Robert Raikes (rāks), 1735–1811, English philanthropist. In 1780 he organized a Sunday school, primarily for poor children, who were taught to read and to spell to enable them to read the Bible. The Raikes system spread rapidly through England and he became known as the founder of Sunday schools, although others had been concerned with similar undertakings. Raikes gave his project publicity in the Gloucester Journal, which he had inherited from his father.
See biography by J. H. Harris (1899).