A Testimonial from Wordsworth

W. Milgate


Early in 1851 the Senate of the newly-founded University of Sydney began the search for a suitable scholar-administrator to serve as the University's first Principal. The successful candidate was Rev. Dr John Woolley, whose application was accompanied by a printed volume containing 121 testimonials. Under the heading "Testimonials Given November 10th, 1847" appears the following: From William Wordsworth, Esq., D.C.L., Poet Laureate, Rydal Mount, Rydal, Nov. 8th, 1847.
Dear Sir,
You have my cordial wishes for your success as candidate for the Head Mastership of King Edward's School, Birmingham, though I cannot but regret that your election must deprive the newborn establishment at Rossall of your most valuable superintendence and management.
I am concerned to hear that the presentation ofmy volume of poems has caused your upper class of boys the embarrassment to which you allude. No formal acknowledgment was expected on my part.
The holidays are approaching, and I shall be anxious to learn by my own examination what progress my grandsons have made in their studies, in which, from unfortunate circumstances occurring before the boys were under your care at Rossall, they have been unable to advance as far as might have been looked for from their respective ages.
I remain, my dear Sir,
Faithfully your much obliged,
W. Wordsworth.

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