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Archdeacon Owen of the History of Shrewsbury. His valuable MSS. on Shrop-
shire genealogy and history and his collections for a history of the school are pre-
served in the Bodleian Library. Died March loth, 1826.

1 Two other pupils of Atcherley are worthy of mention, the Rev. William
Gorsuch Rowland, M.A., of Christ Church, Oxford, curate of St. Mary's, Shrews-
bury, 1828-1851, Prebendary of Lichfield, 1814-1851 ; School Bailiff, 1805-1839,
who has left a lasting memorial of his taste and munificence in the old stained
glass with which he beautified St. Mary's Church ; and his brother, Daniel
Rowland, Esq., of Saxonbury Lodge, Sussex, barrister-at-law, an antiquary of
some repute, who edited and continued BLAKEWAY'S Sheriffs of Shropshire.
The father of these boys was the Rev. John Rowland, M.A., Rector of Llangeitho,
Cardiganshire, and fourth master of Shrewsbury School from 1771 to 1798.

2 Joseph Thomas graduated at St. John's College, Cambridge, B.A. in 1789
and M.A. in 1792.

3 Butlers Life and Letters, vol. i. p. 20.



while he was in Shropshire that it was in contemplation not
only to pension off all the existing masters, but also to get
an Act of Parliament passed placing the school under the
management of a new Governing Body. Many months were
unavoidably occupied in negotiations between the Bishop of
the Diocese, the master and fellows of St. John's College,
Cambridge, the Corporation of Shrewsbury, and various
gentlemen in the neighbourhood, who were specially in-
terested in the welfare of the school, before an agreement
was arrived at as to the details of the proposed Act, and it
did not finally become law till 1798. By this Act of Parlia-
ment the ordinances by which the school had been governed
since 1577 were revoked, with the exception t of those under
which the school exhibitions at St. John's College had been
founded and maintained.

The most important changes effected by the Act were as
follows :

ist. Provision was made for the appointment of a new
Governing Body to take the place of the Mayor and Head
Master as school trustees, and its first members were named
in the Act. 1

2nd. The restrictions placed on the free choice of the Head
Master and the second master by St. John's College, by the
preferential claims given to burgesses, etc., were removed, and
the power of veto " for due cause," originally resting with the
Bailiffs of Shrewsbury, was transferred from the Mayor of
Shrewsbury to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield.

3rd. The right of gratuitous education was given to the
legitimate sons of burgesses.

4th. The right of presenting to the school livings was
transferred from the Mayor and Head Master to the Mayor
and Corporation. But there were many other changes
besides these.

1 The Mayor of Shrewsbury; Sir Charles Oakley, Bart.; the Rev. Joseph
Plymley, Archdeacon of Salop ; Henry Bevan, Esq. ; Edward Burton, Esq. ;
William Cludde, Esq. ; Thomas Eyton, Esq. ; Joseph Loxdale, Esq. ; the Rev.
Hugh Owen ; Thomas Pemberton, Esq. ; the Rev. John Rocke ; the Rev. Thomas
Stedman ; the Rev. Richard Wilding.

ACT OF 1798 259

Although the preferential claims to livings and exhibi-
tions which were given to the sons of burgesses, etc., by the
old ordinances were retained by the Act of 1798, a new
condition was imposed that candidates must have been at
Shrewsbury School for two years at least before going to
college. Power was also given to the Corporation to give
an absolute preference, if they should think fit, over all other
candidates for school livings, to any head or second master
who should have resigned his office. It was, moreover,
expressly ordained that candidates for exhibitions must be
duly qualified in respect of learning, good manners, and
behaviour. The selection of all masters except the second
was for the future to be left to the Head Master. Power
was given to the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry to dismiss
the head or second master for immorality, incapacity, neglect
of duty, or other reasonable cause, on the written complaint
of the majority of the Governors. Any of the assistant
masters might be dismissed by the Head Master on similar
grounds. It was expressly provided that the head and
second masters should be members of the Church of Eng-
land, and that the Head Master should fill the office of
catechist and reader. This latter proviso made it for the
first time practically obligatory on the electors to choose a
clergyman in holy orders as Head Master. The Governors
were empowered to make bye-laws for the general govern-
ment of the school, so long as they did not affect its character
as a " Free Grammar School," and they were also directed to
apply surplus revenues to the foundation of new exhibitions at
Oxford or Cambridge. But after founding one such exhibition
they were to be at liberty, if they should think fit, to increase
the stipends of the ministers of any of the four school livings
of St. Mary's in Shrewsbury, Chirbury, Astley, or Clive.

Absolute control over the ways and methods of teaching
in the school was assigned to the Head Master. The
exhibitions already founded at St. John's College, Cam-
bridge, were to be retained, and might be increased in value
if the Governors should think fit.

The first act of the new Governing Body was to pension


the existing masters, 1 and on June 3Oth, 1798, Mr. Atcherley,
Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Matthewes formally resigned their
offices. The accidence master, Mr. Rowland, remained at
his post for two months longer, in order, probably, that the
younger sons of Shrewsbury residents might not be left
wholly without instruction. In the meantime the master and
fellows of St. John's College had made their selection of head
and second masters. The gentleman chosen for the head-
mastership was Mr. Samuel Butler, B.A., 2 who, after great
promise shown at Rugby School as a boy, and a career of
splendid success as an undergraduate at Cambridge, had been
elected in the previous year a Platt fellow of St. John's.
His classical distinctions at the university had been almost
unprecedented. Three times he had carried off the Browne
medal twice for a Latin ode and once for a Greek ode ; in
1793 he was elected Craven scholar, beating such rivals as
Keate, afterwards Head Master of Eton ; Bethell, the future
Bishop of Bangor ; and Samuel Taylor Coleridge ; and in
1796 he was the Senior Chancellor's medallist. Since he had
taken his degree he had also twice succeeded in gaining the
Members' prize.

In the long vacation of 1795 Mr. Butler acted as tutor in
the family of Thomas Eyton, Esq., of Wellington, Shrop-

1 The pensions assigned were ;ioo to Mr. Atcherley, 7$ to Mr. Johnson,
^50 to Mr. Matthewes, and 20 to Mr. Rowland. Mr. Johnson was offered the
living of Chirbury in part payment of his pension.

2 Samuel Butler was sprung from an old yeoman stock in Warwickshire. His
father, William Butler, was a draper of Kenilworth, and had been married
fourteen years before his only son Samuel was born on January 3Oth, 1 774. The
boy was sent to Rugby School in 1783 on the advice of Captain Patrick Don, a
gentleman who lodged in his parents' house, and who, presumably, had been
struck with the promise he displayed. At Rugby, Walter Savage Landor,
William Hill (afterwards Lord Berwick), and Gary, translator of Dante, were
among his contemporaries. A school-fellow describes young Butler, when a
Rugby boy, as devoted to fishing, novel reading, and play reading, but always
shining above everyone in form, though with hardly any preparation, and often
writing off while still in bed the best exercise of the day. (Butler's Life and
Letter s> vol. i. p. ii.) In 1791 he was entered at Christ Church, Oxford ; but an
accidental introduction to Dr. Samuel Parr in September of that year led to a
complete change of plans. On Dr. Parr's advice Butler was entered at St. John's
College, Cambridge, on October I4th, 1791, and immediately afterwards went into


shire, whose eldest son had been a school-fellow of his at
Rugby. Mr. Eyton was one of the chief promoters of the
movement for bringing about a reform of the system of
management of Shrewsbury School, and it was probably
owing to his suggestions that Mr. Butler first entertained the
notion of offering himself as a candidate for the head-master-
ship when the proposed changes should be effected. 1 A few
months after taking his degree in 1796 Mr. Butler became
engaged to be married, and thought at first of settling down
somewhere in the country with the view of taking pupils.
But he was dissuaded from this by his old master, Dr. James,
who urged him strongly to seek in preference the head-
mastership of some endowed grammar school. The fact that
Dr. James was in Shropshire at the time he wrote this advice
to his old pupil reminded Mr. Butler no doubt of his former
notions about Shrewsbury School, and made him write in
return that Shrewsbury was a place where he might have
influence to help him. Dr. James consequently made it his
business while in the neighbourhood to learn all he could
about the state of things at Shrewsbury, and his report to
Butler as to future prospects was favourable. Happily for
the school Mr. Butler made up his mind to follow his old
master's advice, and soon after the Act of 1798 was passed
he was elected by his college Head Master of Shrewsbury. 2
The gentleman chosen at the same time for the second-
mastership was the Rev. William Adams, M.A., of Pembroke
College, Oxford.

1 Butler's Life and Letters, vol. i. p. 15.

2 The election seems to have taken place in July. Mr. Butler was already
Head Master when Mr. Sleath, the second master of Rugby, wrote to him on
August ist, 1798. (Add. MSS. British Museum, 34,583.)




Samuel Butler, D.D., Head Master, 1798-1836.

THE newly-appointed Head Master of Shrewsbury was
married on September 4th, 1798, at Great St. Andrew's
Church, Cambridge, to Harriet, fifth daughter of Dr. East
Apthorp, Rector of St. Mary-le-Bow, Vicar of Croydon, and
Prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral, and on Monday, October
1st, he was formally installed in office by the school trustees.
Two days before, the Rev. William Adams 1 had resigned the
second-mastership, to which he had been appointed by St.
John's College in the previous July.

From a letter 2 written to Mr. Butler by Mr. Sleath, the
second master of Rugby, on August 1st, in answer to certain
enquiries as to his position at Rugby, it appears that the new
Head Master of Shrewsbury was prepared for the possibility
of difficulties arising between Mr. Adams and himself as to
their relative position and authority, and that he had fully
made up his mind to assert his right to control the methods
of teaching and disciplinary arrangements throughout the
school. Probably some communications on the subject had
passed between Mr. Butler and Mr. Adams before they met
at Shrewsbury in September ; but, at any rate, it is certain
that, before the Head Master was installed on October 1st,
they had found their views as to their respective rights to
be irreconcilable, and that, the Head Master's view being

1 William Adams, son of Mr. John Adams, of Shrewsbury, matriculated at
Pembroke College, Oxford, on May 2Oth, 1779, aged thirteen. He graduated
B A. in 1783, M.A. in 1785, and B.D. and D.D. in 1808.

2 See Add. MSS. British Museum, 34,583.



HEAD MASTER 17981836


supported by the trustees, Mr. Adams resigned his office on
September 29th. 1

Early in November, Mr. John Jeudwine, M.A., of St. John's
College, who had graduated as tenth Wrangler in 1/94, was
elected second master in his place. Unfortunately it does not
seem to have occurred to the master and fellows of St. John's,
some of whom, 2 at any rate, were acquainted with the cause
of Mr. Adams' resignation, and sympathised with Mr. Butler as
to the questions at issue, to impress upon Mr. Jeudwine, before
his formal election, the true nature of the position he would
occupy at Shrewsbury, and the same difficulties, which had
led to Mr. Adam's resignation, arose again in Mr. Jeudwine's

Within six months from the reopening of the school we
find Mr. Butler writing a formal letter 3 to the second master,
courteously though emphatically expressed, requesting " once
more " his attention to the directions he had given as to " the
manner of education and conduct of the school." It is plain
that the relations between the two masters had already
become greatly strained. Mr. Butler's letter is written in the
third person, and the copy of it, which he preserved, is attested
by witnesses. But Mr. Jeudwine did not follow Mr. Adams'
example in resigning, although he continued to feel himself
aggrieved in the matter to the end of his career at the school.

One of Mr. Butler's first acts after his arrival at Shrewsbury
was to write to Dr. James, his old master at Rugby, to ask
his advice as to various points of school management. This
request drew from Dr. James three long letters giving a full
account of the system he had followed at Rugby, interspersed
with occasional comments and some special suggestions.

1 His formal resignation is preserved among the town records.

2 On October I3th, 1798, Mr. Catton, one of the fellows of St. John's, wrote
to Mr. Butler, congratulating him on the result of his contest with Mr. Adams,
a result which, he added, had "prevented all similar pretensions for the future
and fully established his authority." Mr. Catton mentioned Mr. Jeudwine as a
candidate for the vacant post, speaking favourably of his character and acquire-
ments. On November 5th, Dr. E. Outram, the public orator, another fellow of
St. John's, wrote to inform Mr. Butler that, no other candidates having offered
themselves, Mr. Jeudwine had been duly elected second master. (Add. MSS.
British Museum, 34, 583. ) 3 Butler's Life and Letters, vol. i. p. 44.


It is interesting to notice that the Rugby Head Master
did not omit to suggest the advisability of occasionally
testing the younger boys' knowledge of private prayers. He
also recommended the establishment of a school library,
to which every boy should contribute, both on entering the
school and on leaving. The list of books recommended
would be somewhat startling to boys of the present day. 1
In many senses Shrewsbury School made a new beginning
when Mr. Butler was appointed Head Master. The Rev. F.
E. Gretton, in his Memory's Harkback, mentions a tradition
of his school-days that Butler began work with one boy, and
Dr. Monk, Bishop of Gloucester, writing to Dr. Butler in
1835, speaks of his having found "a school with only a single
scholar." 2 But facts hardly bear out the accuracy of this
current story, for Dr. Butler, in a draft of a letter to the
Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, dated December
Qth, 1835, says definitely that there were two boarders at the
school when he came. 3 There exists also among the Butler
MSS. a draft of a paper which the Head Master prepared in
October, 1832, with the view of making the Duchess of Kent
acquainted with certain facts about the school before her
promised visit should take place. In this document Dr.
Butler expressly states that when he came to Shrewsbury in
1798 he did not find more than twenty boys in the school, of
whom all but two were sons of burgesses. 4

The new Head Master's work was made somewhat difficult
at first by the rapid influx of town boys of all ages from
sixteen downwards, none of whom had received any regular
education, and whom, as sons of burgesses, he could not refuse
to admit. Other boys came as boarders, some from public
or private schools, and some from their nurseries. Two of
them, as we have seen, were not new to Shrewsbury School,
having been there in Mr. Atcherley's time. They appear to
have boarded in the house of the Rev. James Matthewes, the

1 Butlers Life and Letters^ vol. i. pp. 25-39.
- Ibid. t vol. ii. p. 128.

3 Ibid., vol. ii. p. 124.

4 Additional MSS. British Museum, 34,588.


late third master. Among the boys who were admitted as
boarders during Mr. Butler's first few months at Shrewsbury
were two whom he had received on apparently good recom-
mendations, but who turned out subsequently to have been
previously expelled from the Charterhouse. These boys
went off to the Shrewsbury races one day without leave,
of course and returned home drunk at eleven o'clock at
night. The next morning they refused to submit to a
flogging, and used violence in resisting. For this and
continued contumacy both boys were afterwards expelled.
The story seems to have been grossly misrepresented, and
to have given rise to much gossip in the town as to the new
Head Master's severity. Discipline again had been so long
in abeyance in Mr. Atcherley's time that every flogging of
which the townspeople heard was regarded as an additional
proof of the alleged severity. Unfortunately too, as he
himself subsequently thought, Mr. Butler had made up his
mind when he came to Shrewsbury that he would not mix
at all in town society. The consequence was that mis-
chievous calumnies about him were circulated in Shrewsbury
without his having any opportunity of refuting them, or even
of hearing that they were afloat. 1 The constrained and
unfriendly relations which for nearly twenty years existed
between the head and second masters, and which, after

1 See Butler 's Life and Letters, vol. i. p. 49. The testimonial, signed in
1806 by nine of the school trustees, five of whom had sons who had been,
or still were, Mr. Butler's pupils, in which the charge of undue severity against
the Head Master is characterised as a "malignant falsehood," seems conclusive
on the point. It must, however, be borne in mind that there were still living a
few years ago old Shrewsbury boys who spoke with considerable respect of
Butler's left-handed floggings, and that his own statement, that out of fifty or
sixty boys he did not on the average flog more than twelve a year, shows that
flogging was about as common at Shrewsbury in the early years of this century as
it was at other public schools. Mr. Gretton, who was at Shrewsbury from 1815
to 1822, says that floggings were frequent, but not severe, and that preaching was
not added to the flogging. Apparently he sympathised with the nigger, who did
not object much to "preachee" or "floggee" separately, but protested against
their coming together. But schoolboys are hard to please, and an old Salopian,
still living, who had large experience of Butler's floggings, declares that they
would have been much more effective if accompanied by a few kindly words of
advice or remonstrance.


some years' cessation, were again renewed during the last few
years in which they were colleagues, must also have been a
serious impediment to the prosperity of Shrewsbury School.

Mr. Butler, indeed, had been nearly twenty years at work
before the condition of the school could fairly be described
as prosperous. It is not surprising then to find that when
Dr. Ingles, who had succeeded Dr. James as Head Master
of Rugby, resigned his office in 1806, Mr. Butler was
desirous of returning to his old school as its chief. Happily,
however, for Shrewsbury, his candidature was not successful. 1
About this time Dr. James Cornwallis, Bishop of Lichfield
and Coventry, collated Mr. Butler to a prebendal stall at
Lichfield. He was already in charge of two cures, the
chapelry of Berwick, 2 near Shrewsbury, which he had held
since 1801, and the Vicarage of Kenilworth, to which he had
been presented by Lord Clarendon in 1802. The year in
which Mr. Butler was rejected for Rugby is also note-
worthy for the commencement of that wonderful series of
university distinctions which his Shrewsbury pupils were
destined to gain. The school-room in which the Head
Master used to teach the sixth and upper fifth forms in
those days was the room on the ground floor, which was
in later times appropriated, first to the fourth form, and then
to the shell. On the oaken panels of this room were painted
the names of all Shrewsbury boys who gained university
scholarships or prizes, or took first classes at Oxford or
Cambridge. The first name inscribed on these honour
boards 3 was that of Thomas Smart Hughes, 4 who in 1806

1 By this time Mr. Butler was well aware that injurious reports as to his over
severity were prevalent in Shrewsbury, and he was inclined to attribute his
rejection at Rugby to the existence of these rumours. But his friend, Mr.
William Hill, afterwards Lord Berwick, ascertained for him from one of the
Rugby trustees that his suspicion was without foundation. (Butler s Life and
Letters, vol. i. p. 50.)

2 Mr. Butler retained the Berwick chapelry till April ;th, 1815. He was
succeeded there by the Rev. Evan Griffith, one of the assistant masters, who had
for some years shared with him the conduct of the services.

3 The honour boards have, of course, followed the school to its new home on

4 T. S. Hughes also won the Browne medal for a Greek ode in 1807 and one of
the Members' prizes in 1809 and 1810. He was a son of the Rev. Hugh Hughes,

Q u



a <


gained the Browne medal for a Latin ode on the death of

The year 1809 saw the publication of the first volume of
an edition of ^Eschylus, which Mr. Butler undertook for the
syndics of the University Press at Cambridge a year or
two before he was appointed to Shrewsbury. The prolonged
and somewhat acrimonious controversy which followed the
appearance of a review of this work in the Edinburgh by
Mr. C. J. Blomfield, afterwards Bishop of London, has been
fully dealt with by Professor Mayor l and also by Mr. Samuel
Butler, 2 the grandson of the Head Master, and would need
no further mention in a history of Shrewsbury School, were
it not for an incident of some interest which happened about
thirty-six years later, and which shows us that the con-
troversy was not confined to the pages of reviews and the
halls of colleges, but was fought out also in the ball court
at Shrewsbury, or in some other appropriate place where the
boys were in the habit of settling their temporary differences.
In 1846 the Rev. G. Matthews, in making an appeal to the
Bishop of London for aid in restoring his church, recalled to
his mind the old dispute between the two Greek scholars,
and told him of a fight which he had had on the subject
with a brother of T. S. Hughes, of which he still bore the
scars, and in which he was the champion of the Blomfield

Rector of Hardwick and curate of Nuneaton, and was three years at Shrewsbury
before proceeding to St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1804. B.A., 1808 ; M.A.,
1811 ; B.D., 1818; assistant master at Harrow, 1809-1811. Returned to Cam-
bridge on being elected fellow of his college in 1811, and resided there for the
greater part of his life. Ordained in 1815, and left St. John's to be fellow and
tutor of Trinity Hall. The change did not bring Mr. Hughes prosperity, and in
1817 he accepted a fellowship at Emmanuel. In the same year the Seatonian
prize was adjudged to him for a poem on Belshazzar's Feast. Appointed examin-
ing chaplain to Dr. Marsh, Bishop of Peterborough, in 1819; Christian advocate
in the University of Cambridge, 1822. Mr. Hughes was a prominent supporter
of the proposal to establish a classical tripos at Cambridge, and acted as examiner
in 1824, 1826, and 1828; Prebendary of Peterborough, 1827 ; Rector of Fiskerton,
in Lincolnshire, and of his family living of Hardwick, 1832 ; curate of Edgware,
1846. Died August nth, 1847. Author of Travels in Greece and Albania, a
continuation of HUME'S and SMOLLETT'S Hist, of England, and many other
works. (Diet, of Nat. Biog. )

1 In his edition of BAKER'S History of St. John's College.

2 In the Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler.


side of the question. 1 In this same year, 1809, two Shrews-
bury boys distinguished themselves in the mathematical
tripos John Evans, 2 of Clare Hall, who was sixth Wrangler,
and W. R. Gilby, 2 of Trinity College, who was seventh

In 1810 Mr. Butler took his doctor's degree, apparently
at the suggestion of Dr. Samuel Parr. The story runs
that when the Head Master complained one day to his
friend of the difficulty of keeping the boys under due
control, Parr's advice was, " Wear a wig, Thir." His counsel
was followed, and for a time Mr. Butler invariably assumed

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