Papers of Heinrich Simon, University of Manchester : The Pupil

Papers of Heinrich Simon, University of Manchester

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The first volume of the Simon papers contains documents from 1816 onwards relating to Heinrich Simon's schooling in Breslau (Wrocław) and Brieg (Brzeg). At first, the Simon children were taught at home by a private tutor. However, following Herrmann Simon’s insolvency, from August 1817 Heinrich Simon’s education, together with that of his siblings, took place in public institutions, in Heinrich’s case until Easter 1819 at Breslau’s Royal Friedrich Grammar School (Königliches Friedrichs-Gymnasium). The family then sent him to board at the Royal Grammar School (Königliches Gymnasium) in Brieg where he secured an outstanding school leaving certificate (Abitur) in 1824. The description below is divided into two parts, reflecting the division of the items in the volume into these two periods, Breslau and Brieg. However, the volume begins with a certified copy of the parish register entry of St Elisabeth in Breslau concerning Heinrich Simon’s birth (29 October 1805) and baptism (2 December 1805), which names the baptismal witnesses and is dated 29 July 1851, when he was in Swiss exile.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>Schooling in Breslau, 1816-1819</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The first part of the volume, covering the years 1816 to 1819, includes documents such as weekly, quarterly and half-yearly reports, assessments for Heinrich, Emilie and Julie Simon, school statutes and two drawings of small maps done by Heinrich Simon in 1818. In addition, there is correspondence, starting in 1817. Most of the letters were written collectively by a number of family members. At the same time, some written by Heinrich Simon were addressed to only one family member, and some letters to him were written by a single person. A single surviving letter may comprise several missives written over a number of days, often by more than one person, or addressed to more than one person. In some cases, letters are incomplete, fragmentary or preserved as drafts. In other cases, the name of the writer or the addressee is abbreviated or missing altogether. There are a number of letters which were exchanged between the Simons’ former tutor Eduard Kaiser and the Simon children Heinrich, Gustav, Auguste, Emilie, Julie, Hermine and Ludowika. Kaiser was by now working as a private tutor in Schmiedeberg.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'><b>The Royal Grammar School at Brieg, 1819-1824</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The second part of the volume, which chronicles Heinrich Simon's time as a boarder at Brieg’s Royal Grammar School from Easter 1819 to Michaelmas 1824, comprises a larger number of documents. It contains documents concerning: school life, including a list of clothing belonging to Heinrich Simon, timetables, school fees, bills for fees, books, repairs and travel expenses; and, subject matter, including several essays and writing books with sketches, geometry, Greek and Latin exercises, drawings of small maps, schedules and exam preparation, as well as various lists. Heinrich Simon’s school reports are preserved from Easter 1820 to Michaelmas 1824. Personal accounts are available in several calendars and Diarien, a kind of diary containing personal entries and notes, scribblings and school exercises. Further material describes customs, special occasions at school and accounts of excursions.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The remaining material consists of letters, mainly correspondence between Heinrich Simon and his family during the time he attended the grammar school, but also letters from Heinrich Simon to his uncle Heinrich Simon the Elder in Berlin, letters from his cousin Carl Lütke and a letter that Heinrich Simon wrote in 1823to Mrs Schmieder, the Head’s wife. The correspondence before January 1822 largely comprises letters sent to Heinrich Simon by his family, whereas thereafter the number of letters that he sent to his parents, brother and sisters increases. Again, letters are often written collectively by several members of the family or addressed to two or more people, written over several days. They deal principally with family affairs and matters related to school, for example, learning, teachers, friends and Heinrich Simon’s leisure activities. They also report incidents in Breslau, Brieg and elsewhere, including Heinrich Simon’s first encounters with Gustav Adolph Haacke who in 1819 had founded the proscribed student society, the Breslauer Arminia Burschenschaft.</p>

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