The important part Little Melton School plays in the life of our community today is very well recognised and appreciated, but what is not so well known is that it is following in a tradition that may well have started here nearly three hundred years ago, when the first teacher we know of was appointed for this village.
For a long period, any person who wanted to take up either the profession of teaching, or of ministry in the Anglican Church, or of medicine, was required by law to declare his allegiance to the Church of England and to the sovereign, before being entrusted with the care of ‘the mind, body and soul’ of pupils, parishioners or patients. This declaration of faith in the teaching of the Established Church and loyalty to the Crown was known as “subscribing’, and a record of many who signed the appropriate documents can be found in the Subscription Books of the Diocese of Norwich which still survive for the years between 1637 and 1800. In return, all who signed, providing they were suitably qualified, were granted a licence to follow their profession. This system was finally abolished in 1869, but it is from these books that we find details of where these early professional people practised their skills.