Now! Then! A Yorkshire Almanac for 2024

11 July 1787: Advertisement for The Commercial and Mathematical Academy, Hull

Horace Baker Browne. 1912. The Story of the East Riding of Yorkshire. London: A. Brown and Sons. H.B. Browne appears to have been white-haired but alive in 1949 (see The Story of Whitby Museum), but I have found no trace thereafter. Get it:

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Excerpt

HULL, July 11th, 1787.
At the Commercial and Mathematical Academy.
On the SOUTH-SIDE of the DOCK,
Facing the NEW-BRIDGE;

GENTLEMENS’ CHILDREN are instructed in the first principles of English, so as to be enabled to read and write their native Language with elegance and propriety; the English Grammar agreeable to the strictest rules of Syntax, resolving a sentence into its different parts of speech. The free and natural method of Writing, and striking by command of hand; Arithmetic, Merchants’ Accounts, or the Italian Method of Book-Keeping; Mensuration; Gauging; Surveying of Land; Plain and Spherical Trigonometry; Euclids Elements; Navigation; Algebra, and the Use of the Globes.

By J. WATSON, W. M.

YOUNG GENTLEMEN are Boarded and taught Geography, by familiar lectures, founded on rational principles and demonstration, and such as are of age and capacity taught to read Milton and Young, with proper emphasis and cadence.

N.B. A separate Apartment for Young Ladies.


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To facilitate reading, the spelling and punctuation of elderly excerpts have generally been modernised, and distracting excision scars concealed.

Comment

Comment

Browne speculates that W.M. is Writing Master.

When in 1788 the 18-year-old William Butterworth of Leeds arrived in London from the West Indies, he was offered such an education:

I had not been ship-keeper more than two or three days, when two gentlemen came on board and looked over the ship. Addressing themselves to me, they inquired if I had considered to remain on board? “I have determined, Gentlemen,” I answered, “to have nothing more to do with the sea.” ” Indeed! young man,” said one of them, “perhaps your reason against a seafaring life may be overcome by sound arguments, if we knew it.” “ To me, Sir,” said I, “it is as irksome as precarious, and, hitherto, has proved as unprofitable as unpleasant !” “That we can and will remedy,” replied the other, “if you can reconcile yourself to the life, under more auspicious circumstances, than you have as yet been placed. You are highly recommended by Captain Smith; we have a vessel intended to sail up the Mediterranean, and have waited on you to engage you, if possible, to hold a situation in that vessel, well worth your attention.”. When I pointed out the impossibility of ever soaring higher than a man before the mast, from being ignorant of the important science of navigation, I was asked if I knew the four great rules of arithmetic – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division?” “As schoolboys generally do,” said I, “ but I have not had much practice since I left the desk.” “If you will engage with us, we will be at the expense of educating you in navigation, during the arrangement for the ship leaving England.” “I can only thank you, gentlemen,” returned I, “for your attention to my welfare; but I have resolved to return home, where I have a prospect of advancement superior to any that you can offer, at the same time that it is more congenial to my own inclination and the wishes of my friends.” Finding me inflexible, we parted; they to return ashore, whither my good wishes followed them, in return for their intended kindness to me (Butterworth 1823).

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Original

HULL, July 11th, 1787.
At the Commercial and Mathematical Academy.
On the SOUTH-SIDE of the DOCK,
Facing the NEW-BRIDGE;

GENTLEMENS’ CHILDREN are instructed in the first principles of English, so as to be enabled to read and write their native Language with elegance and propriety; the English Grammar agreeable to the strictest rules of Syntax, resolving a sentence into its different parts of speech. The free and natural method of Writing, and striking by command of hand; Arithmetic, Merchants’ Accounts, or the Italian Method of Book-Keeping; Mensuration; Gauging; Surveying of Land; Plain and Spherical Trigonometry; Euclids Elements; Navigation; Algebra, and the Use of the Globes.

By J. WATSON, W. M.

YOUNG GENTLEMEN are Boarded and taught Geography, by familiar lectures, founded on rational principles and demonstration, and such as are of age and capacity taught to read Milton and Young, with proper emphasis and cadence.

N.B. A separate Apartment for Young Ladies.

225 words.

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