Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 2, Issue 1, 1987

Table 2: Religion of Boys Enrolled at Bishop's School

Table 2: Religion of Boys Enrolled at Bishop's School

Ch* 187
Church of England 176
Presbyterian 63
Dissident 39
Wesleyan 27
Jewish 11
Exclusive Brethren 10
Baptist 9
Congregational 7
Lutheran 4
Plymouth Brethren 3
Roman Catholic 2
Reformed Church of Germany 1
Church of Christ 1
Unitarian 1
Brethren 1
Not given 13
?Ch 4
? 1
page 13

When the figures in Table 2 are examined, this claim can be substantiated. Religious instruction was a clearly enunciated part of the curriculum, which involved the reading of the Bible and the teaching of doctrines common to all Protestants. This is not a matter which seems to have assumed any importance, indeed there is only one annotation in the school roll which indicates any unease. The name of Arthur Pritchard Lucas, listed as a Dissenter, has along side of it "can learn ch.(13) catechism".

The range of religious denominations probably had more to do with the subjects offered; subjects deemed suitable in the quest for upward social mobility which education was seen to offer, by the parents who chose to enrol their sons there.

Surrounding this is the well-developed emphasis which the Nelson settlement put on education.

Bishop's School had an education "name" outside the city of Nelson. Boys came from as far afield as Lyttelton to attend the school. The West Coast provided boys from Greymouth, Totara Flat, Reefton, Brighton, Westport, Karamea and Inangahua. Marlborough sent boys from Awatere, Wairau, Blenheim, Tuamarina, Picton and Havelock. In the Nelson district boys came from Collingwood, Motueka, Upper Moutere, Motupiko, Foxhill, 88 Valley, Wakefield, Spring Grove, Brightwater, Richmond, Stoke and Wakapuaka.

Figure 6: Age at enrolment. — Total enrolments – – – Out-of-town enrolments

Figure 6: Age at enrolment. — Total enrolments
– – – Out-of-town enrolments

Boys were boarded informally, with friends and relations, and at the Headmaster's residence. A formal boarding establishment was opened in 1876, in Ngatitama Street. For this to have been a viable proposition, there must have been many more boys enrolled as boarders than the seven shown in the roll from 1876–1895.

The age at which these out-of-town boys enrolled deserves enquiry, especially when it is compared with the age of enrolment of all pupils.

Generally, the most common age of enrolment was between 9 years and 9 years 11 months, gradually tapering off. Yet at the 14 years to 14 years 11 months mark there is another peak, making the graph bi-modal. This correlates, quite markedly, with the peak page 14relating to the age of pupils who enrolled from outside the city. It is only possible to speculate on the reason for this.

There is a possibility that Bishop's School had the aura of a finishing school amongst some of these parents. Boys, at that time, were sent to town when they were considered to be of an age to cope adequately with being away from home. It is unlikely that these boys were able to take advantage of the shorter holidays, to return home. Transport to places like the West Coast, by sea or land, was fraught with difficulties.