Introduction to Rhetoric
EN 1007 – Fall 2009 – Carol Poster
Lecture 9 – Nov 23
- 18 and 19 century British education.
o Period of great change in education.
o Whitely was an enormous part of that change.
- Old and new writing situations – preaching, letters, parliament (including Bishops
in House of Lords), newspapers. Development of mass audience.
o Equal debating parliament.
o Courtrooms, forensic oratory.
o Preaching started in Middle Ages and keeps happening.
o Most of Whately’s oxford students are going to become priests, they need
to know how to preach.
o Should enable people to understand their religion.
o Plain preaching make sense and communicate effectively.
o Letter writing – more people are indulging in it than ever.
o Getting something new, written communication in mass media;
o 19 century there is a major technological development of the invention of
paper made out of wood pulp.
o Publication aimed at middle classes.
o Only the rick had books – all this changed with new development of paper.
o Postal system – rapid changing technology dramatically increases the
number of readers and the number of people making a living writing it.
o Best selling genre – bible.
o Second best – sermons
o Third best – periodicals.
- Whately – biography
o Born in 1783 died in 1863.
o Start career as prof at Oxford University.
o Required to be celibacy.
o When they got married they had to resign their position and could only
return if they had highly competitive position as heads of various collages.
o Served as parish priest.
o Head of St. Alvin’s house.
o Prof of political economy.
o The Church of England split off from Church of Rome in 1545 and was
established as the official national church by a law.
o Parliament – House of Commons and House of Lords.
o House of Lords – bishops.
o Whitely if you think of him as an archbishop = Member of Parliament for
life. o Revised laws of welfare.
o He was for his time a wild radical.
o Argued that Jews and atheists should be allowed to be members of
o Notion of religion is one that one’s religious belief should be based on
studying and reading evidence.
o A religious belief taken on blind faith doesn’t count much.
o He wanted people to be educated enough to make good judgements on
o His way of going about his study of evidence – everything depends on
how you think through evidence and testimony.
o His work and education – as archbishop he was on the national education
board in Ireland, the first place which tried to give public education for free
to every single child in Ireland, Whately was a promoter of education.
o Free public schools for every child – one of the crucial figures that created
o He believed everyone had to be educated – the poor – the women as well
as the men.
o He got daily hate mail in the paper and in person.
o Education will improve lives of all – Whately – part of a democracy,
everyone should be able to write, read and think about things logically.
o People couldn’t believe he was advocating things like this.
o Enormously unpopular position for an archbishop.