The Education of the Norman Family
Warde Norman’ by J L Filmer, unpublished research in Bromley Central
Much of the material for Mr Filmer’s research came
from Mr Norman’s autobiography which is in Bromley Central Library.
wrote rather disparaging about the governesses employed to teach his
sisters. “Miss Matthesius was a plain course woman, little
calculated, I should say, to educate young ladies. Miss Long was a
lusty woman of 45, motherly in appearance and character. In short,
an excellent person but of slight knowledge and competence, ignorant
of how to teach even the little she knew.” Of Caroline
Thelluson, he wrote, “I recollect her arrival and first entrance
into the library and admired her pleasing countenance and pretty
own education, he wrote that his mother's efforts to teach him in
his early days were unsuccessful; so much so that at the age of
seven and a half, he was unable to read and knew little more than
his letters. He was sent to a school run by the Reverend James
Smith, a curate of Elton, who kept a school for about 10 boys. Mr
Norman wrote later that he knew little of the business of education
but was however kind and honourable and eager to do his best.
School hours were long, 7 to 9, 10 to 1 and 3 to 5 plus something to
do in the evening. The boys were also instructed in military drill,
each having a musket and a bayonet.
was a border and cried for hours as he begged his mother not to send
him. During his time at Elton and his next school, Eton, he did not
recollect his parents ever visiting him. The groom rode over once a
week or fortnight to see that all was well.
of Eton, “The system of instruction in the school was as bad as
it could be - not a line of mathematics - no modern language.”
These deficiencies were particularly significant to George given his
later career. He spoke Norwegian through working in Norway in the
family timber business and for over 50 years he was a director of
the Bank of England.
George Herman Norman (born 1831) was sent to a school at Lee, kept
by a Miss Hart. A year later he was sent with his brother Charles
to a school in Cheam (c1840.) He then went to a preparatory school
near the Woolwich Arsenal as it had been decided that he would
have a career in the artillery.
he was sent to Sandhurst as it was decided that a career in the line
was better. (He had not done well enough in his studies to be sure
of a place in the artillery.) He left Sandhurst at 17. His studies
there included Euclid, plain and solid geometry, geometry, calculus,
analytical geometry, etc, field fortification, military surveying,
the French German and Latin languages and general history. While at
Sandhurst, he wrote in a letter to his grandmother, “Two cadets
ran away from here last night - they have sent dragoons after them.”