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While later

the work be

came less effective, the S. P. C. K.

had impressed England with

a responsi


Charity Schools, which of late years has so universally prevailed through the whole nation, as the glory of the age we live in. . . . It seems to promise us an honest and virtuous posterity. There will be few in the next generation who will not at least be able to write and read, and have not an early tincture of religion." But while the benefactions for these institutions continued to increase for nearly half a century, until in many cases they virtually became endowments, by the middle of the eighteenth century popular interest had waned. The subscriptions began to fall off, the system of in- bility for the spection became less effective, teachers again came to of national be regarded as having a vested interest, and the schools schools. ceased to expand. Nevertheless, the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge had succeeded in impressing the Church of England with a sense of responsibility for the establishment of a national school system upon a religious basis. The S. P. C. K. schools were largely continued throughout the eighteenth century, and were in most instances absorbed after 1811 by the 'National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church.' 1 Some of the best of these foundations have even existed until the present day upon an independent basis.

Other British Charity Schools. These institutions of the S. P. C. K. may be taken as typical of British charity schools in general. While under the control of the Church of England, they were at first assisted by wealthy nonconformists and often attended by the children of poor dissenters. But as a result of increasing sectarian hostility the nonconformists soon set up schools

1 See pp. 55ff.

The 'Gravei

Lane School'

and about

sixty other

charity schools were

founded by


ists before the close of the



of their own. The first of these foundations was the 'Gravel Lane School,' founded in Southwark, London, in 1687, "for the instruction of children in reading, writing, and arithmetick, and the girls in sewing and knitting, and furnishing them with books for their instruction in these arts, and with Testaments, Catechisms, and Bibles." This school was maintained by voluntary subscriptions, annual collections, and legacies, and the number of pupils soon rose from forty at the beginning to over two hundred. Half a dozen other such nonconformist institutions seem to have been established in London during the early part of the eighteenth century. By the middle of the century there were in the metropolis at least five charity schools belonging to the Presbyterians, three to the Independents, two to the French Protestants, and one to the Quakers, and before the close of the century there must have been sixty charity schools founded in various parts of England and Wales by different nonconforming denominations. and 'circulat- Later there was also founded in Wales an interesting type of philanthropic institution known as 'circulating schools.' These institutions simply aimed to teach pupils to read the Bible in Welsh, and when this had been accomplished in one neighborhood, the school was transferred to another. Their organization was begun in 1737 by the Reverend Griffith Jones, but in their support they were largely assisted by the S. P. C. K. Under the management of Jones over one hundred and fifty thousand children and adults were taught to read through some three thousand of these schools, and under his successor, who continued the organization until 1779, there was an even larger number of schools and pupils.

ing schools'

were also founded in Wales.

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and Its Charity Schools in America.The charity school movement of the mother country also had a counterpart in the American colonies. A number of earlier charity schools were started in America by various organizations, but most of the institutions of this sort developed during the eighteenth century through an offshoot of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. This association had from the first contemplated religious education in the colonies as well as in England. Dr. Bray undertook the commissaryship of Maryland for the Bishop of London with the understanding that he should be assisted in providing libraries and schools in America. Before starting for the colony himself, he sent over many missionaries, and furnished libraries and money to be used in education. While schools never came to be organized in America by the society, it was evidently intended that they should be encouraged in time, but before any definite action could be taken, the other work in the colonies had grown to such proportions that Bray deemed it wise to organize a separate society to manage education. Thus, three years after its own creation, the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge gave birth to the 'Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts' (commonly known as the 'S. P. G.'), and after 1701 the parent as- The S. P. G. sociation was enabled to limit its efforts largely to the was founded in 1701 for home field. Through liberal subscriptions and wise invest- missionary ments the S. P. G. eventually came to have a fund of its own amounting to over £400,000. Missionaries were sent to America in 1702, and soon spread through all the colonies, but no schools were founded for several years.

and educa

tional work in


The first

S. P. G. school

The first school of the society was opened in New York was opened City. William Huddleston, who had been conducting a in New York school of his own there, was in 1709 placed upon the City in 1709 upon a simi- society's payroll, "upon condition that he should teach that of the forty poor children gratis." It was intended that the S. P. C. K. new school should follow the plan of the charity schools

lar plan to

schools in


The same

type of school

was supported

onies, except


in England, but while free tuition and free books were guaranteed from the beginning, it was not until many years later that the expense of clothing the children was provided. Under different masters and with varying fortunes, the school was supported by the society until 1783, when the United States had finally cut loose from the mother country and started upon a career of its own. Meanwhile Trinity Church had come more and more to take the initiative in the support of the school, and finally accumulated an endowment of £5000. institution came to be known as "Trinity Church School,' and ever since the withdrawal of the society from America, it has been continued under that name.


Schools of the same type were soon established by the S. P. G. missionaries throughout the colonies. For the colony of New York, we possess more or less complete in all the col- accounts of schools established in Westchester County at Rye, West Chester, White Plains, Yonkers, and East Chester; in two or three centers on Staten Island; at Hempstead, Oyster Bay, North Castle, Huntington, Jamaica, Southampton, and Brookhaven, on Long Island; among the German Palatinates on the Hudson at New Windsor and Newburgh; and at Albany and Johnstown. In Pennsylvania there were well-known schools in Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Chester; while similar institutions were supported at Burlington,

Shrewsbury, and Second River in New Jersey. The S. P. G. schoolmasters seem to have been likewise active in all the other colonies, except Virginia.

tion was gen

All these schools, except for size and local peculiarities, closely resembled that in New York City. The attendance ranged from eighteen or twenty pupils to nearly four times that number. From one-quarter to one-half of them were taught gratuitously. Girls were generally admitted, and occasionally equalled or exceeded the boys in number. As a rule, children of other denominations were received on the same terms as those of Church of England members, and at times nearly one-half the attendance was composed of dissenters, but often those outside the Church were given secondary consideration, or the catechism was so stressed by the school that the dissenting children were withdrawn and rival schools set up. The character of the course of study in these charity The instrucschools is further indicated by the books furnished by erally elethe society. In packets of various sizes it sent over mentary and hornbooks, primers, spellers, writing-paper and inkhorns, catechisms, psalters, prayer books, testaments, and bibles. There is also some evidence that secondary instruction was carried on intermittently in the various centers by the missionaries or by the schoolmasters in conjunction with their elementary work. The character of the work done by the society's schools varied somewhat. Some masters were notoriously inefficient, but as a whole they ranked above the average of the times. Throughout its work in the American colonies the The S. P. G. S. P. G. met with various forms of opposition. The with much dissenters, Quakers, and others were often openly hostile opposition. Yet, while through fear of the foundation of an established national the society


schools met

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