Educating Your Daughters – A Guide to Regency Era Boarding Schools

Excerpted from The Female Preceptor, Essays On The Duties Of The Female Sex, Conducted By A Lady in the years 1813 and 1814

The images come from the Journal Des Dames et Des Modes.

Ponder’s End, Middlesex

At the above place, Mrs. Tyler had established a Boarding School for Young Ladies. The situation is healthy; and being so contiguous to the Metropolis, to those Parents who reside in London, and prefer having their children near them, this Seminary is likely to prove a considerable acquisition. The Terms—-30 Guineas per annum— has comprise the English and French Languages, History, Chronology, Mythology, and every kind of Needle Work. Music, Dancing, Writing, Arithmetic, and Geography, with the Use of the Globes, are taught by the most approved masters, on the usual terms. No entrance money.

Bromsgrove, Lickey, Worcester

This Seminary, conducted by Misses Allbutts,  possesses peculiar advantages. The Parents of the Misses A. have, for many years, with unsullied reputation, conducted a Boarding School, on a very considerable scale, for Young Gentlemen. Solicitous for the advancement of their daughters’ Education, they have, for a considerable time, availed themselves of the assistance of a Governess of great talent, and qualified masters for the various branches of polite literature.  Having passed through the regular routine of education, at the request of friends, they have established a Female Boarding School for the reception of ten young Ladies. Terms—Twenty Guineas per annum—comprising Board; English; Geography; plain and ornamental Needle-work. Entrance One Guinea. Parlour Boarders—Thirty Guineas per annum.

Hungerford, Berks

The above Seminary is conducted by Mrs. and Miss Pocock, and MissPrice. Mrs. Pocock’s exemplary piety has been very prominent in the religious world for many years. Anxious to inculcate the principles of Christianity into the tender minds of the rising generation, early piety is affectionately recommended, while no accomplishment is overlooked which can render the young persons amiable and happy. The system of instruction comprehends English grammatically, the varieties of Needle Work, Writing and Arithmetic, Geography, and the Use of the Globes, History and Botany.

Terms: Thirty Guineas per Annum, (Board included) for those Young Ladies above Ten Years of age;  for those under Ten, Twenty-five Guineas.  One Guinea Entrance. Washing Two Guineas per Annum; French, Drawing, and Music on the usual Terms. The House is commodious, with extensive Gardens and Walks.

Kingston, Surry

At the above place, Miss Piper, with able Teachers , has opened a Boarding School for Young Ladies. It appears Miss P. has been very successful in her mode of instruction, and has given general satisfaction. Her terms are moderate, being only Twenty-five Guineas per Annum, which includes, Board, Washing, English Tuition, Useful and Ornamental Needle Work. No Entrance Money.

Ryde, Isle Of Wight

Miss Homer’s Seminary is situated in a delightful part of Ryde, where they have a very commanding prospect of the sea.—Terms for Board, Instruction in the English language, Geography, &c, &c. Twentyfive Guineas per Annum. Entrance Two Guineas.


In February last, Miss Ryall opened a commodious House at the above place, for the reception of a limited number of young Ladies. Much credit is due to Miss R. for the great attention she pays to her pupils ; whose health, comfort, and improvement, appear to be her peculiar study: and what is of considerable importance, the duties of religion are tenderly inculcated. Terms, 30 guineas per Annum: Writing, Arithmetic, Geography, and the use of the Globes, by a celebrated master, at 4 guineas per Annum. Weymouth being a sea-port Town, the advantages of sea-bathing is a considerable acquisition to the Seminary.

Keynsham, Near Bristol

A Seminary for Young Ladies was established at the above place several years since, by Mrs. M Geary, but since her decease it has been conducted by Mrs. Singer and Miss Ford. Terms 20 Guineas per annum, including the common rudiments of education. Music, French, Drawing, Writing, and the Use of the Globes, are subject to an extra charge. We can only observeof this Seminary, that if conducted on the same plan at Mrs. M’Geary’s, considerable credit will be due to the Conductors.Keynsham is a pleasant, healthy village.

Baker Street, Enfield

Mrs. Cotty receives young Ladies into the above Seminary at a very early age, and prepares them for Classical Schools.Terms, 22 guineas per annum.—

Mrs. C. has given the greatest satisfaction to those parents who have intrusted their childrento her charge. They receive all that care and attention which their tender years demand.

Witham, Essex

A Female Seminary is conducted at the above place; by Miss Woollaston, who pays particular attention to the health, comfort, and improvement of her young charge.—Terms, for general instruction, 24 Guineas per Annum.—Entrance One Guinea. French,  Italian, Latin, Music, Drawing, Dancing, each Four Guineas per Annum.—Geography, with the use of Globes, two Guineas per Annum. Writing and accounts, Ten Guineas per Annum.—Washing, 12 shillings per Quarter.—Terms, for Parlour Boarders, 24 Guineas per Quarter.

Francis Terrace, Kentish Town

Mrs. and Miss Barton, who have for several years conducted a Boarding School for Young Ladies, have lately removed into the above House, which is much more commodious than the former. As Mrs. Barton chiefly superintends the domestic concerns, whilst Miss B. and her sisters conduct the Seminary, the comfort and improvement of their pupils is thereby considerably promoted. Every suitable opportunity is embraced for instilling religious principles. Terms 30 Guineas per Annum: no entrance money required.

Harlow, Essex

A Seminary is conducted at the above place by Miss Lodge.—Terms, 20 Guineas per Annum. It appears that French, Drawing, and Music, constitute an additional charge. We are happy to state that Miss L. devotes a considerable portion of her time to her young charge, and that she gives general satisfaction. The situation is delightfully pleasant, and being so contiguous to the metropolis may, on that account, be considered an acquisition.

30 Replies to “Educating Your Daughters – A Guide to Regency Era Boarding Schools”

  1. Very educational! 🙂 Especially the French captions — I got to look up a few words. Must say I find the fashions incredibly fussy — I would have to try really hard to describe my heroine wearing one of those gowns and sound like I thought it was beautiful…

  2. @Barbara, if you follow the like of the fashion, you will see I have a large library of those images.

  3. They will come in very handy if I write a story taking place in 1818. My favorite fashion years seem to be from about 1790 to 1805… so far, anyways.

  4. How very interesting. I used to live in Hungerford as a young girl in the late 70’s and 80’s. A very old lady came in to tell us about the primary school (not the same one as mention above) and how children would have walked miles to attend. Probably early 1900’s. There was a cocoa room, where children who had walked more than 3 miles to school, had a hot drink before starting lessons. Does it give any details of where the school was situated? I would love to find out more.

  5. Fascinating. I went to an all-women’s college and this was its root, really, wasn’t it? These “schools” were just in a big house, right? So they could only take in as many pupils as there were available bedrooms?

  6. I’m just finishing rereading Emma now and this was perfectly timed, considering the situation of Miss Smith boarding at Mrs. Goddard’s.


  7. @Ella, @Valerie, @Tara, Thank you! I found these listings by luck. In fact, most of my blog is stuff I found while looking for other things. I wish there were more volumes of these books. They seem to be subscription based.

  8. Fascinating, and makes a lot of sense of Mrs Goddard’s school in Emma too. As to the fashions, I have noticed that the French fashions seemed to have been fussier than the English ones, the Ackermann’s Repository fashions of the time are mostly very elegant.

  9. @Laura,

    Hi! I like this definition from wikipedia:

    “A parlour boarder was a special category of lodger in 18th and 19th century England who lived permanently with another family, ate at their family table, but in addition had the use of a personal sitting room—the parlour. The term also applied to a special category of boarder at a boarding school, normally the child of deceased or wealthy parents, put in the charge of the headmistress of the school and, while attending classes with the rest, was nevertheless treated as a cut above the other students, possibly even having a servant to attend her. Frequently the parlour-boarder had a rich guardian, or a fortune in the hands of trustees left for the education and maintenance of the child.

    Parlour boarders were often the children of wealthy widows or widowers who could not cope or simply did not want to look after the child themselves, or their guardians might be stationed in some capacity abroad, where a young child could not safely accompany them.”

  10. @Sarah. Thank you! I find it interesting that in some Regency periodicals there is a column for English fashions and another for French.

  11. I just re-read this and started a plot bunny, with some sisters left in penury who decide to start a school, reading the advertisements to see what they should be offering AND what they should be charging, and of course one of the pupils is the child of a handsome widower…

  12. … that plot bunny hasn’t got anywhere yet, BUT I am starting a 6- or possibly 9-book series revolving around a charity school for impoverished gentlewomen. I’m about to reference this blog post on my own blog.

  13. I think it’s fabulous that you have an eight book outline. I don’t know what I’m going to write from one book to the next. Sigh. Game plans are good.

  14. It’s partly MC Beaton’s fault, and it’s partly Mike Rendell’s fault. MC Beaton has written a number of 6-book regency series, interlinked by recurrent characters, which are amusing to read. And Mike Rendell blogged about a lady who had left money to endow a charity school…. I have a habit of writing series anyway, so I suppose it’s only par for the course! I’m even planning to cross over to my newest standalone, ‘Rookwood’ to bring in a character from that to the series. Insane? maybe, but it’s the greatest fun to invent a character set and re-use them.

  15. Isn’t MC Beaton also Marion Chesney? I loved her series with the sisters named after goddesses.

  16. Yes, she is; some of her singles are available here as Marion Chesney, but the Six Sisters are under MC Beaton in the UK… I loved the house for the season series particularly too. I’ve only read one of the 6 sisters so far but am collecting the rest… it’s research. Good excuse to read regencies. I’ll tell that to the tax man too, and claim them as legitimate expenses…

  17. Ha!I think I read one of the house for the season series, but all the six sisters (the vicar father was hilarious). So we are reversed. My mom likes MC Beaton’s mysteries.

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