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M.P.W. Boulton's Eton School Days

 

By the nineteenth century, like many families who had made their fortunes in the Industrial Revolution, the Boultons had risen to the rank of the gentry, and Matthew Boulton's two eldest grandsons had the advantage of an education at Eton.

 


Right: Sketch of boats on the river Eton
 
Full of gossip and boyish enthusiasm, their letters vividly describe their schooldays, as these comments by Matthew Piers Watt Boulton show.
“About a week ago two boys named Waring & Stanley . . . having procured a pack of beagles went out hunting, and, being discovered by Mr Luxmoore, ran away. They were not heard of for two or three days after, but they came back on Monday, and were flogged and turned down, to the bottom of the Upper Remove Fourth Form.”“The chief games are still foot-ball and hockey, but a great many go out in boats, which however are forbidden at this time. There are 10 boats, called “the boats” . . .(!)”“My new companion Fane is rather older than I am, as he will be 14 in May, he is rather good-natured, and is neither clever nor stupid.”
Above: Eton Schoolyard in the 19th century, as Boulton’s grandsons would have known it

 

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