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dissenting academies

dissenting academies. The Act of Uniformity (1662) excluded dissenting ministers from their posts. Many, out of necessity, became teachers or tutors. Dissenting academies were particularly popular in Devon, Lancashire, London, and Wales, some of the most distinguished being at Tewkesbury, Northampton, and Warrington. They were much used by nonconformists who could not take the oaths at Oxford or Cambridge. Girls' as well as boys' schools were provided and commercial schools for the sons of city merchants set up. The curriculum, at first classically based, developed in the 18th cent. into a utilitarian one. Intellectual freedom was demonstrated by the emphasis on scientific subjects, taught by renowned experts such as Joseph Priestley.

Peter Gordon

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