Schools & Schoolmasters in Scotland - 1838 :: Genealogy
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Schools & Schoolmasters in Scotland - 1838

Journal by RakiuraJohn

The House of Commons' Select Committee on Education circulated a list of Queries to School-Masters in Scotland in 1838. The Queries were sent to School-Masters of Parochial [i.e. Parish] and Non-Parochial schools. The School-Masters' Answers were printed in Sessional Papers of the House of Lords in 1841i, and they provide us with some useful information not only about the School and how it was run, but about each School-Master personally - particularly the Answers to Queries 14 – 18.

The Queries in respect of Parochial Schools were as follows:

1. When was the school established?
2. Is there any private endowment?
3. What has been the average number of scholars? In 1836? In 1837?
4. Are there any boarders, and how many?
5. What number of rooms in the teacher's house?
6. Do children attend the school without reference to the religious persuasion of their parents?
7. Between what periods of age do children usually attend the school?
8. What is the average period of the continuance of their attendance?
9. Is a Sunday-school or class taught?
10. Is a play-ground attached to the school?

11. Is the school periodically inspected, and by whom?
12. Are the scholars periodically examined, and by whom?
13. What number of teachers?
14. What is the qualification required of the teacher?
15. Where was the present teacher educated?
16. When was he appointed?
17. Has he any other occupation or employment?
18. What is his salary?
19. What are the rates of school fees?
20. Is there any annual report of the state of the school made and published?

21. What is the general system of instruction pursued?
22. What books are used?
English, Greek, Latin, Modern Languages, Mathematics, Arithmetic, Geography
History, Religious Instruction, What Catechism?
23. Is singing taught?
24. Is drawing taught?
25. What are the hours of attendance in school?
26. What are the periods and duration of the vacation?
27. What is the system of instruction pursued?
28. Are the scholars taught in classes?
29. Are they taught separately?
30. Are monitors employed?
31. Is instruction afforded in gardening, agriculture, or any mechanical occupation?
32. What rewards are held out?
33. What mode of punishment is adopted?

An article in the Spectator Magazine of 6 November 1841 lambasted the whole exercise.

Here are John G. Smith's Answers pertaining to Ednam Parish School in Roxburgh:

P282: Parochial Schools Returns Relating To Education, Scotland County of Roxburgh
Ednam Parish:
1. Not known
2. None
3. 1836: Males 63; Females 41; Total 104. 1837: Males 71; Females 48; Total 119
4. None
5. There are six apartments, including the kitchen
6. They always do
7. Generally between 5 and 12
8. About 7 years
9. The present teacher instituted a Sabbath-school about 6 months ago
10. Unfortunately there is none
11. &
12. Besides being frequently visited by the parish minister, it is inspected and examined once a year by a committee of the Presbytery of Kelso
13. There is one teacher
14. English, Latin, mathmatics, geography, writing, arithmetic, and the possession of a sound moral character
15. At Carnwath, Lanarkshire
16. In the year 1834
17. Session-clerk and heritor's clerk
18. £34, 4s, 4½p per annum
19. English, 2s ; ditto with writing, 2s 6p ; ditto ditto, with arithmetic, 3s ; Latin, 5s
20. An annual report is given by the examiners, which the present teacher has sometimes published
21. What is commonly termed the intellectual system
22. English:- Series of School-books compiled by the Rev. J.M. McCulloch. Greek:- Moor's Grammar and Dunbar's Collectanea Minors. Latin:- Ruddiman's Rudiments, Corderius, Cornelius Nepoe, Caesar, Ovid, Sallust, Virgil, Horace, Livy (first five books), Mair's Introductions, and Adam's Grammar. Modern Languages:- Scott's French Grammar and Exercises, Portquet's Stories, Scott's Recueil. Mathematics:- Davidson's Complete Course. Arithmetic:- Gray and Huttons. Geography:- For junior classes, White's Geography; for senior ditto, Stewart's. History:- Simpson's Scotland. Catechism:- Watt's Initiatory Catechism, the Shorter Catechism of the Church of Scotland.
23. No
24. Architectural drawing is taught
25. Six hours, except on Saturdays three hours
26. Begins on the 12th of August, and lasts six weeks
27. The monotorial system of Lancaster, combined with the explanatory system of Wood
28. They are
29. No
30. Monitors are used
31. None
32. Places of honour in the class, and prize tickets
33. In the monitorial system punishments are seldom required; but when necessary a single stripe on the hand with the Taws is commonly given.

(Signed): John G. Smith, Schoolmaster


i. Online copy of Volume 7 -

ii. The Queries here reproduced are printed on a fly-leaf attached to Page 2 of Volume 7 (of the 1841 Sessional Papers) which contains the Answers from Parochial Schoolmasters. (Princeton University Library provided the Author of this Journal with a scanned copy of the fly-leaf; the Library advised that the digitized version of Volume 7 in Google Books has not replicated the fly-leaf because the page is over-sized and folded over on itself). The Sessional Papers Index indicates that the Answers from Schoolmasters of Non-Parochial Schools are contained in Volume 6 (of the 1841 Sessional Papers), and the Author has not had access to Volume 6 to ascertain if identical Queries were circulated to Non-Parochial Schoolmasters.

iii. Link to 1841 Spectator Magazine Article -

Surnames: SMITH
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on 2015-06-22 20:45:21

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