[From Choice Presentments ]

Schoolmasters presented for not attending church with scholars

Oct 19th 1822 Joseph Dodd master Mathematical school for not attending with his ch;Thos Quine English school for like.

This provoked the following letter from Thomas Quine to Revd Thos Stephen Vicar general Marown:

Peel 20th Octr 1822
Revd Sir
I am sensible that I take a
great liberty in addressing you on a subject
which is intended for your judicial consideration
but being unaccustomed to public speaking.
I trust you will pardon my presuming to
offer you a short statements of the Matter in
Question previous to my appearing in court.
I am preceptor in a free School at Peel;
established for the Education of children in the
branches of reading & writing only - the number
of children are unlimited, & at present amount
to 101.
It was heretofore customary for the masters
of the school to attend the several scholars every
sunday to the Parish Church where a commodious
pew was appropriated to their use - this duty, Sir
I invariably performed until the Church
underwent repar four or five years ago, when
the pew which was devoted to the use of the
children of my school was demolished and the scite
thereof converted to other purposes.
This being the case, and the parents of the
children having in general no seats for the
accomodation of their children the practice
of their going to Church in procession was
necessarily discontinued.
Notwithstanding this prevention, I make
it a rule every Saturday morning most strictly
to injoin all their attendance at divine worship
& on Monday mornings, on ascertaining the
disobedience of this injunction, I never fail
to inflict a suitable punishment. This
course, so far from producing any salutary effect,
serves only to bring down upon me the resentment
of the parents of these children so punished
by whom I am constantly told that I have no
right of control over my pupils except during
the school hours ; and that in the matter of
attending Church they were alone to be consulted;
alledging at the same time various excuses, such
as want of proper rainment &c ; and some of them
have actually gone so far as to threaten me with
personal violence for presuming to interfere in
the affair.
Under these circumstances I humbly
trust Sir you will hold me guiltless of the
offense imputed to me. I would gladly attend my
scholars to Church as formerly if any place was
provided for their reception, & I could be
protected from the wrath of their parents.
My most earnest desire is to have the
reciprocal duties of Master & Scholars most
rigidly exacted ; & it would really, Sir, be a
matter of the highest satisfaction to me if
trustees or overseers should be appointed over
us to superintend & enforce these duties. I pray
that such appointments may be made. I shall
then and not till then receive that justice
which it is impossible to expect from the
unreasonable & arbitrary interference of the
children's parents  at present
I am Sir
yr most obt hble Sen
Thos Quine

I have not yet found any follow up other than the initial request by the court to request the Masters to respond.

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