NEWSLETTER HIGHLIGHTS - SEPTEMBER 2021
Jessie K Payne:
A KING’S SON WAS EDUCATED AT BILLERICAY
In the 18th century, Billericay had a number of schools or academics, as they called them then, for ‘young ladies and gentleman,’ as well as a grammar school.
Sheredays, No. 22 High Street, originally built in the 16th century but re-fronted in Georgian times, was a boy’s academy kept by the Rev. Georg Porter and here George Fitz George, an illegitimate child of George IV, was a pupil. When he was 11 years old (1819), he was drowned in a pond near the house and was buried at Great Burstead, where a memorial to him can be seen over the south door of the church. (Unfortunately, the memorial has since been lost). The Rev. Porters’ son, George Shepherd Porter, was also educated here; he became Chaplain of Bathurst, Cape of Good Hope. Another was Thomas Scrutton, later the rector of Great Sutton, Wirral Peninsula.
A relic of the school remains, the names or initials of pupils scratched in the brickwork of the north wall of Sheredays.