||Richard Collyer wrote his will in January and died in March. His links with Horsham are still a mystery but, as a London merchant and Mercer of great wealth, he left in his will that if his two children died underage or without heirs then one of his two city dwellings should be sold and the proceeds used to build a school-house for 60 Horsham boys and that his great mansion should be given to the Mercers’ as trusteesto endow the foundation for salaries and repairs. In return the school was asked to pray for his soul and that of his wife, Katherine. Sadly his two children died before reaching maturity.
||The School was built near St Mary’s Church in the Causeway.
||William Pirie was Headmaster (salary £100 pa). His bronze statue in a donkey cart is to be found in Piries Place.
||The school house (Collyer School) was rebuilt on the present site.
||Dr William West Duckering (1861-1945) was a pupil at the School
In 1888 he went to New York and became a doctor. He left his estate to the School and the proceeds were used to fund the building of the Duckering Hall in 1963.
||The School came under the control of the local authority.
||Named Horsham Grammar School, founded by Richard Collyer.
||Named Collyer’s School.
||Became a Voluntary Maintained Grammar School.
||It became a sixth form college and took in its first girls. The Trustees sold half of the School’s playing fields to the LEA and the proceeds went into the Collyer Endowment. The foundation owns all the land and buildings and the endowment (administered by the Mercers’ Company through the Trustees) can only be invested in the buildings.
||Came under Further Education Funding Council control and the LEA had to give the playing fields back to the college.
||Came under the control of the Learning and Skills Council.
||Collyer’s appointed its first female Principal/Headteacher.