This and That
19th Century Advertisements
Medieval Historical Backgrounds
For all the latest news about Madeline's books, join her newsletter mailing list.
1833 Classified Ads: Getting an Education
In early 19th-century Britain, most education was private. Our notion of government supported schools had not yet been instituted. The classified ads in the newspapers indicate the wide variety of options a family had. Notice the first ad, which indicates that a governess could find her salary being offset by giving her more work, and also that some governesses did not live with the family:
DAILY GOVERNESS--A family, in the vicinity of Bow church, Cheapside, employing a daily governess to instruct their only daughter, are anxious to have two or three young ladies, from the age of 7 to 11 years, to meet at their house to form a class and create a spirit of emulation for their studies. Any family wishing for such an opportunity may learn particulars by addressing a line, post paid to xxxxx (Elizabeth Bennett’s wealthy merchant uncle in Pride and Prejudice lived in Cheapside)
A LADY, residing in a healthy situation, near Cambridge, who has had three little girls committed to her care, is desirous of meeting with three more, who, in addition to the mental advantages to be derived form herself and an accomplished governess, will be treated with every maternal care and solicitude, and allowed in every proper respect all the comforts of home. The first references to be given. (This sounds almost like a modern home-based day care center.)
LADIES SCHOOL--The Misses WILSON of Clapham-common respectfully inform their friends and the public that they have still a few vacancies for pupils in their establishment. Prospectuses may be obtained at their residence, 3 South-buildings, or of Messrs. Xxxxxx.
A MARRIED and BENEFICED CLERGYMAN, of long experience in the education of a few private pupils, six, has at present a vacancy. His residence is 12 miles from London, and his references to noblemen and gentlemen unexceptionable. Letters to be directed to xxxx. (A letter drop at a bookseller was used by this and some other advertisers. Sometimes the letters went to letter drops at publishing houses or other businesses, to lawyers or friends, and sometimes directly to the individual.)
The Rev. C. JEFFREYS, M.A., late assistant tutor of St. John’s College, Cambridge, receives pupils for daily instruction in classics, mathematics, and the usual branches of education, at his residence, 1 Alfred Place, Bedford Square, where further particulars may be obtained on application. (The most likely reason for a man to leave his post as a tutor at Cambridge was if he married.)
AN ARTICLED PUPIL IS WANTED in a select and highly respectable school, for 3 or 4 years. Terms, 100 guineas, which may be paid by half-yearly installments. She will be instructed in Italian, the harp, the piano, and French, and have great advantages in a general course of education. References can be given to highly respectable individuals in London, Yorkshire, Glocestershire, and Kent. (A lot of money! It no doubt it includes board. Still, she’d better be fit for a duke when she is "finished".)
EDUCATION, a few miles from the metropolis---the terms of the BRADMORE HOUSE SCHOOL, Chiswick, are 35 guineas per annum for each pupil in the senior class, and 30 guineas in the junior classes. As every expense is included, no accounts are sent in. (This one is less expensive, and for boys.)
WEST LONDON CENTRAL DAY SCHOOL offers all the advantages of the University and King’s College schools at half the cost. Vacations one week only. Two principals and 10 assistant masters give oral instruction to each pupil during the whole of the school hours. Terms of the English department 4 or 6 guineas per annum; of the classical, French or mathematical, 8 guineas. A few boarders are received. Apply at the school-house, 10 Poland-street, Oxford-street. (No board here, so much less expensive.)
Of course, sometimes running a private school didn't work out:
TO be DISPOSED OF, A LADIES DAY SCHOOL, with two boarders. Premium and fixtures, 30 pounds.
Now, an ad for a teacher at a girl’s school. Would you want to work here? It was probably better than being a governess, but there is an attitude in the ad that suggests not much:
TO GOVERNESSES---WANTED, a lady as an assistant, in an establishment of respectability, fully qualified to undertake the instruction of the pianoforte, geography, the English language grammatically in all its departments, and the rudiments of the French language; if drawing, the more agreeable. Any person wishing for a comfortable situation who is willing to devote her sole attention to the interests of the establishment, and is acquainted with the general routine of a school, doubtless will find this a favorable opportunity for promoting her views. It will be unnecessary for any person to apply who cannot bear the strictest scrutiny for ability, attention, and every requirement necessary for such a situation. For cards of address, apply at Pearson’s Library, 11 Grafton-street, Soho.
(all ads transcribed from the October 1, 1833 London Times.)
| top |