ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2002-05 > 1020842406
From: "norman.lee1" <>
Subject: Re: Moral standards and literacy
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 08:20:32 +0100
Beware of assuming illiteracy because of 'bad spelling'. Spelling was only
standardised in the latter half of the 19th century when universal education
came in. Before that, and going back particularly into the 18th century and
before, any spelling was valid and no-one was censored for it. English was
not taught. Latin was though and was expected to be spelt properly and the
grammar carried out in a prescribed way. Hence the term 'grammar schools'.
These schools were set up to teach Latin and Greek grammar and to get their
pupils into university - Oxford and Cambridge.
Shakespeare and Raleigh signed their names in as many as forty different
ways, it is said (the mind boggles at how they achieved this!).
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 1:50 AM
Subject: Moral standards
> Sorry to take up more space, but I believe Collen, Audrey and the rest of
> have picked up on something here. For myself, I started researching all my
> "Thomas Clarkson's" hoping to find a link to Thomas Clarkson, who worked
> Wilberforce in convincing Lincoln to free the slaves. Then we find that
> were illiterate, judging from different spellings in the registers of the
> family name.
> I suppose many of us started the same way.
> Now many of us have found, that we descend from some ancestors who had as
> many as nine children at each generation, only to find we are all that is
> We come to realize the suffering, hunger and damned hard work that got us
> Well, heres a drink to those that went before us, and I will attempt to
> an empty chair at each family gathering, that will represent that spirit.