An Illustrated history & description Of Schools in the 18th & 19th Centurys.

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Beginnings                                   5
for the support of the master and his family, and he must have continued largely dependent on agri­culture. He was apparently a man of considerable ability and standing in the town, for the records give his name the prefix of " Mr.," which was then an honorable distinction. Yet he had a habit of pro­fanity, and once was fined twenty shillings by the court for cursing.
A year or two later his successor received an an­nual ten pounds from the town, while the scholars paid " ffowre pence pr weeke for such as are in the primer & other English books and Six pence pr weeke to learne the Accidence wrighting Casting Accounts." The instruction was practically all rudi­mentary. Even in the " Accidence," by which was meant Latin grammar, probably only the slightest outlines were taught. It is doubtful if the pupils were generally supplied with books, and in " Casting Accounts " the master presumably imparted nothing but his own knowledge of the art.
In 1687 the town changed its method of paying the master. He was still to collect tuition fees, but whatever he lacked of getting forty pounds was to be made up by the town. There was always much delinquency in paying on the part of those who sent children to school, and when the teacher was thus relieved from any absolute necessity for follow­ing up his debtors, it can easily be imagined that the amount collected dwindled. The result was that the town voted shortly afterward to allow " the Scholers to go free."
It was customary to pay the early masters in prod-
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