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practice of different Schools would be a far more likely method of discovering the truth, than the most careful meditations of the ablest Board. The question, indeed, of the best subject for study at School in the present day is far from settled. But the experience which, in a few years, would be gained from so large an experiment, the results of which it would be the duty of the Board to preserve and digest, would furnish valuable data for the solution of this important problem.

It has been unfortunate that a change in their teaching has generally been mixed up with proposals for amending the condition of the Endowed Schools. Many persons, real friends of education, have been averse to any interference with the Schools, because they feared that inconsiderate changes, made by unskilled hands, were calculated to destroy the proper character of the Schools, and to substitute for accurate study, and strict mental discipline, a superficial, showy acquaintance with some popular subjects. With alterations conceived in such a spirit, we have no sympathy. We have no idea of turning our Schoolboys into members of literary and scientific Societies. Our hope and desire is to see the Schools and Colleges of Ireland combined into one harmonious system, neither of the two ignoring the existence of the other; neither engaged in the hopeless attempt to give an education in itself complete, but the one laying the broad foundation, the other erecting the stately superstructure; the one carrying general education as far as all can travel together on the same road; the other gradually, though steadily, guiding each student to those separate pursuits to which his special circumstances incline him.

In the Royal and Diocesan Schools, the appointment of the Head Master rests in most cases with the Lord Lieutenant. The exceptions are the Diocesan Schools of Armagh, Dublin, Kildare and Meath, and the Royal School of Armagh, which are in the gift of their respective Prelates; the Royal School of Dungannon also appears to be in the gift of the Primate. The patronage of the Private Foundations belongs to the representatives of the original trustees, or to trustees now acting, or to corporations, or to the Bishops of the Established Church. We have already observed, that in no case, except the Schools of Erasmus Smith, and one private foundation of small importance, is any religious qualification required. It would greatly tend to secure proper appointments, if, as Dr. Wall has suggested,

the Board were empowered to present a list of some limited number of names, at each vacancy, to the Patron, out of which he should be bound to make his choice. In default of appointment by the Patron within a specified time after he had been furnished with the list, the appointment should lapse to the Board. It would also serve to remove, still more effectually, religious difficulties, if the patronage of the Bishops was transferred to the Lord Lieutenant. A change in the appointment of Assistants would also be desirable ;-at present the Assistant Master is paid by the Board, and is thus in a great degree independent of the Principal. But in a school it is quite essential that perfect harmony should exist among all the Masters, and that the authority of the Principal should be supreme. Such an end can only be obtained by giving the Head Master full power to appoint and dismiss his own Assistants. We believe that one of the largest schools in Ireland received a severe and lasting injury from the imperfect control of the Principal, and the difficulty of removing, without direct proof of misconduct, Assistants who were notoriously unfit for their position. The best plan would be to give the Principal a certain salary, and require him to provide as many Assistants as the School might need.

We have hitherto confined our observations exclusively to the Commissioners of Education, and the Schools which are under their Superintendance. We have still to notice the Grammar Schools which were founded by Erasmus Smith. These Schools were specially exempted from the operation of the Act of George III. and are under a distinct and peculiar management. We do not think that there is any valid reason. for this exemption. It can scarcely serve any good purpose to keep up a separate Board, and that too, of so unwieldly a nature as is the Board of Governors of Erasmus Smith's Schools, for the administration of four Schools. At the time when this Board was constituted, no other means existed of administering its trusts. At present the machinery for a more complete execution of the settler's design exists, and the interests of the public, and the Schools would certainly be promoted by placing them under the same control as all similar institutions of the country. The Acts of Parliament which regulate these Schools, require in every particular, careful revision. At present, each of the head masters receives the original salary of a hundred marks, or £66 13s. 4d. a year. The Ushers

seem to have fared a little better. The Charter only allows twenty pounds a year, and one Usher to each School. The Board seem to have strained their power in allowing them £50 or £60. From a Parliamentary return, it appears that the entire expenditure upon the four Schools for the last year has been £658 10s. 9d. Of this sum, £186 17s. 5d. are set down for "rents, poor rates, insurances, repairs and incidentals." Yet these Schools were the immediate object of the endowment, and the gross rental of the estates in that same year, exclusive of Receiver's Fees, exceeded £8,500, and the actual receipts of the Governors were £7762 18s. 9d. This surplus is variously applied under legislative sanction. We might well return so far to the Founder's intention, as to give to the primary objects of his bounty, that "liberal maintenance" with which, as the Charter recites, he was so anxious to endow them. Even if no additional funds for the purposes of intermediate Education were granted, from the Erasmus Smith's estates, their present amount may be estimated at £1,000 a year. The estates of the Royal Schools produce at least £6,000 a year. The Diocesan Schools should bring

£4,000 a year. The aggregate revenue of the Private Endowments under the Commissioners of Education is about £2,000 a year. If we suppose the Miscellaneous Minor Endowments to be consolidated, and take their gross amount at one-third of Mr. D'Alton's estimate, we shall have a similar sum. Then a sum of £15,000 a year, would be available for purposes of intermediate Education. Such a sum, if applied on judicious and liberal principles, and administered by men who were really familiar with their subject, would amply supply our present Educational requirements.

It will readily appear that the actual changes in the law requisite to carry out the views which we have indicated are not very complicated, or extensive. Yet, it would be perhaps too sanguine to expect their speedy completion. At some time or other, they will probably come. But in this as in every other case of reform, prejudice and misapprehension, and most formidable of all, the vis inertia which is generated partly by indifference to the subject, and partly by imperfect acquaintance with it, present serious obstacles. The indiscretion of zealous

Ordered by the House of Commons to be Printed, 26 May, 1854. No. 273.

friends too increases the difficulty. Some accuse the Board of Education of culpable neglect, if not of something worse. Others would like to make the Endowed Schools subsidiary to the Queen's Colleges. Others would not interfere with existing arrangements, but call upon the government to establish a new set of intermediate Schools. Others again would revolutionize the teaching and the revenues of the Schools. Such proposals are likely to involve the question in difficulties from which it is naturally free. No educational question has ever been beset with so few real troubles. Strange to say there is no religious difficulty. All the Schools, of whatever kind, are open to, and with a few exceptions may be governed by persons of any religious denomination. We propose no new establishment. We seek merely the greater efficiency of those which the wisdom and liberality of our ancestors endowed. We find no fault with the present Board. We thankfully acknowledge that they have acted with discretion, and that their success has been as great as a Board so constituted could attain. We do not ask for particular advantages to any institution. If the Queen's Colleges receive any benefit from the change, it will arise merely from the improved educational condition of the people. There need be no interference with vested rights. We do not ask for the new Board greater authority over the masters of the Schools than the existing Board possesses. We do not recommend any new office. We only divide the functions and enlarge the power of a body already in existence Nor have we been led astray by any wild theory of impossible perfection. We have merely proposed the application of a principle which the Legislature has frequently recognised. Most of our sugges tions have been long since recommended, after ample enquiry, by a Committee of the House of Commons. Last, though at present not least in importance, we do not demand any grant of public money. The solitary favor which we ask is, that we may be permitted to use our own resources.

*

In a previous page of this paper, it was stated that there were no Free pupils at the Erasmus Smith Schools. We now learn that there are twenty-six free pupils altogether in attendance upon these Schools.

ART. II. THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF

TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN.

SECOND ERA.

In our former paper, devoted to the history of this famous Society, we traced its course from its foundation, with the support of the Fellows, to its expulsion, at the command of the Board: we now proceed to relate its chief events from the period when the gates of the University were closed against it and if, in this statement, it should seem that eloquence has decayed amongst us, let it be remembered that learning and sober thoughtfulness have more than proportionally advanced and flourished.

Soon after the Board had resumed possession of the rooms hitherto occupied by the Society, they offered them to such of the Students as might be willing to accept them, subject to those rules which the original Society had refused to observe. A few of the Students, preferring a recognized position in College, to a participation in the fame and honors of the extern Society, when united with an opposition to the Heads of the University, accepted the offer thus made, and having met together, passed a series of resolutions, for the regulation of the newly-formed Society, holding out, at the same time, to the Members of the extern Society, the privilege, until the 1st of January of the ensuing year, of joining them on subscribing to the resolutions just passed. Among the earliest members of the renewed Society may be mentioned the present Chief Justice Lefroy. At its second meeting, eleven members joined the original twelve, among whom were the late Provost, Dr. Sadleir, and Dr. Kyle, late Bishop of Cork.

We will not dwell on the submissive addresses of the infant Society to the Board, which had just shown its paternal solicitude for such Institutions, by suppressing its predecessor; nor the dignified replies to such addresses, that emanated from those luminaries, but will only remark that, within a year from

See Irish Quarterly Review, Vol. IV. No. 14. p. 305. Art. "The Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin-First Era."

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