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Published: April 3, 2011

John Brinsley (d. 1633)

English preacherschoolmaster and author of A Consolation for Our Grammar Schooles (1622), which became a standard pedagogical guide for Puritan schoolmasters in the colonies. Brinsley’s thesis was that the primary obligation of schoolmasters was to promote piety. They were to do this in two ways: directly, by teaching all children to read Scripture, and indirectly, by training a select group of gifted children for the ministry so that they would carry the word to parishes throughout the colonies. Brinsley, who designed his book for use in “all ruder countries and places,” warned that Jesuits were already training the most gifted children for missionary work and that the only way to save the English from being “consumed by their [Jesuit] furnace” was for schools “to prepare the way.”
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