Presbytery extension completed
Fr Cotter found Pugin's presbytery far too small. He had funds of his own with which he acquired the adjoining site to the north and commissioned the building of an extension much larger than the original building. He was then able to accommodate his niece, a housekeeper and eight servants.
Compulsory education started
The government introduced compulsory education for ages 5 to 12, and established local School Boards financed from property taxes (rates). This system was unjust from a Catholic point of view, for Catholics, though forced to support Board Schools by their contribution through the rates, had also to maintain their own schools, unaided by the State. A storm of protest arose from Catholics all over the country, there being many meetings and letters to the press in Woolwich.
In July, Fr Cotter noted that there were around 950 children in the parish between the ages of 5 and 12. Accommodation in Catholic schools was for 500 children. 200 children were attending non-Catholic schools, with a further 200 Catholic children having no education at all.