Page images

“I need not trouble you with proofs of the intimate connexion between ignorance and crimes. I need not remind you of the statement which I made in 1835, when I moved my resolutions on education, that even of the rioters and incendiaries tried in the winter 1830-1, not by any means of the lowest ranks, only 150 out of 700 could sign their names, the rest being marksmen ; that of those received into the Refuge of the Destitute, only 1 in 30, or even 35, have received any instruction ; that a worthy magistrate of Essex declared 9-10ths of those who were brought before him to be marksmen ; that of all the young offenders whose cases are described in the admirable petition from the Liverpool magistrates, lately presented by me to the House of Lords, almost every one was in a state of utter ignorance; that Mr. Clay, the Prestun gaol chaplain, found above half of those he examined ignorant of the sovereign's name, and of the names of the months, while hardly two in the hundred could read and write, and yet that by far the greater number had heard read to them books of the most flagitious character, offering direct incentives to a life of idleness and plunder. Facts such as these are not wanted to show the necessary connexion between ignorance and vice; and yet I am arguing for more than the mere blessing of elementary education; the reading, writing and ciphering, usually taught to poor children after they have attained a certain age. My desire is to see the preventive process begin much earlier; for it is quite certain that the habits are formed in infancy rather than in early life, and that it is as easy to train a child of four or five years old to good principles, and kindly feelings, and honest conduct, as it is difficult to break him of bad habits, acquired before he has reached the age of eight, or even seven years.

“Only consider in what portion of society the criminals, whose numbers infect every community, are born and bred. Not in the upper, not in the middle, not even in the better portion of the lower classes ; but these criminals are raised from the comparatively small proportion of our people who are in abject poverty, and with difficulty can earn an honest subsistence, often being without the means of sustenance at all except from charity or from dishonest pursuits. Then let infant schools be established in all our towns, especially our cities, enough to train the infant children of this class, not exceeding a tenth of the people in the larger towns, and not more than a fifteenth in the smaller ones. If this provision were made, the source of crimes would be cut off at the fountain head; vur criminal jurisprudence, our criminal police, would not have many subjects whereon to work; and our reformatory treatment would be easily applied to the few bad cases that might still remain.”—(Lord Brougham's Letter to Lord Lansdowne.)


“ But we must look to the causes of this grievous evil, and the history of the attempts made during the period over which we are looking back, will sufficiently point them out.

“ In 1820, my first Education Bill, a General Parish School Bill, was brought forward ; it gave a superintendence in some particulars to the Church ; and it provided that no Dissenters should be excluded—for while the parson was to have a veto on the election of the schoolmaster, no catechism, no liturgy, no church service was to be enforced, and only the Bible to be taught. From the Church no objection proceeded; but the Dissenters rose in a body and defeated the bill. If it had contained provisions for persecution it could not have been more vehemently opposed. I was compelled to withdraw it.

“Then came the re-payment of the million and upwards by Austria, and half of it was allotted to the building of churches ; consequently, to the exclusive use of the establishment, and no Dissenter could possibly benefit by it, although all the Dissenters had paid their share of the taxes by which the money advanced to the emperor had been raised. Did the Dissenters, who had defeated the bill of 1820, make any objection ? Nothing of the kind; or if they did, it was urged in so low a tone, and in such feeble accents, that Lord Liverpool, who I know was prepared to give them their share for their own education purposes, had they made the least effort for their own protection, saw no occasion whatever to make any compromise, and I believe the godsend (as our friend Lord Ripon called it), was directed into a very different channel, going to the building and furnishing of a palace, not the bandsomest in Europe. So much for consistency! So much for a strenuous love of education! So much for even uniformity in opposing the Established Church !

“In 1835 I again brought forward the subject, by moving resolutions in favour of a public department, an Education Board, and a system of School planting; but the conflict between the Church and the sects rendered it hopeless to press these resolutions to a division.

“ Two years after I presented the Education Bill, grounded on the same resolutions; but the same conflict prevented me from carrying it; for the Church required some superintendence, and the Dissenters would hear of none.

“ In 1839 I again presented the bill ; and then arose the memorable debate of the 5th of July on the Archbishop of Canterbury's resolutions, which declared the necessity of the Church receiving protection from the lords, by their consent being required for all education plans executed by the government. Nothing (I say it as their adversary) could be more temperate and conciliatory than the speeches of his Grace and the Bishop of London. But the result of the debate, after long and sharp discussion, was, that we who would have withheld from the Establishment all direct control, were defeated by a majority of about two to one, in a division of no less than 347, or, pairs included, 369 votes. In the minority, and with the Whig government, which had just made him a bishop, voted Dr. Otter. The same government announced their determination to support my bill on its second reading ten days after ; but the bishop then advanced into the front of the battle, and made the motion which caused the bill to be thrown out. I am ready, however, to allow that he discussed its merits with great candour, and showed his wishes for clerical superintendence to be confined within very moderate and reasonable bounds. From this debate and this division, upon a question most favourable to us who opposed the primate, and from this rejection of my bill, I at once drew two inferences—that there was not the most remote possibility of our carrying any measure of education through the Upper House, without giving the Church a certain superintendence, and that the Church as well as the lords, would be satisfied with a very moderate and little burdensome share of this control. From that time my mind was fully made up in favour of a measure which should answer this description, as affording the only possible chance of educating the people. And this opinion I announced to the Duke of Bedford, in a letter written by his desire and addressed to him ; nor have I the least reason to doubt, from the communications I afterwards received from him, during the few weeks preceding his lamented decease, that he regarded the subject so near his heart in the very same light. We both should greatly have preferred a measure giving secular instruction to all, and leaving spiritual instruction to the pastors of each ; but, unable to obtain that, we never would reject the only chance there was of any instruction being bestowed upon the people at large, and we could see no interference of such a plan with the most perfect religious freedom. Such I believe to have been his feelings ; such I know to be my own.

And why, if there must be clerical superintendence, do I hold it necessary to vest it in the Established Church rather than in the sects ? For two very obvious reasons. Both the Establishment is the church of the great majority; and the Church is one, while the Dissenting sects are very numerous, each differing from the other fully as much, perhaps a good deal more than any of them differs from the Church; so that to place any system under their superintendence whould be wholly impracticable.

“There remains then but one question for our consideration :-Shall we have a system of national education or not? For this is the same thing as asking if we shall approve a plan of education over which the Establishment shall have some superintendence ?

“When I saw Lord John Russell's announcement last summer of an educa tion measure, I, of course, concluded that he had fallen upon some method of obtaining the approval of the Dissenters to the only practicable plan. But no such consent it seems has been given ; and it appears further, that the government is afraid of meeting the opposition of those to whom it looks for support. Yet see the consequences of half measures! The Dissenters have begun an agitation of great vehemence and of no little extent, and conducted by able and worthy men against the very small measure, if measure it can be called, to which all the promises of last summer have dwindled down! Had an Education Bill been introduced, such as would have satisfied the Church, you may be sure there would, have been no more opposition offered to it, than the little minute of council bas excited. But if the government had brought forward such a plan as would have satisfied their sectarian adherents, then were their own days assuredly numbered ; for instantly the scattered fragments of the opposition would have rallied round the Church, and the only chance of existence which the present ministry possesses would at once have been gone."(Ibid.)



A PAPER on this subject, by Mr. Fletcher, was read at the last meeting of the statistical society. The northermost part of the district was selected for the enquiry. The population is employed in the mining of coal and iron, the working of blast furnaces, and the manufacture of the metal produced into heavy articles of cast iron, or into the ruder of the wares that are formed out of wrought iron, such as nails, locks, and sadlers' ironmongery. In the area under consideration, extending over 67,060 acres, with a population in 1841 of 271,725, there are existing, at this time, scarcely any private day schools expressly for the children of the labour-, ing classes at all worthy of the name. There are, in fact, no private day schools, in the common understanding of the term, for the children of the poor above the years of infancy, but only for the children of the middle classes, into the lowest order of which a section of labourers' children are sometimes admitted, at reduced fees, to learn to read only, or to learn nothing, as it may happen, in schools in effect unorganized. Even the more respectable sort of dame schools belong properly to the middle classes ; while the remainder are properly “out-of-the-way schools," as the parents call them, or mere cottage kitchens, of some kind but totally uneducated neighbour, to which the children are sent merely to be kept out of the way of harm. Those who are not acquainted with such districts, can scarcely form a conception how exclusively these regions of smoke, cinders, and scoriæ, appear to be occupied by workpeople only. The number of children and young persons, at each of four periods of age, in the gross population, and in the schools, is as follows:


Thus the acknowledged deficiency of attendance (much less than the inspectors find in schools of superior organisation which they visit) is equal to the number on the books above stated, whose ages could not be obtained; and striking these two items out of consideration, the remaining figures give a true statement of the present extent of popular instruction in this district. The averages of each class of public day and infant schools, and of each denomination of Sunday schools, in the parliamentary borough of Wolverhampton, are as follows:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Taking the number in day schools and the number in Sunday schools jointly into consideration, it has to be borne in mind that nearly the whole of the former is included in the latter, under the universal rule, that the children in the day school shall attend the Sunday schools of the same connection. As nearly as these returns will bring us to accuracy, it may be concluded that somewhat more than one-half of the children of the labouring classes in this district go to schools of some sort, and that the greater number of these, besides the very little that some of them acquire under five years of age in infant schools, have some two or three years of attendance in poor day schools, chiefly at an age just above that of infancy, besides some ten years in Sunday schools, generally of a very inferior description, under voluntary teachers, often themselves ignorant and unskilled. Whether the term heathenism would be ill or harshly applied to the mental and moral condition in which the other half of the children are growing up, the author leaves to those who have personal knowledge of districts similar to the one under .consideration.




Hichens, William, St. John's.
Ross, Charles D., Wadham.
Sellar, William Y., Balliol.
Wodehouse, Lord, Christ Church.

Colenso, Thomas B., Exeter.
Cree, John A., University.
Davey, William H., Lincoln.
Howard, Edward J., Lincoln.
Marriett, Wharton B., Exeter.
Maynard, John H. P., Pembroke.
Meyrick, Frederick, Trinity.
Petch, George, Lincoln.
Povah, Alfred, Wadham.
Price, Thomas, Magdalen Hall.
Southey, Thomas C., Queen's.
Walter, Frank, Worcester.

Baker, James, University.
Bland, Philip D., University.
Bullock, William T., Magdalen Hall.

Field, Edmund, Exeter.
Hearn, Thomas I., New College.
Heygate, W. U., Merton.
Hull, John W., Brasenose.
Kewley, John W., Brasenose.
Lowndes, Charles C., St. Mary Hall.
Marsh, Thomas, St. Edmund Hall.
Milman, William, Christ Church.
Ogilvy, Lord, Christ Church.
Pinder, Edward, Wadham.
Shebbeare, Charles H., University.
Stapylton, William C., Merton.
Tamplin, George F., St. John's.
Vickers, John C. H., St. Mary Hall.
Whitlock, George S., Brasenose.
Witherby, Robert H., Exeter.

Alexander, William, New Ion Hall.
Chalker, Frederick, Corpus.
Compton, Berkeley D., Merton.
Keene, Charles R., Balliol.
King, Richard H., Merton.
Langton, Stephen St. P., Magdalen Hall.
Morgan, Hugh, Jesus.
Orlebar, Augustus, Wadham.

Peel, Robert K., Balliol.
Ricketts, Martin H., Exeter.
Roberts, John L., Queen's.
Sanders, Arthur, Balliol.
Sargent, Henry W., Merton.
Woolley, Frederick, St. Mary Hall.

Rowland Muckleston.
Thomas Frederick Henney.
John Ernest Bode.
William Edward Buckley.

National Society. The society is now making increased exertions to complete the general inquiry into the provision made for education in church schools. The work is impeded by the want of returns from many parishes. A second application is now being made for the required information, and it is earnestly hoped that the clergy of the parishes referred to will kindly fill up the tabular form, and return it with as little delay as possible. As the results of this inquiry are to be printed in detail, it is expected that the work, when completed, will be the most valuable record extant of church school statistics.

The sub-committee appointed to arrange the plan for awarding certificates to candidates for the office of national schoolmasters have made their report and have recommended that certificates of competency to exercise the profession of national schoolmasters should be presented to nine out of the seventeen masters who were examined at Christmas last. The committee have adopted the recommendation of the sub-committee, and have given directions for a proper certificate to be engraved and presented to the successful candidates.

On Monday, the 26th of April, a sermon was preached at St. Mark's College Chapel by the Lord Bishop of London, on the occasion of the anniversary, when a collection was made in aid of a fund for the extension of the college. Nearly 50 of the youths formerly educated in the college were present.

The annual examination will take place on the 3rd of June.

Fifteen exhibitions of £15 each, for one year's training, have been granted by the conimittee, to be competed for by persons desirous of being trained at the society's institution at Battersea, with a view to take charge of schools in the mining and manufacturing districts. There are at present 70 students in training at Battersea.

At Whitelands, Chelsea, during the past month, 17 applications have been made for admission. Nine of the candidates have been admitted, and the others wait for vacancies. At present there are 74 young women in training. Schoolmis.

tresses from this institution have just been appointed to schools at Guiseley, Finchley, North Somercoates, and Witham. The Rev. H. Baber, incumbent of Forebridge, Stafford, and inspector of schools for the archdeaconry of Stafford, has been elected chaplain to this institution.

At Westminster the application for tenchers, especially for schoolmistresses, continues very greatly to exceed the supply.. Masters have been appointed to schools at Llangynwyd near Bridgend, All Saints Southampton, Meopham near Gravesend, St. Thomas Stepney, Standish in Lancashire, and Chailey in Sussex. Mistresses have been appointed to schools at Ripley, Hythe, Curtain-road Shoreditch, St. John's Brighton, Swinefleet Lincolnshire, Cļiston Yorkshire, Worthing, and Wandsworth.

Mr. Tearle has been appointed to organise the schools connected with the parish church of St. George, Hanover Square. Mr. Ingram is reported to be rendering valuable assistance in organising schools under the Salisbury board. Mr. Harris has completed the work assigned to him at Birmingham, having organised, in the parish of Birmingham, the schools connected with the churches of All Saints, St. George, St. Thomas, St. Mark, St. Bartholomew, Bishop Ryder, St. Paul, St. Mary, St. Stephen; and in the parish of Ashton, the schools connected with the churches of St. Andrew and Holy Trinity in Bordesley, St. Matthew Duddeston, at Washwood Heath, and St. James, Ashted. In these schools the numbers on the books amount to 3,791, and the number actually in attendance when the schools were organised amounted to 2,806. Mr. Harris has drawn an ecclesiastical and scholastic map of Birmingham, shewing the positions of the schools and churches, and the amount of accommodation provided in them for the population of the town. The boundaries of the several parochial districts are carefully marked out. The map has been lithographed, and the profits, if there are any, are to be appropriated to the Birming. ham Infant School Fund.

The committee have received the annual reports of the Northamptonshire society, the Bedfordshire board of Education, and of the board for the archdeaconries of Llandaff and Monmouth. The Northamptonshire society continues the excellent plan of printing a return of the numbers of the children, &c. in each of the schools connected with the society. It appears that there are 13,716 children in the schools, of whom rather more than one-half receive daily instruction. With the sanction of the Lord Bishop of the diocese, a system of inspection by the several rural deans has been attempted in the northern division of the county, with a view to the adjudication

« PreviousContinue »