Mr William Stallard established Grenville College in 1855 under the name Ballarat Grammar School, according to an Annual Report of Grenville College. Huxtable’s Ballarat Commercial Directory places Stallard in the ‘Commercial Academy’, at Doveton Street, Ballarat in 1857.
Stallard, the first principal of the School, was born in Somerset around 1821 and married Catherine Rose Kelly in Calcutta around 1846. They then travelled to Tasmania where they settled for some years before moving to the newly formed Colony of Victoria. Eva Minnie Stallard, a daughter, was born in Hobart, Tasmania on 12 April 1854 before the family moved to Ballarat.
Stallard continued as principal of Ballarat Grammar School until 1866 when he decided that ‘on account of the ill health of his family’ he would relinquish his position and settle in Geelong. In 1871 William Stallard was the principal of Western College, Geelong. His fortunes continued to plummet due to intemperance and financial problems. He committed suicide on 14 August 1882 at Emerald Hill and is buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.
Ballarat Grammar School was amalgamated with the Collegiate School in 1867 and was known as Ballarat Collegiate and Grammar School. Mr John Victor who had studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, took over as principal. According to historian William Bramwell Withers Victor ‘founded Grenville College in Holmes Street, Ballarat’. However, it was not until 1869 the name of the School was changed to Grenville College.
An advertisement in Niven’s 1882 Street Directory claims that Grenville College was established in 1860 at which date the School provided ‘excellent accommodation for boarders’. During 1881 with Mr A. A. Buley principal, 19 pupils had passed the Civil Service, 16 the Matriculation, 5 the School of Mines, one the First Year C.E., one the First Year Arts, and one the First Year law Examination at Melbourne University. Fees (payable in advance) for day pupils were two guineas for pupils under twelve years of age, and over twelve years, three guineas per quarter. Boarders under twelve years paid 15 guineas per quarter, over twelve years 17 guineas. Extras such as drawing, advanced drawing and German could be also studied at a further cost.
By 1907 Grenville College was situated in Mair Street, about ‘five minutes walk from the Railway Station’, and described as ‘a large brick building, with commodious class rooms and dormitories for boarders’. The building is still in existence, between Dawson and Lyons Street. Mr A. A. Buley having been the principal for around 30 years, was seriously ill in 1907 and by 1910 Grenville College was no longer operating.
Many famous people attended Grenville College, including politician Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, Cyril Callister the inventor of vegemite, engineer Samuel Ernest Figgis, artist William Frederick Longstaff, author Mary Gaunt, artist and photographer Euphemia (Effie) Baker, politician Russell Thomas (Russ) White, and poet Bernard Patrick O’Dowd. I am currently seeking information about Grenville College or any pupils or teachers that were associated with the institution. I am especially looking for information about A. La Gerche, said to be a student at Grenville College.