When was the Victorian age?
The time when Queen Victoria reigned is called the Victorian era or Victorian age. She was queen from 1837 to 1901, and a lot of things happened in Britain during that time.
During the 64 years that Queen Victoria was on the throne, Britain was also going through the Industrial Revolution. Machines for factories were invented that could make things quickly, like textiles – so, there were more textiles around to sell, and more people who wanted to buy them. With the invention of the steam train, the textiles could get to places further away than before.
Life in the Victorian era changed very quickly for a lot of people, and cities became busier and more crowded.
Did you know?
- The Victorian era is named after Queen Victoria, who was queen from 1837-1901. People who lived during the Victorian era are called Victorians.
- Before the 19th century it used to take people 12 hours to travel between Birmingham and London if they were riding in a horse-drawn coach. Steam trains meant they could make the journey in under six hours!
- The police force was set up during the Victorian era by a man called Robert Peele (which is why we sometimes call the police "bobbies"!).
- So many things were invented during the Victorian era – can you pick out which ones we still use today?
- Motor cars
- Electric light bulb
- Steam and electric trains
- Rubber pneumatic tyres
- Sewing machines
- Postage stamps
- Chocolate Easter eggs
- Christmas cards
Who went to school during the Victorian times?
In early Victorian England, most children never went to school at all and grew up unable to read or write. Instead they were sent out to work to earn money for their families. Only the upper and middle class children went to school.
Children from rich families were taught at home by a governess until they were 10 years old. Once a boy turned ten, he went away to Public schools like Eton or Harrow. There were very few schools available for girls, however, until near the end of the Victorian time. Wealthy girls were mostly educated at home.
Where did poor children go to school?
Poor children went to free charity schools or 'Dame' schools (so called because they were run by women) for young children. They also went to Sunday Schools which were run by churches. There they learnt bible stories and were taught to read a little.
Why go to school?
The Victorians soon realised that it was important for people to be able to read and write and education became more important. The Church of England became active in the field and erected 'National Schools' which taught children reading, writing, arithmetic and religion.