BUSINESS WOMEN IN
VICTORIAN HASTINGS & ST LEONARDS
Owners of private schools
Prior to the introduction of state education in 1870 there were four types of school: endowed, church, ragged and private.
Endowed schools and ragged schools (founded 1844) were set up to benefit those who could not afford to pay for schooling and were funded by philanthropists. The vast majority of endowed schools, however, were for boys only.
National Schools were owned and run by the Church of England on religious principles and British and Foreign Schools were run by nonconformist churches. National and British Schools both opened in Hastings in 1835.
By the time Queen Victoria ascended the throne, there were already a number of private schools in Hastings that were owned by women. The owners and (where employed) teachers were unqualified and untrained, but had themselves been taught by private governesses and tutors or at similar schools.
Private schools, 1839
Boarding school: 2 Wellington square: Sarah Bray
Private school: 115-6 High street: Misses Clarke
Private school: 81 High street: Miss Jackson & Miss Dunk
Private school: 55 Marina: Ann Edgar
Seminary: Misses Eliza, Margaret & Jane Twiddy, 81 High street
Seminary: Mrs. And Miss Blogg, 115 High street
Seminary: Miss Whistler, High street
Seminary: Miss Dunk, Castle hill
West Hill Preparatory: Laura Phillips
Preparatory school for gents: Miss Lydia Borrow, 117 High street. (Lydia and her sister Martha ran this highly-regarded school from 1837 to 1874.)
As the years progressed seminaries became numerous and the censuses show that children were sent from all over the world to be educated in Sussex.
Bessie Rayner Parkes
Dr Sophia Jex Blake
Dr Elizabeth Blackwell
Dr Anna Kingsford