Stirling Merchants’ Guild – Register of Guildry Scholars 1810 – 1888

The merchant’s guild of Stirling, known as the Stirling Guildry, was very active in supporting its membership, providing pensions for older members and assistance for the widows and orphans of merchants who had died. The Guildry was a wealthy institution and part of its charitable work involved helping to provide an education for the children of its members who could not necessarily afford school fees.

Before the Education (Scotland) Act of 1872, much of the schooling provided in Scotland was on a fee-paying basis and provided by the parish. This was at primary school level. There were also private schools run by individuals offering an education for children and it would appear that there were a number of these in the Stirling area.

Interestingly, both girls and boys are given in the lists of scholars, indicating that Guildry members were educating their daughters at this time. The registers give a good idea of what schools were operating in Stirling in the early 19th century and in some cases, what was charged for lessons.

Although girls are given as learning writing and arithmetic, there were also sewing classes offered.

This register is a great source for information about education in Stirling before the establishment of state schools in the later 19th century.

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