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Hannah MoreThe First Victorian$
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Anne Stott

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274888.001.0001

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The Mendip Schools 1789–1795

The Mendip Schools 1789–1795

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter 5 The Mendip Schools 1789–1795
Source:
Hannah More
Author(s):

Anne Stott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274888.003.0005

In 1789, Hannah More and her sister Martha (Patty) founded a Sunday school at Cheddar — the first of a series of schools in the Mendips — which marked a significant advance of elementary education in Somerset. The schools are chronicled in Patty More's Mendip Annals. Sunday schools were the latest fashion in philanthropy. The pupils were the children of farmers, miners, and glass-workers. The schools have been criticized by E. P. Thompson and scholars influenced by Michel Foucault, but it is argued here that the Mendip peoples were not the passive recipients of class patronage. The success of the schools led to the setting up of women's benefit clubs in Cheddar and Shipham. The school and club feasts became a distinctive part of Mendip culture. Because of the problems of finding suitably Evangelical teachers, the sisters sometimes had take the potentially dangerous step of recruiting teachers with Methodist sympathies.

Keywords:   Sunday schools, Cheddar, Somerset, elementary education, Patty More, E. P. Thompson, Michel Foucault, women's benefit clubs, Shipham, Methodism

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