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TITLE
Inverness Royal Academy Royal Charter: pages 2 and 11
EXTERNAL ID
PC_ROYALACADEMY2_003
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1790s
SOURCE
Inverness Royal Academy
ASSET ID
29891
KEYWORDS
schools
education
charters
legal documents
manuscripts
Inverness Royal Academy Royal Charter: pages 2 and 11

Inverness Royal Academy was founded in July 1792, taking over from the former town Grammar School which had been operating in the building now known as the Dunbar Centre. From an early stage, even before the Academy was open, the Subscribers for the new Academy were keen to incorporate themselves, as the Directors' minute book says, "into a body politick", so that they could handle funds and hold property collectively with greater security. In the eighteenth century, the normal method of doing this was by purchasing a Royal Charter.

Work proceeded slowly over a couple of years on a draft version, but it was not until October 1791 that it was ready. Further details were agreed the following October, including the request that the names of both the Directors and all those who had subscribed at least £50 should be included. In February 1793 Ebenezer Young, the Academy's Latin teacher, was translating the Charter into Latin, and he was also asked to translate the Warrant. At the April 1793 meeting of the Directors, Thomas Gilzean, the Director's cashier (or treasurer in modern terms), reported that the Charter had been obtained from King George III.

The cost of obtaining the Charter was large, being £179 6s 3.5d - about the cost of two years' salaries for the staff. From this point the school could be called Inverness Royal Academy, although the 'Royal' was little used for many years. Mention was made however of the Royal Charter in the newspaper advertisements for the third session of the Academy due to open in July 1793 (in the early years a session lasted six months). Charles Mackintosh, a writer (in modern terms a solicitor), and a keen supporter of the Academy project, was working in Edinburgh and had sent north eighty printed copies of the Charter and the Royal Warrant on which it was based (at least three copies still survive). The Warrant (often with the spelling 'warrand') is in English, but the Charter itself is in Latin - presumably using Ebenezer Young's translation. The original Charter, on vellum, with its Seal of Scotland, was probably sent north at the same time as the printed copies.

As a result of changes in the management of the school over the years, with control passing from the Directors to Inverness Burgh School Board in 1907, the Charter ceased to be relevant, but it provides an important link with the early history of the school. In the early twentieth century it was assumed that the original charter was lost, but it was discovered in 1942 in a lawyer's office in Inverness and was then returned to the school. The seal however was broken, although still attached to the charter by its appender. At the time of the school bicentenary in 1992 the charter was restored and framed, the work being funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund, and it is now on display in the School. Modern conservation work has made the seal appear almost undamaged.

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Inverness Royal Academy Royal Charter: pages 2 and 11

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1790s

schools; education; charters; legal documents; manuscripts;

Inverness Royal Academy

Inverness Royal Academy (photographs)

Inverness Royal Academy was founded in July 1792, taking over from the former town Grammar School which had been operating in the building now known as the Dunbar Centre. From an early stage, even before the Academy was open, the Subscribers for the new Academy were keen to incorporate themselves, as the Directors' minute book says, "into a body politick", so that they could handle funds and hold property collectively with greater security. In the eighteenth century, the normal method of doing this was by purchasing a Royal Charter.<br /> <br /> Work proceeded slowly over a couple of years on a draft version, but it was not until October 1791 that it was ready. Further details were agreed the following October, including the request that the names of both the Directors and all those who had subscribed at least £50 should be included. In February 1793 Ebenezer Young, the Academy's Latin teacher, was translating the Charter into Latin, and he was also asked to translate the Warrant. At the April 1793 meeting of the Directors, Thomas Gilzean, the Director's cashier (or treasurer in modern terms), reported that the Charter had been obtained from King George III.<br /> <br /> The cost of obtaining the Charter was large, being £179 6s 3.5d - about the cost of two years' salaries for the staff. From this point the school could be called Inverness Royal Academy, although the 'Royal' was little used for many years. Mention was made however of the Royal Charter in the newspaper advertisements for the third session of the Academy due to open in July 1793 (in the early years a session lasted six months). Charles Mackintosh, a writer (in modern terms a solicitor), and a keen supporter of the Academy project, was working in Edinburgh and had sent north eighty printed copies of the Charter and the Royal Warrant on which it was based (at least three copies still survive). The Warrant (often with the spelling 'warrand') is in English, but the Charter itself is in Latin - presumably using Ebenezer Young's translation. The original Charter, on vellum, with its Seal of Scotland, was probably sent north at the same time as the printed copies.<br /> <br /> As a result of changes in the management of the school over the years, with control passing from the Directors to Inverness Burgh School Board in 1907, the Charter ceased to be relevant, but it provides an important link with the early history of the school. In the early twentieth century it was assumed that the original charter was lost, but it was discovered in 1942 in a lawyer's office in Inverness and was then returned to the school. The seal however was broken, although still attached to the charter by its appender. At the time of the school bicentenary in 1992 the charter was restored and framed, the work being funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund, and it is now on display in the School. Modern conservation work has made the seal appear almost undamaged.