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History of the Netherlands
Harrison's (W.) Humourist
Hay's (Major) Narrative of the Peninsular Campaigns
Heber, Life of Bishop .
Herrick's (Robert) Hesperides
Hinton's (John) History of the United States
Howitt's (R.) Antediluvian Sketches .
Journal of the Royal Institution of Britain
Journal, The Edinburgh New Philosophical
Kennedy's (late James) Conversations on Religion
Landseer's (Thomas) Sketches of Animals
Landscape Illustrations of the Waverley Novels
59, 110, 222
Lauder's (Sir Thomas Dick) Account of the Great Floods of
Library, the National, No. II.
Library, the Edinburgh Cabinet, Vol. I. and II.
Logan's (James) Scottish Gael
Love, Life of Dr J.
301 Memes's (Dr) Bourrienne's Memoirs of Bonaparte : 70, 121, 194
91 Murray's (John) Researches in Natural History
184 MacVicar's (J. G.) Elements of the Economy of Nature 26
375 Narrative of Discovery and Adventure in the Polar Seas 208
3 Nelson's (Rev. Thomas) Biographical Memoirs of Dr Oudney,
292 Pitcairn's (Robert) Account of the Families of Kennedy
362 Review of the Principles of Necessary and Contingent Truth 92
91 ADVERTISEMENTS, 150, 108,- also App. p. 1. et seq.
such as could read with difficulty, thirty-eight; among
such as had been tolerably educated, forty-four; and among EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND.
such as had received a superior education, sixty-five. Report of the Committee of the General
Assembly for in
These reflections have been suggested by the very increasing the means of Education and Religious instruc- teresting Report of the General Assembly's Committee tion in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and is for increasing the means of education and religious inlands.
Submitted to the General Assembly, May, struction in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. A 1830. Edinburgh.
series of the Committee's Reports, since the period of its
institution, is now before us, and we feel assured that we We have no intention to argue, at this time of day, the could not present our readers with any thing more inteadvantages of diffusing education through the whole body resting than a history of its labours. of the people. It is alike necessary in our crowded ma. There is nothing of which Scotland is more justly nufacturing districts, where the suffocating crowd engen- proud than the education of her peasantry. There is no ders a moral rottenness, and in our lonely valleys, where brighter gem in that crown of glory which hangs suspended the absence of human conversation petrifies or brutities over our national church, than her anxious care for the unithe heart. By awakening the intellectual powers, it, and versal diffusion of knowledge. But there is one part of it alone, raises man superior to his mere animal propen our land to which the benefits of this motherly solicitude sities, and gives him the mastery over them. There is not had not been able to penetrate,—those mountain and a more glaring error in the long catalogue of prejudices island districts chiefly inhabited by the Celtic race. Not to which men cling with such desperate affection, than that that the necessities of this part of our population were unwhich would persuade us, an uneducated community can known, but that all endeavours to remove them had hibe virtuous. They have, it is true, the common affec- therto been fruitless. An attempt was made by the Ge.. tions of humanity, and find a pleasure in their exercise ; neral Assembly, shortly after the Revolution, to secure but even in this gentler mood they are pettish, wayward, the education of a number of the native Gael competent and not to be depended upon; and let self once come in to act as ministers, but seems to have failed, for we hear the way, and their humanity quickly disappears. We no more of it. In 1704, the Commission of Assembly have now examined, sometimes with our own eyes, some was appointed, and instructed to raise a fund by parotimes in books, most countries in Europe, and although chial and other contributions, with a view to increasing we have found crime fostered and exaggerated by favour- the means of education in the Highlands. After five ing eircamstances, yet, amid all the anomalies of human years of fruitless attempts, the Assembly directed such skiety, we have found one principle always hold—the sums as had been collected, to be transferred to the Solower a community in the scale of intelligence, the lower ciety for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, at it likewise stands in moral worth. Two very striking that time recently established by a few private individuals, instances occur to us at this moment. The one belongs and erected into a corporation by a charter from Queen to our own country. The mining district of Leadhills, Anne. The society immediately applied these sums to on the borders of Clydesdale and Dumfries-shire, was the very object contemplated by the Assembly. Since noted about the commencement of the eighteenth cen- 1725, a sum has been annually allowed by government tury for being inhabited by the most lawless and brutal for the support of missionaries and catechists in the race in the south of Scotland. A Mr Goldie (of the Highlands and Islands, and administered by a Commitsame family, we believe, into which the lady married who tee of the Assembly. In addition to these provisions, furnished Sir Walter Scott with the first bint of his Jeanie there were the regular parish schools; and at a later date, Deans) was appointed superintendent of the lead mines those instituted by the Gaelic School Society, which, there, and conceived the idea of instituting a free school. however, confined themselves to elementary instruction The effects soon showed themselves. Since that time in reading Gaelic. With all these aids, however, the proLeadbills, although situated in an almost inaccessible part visions for education in the Highlands were extremely of the country, and affording what has ever been esteemed insufficient. It appeared from the returns obtained by one of the greatest encouragements to crime, a facility of Principal Baird in 1825, “ that in the six synods of Arescaping into a neighbouring jurisdiction, has given even gyle, Glenelg, Ross, Sutherland and Caithness, Orkney, less trouble to the county police than any of its neigh- and Shetland, containing 143 parishes, and a population bours. Our second instance is taken from an official re- of 377,730 persons, no less than 250 additional schools, port published in the Moniteur, concerning the adminis- and 130 catechists, were urgently called for." tration of justice in criminal matters for France in 1828. Dr Baird's attention was first directed to the state of According to this document, out of every hundred per our Highland population while acting as convener to a sons accused of criminal acts, on an average only forty Committee of the General Assembly, nominated to revise were found to have received even the slightest degree of and transmit to the several parishes the queries issued by instruction, whilst the other three-fifths were uniformly the Commission of Parliament appointed in 1818, to enfound in a state of the most congplete ignorance. A si- quire into the existing state of education throughout the milar proportion holds among those who were acquitted. United Kingdom. Štruck by the picture which these Among such as could neither read nor write, the propor- returns presented of the destitute condition of our Hightion of acquittals was thirty-seen in the hundred; among land districts, he persuaded, in 1824, the Presbytery of
Edinburgh to overture the ensuing Assembly on the sub-were justly deemed to have the more immediate claims on ject. Not contented with this, he stirred up several other their attention. Presbyteries and Synods with which he corresponded, to The Committee at the same time corresponded with follow the example thus set them. And finally, in order the heritors, from whom they solicited the accommodato create a popular inclination to the proposed measure, tions required:for the convenience of the schoolmasters. he prepared, a few weeks before the meeting of the As- These consisted of_lst. A school-house; 2d. A dwellsembly, an abstract of the returns, so far as they illustra- ing-house, containing two apartments at least ; 3d. A garted the more striking deficiencies in education and religions den ; 4th. Fuel ; 5th. Grass for the summer and winter knowledge throughout the Highlands and Islands. This maintenance of a cow. They were encouraged to demand abstract was printed and circulated largely among the so much, by the success which had attended similar apMembers of Assembly during the first days of the Ses- plications on the part of the Society for Propagating sion. These industrious preparations, seconded by a host Christian Knowledge. It had been found, too, that the of talent in the Assembly, were successful. A committee heritors, who had thus contributed in behalf of the Sowas appointed to digest a plan for the promotion of edu- ciety's schools, were led to take a warmer interest in their cation in such districts as should be found most to stand welfare. And it has since appeared, that the provision in need of assistance; and also, to ascertain what degree of such accommodations has the effect of increasing the of co-operation might be expected from heritors and other respect paid to the schoolmaster by the peasantry. inhabitants of the country on the one hand, and from go The Committee next set itself to prepare a set of eleVernment on the other.
mentary school-books in the Gaelic language.
These are The first meeting of the Committee was held in the four in number, and are sold for 1s. 2d. The set of month of June, 1824. The first step taken was to de- English school-books which was afterwards added costs volve the active management of the business intrusted to 2s. 4d. Thus a scholar is enabled to procure, for 3s. 6d., them on a Sub-committee, consisting of a select few of all the books which he requires, from the time he comtheir number. This was wisely done,for, though the mences the alphabet, till he finishes his course of elemany may deliberate, it is only the few who can execute. mentary instruction. This Sub-committee has been continued upon the suc It is not to be thought that the Committee set about cessive re-appointments of its constituent, and has hither- these operations exactly in the order here stated, or that to acted as the sole executive. Those gentlemen who only one of them occupied their attention at one time. have deserved so well of the Highlands ought to be held We have merely mentioned their occupations thus systemin memory, and what little we can contribute to that de-atically and apart, in order to give the reader a clearer sirable end, shall not be wanting. The Sub-committee notion of what they effected. They were likewise busied, consists of the Rev. Principal Baird; Dr David Dick- during that year, examining candidates for employment son, Dr_Andrew Thomson, Dr John Lee; and John as teachers; framing regulations for the management of Tawse, Robert Paul, James MʻInnes, and Robert Roy, their schools ; and devising a form of commission for Esquires. To these we may add the name of Mr Gor their schoolmasters. But, above all, they were busy redon, the indefatigable and intelligent secretary of the commending and encouraging parochial collections in the Committee.
churches and chapels of ease of the establishment, and soThe Committee commenced its operations by prepa- liciting general subscriptions from other sources. In stirring a set of queries, which were transmitted early in the ring up the public mind, they were spurring a willing summer to every clergyman in Scotland. The informa- horse. They were enabled to report to the General Astion sought was, in what districts the provisions for the sembly, in 1826, that a fund had been realized, amounteducation of the community were most deficient; and ing to £5488—chiefly derived from parochial collections also,“ how far heritors and other parishioners, forming -although not one-half of the parishes of Scotland had the respectable and elevated classes, might be disposed to at that date found it convenient to contribute. They concur in supporting the proposed undertaking, upon a announced to the Assembly, at the same time, that they free charitable contribution, that should preserve it inde- had, after due enquiry, selected forty stations for schools, pendent of any aid from government, like other institu- in different districts, throughout the Highlands and Istions of a similar nature in Scotland.” The returns to lands, where heritors had engaged to supply the requisite these queries established a fearfully low state of educa- accommodations; and that they had already two schools tional provisions in the Highlands and Islands ; but at in actual operation. The first of the Assembly's schools the same time, the existence of an ardent desire of know was established at Ullapool in the month of October, ledge on the part of the population, a liberal willingness 1825. on the part of the heritors to lend their assistance, and a In 1827, the Committee communicated to the Assemfair hope that, for the present at least, any aid from go-bly the gratifying intelligence, that L.2151 had been addvernment might be dispensed with. The Assembly, uponed to their fund during the preceding year ; that thirty. receiving, in 1825, the Committee's report of these cir-five schools had been placed under the management of cumstances, authorised them to ascertain the practicabi- well-qualified teachers; and that eighty-six stations had lity of the plan they had recommended.
been selected for the purpose of planting schools, as soon The committee now corresponded extensively with the as accommodations should be provided. The Committee Highland clergymen respecting the most suitable stations had by this time found themselves in a situation to turn for schools. By these gentlemen two sorts of exigencies were their attention to those districts which were possessed of submitted to their notice. In the one case, owing to the elementary schools, but were too poor to support a teacher want of any school whatever, the population of whole dis- of the higher branches of education, although the public tricts were unable to read or write. In the other, the com mind was sufficiently advanced to be aware of their immon branches had been taught more generally; but the portance. The plan was adopted of offering to teachers desire of the people, seconded by the recommendation of the qualified in the higher branches a salary exceeding by a heritors and ministers, was, that tuition in Latin, geogra- trifle what was offered to mere elementary teachers; and phy, and practical mathematics, should also be afforded to on such terms a number of well-qualified individuals was such as wished it. In both cases the Committee recog
soon obtained. nised the propriety of these suggestions, remembering (to The receipts of the Committee in 1827-8 amounted to use their own words) “ the generous views entertained, somewhat more than L. 1600. The number of schools centuries ago, by the legislature of this country, when, in active operation at the close of this year was not fewer even at a less enlightened period, it enjoined the means of than seventy. The receipts from May, 1828, to May, a classical education to be provided at every parish school." 1829, somewhat exceeded L.2700. After all the expenses Those districts, however, which stood in the first case, incurred during the year had been paid off, there remained