Michael Hipwell, of Stony Stratford, by his will, in 1610, directed that a public house or inn belonging to him called the Rose and Crown, should be let, together with certain closes of land for a term of 99 years; and after the expiration of that term, he bequeathed the said inn, together with all the stables, yards, barns, and commons thereunto belonging, to certain trustees, " that the rents and profits may be applied to the maintenance of a schoolmaster from time to time for ever, to keep a Free Grammar School in the barn behind the said inn, which barn he appointed should be applied as the school house, and was then lately built by him, and a chimney, a loft, and a parlour on the one end thereof for the schoolmaster from time to time to dwell in, and the yard adjoining to the bam for the use of the schoolmaster for the time being : and he appointed that the said trustees should nominate the schoolmaster to hold the said free school from time to time as they should think good ; and it is provided, that such scholars of the town, or any of the next town adjoining, as should be minded to learn either grammar, or to write, or to cypher, should be taught in the school, and be taught their principles in religion, or else the said gift to be void; and that the trustees should remove the said schoolmaster, and put in another, if they should think good cause, or that the schoolmaster for the time being should not duly and orderly behave himself, and teach the scholars in the said school, as should be thought meet by the said trustees."
This school is now incorporated with the National School. The property comprised the two houses that stand on the London side of the present National Schools, and the site of the schools, together with land at the rear that extended back to Wolverton Lane, now known as Russel Street, and four leys of land on the Wolverton side of the lane. He also left five tenements on the East side of Stony Stratford, near the Queen's Cross, for the poor. These have vanished, but they were probably the predecessors of the four small houses adjoining the gas works. These were known as the " Free Houses." Tradition says that they were damaged by fire, and they were repaired by someone who took the rents (the feoffees having no funds to pay him), and in time they became regarded as his property.