The Wellesley Nautical School was founded in 1868 by a group of philanthropic buisnessmen on Tyneside under the leadership of James Hall, ’to provide shelter for Tyneside waifs and train young men for service in both Royal and Merchant Navies.’
The first accommodation was on board the ex-frigate "H.M.S. CORNWALL" moored on the tyne in 1868. She was soon replaced by the last of the wooden walled battleships, "H.M.S. BOSCAWEN", renamed "T.S. WELLESLEY" to maintain the tradition started some six years earlier, and by the early 1900’s Wellesley was accepting boys from London, Manchester and Liverpool as well as from Tyneside and Yorkshire.