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August 15th, 1882.
more than seven years ago, a considerable period was unavoidably occupied in deliberating upon questions connected with the site, structural details, and educational plans; and about two years ago there was at length commenced the erection of the buildings just completed. The style of architecture-Mr. Basil Champneys being the architect—is early Jacobian.
The general governing body of the Harpur Trust, which was founded by Sir W. Harpur, a native of Bedford, about three centuries.ago, comprises twenty-seven members. Provision was made for an independent governing body for the girls' schools, to consist of five ladies and eight gentlemen, the fund required for the building itself having to be raised under other provisions of the new foundation. The chairman of this new body is Dr. Storrar, chairman of Convocation in the University of London; and the five lady governors are Miss Whitbread (sister of Mr. S. Whitbread, M.P.), Mrs. George Higgins (of Bedford), Mrs. Phillpotts (wife of the head master of the Bedford Grammar School), Miss Smith (University Museum, Oxford), and Miss Martin (Londou). Practically the schools formally inaugurated yesterday began their educational career on the 1st of May, and there are already 46 pupils in the High School, and 76 in the Modern one. The terms of the former are-entrance fee, £2; for girls under thirteen, £9 a year; over thirteen, £12; while for the Modern School the entrance fee is £l, and the charge for tuition only £4 a year. The curriculum is in both cases ample and comprehensive, and it should be added that there is nothing whatever but difference of terms to prevent any girl from entering the High School and sharing in the more advanced--and in duration the more prolonged -culture afforded there. Bedford was en fête on the formal opening day, the chief streets being gay with flags, and the event quite a public one in the interest excited. The ceremony commenced at three o'clock in the central hall, where several hundred ladies and gentlemen of the town and district, and a few visitors from London, were assembled. Lady Isabella Whitbread, wife of Mr. S. Whitbread, M.P. for Bedford, performed the leading part in the opening; and among those pre
sent were Earl Cowper (Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordsbire) and the Countess Cowper, the Marquis of Tavistock, M.P., Mr. Whitbread, M.P. (chairman of the General Governing Body of the Harpur Trust), Mr. C. Magniac, M.P. for Bedford, Dr. Storrar, and others.
The pupils of the schools were present, as were also Mrs. McDowell, head mistress of the High School, and Miss Porter, head mistress of the Modern School. The opening ceremony consisted partly of addresses, and partly of the performance of a suitable musical programme by an excellent choir of ladies and gentlemen resident in Bedford and the vicinity. After an introductory address from Earl Cowper, Lady Isabella Whitbread made some remarks on the beneficial effects of higher female education, and, alluding to fears sometimes expressed as to its tendency, observed that the parents of the girls educated there need not be afraid that they would be less useful at home, or that any of them would in after-life be less useful wives and mothers than they otherwise would be, as the education would not only be of the higher kind, but also be practical, while the pupils would be well grounded in the principles of that Christian faith which was one of the foundations of all true wisdom. Her ladyship concluded by declaring the schools open.-Addresses were also delivered by Dr. Storrar, who briefly sketched the history of female education from the reign of Elizabeth down to the present time, and expressed confidence in the complete success of the schools then formally opened; Mr. $. Whitbread, M.P., Mr. C. Magniac, M.P., and the Mayor of Bedford. The proceedings concluded with a cordial vote of thanks to Lady Isabella Whitbread, and the singing of the National Anthem.
THE Council of University College have accepted a fund raised in memory of Miss Ellen Watson, a former student. A memorial scholarship consisting of the income of the fund is open to students of either sex, who display any marked merit in applied mathematics. POSITION OF GIRLS IN THE INTERMEDIATE
EXAMINATIONS IN IRELAND. At another meeting of Irish ladies, held at the house of Lady McClure, the memorial to which we referred in
our last number was fully drawn up, and it was resolved that copies should be circulated for signature. The memorial is to the Board of Intermediate Education, and is to be signed by Irish women over the age of sixteen; while a separate form is to be signed only by women and girls who have passed Irish University or Intermediate Examinations. The memorial is as follows:
MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN, -We acknowledge with much gratitude the advantages which the Intermediate Examination system has conferred upon the girls of Ireland, and the consideration with which your Board has administered the system in regard to them, but we have learned with much regret that changes have been made in the programme of your examinations creating a difference in subjects and standards between the boys and girls who present themselves as candidates.
As all the great English educational examinations are the same for men and women, and for boys and girls, we feel strongly that the institution of any such difference in Irish examinations will put Irish women at a great practical disadvantage. Having heard that several societies of ladies engaged in promoting the higher education of women, as well as many eminent men, have already appealed to you against these changes, we desire to add our earnest entreaties that no rules may be laid down, which shall in any way make the examinations unequal in value to girls as compared with boys, either. in regard to their educational or their pecuniary importance.
Papers and copies of the memorial can be obtained from
Miss La Touche, 15, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin.
Mrs. T. Garrett, 40, Scarsdale Villas, Kensington, London.
THE WOMEN'S EDUCATION UNION.-On the dissolution of this Union, a testimonial, consisting of a handsome piece of plate and a purse of one hundred guineas, has been presented by some influential members of the Union to Miss Louisa Brough, in recognition of her services as secretary, and as a mark of their personal regard and esteem.
WELSH CHARITY SCHOOL AT ASHFORD, MIDDLESEX.This school will be opened in October next as a middle class school for girls, whose mother or father was “ born in Wales, Monmouthshire, or the parishes of Oswestry, Selattyn and Llanymynech, in the county of Salop." With great inconsistency neither the mat
nor any of
the teachers is a native of Wales, nor has any connection with that country. A most important point also or consideration is, that ladies ought to participate in any committee which has the management of girls' schools. This is not yet the case.
EISTEDDFOD.--Mrs. Hoggan, M.D., and Miss Davies, will read papers at the meeting of the National Eisteddfod, at Denbigh, on Tuesday, August 22nd. Mrs. Rhys, of Oxford, will also preside at one of the meetings. We believe this is the first time that ladies have taken a part in the meetings of the Eisteddfod.
CORRUPT PRACTICES BILL AND POLICE REGULA.
TION BILL. Among the measures abandoned by the Government this Session are the two above-mentioned Bills, in which women were very materially interested. The debate on Mr. Mason's resolution for Women's Suffrage had been fixed for July 21st, but the third division on the Arrears Bill did not take place till half-past twelve, at which time it would have been manifestly unwise to have forced on a fresh debate. Mr. Mason, therefore, withdrew his resolution. There still remained the resolutions, placed on the order book of the House of Commons by Mr. Mason and Mr. Anderson, in Committee on the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt Practices) Bill, and the Ballot Act Continuance and Amendment Bill respectively. The former is now abandoned, and with it the last chance of discussing the question of Women's Surffage this Session.
The Police Regulation Bill which has also been dropped, involved the interests of women indirectly. The Bill was “to make provision respecting the pensions, allowances and gratuities of police constables in Great Britain, and their widows and children, and to make other provisions respecting the police of Great Britain." Under these other provisions were changes, which would have practically carried over the control of the police from the local magistrates to the Home Secretary. Anything which lessens the authority of the local ratepayers by lessening the authority of their local administration, is injurious both to men and
women; but inasmuch as the male ratepayer has the parliamentary vote, and thereby some slight influence over the Home Department, it injures him less than the female ratepayer who has no parliamentary vote. Women also being physically weaker, are more dependent on the good behaviour of the police than men, and they are far more at their mercy. At present, through the municipal franchise, they have some voice in saying how the local police whose office is to guard their persons and property shall be controlled; but that voice would be absolutely silenced if the police force is handed over to the control of the Home Secretary.
The Journal of the Vigilance Association says very justly :
This is not the moment when the country can afford to have their voice so silenced; nor is it the moment when women will relinquish the little power they possess without a struggle to retain it for their own sakes and for the country's good. Women should never forget that, in the present state of the franchise as it affects them, every step in centralisation is a withdrawal of some fresh department of public life from their influence. In no department could the result be more serious than in this. The law is not equal between men and women; the police are empowered by law to interfere in many ways with women when they may not interfere with men. The increasing activity of women in local public life is likely to furnish a wholesome check to abuses in the administration of that unequal law, and before long to lead in its reform. To deprive them of the share which they already possess, and are daily learning to appreciate more fully and to use more freely, in the government of their local police, would not only inflict a great wrong upon them but would lead to very serious consequences.
The danger is over for the present Session, and we hope that by next year public opinion will be more fully roused to the importance of maintaining local franchises unimpaired.
WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE. On August 9th, Mr. Hugh Mason formally withdrew his resolution from the order book of the House of Commons, and gave notice that he would re-introduce it as early as possible next Session.
POOR LAW GUARDIANS. On July 19th, a friendly conference of Women Poor Law Guardians, was held at 86, Portland Place, W. by the kind permission and under the presidency of Miss