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Manning Index of South Australian History
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    Adelaide - Education

    Early Adelaide Schools

    (Taken from Geoffrey H. Manning's A Colonial Experience)

    Mrs Hillier's Ladies School (see under next heading) in Pavilion Cottage, Currie Street, opposite to Gilles Arcade, was advertised in the Register, 20 January 1838 and ante-dates those of Rev Stow and Mr J.H. Shepherdson by some months, but Rev Stow's announcement on 29 September 1838 of his intention to open a boarding school as soon as the necessary buildings were completed, also shows that at that date he had a school which seems to have been well established and efficiently staffed. Samuel Stow, late master of a grammar school in Suffolk, England, was announced as one of the teachers at the new school - It has been erroneously stated that Samuel Stow was a brother of Rev Stow, but he had no brother of that name.

    Rev Stow arrived in October 1837 and erected a tent on the banks of the River Torrens near modern-day Morphett Street bridge. Here he lived and held services as the pioneer Congregational minister of the settlement. Within a few months he moved into a hut, built by himself, which was large enough to serve the dual purpose of church and schoolroom. His boarding school occupied the site upon which the State bank premises stand at the corner of Gawler Place and Pirie Street.

    PRG 280/1/2/315In May of 1838 an address by Mr Bonnar in the Theatre Royal, Franklin Street, was mentioned; this gentleman was probably Mr J.J. Bonnar of Mount Barker, a schoolmaster, who became a lawyer and to whom Judge J.H. Gordon was articled. In November 1838 Miss Holbrook of Carolina Place taught French, music and drawing and, by 1839, she was in charge of Trinity School, the anniversary of which was noted in the Register on 8 June 1839 - the Governor's wife, Mrs Gawler, was mentioned as patron. In 1839 Mr McGowan's school was in Coromandel Place and in 1843 it removed to Stephens Place.

    In 1840 the Rev Drummond, in Angas Street, and Rev G. Skey, in Gouger Street, had schools and there were the following ladies' schools: Mrs Yeates, Gouger Street; Mrs Debney, Leigh Street; Mrs MacGowan, Grenfell Street and Mrs Williams, North Terrace. It was recorded in 1840 that £4,000 had been subscribed for a proprietary college but the collapse which caused the recall of Governor Gawler, and the strict economy of Governor Grey, set back its establishment and it was not until 7 April 1847 that its foundation was announced.

    In the Southern Australian of 9 April 1841 Mr J. Noonan advertised that, 'God willing', he would open an evening school in Trinity Schoolroom and he apparently did so, but in October 1843 relinquished it.

    Mrs Hillier's School

    As stated in the previous section Mrs Hillier's school was first conducted in Currie Street, but some doubts have been expressed by both Mrs Birks, grand-daughter of the original proprietor of the Register, Mr Robert Thomas, and Mr T.H. Smeaton who said:

    Mrs Hillier was born in England on 30 August 1800. Her children were William, Ann (married to Mr McCloud), Jane (unmarried) and John (a member of the staff of the Register). Mrs Hillier started a school in England, possibly after her husband's death. Frances, Amelia and Mary Thomas (aunt of Mrs Helen Birks) and Mr Evan K. Thomas, attended this school before they left England.

    Mrs Birks continues:

    Following Mrs Hillier's death her daughter, Ann, who had assisted at the school, opened her own school at Dorsetta Terrace, Brighton.

    General Notes

    Early schools are listed in the Southern Australian,
    26 March 1840, page 4a.
    "Early Adelaide Schools" is in the Observer,
    21 August 1926, page 57a.

    Information on the first school in Adelaide conducted at the rear of Trinity Church is in the Register,
    6 June 1918, page 9f,
    5 August 1926, page 10e,
    "Early Adelaide Schools" on
    7, 10 and 16 August 1926, pages 13h, 13a and 5e.

    A letter from Mr J.B. Shepherdson is in the Observer,
    8 September 1894, page 11c; also see
    8 September 1894, page 29a,
    1 February 1902, page 3d.
    His obituary is in the Observer,
    29 May 1897, page 46a.

    A proposed Public Female School is discussed in the Observer,
    12 August 1843, page 7c and
    a proposed Female College in the Register,
    28 and 30 June 1869, pages 3a and 3e,
    22, 27 and 29 July 1869, pages 3e, 3h and 3f.
    Also see South Australia - Women - Education.

    The prospectus of the Proprietary Academy appears in the Southern Australian,
    30 August 1844, page 3b; also see
    South Australian,
    23 March 1847, page 4c.
    Its first examinations are reported on
    23 June 1848, page 2e.

    Examinations at Mr Serle's school in Rundle Street are reported in the South Australian,
    22 December 1846, page 5b,
    at the Rundle Street Grammar School are reported in the Observer,
    2 January 1869, page 6g.

    Examinations at the Adelaide Grammar School are discussed in the Register on
    19 December 1846, page 2d and
    of the Commercial School in the Adelaide Times on
    25 December 1848, page 2e and
    the Albert House Academy on
    16 June 1851, page 3d.

    An article on schools is in the Observer,
    1 July 1848, page 3c.

    The establishment of the South Australian High School is reported in the South Australian,
    28 June 1850, page 2b.

    Information on the Albert House Academy is in the Observer,
    26 March 1853, page 6e and
    the German Academy in Freeman Street in the Observer,
    24 June 1854, page 10f.

    Examinations at the Victoria Square Academy are reported in the Observer,
    25 June 1859, page 8a,
    15 December 1860, page 3f.

    The names of licensed teachers in the city are in the Express,
    30 December 1865, page 2c.

    The opening of Prince Alfred College is reported in the Express,
    25 May 1869, page 2d,
    14 June 1869, page 2c,
    26 June 1869, page 11c;
    a sketch is in Frearson's Weekly,
    25 September 1880, page 452.
    "Prince Alfred College - A Survey of Its History" is in the Advertiser,
    20 July 1923, page 13; also see
    The News,
    12 November 1932, page 4e.
    Photographs of the war memorial are in the Observer,
    28 July 1923, page 27,
    of a fete on
    3 November 1923, page 29,
    of old collegian sports' teams on
    26 July 1924, page 34,
    2 August 1924, page 33,
    of a school jubilee on
    21 July 1928, page 35,
    of a football team on
    10 July 1930, page 34.
    "College Days Recalled - Old Boys of Prince Alfred" is in The News,
    23 July 1925, page 12e.
    Also see Place Names - Kent Town.

    "Schools for the Poor" is in the Chronicle,
    11 December 1869, page 6b,
    18 June 1870, page 12f,
    "Free Evening School" on
    29 January 1870, page 11g.

    Information on a "Free Evening School" is in the Register,
    25 January 1870, page 6e and
    12 March 1870, page 4a,
    while a "Ragged" school conducted in the Halifax Street Mill is described in the Register,
    15 July 1872, page 5e.

    "An Elementary School for Adelaide" is in the Observer,
    3 February 1872, page 13f,
    "Education in the City of Adelaide" in the Register,
    17 January 1873, page 4f.

    A proposed Model School is discussed in the Advertiser,
    18 and 19 March 1872, pages 2d and 2c.
    An editorial on the "City Model Schools" is in the Register,
    26 January 1874, page 5a; also see
    16 June 1874, page 5e.
    Also see South Australia - Education - Model Schools.

    "Education in the City" is in the Observer,
    27 July 1872, page 13e,
    18 January 1873, page 4g,
    1 March 1873, page 13b,
    24 February 1873, page 4f.

    The Adelaide Training School is discussed in the Register,
    12 June 1876, page 6a.

    A Day Nursery in Victoria Square is described in the Register,
    3 July 1880, page 6a; also see
    9 January 1889, page 5b and Day Nursery.
    "Day Nurseries Needed" is in The News,
    3 January 1929, page 9a.

    A new school for cooking in Flinders Street is reported upon in the Register,
    20 July 1880, page 5c; also see
    26 July 1880, page 6f and
    1 July 1904, page 9c for information on the Grote Street Domestic Economy School.
    Also see South Australia - Women - Domestic Science.

    Examination results of Hardwicke House Ladies College are in the Register,
    20 December 1880, page 6f;
    a sketch is in the Pictorial Australian in
    February 1884, page 19, see
    24 December 1880, page 7a for Miss Gregson's Young Ladies Seminary in Hanson Street.

    The opening of an art school is reported in the Express,
    12 October 1881, page 3d.

    The Grote Street Model School is described in the Register,
    13 June 1882, page 6d and
    the opening of the Sturt Street school on
    12 June 1883, page 7b.

    Information on Whinham College is in the Observer,
    30 September 1882, page 8d;
    a sports day is reported on
    19 November 1887, page 19e,
    10 November 1888, page 15e;
    a reunion of students of the college in the Register,
    22 and 24 October 1928, pages 16h and 15a,
    2, 3, 8, 16, 27, 28 and 29 November 1928, pages 10a, 13c, 12h, 15e, 10a, 10h and 12g.
    Reminiscences are in the Observer,
    4 August 1900, page 33a.
    A photograph is in the Observer,
    20 October 1928, page 36.
    Also see Place Names - North Adelaide.

    An Advanced School for Girls is discussed in the Register,
    16 January 1883, pages 4e-6e.

    A School of Design is discussed in the Chronicle,
    21 February 1885, page 5g.

    The laying of the foundation stone of the Currie Street School is reported in the Observer,
    30 August 1890, page 7a.

    An inspection of city schools is reported in the Advertiser,
    18 November 1893, page 6a.

    The laying of the foundation stone of the Gilles Street School is reported in the Advertiser,
    5 September 1899, page 7c.

    Reminiscences of Mr J.L. Young's school in Stephens Place are in the Register,
    4 January 1897, page 6d,
    15 and 22 March 1897, pages 6e and 6h,
    9 and 30 January 1897, pages 34a and 35a,
    20 and 27 March 1897, pages 33c and 34e,
    3 April 1897, page 33c; also see
    9 July 1912, page 10d,
    11 and 12 October 1912, pages 8d and 14g,
    18 October 1921, page 9b.
    Mr Young's obituary is in the Observer,
    10 September 1881, page 15b.

    The opening of a new agricultural school in the Old Exhibition Building is reported in the Register,
    2 July 1897, page 6c.

    Information on The Adelaide Shorthand and Business Training Academy is in the Chronicle,
    30 December 1899, page 42c.
    A photograph of a picnic appears on
    19 November 1904, page 29.

    A sports day at the Christian Brothers' College is reported in the Chronicle,
    10 November 1900, page 32c,
    27 July 1929, page 33,
    of the cadet corps on 31 August 1907, page 28,
    of a fete on 30 October 1926, page 32,
    of the school on 4 August 1928, page 35.

    "How the Christian Brothers Started Colleges in Adelaide" is in The News,
    3 December 1932, page 4e.

    Information on the Remington Business College is in the Express,
    21 December 1905, page 2d.

    A photograph of a kindergarten display at the Methodist Ladies College is in the Observer,
    27 April 1907, page 28,
    of the college's hockey and tennis teams on
    31 August 1907, page 28,
    a visit from the Governor-General on
    6 March 1909, page 30,
    school extensions on
    1 May 1909, page 30,
    of a tennis team on
    21 May 1910, page 30,
    of a sports day on
    1 May 1930, page 34,
    of a football team on
    3 July 1930, page 31.

    The opening of the Adelaide Continuation School is reported in the Advertiser,
    21 January 1908, page 4g,
    1 February 1908, page 10d and
    that of Adelaide High School on
    25 September 1908, page 10a; also see
    25 October 1910, page 8f and
    26 January 1912, page 12a,
    18 January 1916, page 7c,
    29 November 1929, page 20c,
    18 January 1916, page 1g.

    A photograph of the opening of the Presbyterian Ladies College is in the Observer,
    29 May 1909, page 28,
    25 February 1922, page 26; also see
    28 April 1923, page 29,
    of a hockey team on
    15 August 1925, page 32.

    The opening of new premises for Muirden College and a history of it appears in the Advertiser,
    5 October 1909, page 9e;
    a picnic is reported in the Express,
    23 October 1896, page 4e.
    A photograph is in the Chronicle,
    20 November 1909, page 30.

    "Old Time Schoolmasters and Schools" is in the Register,
    14 November 1913, page 3e.

    The foundation of a School for Mothers is reported in the Register,
    24 January 1914, page 16f

    a free kindergarten on
    15 June 1925, page 5h and
    a teachers' college in Kintore Avenue on
    5 December 1925, page 8c;
    its opening is reported on
    22 March 1927, page 10f.

    Information on Mr Thomas Burgan, "An Honored Educationist - One of Adelaide's Early Schoolmasters" is in the Advertiser, 18 November 1916, page 11a.

    Photographs of the opening of the West End Kindergarten are in the Observer,
    25 June 1921, page 26,
    of a Walford House hockey team on
    4 August 1923, page 30,
    13 September 1924, page 34,
    15 August 1925, page 32,
    28 August 1926, page 32,
    of the school on
    16 August 1924, page 31.The News,
    5 February 1924, page 7d; also see
    17 December 1932, page 4e and
    Place Names - Kensington.

    Photographs of college girls' sports are in the Observer,
    9 August 1924, page 33.

    Information on "Girton House School" is in The News,
    26 October 1925, page 4e,
    "Founder of Girton - Death of Mrs J.A. Smith" is in the Register,
    22 June 1926, page 10f.
    A photograph of a basketball team is in the Observer,
    28 August 1926, page 32.

    Information on the School of Arts is in The News,
    19 May 1926, page 11f and
    the Adelaide Technical High School on
    3 May 1928, page 11a.

    "Schools for Girls" is in The News,
    8 November 1928, page 10c (MLC); also see
    8 December 1932, page 6e,
    15 November 1928, page 11a (Presbyterian Girls'),
    22 November 1928, page 12f (Girton),
    29 November 1928, page 12 (Woodlands),
    6 December 1928, page 12c (Convent of Mercy),
    13 December 1928, page 12f (St Peter's); also see
    17 November 1932, page 6e,
    20 December 1928, page 11b (Riverside, Fitzroy),
    27 December 1928, page 5f (Poltoonga),
    3 January 1929, page 8f (Cabra),
    10 January 1929, page 9e (Highclere).

    "School Songs - Fine Local Examples" is in The News,
    20 December 1928, page 16e.

    A photograph of St Mark's College football team is in the Observer,
    10 July 1930, page 34.

    Information on Scotch College is in The News,
    25 November 1932, page 6e.

    A photograph of a Loreto Convent tennis team is in the Chronicle,
    28 November 1935, page 38.

    "Schoolgirls of Yesteryear" is in The News,
    13 and 20 February 1936, pages 13 and 13,
    3 March 1936, page 9a - these articles include the history of several private schools in Adelaide and suburbs.