An educated population had to be available in sufficient numbers, and they must have an interest in education which would produce both support and attendance. The demands of status and the conditions and growth of the economy encouraged such attitudes. The growing provision of education in Victorian England represented new ideas as well as new practices. Private philanthropy is evidence of some people’s concern. The role of the state offers a broader perspective on the changing attitude toward education. The trend towards state support was not a trend towards a monopoly of education. The right of private and sectarian education was and is presumed in Britain. Other aspects of social and economic reality provided less direct but no less vital preconditions for the success of civic universities. Education could support both the economic substructure and the social superstructure of status. Thinking, speaking, reading, and writing like a gentleman provided both inner confidence and outward evidence of position.