Item V/iii/22 - Chrestomathia

Identity area

Reference code

GB 2014 WS-01-GRE-V/iii/22




  • 1816-1817 (Creation)
  • May 2021 (Accumulation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

8to, 1 volume

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

BENTHAM, JEREMY, son of Jeremiah Bentham, attorney-at-law, Red Lion Street, Houndsditch, London, and his first wife Alicia, widow of --- Whitehorne, and sister of George Woodward Grove (qv); b. 15 Feb 1747/8; adm. 1755; (Morel's according Bentham's memoir); elected KS 1759, but remained a Town Boy; left Aug 1760; Queen’s Coll. Oxford, matr. 28 Jun 1760; BA 1764; MA 1767; adm. Lincoln’s Inn 26 Jan 1763, called to bar 6 Nov 1769; did not practise his profession, but resident in chambers in Middle Temple 1766-9, Lincoln’s Inn from 1769; turned his mind to science and to speculations on politics and jurisprudence; his Fragment on Government, a masterly criticism of Blackstone’s Commentaries, appeared anonymously in 1776; friend and protege of Earl of Shelburne (later 1st Marquis of Lansdowne); a successful promoter of law reform and one of the ablest propagandists of the doctrine of utilitarianism; exercised great influence in the fields of ethics and jurisprudence; his published works were collected and edited by Sir John Bowring and John Hill Burton, in an eleven-volume edition published in 1843; his reminiscences of his school-days at Westminster appear in vol. x, 26-35, where it will be seen that his opinion of the instruction, discipline and usages of the School in his day was by no means flattering; two small MS volumes containing school and college exercises by him are preserved in the School Library; d. unm. 6 Jun 1832; his skeleton is preserved at University Coll., London. DNB.

Archival history

A presentation copy to the Devon and Exeter Institution donated by Bentham's friend John Bowring in 1834. Purchased from John Drury Rare Books for £850 in May 2021.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

"Bentham's main work on education. It was written in order to set out the curriculum and methods to be taught at a new secondary day school for the children of the 'middling and higher ranks in life' of society. The work grew our of the controversy on education including the Bell and Lancaster in early nineteenth century England, and was an attempt to apply the 'Monitorial system' to that secondary day school...In 1816 Part I was published, probably for sale, by M'Creery for Payne and Foss, and for R. Hunter, with a new title-page bearing the author's name. in the next year Part II appeared, printed by M'Creery for the same booksellers." [Chuo, Bentham, pp. 30-32].

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to rare books is granted to bona-fide researchers, by prior appointment, in cases where the item in unavailable at another UK repository.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the item. Copies are supplied in accordance with Westminster School's Policy on Archive and Heritage Collections, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of items in the custody of Westminster School must be sought from its Governing Body.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 2014

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Level of detail



  • English


  • Latin


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