Joseph Lancaster (1778 to 1838)

Joseph Lancaster founded the use of the monitorial system of education which was that as one pupil learned a subject then he or she passed the knowledge on to a younger pupil. These Lancasterian schools were criticized for poor standards and harsh discipline.

I was immediately reminded of Lowood School in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre so I just checked Bronte’s birth and death dates (1816 to 1855) and she would have been writing during this period. At the time of Lancaster’s death there were around 1500 schools still using his methods.

Then I noticed that Charlotte’s husband was Arthur Bell Nicholls and I really hoped that I could link him to Clive Bell, one of the Bloomsberries!

However, no luck as yet. Chris and I have gone back four generations and haven’t found a link so far. Shame.




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