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I have introduced table format: the information in the source conforms quite closely to four columns, anyway. I shall be removing the qualifications of the bluelinked tutors, since they belong in the respective articles rather than here. They need checking, though. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:39, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
It is tremendous that this information has been found, but I am not sure that this is the best way to display it. Does it already exist in Wikisource? Perhaps readers could be directed there. My concern is that "This list is taken from" seems somewhat fixed, as if there is no way to add or subtract any entries, if we find information that conflicts with the 1914 text. For example, I am interested in James Burgh. Our article on him states: "in 1746 he became an assistant master in an academy just north of London. The next year, he became master of his own academy in Stoke Newington. In 1750, he moved to nearby Newington Green." But neither Burgh nor Stoke Newington show up on Parker's list. I would like to add him and it, but without making the reader think they come from the 1914 text. There may well be other tutors or academies. Suggestions? BrainyBabe (talk) 21:54, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Certainly if you want to modify the list, we should discuss the referencing format. There was no intention to limit the list to the current content. We just have to steer round any sort of "original research" in developing it. Burgh was first a tutor in some sort of academy in Enfield, run by a man called Kenross. We don't list that one either. What makes something qualify as a "dissenting academy"? This is an old question about lists: is there a definite criterion for inclusion?
My priorities are (i) to reference as much as possible of this table, to check the research in Parker's book (there are issues for example about Robert Harley and the academy claiming him as pupil); (ii) to create as many of the relevant biographies as possible from the DNB at Wikisource. Obviously anything else that can be referenced to the same standards can be included. There seems to be much to do just with what is here. I haven't had a chance to read the book yet, and I don't know what the rationale is for the "periods".
At present, I would say, other entries could be added just with a note like "not in Parker" and full references. It does seem a big area - I'm reminded of trying to track down all the members of the Westminster Assembly. I would say, collate information using this as a starting point, and we can work on presentation when it is clearer how incomplete it is. (Not so surprising that it doesn't cover all the one-man bands - schools depending on a single tutor - but perhaps it is more complete on the major ones.) There is a lot to do with finding the significant students, which is one way of gauging what an academy achieved. Charles Matthews (talk) 23:27, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
That makes sense. I find the Hackney/Hoxton/Highbury Academies inherently confusing, with all their moves, and wouldn't be surprised to find errors had crept into the sources to which we refer. Do you propose the "not in Parker" note be visible or hidden? Which column would be best? Another criterion for judging the significance of an academy is the quality or amount of the writing it supported. Burgh wrote extensively on educational theory, for example (The Art of Speaking, on oratory; Crito, including essays on educational theories; and Thoughts on Education). A third criterion is "other historically significant events or people associated with it": Mary Wollstonecraft, a then-unpublished schoolteacher, was given a boost in life by Burgh's widow, so apparently the academy left Mrs B comfortably off.
Oh -- just a friendly warning -- I'm unlikely to be spending much time here for the next few days (though will try to reply to any talk-page points or queries). BrainyBabe (talk) 23:54, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I've found a c. 1900 Unitarian Biographical Dictionary here. BrainyBabe (talk) 00:12, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there is extensive biographical material in that tradition (as opposed to the institutional records that are typical of the public school and Oxbridge educational track). One advantage of the DNB articles is that they are in many cases written by Alexander Gordon (Unitarian), who apparently mastered all that literature. Parker's research is apparently independent (internal evidence such as spellings). All at least a century old, so that there will be more to dig out from more recent scholarship. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:28, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Supposedly J. Bowles (Lord Chancellor of Ireland) was at Attercliffe Academy, according to Parker's book. Query if Bowles is meant to be John Bowes, only likely candidate, but his education there is not mentioned in the ODNB. Charles Matthews (talk) 22:00, 24 January 2010 (UTC)