Monday 29 June 2009

School uniform

Eighteenth and nineteenth-century schools offered more than an education to their pupils. They also provided a school uniform: thus these figures on a former charity school in Hatton Garden served as illustrations to help persuade parents to allow their children to attend. (Many families preferred their younger members to be economically productive rather than educated).

Such clothes were often the best the children possessed. Some idea of the value attached to them can be seen in this extract from a leaflet for Dean Stanhope's School, Deptford in 1837:
The sum of Thirty Shillings for a Boy, and Twenty Shillings for a Girl, required as security for the Clothes, is deposited in the Savings' Bank for the Benefit of the Child, and returned with the Interest accumulated, to the Party who holds the Receipt, when the Child leaves the School.
The careful differentiation between boys and girls is a theme of the whole document: thus the school took thirty girls but fifty boys. It educated the boys, 'sons of Shipwrights, Carpenters, and Joiners' to be 'bound out Apprentice' while the girls were 'instructed in useful Needle-work and Domestic duties'. Finally, a prize of £5 in money and £1 in books was awarded annually: on two consecutive years to a boy, and only on the third to a girl.

1 comment:

Hels said...

I am asking art-related bloggers to name their favourite art gallery and say why. If you are interested in participating, please see "World's favourite art galleries".

You may or may not like my own choice of galleries :)

Art and Architecture, mainly