Foundation inscription

Over the east door of the Headmaster’s House, built in 1830 when Revd Robert Wilkinson was the Headmaster, was a stone plaque containing the following inscription:

In Favorem Reipvbl.

Terra mala et sterilis dvmetis obsita, saxis
Horrida, que nvlilis invēta est frvgib’ apta,
Sed bona gens popvlvs sāct’, pietatis et ardens
Religionis opvs tantū prodvxit, vt inde
Terra bona et possit bona gens benedicier ecce
Sic dnῑ terrā dominos non terra beavit.
Elizabetha div vivat, qvae talia nobis
Indvisit monimēta. Devs sic svmē secvdes
Hoc opvs vt vigeat, perq’ ōnia saecvla dvret.
Sic nos Christe, tvo sic nostra dicam’ honori.

Jacta svnt Fvndam 8° Jvnii A° Dni 1598

Elizab. Reginae 40.

Thomas Cox1 surmises that it was ‘probably removed from the old house.’

The following is an English translation:

For the Favour of the Country.

The land was bad and barren all, with thickets overgrown;
Not fit for crops of any kind, but rough with horrid stone;
Then people warm with piety, and holy in their thought.
This greatest of religious works into existence brought.
To make the land of greatest good and bless the people too:
And so a blessing to the land, not to the owners grew;
Long live Queen Elizabeth, who granted us such grace;
And prosper Thou, God, this work, that it may never cease,
But live in vigour through all time. So, Christ, with this intent,
We give ourselves, we give our means, unto Thine honour bent.

The Foundations were laid June 8th, a.d. 1598,

In the fortieth year of Queen Elizabeth.

Image of the above text
The inscription translated

Image from Malcolm Bull’s Calderdale Companion.

1 Thomas Cox A popular history of the Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth, at Heath, near Halifax Halifax: F King 1879 p. 18