Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/204

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Ridding
Ridding
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new element into English fiction, although Balzac had naturalised it in the French novel. She was intimately acquainted with the topography of the City of London, where the scenes of her novels were often laid. At the same time she possessed a rare power of describing places of which she had no first-hand knowledge. When she wrote 'The Moors and the Fens' she had never seen the district.

[The Times, 26 Sept. 1906; Helen C. Black, Notable Women Authors of the Day, 1893; W. Tinsley, Random Recollections of an Old Publisher, 1900, i. 93-6; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

E. L.


RIDDING, GEORGE (1828–1904), headmaster of Winchester and first bishop of Southwell, was born on 16 March 1828 in Winchester College, of which his father, Charles Henry Ridding (afterwards vicar of Andover), was then second master. His mother (d. 1832) was Charlotte Stonhouse, daughter of Timothy Stonhouse-Vigor, arch-deacon of Gloucester, and grand-daughter of Sir James Stonhouse, eleventh baronet [q. v.]. Isaac Huntingford [q. v.], bishop of Gloucester and Hereford and warden of Winchester, was great-great-uncle and godfather. Ridding was a scholar of Winchester (1840-6), rising to be head of the school, while his three brothers won equal distinction as cricketers. In default of a vacancy at New College, he matriculated as a commoner at Balliol, where he rowed in the college boat and gained the Craven scholarship, a first class in classics and a second in mathematics, and a mathematical fellowship at Exeter College (all in 1851); he won the Latin essay and proceeded M.A. in 1853; and took the degree of D.D. in 1869. From 1853 to 1863 he was tutor of Exeter (of which college he was made an honorary fellow in 1890); there he took a considerable part on the liberal side in college and university politics. On 14 Jan. 1863 Ridding was elected second master of Winchester; and on 27 Sept. 1866, when Dr. George Moberly [q. v.] resigned the headmastership, he was at once elected to succeed him. The time was ripe for reforms, educational and material, and Ridding was a wise and courageous reformer. Carrying on the policy initiated by Moberly, he established six additional boarding-houses, and transferred thither the ’commoners' (boys not on the foundation), who had hitherto been housed in an unsightly and insanitary block of buildings, which Ridding converted into much-needed class-rooms and a school library. Land was bought, drained, levelled, and presented to the school as additional playing-fields, since called Ridding Field. A racquet court, three fives courts, and a botanical garden were likewise given to the school. A new bathing-place and a gymnasium were provided. Wykeham's chapel was reseated and rearranged, with results which though artistically unfortunate were held to be good for discipline; and 'Chantry,' a beautiful fifteenth- century building in the centre of the cloisters, was converted into a chapel for the smaller boys. The funds for carrying out his reforms were provided by Ridding out of his own salary and private property, to an extent estimated at 20,000l., of which about half was eventually repaid to him. Educationally Ridding was a pioneer in the expansion of the curriculum of public schools. He was one of the founders of the headmasters' conference in 1870, and of the Oxford and Cambridge schools examination board in 1873; but he did not wait for the collaboration of other headmasters to carry out the reforms which he saw to be desirable. He more than doubled the staff of assistant masters. He greatly enlarged the scope of the mathematical teaching; he practically introduced the teaching of history, modern languages, and natural science, and made them, especially the first-named, vital elements in the education of the school. No separate ’modern side' was established; but opportunities were given in the upper part of the school for the development of special individual capacity. Ridding was himself a fine classical scholar and a stimulating teacher, and by a system of periodical inspection he kept the whole teaching of the school under his own eye. He had the gift of commanding both the respect and the affection of his pupils, and the perhaps rarer gift of carrying with him in a course of drastic reforms the co-operation and devotion of his assistant masters. His reforms were often viewed with disfavour by the fellows, who before 1871 constituted the governing body of the college, and were strenuously criticised by Wykehamists in general; but Ridding won his way, and the results justified him. The school rose in numbers from about 250 to over 400, and might have been much further enlarged but for Ridding's conviction that a school should not exceed the number with which a headmaster can keep in personal touch. The record of university successes was excellent; after his resignation he was entertained at