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  Beaters for the Squire  
 

Here are two of the slightly more unusual reasons for Victorian children not turning up at school.
The first one mentions that some boys are missing school Photo of pheasantbecause they are working as beaters for 'the Squire', who would be a local wealthy landowner from the 'Big House' and it's estate.
This means that they would move through the undergrowth on the private estate with sticks to make pheasants fly up over the trees. They would then be shot (the pheasants, but hopefully not the beaters !) by a line of farmers and others with shotguns.

The Squire is a lousy shot,
I'm glad to say !
27th November
1885
School diary entry "Bad attendance this week. Six of the boys beating for the Squire. One little boy very ill".
3rd December
1886
School diary entry "Some of the children declare that they will not come to school any more, because they so dread the Examination".
 

The above two are both from Bwlch-y-sarnau School Log Book.

The last one would be familiar to any schoolboy or girl since schools began, but it's harder to get away with missing exams these days !

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