The London Metropolitan Archives suggests that this Sunday school was connected to a Baptist church that was located on Worship Street, City of London. The church itself was running from at least 1791. It was still running in the 1870s, but by 1896, was demolished for the expansion of the North London Railway. From ‘An account of the rise and progress of the Worship Street Sunday School’ in the magazine it produced, we know that the school was established in the spring of 1818 by the minister, John Simpson, and ‘the younger members of his family and some other friends’ (J. C. Means, ‘An account of the rise and progress of the Worship Street Sunday School’, The Monthly Instructer, V, March 1827, pp. 59-65 (pp. 56-60)).
On April 18th of that year, its first students were admitted. The school had separate classes for boys and girls, and the teachers were made up of ‘young persons in the congregation’, and later from some of its former pupils. While classes were originally taught in the chapel, by the time of the ‘account’, they had moved to Dunning’s Alley, Bishopsgate.
The first issue of The Monthly Instructer appeared in 1823, five years after the school had been founded. Only Volumes V, VI and VIII have survived. According to its Editor, the magazine provided ‘useful or interesting information, and tend[ed] to promote in some way the interests of religion and morality’ ([Editor], ‘The Editor’s farewell’, The Monthly Instructor, VI, December 1828, pp. 287-88 (p. 287)). These moralistic miscellanies consist predominantly of transcribed extracts from various printed materials.
Other features in later issues include moralistic, fictional (original?) stories, non-fiction articles on different animals that included original illustrations and a correspondence column. The correspondence column appears at the very end of the magazine in the majority of the issues. From this feature, we learn about the production process of the magazine. What is interesting about this Sunday school magazine is that the contributions appear to have come from teachers as well as the students.
The 1830 volume of the magazine contains the original pink paper covers of the monthly issues that were omitted in the previous bound volumes. The covers are of interest as they give the subscription price (6d per annum) and a list of the subscribers on the back covers. If each of the (separated) listings represent a class, the magazine might have served as a weekly textbook before being passed to the next class.
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
Worship Street Sunday School (London)
Date of Existence
Dates of Magazine
Vol. V (Jan.-Dec. 1827); Vol. VI (Jan.-Dec. 1828); Vol. VIII (Jan.-Dec. 1830)
Number of Issues
36 issues in 3 bound volumes
Contents and Contributions
Art/Illustrations (original); Articles (non-fiction); Circulation Lists; Correspondence columns; Extracts of published works; Fiction/Narratives; Indexes; List of Sunday Evening Lectures; Prefaces; Tables of Contents; Title pages
London Metropolitan Archives