Education in the Peterborough Diocese in the century following the "Glorious Revolution", 1688
There is a consensus of academic opinion that for approximately 100 years stretching from 1688, the date of the 'Glorious Revolution', to the onset of industrialisation England enjoyed relative stability, the condition being attributed to political pragmatism. The purpose of this thesis is twofold; to document the educational developments that characterized the period and to examine their effect, nature and scope, about which historians sharply disagree. The principle that in any age education is a social tool whose practical possibilities rest on people's assumptions determined the strategy of pursuing four main lines of enquiry. These form thematic chapters, the contents of which are briefly summarized as follows: 1. Provision; the Church of England's supervisory role; incidental management of schools. 2. The curriculum and teaching methodology employed in the various scholastic institutions. 3. A survey of scholars in attendance at elementary schools, grammar schools and academies. 4. A consideration of the teaching force with sections on religious attitudes, financial standing and professionalism. Although the study has a national dimension its distinct regional focus is intentional because the bulk of surviving records relate to a locality, enabling its educational system to be largely reconstructed. The Peterborough diocese proved to be an eminently suitable choice being both the setting for educational diversity and extremely rich in source material. The evidence which accrued was not used merely to illustrate what is already known; rather, it made possible more realistic interpretations of the macro situation than hitherto. It is argued in the conclusion that education neither stagnated nor regressed. The principal finding is that the classical tradition of the grammar schools and the universities gradually lost ground to Dissent with its insistence on science and 'the relief of man's estate'. Consequently, new ideas were enterprisingly translated into commendable practice.