Drop-title; small holes in the inner margins where stab-sewn when bound (now disbound), with secondary page numbers (A-B) stamped in the top corners; a fine copy.
New South Wales Parliamentary Paper 16-A of 1866. William John Stephens (1825-1891) was the foundation headmaster of Sydney Grammar School. 'He and his mathematics master, Edward Pratt, disagreed over organization and discipline. In 1866 the trustees investigated Pratt's complaints, mainly that Stephens had banned the cane: he said that he disapproved of corporal punishment and argued that discipline must be based on equal justice between teacher and pupil else 'it degenerates into tyranny and servility'. The inquiry tended to support the allegations and the trustees accepted Stephens's resignation, ignoring his plea that it had never been formally submitted and a strong petition of protest from the 'Old Boys'. Resilient but resentful, Stephens in 1867 built and opened his own private school in Darlinghurst with fifty of his former pupils. The New School (Eaglesfield from 1879) was an immediate success; he implemented advanced educational practices and won the respect and affection of his pupils' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). The 'Minutes of Evidence taken before the Trustees of the Sydney Grammar School', comprising 2150 questions with answers, offers much interesting and intriguing detail. Questions 107-115, for instance, concern punishments that 'became more severe than flogging'. Edward Pratt recalls a most remarkable instance that 'occurred last year. Some little urchins practised some cruelty upon a goat. They found the goat in the playground, cut off its ears, and then threw the poor creature down the closet, where it remained the whole night. The poor creature's sufferings were not known till the next day, when it was killed by the sergeant'. The headmaster was 'in great doubt whether he would not depart from his principle of not inflicting corporal punishment, but ultimately these boys were sentenced to stand for six hours on a form in the schoolroom during an excessively hot wind. I think the thermometer must have been nearly eighty that day'.