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Recollections of John Pounds: A Ramble to Portsdown Hill by Reverend Henry Hawkes

On the Tuesday morning after the Saturday that John Pounds had arranged to take his scholars a ramble to Portsdown, I wished to speak to him, and went to his shop; but to my surprise I found the door shut. The little tumble-down window was open, and his cat was sitting at it, keeping watch. But there was no sound of children’s voices, and the old man was not there. Read more

Recollections of John Pounds: Feeding the Children by Reverend Henry Hawkes

On my way back to my lodgings in High Street, I had to pass the old cobblers shop. As I drew near, I heard many children’s voices, chattering and laughing all together. The upper part of the door was open, as usual; and his little tumble-down window was open too, Looking in; – there was the good old man in his glory! – in the midst of a host of little girls and boys, crowding about him, with merry laughing looks and voices! Read more

Recollections of John Pounds: Continuing my Tour of Portsmouth by Reverend Henry Hawkes

It was no easy thing to get away from the old cobbler. For though we had repeatedly bid him Good Morning, he had always something else to tell us, or show us; his heart was so thoroughly in all he was doing. At last – we were determined! But as we went away from his door, I could not help feeling sorry for him; he seemed so desiring to tell us something else about his doings. Read more

Recollections of John Pounds: My Introduction to Portsmouth By Rev’d Henry Hawkes

The next morning, about ten o’clock, w were on our way to the old cobbler’s. It was a beautiful morning in May; the sun was shining bright, and the air was refreshing. Going out of High Street, by Golden Lion Lane, we entered St. Thomas’s Street, and turned to our right. “As you are new to Portsmouth,” Mr….. said, “it may perhaps be interesting to you if I point out some of the characteristics of this garrison town.” Read more

Recollections of John Pounds: Have you met the Old Cobbler ? By Rev’d Henry Hawkes

A few days after I came to reside at Portsmouth, in the spring of 1833, a lady said to me laughingly, “Have you been introduced to the old cobbler yet ?”. Seeing that I was at a loss to know whom she referred to; “O you must go and see the old cobbler;” she said in a somewhat more serious tone; but mingled with pleasantry’ “He’s a remarkable man’ quite a character! And does a great deal of good, in his own quiet, humble way. Read more

Great Educator: John Pounds 1766 to 1839

John Pounds was born on June 17th 1766 and died on January 1st 1839. In his time he did unfathomable amounts of work to improve the lives of many people, particularly children, in the city of Portsmouth. It is arguable that this humble man, ‘the crippled cobbler of Portsmouth’, has played one of the most significant roles in shaping the social and educational landscape of the United Kingdom, and possibly beyond. All because he gave his life over to being a teacher when there were none, and acting true to a selflessness and an altruism which was to go on to inspire people such as Charles Dickens and the Reverend Thomas Guthrie. Read more