Shrewsbury School

[library]"Nothing could have been worse for the development of my mind than Dr. Butler's school, as it was strictly classical, nothing else being taught except a little ancient geography and history. the school as a means of education to me was simply a blank. ... Much attention was paid to learning by heart the lessons of the previous day; this I could effect with great facility learning forty or fifty lines of Virgil or Homer, whilst I was in morning chapel; but this exercise was utterly useless, for every verse was forgotten in forty-eight hours. I was not idle, and with the exception of versification, generally worked conscientiously at my classics, not using cribs. The sole pleasure I ever received from such studies, was from some of the odes of Horace, which I admired greatly. When I left the school I was for my age neither high nor low in it; and I believe that I was considered by all my masters and by my Father as a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard in intellect." (C. Darwin. 1958: 27-28)

[library][crest] The main building, South wing, of the Shrewsbury School was built between 1627 and 1630 and bears the royal arms of Charles I. "The building incorporated a master's house to the south of the archway and schoolrooms, the largest being on the top floor; this has a traceried windiow in its south gable... Two stone scholars soemnly stand above the entrance with a quotation from Isocrates between them: 'If you are a lover of learning, you will become very learned'" [Carr and Fulman, 1983: 4]



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References cited:

  • Darwin, Charles. 1958. The autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882. Nora Barlow, ed. New York, W. W. Norton & Co. 253 pp.
  • Carr, A. M., and T. Fullman. 1983. Shrewsbury Library, its history and restoration. Shrewsbury, Shropshire Libraries. unpaginated

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Last updated 13 September 1998 (JHW)