Edward Carden, was born, in Whitstable, Kent, in 1836. In 1849, he was indentured, as an apprentice Pupil teacher, at Whitstable Charity School. According to the 1861 census he was still teaching in Whitstable, but he was teaching in Rye, Sussex immediately before joining Highfield.
On June 26th 1865 Edward Carden, a certificated master of the 3rd class, began his time as the shortest serving Master at Highfield. He and the School’s Managers signed his agreement of appointment on Feb 9th 1866.
Mr Carden is apparently unhappy with the schools resources and
notes in the log book on September 21st 1865 that “in future
teachers will be expected to keep the reading books, used in their
respective classes in good repair – a glue pot will be provided for the purpose.” He is more impressed on October 4th when he records that the untidy cupboard has been put in order by the Assistant Master.
The School Log records that, on Jan 30 1868, the annual meeting of the subscribers to the school took place. The Inspector’s Report, dated Jan 3. 1868 was read, as follows “The school is doing well: but more than a quarter of the Scholars whose names are on the Examination Schedule, were absent on the day of Inspection” . At a Committee of Management held subsequently Mr Carden, tendered his resignation, which was accepted, & notice was agreed to.
Edward Carden wrote in the school log on May 29 1868 that “the term of my engagement here expires on Monday June 1 1868, having held the appointment 2 years 11 months.” He left originally to live in Wiltshire before moving on to South Mimms, Hertfordshire.
On the 1871 census there is a 35 year old Elementary Teacher from Whitstable listed with his family in South Mimms District of Middlesex. The census information would suggest that when he and his wife Mary, also a Teacher, arrived at Highfield they already had 3 very young children, a fourth, Grace, was born whilst at Highfield and they go on to have 9 children in total, one of whom dies in infancy.
Edward Carden died aged 44 on 23rd March 1880 and is buried in Chislet Churchyard, (near Herne Bay), Kent.
Sources and Acknowledgements:
Thanks to Linda Bowditch for additional information and the picture of Edward Carden c1870
Notes on the History of Highfield School written by Archer T Flux
Diary of a School – compiled by Jo Ladkin & Isobel White