27 January 2016

Reverend Wilson's Seminary at Cheam School, Surrey

A c. 1780s pen and wash sketch (unknown artist) of Cheam School in Surrey

A late 18th century sketch of Cheam School in Surrey records that Reverend Edward Wilson's famous pupil - The Right Hon. William Pitt (the younger) - was educated there. This is incorrect. Pitt was educated at home with his four siblings until the age of 14 (when he attended Pembroke Hall in Cambridge), although Pitt was tutored by Mr. Wilson (who also served as the Pitt family chaplain). 

However, Pitt's childhood friend, and later the Speaker of the House of Commons and Prime Minister between 1801-4, Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth, was brought up in Cheam. It is possible that it was Sidmouth who was educated at the seminary, although his education would not have been under the direction of Wilson. 

Cheam School was demolished in 1935 to make way for burgeoning suburban housing development and the growing expansion of London. I would like to credit the wonderful organisation, The Georgian Group, for bringing this to my attention. 


The Georgian Group. Bargery, Robert. The Amateur Artist: Sketching the English Country House.