John Locke (1887)” by an unknown sculptor. Former home of the College of Preceptors, designed by Frederick Pinches, Bloomsbury Square (South side), London WC1. [Click on images for larger pictures.]

UCL's Bloombury Project explains that in 1846 Henry Stein Turrell of Brighton founded the organization, "originally known as the Society of Teachers," in order to "create and maintain professional standards in a profession which had at the time a poor reputation," and it "was incorporated” by royal charter as the College of Preceptors in 1849" (Fifty Years). Beginning in 1847, the College published Edicational Times, which later became "the organ of the College. . . Alexander Isbister (sometime Headmaster of the Jews’ College) was editor of the Educational Times from 1861, and Dean of the College from 1872–1883; he was succeeded as Dean” by H. W. Eve, Headmaster of University College School." As its activities and influence increased, the College needed larger quarters, at which point

the architect Frederick Pinches designed a new building in red brick with dressings of Portland stone, and carved stone panels above the ground and first floor windows decorated with medallions of famous educators from John Locke and John Milton to Pestalozzi and Froebel.

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827). Portraits of the Swiss educator, who implemented the ideas of Rousseau, show him with a similar necktie and broad-collared coat.

Left: Former home of the College of Preceptors on which the bas relief portraits appear. Right: The third portrait of the educational pioneers, which does not resemble pictures of either Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of Kindergarten (1782-2852), or the poet John Milton. Can anyone identify this person?

Photographs by Robert Freidus. Formatting, perspective correction, and text by George P. Landow. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


"College of Preceptors." University College London site. Web. 18 July 2011.

Fifty Years of Progress in Education: A Review of the Work of the College of Preceptors from its Foundation in 1846 to its Jubilee in 1896. London: 1896.

"UCL Bloomsbury Project." University College London site. Web. 18 July 2011.

Last modified 18 July 2011