanitary pond - a huge breeding place for mosquitoes - was drained and the select residential district of Kingston Gardens began to be built upon the reclaimed land.
Daily Gleaner, January, 1871
click on image below for prize list
Christmas Examination of the
[pupils of] the Collegiate School took
[place] yesterday in presence of a large
[crowd] of friends and supporters of the
[school.] Dr. Bowerbank, who was in
[the chair,] made a speech after the ex
[amination] and distribution of the Prizes,
[and furthe]r expressed his conviction that [the progr]ess of Jamaica in the various [branches] of learning was such as to
[predict ] a bright future for her sons.
(the left-hand edge of the page is cropped; I have suggested the possible missing words!)
click on image below for prize listDaily Gleaner, Jamuary 9, 1872
Daily Gleaner, January 20, 1872
a few years later the purpose of this class was explained:
studies of the Sectio Provectior are directed with the special object of qualifying pupils to
enter the Home Universities, care being taken to adapt the course of instruction to the special
profession for which each student is making preparation. It may be mentioned as a proof of the
successful system pursued, that the students of this Department have, of late years, passed
extremely creditable examinations at the Universities of London and Edinburgh and that eight
Collegiate Boys are at the present time completing their studies at these great seats of learning.
June 24, 1875
smallpox cases, and in consequence, deaths, since the early 1850s. Cases occurred in
various parts of the island, and in the summer and fall of 1874 Kingston was affected,
leading to a brief postponement of the start of the new term at the Collegiate School.
in this city for months past.' Daily Gleaner, October 19, 1874
click on the image below for that term's prize list
Daily Gleaner, January 12, 1875
Daily Gleaner, January 19, 1875
Click on the image below for the Prize Giving and Prize List for Christmas 1875.
to as the Collegiate Hall, hosted a wide variety of functions. It was rebuilt after the 1907 earthquake and demolished in 1949.
Click on the link below to see the events at the
Hall in 1876:
School events in 1876 - click on image below -
Daily Gleaner, December 21, 1876 (click image below)
In the latter part of 1876 another attempt was made to establish a boys' secondary school under the auspices of the Church of England. In the 1880s this school was amalgamated with the Collegiate School for several years. Somewhat confusingly the principal of the new school was also called Morrison, D S Morrison, an American with long experience in teaching.
Daily Gleaner, January 4, 1877
It is of some interest that in November 1876 the first, mule-drawn, streetcars began to operate in Kingston, and so, presumably, the 130 year story of Kingston school children and public transport commenced.
The picture of this mule-drawn streetcar on its way to the Exhibition in 1891 is the only one I have seen of a mule-drawn streetcar in Kingston; there are many pictures of the later electric cars introduced in the late 1890s.
Daily Gleaner, November 4, 1876
Montgomery's Corner was the old name for Cross Roads. The line from Cross Roads to Half-Way-Tree was opened in November 1877.
Daily Gleaner, November 8, 1876
Daily Gleaner, January 22, 1877
In June 1877 an interesting concert featuring a local Black poet, Matthew Josephs, was held at the Collegiate School. For more, click below.
The school, of course, continued its work, but I have not found any account of a prize-giving in the summer of 1877.
The Collegiate School in 1878:
In January 1877 William Morrison had become editor of the Colonial Standard for which he had frequently written articles in the past. The newspaper work certainly took up time, and also increasingly involved Morrison in political issues which at the time were increasingly involved with the demand for restoration of representative institutions in the island. This journalistic activity may, or may not, explain the few references to the school in 1878: it certainly brought him into confrontation with Sir Anthony Musgrave who had become Governor in the fall of 1877.
In December the usual Christmas prize giving function took place:
Daily Gleaner, December 16, 1878
The Collegiate School in 1879:
I have found nothing relating to the Collegiate School in the first half of 1879.
Daily Gleaner, July 8, 1879
In September an item in the Gleaner was a reminder of the successes being achieved by old boys of the Collegiate School. Derwent Waldron had been there in the later 1860s, but although there were pupils named Bell at the School at that time, I have not identified Robert G S Bell.
Daily Gleaner, September 11, 1879
click on image above for account of prize-giving
By the end of the 1870s the Collegiate School had established itself, over more than 25 years, as the leading secondary school in the island - writing of the need for more institutions of secondary and tertiary education in Jamaica, a writer to the Gleaner in 1878 referred to them as 'higher schools, of which the far-famed Collegiate is a prominent pattern'. The 1880s were to be far more troubled years, which the Collegiate School only survived in a re-incarnated version, entirely shaped by William Morrison, and sustained by him for another decade and a half.
more on Morrison's reputation around this time >>>