Class card of William Duncan (Gulielmus Duncan), Royal High School, Edinburgh, 1830-31
Scope and Contents
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
In 1584 the Town Council informed the rector, Hercules Rollock, that his aim should be 'to instruct the youth in pietie, guid maneris, doctrine and letteris'. As far as possible, instruction was carried out in Latin. The study of Greek began in 1614, and geography in 1742. The egalitarian spirit of Scotland and the classical tradition exerted a profound influence on the school culture and the Scottish Enlightenment. By the 19th century, the RHS had earned an international reputation and an influx of foreign students. The Royal High School was used as a model for the first public high school in the United States, the English High School of Boston, in 1821
Greek ceased to be compulsory in 1836, and in 1839 mathematics became recognised. The curriculum was gradually broadened to include French (1834), after-hours fencing and gymnastics (1843), German (1845), science (1848), drawing (1853), military drill (1865), English (1866), gymnastics as a formal subject and swimming (1885), music (1908), and history (1909). By 1866 classical masters were confined to teaching Latin and Greek. A modern and commercial course was introduced in 1873. A school choir was instituted in 1895.
When William Duncan was a student in 1830-31, the RHS had just moved to the famous Regent Road building on Calton Hill (1829–1968).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Class card of William Duncan, session 1830-31, Scholae Regiae Edinensis
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script