At the local village school, William Godwin was considered to be a prodigy and his family therefore decided to give him the best education that they could afford. It was assumed that, like his father and grandfather, he would become a Dissenting minister; and at the age of 11, he became the sole pupil of Revd Samuel Newton, a prominent churchman in Norwich. Newton was a harsh disciplinarian; and not only a Calvinist but also a Sandemanian - a follower of the Scottish theologians Sandeman and Glas. The Sandemanians held that belief in God and love of one's neighbour must be reasoned rather than emotional. They also disapproved of private property, private affections, exclusive friendships, and gratitude, maintaining that all wealth and all labour must be at the disposal of the church. The Sandemanian community insisted that all its members were equal and that community decisions must be unanimous. Debate was continued until all members of the congregation finally arrived at the same opinion. Although he suffered under Samuel Newton, Godwin absorbed many of the Sandemanian doctrines and they influenced his later writing.