"A Famous Ancient Seed-Plot of Learning
A History of Ipswich School"
by John Blatchly, published by Ipswich School 2003
The history of Ipswich School is in many ways the history of organised
education in Ipswich because the School has been at the centre of public
life in the town for centuries. To readers today it is immediately helpful
to learn that the School has had so many different names which convey this
central public role: names such as The Grammar School of Ipswich, The Free
School of Ipswich, King Henry VIII School, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School
and Ipswich Grammar School. It was only in 1945 that the School became fully
All who know John Blatchly will also know that this book is a labour of love
for a Headmaster who led and served the School from 1972 to 1993. But the
emphasis should be on "love", for there is nothing laboured about the book.
Indeed its other characteristics are wit and wisdom: as always, the author's
humour and scholarship go hand in hand.
We read about brave, even heroic headmasters - the most outstanding being
James Leman who defended the School's endowments from the town corporation
for 14 years (1608-1622) and whose petition to Parliament included the words
John Blatchly has used as his book title. But we are also taken behind the
desk to learn about misdemeanours, and much else. For members of The Ipswich
Society there is a wealth of interest in the various locations and buildings
which the School has occupied since the late 15th century. But for everybody
there is so much of human life in this story.
Copies of this 400 page substantial and fully illustrated hardback
cost £17.50 and can be obtained from The Headmaster's Secretary, Ipswich
School, 25 Henley Road, Ipswich, IP1 2SQ.