Book, 'A Shilling Arithmetic designed for the use of Elementary Schools'; John W...


Book, 'A Shilling Arithmetic designed for the use of Elementary Schools'


John William Colenso (1814-1883)

Maker Role


About this object

This arithmetic textbook belonged to Anne and Margaret Edith Lush. Inside is written, ‘Anne & Margaret Edith Lush also Papa Lush who teaches the above children arithmetic January 1 2000 [sic].’

During the 19th century, educating girls was seen by many parents to be fruitless. This was because women were expected to marry, have children and run a household, all of which did not need formal education. (1) However, Anne and Margaret Edith’s parents, Vicesimus and Blanche Lush, stressed the importance of education and endeavoured to educate their children, including their four daughters. (2) As the Anglican minister of the Howick parish in Auckland, Vicesimus Lush established a school at All Saints Church in 1851. According to his journals, the school roll included 15 girls and 12 boys and his wife helped by teaching the girls during the afternoon. Anne and Margaret Edith were largely taught by their father and older sister Blannie, but they also had governesses and received lessons in French, German and art by other people in the community. Therefore, Anne, Margaret Edith and their sisters received a higher education than most other girls of their era.

The author of this book, John Colenso, was the brother of William Colenso, a printer and missionary to New Zealand during the 19th century. (3)

(1) Anne Else, ‘Gender inequalities – Education,’ Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand,
(2) Gillian Nelson, ‘”In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”: Vicesimus Lush and his journals, 1850-1882,’ Master’s thesis Victoria University of Wellington, 2012, p. 28.
(3) David Mackay, 'Colenso, William,' from The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara - The Encylopedia of New Zealand,

For more information about the Lush family and Ewelme Cottage, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Medium and Materials



15 x 10 x 1cm

Date Made


Place Made

London, England


Longmans, Green and Co. (estab. 1724)

Publication Date


Publication Place

London, England

Credit Line

Collection of Ewelme Cottage, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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