May 30th, 1848 (Tuesday)

May 30, 2010

General Sewell brought his son. In talking to the boy, he gave me a sad description of the school he had just left at Clapham. The Master, Mr Pritchard, was always eating, and eating the best of food, while he constantly gave his boys (120 of them) high meat, and forced them to eat it. He abuses his assistants in the school room, before the whole school, and on one occasion threw a parcel of books at the head of one of them. It is a sort of parish school, with a public chapel in the playground, where the church service is terribly mutilated, and a new arrangement substituted, on a private judgement, 19th century, principle. The boy, who is a very sensible, quiet lad, seemed to be speaking the simple truth. This is the sort of education which thousands are annually completing in England, – so that the wonder is that the nation is not worse instead of better.

Messrs Pococke (Queen’s) Chamberlain (St Thomas’) with a clergyman from Yorkshire, a friend of the latter, came over to Chapel and tea. The former two had not been here since last Autumn and were astonished. Every one is struck with the interior of the Chapel, even the highest Churchmen (which these are;) the proportions are so good and the character so ecclesiastical.

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