Marjon News

Archives reveal Wine and Brandy Fund for Exam Stress

Released: 24.05.18


Plymouth Marjon University’s commitment to student support dates back to Victorian days according to our archives, which have revealed there was a special wine and brandy fund to help students through their exam stress! We wonder if times have changed that much…

College minutes from 1841 record that the sum of £2.10 shillings per year was allotted for “wine and brandy to be given to students who were low and nervous at the time of inspection” (i.e exam times).

Victorian doctors would regularly use wines and spirits as tonics or sedatives, there was little else available. The Principal of Marjon at the time suffered from nervous exhaustion and stress himself, and remembered his student days and the pressure of exams which led him to put in place help for his own students.

The cures were made and administered by the Principal’s wife, Mrs Coleridge and Mrs Sarah Harvey who would have needed home-produced remedies to save on medical costs for the students in residence as doctor’s remedies were expensive. Their whooping cough cure included Salts of tartar, cochineal (made from beetles) and loaf sugar – we don’t recommend you try this at home although some students may well be administering their own alcohol intake at this time!

Plymouth Marjon’s Student Support team today takes a different approach and is carefully structured to make sure students never feel alone. In fact, the team has been awarded the highly coveted Matrix Accreditation: a national quality standard for groups delivering help, support and guidance.

Find out more about Student Support here. 


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