'The School Budget'

by David Alan Richards

Schoolboys B. Medhurst and G. Chinnery, editors of The School Budget of Horsmonden School, near Tonbridge in Kent, wrote to Kipling in March 1898. They enclosed a copy of their fortnightly publication for 14 February of that year, drew his attention to an article entitled "Hints On Schoolboy Etiquette", and asked for a contribution at their rate of remuneration of 3d. per page. Kipling's market rate at that time was reportedly a shilling a word. Kipling's response from Cape Town dated 'Easter Monday '98', noting that the editors 'seem to be in possession of all the cheek that is in the least likely to do you any good in this world or the next', and gave a few more schoolroom strategems for the Budget's readers. He also required 'a cheque or postal order for 6d. at your convenience if the contribution should be found to fill more than one page.'