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Aristocratic Women and Political Society in Victorian Britain$
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K. D. Reynolds

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207276

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207276.001.0001

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‘The Business and Charities of the Parish’: Churches, Schools, and Local Authority

‘The Business and Charities of the Parish’: Churches, Schools, and Local Authority

Chapter:
(p.71) 2 ‘The Business and Charities of the Parish’: Churches, Schools, and Local Authority
Source:
Aristocratic Women and Political Society in Victorian Britain
Author(s):

K. D. Reynolds

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207276.003.0003

Religion and the education of the young were considered to be feminine occupations, deriving from their maternal and moral responsibilities. Women generally confined their interests to the villages on their estates, where their involvement constituted one of the faces of a ‘benevolent’ county society. Aristocratic women's involvement in the schools for their tenants' children ranged from financing schools, selecting teachers, and daily management, to holding classes and the provision of, and occasional presence at, an annual treat. Patronage of local institutions such as churches and schools reinforced the authority of the aristocracy in the country. Aristocratic women often played a crucial part in maintaining this relationship, whether it is viewed as essentially benevolent or exploitative. Their social position enabled these women to have a wide impact on their local communities.

Keywords:   churches, school, education, parish, local authority, religion, local community

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