students at Whitelands college


By John Seed




Chapter 1. 'A superior class of parochial schoolmistress': Whitelands College, 1841-70

Religion, social change and education
Recruiting the parochial schoolmistress
Pupil teachers and middle-class girls
Discipline, curriculum and social order
The 1860s
Chapter 2. After the 1870 Education Act: the expansion of teacher training
Voluntary bodies and the state
The expansion of Whitelands College
Training Methodist teachers: Southlands College
Training Catholic teachers: Wandsworth Training College
'Specially trained, inferior teachers'?
Chapter 3. 'Patterns of female excellence': training the elementary schoolmistress, 1890-1914
John Faunthorpe and John Ruskin
From governess to lecturer
The 'new woman' at Southlands College
Changing patterns of authority

Photographs to accompany text


What follows was mostly written during 1995 and 96. It was originally commissioned as the first half of a history of the four constituent colleges of the then Roehampton Institute of Higher Education (now Roehampton University). Dr Keith Burgess was to take the story from 1914 to the present. Our aim was to produce a history which was thorough in its research and set the histories of the colleges within the wider social and cultural history of the period. We also wanted to produce a history which would be readable by a non-specialist audience. Professional historians are too often condemned to write for a narrow and specialist academic public. We were keen to seize this opportunity to reach out to a wider readership.

For various reasons, some of them obscure, publication of the projected volume was shelved. So this draft was left to gather dust. Until my friend Bill Griffiths recently suggested that it could be put on-line and at least find some interested readers. I am grateful to him for his work in generating this online version. I have cut the few sections on Froebel College from chapter three. This has been done much better in several publications by the former Principal of Froebel, Dr Peter Weston: see in particular The Froebel Educational Institute: the Origins and History of the College (Roehampton 2002). I would like to thank Peter Weston for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this history. Otherwise, I have not rewritten my original draft nor registered more recent research.

I had always intended to rework this material into publishable form, when other commitments permitted. And who knows, I may still do so one day.

John Seed
October 2005


CCE Committee of Council on Education, Annual Reports
CPC Catholic Poor-School Committee, Annual Reports
JPF/I John Pincher Faunthorpe, Ilicet, being Life and Work in Three Training Colleges. Battersea, Chester and Whitelands (1909), Manuscript in WCA
OSHPA Order of the Sacred Heart Provincial Archive, Roehampton
PP Parliamentary Paper
PRO Public Record Office, Kew
SCA Southlands College Archive, Roehampton University
WCA Whitelands College Archive, Roehampton University
WC Whitelands College Council, Annual Reports
WEC Wesleyan Education Committee, Annual Reports