Independent College, Homerton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Independent College, Homerton, later Homerton Academy, was a dissenting academy just outside London, England, in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Background[edit]

In 1695 the Congregational Fund was set up in London to provide for the education of Calvinist ministers, and to provide an alternative to the education offered by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which was barred by law to English Dissenters. Around 35 of these so-called dissenting academies arose during the 18th century, offering education without the requirement of conformity to the Church of England.[1] They promoted a more modern curriculum of science, philosophy and modern history than the ancient universities who took a more traditionalist approach to learning. One of these was the Independent College, Homerton, which appointed Dr John Conder as President in 1754.

From 1730, the King's Head Society (a group of laymen named after the pub behind the Royal Exchange at which they met, once visited by Samuel Pepys in 1663[2]) had been working to promote Calvinism. They had sponsored young scholars to attend dissenting academies, where nonconformists could learn the necessary "grammarian," or classical education, which was a pre-requisite for the four-year "academical" course of the Congregational Board.[3] A classical education included the demanding and lengthy training period required for learning to read Greek and Latin texts in their original form.

The King's Head Society Academies (1731-1769) included Samuel Parsons's Academy, Clerkenwell Green (1731-35);[4][5] Abraham Taylor's Academy, Deptford (1735-40);[6] [7] Stepney Academy (1740-44);[8] (tutors: John Hubbard (1740-1743);[9] Zephaniah Marryat (1743-1744);[10] John Walker (1742-1744)[9] Hubbard and Marryat were strict Calvinists;[11] Plaisterer's Hall Academy (1744-54)[12] (Tutors: Walker, Marryatt, John Conder[13] & Thomas Gibbons[14]); Mile End Academy (1754-69) (Tutors: Condor, Gibbons & Walker);[15] The King's Head Society purchase of the estate at Homerton in 1768, with the students in residence by the end of 1769. The name of the institution changed over time; it became known as Homerton Academy and Independent College, Homerton.[16] In 1850 the union of Homerton, Coward and Highbury Colleges resulted in the creation of New College London.[17]

Foundation[edit]

Homerton College was known as King's Head Academy when it moved in 1768/69 from Plasterers' Hall, London, to a large house on the north side of the high street of Homerton, in the parish of Hackney, close to London, in which they sought to base all their teaching. The trustees were appointed by the King's Head Society and were strict Calvinists.[18] From 1817 the trustees were appointed by the Homerton Academy Society instead of by the King's Head Society. The name was changed to Homerton College in 1823.[18]

Teachers and students[edit]

Dr John Conder was the theological tutor at Plaisterer's Hall Academy in 1754; and residential tutor and theological tutor at Mile End Academy (1754 to 1769) then the theological tutor at Homerton Academy (1769 to 1781).[13] Dr. Daniel Fisher was the resident tutor at Homerton Academy (1771 to 1781); then the theology tutor (1781 to 1803).[19] From 1800 John Pye-Smith one of the best known non-conformist theologians of his day,was residential tutor and in effect principal at Homerton from 1805 to 1850.[20] The College boasted several members of distinction: one of its tutors, Henry Mayo, was described by James Boswell as Samuel Johnson’s "literary anvil"; another was offered a Doctorate of Divinity by Yale College.

The College only ever had between 12 and 20 students at any time. In 1819 the society supported 12 of the 18 students with the remain 6 by the Congregational Fund Board.[18] This allowed the college to train ministers who came from the poorer non-conformist communities, such as Ezekiel Blomfield,[21] who lead congregations in Wymondham, Harleston and Wortwell in Norfolk.[22] Ministers trained at the College also chose to become missionaries, such as Edward Stallybrass, who became a Congregational missionary with the London Missionary Society to the Buryat people of Siberia.[23][24]

Evolution into Homerton College, Cambridge[edit]

In 1824 the building itself was added to and partially rebuilt. Not long afterwards, following the liberalisation of access to English universities, the work of the dissenting academies could become mainstream. University College London became the first English university to admit students without a need for conformity to the Established Church. In 1850 the College was refounded by the Congregational Board of Education to concentrate on the study of education itself. It did so by transferring its theological courses to New College London, whose Congregationalist Principal was the Rev. John Harris DD. The Congregational Board purchased the buildings at Hackney and the students and staff moved into the vacant college buildings at Cambridge. Initially taking the name of Homerton New College at Cavendish College, it shortly became just Homerton College, Cambridge, with John Charles Horobin as the first Principal.[25]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Parker, Irene (1914 & 2009). Dissenting academies in England: their rise and progress, and their place among the educational systems of the country. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-74864-3. 
  2. ^ "So we broke up, and I to the office, where we sat all the forenoon doing several businesses, and at noon I to the ‘Change where Mr. Moore came to me, and by and by Tom Trice and my uncle Wight, and so we out to a taverne (the New Exchange taverne over against the ‘Change where I never was before, and I found my old playfellow Ben Stanley master of it), and thence to a scrivener to draw up a bond, and to another tavern (the King’s Head) we went..." http://www.pepysdiary.com/archive/1663/11/17/index.php
  3. ^ Parker, Irene (1914 & 2009). Dissenting academies in England: their rise and progress, and their place among the educational systems of the country. Cambridge University Press. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-0-521-74864-3. 
  4. ^ "Parsons, Samuel (?-c.1752)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Samuel Parsons's Academy, Clerkenwell Green (1731-1735)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Taylor, Abraham (fl. 1726-fl. 1740)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Abraham Taylor's Academy, Deptford (1735-1740)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Stepney Academy (1740-1744)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Hubbard, John c.1692-1743". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Marryatt, Zephaniah (c.1684-c.1754)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Nicholas Hans (1998). New Trends in Education in the 18th Century. Routledge. p. 57. ISBN 0-415-17611-5. 
  12. ^ "Plaisterer's Hall Academy (1744-1754)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Conder, John (1714-1781)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Gibbons, Thomas (1720-1785)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Mile End Academy (1754-1769)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Homerton Academy (1769-1850)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "New College, London (1850-1977)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c T. H. Simms (1979). Homerton College 1695- 1978. Trustees of Homerton College. 
  19. ^ "Fisher, Daniel (1731-1807)". Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies. 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  20. ^ The changing shape of English nonconformity, 1825-1925, Dale A. Johnson
  21. ^ Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder & Co. 1886. p. 231. 
  22. ^ Killick, Stanley E (1967). The Congregational churches of Harleston Wortwell Denton and Alburgh: a short history. Ramsgate, Kent: The Church Publishers. 
  23. ^ "Stallybrass, Edward". Mundus: Gateway to Missionary Collections in the United Kingdom. School of Oriental and African Studies. March 2002. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  24. ^ Anderson, Gerald H. (1999). Biographical Dictionary of Christian missions. Wm. B. Eerdmans. pp. 636ff. ISBN 978-0-8028-4680-8. 
  25. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/john-charles-horobin-18561902-principal-of-homerton-colle135054