QUOTE: The school was opened on October 3rd, 1614, with forty boys on the foundation, who were educated free of charge, and wore gowns of broad cloth lined with baize. Hence they were called gown-boys. A schoolmaster and an usher had charge of their education. About sixty “town-boys” who were not on the foundation were admitted on payment of school fees. The number of these scholars steadily grew. In 1677 there were forty-four boys on the foundation, but forty was the usual number…
The system of fagging seems to have been in full force., during Wesley’s schooldays. His life there was one of much privation. The elder boys * took the animal food from the juniors,* so that he says, “From ten to fourteen I bad little but bread to eat, and not great plenty of that. I believe this was so far from hurting me, that it laid the foundation of lasting health.” Isaac Taylor says, “Wesley learned, as a boy, to suffer wrongfully with a cheerful patience, and to conform himself to cruel despotisms without acquiring either the slave’s temper or the despot’s.” One thing helped much to preserve his strength. His father had given him strict injunctions to run round the garden, which was of considerable extent, three times every morning. Wesley was careful to obey that injunction.
The quote above is from The Life of John Wesley by John Telford – Chapter 3, GOWN-BOY AT CHARTERHOUSE and is found at http://wesley.nnu.edu/?id=84. Copyright © 1993-2011. Wesley Center for Applied Theology, c/o Northwest Nazarene University. All Rights Reserved.