Monday, June 10, 2013

Do Not Saunter About the College Yard or You Will Receive Corporal Punishment!


Ben Franklin: 1st President of the College of Philadelphia
I was doing some reading last night in the eighteenth-century trustee minutes of the College of Philadelphia (which eventually became the University of Pennsylvania).  On March 19, 1761, the trustees unanimously approved its "Rules for the Discipline & Good Government of the Students and Scholars."  Here is a taste:



If any Student or Scholar, without a reasonable Excuse, shall on the Lord’s day neglect attending divine worship in some one or other of the religious Societies in this City, he shall on proper Conviction thereof pay six Pence and moreover, if he perseveres in such Neglect after due admonition, he shall be chastised if under fourteen Years of Age, and if above that age be brought to publick Confession, degraded, subjected to some Exercise or presented to the Trustees as the Faculty shall think proper...


If any Students or Scholars shall be found guilty of fighting or quarreling both Parties shall be chastised for the first Offence, & if found to be notoriously quarrelsome or troublesome after due Admonition, they shall be presented to the Trustees...

In every School belonging to this Institution, there shall be a Monitor or Monitors appointed weekly at the Direction of the Professor or Master who has the Care of such School & it shall be the Business of such Monitors to note down and deliver into the Faculty after Prayers every Evening & before the Dismission of the Schools, the  Names of the Delinquents, as oft as ny of them shall be guilty of talking, whispering or behaving any wan indecently in the time of Prayer, reading the holy Scriptures, or calling the Roll; which Delinquents shall be immediately punished or fined as above directed, agreeable to the Nature of the Crime… 

“If any Student or Scholar shall saunter about the College or College Yard or go out without Leave, or make Use of another Book or Books without his Permission; he shall be subject to corporal Punishment, or a Fine not exceeding four pence for every such Transgression.”