Suicide of William Arthur Gibbs
William Arthur Gibbs (1865–1877) was the son of a glass-painter from Kingsland Road and a schoolboy at Christ's Hospital school in Sussex, England, who came to public attention after committing suicide by hanging on 4 May 1877 at age 12 out of fear of repeated punishments, including flogging, for having run away from the school to his family home. Gibbs had complained to his sister and his father that he was made a fag at school, that an older student had held his head underwater while he was bathing and that he would rather hang himself than be made a fag to that older student again. Both an older student and a teacher had admitted to corporally punishing Gibbs. This caused an outcry and the government subsequently held an official inquiry.
- "Notes of the Month". The Poor Law Magazine and Parochial Journal. James Turner & Company. 5 (1): 415. 1877. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- "Parliamentary Papers, Volume 26", Great Britain Parliament. House of Commons, H.M. Stationery Office, 1877, pages 1-2.
- Lionel Rose (2002), The Erosion of Childhood: Childhood in Britain 1860-1918, Routledge, ISBN 9780203221402
- George A. T. Allan, Jack Eric Morpurgo (1984), Christ's Hospital, Town & County, p. 70, ISBN 9780863640056,
The immediate cause was the suicide, on 4th May 1877 of a 12 years old Blue. William Gibbs. The outcry that followed forced the Home Secretary to set up a Commission of Inquiry ...