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OSTLE, William

Three-volume Manuscript Course Book.

I. Navigation & Algebra; II. Arithmetic; III. Gauging and Land Surveying.

Published: Silloth, Cumbria: Green-Row Academy, 1816-7

Stock code: 96097

Price: £1,750

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Highly attractive, and well-executed examples of these manuscript course/exercise books, covering a technical syllabus typical of those designed for boys destined for nautical or clerical careers. They were produced by a pupil at Joseph Saul’s exceptional Green Row Academy, near Silloth in Cumbria. Saul was the son of a Quaker minister from Beckfoot a few miles down the coast from Silloth, who began his career as a tutor in 1783, with two just pupils, a number which by 1811 had grown to 135. An advertisement in the Carlisle Journal form July 1812 runs as follows; “At Green-row young gentlemen are boarded and taught the English, Latin, Greek and French Languages. Writing, Stenography, Drawing, Arithmetic, Booking [bookkeeping], the Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. In Navigation, Geography, and Astronomy the Students are accommodated with Maps, Globes, Sextants, Telescopes, etc. and in the several branches of the Natural Philosophy they have the use of appropriate Apparatus. The French language is taught by a native of France, and drawing by a student of the Royal Academy … Terms 25 guineas per annum” (Grainger & Collingwood, Register & Records of Holm Cultram). The school was visited by John Christian Curwen, lord of the manor of Workington, twice MP for Carlisle, abolitionist and a notable liberal reformer, after praising the management he continued; “No noise! and yet the gaiety which was discoverable in every face proclaimed this not to be the reluctant submission effected by the fear of punishment but the fruit of an early sense of propriety. To my astonishment, I was in the next room to 135 boys at supper, without being incommoded … I do not know how higher eulogium can be made on any man that to state he was the author of what must procure so much happiness … A further gratification arises from contemplating what Mr. Saul has done. He was educated in this parish, and affords an instance of what the good sense and spirit of the inhabitants off this district are capable of effecting when properly called into exertion”. Interesting piece with an appeal both to pedagogical and regional history.

3 volumes quarto (253 197 mm) Contemporary mottled half calf, marbled boards, red morocco labels, compartments formed by single gilt foliate roll. Water-colour title page to volume I, folding map with compass rose “A Chart from England to the Cape Verde Islands”, folding diagrammatic plate, folding table, numerous diagrams to the text, some with outline colour, over 1,100 pages of manuscript text. A little rubbed and bumped, spines somewhat craquelured, head- and tail-cap of volume II chipped, light browning to contents, else very good.

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