Academies of the Reverend Bartholomew Booth in Georgian England and Revolutionary America. Enlightening the Curriculum

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Drawing on a vast range of archival sources on both sides of the Atlantic, this volume pieces together an intriguing story of patronage, adversity and success, and reveals the vitality of a hitherto unknown aspect of the history of education in 18th century England and Revolutionary America. Bartholomew Booth, Oxford-educated, entered the Church of England and became a country schoolmaster. He opened his own academies first in Liverpool, later in Lancashire and Essex, offering an unusually wide curriculum, broadly following the educational philosophy of Benjamin Franklin. Booth emigrated to Maryland in 1773 with two of his three sons, his two patronesses. After siding with the Revolutionary cause, he returned to his educational work and opened academies in Maryland, at The Forest of Needwood and at Delamer, for the sons of the leaders of the Revolution, including Benedict Arnold, Dr. William Shippen, and members of the Washington family. Despite the privations of war, his work prospered and the popularity of his enlightened curriculum endured until his death in 1785.


"Maurice Whitehead has undertaken considerable and rewarding research in building up a vivid picture of Booth's life and work. . . . The author's account of Booth's schools in Lancashire, Cheshire and Essex, with their modern curriculum, throws much light on an underresearched period of English educational history. Of more than ordinary interest, however, is Booth's subsequent concern in Maryland at a time of deep crisis in the American colonies. . . . his academy at Needwood attracted the patronage of such figures as Benedict Arnold and Richard Henry Lee. It is interesting, too, to speculate on the extent to which Booth contributed wot the transmission of English educational practice into the United States. This book can be warmly recommended as dealing with this and many other questions." - Peter Gordon

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