Cornhill Magazine,  10 (1864), 113–28.

On Some Points of the Eton Report

Paterfamilias, pseud.  [Matthew J Higgins]




Education, Schools, Anti-Scientism, Mathematics, Status, Physical Geography

    Responds to the findings concerning Eton College contained in the Report of the Royal Commission on Public Schools, noting that Eton's failure to provide the Royal Commissioners with accurate calculations of the annual profit made by the school was 'possibly from an inaptitude and distaste for the exact sciences' (115). Notes that the 'mathematical, the modern-language masters, and the dames, are not allowed to take any part in the discipline of the school' (119), and reprints evidence given to the Commission by one witness who 'considered that the mathematical masters were placed in an inferior social position to the classical masters; that their teaching was consequently looked down upon and valueless, and that the boys craved for private instruction in mathematics rather from social than scientific objects—for the sake of meeting one another in class-rooms' (124). Also refers to the evidence given to the Commission 'at his own urgent request' by the former Etonian 'John Walter, Esq., M.P., the influential proprietor of The Times' (124–25), who denounced the 'charges for French and ordinary mathematics as "discreditable", and protest[ed] against the charge for extra mathematics as "an abuse"' (126). The headmaster of Eton, however, 'throws heavy blame on parents', and contends that 'boys ought to be taught modern languages, grammar, and arithmetic thoroughly in their early youth, before they present themselves to him for admission' (122). A further witness to the Commission also alleged that 'scarcely any ancient and no modern geography is taught at Eton' (125).

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <> [accessed ]