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Edwin G. West

The Benthamites as Educational Engineers: The Reputation and the Record


Carleton Economic Papers 92-05

April, 1992

Compiler Press


I. Introduction

II. A system of education: “the great touchstone”

III. The erroneous calculation: England and Wales

IV. The erroneous calculation: Australia

V. Benthamism revisited: differences among the faithful

VI. The continuing legacy



HHC: Index added  

I- Introduction

Down to the mid-20th century, economists in Britain and America did not typically challenge the common assumption of political science that political man pursued, not his own, but the public interest.  Subsequently the fledgling discipline of public choice (or the economics of politics) explicitly treated political and economic man as one and the same.  Man is now assumed to be an egoistic, rational, utility maximizer in both settings.  One implication is that it is no longer adequate for economists to assume that progress consists simply in persuading some government to accept their analysis and implement appropriate advice.  Everybody now concedes that benevolent government does not exist.  The political machinery is seen, in fact, largely as operated by interest groups, vote-maximizing politicians and self-seeking bureaucracies.  Similarly, it has for some time been unsatisfactory for economists to believe that simply by exposing market imperfections they have automatically demonstrated a normative case for government intervention.  Theories of government failure are now at least as numerous as theories of market failure.  

Public choice in Britain and America has been a belated development compared, for instance, with Italy, Sweden and Germany.  Its relative neglect in the U.K. has been attributed by Buchanan (1978) to Benthamite Utilitarianism which provided idealized objectives for governmental policy to the neglect of institutional structure.  The British, “held on longer than most people to the romantic notion that government seeks only to do good in


some hazily defined Benthamite sense, and, furthermore, to the hypothesis that government could, in fact, accomplish most of what it set out to do”. [1]

Buchanan emphasizes the importance of separating the economic analysis of politics into constitutional and post-constitutional stages, and his main focus is upon the former.  If liberty, predictability and the rule of law are to be protected, the greatest care and imagination is required in the act of creating the basic constitutional rules of the political ‘game’.  In this setting, however, the portrayal of Bentham’s efforts as being inimical to public choice is undeserved.  Bentham’s work, after all led to profound reforms of the legal framework.  These included fundamental law reform in various branches; reform in colonial governments; legalization of trade unions; free speech and free press; a civil service appointed and promoted on merit; general registration of titles to property; and reform of local government.

One purpose of this paper is to show that Buchanan’s critique of Bentham has more validity in the post-constitutional dimension of public choice, that is in the sense of attempting to ‘do something’ by way of urging legislation on day-to-day affairs within the existing rules of the constitution.  The historical context chosen is educational legislation.  It will be maintained that, while Bentham himself may have been prompted partly by his own ‘genuine’ vision of the public interest, and partly by prejudice against organized religion, he underestimated the potential for distortionary self-interested behavior of others, including subsequent disciples, administrators, and fellow travellers.  And it is such behavior that is predictable in the new economics of politics (which includes the economics of bureaucracy).

The paper outlines the strong controlling power of the Utilitarians over the 19th century evolution of national systems of education in Britain and


Australia.  It will be shown that much of their political influence depended on their use of flawed statistical reasoning.  And the fact that their success in shaping events was due largely to such use of unscientific empirics is paradoxical in view of their claimed new reliance on legislation that was scientific.

While Utilitarianism enjoyed stunning success in the short run, in the long run it was increasingly compromised by forces within democracy.  As predicted by the modern economics of bureaucracy, the eventual dominant objective of public school systems is not to implement the greatest happiness but to transfer wealth to educators.  As the nineteenth century progressed the Benthamite administrative apparatus appeared to take on a life of its own.  And several latter-day Benthamites in office can be reasonably interpreted as having begun to serve more than one master.

Section II juxtaposes the basic educational doctrines of Bentham and his followers with a summary of modern public choice propositions.  Section III describes the Benthamite use of erroneous statistics when advising on educational deficiency and examines the historical consequences.  Section IV offers a new investigation of the influence of the Benthamites on events in Australia where the statistical ‘evidence’ was used with more dramatic effect than in England and Wales.  Section V re-examines internal differences between the Benthamites and, in particular, in the context of the mid-century debate on free trade in education between James Kay Shuttleworth and Robert Lowe.  Section VI presents concluding comments.


II. A system of education: “the great touchstone”

In public choice literature the government party in control of the legislature has an objective function which includes not only the probability of being


reelected, but also “variables such as personal pecuniary gains, personal power, [its] own image of history, the pursuit of lofty personal ideals” and the party’s ‘personal view of the common good’. [2]  The Benthamite view of the common good stemmed from its central utilitarian pleasure/pain philosophy.  Bentham’s basic proposition was that all human beings desire the greatest amount of happiness.  A corollary was that good conduct of life would lead to this.  Good conduct in turn implied behavior that was intelligent.  A Benthamite government party was accordingly expected to attempt to design efficient institutions so that the course of action most advantageous to an individual would be always beneficial to others.  Actions which harmed others were to be discouraged by penalties which brought predictable personal injury to the actors.  The fact that in real life people committed ‘evil’ actions (i.e. actions which are undesired) arose simply from ignorance of the true results of their actions or, in other words, from faulty anticipation.  And because he did not believe in a pre-established or providential harmony, but in a harmony that could be engineered by ‘rational’ planning, Bentham needed the control of education as the main instrument.  The powers of government were to be used widely and purposefully to make people see for themselves that what was happening through legislation was in their own interest.

In the hands of his leading disciple, James Mill, Bentham’s ‘pleasure/ pain’ system of education received practical development.  Of the circumstances that affected an individual’s happiness, Mill gave greatest attention to the physical.  In his article on education in the Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1818 he stressed that bad health influenced the state of a person’s mind and one of the most important duties of schools was to make scientific observations and recordings on such influences.  Good food and the right air and temperature were also emphasized, and this foreshadowed the


thoroughgoing specification for school architecture to be made by Edwin Chadwick and James Kay later in the century.  But beyond this the most important conditioning of children concerned instruction in how to attain happiness and follow moral ideals.

A government’s ability to inculcate its own set of ideals, however, is obviously a function of voter support.  Under simple majority rule, for example, it will be able to indulge in the ‘luxury’ of implementing its own personal view of the common good only if it has generous vote surplus, as with say a majority of 75 percent.  The governing party is, nevertheless, always constrained by the threat of entry by an opposition part or parties.  To reduce such vulnerability it can employ several discriminatory tactics. [3]  These include the attempt to “seek to alter the preferences of citizens so as to reduce the differences that exist between them and thus make them more homogeneous”. [4]  The seizure of the high ground of education policy was thus crucial to the Benthamites.  Once ‘conditioned’ by them, the population would have the benefit of proper training to pursue its own happiness automatically.

The Utilitarian party’s main competitor in the field of education was seen to be organized religion.  Mill and Bentham made no secret of their preference for a secular education.  Of the two, however, Bentham was by far the more hostile to the Established Church, which he condemned as a downright enemy to educational progress.  The most severe attack appeared in his ‘Church of Englandism’ in 1818 in which he accused the Church of being jealous of the Quaker, Lancaster, for his success with his new schools in which the Bible only was used: “... the Bible might prevail over the Catechism and the Church of England might thus be brought to an end” [5]

The moment legislation establishing the first government funding of education came (in 1833) the Benthamites were prompt with their protests.


They objected strongly to the fact that religious societies had been given the responsibility for allocating the subsidies and especially to the fact that in practice, the established denominational schools were receiving the largest share.  The final pages of the Report of the Poor Law Commission (1834) written by Nassau Senior and Edwin Chadwick, echoed the complaint: “We believe, that if the funds now destined to the purposes of education, many of which are applied in a manner unsuited to the present wants of society, were wisely and economically employed, they would be sufficient to give all the assistance which can be prudently afforded by the State”.  Because, however, the radical education movement challenging the established church comprised Nonconformists, it was not expedient for Benthamites openly to oppose religious instruction per se in schools.  The result was a compromise whereby they frequently allied themselves with nonconformism in demanding non-denominational teaching only.  This was the main platform of the (Nonconformist) British and Foreign School Society in contrast to the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor sponsored by the established church.

The Utilitarians emphasized the need for centralization and the economies of large scale, as explained in Bentham’s vast educational treatise Chrestomathia (Bowring, 1962, Vol. ii).  In his capacity as a member of the Newcastle Commission on Popular Education, later in the century, Nassau Senior confidently quoted the evidence of Inspector Tufnell on this matter:

In the large school there is the subdivision of labour of teachers.  In the Central London District School, for example, there is the headmaster with a large salary, and two under masters, and eight pupil-teachers.  These masters have not all the same talents or capacities, but are often appointed for their specialities. [6]


The ‘hard line’ Utilitarian doctrine maintained that denominational schools were typically too small to take advantage of scale economies.  The Utilitarian program that developed later included an urgent need for a trained inspectorate and a system of publicly operated normal schools for the training of teachers.

On the question of economics the main argument offered was that since education reduced crime there would be a positive net payoff to society from investment of public funds.  Chapter XX of Part III of Bentham’s Principles of Penal Law was the source of this particular argument.  But again the most relevant teaching that would reduce crime, according to the Benthamites, could best be conducted in their own specially designed schools.

Encouraged by the success of the Reform Act in 1832, the year of Bentham’s death, and by their representation in the new House of Commons, the spokesman for the Utilitarians, J.A. Roebuck, voiced all aspects of Benthamite educational philosophy, beginning with the argument about crime reduction.

We all of us seem to feel the necessity of supervising our Criminal Code - our Code of Prison Discipline - Our Poor-Laws; but all these are only offshoots of, or adjustments to, a system of Education.  That is the great touchstone, the mainspring of the whole.  We allow crime and misery to spring up, and then attempt, by a vast cumbrous machinery, to obviate the mischief.  We punish, we do not prevent... [7]

The anxiety of the younger generation of Benthamites to eliminate the competition, even from the Nonconformist schools, now became explicit.  Roebuck argued before the House not only the benefits of a general education but also “why the Government should itself supply this education”.  Only government supplied schooling could efficiently teach how violation of its


laws could best be avoided.  As for what we call today ‘consumer sovereignty’, Roebuck argued that families were not in the best position to choose.  To pursue pleasure and avoid pain efficiently required guidance: “The people at present are far too ignorant to render themselves happy”. [8]

Not all the Utilitarians would have agreed with Roebuck’s call for government supplied schooling.  John Stuart Mill, for example, uttered his famous warning that “A general state education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another” (Mill, 1962, p. 239).

The Benthamites frequently acknowledged that low income families were purchasing education for themselves.  But this itself was a problem in the eyes of the Utilitarians because, as Roebuck insisted, the education chosen was of the ‘wrong’ kind.  And despite his dislike of the homogenizing tendencies of state education, John Stuart Mill expressed the same kind of view:

... persons requiring improvement, having an imperfect or altogether erroneous conception of what they want, the supply called forth by the demand will be anything but what is really required. (J.S. Mill, 1969, p. 953).

What is so striking is that Benthamism, which generally embraced the classical economic free trade doctrine, was driven to make such a notable exception in the case of education.  Was it recognized that there may be logical inconsistencies in this stance?  John Stuart Mill especially tried boldly to grapple with this question.  Asserting in his Principles that “in this case the laissez faire principle breakes down entirely” (Mill 1969, p. 957), he maintained that this was because (a) children cannot choose for themselves wisely and (b) they are, in any case, without the means to do so.  By the same logic, however, the laissez faire principle breaks down also in


the case of feeding, clothing and sheltering of children, because here too there are the same impediments to responsible choosing by dependent minors.  The fact that, as a policy matter, Mill and his colleagues treated education differently from food and clothing is ostensibly inconsistent.

If society places on parents the duty of feeding and clothing children why precisely does it not similarly allot them the responsibility for children’s education?  J.S. Mill answered that this question switches attention to a separate issue: “whether the government... should leave absolutely in [the parents’] power the conduct and interests of somebody else”.  It is arguable, however, that what most people have in mind is not the granting of absolute power to parents but a fiduciary power to be removed in cases where abuse can be shown.  Safeguards for education can be treated as a part of a comprehensive system of child abuse laws.  Today this system includes, besides education, protection against malnutrition, welfare payments to families with dependent children, and stringent rules about divorce when young children are involved.  Child abuse laws, of course, are also designed to monitor, control and discipline delinquent parents who give their children inadequate clothing and shelter.  But ultimately insistence on this line of reasoning would apparently have been rejected by Mill because he believed, that in the case of education, the parents, as distinct from the children, (a) could not choose wisely and (b) in any event did not have the means to do so.  But if adults cannot thus be relied on, Mill’s system is clearly paternalistic.  He was not so different from other Utilitarians after all.

With regard to poor law administration after 1834, Benthamism was translated into practical policy by Edwin Chadwick with personal advice from the Mills and Nassau Senior.  Appointed secretary to the Poor Law Commission, Chadwick set out to combat what he held to be the inefficiency and corruption


of local agencies.  The new Benthamite policy characteristically favored strong centralized administration, trained inspectors and able civil servants whose appointment and promotion depended on success in examinations.  The test of examinations, incidentally, was eventually applied later to the government subsidy in the form of Robert Lowe’s system of ‘payments by results’ wherein teachers were paid salaries in proportion to the examination successes of their students.

Also appointed to the Poor Law Commission soon after, and this time as an assistant commissioner, was James Kay (later Kay-Shuttleworth).  According to the Dictionary of National Biography it was Kay’s experience among the poor ‘and his grasp of economic science’ that brought him to the attention of the government.  Kay was introduced by Senior to Chadwick and the Mills with whom there was much subsequent intellectual discourse.  Chadwick delegated Kay to produce reports on the training of pauper children and these, with Chadwick’s clear approval, were published by the government in 1841.  Kay’s enthusiasm and success with the educational work of the Commission presumably led to his appointment as the First Secretary of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education in 1839.

In the British educational histories Kay enjoys the same kind of reverence as does Horace Mann in America, both being regarded as the founding fathers of their respective public systems of education.  One can also view their actions, however, as being consistent with the predictions of today’s bureaucracy theory.  It states that, whereas the usual bureau urges monopoly status, avowedly to avoid wasteful duplication, the actual winning of the monopoly position frees it from competitive pressures to be efficient, in which case waste is ultimately increased.  The monopoly bureau in fact becomes more and more difficult to monitor because the funding agency is denied an


alternative source of information by which to gauge its efficiency.  Meanwhile the growing fog of obscurity surrounding the allocation of the enlarging budget enables the senior bureaucrat to increase his salary and/or the perquisites of his job.  Motivated primarily at all times to try to secure an expansion of the bureau’s budget, the senior administrator enjoys progressive increases in his personal position because of the growth of the numbers of junior bureaucrats for whom he is responsible. [9]

One of the mysteries of British educational history concerns the apparent secrecy surrounding the setting up of what soon became, in effect, the department of education.  Originally called the Privy Council Committee on Education, its first secretary, as mentioned previously, was James Kay.  One of the immediate consequences of the work of the Committee was the effective erosion of the power of the denominations in allocating government funds to schools.  This event provoked much controversy and opposition from the established church.  Kay successfully survived this period, however, and his Committee proceeded to purchase increasing influence over independent schools by offering subsidies in return for school inspection and regulation.

Arguments for increases in total subsidy expenditure depended upon evidence of their need.  The main evidence produced was in the form of new statistical calculations of ‘educational destitution’.  The first government investigation on this score was conducted by Lord Kerry in 1833.  Local non-government statistical societies, meanwhile, were now beginning to appear with their own independent calculations pertaining to particular towns.  Among these was the Manchester Statistical Society of which Kay was the founder.  Its criticisms of the Kerry Report received wide attention and this too added to Kay’s personal reputation.


At first sight Kay’s Manchester Statistical Society (MSS) seems to have been motivated by the desire to deliver newly reported objective facts as a firm foundation for Benthamite scientific legislation.  Further examination, however, throws considerable doubt on the objectivity of the MSS findings.  One problem is that its definition of efficient schooling contained a primary emphasis on the presence of moral instruction, and this of course involves profound individual value judgments.  But the second problem, upon which we concentrate, relates to the Benthamites’ dubious quantitative measure of educational deficiency.  A full explanation in its British setting will be followed by an examination of the Australian experience.


III. The erroneous calculation: England and Wales

In 1838 a Select Committee was appointed to inquire into the state of education in England and Wales.  Dr. Kay, then at the Poor Law Commission, and also in his capacity of founder member and treasurer of the MSS, was the chief witness.  The exchange between him and a member of the Select Committee, William Gladstone, brings out the problems with the MSS calculations.  As a preliminary it is necessary to point out that not all members of the Benthamite coterie were unenthusiastic about the role of religion.  And although some of them appeared to support the nonconformist world only when it suited, others gave evidence of steadfast religious devotion.  Kay appears to have been one of the latter group.  It is important to notice, nevertheless, that the bigger the demonstrated size of educational deficiency and the greater the evidence that it was concentrated in the small scale private schools, the greater the case for supersession by a special government department of education financed by a generous budget.


Simply wanting to know how much education existed in the towns in 1838, the Committee, asked Kay, via (the devout) Mr. Gladstone, the direct and apparently innocent question:“Can you form an estimate of the amount of deficiency in the means of education in any given district, say for instance, the district of Manchester?”  Promptly switching attention to issues of quality, Kay replied: “If by education I am to understand what I have previously described, sound religious instruction, correct moral training, and a sufficient extent of secular knowledge suited to their station in life, I should scarcely say that it exists within the limits of my observation.”  Chairman: “You think it is not afforded by any schools at present efficiently?”  Kay: “Not efficiently.” [10]

Another enthusiast for large scale economies in schooling, Kay had an almost doctrinaire dislike of small schools, which were usually the entirely self-supporting establishments called ‘common day schools’. The large monitorial Lancastrian and National (Charity) schools, on the other hand, were among his favorites at this period.  In reaching its conclusions as to the quality and quantity of schooling, the 1838 Committee evidently relied heavily on Kay’s evidence, and that of his Manchester Statistical Society.  That it was particularly in the small private schools that poor quality teaching was complained of by the Committee is therefore not very surprising.

But Gladstone seems to have been the only member of the Committee to have clearly perceived that Kay was confusing questions of quality with those of quantity. [11]

Gladstone: “Separating from your view at present all those considerations which appear to attach rather to the quality than to the quantity of education, and looking simply to the question of quantity,


can you form an idea of what number of children there are in the town and neighbourhood of Manchester, upon any given population, that are entirely  without education of any kind, however defective?”(italics supplied).

Kay: “The Report of the Committee of the Manchester Statistical Society states that one-third of the children between 5-15 are not receiving instruction of any kind whatever; [12] and the report also proceeds to state, that the education given in the common day schools and dame schools, and certain other schools appears to be either altogether inefficient or very indifferent”(italics supplied).

Gladstone: “In reference to the first part of your answer, do you imagine that they have arrived at that statement by calculating the number of children between 5 and 15 in the population, and then ascertaining the number of children who attend schools, of any kind, and given the difference as the amount of deficiency which exists?’


Gladstone: “Do you imagine that the average number of children who attend schools in Manchester continue in attendance for anything like the period of 10 years?”

Kay: “In the Sunday Schools the great mass of the children continue pretty regularly in attendance; and I have personal experience of the quality of instruction conveyed in the Sunday schools of Manchester which, as far as religious instruction is concerned, may be stated to be the best instruction which exists of this nature.”


Gladstone: “But do you think that the generality of the children who go to school at all in Manchester continue at school, week-day or Sunday, for anything like so long a period of 10 years?”

Kay: “I think the great portion of the Sunday scholars do.”

Gladstone: “Do you think that any considerable proportion of the day scholars continue at school for 10 years?’

Kay: “I do not think that any very considerable proportion of day scholars do.”

Gladstone: “Then will not the calculation be inaccurate if it has been upon the supposition, that those who are at school continue at school from the age of five to the age of fifteen?”

Kay: “Certainly; it can only refer to the number who were at school at the period when the calculations were made....”

Eventually Gladstone asked: “Do you think that the daily instruction at this moment provided in Manchester is sufficient to supply all the children of Manchester between the ages of five and thirteen?”

Kay’s evasiveness persisted to the end:

Kay: “If the instruction conveyed were of the quality that I would desire, I should say that its extent was insufficient for that purpose.” (italics supplied.) [13]


To find the number of children who, in Gladstone’s words, were “entirely without education of any kind, however defective,” we need a specific survey to elicit the de facto school entering and leaving ages.  Crucial information pertinent to this variable did not appear until 1839 with the results of an intensive house-to-house survey in 1838 of Manchester’s neighbor - Pendleton, a typical town of the Industrial Revolution.

The MSS had at last, in the Pendleton case, found one of the most appropriate methods of reporting a more accurate and comprehensive picture of educational quantity.  It concluded “That not more than 2 to 3 percent... of the juvenile population are at present left entirely destitute of instruction…” [14]  Of the school-goers, ... one-third appear to remain less than three years; one-third from three to five years; and one-third remain above five years” (Report p. 74).  These facts seem to have been carefully obtained.  The investigators acknowledged the difficulty of checking the accuracy of the personal statements from each household, “but wherever anything in these statements threw upon their report the slightest suspicion of inaccuracy, the cases have been classed as not ascertained” (p. 73).  On the reasonable assumption that conditions in Manchester were similar to those in Pendleton, Kay’s answer to Gladstone to the effect that one-third of the Manchester children were entirely destitute of education was a gross overstatement.  But by now (1839), and relying on the earlier ‘evidence’ the government education bureau had already been established.

Gladstone’s implied criticism of Kay’s statistical reasoning does not appear to have widely registered. [15]  The same reasoning continued to be the applied methodology after 1839 within Kay’s ‘education department’ in attempts at measurement in several other towns besides Manchester.


The most substantial influence of Kay’s ‘Erroneous Calculation’ occurred, indeed, at the time of Britain’s major piece of 19th century educational legislation: the W.E. Forster Act of 1870.  When presenting his Bill, Forster avoided the 1861 Newcastle Commission’s findings that the vast majority of children were already receiving a schooling despite the absence of both compulsion and zero pricing.  Instead he referred to an ad hoc investigation of four industrial towns hurriedly sponsored by members of his education bureaucracy.  Drawing upon this he told Parliament:

It is calculated that in Liverpool the number of children between five and thirteen who ought to receive an elementary education is 80,000; but, as far as we can ascertain, 20,000 of them attend no school whatever, while at least another 20,000 attend schools where they get an education not worth having. [16]

Forster’s figures involve the same fallacy of misplaced school-age base that featured Kay’s Manchester Statistical Society’s Report on Manchester in 1834. Only one participant in the Parliamentary Debate in 1870, Lord Robert Montagu, seems to have perceived some error.

The right hon. gentleman alluded to the case of Liverpool, where he said there were 80,000 children between the ages of five and thirteen.  Of these he said that 20,000 were in no school; and 20,000 went to inferior schools.  The (Newcastle) Commissioners thought that for the children of the working class, six years schooling would be sufficient.  Now, as there are eight years between five and thirteen, if every one of those children were to attend school for six years, three-fourths of the number ought to be at school in each year; and according to the showing of the right hon. gentleman, there were three-fourths of the number at school.


The real conclusion of Forster’s figures therefore was that

... every child which should be at school was at school, but one quarter were at bad schools, which perhaps might be improved. [17]

It is consistent with the economic theory of bureaucracy that bureaucrats would have a self-interest in presenting the prevailing quantity of schooling in as bad a light as possible.  This strategy would strengthen the case for further intervention which would increase both the budget and the importance of the bureau.  The enquiries on the four towns were conducted for the education department by Inspectors J.G. Fitch and D.R. Fearon.  The school-age fallacy appears in various forms throughout their reports.  Fearon used a school age of 5-13.  Fitch, ‘to avoid dogmatic statement’ used various ones: 3-13, 3-15, or 5-13.  We learn also from these reports the detailed basis of the bureau’s judgment that the education of 20,000 students in Liverpool was ‘not worth having’.  The number of children ‘effectively taught’ were represented by the numbers passing the inspector.  To qualify to be examined by the inspector however, the child must have attended that same school for at least 200 times in the course of the year.  In practice very many who could have passed were not able to for ‘physical’ reasons.  Many left school before the examination-day and could not be brought back for the inspection.  Others were prevented on the day by sickness or accident.  There were still others who had not been in that particular school for 200 times because they had migrated from another school or another part of the country.  These could have scored well in class examinations had the system allowed them to be inspected.

The Education Department seems to have been keenly working for its own expansion.  There was expectation of its involvement in a vast new school building agenda and thereafter in a bigger scale of inspection.  The building program in fact soon materialized in the school board construction ‘boom’


after 1870 when public schools (in the American sense) were first introduced.  As it transpired the authorities did not succeed in getting the school leaving age raised very much in the ten years after 1870, even with the growth of public school accommodation.  The only general effect of a subsequent Act of 1880, for instance, was to enforce complete attendance of children between 5 and 9 years inclusive.

One result of the failure to raise the school leaving age significantly was that the extra schools (the new board schools) that the Forster’s Act established resulted in excess government school capacity. [18]  To resolve this embarrassment the authorities had one remaining political stratagem: education in the board schools was to be declared free of charge.  According to one historian: “The abolition of fees in Board Schools in 1891 was the death blow to the private schools...  By 1895 there were [in Nottingham] only 24 [private] schools with 489 children and the number continued to decline until 1898 when there were thirteen schools with 270 pupils”. [19]  But this crowding out of the private by the government schools seems to have been a Benthamite objective from the beginning of the century.


IV. The erroneous calculation: Australia

The most interesting actor on the Australian scene was none other than Robert Lowe who was once described by Dicey as “the last of the Utilitarians”.  Lowe was later to become the education secretary in England who introduced the notorious ‘Revised Code’ concerning government subsidization of non-government schools.  Arriving in Sydney in 1840 where he set up a law practice, he was appointed to the legislature of New South Wales (hereafter N.S.W.) in 1842.  One of his earliest tasks was to head an official enquiry into the condition


of education.  In his report he complained: “The very essence of a denominational system is to leave the majority uneducated in order thoroughly to imbue the minority with peculiar tenets” (Griffiths 1957, p. 74).  He also insisted that where the population was small and scattered, denominational schools were uneconomical and inefficient, propositions that clearly followed the Benthamite ‘prescription package’.  Lowe proceeded to engage in a battle with the denominational elites that appears indeed to have been far more acrimonious than the equivalent struggle Kay was experiencing in England. [20]

Like the other English Benthamites, Lowe’s argument rested heavily on The Erroneous Calculation.  It appears early in his Report as follows:

There are about 25,676 children between the ages of four and fourteen years; of these, only 7,642 receive instruction in public schools, and 4,865 in private ones, leaving about 13,000 children who as far as your Committee know, are receiving no education at all. (Italics supplied, Griffiths, 1957.)

In practice few children in N.S.W. in the 1840s would ever remain in school for ten years (4-14 yrs).  Again using the British 1851 Census figure as a rough guide, suppose on average they received five years of schooling.  In this, more realistic case, the number “receiving no education at all” in 1842 would have been close to zero.

Whether Lowe was aware of the fallacious nature of his statistics it is not easy to say. [21]  But his numerical conclusion of 13,000 totally unschooled children was used relentlessly by him as ‘evidence’ of the educational failure of the denominational system.  A few weeks after presenting his 1844 Report, Lowe told a special meeting on education called by the Mayor:

Gentlemen, there are thirteen thousand children in this colony growing up without a knowledge of the God who made them, or of the Saviour who died


for them.  We come forward with a proposition to arrest this evil, to check this plague, to substitute light for darkness, religion for atheism, and we are met by ... overstrained objections. [22]

Another component of the Benthamite package included in Lowe’s Report was the argued need for central administration plus inspection.  “Your Committee are not prepared to recommend the establishment of Local Boards of Education, conceiving that a central Board, with an efficient system of inspection, will produce results more uniform and satisfactory” (Griffiths 1957, p.75).  And finally there was an emphasis on the importance of the training of teachers:

The foundation of a Normal or Model School in Sydney, for the training of schoolmasters, appears to your Committee to be an indispensable step. (Griffiths 1957, p.75.)

Back in England the Benthamite enthusiasm for teacher training had become so strong that, with the cooperation of his friend E.C. Tufnell, and from their private resources, James Kay had established the first training college for teachers at Battersea in 1839-40.  Pupil teachers were transferred from the Norwood Pauper School and became the first students of the college.  At first, Kay lived in and superintended the entire working of the institution, but the whole endeavor was soon supported with government aid.

One of the ‘star’ pupils from Kay’s Battersea college was William Wilkins who, in 1851, was invited to become Master of a model school in Sydney.  He eventually introduced into it the pupil-teacher system and reorganized the school as a prototype for a national system.  By 1854 there were over fifty national schools and Wilkins was appointed their Inspector and Super­intendent. [23]  More than any other member of the Benthamite group, Wilkins seems to fit the role of career bureaucrat who becomes fully aware that the pressure he applies to further an ideology is not inconsistent with progress in his own career and remuneration.


Wilkins developed a friendship with Henry Parkes a journalist and politician who claimed to be devoted to the cause of public education and one who had been a campaign manager for Robert Lowe’s political election periods.  In 1854 Wilkins succeeded in getting himself appointed as one of three Commissioners to investigate elementary schools and he soon became the dominant spokesman.  In the final report of the Commission in December 1855, there appears a clear example of the influence of Wilkins’ mentor Kay in England.  The Report complained that only one-half of the approximately 50,000 children ‘of an age to be in school’ (presumably 5-14) were at school.  Wilkins’ Report failed to observe that, realistically, if the average de facto  school duration of children was five years then nearly all children must have been receiving an education.  Indeed ‘The Erroneous Calculation’ seems here to be the most egregious of all because later in the Wilkins’ Report it is regretted that “We are under the impression that the average time spent at school by each child cannot far exceed two years”. (!)

The Report also observed that the average school fee was sixpence for each child per week.  The Benthamite dislike of positive priced free trade in education for the working class appears in the complaint that “in very many instances, the rivalry between schools has tended to cause a reduction in the rate of school fees; and we regard this circumstance as one of the worst results of the present competition of systems ... the rivalry of systems tends to divide, and consequently weaken every endeavour for the promotion of education” (Griffiths, 1957, p. 92).  The Benthamite desire for uniformity is also revealed in the Report’s later conclusion that the ‘piecemeal character’ of education was a serious defect.  “There should be but one system, specially adapted to the wants of the community, and controlled and administered by one managing body”.


In 1866 Wilkins prepared Henry Parkes for the task of introducing the most radical of all legislation on N.S.W. schooling: the Public Schools Act.  All possible evidence was mustered to show the weaknesses of the denominational system and the earlier arguments of Lowe and Wilkins were rehearsed to good effect.  According to Barcan (1988), Wilkins even urged his inspectors to inform local supporters of the desperate financial position of the government schools.  It should be noticed that, by this time, most denominational schools were receiving subsidies, although to a much smaller amount than the National (government) schools.

The Public Schools Act of 1866 created a Council of Education.  Henry Parkes was elected its Chairman and Wilkins its Secretary.  This new government regime discriminated promptly and severely against denominational establishments.  Restrictions, for example, were placed on church schools that were close to public institutions.  The full cost of initiating denominational schools, moreover, fell on the local (voluntary) supporters whereas the equivalent costs for the public schools was covered by the Council via funds from compulsory taxation.  The effect on Church school enrollments was devastating.  Whereas denominational schools had contained 55 percent of all pupils in 1867, the proportion had fallen to 38 percent by 1872 (Barcan 1988, p. 119).

It seems no exaggeration to say, once more, that ‘The Erroneous Calculation’ was a main cause, if not the key influence, in the passing of the educational legislation.  Combined with the rhetoric of Parkes, a consummate politician, it seems to have impressed all sides of the debate.  According to Austin (1961), Parkes’ speech on the second reading is generally regarded as his greatest.  It is interesting to note, however, that Barcan (1988, p. 147) believes that Parkes “collected his interesting educational ideas from other


people... and especially William Wilkins”.  Parkes’ friend Robert Lowe had undoubtedly been another important influence.  The following is a key extract from Parkes’ speech:

The children under 14 years of age in the country at the latest date to which our statistics come was 150,845... Of this number there were attending schools 53,452, leaving the enormous number of 97,393 with no education whatever...(Griffiths, p. 117, italics supplied)

Parkes failed to remind his audience that his figure of 150,845 individuals under 14 years of age included those who were too young for schooling.  If we take this subset to be up to 5 years, and assuming the same number in each 0-5year of this group, we arrive at a gross school age base of 92,828.  This is the number of children from 5 to 13 year olds, a span of 9 years.  What is missing next is information on the average school duration.  If we assume, for instance, an average de facto school life of 5.2 years the number ‘with no education whatsoever’ would have been zero.  But in any case still further appeal to the data is necessary.  The statistics could be biased, for instance, because of greater numbers in the 0-4 year cohorts than in the 5-13 cohorts.  But whatever the final figure, Parkes’ claim that there were nearly 100,000 ‘with no education whatever’ is totally invalid.  This erroneous statistic nevertheless was paraded at every opportunity.

I think then I have made out a case for interference. If we are here with a population little over 400,000, and if one-quarter of the whole are children in a state of educational destitution, with no provision at all for their instruction, I think it will be admitted that I have unanswerably made out a case for interference ... No higher duty can engage the ability of Parliament than supplying these hundred thousand unhappy children with the means of instruction ...


And the same ‘ghost army’ of 100,000 educationally destitute is made to do service in Parkes’ final flight of rhetoric.

The voices of a hundred thousand children appeal to you and implore you not to allow any secondary consideration to impair your generous exercise of power in saving them from neglect and ignorance...  They will come after us in the field and in the workshop, in the school and in the church, in the judgment seat and within these walls is a mighty wave of intelligence that must receive its temper from you, but whose fire you will not be here to control. (Griffiths, p. 117, 1887.)


V. Benthamism revisited: differences among the faithful

It has been observed (Ekelund and Hebert 1990, p. 215) that the individual who more than any other bridged the gap between utilitarian theory and bureaucratic practice was Edwin Chadwick.  Bentham had prescribed a set of penalties and rewards to promote the public interest, and this was avowedly seen simply as the summation of individual interests.  In fact, however, Chadwick found the concept of public interest much more complex than it first seemed.  The practical solution, for him, was to define improvements in the public interest simply as actions that reduce economic waste.  And according to Chadwick’s ‘preventive principle’ the administrator should anticipate and then prevent waste from occurring in the first place.

Chadwick’s main focus was upon well specified and imaginative contracts relating to all the public services.  In the case of policemen, for instance, he recommended that their wages should be based on productivity.  But because of the difficulty of measuring police output (the services of prevention), Chadwick argued that relative wages be based “on the comparison of crimes


committed in one police jurisdiction with those committed in other jurisdictions where property was similarly situated” (Ekelund and Hebert, 1990, p. 217).

Among the later generations of Utilitarians it seems appropriate to classify Robert Lowe as a ‘Chadwick-style Benthamite’.  Appointed as Vice-President to the Privy Council Committee on Education in 1861, he appears to have been instructed by Gladstone to effect economies in the government’s education budget.  The new Vice-President found a central office of education that was particularly complicated.  There were 7,000 certificated teachers and 15,000 pupil teachers employed in (nongovernment) schools and all were paid by government post office orders sent directly to their private addresses.  Lowe was soon convinced that the main failure was the absence of some machinery for testing the results of the teachers’ employment.  Like Chadwick on the subject of policemens’ pay, Lowe wanted teachers to be rewarded according to their productivity.

In cooperation with R. Lingen, Lowe proceeded to produce the famous Revised Code.  One key provision in it was as follows:

The managers of schools may claim one penny per scholar for every attendance after the first 100, at the morning or afternoon meetings.  One-third part of the sum thus claimable is forfeited if the scholar fails to satisfy the inspector in reading, one-third if in writing, and one-third if in arithmetic respectively.

For introducing this ‘payment by results’ plan, Lowe was attacked from nearly all quarters and especially by the newly organized teaching bodies.  The main objection was that the Revised Code encouraged ‘cramming’ and spread the belief that the most important rudiments of education were the three Rs.


Attention was diverted from the moral function of the school and from the importance of manual skills and physical exercises.

It is interesting that in one place Lowe referred to the reform in terms of introducing some ‘free trade’ into education.  He seems, however, to have been using the concept in a special way.  If he really wanted free trade in the usual sense of market competition he could have suggested implementing an educational voucher system; for this would certainly have re-established consumer sovereignty.  Like most Benthamites, however, he distrusted parental choice among the working class.  In his view it was the government of the day who was the key ‘consumer’ and an economizing government was interested in keeping down waste by arranging for supply by competitive tender.

The Revised Code debate revealed apparently sharp differences between the leading Benthamite educational leaders.  James Kay, now Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, was indeed one of Lowe’s sharpest critics.  On the analogy with free trade, however, they seem to have been arguing at cross purposes.  Kay Shuttleworth retorted:

No fallacy is more transparent or more monstrous than that which assumes that knowledge, or whatever training is got in schools, is a natural want, certain to assert itself like the want of food, or clothing, or shelter, and to create a demand.  The fact is the very reverse of this assumption...  All statesmen who have wished to civilize and instruct a nation have to create this appetite. (Frank Smith, p. 269).

Kay Shuttleworth’s main complaint was that moral and psychological education was, if anything, more important than the three Rs. [24]  There appears an emphasis here on the traditional and idealistic aim of Bentham himself in


wanting to teach people all avenues to happiness simultaneously.  Lowe, the practical ‘Chadwick-style Benthamite’ on the other hand could not see any way of testing the success of teachers in producing moral or psychological ‘output’ much as he wanted to do this.

Lowe is the more interesting in that, as we have seen, he started out in Australia with inordinate zeal to reduce the educational influence of denominational church schooling.  And his uncritical use of ‘The Erroneous Calculation’ seems to be explained as an expedient aimed at preparing the way for the crowding out of the schools that parents were choosing.  His early enthusiasm for a ‘national system’ certainly seems to have been based on the earlier Benthamites’ romantic or idealistic view of government.  By the 1860s, however, Lowe had received much personal experience within public office and he began to compromise his earlier hostility to organized religion.  If indeed he was the last of the Utilitarians he was exceptional in recognizing in the political process the strong possibility and danger of what, modern public choice analysis calls ‘rent seeking’.  Thus in 1865, after he had relinquished his education office, Lowe explained that a main cause of the hostility he had invited in that capacity was that

The Revised Code swept away the vested interests of some 10,000 teachers, who had begun to consider themselves as government employees, having a claim on augmentation grants for the rest of their lives. [25]

Evidently Kay had created a growing political constituency in the shape of a cadre of teachers who had been trained in his normal schools (teacher training colleges).  And he had already argued that “The first business of the State is to improve the lot of the teacher”. [26]

One final point of interest concerning Lowe is that he sharply divided the population into the working class, which needed the guidance of Benthamite


paternalism, and the middle class which didn’t.  In the case of the middle class he was wholeheartedly in favor of free trade in the usual sense of the term.  Since parents at this level were sophisticated and responsible choosers, consumer sovereignty could here ride supreme. [27]  The case of the working class was different and it is summed up in Lowe’s famous comment on the extension of the franchise to the masses by the Reform Act of 1867.  There was now an urgent need, he insisted, “to compel our future masters to learn their letters”.  But this probably referred not literally to learning their ABCs, for most people were already doing that.  The message pointed instead to the correct uses of literacy especially in the sense of learning right moral and social conduct.  In a much earlier comment written in Australia there appears a parallel argument:  “There are large numbers of children growing up in ignorance, and if we do not educate them, other people will.  Large drafts of criminals are coming over here and they will educate their children...” [28]

Lowe would have been in full agreement with Nassau Senior’s advice to the Newcastle Commission on Popular Education in 1861:

We may look forward to the time when the labouring population may be safely entrusted with the education of their children; but no Protestant Country believes that this time has come, and I see no reason to hope for it until generation after generation has been better and better educated... until England becomes what no country has ever yet become, an Utopia inhabited by a self-educated and well-educated labouring population.


VI. The continuing legacy

It has been suggested that the historical encroachment of a public (or ‘national’) system of government schools upon a previously prevailing market


system has been ‘more concerned with morals than minds’. [29]  Several elites were certainly anxious to exert their own particular form of influence on the bulk of the population.  This paper has argued that among British elites the Benthamites were especially triumphant from the 1830s to at least 1870. And although professing to be heralding a new social science approach to legislation, their competitive zeal to obtain positions of influence led them to the use of statistical reasoning that, to another and later century, looks to have all the marks of expedient propaganda.

At the end of the twentieth century the British authorities are insisting that parental choice and freedom is essential and must be reestablished.  According to McLean (1988), Britain’s Education Act of 1988, shifted the role of central government from provider and manager of public education to legal arbiter and protector of consumer rights.  For instance, given a stipulated minimum in favor, parents in England and Wales can now ‘opt out’ of the current local education system by reorganizing their schools under individual trusts run by managements of parent governors.  The trusts will be directly financed by the central government.  But this pressure to bypass local authorities is seen by McLean, not as a new departure, but a resuscitation of the ‘social contract’ philosophy of governmental responsibility for social services that prevailed between 1830 and 1870, a philosophy, according to him, that derives largely from Bentham, J.S. Mill and Nassau Senior.

McLean appears wrong in some respects and right in others.  He is mistaken in linking the 19th century period to a social contract.  The masses appear to have been manipulated rather than consulted by the 19th century Utilitarians; and consultation, after all, is the essence of any social contract.  On the other hand McLean is undoubtedly correct in drawing some parallel between 19th century Benthamism and the structure of 1988 British


Education Act.  For despite its claim to be a movement for parental choice, the initial four clauses of the Act place extraordinary, and in some cases unprecedented, powers with the Secretary of State.

The second clause provides that for every maintained (government) school the teaching (programs of study) shall follow precisely that laid down by central government.  This clause fulfills the highest aspiration of the 19th century founder of the English public system, James Kay (and of course his disciple in Australia, William Wilkins).  The first and third clauses establish and describe a National Curriculum such that government leaders will determine, for instance, whether French is better than German, or the new maths is better than the old, an arrangement that, in principle, was close to the heart of John Stuart Mill.  Bentham would have been pleased that nowhere in the description of the National Curriculum is there any mention of religious education.  Finally Robert Lowe would no doubt approve of the provision whereby methods of assessment (examination) will follow those laid down by the central government.  He would have been disappointed, however, by the absence of any ‘payment by results’.  In addition he (and Senior) might be somewhat surprised that over a century after he had expressed the need “to compel our future masters to learn their letters”, government compulsion and provision still dominates.

Parents who, under the new British legislation, opt out to have their school controlled by themselves, will face many problems.  Meaningful choice and competition requires a positive priced system, but the British authorities, just like the 19th century Benthamites, dislike it.  The charging of fees by maintained schools is forbidden under the 1988 Act.  This fact more than any brings into question McLean’s argument that the British central government has now become a protector of consumer rights.


Clearly many aspects of Benthamism in education retain a firm hold.  It certainly seems to have ingrained itself into the very bones of the British civil service from which successive ministries of education receive constant advice and guidance.  This is not to say that there is at present any obvious official desire to promulgate or implement Bentham’s central pleasure/pain philosophy.  What remains is the machinery of Benthamism, the mechanisms of central administration, curricula selection and examination.  Many writers in the field of public choice conclude that those who benefit most from a government school system are the suppliers of education since they have been granted the privileges of protected incomes and jobs.  The Benthamites did not want free trade in working class education.  But the absence of internal free trade implies monopoly.  And to the economist at least, this is in fact the chief inherited legacy.

The pattern of British educational institutions, and those in other parts of the world, might have been much different had the ordinary public been acquainted with some of the elementary propositions in the new economics of politics, especially those which relate to the tendency of bureaucratic growth and control.  And things would no doubt have been substantially different if the 19th century public had been more aware of, and resistant to, flawed numerical reasoning in the shape of the Benthamites’ Erroneous Calculation.  Mr. Gladstone recognized the flaw but didn’t pursue it further.  It remains a mystery why.



Barcan, Alan. 1988. Two Centuries of Education in New South Wales, Kensington, N.S.W. University Press.

Bentham, Jeremy. 1818, Church of Englandism and its Catechism examined, London: Effingham Wilson.

Birchenough, Charles. 1927. History of Elementary. Education in England and  Wales. University Tutorial Press, London.

Bowring, J. (ed.). 1962. The Works of Jeremy Bentham, 11 Vols., New York: Russell and Russell.

Buchanan, James. M. 1978. “History of the Neglect of ‘Public Choice’ in the U.K.” in The Economics of Politics, Institute of Economic Affairs, London.

Breton, A. 1974. The Economic Theory of Representative Government. Chicago: Aldine.

Dicey, A.V. 1914. Law and Public Opinion in England, 2nd ed. London: Macmillan.

Ekelund, Robert B. and Robert F. Hebert. 1990. A History of Economic Theory and Method, 3rd edition, New York: McGraw Hill.

Griffiths, D.C. 1957. Documents on the Establishment of Education in New  South  Wales 1789-1880. Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne.

Hyams, B.K., and B. Bessant. 1972. Schools for the People? Camberwell: Longman, Australia.

Knight, Ruth. 1966. Illiberal Liberal, Robert Lowe in New South Wales, University of Melbourne, Melbourne.


McLean, Martin. 1988. “The Conservative Education Policy in Comparative Perspective: Return to an English Golden Age or Harbinger of International Policy Change?” British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3, Oct., pp. 200-217.

Lowe, Robert. 1868. Middle Class Education: Endowment or Free Trade? London: Bush.

Mill, James. 1813. “Progress in Education”, Edinburgh Review.

Mill, J.S. 1962. On Liberty, Fontana edition. London: Collins.

            . 1969. Principles of Political Economy, Ashley edition, Augustus M. Kelly, New York.

Mueller, Dennis C. 1989. Public Choice II, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Senior, Nassau. 1861. Suggestions on Popular Education, London: J. Murray.

Smith, Frank. 1923. The Life and Work of Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, London: John Murray.

Turney, C. 1969. “William Wilkins - Australia’s Kay-Shuttleworth” in Pioneers of Australian Education, ed. C.Turney, Sydney: Sydney University Press.

Wardle, David. 1971. Education and Society in Nineteenth Century Nottingham, Cambridge University Press.

West, Edwin G. 1971. Education and the State, Institute of Economic Affairs, London.

1975. Education and the Industrial Revolution, London: Batsford.



Correspondence may be addressed to the author, Department of Economics, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6.

1. Buchanan (1978), p. 4.

2. A. Breton (1974), p. 124.

3. Breton, (1974), p. 143.

4. Op. Cit.

5. Bentham, (1818), p. 10.

6. Nassau Senior (1861).

7. Hansard Vol. X, Cols. 139-166, July 1833.

8. Ibid.

9. Mueller (1989), pp. 251, 252.

10. Report of the Select Committee on Education, 1838, Paras 100 and 101.

11. The following dialogue is reported in paragraphs 102-113 of the 1838 Select Committee Report.

12. Actually the edition of the Manchester Report that was published in the previous year had cautiously stated in a footnote with very small print that the Committee ‘have not drawn the inference which various commentators have attributed to them, that this proportion of the youthful population continued permanently destitute of schooling ...  The Committee possess no data for stating what number of children have never enjoyed the advantage of attending school’. (Italics in original) Report p. 18.  Despite this rider the Society persisted with the habit (subsequently echoed in innumerable educational reports) that


the difference between the numbers found by surveys to be in schools and the census of the 5-15 year olds represented the numbers who were ‘receiving no instruction in schools whatsoever’ - to use its precise words (p. 3).

13. It is interesting to speculate whether Gladstone, a man of religious solemnity, was more swayed by the accusation of poor quality (i.e. amoral) teaching rather than poor quantity.

14. The Report appears in the Journal of the Statistical Society, London II 1839, 65-83.

15. Firm opposition to the MSS methodology was expressed, however, by members of the Bristol Statistical Society, Jnl. Stat. Soc., II (1839), p. 252 (esp. the footnote); The 1851 Census special inquiry into education reported that working-class children received on average four and two-thirds years of schooling (West, 1975, p. 27).

16. Forster’s Speech, 17 February 1870. See Volume 199 of Hansard (third series), cols. 438-466.

17. Parliamentary Debate, Education Bill, First Reading, 17th February 1870, Lord Montagu, Hansard Vol. 199 (third series).

18. By 1875 school accommodation in the public sector had grown to 2,871,000 places but only 1,678,000 pupils were in attendance (Report for 1875).

19. David Wardle, Education and Society in Nineteenth Century Nottingham, 1971, p. 169.

20. In a letter written in 1863 from England to a friend in Australia, Lowe wrote: “It is curious that I never took any lively interest in the question of popular education; and yet both here and in Australia it has been forced upon me by force of circumstances, which I could not control, and has ended in both cases in involving my innocence and inexperience in a tremendous row.” Knight, 1966, p. 84.


21. Knight (1966) quotes a contemporary opinion that Lowe’s talents matched those of his contemporary at Oxford, Mr. Gladstone, and the latter, as shown above, seems to have been alert to this kind of fallacy in statistical reporting.

22. D.C. Griffiths, 1957.

23. Turney (1969).

24. Frank Smith, The Life and Work of Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth. John Murray, London 1923.

25. Hansard CLXXVII, 869.

26. Birchenough (1927), p. 426.

27. The arguments for the middle class are contained in Lowe’s book Middle Class Education: Endowment or Free Trade? London 1868. Lowe reveals himself in this book to have been influenced as much by Adam Smith as by Bentham.

28. Knight (1966) p. 83-84 (italics supplied).

29. Katz (1976).