The following few words of a letter from FR give us a hint of what was involved in establishing an infant school. Before the British government took on the responsibility of education, FR was an early pioneer of early childhood education. Her editor, Caroline Dent, claimed that FR established the third infant school in England, and from there she set up many more.
In FR's letter we also get a feel for the burden of her responsibilities to the community and to her friends elsewhere. It was written from Watnall, the seat of her father's family, where she set up several schools.
To William J. Irons
Watnall Cottage, October 9th, 1839
My very dear Friend,
I will not let you, and my unknown friend your wife, remain a day longer than I can help in the inconvenient position of expecting, when I am now sure I shall not be able to leave this place before Christmas, and most likely not then. The nearly finished school I must open and set going, and for another I have yet to raise funds, get the ground, set people to work, &c. &c. I have every prospect of success in so doing, but as soon as I went away last year all went wrong,—the Vicar, and the Squire, and the Squire's lady, and the Methodists of all sorts all fell out, and I have had to put them all in again, and now I am driving six in hand, railroad-pace, but if I throw up the reins over goes my omnibus of infants.