View Full Version : When was it law to go to school??
03-11-2007, 10:44 PM
Please can someone point me in the right direction!
I'd like to find out more about a family member (Alfred W J Freeman, b 1873), who came from Norwich. I don't really know where to start with schools. Would it be right to assume that he would have gone to the nearest school to his home? Would it have been law for all children to have gone to school in those days? or was education still something that only the more well off families could afford. Also what age would he have started / finished etc?
hope someone can help me,
04-11-2007, 12:13 AM
This link has a lot of information if you have a lot of time to browse;)http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/guide19/part11.html
Just a snippet:
In England and Wales, the National Education League continues to campaign and further reforms follow. Education to age 10 becomes compulsory in 1881 and state education becomes free in 1890.
Your lad was a scholar age 8 in 1881 and an engine fitter age 18 in 1891 so he must have benefited from an education.
Compulsory schooling began with the Education Act of 1876. You will find school leaving ages here:-
04-11-2007, 9:34 AM
It is not wise to asssume that "scholar" on a census return is accurate - at least not in the sense that we would understand it.
04-11-2007, 1:05 PM
Many thanks for the quick replies and links, they look very interesting. I'm going to make it my next mission to find out all about Alfred's school life.
I don't know how far I'm going to get with this, as so far I've come up with alot of trouble from WW2. Everywhere I want to look has been destroyed in some part.
I know of one school that got pretty much destroyed in the area, so I'm hoping that he got sent off somewhere else to be educated. With abit of luck, I hope old records are kept away from the schools.
04-11-2007, 2:34 PM
I'd like to find out more about a family member (Alfred W J Freeman, b 1873), who came from Norwich. I don't really know where to start with schools. Would it be right to assume that he would have gone to the nearest school to his home?
Is this the ol' bor who was the son of James and lived in Black Swan Yard, Ber Street in the 1881 census?
If so, I've looked at the 1883 directory for Norfolk and tghere are about 45 schools in the city - tying down which he went to will be difficult - though there look to have been schools in Surrey Street and King Street.
Best bet is to try the Norfolk Record Office
try searching NROCAT using 'School Norwich' in the search field and in word options tick 'and'
04-11-2007, 3:37 PM
This is another Alfred. He lived in Thorn Lane, son of John and Mary Ann Freeman. It has him down on 1881 census as scholar at 8.
But 45 schools!! going to be busy I thinks! :)
Would your birth parish have any relation to where you went to learn? Probably sounds a silly question that, but times were different then.
Ps thanks for links.
04-11-2007, 10:25 PM
Would your birth parish have any relation to where you went to learn?
Not necessarily. In rural parishes I would say that most children went to the local school. In towns it would depend on means, whether someone worked in a factory where there was a school, if someone was in a workhouse, etc. I suggest starting with a decent directory (e..g 1883) and plotting the location of all the schools - you could probably discard anything not south of the castle or west of the Wensum.
08-11-2007, 10:31 PM
Thanks, I really appreciate the help, as I really didn't know where to start.
I have a copy of an early map of Norwich which hopefully will help with the plotting!
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