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Title: The influence of Wesleyan Methodism on elementary education in England in the period 1849-1902 with particular reference to the work of Dr. James Harrison Rigg
Author: Smith, John T.
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 1995
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The thesis intends to look at the Wesleyan effort in elementary education in the second half of the nineteenth century and aims to assess the educational work of Dr. James Harrison Rigg, who was President of the Wesleyan Conference on two occasions and acted as Principal of the Wesleyan Westminster Training College for 35 years. The only work published on Dr. Rigg is a biography, written by his son-in-law, John Telford, in the year of his death, 1909. (John Telford: The Life of Dr James Harrison Riqq, Culley, London 1909. ) The Methodist educational effort has been surveyed in a number of studies. H. F. Mathews has looked in some detail at the Methodist contribution before the 1850s in his book Methodism and the Education of the People 1791-1851, (Epworth, London, 1949) and conducted a broad survey of the period 1851 to 1954 in his unpublished PhD. thesis of 1954 'Methodism and the Education of the People (since 1851)' (London (Ext) PhD. 1954). Only a small proportion is devoted to the later 19th Century and he does not analyse the philosophical bases of Wesleyan education, largely ignoring the works of Rigg, with only two of his published works quoted in the thesis. F. C. Pritchard has written studies of Westminster College and of the Wesleyan contribution to Secondary education (Methodist Secondary Education, Epworth, London, 1949) but he also ignores elementary education. H. F. Cloke studied the wide period 1739-1902 in his unpublished M. A. thesis 'Wesleyan Methodism's Contribution to National Education, 1739-1902', London 1936. Over half this thesis looks at the work of John Wesley and early educational initiatives, and only few pages are devoted to the period 1850-1902. Although he does make several references to Rigg, Cloke does not analyse his influence on Wesleyan policies. Little research has taken place on Methodist education since the 1940s. The late Marjorie Cruikshank made mention of Methodist reactions to the educational legislation after 1870 in 'Church and State in Religious Education' (1963). D. Hempton has made valuable contributions to Wesleyan history in Methodism and Politics in British Society. 1750-1850 (Hutchinson, 1984) and in his article in the HISTORY OF EDUCATION, 1979, entitled 'Wesleyan Methodism and Educational Politics in Early 19th Century England' as well as his thesis on 'Methodism and Anti-Catholic Politics, 1800-1846' (St. Andrews, 1977). All of these studies concentrate on the early 19th Century. The Wesleyan contribution to education after 1849 is largely ignored. H. Foreman's unpublished M. A. thesis, "Nonconformity and Education in England and Wales, 1700-1902', (London M.A.(Ext.)1967) is also a very wide survey. The latter part of the thesis does deal with the period in question, but concentrates on the work of the National Education League and other dissenting bodies, and does not deal with Methodism in great detail. Nor does he assess the work of Rigg. This study hopes to fill the gap by researching the influence of J. H. Rigg on national elementary education in this period and the philosophical bases of Wesleyan elementary education after 1849. In particular it will assess the influence of anti-clericalism in formulating Wesleyan education policy. It will use previously unused reports of the Wesleyan Education Committee, the Methodist newspapers of the period and the reports of H. M. I. and the unpublished correspondence of Rigg, as well as his published work on education. It will also reassess the Methodist attitude towards government legislation in this period. 1849 is chosen as a starting point simply because it was the year in which Rigg published his first article on educational policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education