1553: King Edward VI signed the Charter to bestow Bridwell Palace as a gift to the Corporation of London.
1556: Bridewell Palace is ready to take its first apprentices, vagrants and children of poor freemen were to learn a trade and receive basic education in “reading, writing, Grammar and mussike.”
1619: More than 100 Bridewell boys and girls arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. They were to be indentured apprentices.
1666: Great Fire of London “The hospital of Bridewell, by a fierce and lamentable fire, was lately burnt and consumed with all buildings, wares and much goods.”
1673: Bridewell was rebuilt and apprentices admitted and once again were taught reading and writing for six hours a week.
1714: A large fire engine was purchased so apprentices could attend local fires. Hauling the engine and pumping by hand was very hard work.
1780: The Gordon Riots. 180 militia from South Hants were quartered to protect Bridewell. The Governors decided to buy 20 muskets and bayonets and the apprentices learnt to drill. The Beadle acted as drill sergeant. Live ammunition was used for practice – a portent for drilling and naval uniform at Witley.
1830: Bridewell Governors opened The House of Occupation at St. George’s Fields Southwark. It was to provide a general and industrial education for boys and girls from 8 to 18 years of age. In this year, 50 boys and 50 girls were admitted.
Pushing Boundaries My approach with the pupils during activity time has been quite specific. I drew on my own experiences of being at school. I remember how rich and varied my education was, but I found it difficult to genuinely express myself. There was so much to process, learn and demonstrate with the added pressure...