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News > School News > St Swithun's Lockdown Puzzle Challenge! - PART 3

St Swithun's Lockdown Puzzle Challenge! - PART 3

Take on the third puzzle challenge!
28 Jan 2021
School News
Photo by Fabian Kühne on Unsplash
Photo by Fabian Kühne on Unsplash

PUZZLE 3 – Our school founders

This week our puzzle features a picture of the school’s founders Anna Bramston (left in the picture) and Amélie (Aimée) LeRoy (right in the picture) outside their home in Winchester called Witham Close. Most of you will recognise their names but I’d thought to share a little bit more about them which perhaps you didn’t know.

Anna Bramston is best known as being the school’s official founder but her lifelong friend Aimée LeRoy was just as active in the establishment of the school. They shared a common interest in the education of women being devout followers of Charlotte Yonge, a Victorian novelist who often wrote about the values and concerns of Anglo-Catholicism (she is best known for her novel the Heir of Redclyffe). Both Anna and Aimée were members of the Gosling Society, an essay society which fostered female intellectual stimulation in a time before universities were open to women.  

Aimée LeRoy had a distinguished literary career under the pen name Esmé Stuart. She published sixty novels and stories, a collection of which is in our School Library. Born in Paris to French parents in 1851 she was brought to England at the age of five and spent most of her life at Bishopcourt on the Isle of Man in the company of the children of Bishop Powys. She later attended a school in Domgersfield, Hampshire for female scholars run by Mary Dyson, a close friend of Charlotte Yonge who in turn became a close friend of Aimée LeRoy. It’s unclear when Anna and Aimée met but it’s likely to have been when they became members of the Gosling society. Aimée was also an artist in water-colours and many of her paintings were exhibited in Parisian and London galleries.

According to our School Chronicle Anna Bramston was inspired to inaugurate a School for Girls after hearing a sermon on Religious Education in 1883. Apparently ‘ “Winchester High School” came into existence in 1884, and from that time until the early weeks of 1931 – forty-seven years- its life, its interests, its welfare were the daily labour of love of its founder, Miss Bramston’. Anna and Aimée lived at Witham Close for many years and served the school in the capacity of Honorary Secretary and School Council member until their deaths. Their unfailing belief in the school and its purpose for educating women is the reason the school stands today.

Hope you all enjoy this week’s puzzle: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=375b9ba6ad95

Best wishes

Elly Crookes

Archivist

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