BELLAGHY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2014
JIM WINTERS: THE RAINEY ENDOWED SCHOOL MAGHERAFELT-300 YEARS
The Chairman, Seamus McErlean, welcomed members to the first meeting of the new
season, and to the A.G.M. The Treasurer reported on the financial position of the Society,
The Chairman drew membersʼ attention to the Societyʼs website (which is almost ready) address and
new e-mail address.
He then introduced the speaker, Jim Winters and asked him to preside over the election of
Chairman, Seamus McErlean, proposed by Mary Breslin, seconded by Patricia Lowry.
Vice-Chairman, Pat Brenann, proposed by Seamus McErlean, seconded by Eamon
Secretary, Ciara Nic Gabhann, proposed by George McIntyre, seconded by Eamon
Treasurer, Patricia Henry, proposed by Isobel Beattie, Seconded by George McIntyre.
Committee, patricia Lowry, Mary Breslin, Sam Overend, Dermot Keenan, Ena hammond,
margaret Evans, george McIntyre, Philomena Scullion, Peter McKenna-re-elected en-bloc,
proposed by Tony McGurk and seconded by Kathleen Kearney.
There followed an interesting talk by Jim Winters on the history of the Rainey Endowed
School, Magherafelt-Hugh Rainey wrote his will 1707 (and died shortly afterwards), in
which he stipulated the ethos of the school to be set up for poor Presbyterian boys (8 new
students to be admitted each year), where each graduating boy would be given 50
shillings and a new suit. He even stipulated the layout and furnishings for the kitchen and
bedrooms; what was to be spent on meat, clothes, apprentice fees; profile of teachers, etc.
By 1758, the money had run out. The school closed for a few years for “renovations” as
disagreements between the (C. of I) Archbishop of Armagh and William Ashe Rainey over
the governance of the school were insolvable.
Over the 100 years, the Raineys sold off various lots of land and property to settle debts.
1849, the school came under the control of the Rector of Magherafelt, the Rev. Charles
King Irvine. The Salters of London gave assistance in exchange for property and land.
1886, the Salters its interest in Derry except for its connection with the Rainey-it continued
to give £66 each year. This connection continues to this day: The Salters Cup is awarded
each year; the head boy and head girl and headmaster attend the Salters A.G.M. in
London each year.
Having survived the Williamite Wars, the Famine, Home Rule, Partition, World Wars 1 & 2
and the Troubles, there are now 725 boys and girls attending the Rainey Endowed