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Boys Macclesfield 49 Findon
20 Bedford 60 Newport
25 Shrewsbury 130 Granthamn
21 Wigan 80 Peterboro'
30 The original papers of many schools are worth considering for another purpose.
It will be found that in some of them the licences or letters patent only give a general title of Grammar School to an establishment, but the “ ordinances” drawn up under their authority particularise many other subjects of study besides the classics. The Charter-house, St. Bees, Aidenbam and Hartlebury, are a few examples of this.
If by some misfortune the letters patent only were extant, such seminaries would be condemned to the close courses. But it is to be concluded from what now appears that the mere existence of general instruments by no means proves the applicability of a foundation to the classics alone. If it can be shown that the open course tends to establish the object of founders, viz. the dissemination of sound learning amongst such decent persons as, without assistance, could not obtain it, the title of a school seems an unwarrantable ground for rejecting it. Bearing in mind the legal rule of construction ut res magis valeat, we may almost assert that the absence of the “rules and ordinances” raises a presumption an favor of general learning.
Another principle is to be recognised in the original statutes of some schools which is worth attention. In the following instances the founders make an express distinction between boys who are to learn Latin and those who are to apply to the niinor elements only. Childrey, Kelsall, Guisboro', Skipton, Charter House and Waitby, and the instances are numerous, in which the masters are to attend to the “capacity and wits of the boys,” which, in many, may imply a similar distinction.
The effect of this system is admirably exemplified in St. Olave's, Southwark, where, for upwards of a hundred years at least, the funds have been expended with the happiest effects. It is contrasted in the following table with St. Saviour's, a school in an adjoining parish, whose original instruments very closely resemble those of St. Olave's. St. Paul's is added in a distinct imperfect column.
1816 1300 Expenditure on the School 1100
€. $80 380
the} } rich and poor
St. Olave's. St. Saviour's.
1816 1818 Boys 270 40 68
153 Books,&c.found by the Sch. yes
no Classics compelled
yes Rank of boys by the
rich and poor foundation.
1818 Any boarders
2 Latin boys
all Expense of each boy to
} nothing 21. and 11. entrance fee his parents annually.
An account of a German School founded doubtless with similar views to those which actuated the English reformers has been taken from a recent volume of Travels by Mr. Hodgskin of Edinburgh. The occasional changes, which he mentions, do not appear to have injured the establishment, although probably they checked the tendency of the original close rules to convert it into a siuecure,
The Lyceum, or high school of the old town of Hanover, dates from the year 1500, and was one of the schools in which the instruction was regulated after 3 principal beads; “ It was commanded first, that piety should be taught; next, knowledge and wit; and, lastly, politeness and manners.” This school was established by the citizens and magistrates for the education of their sons; the funds which support it, the regulations of the school, the appointment of the masters, and its entire control, all belong to the magistrates of the old town.-It has been constantly altered so as to keep pace with modern improvements, and it is not behind the knowledge of the times.—250 boys are educated here who are not exclusively sons of the citizens. Some few come from the country, and 5 boys out of the whole were children of noble parents, but generally their parents occupy the middle ranks of society, and they are chiefly intended for the learned professions. They are generally between the ages of 7 and 18 years. The course of education which is followed is considered as preparatory to the going to the universities, and consists in the Latin, Greek, French and English languuges, mathematics, history, literature, declamation, religion, and music. The expenses of this school are for boys of the 1st class about 31. sterling per year, and there are gradations between this and 11. 16s. which is paid by the youngest scholars. The regular salary of the director is about 2001. per annum, and there are several gradations for the other instructors till the lowest is reached, which is not above 601. There are ten different teachers at this school, The parents of the boys are subject to another little expense, and the masters receive some more profit; but as this is made and received as a voluntary offering it is not mentioned as salary. The scholars of each class subscribe a small sum, and thus make up a purse of
money, which is then presented to the teacher of their class on bis birth-day.” Ib. 221.
It remains to consider if the love of classical learning has de clined in this country. Wishing to preserve the respect due to the high authority, by which the affirmative of that proposition has been held and lamented, I am still compelled to say that the evidence I have hitherto had the fortune to meet with by no means proves the fact to be so. The inquiry has been extremely contined but the result has convinced me that further particulars would only confirm the opinion, that the English are not inore disposed to be ill informed with elements of classical study than their ancestors were.
In these discussions it must not be forgotten, that it is probable that hy the operation of the poor laws and by taxation, the lower orders have retrograded into a state in which the founders of these schools did not calculate on so many of the excluded by condition ever being in existence. There was once a time when the lower ranks presented more members to the Church than now, in consequence, without doubt, of their being competent to attend these schools in their boyhood joined to greater facilities of rising being open to them when these posts were less anxiously sought for by the higher orders. In the preface to Dr. Cave's Primitive Christianity it is actually a subject of congratulation that the Bench of Bishops was rendered more illustrious than formerly by the birth of its members. The terms which, at an earlier period, would embrace all the inhabitants of a town as candidates, or leave the excluded, as exceptions only to a general invitation will now fall short, and not reach the new race of
paupers, the circumstances attendant on whose poverty will so frequently shut them out of the Grammar School. Thus there may now be great numbers out of that class of schools and yet they may not be deserted. Perhaps the increase of population has taken place most considerably among the degraded ranks, and the fact to be presently mentioned will not then be lessened in importance upon this question by its being attributed to the mere natural demand consequent on the increasing numbers of the people.
Without entering here on the controversy upon the right of admission it may be
remarked, that to allow the degraded ranks to be indirectly unfit candidates for Grammar Schools, by no means implies the higher orders to be sole proper occupiers of their forms; yet, to this event does the exclusive adherence to merely classical courses threaten to be carried.
'When referring to accounts of foreign Schools it should never be forgotten that the revival of learning occasioned throughout Europe the establishment of seminaries much resembling the earliest of our own. This is strictly true of Spain and France, whence examples might be produced of many things in this way having been begun with. But they soon stood still; and an obstinate opposition to improvements in them may perhaps be reckoned as a considerable cause of the political convulsions in those popish countries.
8000 per year.
But whether Grammar Schools have generally declined or not, it is remarkable that the sale of elementary classical books is greatly increasing. I mention this as a fact, so well known to those most competent to form opinions on the subject, that it is unnecessary to specify the source of my information. The following extract of a letter is from the principal of a highly respectable establishment, aud the fact it states is more worthy of attention when other elementary productions are advancing rapidly into considerable circulation.
“I am glad to be able satisfactorily to answer the question which you propose, and decidedly in the affirmative, respecting the increase of classical instruction within the last few years. On an average of the 3 last years, compared with 3 former years, ending 1809 (ten years back), I fud an increased demand for Latin Grammars only, of nearly 800 annually; and a general increase of certain other elementary Latin books printed at of near
If we add to these the considerable number of books of a similar kind, published by, and others, which were not in existence a few years back (and which must greatly outbalance those of former times, some of which also still maintain their ground), there is certainly just reason to conclude, that the elements of classical learning at least are much more cultivated than formerly:-or can I form a conjecture on what ground an opposite opinion can rest. Very few, indeed, of our Public Schools are lower in numbers than formerly, and many of the other Schools round London, where the dead languages are taught (which are as numerous as ever), consist of such numbers as were quite unheard of in former times.
If we look forward to the improvement which the present inquiries are likely to introduce into inany of the Foundation Schools of the country, we may fairly, I presume, conclude, that a still further diffusion of classical learning will also take place.
I should add, that an increase of about half the amount before stated appears to have taken place in the consumption of Eton books, in the 10 years preceding the account above referred to.”
This seems to place the question in a light abundantly clear without the production of further authorities, to support the opinion that the people are not in fault.
Upon the decline of the Newcastle School, to which the Lord Chancellor made very particular reference, I would beg leave to observe that it has met with no unusual fate :-Grammar Schools devoted to the classics fluctuate with the presence or absence of able masters. Its present low state cannot be a proof against the people of England generally; and its reputation seems to have been peculiarly the work of Mr. Moyses: before his time it was in decay, and after his death it was again deserted. A similar story might be told of a vast number of similar establishments.
The great question is, if they shall be suffered any longer to be exposed to the casualties of talent; moderate men may conduct, with success, any of these establishments, if the rules are liberally framed; but it seems to require a rare genius to invigorate a system of which the dead languages form the sole substance.
It highly concerns the members of the Church of England, for the support of whose community these Schools were directly founded or reformed, to guard them from decay. The Lord Chancellor has, more than once, severely observed upon the neglect of one duty, which we are all agreed to be a part of their constitution; I mean that of religious exercise :' and if the foregoing remarks be not absolutely erroneous, equally mischievous effects on the rights of the fit candidates for these schools have been occasioned by other neglects. Mr. Brougham's commission has begun to produce great benefits to the country, and the compiler of these papers fervently hopes, that he may find in them some materials useful towards a direct restoration of such as are now deserted.
See 19 Vesey, 190. Attorney-General v. Coopers' Company,
Note to List 1. To form a correct estimate of the views of the founders of Grammar Schools, in the 16th and 17th centuries, it would be useful to consider the various treatises on education published in those periods. The great number of such books now extant, which discuss general modes of study, should surely induce us to adopt with caution the assertions of persons, who think that the early schools of the country were devoted exclusively to Latin
The “ Triall of Wits," written by Huartes, a Spaniard, and in 1594 translated into English from the Italian version of Camillo Camilli, abounds in curious and instructive passages, which may, perhaps, be traced into the subsequent ordinances of schools. The game of Chess is strongly recommended in it; and in 1614 we find the boys of Camberwell School directed to be taught that amusement.
The advantages of writing a fine hand are spoken of in terms equally strong with those of Quintilian: and we know how highly King James 1. thought of this accomplishment, little disposed as he was to neglect solid learning. The art of penmanship was cultivated at that time by the greatest scholars. But it cannot be denied, that the deformity of the , wretched scrawl, usually written now by English gentlemen from Grammar Schools, is only exceeded by its inconvenience in the common transactions of society
The most remarkable object of the book of Huartes is to show the expe- . diency of devoting boys of various tastes to various studies. The universal attention given to similar courses, without reference to the abilities or dispoVOL. XVI.
NO. XXXII. Z