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The Academy of Newton Bosworth

In 1808, Merton Hall was rented by a young teacher called Newton Bosworth and temporarily transformed into a private boys' boarding school, the Merton Hall Academy.

Born in Peterborough in 1778, Newton Bosworth moved to Cambridge in 1800 to take up a position as a teaching assistant at a small school that had been recently established by a man named Olinthus Gregory – a school that would later lay the foundations for Llandaff House Academy on Regent Street. Bosworth took charge of the school in 1803. Four years later, in March 1807, Bosworth announced that he would shortly open a private boarding school for young gentlemen in what he described as “a commodious house and in a pleasant and airy situation”.[1] The following advertisement for the Merton Hall Academy was printed in the Cambridge Chronicle later the same year:

Board and education in the English, Latin and Greek languages, writing, arithmetic, and mathematics, with their application to book-keeping, surveying, geography, globes, etc., or such of these as may be deemed most suitable for the pupil, THIRTY GUINEAS per annum. Entrance, one guinea. 

Tea in the afternoon, when desired, half-a-guinea per quarter additional....  

Washing and mending may be conveniently done in the town, and will be regularly attended to by Mrs. Bosworth.

Music, drawing, French, etc., by the best masters.

The health, morals and religious instruction of the pupils will be objects of constant attention.[2]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are no surviving accounts to suggest how popular Bosworth’s Academy was, but by 1811, Bosworth appears to have vacated Merton Hall entirely. He remained master of Llandaff House Academy until 1823, at which time the boarding house was converted into a day school. Bosworth is recorded as having initially moved to London and later to Canada. He died in 1848.



[1] Cambridge Chronicle, 3 March 1807

[2] Cambridge Chronicle, 30 May 1807