Thomas Hatley was the headmaster of Market Lavington School from 1879 to 1892. He arrived in the village as quite a young man, for at the time of the 1881 census he was a 24 year old schoolmaster and he had lodgings on White Street – almost next to the old Brewery Tap pub which was no doubt handy after a hard day at school.
He was still a boarder in the village in 1891. Confusingly, this census says he came from Southampton which was probably where his father was then living.
By 1901 Thomas was still a single man and had returned to live with his elderly father in Hampshire. Thomas was described as a retired schoolmaster.
It would be lovely to have a photo of Thomas, but for now we’ll make do with a verse which children used to chant.
Children chanted this, quietly and behind his back.