Matthew Brodley, born and raised at Lane Ends Green, Hipperholme, became a wealthy London goldsmith and jeweller and a devoted supporter of the monarchy. On the outbreak of the Civil War in 1640 he pledged a large sum of money to the Royalist cause, and also fought on behalf of Charles 1, becoming also Paymaster of the King’s Forces (Matthew’s brother and business partner, Samuel, who supported the Parliamentarian cause, was killed during the war.)
Matthew Brodley died in 1648, having left money to establish a free grammar school at Hipperholme. Difficulties were encountered in laying hands on the funds and it was not until 1661, through the intervention of Captain John Hodgson of Coley Hall, that farm buildings belonging to Samuel Sunderland, late of Coley Hall, were acquired and Hipperholme Grammar School came into being on the site of the present school building known as ‘the house’, at the junction of Bramley Lane and Denholmegate Road. In fact, this involved a move from Coley Chapel, where there had been a school since the chapel was built in 1530. Samuel Brodley’s son, Matthew, became one of the first trustees.
Raymond Smith recalled his days as a pupil at Hipperholme, from 1937 to 1944, particularly the strict, sometimes harsh, discipline imposed by most of the teachers. For example, if, when the bell sounded for the end of the last lesson of the afternoon, the chemistry master noticed any pupil making a move which signified the end of the day – the scraping of a chair, the involuntary move of a hand towards a satchel – he would pretend not to be aware of the time and continue the lesson for, on occasions, more than an hour.
At the end of his talk Raymond called on all present Old Brodleians, as former scholars of the school are known, to join him in singing the school song. This was composed, in Latin, by John Lister of Shibden Hall, a former chair of the governors, and generations of boys left Hipperholme Grammar School knowing the words and tune by heart but remaining oblivious as to the meaning. The title of Raymond’s talk was a line from the song; it means, “Who will ever divide us?”
The Illustration shows a group outside Coley Church on Founder’s Day, 1936. Canon Watkinson is in the centre, the headmaster, J.W. Houseman and Mrs. Houseman towards the left.