Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms


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Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms of the early 19th century greatly influenced public school education in England and redefined the standards of:
Masculinity
Masculinity (manhood or manliness) is a set of traditional attributes, behaviors and roles associated with men and boys that include strength, courage, independence, leadership and assertiveness in Western society.
Achievement
Achievement is crucial to success in life gained through hard work and ability.
The achievement has a meaning and substance for the individual that comes with finishing something challenging.
The central theme of Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms is the development of boys to grow in knowledge but also through values and virtues that apply God’s Laws of Life to their own lives.


Early Life

Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms
Thomas Arnold (13 June 1795 – 12 June 1842) was an English educator, historian and headmaster of Rugby School.
He was born at East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the son of William Arnold, a Customs officer and his wife Martha Delafield.
His father, William Arnold was related to the Arnold family of gentry (people of good social position connected to landed estates, upper levels of the clergy, or "gentle" families of long descent) from Lowestoft.
He was educated at Lord Weymouth's Grammar School, Warminster, at Winchester and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University (founded in 1096), where he graduated first class in Classics (the study of ancient Greece and Rome) in 1814.
He was made a fellow of Oriel College (founded in 1326), Oxford University in 1815 and while there, he was ordained a deacon (minister of pastoral care on behalf of a bishop and priest) in the Church of England in 1818.
After ordination and marriage in 1820 to Mary Penrose, daughter of the Reverend John Penrose of Penrhyn, Cornwall, he settled at Laleham, Middlesex in 1819 where he tutored to university entrants.
They had five daughters and five sons, including the poet Matthew Arnold, the literary scholar Tom, the author William Delafield Arnold and Edward Penrose Arnold, an inspector of schools.
Broad Church
Thomas Arnold supported the Broad Church Anglican movement who were opposed to the High Church beliefs and practices of Christian ecclesiology, liturgy, and theology that emphasize "ritual, priestly authority and sacraments".


Headmaster of Rugby School

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Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms
Thomas Arnold became headmaster of a school in Laleham until 1827, then, was appointed headmaster of the famous Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England from 1828 until his death in 1842.
As headmaster at Rugby School, he introduced several reforms from 1828 to 1841 that were later adopted by many other noted British public schools which raised Rugby to the rank of a great public school.
These reforms affected the curriculum, athletics program and social structure through the prefect system by older boys to serve as house monitors to keep discipline among younger boys - his reforms were seen as the forerunner of the Victorian public school.
Arnold also served in the senate of the University of London during 1836 - 1838 and was appointed Regius Professor of modern history at Oxford in 1841 but he died the following year, on June 12, 1842, in Rugby.


Rugby School

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Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms
Rugby School is a public school (English fee-charging boarding school for local pupils aged 14–18) in Rugby, Warwickshire, England that has long held a reputation as one of the UK's most prestigious schools.
Founded in 1567 as a free grammar school for boys through an endowment in the will of Lawrence Sheriff (1515 or 1516 – September 1567), a Tudor merchant and benefactor who made his fortune supplying groceries to Queen Elizabeth I of England and through many other rich and powerful people of the time.
Lawrence Sheriff stipulated in his will that his fortune should be used to found almshouses and a school "to serve chiefly for the children of Rugby and Brownsover".
An almshouse was charitable housing provided to people in a particular community during the Middle Ages that helped the poor and those from certain forms of previous employment, or their widows, and, elderly people who could no longer pay rent.
He is remembered today by the Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby.
Rugby Football
Rugby School is famous as the birthplace of rugby football when William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it in his arms during a game at Rugby School in 1823.
It quickly spread to other English public schools and across the British Empire during the 19th century.
The school's famous alumni – or "Old Rugbeians" – include a UK prime minister, several bishops, prominent poets, scientists, writers, soldiers, the arts and sport.


Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms

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Christian, Moral and Political Philosophy
Thomas Arnold was opposed to the materialism of physical science - a view he derived from his Christian ideals (the God of Christianity - the Creator Who saves humanity from evil and offers salvation in the everlasting life of His Heavenly Kingdom) - "Surely the one thing needful for a Christian and an Englishman to study is Christian and moral and political philosophy".
Christian Philosophy
Christian philosophy is an educational curriculum of teaching the Biblical world view, character building and skills necessary to fulfill God's Calling.
Moral Philosophy
Moral philosophy contemplates what is right and wrong and and examines how people should live their lives in relation to others to become better people.
Moral philosophy provides the ability to understand how our thoughts and actions affect others.
The Golden Rule states: "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself".
Political Philosophy
The greatest impact on people in a society is ignorance - political decisions and policies affect the way of life of every citizen in a country.
Political philosophy examines power and authority, the relationship between the state and the individual, political institutions, and political ideologies.
It analyses major political ideologies like democracy, liberalism and conservatism through their impact on people and society.


Tom Brown's School Days

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Thomas Arnold Rugby School Reforms
Tom Brown's School Days is a novel by Thomas Hughes, published in 1857 that chronicles life at an English boys' boarding school during the 1830s.
The novel influenced the genre of British school novels which began in the nineteenth century and has been the source for several film and television adaptations during the 20th century.
One of the best is the 1940 movie version of Tom Brown's School Days starring Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Freddie Bartholomew and Jimmy Lydon in the title role vividly portraying the coming-of-age experiences of teenage boys at Rugby School in the early 19th century under the reforms of Thomas Arnold as headmaster.
The movie can be viewed on You Tube.
The author, Thomas Hughes QC (20 October 1822 – 22 March 1896) was an English lawyer, judge and politician who attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842 when Thomas Arnold was headmaster.


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