xxxxxThe English writer Thomas Hughes published his semi-
THOMAS HUGHES 1822 -
Hughes: woodburytype by Lock and Whitfield, a photographic studio established in London in 1856, c1880 – National Portrait Gallery, London. Arnold: detail, after the English portrait painter Thomas Phillips (1770-
xxxxxThe English writer Thomas Hughes attended Rugby School in Warwickshire from 1834 to 1842, and then studied at Oriel College, Oxford for the next three years before going on to study law. His school and university days gave him the material for two novels, Tom Brown’s School Days, published in 1857, and Tom Brown at Oxford in 1861. The first was by far the more successful, and had gone through some 50 editions by the 1890s. It was, first and foremost, a glowing tribute to the work of Thomas Arnold, who was headmaster of Rugby School from 1828 to 1842.
xxxxxHughes was born at Uffington, Berkshire, and, after his stays at Rugby and Oxford, became a barrister in 1848. A man of liberal views and strong religious conviction, he joined the Christian Socialists and then in 1854 became a founder member of the Working Men’s College, serving as principal of this college from 1872 to 1883. He became a Liberal Member of Parliament from 1865 to 1874, and five years later visited the United States with the idea of setting up a cooperative settlement in Rugby, Tennessee, but the venture failed and he lost money as a result. On his return he was made a county court judge in 1882. He wrote two other works of note, religious tracts entitled A Layman’s Faith, published in 1868, and The Manliness of Christ in 1879.
xxxxxTom Brown’s School Days, a semi-
and Matthew Arnold
xxxxxThe Englishman Thomas Arnold (1795-
xxxxxMatthew Arnold (1822-
xxxxxMatthew Arnold (1822-
xxxxxAs a school inspector he studied teaching methods on the continent, and put forward a series of reforms to improve teaching at universities as well as in schools. He was anxious to introduce a national system of education in order to ensure that schools and teacher-
xxxxxArnold began his career as a poet in 1843 when he won a prize for a poem on Oliver Cromwell while at Oxford. Later, on the strength of two volumes of verse published in 1853 and 1855 (and the backing of his godfather John Keble), he was elected professor of poetry at Oxford in 1857, and he remained in this appointment for ten years. Much of his poetry is full of self-
xxxxxArnold produced his classical tragedy Merope in 1858, but by the time his New Poems appeared in 1867 -
xxxxxIncidentally, Arnold was an undergraduate at Oxford in 1843 when the influential churchman John Henry Newman, leader of the Oxford Movement, resigned as vicar of St. Mary’s to join the Roman Catholic Church. He greatly admired Newman as a man of integrity and culture, and that is partly why he retained such a great affection for the “City of Dreaming Spires” (his own description) throughout his life.
xxxxxThomas Arnold was born in East Cowes, on the Isle of Wight in 1795. He attended Winchester School and then studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was ordained a deacon in the Church of England in 1818, and then a priest in 1828, the year in which he became the headmaster of Rugby School. Over the next fourteen years he introduced a series of reforms which made this school a model for public schools throughout the country.
xxxxxArnold’s immediate aim was to widen the curriculum -
xxxxxThese reforms, seen at work in Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days, brought marked improvement, and Rugby became a model for existing public schools as well as for those established at a later date. Indeed, within a few years the English public school came to be seen as the breeding ground for young gentlemen of quality, the nation’s future leaders.
xxxxxArnold’s achievements at Rugby earned him the chair of modern history at Oxford in 1841, but he died the following year. Among his works were five volumes of sermons, a three-
xxxxxIncidentally, a sketch of Thomas Arnold is given in Eminent Victorians of 1918, the work of the English biographer and critic Lytton Strachey (1880-
…… According to some accounts, the game of rugby originated in 1823 when, during a football game at Rugby School, one of the boys, William Webb Ellis, instead of kicking the ball, picked it up and ran with it! (A granite plaque on the “Doctor’s Wall” commemorates the occasion.) Although against the rules, the idea proved popular. This new version of football was not accepted by the Football Association when it was established in 1863, but in 1871 the Rugby Football Union was formed and this organised the game’s rules. The game quickly caught on in Britain, the Commonwealth, and other countries, and an international organisation was set up in 1934. Today the World Rugby Cup is named after him. ……
xxxxx…… Rugby School, a fee paying school, (and incongruously known in England as a “public school”), was founded for boys in 1567 by Lawrence Sheriff (c1510-
xxxxxItxwas in 1857 that the Scottish author Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-