HC Deb 12 March 1855 vol 137 cc437-8

said, he would only for a very short time detain the House, if they would allow him an opportunity of doing justice to one of the greatest institutions of this country, by making a statement not without its interest to the country in general. The other night the state of our public schools was under consideration. It was felt at the most extensive of those schools, Eton, that justice had not been done to amendments which had been there accomplished, and, therefore, he now felt it due to that ancient foundation, where he had the happiness and honour to have been educated, briefly to recapitulate those amendments which had been made. The classics alone were formerly taught there. There were now added seven mathematical masters, forming a part of the regular system of the school. Facilities were given for military students by instruction in fortification. Ancient and modern history formed a part of the terminal examinations, as well as of periodical compositions. Modern languages (though they did not form a part of the system of education) were encouraged as objects of study, by frequent prizes. The scholars who went from Eton to King's College, Cambridge, underwent a thorough previous examination; the elections were entirely free; and all extensive library, containing 7,000 volumes, had been opened for the self-instruction of the school. He (Mr. Ewart), as an old Etonian, felt gratified at these unquestionable improvements. He only hoped they would be carried further, and he thanked the House for giving him an opportunity of doing justice to the efforts of an ancient foundation to which he was attached by deep and undiminished feelings of reverence and affection.

The House then resolved itself into it Committee of Supply.