[ Rev. Dr E. R. Humphreys, disgraced headmaster of Cheltenham Grammar School. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('E. R. Humphreys'), enclosing a certificate and sending his good wishes to the family of a boy who is leaving the school.

E. R. Humphreys [ Rev. Dr Edward Rupert Humphreys ] (1820-1893), disgraced headmaster of Cheltenham Grammar School, 1852-1859 [ now Pate's Grammar School ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Cheltenham Grammar School. 28 August 1858.
SKU: 19886

1p., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. The recipient is not named. He has sincere pleasure in enclosing the certificate (not present) awarded to the recipient's son, whom he is sorry to lose as a pupil. 'I trust this will, with God's blessing, be but the prelude to an honourable and useful Career. My kind wishes will follow your boy through life, and to yourself also I heartily wish happiness in your new home.' Humphreys is described in the School history as 'a Classical scholar of doubtful repute'. On his appointment as headmaster in 1852 he set about restoring the school which had fallen into a sorry state over previous decades. He increased the school roll to over 100 pupils, including boarders who were housed in the adjacent Yearsley's Hotel. He was one of the first headmasters to introduce science to the curriculum, in recognition of which Prince Albert presented him with a signed volume. But his energy and promotional talents ran up huge debts, as he attempted to improve the social standing of the school, in the face of the recently-founded Cheltenham College. In 1859 he fled to America, leaving behind debts of £26,000, his own sick wife and six children. He took with him the wife of one of the school governors, who was owed several thousand pounds by Humphreys, leaving behind eight children. Humphreys was gaoled on reaching America.