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Charity schools in Northumberland and Durham, 1699-1810

Hogg, Gordon Welch (1966) Charity schools in Northumberland and Durham, 1699-1810. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Many charity schools providing free elementary education were founded in Northumberland and Durham especially in the early and later years of the eighteenth century. Motives of founders, mainly from the gentry, clergy and urban middling classes, varied. Many felt it a duty; some saw in the schools a defence of Protestantism; most had genuine humanitarian motives. School management was essentially local - by the trustees or subscribers. However up to mid-century the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge through its local correspondents acted as an advisory body. Main sources of schools' incomes included endowments, subscriptions and charity sermons. Misappropriation of funds and loss of endowments limited the movement's success. Urban schools usually flourished with the continuing interest and support of subscribers and often of corporations. The majority of rural parishes had schools but these were poorly attended, lacked adequate funds and, in the remoter areas, failed to attract suitable teachers. A few Nonconformist schools were founded and, despite legal disabilities, Catholic schools existed. Special schools were those of Trinity House Newcastle for mariners' apprentices, the Crowley schools for workers' children and the Bamburgh Castle schools which included the only boarding school. Religious education played a large part in the limited curriculum. Reading was taught to all, writing mainly to boys but arithmetic and other subjects were rare. Manual instruction was largely limited to girls. Schools often provided clothing and apprenticeship fees. Usually teachers were poorly qualified and their salaries varied greatly. To help retired masters or their dependants the Association of Protestant Schoolmasters was founded. Teachers' subscriptions were never rigidly demanded. After 1785 Sunday schools attempted to provide for increasing numbers of working children. Girls' schools of industry soon followed but had limited success . Monitorial schools appeared early in the nineteenth century and many existing charity schools adopted their methods

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1966
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:16

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