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News > Memories at Hymers > Celebrating 129 Years of Hymers College

Celebrating 129 Years of Hymers College

Robert Hymers gifted money that he inherited from his brother, John, to carry out his wishes of creating a school 'for the training of intelligence in whatever social rank of life'

In celebrating the opening of Hymers College on 30 October 1893, we should acknowledge the vision of Rev. John Hymers and the generosity of him and his younger brother, Robert Hymers.  Above the main entrance of the school, the stone inscription acknowledges the two brothers:

This college which John Hymers, Doctor of Sacred Theology, had proposed in spirit and needed to be established, Robert Hymers saw to be built with distinguished piety towards his brother.

Robert Hymers was the unintended beneficiary of the fortune left by his elder brother, John Hymers.  John had left a home-made will which was deemed faulty:

‘I give and bequeath all the residue of my real and personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever to the Mayor and Corporation of the Borough of Kingston-upon-Hull in the County of York, wherewith to found and endow a Grammar School in their own town on the models of the Grammar Schools at Birmingham and Dulwich for the training of intelligence in whatever social rank of life it may be found amongst the vast and varied population of the town and port of Hull.’

Unfortunately, it should have said ‘found or endow’, rather than 'found and endow', resulting in Robert, inheriting the fortune.

Robert Hymers

Robert Hymers, seen in the photo above, was born in 1807 in Ormesby, where his four older siblings were also born.  He was less academic than his brother, working as a farmer, first in Durham before moving back to Stokesley in North Yorkshire.  He married Mary in 1863 and they moved to the coast at Coatham.  Although John assisted Robert financially, he did not want him to inherit his fortune.  However, it was Robert who inherited the money but he spontaneously offered the Corporation of Hull a sum of £50,000 for the purpose of carrying out his brother's wishes.  Robert died on 1 January 1894 in Stokesley having lived a long life of 87 years.

As a result of the gift to the Corporation of Hull, the foundations of Hymers College were laid on the 21st of January, 1891.  The Freedom of Hull was also presented to Robert, on this occasion of the laying of the foundation stone.

It is thanks to John Hymers, and his brother Robert, that we have Hymers College today.  If you would like to help continue their legacy, you can donate to the John Hymers' Bursary Fund at

To read more on John Hymers, please visit Remembering the Birth of Rev John Hymers

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