Samuel Wilderspin

I confess, I hadn’t heard of the man who wrote, amongst others, Infant Education; or remarks on the Importance of Educating The Infant Poor, from the age of eighteen months to seven years. With an account of the Spitalfields’ Infant School, and the System of Instruction there adopted. To which is added, the latest improvements, and a list of schools already established, in England Our edition is the third, dated 1825.

But I should have! Wilderspin was a very important educationalist in the UK, inventing the playground, by the way. At one point there were hundreds of his schools operating, but now we are left with the buildings of just one, recently renovated in Barton. You can read more about it here. It is apparently ‘…the only place in the world where a Wilderspin school building and playground survive, making it a place of national and international importance.’ You can see pictures of the buildings here.

Surprisingly, given the significance and influence of his work, and the fact that his books went through lots of editions, almost none survive today.


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