Education For the Wealthy

Education for the wealthy can be really healthy !

Education for Males

Education flourished in the 16th century. Many rich men founded grammar schools. Boys usually went to a kind of nursery school called a 'petty school' first then moved onto grammar school when they were about seven. The school day began at 6 am in summer and 7 am in winter (people went to bed early and got up early in those days). Lunch was from 11 am to 1 pm. School finished at about 5 pm. Boys went to school 6 days a week and there were few holidays.

In the 16th century many children learned to read and write with something called a hornbook. It was not a book in the modern sense. Instead it was a wooden board with a handle. Fixed to the board was a sheet of paper with the alphabet and the Lord's prayer (the Our Father) written on it. The paper was usually protected by a thin slice of animal horn.

Discipline in Tudor schools was savage. The teacher often had a stick with birch twigs attached to it. Boys were hit with the birch twigs on their bare buttocks.

At about 15 or 16 the brightest boys might go to one of England's two universities, Oxford and Cambridge.

Of course many Tudor boys did not go to school at all. If they were lucky they might get a 7-year apprenticeship and learn a trade. Some craftsmen could read and write but few laborers could.

Education for females

As for girls, in a rich family a tutor usually taught them at home. In a middle class family their mother might teach them. Upper class and middle class women were educated. However lower class girls were not.

Education in the 17th century

Boarding schools for girls were founded in many towns. In them girls were taught subjects like writing, music and needlework, and education for males remained the same .