The Rev. Benjamin Clough who remained in Galle was looking for a place to start a school. He was visited by the Great Mudliyar of Galle and this account in the Rev. Clough’s own words of that historic event is found in page 111 of “The Missionary Register for M DCCC XVI” published in 1816.
The above event is also published in page 170 of the book “A Narrative or the Establishment and Progress of the mission to Ceylon and India” by Rev. W. M. Harvard one of the pioneer missionaries, published in 1823.
The Jubilee Memorials of the Wesleyan Mission written by Rev. Robert Spence Hardy (printed in 1862) in the Preface – Page iv states that Rev Hardy has access from his position to official documents of the mission and then on Page 210 states that the first school by the mission was in Galle. The Jubilee Memorials is no longer available in circulation. A copy of the original book was found in the The Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House, Oxford which is the integrated library service of the University of Oxford, England. The book is now only for reference and research and is not lent. The famous historical document was published in the year 1864 in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Methodism in Ceylon. The following two images are from the original book. This is the incontrovertible evidence.
Any one wishing to peruse the book can do so from the photo copied version available with the Mission House in Colombo which again is for reference only.
It was in the year 1814 that Rev. Clough established the FIRST Wesleyan Mission School in Galle, Ceylon and in Asia. Having gone through more than fifty publications no definitive date was found. Nevertheless we can make an intelligent guess as to when that date could be. Since Rev. Ault started his school few days after his arrival in Batticaloa, the Galle school would have started before 8 August 1814. That date could be a date between 31 July 1814 and 8 August 1814. The fact the school was the first to be established is substantiated by what is stated in Page 210 of the Jubilee Memorials.
This school was an elementary school and no specific name could be found. However majority of the schools that were found during the first three years of the arrival of the missionaries were called “The Wesleyan Boy’s School” or the “The Wesleyan Girl’s School” or the “The Wesleyan English School” according to some mission records. It is stated above that the school was supplied with books by Lord Molesworth and they would have been English books as no Singhalese books were in print at that time. Thus it could be assumed that the school was known as “The Wesleyan English School“.
“The Diamond Jubilee Souvenir” published by the school in 1951 and edited by the late Principal Mr. E. R. de Silva, the late Mr. Kalyana Dahanayake and late Mr. S. I. Perera in its opening pages notes this fact.
I had access to the original manuscript of the 1951 Diamond Jubilee Souvenir held in a private collection. Reading through the pages I found that historical facts relating to the year 1814, appearing in the souvenir are attributed to the publication – Jubilee Memorials by Rev. Hardy.