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A Sunday School had been long established for children of both sexes in the parish, who were taught to read, and required to attend the church on the Sabbath day; the chapel at the palace was used as their place of instruction. It was supported by charitable donations, and a collection received after an annual sermon preached at the church. Since the establishment of the national school, and school of industry, it has been incorporated with them; the boys going to the former, and the girls to the latter.
There are also in the town numerous private schools for young children, and several most respectable boarding schools for young ladies and gentlemen.
The society of Friends have also established two schools at Croydon, for boys of their persuasion.
At Addiscombe, the East India Company have established a seminary for their Cadets, who are taught Fortification, Gunnery, and other military acquirements, with oriental languages.
The Work House.
Of this institution there is little to be said ; that little, however, is sufficient to put the reader in possession of its history.
The Work House of Croydon resembles most others in its plan and regulations, which, if uniformly carried into effect (and we are willing to believe this to be the case), must conduce at once to the health, comfort, and morals of the poor, whom it receives under its protection.
It is a neat commodious building, situated
Duppa's* (Dupper's, or Dubber's) Hill, to the westward of the town, near Haling meadow.
* In the Chron. Sax. p. 37, 1. 42, I meet with one Eoppa Presbyter, quem Rex Wulfinus misit (anno 656) ad prædicandum Christianismum in vecta. And a little further, p. 39, I. 34, Eoppa item Presbyter Wifferdi jussu ac Wulferi Regis, primum omnium obtulit Whitwaris baptismum. Perhaps it should be called Eopa's Hill.
The building was erected about the year 1727. It appears that on the 16th of February, 1726, at a vestry meeting held at Croydon, it was ordered and unanimously agreed by the Parishioners then assembled, that the Churchwardens, and Overseers of the poor, together with the several others then named, or any seven of them, should from time to time inspect, and look into, and act, for the benefit, and in behalf of the parish, in erecting a work house within the parish, for settling and providing for the poor, who were grown very mumerous; and that they should superintend all inatters relating to the said work house and poor; and that what they or any seven of them should do in pursuance of the resolutions then made, should be always binding upon the parish.
Upon the 22d of the same month, another meeting was held for the purpose of considering where a convenient spot might be found within the parish, for the erection of the work house.—The persons who thus assembled were at length informed,' that there was a small piece of land at Dubbers Hill, which was in the year 1619 by deed (inter alia) given by Sir William Walter to the inhabitants of Croydon, for the purpose of digging gravel for mending the parish roads, and other public uses : which piece of land being approved of, it was agreed to try what subscription could be set on foot for the accomplishment of this charitable work; and most of the persons present subscribed towards it in pursuance of a memorandum which they drew up for that purpose. At another vestry held on the 28th February, it was unanimously agreed that the said land on Dubber's Hill should be immediately levelled and prepared for building the work house. At a subsequent meeting on the 13th of April, 1727, a surveyor was employed and ordered to finish the building with all convenient speed.
It seems that the stucture was raised by the latter end of the year 1727 : for on the 14th of November a meeting was held at the work house ; at which it was agreed that the spinning of mop yarn should be the proper work of the poor in the house. At subsequent meetings proper officers were appointed, rules and orders were made for the government of the house, and all the requisite arrangements took place, connected with the interests of the establishment.
It is capable of accommodating above 160 persons, and at present contains that number; men, women, and children. Besides their ordinary work, the children are taught to read; and thus the time is usefully employed, which might otherwise be consumed in idleness, or in mischievous pursuits. A due observance of the Sabbath is required, both in religious reading at home, and in regular attendance at the church, morning and evening. The interior of the work house is remarkably striking, on account of its very neat and clean appearance; and what is still more pleasing, an air of content may be generally observed in the faces of its inhabitants ; the building stands within a spacious court-yard, adjoining which is a small garden, which in a great measure supplies the poor with vegetables. In a word, this institution posesses every thing useful and interesting which charities of the same kind can afford.