"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 independent.
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.