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In order that poor Scholars, or those of bright talents, might not be deprived of the advantages of a College education, many benevolent persons have contributed to the maintenance of one or more Students at TheUniversities. Some of these Exhibitions are appropriated to a particular School, County, or certain Counties,-others are given for a specified term of years,
and some indefinitely without limitation of place. Whence arises a laudable spirit of ambition,—and to the greater Schools upon which
Exhibitions are settled, the very expectation of the reward draws resort, and excites an emulation in Learning and good Deportment.
The large number of Exhibitions, amounting to THREE HUNDRED and Twenty-Two, will at once prove the great interest, which the Founders took in the promotion of Learning. But, in some Schools it is lamented, that they are not furnished with those important benefits for acquiring Collegiate honours,—whilst in others, although they exist to a considerable amount, they have been very little called into exercise.
At the Free Grammar School of Abingdon it appears, that BENNETT's Scholars have seldom offered themselves as Candidates for the Exhibitions, and of late years when vacancies have occurred, it has been the custom for boys who had been educated elsewhere to engage as Private Pupils at this School, for the sole purpose of qualifying themselves, by being in the School, for becoming Candidates at the next Election. These Candidates have been generally successful, and the Master has thought it reasonable, when boys have come to the School with such a view, to require a specific sum on their admission. The rule at present is, that every boy coming as a Private Pupil,
within 12 months of an expected Election, for the purpose of offering himself as a Candidate, shall pay 20 guineas to the Master on his Admission. The Commissioners conceive this practice to be prejudicial to the Foundation boys, whose chances of success at the Election must be considerably abridged by the introduction of more proficient competitors,— and, as it is a source of profit to the Master, the continuance of which must depend upon the success of these Private Pupils, it appears to them to have a dangerous tendency to create in the Master an interest hostile to the improvement of the boys on the Foundation. But The Commissioners have no reason to believe, that in the Elections which have hitherto taken place, the Master has ever solicited votes for his Private Pupils, or that he has ever given the vote to which he is himself entitled, to any other than the Candidate who appeared to him to be the most deserving. And they are informed by the Master, that he bestows equal pains on the education of the Free Boys and of his Private Pupils."
The Master of The Free Grammar School of Ashford states, that there is but little demand for Classical education by the inhabitants of that Town, which he chiefly attributes to the want of Exhibitions to carry the boys to College, which, without such assistance, the Parents are unable to afford.”
The Free Grammar School of St. Olave's, in the Borough of Southwark, was founded for the children of the rich as well as poor,
- but the higher classes of inhabitants dislike the mixture of society, which their children meet with there, and in general decline to send them. The School, therefore, consists almost entirely of the children of the poorer classes, whose Parents are unable to bear the farther expenses attendant on an University education, both during the continuance, and still more after
· Rep. I. p. 11. 2 Rep. I. p. 83.
the expiration, of the Exhibitions, which are large. The Commissioners were even informed, that the Masters have solicited the Parents of boys, whose attainments qualified them for the University, to avail themselves of these Exhibitions for their children, and that they declined doing so for the reason now stated.3
* Rep. I. p. 210.