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The Colston's Hospital School Years

3 August 1760 - 30 June 1767

Age: 7-14

The Colston's Hospital School Register

Thomas Chatterton's future is mapped out for him. 

It starts with his registration in the school register for 3rd August 1760; it is worth noting that Chatterton was rejected from Pile Street School in 1757/8 for being too dull to learn, but now he is assessed as suitable to become an Attorney's apprentice, at Lambert's on the 1st July 1767. 

Colston School The Great House cropped.j

Colston's Great House,

On St Augustine's Back, Bristol

Became Colston's School.

Delight and Disappointment

Chatterton was looking forward

To this new episode in his Life.

He was in his eighth year

 And full of hope for what lay ahead.


But, on his first day at Colston's School,

Sunday 3rd of August 1760,

His hopes were dashed.

The education rammed into the boys

The Five 'Rs'

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

And Religion by Rote

Was basic in the extreme.

Chatterton is said to have claimed

He could learn more at home from books.


Suddenly he had gone from being

A free soul able to wander as he pleased

To practical 'imprisonment' as a border.


In bed at 8 pm summer or winter.

colston boy badge museum.jpg

A Colston's Schoolboy

The Traditional Uniform

Included a Dolphin on a Brass Badge.

Silver Badges were Introduced in 1776

Thanks to the gift of John Purrier,

An old boy of the school (1743-1751).

So it seems that not everyone

Disliked the education at Colston's

(.QE!.) is currently working on this page

Chatterton's Works at Colston's

3 August 1760 to 30 June 1767.

Twenty-two works to consider

During Chatterton's

6 years & 11 months at Colston's.

3 Authentic Works; 5 Doubtful;

2 Lost; 12 Wrongly Attributed.

There are no known works

by Chatterton

Before  he attended Colston's Hospital School.

According to D.S. Taylor

Chatterton, in his 7 years at Colston's,

Wrote only three 'authentic' works.

Taylor has been the foremost authority on Chatterton since before publication of his indispensable The Complete Works of Thomas Chatterton in 1971. 

If you know anything of the career of the Murderer and Forger, Mark Hofmann, you will know that everything can be forged and everyone can be fooled!

This is why we must reconsider

Works of Doubtful Authenticity


Nuff Said!

 Authentic Works (3)

Sly Dick

Writ 1764 - Published 1803. TP811

A Hymn for Christmas Day

Writ 1764 - Published 1803. TP811

Works of Doubtful Authenticity?

(Works to be Considered 5)

Not all titles will link to a work at present.  I am held up by the Pandemic and waiting for Bristol Library to reopen in order to obtain images of some of the First Printings of the works on this page (in Felix Farley's Bristol Journal).

The Churchwarden and the Apparition

Written 1764  - Published 1764   TP1139

I've let my Yard, and sold my Clay

Written 1764- Published 1764  TP1139

Letter from Fullford, the Grave-digger

Written 1764 - Published 1764   TP1139

Custom. A Satire

Written 1766 - Published 1766  TP1140

Lost Works (2)

Works Wrongly Attributed

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