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DAKYNS, George Doherty to Main Staff Index
born: 6-Aug-1856
died: 22-Apr-1939

joined: 1-Jan-1890 (South Shields High School for Boys - 2nd Headmaster)
left: 31-Dec-1895 (Head, Morpeth Grammar)

George Dakyns was born in Rugby in 1856, the youngest of an illustrious family from St Vincent, in the West Indies.

His parents, Dr Thomas Henry and Harriet (nee Dascent), were both born on St Vincent, were married in London, but returned to live and raise their first four children on the island. They later returned to England to live in Rugby.

George's parents were actually half-cousins, and his mother was the sister of Sir George Webbe Dascent (well known at the time for translating the Icelandic Chronicles).

Of George's brothers, Thomas Henry became a respected surgeon, and Henry Graham was a teacher, renowned translator (having published many Ancient Greek translation) and a close personal friend of Alfred Lord Tennyson (whose children he tutored).

George's secondary education was as a boarder at Clifton College, with his brother Henry as his Head of House.

After school, George went to study at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he emerged with an MA, together with magnum cum laude in "Moderations", Classics and Modern History. His first teaching post, in 1881, was as Assistant Master and House Tutor at the High School in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, and in 1883 he married an Oxford girl, Augusta Field.

When WH Phillips resigned as Headmaster of the South Shields High School, George replaced him on 1st January, 1890.

George and Augusta had three children whilst they were living at the High School - a son, born in 1892, and twin sons, born in 1892. Sadly, one twin died after a couple of months, and the second died a year or so later.

Through a little bit of luck, George was then appointed Headmaster of the Morpeth Grammar School (now King Edward VI School, or just KEVI). The Governors of the Morpeth school had 86 applicants for the position, and planned a shortlist of five. Two were picked as "most suitable", and three others (including Dakyns) were also chosen for consideration. But, in the end, the Governors decided that they only wanted to consider two of these additional candidates, so chose the first two in alphabetical order. Had Dakyns been further down the alphabet, he would have missed out.

The family left South Shields in 1896, and lived in the Morpeth school where he remained until his retirement on 31st December, 1922, at which point he moved back to Oxford with his wife, where he died in 1939.

One curiosity is that George was actually prosecuted in 1895 and found guilty of keeping a dog without a licence, for which he was fined 5 shillings.

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