Bell, Andrew (1753-1832)

Bell, Andrew, D.D., founder of the 'Madras System of Education,' was born, a barber's son, at St Andrews, 27th March 1753, and educated there. After acting as a tutor in Virginia (1774-81), he took Episcopal orders, sailed for India in 1787, and within two years was holding simul taneously eight army cliaplainships. In 1789 he became superintendent of the Madras military orphanage, and, finding it impossible to obtain duly qualified masters, conducted it by the aid of the scholars themselves. In 1796 he returned to England, where, on 27th January 1832, he died at Cheltenham, leaving (besides a valuable estate) £120,000 for educational purposes, half of it to go to St Andrews. His pamphlet entitled An Experiment in Education (1797) had attracted little attention, until in 1803 Joseph Lancaster (1778-1838), a Quaker, also published a tractate recommending the monitorial system. Lancasterian schools began to spread over the country; the Church grew alarmed, and in 1811 founded the ' National Society for the Education of the Poor,' of which Bell became superintendent., and whose schools soon numbered 12,000. See Life by Southey (5 vols. 1844), and Meiklejohn's An Old Educational Reformer (1881).
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 85.

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