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of his occasionally finding himself unable to rise from his
chair in school without leaving his gown behind him, owing
to a judicious application of cobbler's wax. Dr. Kennedy
says that the boys could do what they liked with him, " they
could almost pull his coat tails and call him Jackey to his
face." 2 In 1827, in consequence of complaints made by
Mr. Jeudwine as to the incivility and disrespect shown
towards him by the boys at calling over, Dr. Butler
suggested that his turns should be taken by one of the
assistant masters, a suggestion which was gladly accepted. 3

In the course of the same year Mr. Jeudwine also com-
plained to Dr. Butler of insubordinate and disorderly conduct
on the part of his own boarders, who were, he said, riotous in
the bedrooms, disrespectful to Mrs. Jeudwine, and rude to the
servants, and asked him to investigate the matter. The only
grievance which the boys had, so far as Mr. Jeudwine knew,
was that the "merit money" had been partly stopped for
mischief. 4 The result of the Head Master's investigation
was that the parents of one boy were asked to remove him
at the end of the half-year, and others were written to on

1 Memory's Harkback, by the Rev. F. E. GRETTON.

2 Butler's Life and Letters, vol. i. p. 40.

3 Add. MSS. Brit. Mus., 34,586. Dr. Butler inflicted some general punish*
ment on the school in consequence of Mr. Jeudwine's complaint, a punishment
which was subsequently remitted at his intercession, the praepostors having, in
behalf of the school generally, made him a proper apology.

4 Ibid., 34,586.


the subject of their sons' behaviour. 1 A memorandum by
the Rev. Arthur Willis, one of the assistant masters, dated
November 2nd, 1832, shows that insubordination and disorder
were as prevalent in that year as they had been in 1827.2
And speaking in December, 1835, of the number of boarders
at Shrewsbury then and during the last few years, Dr. Butler
does not hesitate to declare that Mr. Jeudwine had " lost all
his boys for want of knowing how to govern them." 3 The
master and seniors of St. John's College filled up the vacancy
in the second-mastership by the appointment of the Rev.
James Ind Welldon, B.A., who, after graduating as thirtieth
Wrangler and fifth Classic in 1834,* had recently been elected
one of their own fellows.

During his long career at Shrewsbury Dr. Butler was
aided in his scholastic labours by a large number of assistant
masters. 5 Some of his most distinguished pupils, such as
Edward Baines, B. H. Kennedy, T. W. Peile, and T. F.
Henney, went back to their old school for a time in this
capacity before engaging in college work at Oxford or
Cambridge, or accepting more important educational posts
elsewhere. Thomas Sheepshanks, Richard Periam Thurs-
field, John Price, and John Mort Wakefield were also
at Shrewsbury School as boys before returning there as
masters. The first assistant master of whom we hear much

1 Add. MSS. Brit. Mus., 34,587. Dr. Butler suggested to Mr. Jeudwine that
his practice of sending orders to them by the servants, which turned out to be one
of the boys' grievances, was the cause of the rudeness with which they were
treated. He also mentioned that the older boys wished to be allowed to go to
any assistant master whom they might prefer for private lessons.

3 Butler's Life and Letters, vol. ii. p. 32.

3 Ibid., vol. ii. p. 125.

4 Mr. Welldon held the second-mastership till 1843, when he was appointed
Head Master of Tonbridge Grammar School. In 1845 he was made D.C.L.
of Oxford. On his retirement from Tonbridge in 1875 Dr. Welldon became Vicar
of Kennington, near Ashford, in Kent, and was made an Honorary Canon of
Canterbury Cathedral. He died on Christmas-day, 1896, aged eighty-five.

5 After 1825 the annual income of an assistant master appears to have
amounted to nearly .300. But only ,80 of this was paid him by Dr. Butler
out of the tuition fees. The rest of his income came from the payments made
by boys for private tuition. Mathematics were almost entirely taught as private


is the Rev. Evan Griffith, who began work in January, 1810,
and left Shrewsbury in 1820 to become Head Master of
Swansea Grammar School. He was in holy orders when
he came to Shrewsbury, and subsequently took the degree
of B.D. in 1813 at St. John's College, Cambridge, as a
" Ten Year Man," Mr. Griffith managed to combine
a good deal of other work with his school duties. He
was chaplain of the County Gaol for ten years, assisted
Dr. Butler to perform the services at Berwick up to 1815,
and succeeded him as chaplain of Berwick in that year.
Mr. Gretton, who speaks of him as " GrifTy," says that all
the boys played tricks on him, but all loved and respected
him, " he was so kindly and simple-hearted." l The Rev.
Arthur Willis, of Trinity College, Cambridge, was an
assistant master for seven years under Dr. Butler, and
for two years under his successor. He began work in
January, 1829, and seems to have been placed at once
in charge of Mrs. Bromfield's hall. 2 He is described by
Dr. Butler as "undeviating in his attention to the boys,
both in and out of school," but as somewhat wanting in
tact. 3 Old Salopians now living remember how, when they
had carefully selected a field in which they might play
football without much fear of interruption, Mr. Willis would
occasionally ride up on his dark chestnut pony 4 and put a
stop to the game. Now, much as Dr. Butler hated football,
there is no doubt that he would regard interference of this
sort by a master as showing want of tact. Mr. Willis is
further described by his chief as a man " of high principle "
and " an excellent preacher." He was an unsuccessful candi-
date for the head-mastership of Leicester Grammar School in
i836, 5 but two years later he was appointed to Ludlow. 6

1 See Memory's Harkback, by F. E. GRETTON.

2 Dr. Butler had now a third boarding-house, of which Mrs. Bromfield was

3 See Life and Letters of Dr. Butler, vol. ii. p. 137.

4 Both master and pony were immortalised by a Shrewsbury boy of the period
in the line, " Fuscus et in fusco conspiciendus equo."

5 See Add. MSS. Brit. Mus., 34,590.

6 Mr. Willis continued Head Master of Ludlow till 1850. During nearly
all the time he was there he was at warfare with the Ludlow Town Council.


Perhaps the most notable of all Dr. Butler's assistants was
the Rev. Frederick IlifT, who went to Shrewsbury early in
1823, immediately after taking his degree at Trinity College,
Cambridge, and remained there till Christmas, 1833, when
he migrated to the Liverpool Collegiate Institution of which
he had just been appointed Principal. He is said to have
been a sound scholar and able teacher, strong in Aristo-
phanes, Thucydides, and Tacitus, and a great believer in
Matthiae's Greek Grammar. 1 For eight out of the ten years
during which he was a Shrewsbury master Mr. Iliff had
charge of the upper fifth, except for those lessons in which
the higher division of that form shared the Head Master's
teaching of the sixth. His class-room was in Bromfield's
hall. " Although by no means Butler's equal in elegant
scholarship, he was not inclined to give way to him on
questions of grammatical criticism." Occasionally "in the
course of a lesson some point would arise, upon which he
was aware that he and his chief differed in their view, when
he would conclude his own interpretation with the signifi-
cant remark, ' You may perhaps be told differently lower
down the lane, but ' and there he would stop with con-
siderable emphasis." 2 So highly did Dr. Butler value Mr.
IlifT's services that, early in 1825, he agreed to let him at a
reasonable rate one of the houses he had recently purchased
in Raven Street, where he was to be at liberty to receive ten
boarders. At the same time he guaranteed him an income
of 300 a year from stipend and pupils so long as he re-
tained his mastership. 3 But the rapid increase of numbers

1 See COLLINS'S Public Schools. Dr. Butler's son, while still at school, was
much impressed by Mr. IlifFs knowledge of Aristophanes. (See letter from
Thomas Butler to his father, dated November 22nd, 1828, in Add. MSS. Brit.
Mus., 34,587.)

2 This story is given by Mr. Collins, and is believed to rest on the authority of
the Rev. James Hildyard. A somewhat similar story is told by an Old Salopian
still living, who remembers Mr. Iliff saying during a Juvenal lesson, when one of
the boys told him that Dr. Butler's rendering of a passage was different from
his, ' ' I have known two men in my life who could construe Juvenal ; Madan
was one and Dr. Butler was not the other. "

3 The draft agreement is dated February I3th, 1825. Dr. Butler, it is worth
noting, expressly states in the agreement that he would not undertake to recom-
mend parents to send their sons to Mr. Iliff's, while he had any vacancies, or Mr.
Jeudwine had less than thirty boarders. (Add MSS. Brit. Mus., 34,593.)


in 1825 seems to have caused a modification of the original
agreement, and by March, 1826, Mr. Iliff was occupying,
not the house in Raven Street, but a much larger one in
School Court, for which he paid Dr. Butler a rent of 200 a
year, and where he was able to accommodate fifty boarders. 1
Writing to her brother at Cambridge on March Qth, 1826,
Miss Butler refers to Mr. Iliff as recently married and as
settled in his new house, which she describes as " very

But towards the close of the year 1830, prosperous as his
position at Shrewsbury was, Mr. Iliff, influenced no doubt by
the unsatisfactory condition of Dr. Butler's health, as well as
by the rumours which were afloat of his intended resignation,
began to think of seeking a more secure educational position
for himself elsewhere, although he does not appear to have
formally offered himself as a candidate for another master-
ship until the Rev. T. W. Peile resigned the principalship of
the Royal Collegiate Institution at Liverpool in August, 1833.
Mr. Iliff was appointed to succeed him, and left Shrewsbury
at the following Christmas. The uncertainty which Dr.
Butler had felt during the last three years about his chief
assistant's plans had been a cause of much worry to him.
But the two masters had worked together for ten years with
friendship and cordiality, and they would probably have
parted on the best of terms had not, unfortunately, some
rumours, probably exaggerated, as to Mr. Iliff's habit of
"quizzing the doctor" reached the Head Master's ears some
three or four weeks before the end of the half-year. Dr.
Butler had a most forgiving disposition, but he thought that
Mr. Iliff was in many ways indebted to him, and anything
in the nature of ingratitude he found it very difficult to
forgive. 3

Mr. Iliff was succeeded, both in his house and in his

1 In a testimonial which Dr. Butler wrote for Mr. Iliff on September 28th,
1830, it is stated that the latter had fifty boarders in his house. (Add. MSS.
Brit. Mus., 34,587.)

* Ibid., 34,586.

3 Ibid. t 34,588. Mr. Iliff, or Dr. Iliff as he became in 1838, remained at the
head of the Liverpool Collegiate Institution till 1845. He died in


schoolwork, by Mr. T. F. Henney, 1 an old Salopian, who had
graduated in 1833 at Pembroke College, Oxford, when he
gained a first class " in Literis Humanioribus" and a second
class in mathematics.

Although Dr. Butler had intimated to the master and
fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge, towards the close
of the year 1835, his intention of resigning the head-master-
ship, he did not actually vacate his office till Midsummer,
1836; but three months before this time he had the satis-
faction of learning from the master that the college authori-
ties had quite made up their minds to elect as his successor
the Rev. B. H. Kennedy, the most distinguished of all his
pupils, who had now been for six years an assistant master
at Harrow. Dr. Butler had originally intended to reside,
after his retirement, in a house which he had purchased at
Shrewsbury, called "the Whitehall." But, early in April,
it was intimated to him by Lord Melbourne that his name
had been submitted to the King in connection with one of
the existing vacancies on the bench of bishops, and that
his Majesty had signified his approbation. It was not,
however, till June that Dr. Butler was formally nominated
as Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. 2 On July 3rd he
was consecrated at Lambeth by the Archbishop of Canter-
bury, assisted by the Bishops of Durham, Lincoln, and

The impending retirement of the Head Master this year
made the annual speech-day at Shrewsbury an occasion of
special interest. Resolutions of gratitude for past services,
and of congratulation on coming honours, which had been
unanimously passed at a special meeting of the trustees, were
read by the Recorder, and a copy of them, beautifully

1 Thomas Frederick Henney ', son of Thomas Henney, Esq., of Cheltenham.
Born 1810. At Shrewsbury School from 1826 to 1829; assistant master, 1834-
1838; fellow, tutor, and vice-regent of Pembroke College, Oxford, 1839-1860;
Classical Examiner, 1846-1847; Classical Moderator, 1852; Prebendary of
Lincoln and Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Lincoln, 1855-1860. Died
1859. A scholarship bearing Mr. Henney's name was founded in his memory at
Pembroke College.

* Butler's Life and Letters, vol. ii. pp. 145, 147, 169.


written on vellum, was presented to Dr. Butler, enclosed
in a silver box. The boys at the same time made him their
parting gift, which consisted of a massive silver candela-
brum. 1 A few months later, on October 6th, a testimonial,
consisting of a service of silver plate, was presented to the
new Bishop at Eccleshall Castle by a deputation of his old
pupils at Shrewsbury. The presentation was made by
Dr. Kennedy. The other members of the deputation were
Edward Massie, Esq., P. H. S. Payne, Esq., C. J. Johnstone,
Esq., M.B., the Rev. E. H. Grove, and Thomas Brancker,
Esq. 2 Ample details of Dr. Butler's episcopate, which lasted
little more than three years, are given in the interesting
volumes entitled Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler \
which have been recently published by his grandson. 3 The
same clearness of judgment, powers of organization, and
judicial fairness of mind which had contributed so largely
to his success as Head Master of Shrewsbury, were shown
in his episcopal work, and his generous munificence is still
remembered in his diocese. In spite of increasing illness
and suffering Dr. Butler discharged all his varied duties
of extensive correspondence, frequent attendance at public
meetings, and laborious journeys to different parts of his
diocese, with unflagging energy, almost to the end of his
life. He died on December 3rd, 1839, and was buried at
St. Mary's, Shrewsbury. A monument to his memory, con-
sisting of a life-sized statue representing the Bishop as
seated in a chair, was erected by public subscription in the
old "school chapel" of St. Mary's Church in 1843. The
monument, which is not a very satisfactory piece of sculpture,
was the work of Mr. E. H. Baily. A few years ago, when

1 Butler's Life and Letters, vol. ii. pp. 153-158.

2 Ibid., vol. ii. p. 185.

3 To this work, and to the sixteen volumes of MSS. papers which Mr. Samuel
Butler has deposited in the British Museum, the author is indebted for much that
is to be found in this chapter ; and after a diligent study of the large mass of
material from which Mr. Butler has selected the letters and other documents
which he has published, he is glad to testify how completely they bear out,
in his opinion, the favourable estimate Mr. Butler has formed of the amiability,
the self-control, the patience, and the fearlessness of his distinguished grand-


the " school chapel " was arranged for use in the daily services
of the Church, it was moved into the tower. 1

Of Dr. Butler's success in training scholars the marvellous
array of university distinctions gained by his pupils between
1823 and 1840 is sufficient proof. Nothing like it had
hitherto been known in the history of English public schools.
Of the two university prizes adjudged to a Shrewsbury boy
in 1823 before he had gone into residence at Cambridge
mention has already been made. 2 But a still greater feat
was accomplished in 1831 by another Salopian, who carried
off the Ireland university scholarship at Oxford from all
competitors while still a boy in the sixth form. 3 Between
1827 and 1833 "the Ireland" was gained by Shrewsbury
men six years out of seven ; 4 and in one year, 1830, not only
did "the Pitt" at Cambridge and the Ireland and Craven at
Oxford fall to their lot, but the name of a Senior Wrangler
was inscribed on the honour boards. 6

No wonder that newly-appointed Head Masters sought
Dr. Butler's advice on questions of teaching and system, and

1 See Butler's Life and Letters, vol. ii. pp. 351-363.

* The Person Prize only was actually received by B. H. Kennedy. A grace
had passed the Senate some little time previously restricting competition for
Browne Medals to students in residence. It is stated in the article on Dr.
Kennedy, in the Diet, of Nat. Biog., that the prize compositions were sent in
at Dr. Butler's suggestion, but the latter has left it on record that he was unaware
that Kennedy was competing.

3 Thomas Brancker, of Wadham College. It appears from an interesting letter
written from Christ Church on March i6th, 1831, by Mr. W. E. Gladstone to his
tutor, Mr. Charles Wordsworth, that the examiners considered him and Robert
Scott, of Balliol, to be of equal merit and to come next to Brancker. Mr. Short
(afterwards Bishop of St. Asaph) had told him that Brancker owed his success to
taste, and that both Scott's and his own answers were too long, while Brancker had
answered all the questions briefly, and most of them rightly. The writer added
that Scott did not consider Brancker to have been so good a scholar as himself
when they were in the sixth form together at Shrewsbury. ( Temple Bar, vol. 68.)

4 The winners of the Ireland were George H. Johnson, Edward Massie,
Charles Borrett, Peter S. Payne, Thomas Brancker, and Robert Scott.

5 In 1830 the Pitt scholarship was adjudged to Charles Rann Kennedy, the
Ireland to Peter S. Payne, and the Oxford Craven to Robert Scott. Charles
Whitley, of St. John's College, Cambridge, was Senior Wrangler. It is but fair
to add that Shrewsbury is hardly justified in claiming credit for Charles Kennedy's
successes at Cambridge. He left Shrewsbury at Christmas, 1822, and was four
years at Birmingham School before going to college.


even visited Shrewsbury in order to see his methods in active
operation. On May 25th, 1829, the Rev. Henry Drury,
under master of Harrow, wrote to Dr. Butler asking, on his
own behalf, as well as on that of the Rev. C. T. Longley, D.D.,
who had just been appointed Head Master, for information
on various matters, but especially with regard to his system
of frequent examinations, which they wished " in some
measure to adopt." This letter produced an immediate
invitation from Dr. Butler. The two Harrow masters paid
a visit to Shrewsbury and saw all they could of the working
of the school. 1

A few months later Mr. Drury wrote word to Dr. Butler
that they had already "adopted many" of his "excellent
institutions." 2 Among these institutions was the half-yearly
examination, as we learn from a letter which Dr. Longley
wrote to Dr. Butler on December 2nd, enclosing his first set
of examination papers, expressing his gratification at the
good results of the experiment, and declaring his conviction
that these examinations might be made "an instrument of
great benefit to Harrow." 3

In 1834 again we find the Rev. C. E. Hawtrey, the new
Head Master of Eton, applying to Dr. Butler for similar
information about his system of examinations, especially
with regard to their effect on boys' position in the school,
and expressing his regret that the Provost of Eton would
only allow of "one change" being made on which he could
"engraft" Dr. Butler's "method." Mr. Hawtrey adds that
" the Newcastle " and the practice of " sending up for good "
were the only public stimulants to emulation in the fifth and
sixth forms at Eton. 4 In a subsequent letter the Eton Head
Master expressed his ardent desire to get regular half-yearly
examinations established, and his admiration for the whole
system pursued at Shrewsbury School.

It is interesting to find an Eton Head Master, more than

1 Butler's Life and Letters, vol. i. p. 355,
3 Ibid. t vol. i. p. 361.

3 Ibid., vol. i. p. 363.

4 Ibid., vol. it p. 91,


sixty years ago, expressing doubts as to the advantage of
sixth form boys having their lessons translated for them by
their tutors before going into school. 1 It is quite clear from
this correspondence that Dr. Butler regarded these examina-
tions, upon which the boys' position in their various forms
depended, as the corner-stone of his system. To use Dr.
Kennedy's words, Dr. Butler established " an emulative
system in which talent and industry always gained their
just recognition and reward in good examinations." 2

Accustomed as most of us have been all our lives to com-
petitive examinations, it is not easy at first to realize the fact
that in the early years of this century, although distinctions
at the universities were gained by examination, it was not
the practice at the public schools to make a boy's position in
his form or his promotion to a higher form dependent on the
results of a regular examination. No change, at any rate,
in the relative position of boys in the sixth form, was ever
made, so that when once a boy reached this position in the
school he was no longer stimulated to exertion by the hope
of success or the fear of failure. Another reason, in Dr.
Kennedy's opinion, for Dr. Butler's success with his pupils at
Shrewsbury, was his encouragement of private reading? But
perhaps he found his most effective means in the power he
possessed of exciting enthusiasm among the elder boys for
their classical work. One of his most distinguished scholars,
the Rev. W. G. Humphry, declared that Dr. Butler made his
pupils "believe that Latin and Greek were the only things
worth living for." 4

There was another part of Dr. Butler's system to which he
attached great importance as a means of keeping himself
au fait with the progress of individual boys in all parts of
the school, and on which he laid much stress in his dealings
with his assistant masters. He expected marks to be given
to every boy, both for lessons and exercises, and to receive a

1 Butler's Life and Letters, vol. ii. p. 91.

J Ibid., vol. i. p. 243.

3 Ibid., vol. i. p. 253.

4 Ibid., vol. i. p. 211.


list of these marks at the end of the month. This system of
marking was retained by Dr. Butler's successors, and is still
in use at Shrewsbury at the present day. In connection
with these marks he also instituted a system of monthly
merit-money, 1 which was continued by Dr. Kennedy, but
which was not regarded with much favour by the Public
School Commissioners, who described it as "a questionable
kind of reward . . . peculiar to Shrewsbury." 2

From an expression used by Dr. James in one of his
letters, "Have no merit -money yet. Query if ever?" 3 it
may be gathered that this form of reward was an original
invention of Dr. Butler. As an additional reason for Dr.
Butler's success his biographer suggests his habit of keeping
in touch with university thought and feeling by frequent
visits to Oxford and Cambridge. 4 But whatever may have
been the comparative effect of these various contributory
causes, there is no doubt, as was said in the Quarterly Review
shortly after Dr. Butler's death, that by his "example in
remodelling our public education " a stimulus was given
" which is now acting on almost all the public schools in the
country." 5 Dr. Monk, Bishop of Gloucester, when he heard
in the autumn of 1835 of Dr. Butler's intended resignation,
declared that there was nothing in scholastic history to
compare with his career except that of Busby. 6

About the same time the Rev. Henry Drury, of Harrow,
in still more definite language asserted his conviction that
"the advance of learning among the young ... at all
English schools of note " had " taken its impulse " from Dr.
Butler, and that Eton and Harrow would never have attained
their "moderate excellence" had not he been "the agitator." 7

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