Robert Raikes - Encyclopedia


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ROBERT RAIKES (1735-1811), English educationist, the founder of Sunday schools, was the son of Robert Raikes, a printer in Gloucester and proprietor of the Gloucester Journal, and was born on the 14th of September 1735. On the death of his father in 1757 he succeeded him in the business, which he continued to conduct till 1802. Along with some others he started a Sunday school at Gloucester in 1780, and on his giving publicity to the enterprise in the columns of his journal the notice was copied into the London papers and awakened considerable attention. For nearly thirty years he continued actively engaged in the promotion of his undertaking, and he lived to witness its wide extension throughout England. He died on the 5th of April 1811. His statue stands on the Thames Embankment.

Among various accounts of the life and work of Raikes mention may be made of that by P. M. Eastman, 1880.

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