BARRING-OUT, a custom, formerly common in English schools, of barring the master out of the school premises. A typical example of this practice was at Bromfield school, Cumberland, where William Hutchinson says "it was the custom, time out of mind, for the scholars, at Fasting's Even (the beginning of Lent) to depose and exclude the master from the school for three days." During this period the school doors were barricaded and the boys armed with mock weapons. If the master's attempts to re-enter were successful, extra tasks were inflicted as a penalty, and willingly performed by the boys. On the third day terms of capitulation, usually in Latin verse, were signed, and these always conceded the immediate right to indulge in football and a cockfight. The custom was long retained at Eton and figures in many school stories.
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This page was last modified 29-SEP-18
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