View Full Version : scholars c.1850

14-09-2009, 8:23 PM
On an ancestor's census record of 1851, it states that he is a scholar. He lived in Bethnal Green at the time and I wondered if records were available to trace him.

Also, his father was a printer and would he have had to pay for his son educations before school became free c1880?

14-09-2009, 9:50 PM
I'm sorry that I can't help with your question but to make life a little more difficult for you I can tell you what I have read on various occasions - that some families would put "scholar" on a census form even though the children were not in education.

Apparently some people were unable to afford to send their children to school or to continue the children's education once those offspring reached an age where they could help in the home/with younger siblings or go out to work to help provide for the family and occasionally they were embarrassed to admit to this. So, they would enter the term "scholar" although the child was not at school.

Heaven knows what my family would have been put on a census had there been one in 1928 when my Grandad started work in a bird cage factory at the tender age of 12, but by then the legal age for leaving school was in fact 14, so clearly the practice of what we would now consider child labour carried on into the last century.

Perhaps the London Metropolitan Archives is worth looking at or visiting for further information about schools in Bethnal Green? I hope that someone with far greater knowledge than I can help you with your enquiry - good luck.

14-09-2009, 10:14 PM
Spangle is right, Rocket. And in some cases, scholar referred to the fact that the kids' only education was at the local Sunday School once a week.