The Laurels (school), Wheathampstead, circa 1881
In the 1851 census a widower, George Jacob Wynter, annuitant, was living the Wheathampstead High Street with two unmarried daughters Hephzibah & Jane, who were described as governesses. There were two borders, James E Byles (9) and Joseph H Sams (7). The Post Office Directory listed Misses Wynter. Ladies Boarding School. In the 1866 Trade Directory the Misses Hephzibah and Jane Wynter are listed as running a ladies' school, with a similar entry in 1882, and only Hephzibah was listed in 1890. In 1899 Miss Jane Charlotte Wynter ran a ladies school.
The 1901 census shows Jane C Wynter as a private school teacher working at home, with 5 boarding pupils (2 boys and 3 girls) but there was no Wynter entry in the 1902 Kelly's Directory. All the census records suggest that the school was in the Village adjacent to the Town Farm.
I was personally very interested to see the 1881 census returns - reproduced below. Two of the pupils there at the same time as Amy and Victoria Sanderson were daughters of my great-great uncle, Dolphin Smith, of Mackrey End, Wheathampstead, who were not at home on census day. There may also be an indirect link between the Barker children from Kimpton, and my own family tree.
|Jane C||WYNTER||Niece||F||24||Scholastic||Bennington, Herts|
|Emily J||WYNTER||Niece||F||23||Scholastic||Brighton, Sussex|
|Eliza||SMITH||F||29||Housemaid||Ayot St Peters|
|M A||OAKLEY||F||22||Cook||Eversholt, Beds|
|J.D.||BARKER||Scholar||M||8||Scholar||Kimpton, Herts||Almost certainly John, son of John Barker of Bury Farm, Kimpton|
|P.D.||BARKER||Scholar||M||7||Scholar||Kimpton, Herts||Almost certainly Percy, son of John Barker of Bury Farm, Kimpton|
|E.||BARKER||Scholar||F||10||Scholar||Almost certainly Ethel, daughter of John Barker of Bury Farm, Kimpton|
|E.M.||BOND||Scholar||F||14||Scholar||Childwick (St Michaels)|
|Ada E.||IVORY||Scholar||F||12||Scholar||Ayot St Lawrence, Herts|
|E.A.||SMITH||Scholar||F||11||Scholar||Wheathamstead, Herts||Ellen Frances Smith, daughter of Dolphin Smith (1838-1902) and granddaughter of Dolphin Smith (1805-1885)|
|F.M.||SMITH||Scholar||F||9||Scholar||Wheathamstead, Herts||Fanny Mabel Smith, daughter of Dolphin Smith (1838-1902) and granddaughter of Dolphin Smith (1805-1885)|
Cussans (published in 1879) records the following relevant tombstones in Wheathampstead churchyard.
Hephzibah, wife of
George Jacob Wynter, died
12th May, 1850, aged 69
George Jacob Wynter, died September 26th, 1873, aged 92
Philip, sixth son of
George Jacob and Hephzibah
Wynter, died September 7th, 1846, aged 28
Henry, twin brother of the above, died February 13th, 1852, aged 33.
From the above it would seem that the school was started by George Wynter's spinster daughters by 1851, working from the family home. It undoubtedly involved day pupils as well as boarders and the pupils would have been the children of well-to-do tradesmen and farmers. It would appear to have increased to a peak (perhaps because there was more room for boarders when George died) and then closed a few years after the last of the founding daughters apparently died.
In general for small family businesses of this kind, the chance of any detailed records having survived for 100 years is very low, particularly if that branch of the family died out.
There is a web page for Wheathampstead
If you can add to the information given above tell me.
Page created March 2006