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Title: Education in England in the Middle Ages - Thesis Approved for the Degree of Doctor of Science in the University of London
Author: Parry, Albert William
Language: English
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Thesis Approved for the Degree of Doctor of
Science in the University of London


A. W. PARRY, M.A., D.Sc.
Principal of the Training College, Carmarthen

London: W. B. Clive
University Tutorial Press Ld.
High St., New Oxford St., W.C.


The purpose of this book is to give an account of the provision which was
made in this country for Education during the period from the Introduction
of Christianity to the Eve of the Reformation. Preparatory to writing it,
I tried to examine all the relevant, available evidence with the object of
discovering the factors which contributed to the educational development
of the nation during the period under consideration.

Whilst this work was in progress, the late A. F. Leach published his
_Schools of Mediaeval England_. His book, however, differs essentially
from mine, his aim is different, the conclusions he arrives at are
different; further, as he does not quote the authorities for the
statements he makes, I did not find his work of direct assistance. This
criticism does not apply to his _Educational Charters_, a collection of
documents of inestimable value to all students of English Educational

I have tried to acknowledge in every case my obligations to other writers.
In addition, I give in an appendix a list of the authorities I have
consulted, and of the other books I have studied for the purpose of this
investigation. Still, as a great part of this book was written whilst I
was on military service (1914-9) and I was consequently dependent on notes
which I had compiled at various times and places, it is probable there may
be some omissions and inaccuracies. My defence must be the special
circumstances of recent years.

May I take this opportunity of expressing my indebtedness to Professor
Foster Watson, D.Litt. As one of his former students I owe to the stimulus
and encouragement I received from him, my interest in matters relating to
the History of Education. I wish also to refer in appreciative terms to
Mr. J. E. G. de Montmorency's _State Intervention in English Education_.
Mr. de Montmorency was the first writer to give a connected account of the
development of English Education, and it is only fitting that those who
essay a similar task should realise their obligations to the one who first
"blazed the trail."

I must also thank Mr. G. St. Quintin and Mr. S. E. Goggin for relieving me
of the distasteful task of correcting the proofs, and the Rev. Dr. Hughes
for kindly preparing the Index.

A. W. P.

    _January 1920._


  CHAPTER                                                       PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                                                     1


     I. THE WORK OF THE MONASTERIES                                3

    II. EDUCATION UNDER THE SECULAR CLERGY                        17

   III. THE EDUCATIONAL REVIVAL                                   31


    INTRODUCTORY                                                    44


    II. SOME TERMS IN DISPUTE                                     63


    IV. THE MONOPOLY OF SCHOOL KEEPING                            92

     V. THE APPOINTMENT AND TENURE OF MASTERS                    104



     I. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGES                              124

    II. THE RISE OF THE UNIVERSITIES                             132

   III. GILDS AND VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATIONS                         144

    IV. CHANTRIES                                                157


    VI. THE ORIGIN OF THE GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS                   188

        IN THE LATER MIDDLE AGES                                 202

  VIII. CURRICULUM AND METHOD                                    216

    IX. THE PROGRESS OF EDUCATION                                232

  APPENDIX                                                       245

  INDEX                                                          256


The history of education during the Middle Ages is closely interwoven with
the history of the Church. Professor Foster Watson quotes with approval
Cardinal Newman's dictum, "Not a man in Europe who talks bravely against
the Church but owes it to the Church that he can talk at all."[1]

It is possible to trace three stages in the development of the English
educational system during the period with which we are concerned.

The first stage covers a period from the Introduction of Christianity to
the Norman Conquest. The Introduction of Christianity was the means by
which education became possible for this country, and so it naturally came
about that the provision of facilities for education was generally
conceived of as a part of the function of the Church. In this connection
it is important to realise the relationship of the State to the Church in
Anglo-Saxon times. As Professor Medley points out,[2] the Church and the
State during this period were largely identical. The bishops were
_ex-officio_ the advisers of the kings, and they sat in the local courts
not only exercising jurisdiction in those cases in which the clergy were
affected, but also concerning themselves with questions involving the
morals of the laity. In a more real sense than at any subsequent time, the
Church of England, during the Anglo-Saxon period, was the Church of the
English nation. During this time the activities of the Church were
essentially the activities of the State, and the work which was done for
education might be conceived of, indifferently, as either the work of the
Church or of the State.

The second stage dates from the Norman Conquest, which brought to a close
this identity of Church and State. William I., impelled by a desire to
effect certain reforms in the Church on the model of those he had
witnessed abroad, separated the ecclesiastical from the civil courts, and,
by the ordinance he issued, authorised the ecclesiastical authorities to
utilise the secular power for the enforcement of their sentences. From
this time and right up to the Reformation, Church and State were distinct
in this country.

This separation of Church and State resulted in a number of duties, other
than those which were strictly spiritual, being tacitly regarded as a part
of the function of the Church. The provision of Educational facilities is
included among these duties, and it was left to the Church to make such
arrangements for the organisation, maintenance, and control of education
as she deemed fit.

A third stage evolved when the social consciousness of the community (or
rather of a part of the community) first realised that education was not a
matter for the ecclesiastical authorities alone. The first manifestation
of this in England occurred when teachers began to recognise that they
exercised a function distinct from the special functions of the priesthood
and consequently proceeded to associate themselves in an organisation for
the protection of their common interests and thus initiated a movement
which ultimately resulted in the establishment of universities. At a later
date, various economic developments produced certain social changes which
not only made education an object of greater desire but also brought it
about that wealthy merchants, gilds, and civic communities, as well as
churchmen, took part in the work of providing additional facilities for
the education of the people.

For the sake of convenience we may distinguish these three stages as:--

       I. The Anglo-Saxon Period.

      II. Education under Church Control.

     III. Education passing out of Church Control.





The introduction of Christianity to this country subsequent to the Saxon
invasion was effected by means of two independent agencies--the Roman
mission under the leadership of Augustine which arrived in Thanet in 597,
and the Scottish missionaries who, in response to the invitation of
Oswald, king of Northumbria, took up their residence in the island of
Lindisfarne in 635.

The primary task of these missionaries was obviously that of converting a
people who professed a heathen religion to an adherence to the Christian
faith. The accomplishment of this main task, however, involved two
additional tasks, the one moral, the other social. A dismal picture of the
moral condition of the settlers in this country in the fifth century has
been painted by Montalembert. Basing his account on Ozanam's "Germains
avant la Christianisme" he asks, "What could be expected in point of
morality from persons accustomed to invoke and to worship Woden, the god
of massacres, Freya, the Venus of the North, the goddess of sensuality,
and all those bloody and obscene gods of whom the one had for his emblem
a naked sword and another the hammer with which he broke the heads of his
enemies?" He continues, "The immortality which was promised to them in
their Valhalla but reserved for them new days of slaughter and nights of
debauch spent in drinking deep from the skulls of their victims. And in
this world, their life was but too often a prolonged orgy of carnage,
rapine and lechery."[3] Herein lay the moral task which awaited the
Christian missionaries. They had to replace the existing national ideals
with the ideals of Christianity--ideals of the highest standard of
personal morality. The social task undertaken by the missionaries was that
of elevating this country from a condition of barbarism into a state of
civilisation. Referring to the results of the introduction of
Christianity, Green writes, "The new England was admitted into the older
commonwealth of nations. The civilisation, art, letters, which had fled
before the sword of the English conquest returned with the Christian

What means could be adopted by the missionaries to accomplish the ends
they had in view? It is obvious that continual teaching and instruction
would be imperative to meet the needs of the converts to the new faith,
and it is equally clear that it would be necessary to provide for the
creation of a native ministry in order that the labours of the early
missionaries might be continued. Teaching, consequently, occupies a
position of the greatest importance, and it is to the educational aspect
of the labours of these missionaries rather than to the religious or the
ecclesiastical aspect that our attention is now directed. It may be
advisable for us to remind ourselves that these missionaries came to this
country speaking the Latin tongue, that the services of the Church were
carried on in that language, and that such books as existed were also
written in Latin. It is necessary to make this point clear in order to
show that schools for instruction in this language would be imperative
from the very first.

It is also important to remember, as Montalembert points out, that the
conversion of England was effected by means of monks, first of the
Benedictine monks sent from Rome, and afterwards of Celtic monks.[5] We
may here lay down a general hypothesis, which the course of this thesis
will tend to demonstrate: the educational institutions established in this
country were due to an imitation of those which had been in operation
elsewhere. The Christian missionaries to England, for example, did not
originate a system of education. They adopted what they had seen in
operation in the parent monasteries from which they came, and, in so
doing, they would naturally adapt the system to the special needs of the
country. Some exceptions to this general principle may be found; they will
be noted in their proper place.

Accepting this hypothesis, before we can proceed to consider the special
work for education of the monasteries in this country, it is necessary
briefly to review the meaning of monachism and to consider the extent to
which monasteries had previously associated themselves with educational

The origin of Christian monasticism is due partly to the moral conditions
prevalent in the early centuries of the Christian era and partly to the
mystical and ascetic tendencies which manifest themselves in some
individuals. Though the generally accepted view of the moral condition of
Roman society in the days of the Early Church[6] may be exaggerated and
the description given by Dill[7] represent more fairly the condition of
things that actually prevailed, yet even this modified account portrays a
social condition in which moral ideals--except in rare cases--barely
existed. To yield to the lusts of the body seemed to be almost inseparable
from life in the world. Repeatedly did the Apostles and the Church Fathers
find it necessary to warn the members of the Church against the grosser
sins. The multiplicity of temptations, the low moral standard, the absence
of any social condemnation of infractions of the moral code tended to the
growth of a belief that bodily mortification and a vigorous asceticism
should be practised by those who desired to be real and not merely nominal
Christians. Effectively to achieve such an ideal tended to a withdrawal
from a participation in social life, from a life of fellowship with
others, to a life of isolation, in order that by a severe discipline of
the body and a life given up completely to prayer, contemplation, and
meditation, the soul might enter into a closer communion with God.

This ideal of isolation was not altogether new. In the deserts of Egypt,
during the early centuries, devout Jews had given themselves up to a
solitary and austere life of chastity and prayer, combining a system of
religious contemplation with a stern régime of physical discipline. Here
then was an example ready to be imitated by the enthusiastic Christian.
Abandoning life in the world, which in so many cases meant profligacy and
vice, the convert, to whom the Christian religion had become a reality,
endeavoured to find in the isolated life of a hermit the opportunity for
contemplation which he considered imperative for the salvation of his

The reputation for sanctity and austerity gained by certain hermits caused
others desirous of a similar life to build their cells in close proximity.
Gradually the custom arose of building an enclosure round a small group of
cells and of recognising one man as the spiritual head of the group.
Certain rules were agreed to, and a common oratory was shared. The first
rules for a community of this type were drawn up by Pachomius who founded
a coenobitic community at Tabenna in 320 A.D.

For our purpose, it is important to note that Pachomius considered that
attention should be paid to the education of the inmates of the community.
Classes were to be held for those whose early instruction had been
neglected, whilst no one was to be allowed to remain who did not learn to
read and was not familiar, at the very least, with the Book of Psalms and
the New Testament.[8]

A third stage in the evolution of monasticism is associated with the name
of St. Basil of Caesarea. Instead of founding his monastery in some remote
district, he built it near a town and received into it not only solitaries
who had become convinced of the dangers of living alone, but also the
poor, the oppressed, the homeless, and those who, for various reasons, had
become weary of life in the outer world and sought an asylum for their
remaining days. Not only men but also women and children were received by
Basil: so great was his success that he ultimately established in
different centres several industrial coenobitic communities.

The reception of children by Basil naturally brought forward the question
of their education. These children fell into one or other of two classes;
in the one class were those who, like the infant Samuel, were offered by
their parents for the cloistral life from a tender age; in the other class
were those who were subsequently to return to the world. St. Basil
organised schools for the former of these classes; children were to be
admitted to them when they were five or six years of age; details with
regard to the mode of their instruction were prescribed; general rules of
discipline were laid down.[9] Under certain circumstances, children who
were not destined for the monastic life could also be received in these
schools.[10] In addition to teaching the elements of grammar and rhetoric
and the facts of scripture history, Basil provided for a number of trades
to be learned and practised as soon as the children were able to profit by
the course. Among the trades recommended were weaving, tailoring,
architecture, woodwork, brass work, and agriculture.[11]

Cassian was the first to transplant the rules of the Eastern monks into
Europe. He founded two monasteries in the neighbourhood of Marseilles for
men and women respectively. In 420 he wrote _De Institutis Renuntiatium_,
in which he records the rules to be observed in the institutions he had
founded. The code of rules here enunciated constituted the law of
monasticism in Gaul till it gave place to the regulations of Benedict.
Cassian in his youth had studied the works of Greek learning, but in his
later years he showed a great distrust of pagan literature and strongly
opposed its study. He considered that the fascination of such literature
distracted the soul, and desired that even the memory of the classical
writings should be eradicated from his mind. The underlying conception of
the rule of Cassian was that the monastery was a school in which a future
stage of existence was the dominating and controlling thought.

Reference must next be made to Cassiodorus (479?-575)--the great Italian
statesman turned monk--who did much to develop study among ecclesiastics
and to make the cloister the centre of literary activity. He founded a
monastery at Vivarium in Bruttium, which he endowed with his Roman library
containing a magnificent collection of manuscripts, and to which he
himself retired at the age of sixty. During the remaining years of his
life he devoted himself to literary work; of his numerous writings the
most important is his _Institutiones Divinarum et Saecularium Lectionum_.
A more important work accomplished by Cassiodorus than the writings he
produced was his organisation of the monastery scriptorium. This served as
a model for the series of Benedictine monasteries which subsequently came
into existence. Hence to Cassiodorus must be assigned the honour of
realising that the multiplication of manuscripts was a recognised
employment of monastic life. Consequently, he conferred a boon of the
greatest value upon the human race. As Hodgkin expresses it, there was in
existence an accumulated store of two thousand years of literature, sacred
and profane, the writings of Hebrew prophets, of Greek philosophers, of
Latin rhetoricians, perishing for want of men with leisure and ability to
transcribe them. Were it not for the labours of the monks it is highly
conceivable that these treasures would have been irretrievably lost to the

The number of the monastic institutions rapidly increased. Gradually the
evils arising from a lack of definite control and from the want of a code
of rules to check individualising tendencies, began to manifest
themselves. To St. Benedict of Nursia is due the more adequate
organisation of monastic life. In addition to the laws of chastity,
poverty, and obedience required from the professed monk, he recognised the
importance of labour not only for self-support but also as a duty towards
God. The code of rules, drawn up by him for the use of the monasteries
under his care, was found to meet a great need of the religious
communities of the time, with the result that the Benedictine rules became
almost universally accepted by all monastic establishments.

Of these rules, the one that exercised a profound influence upon
educational development is headed _Concerning Daily Manual Labour_.[13] It

     "Idleness is the enemy of the soul: hence brethren ought at certain
     seasons to occupy themselves with manual labour and again at certain
     hours with holy reading. Between Easter and the calends of October
     let them apply themselves to reading from the fourth hour until the
     sixth hour.... From the calends of October to the beginning of Lent
     let them apply themselves to reading until the second hour. During
     Lent let them apply themselves to reading from morning until the end
     of the third hour, and in these days of Lent let them receive a book
     apiece from the library and read it straight through. These books are
     to be given out at the beginning of Lent."

The great importance of this rule arises from the fact that whilst monks
were becoming very numerous, books were very few. Hence in order that the
requisite number of copies might be available, writing had to be taught;
in order that the monks might be able to read the books, it is conceivable
that in some cases reading also would have to be taught. Moreover, the
copying of manuscripts was considered to comply with the regulation as to
manual labour prescribed by the Benedictine rules. Consequently wherever a
Benedictine monastery came into existence, there books were multiplied,
and a library gradually developed. As the years went on, the Benedictine
labours in the intellectual world increased. Mabillon remarks, "Almost
alone, the order of St. Benedict for several years, maintained and
preserved letters in Europe. There were frequently no other masters in our
monasteries, and frequently the cathedral schools drew theirs from the
same source."[14]

The purpose of this digression has been to show that by the time that the
monks entered upon their mission in this country, the idea of monasticism
was firmly established on the continent. The monastic houses consisted of
communities of men or of women who, leaving the outer world behind them,
dedicated their lives to the worship and the praise of God. They
concentrated their attention upon the world to come, and, as far as
possible, they endeavoured to anticipate it in the present stage of
existence. Labour, either physical or mental, was one of their special
obligations. Limiting ourselves to intellectual labour, we note that to
some was entrusted the instruction of the children who were brought to
them and of those members of the community who still needed education; to
others was assigned work in the scriptorium; to others was allotted the
task of giving instruction in singing and of making due preparation for
the musical part of the monastic services; others, according to their
capacity, continued their studies, and, by the chronicles which they
wrote, enable posterity to reconstruct the history of their days.

Our problem is now a narrower one: does any evidence exist to show that
the educational organisation of the monasteries in this country
corresponded with the educational work of the continental monasteries?
Fortunately, for our purpose, a complete answer in the affirmative can be
obtained from the works of the Venerable Bede.

That it was customary for schools to be established in monasteries is a
fact that can be readily demonstrated. Bede writes that he "was given at
seven years of age to be educated by the most reverend Abbot Benedict and
afterwards by Ceolfrid; and spending all the remaining time of my life in
that monastery, I applied myself wholly to the study of scripture, and
amidst the observance of regular discipline and the daily care of singing
in the Church, I always took delight in learning, teaching, and
writing."[15] This passage, alone, practically establishes the fact that
the educational activities described as existing in continental
monasteries were also to be found as a normal part of the monasteries
which were established in this country. Lest it might be maintained that
the monastery at Wearmouth was exceptional the decree of the Council of
Cloveshoo may be quoted. At that council it was decreed that "abbots and
abbesses should take care that scripture reading was everywhere studied."
Again it must be borne in mind that copies of the scriptures existed only
in the Latin language and that for the reading of scripture it was an
essential condition that ability to read Latin had been previously
acquired. Further, at the same council, it was enacted that boys
"everywhere in the schools were to be compelled to address themselves to
the love of sacred learning."[16]

The work of the monasteries in connection with higher education is also
attested by Bede. The Irish monasteries, in particular, acquired a
reputation in this respect. Many English youths of every social grade
crossed over to Ireland, attracted thither by the greater fame of the
monasteries, for the purpose of extending their studies.[17] Bede records
that scholars went about from cell to cell, gathering learning from
monastic teachers.[18] It is noteworthy that at these monasteries food,
books, and teaching were supplied freely and willingly. Aidan instructed,
among others, twelve boys of the English nation at his monastery at
Lindisfarne: some of these acquired fame in later years, _e.g._ Basil, who
became Bishop of Lindisfarne, and Eata, who became Prior of Melrose.
Briefly, we may say that nearly all the learned men of this period were
either monks or were closely connected with monasteries. Among them we may
mention Aidan, Bede, Wilfrid, Theodore, Hadrian, Benedict Biscop,
Aldhelm, and Augustine.

The formation of libraries and the work of the scriptorium occupied as
high a place in the newly-established English monasteries as they did in
those monasteries which served as models for them. Benedict Biscop--the
father of English culture[19]--who was the founder of the twin monasteries
of Wearmouth and Jarrow, is particularly famous for his labours in
connection with the establishment of libraries. He visited Rome six times
in all, and each time he returned he brought back books with him to this
country. Of his fourth journey Bede remarks that he "brought back with him
a very large number of books of all kinds."[20] Biscop's sixth journey to
Rome was almost entirely devoted to the purpose of acquiring additions to
his collection of books, a collection which included classical as well as
ecclesiastical literature.[21] In some cases monasteries arranged for the
mutual exchange of books.[22] As an instance of the activity of the
scriptorium may be quoted the famous library of York, which was composed
of transcripts of the parchments collected by Biscop. Ceolfrid, who became
Abbot of Jarrow, and who subsequently was also placed in charge of the
monastery of Wearmouth, took considerable interest in the scriptorium.
Montalembert quotes the statement that Ceolfrid had had made two complete
copies of the Bible according to the version of St. Jerome, as a
refutation of the "stupid calumny" which represents the Church as having
interdicted the reading and study of the scriptures.[23] The preservation
of such Anglo-Saxon literature as remains, is undoubtedly due to the
action of some of the monastic scribes. The poems of Caedmon were written
first of all in the monastery of Whitby; so, too, the Northumbrian poet,
Cynewulf, owes the preservation of his works to the scriptorium of the
monastery he ultimately entered.

The teaching of singing naturally occupied an important place among the
educational activities of the monasteries. Bede describes himself as being
in charge of "the daily care of singing in the Church."[24] John, Abbot of
the monastery of St. Martin's and precentor of St. Peter's, Rome, one of
the most famous of the teachers of music of the day, came to this country
for a time on the invitation of Biscop and at the request of Pope Agatha.
Abbot John taught the monks not only how to sing but also how to read
aloud. His efforts were not limited to Wearmouth alone; those who were
experts in music, from "almost all" the religious houses, came to him for
further instruction, and in this way the influence of his teaching was
widely spread.[25]

When we pass to the question of what was taught in the monasteries, we
find that the scholars were trained to read the scriptures in Latin and to
be familiar with the services of the monastery, and that writing and
singing were also subjects of instruction. Two of Bede's works are
probably school-books: his "Librum de orthographia, alfabeti ordine
distinctum" and his "Librum de metrica arte, et huic adjectum alium de
schematibus sine tropis libellum, hoc est de figuris modisque locutionum,
quibus scriptura sancta contexta est."

Though it may not be just to regard Bede as the typical product of the
English monasteries of the time, yet it may fairly be pointed out that the
whole of Bede's education was received in these monasteries. Even if we
regard him as the best-educated of the English monks, his example will
still serve to show the extent of learning which could be acquired in the
monasteries of this period. Sandys writes, "His skill in Latin verse is
shown in his elegiacs on Queen Ethelfrida and in his hexameters on the
shrine of St. Cuthbert.... His Greek learning is indicated in his
treatises and in the references to a Greek MS. of the Acts which are to be
found in his _Liber Retractionum_. The Latin authors most frequently
quoted by him are Cicero, Virgil and Horace and (doubtless at second hand)
Lucilius and Varro."[26]

Apart from the education, in the technical sense of the word, given by the
monks, they were also responsible for reforms which, in the wider sense of
the term, were also educational. Thus, the higher ideals of life prevalent
in the monastery were introduced into the country as a whole. The age was
a turbulent and disordered one, in which neither moral nor ethical
obligations prevailed and in which might alone was right.[27] The monks
established, in the country of their adoption, a number of communities, in
which the ruling principles were those of Charity, Chastity, and
Obedience. The ideals prevailing in these monasteries reacted upon the
social customs of their neighbourhood. The strong individualism of the
Teutons was modified by the attitude of obedience to recognised authority
characteristic of the monk; the qualities of savagery tended to yield to
the examples of self-denial, self-control, and care for others.

The monasteries also played an important part in the economic development
of the country. At times, and in certain localities, the economic
condition of the people seems to have sunk to a low ebb. Bede tells us
that "very often forty or fifty men being spent with want, would go
together to some precipice or to the seashore and there, hand in hand,
perish by the fall or be swallowed up by the waves."[28] From the earliest
times industrial activity had been a feature of monastic life. Speaking of
St. Basil, his biographer tells us that "by the labour of his monks over
wide desert places, hopeless sterility gave place to golden harvests and
abundant vintages."[29] Manual labour was a common employment in the
English monasteries.[30] The builders of the monasteries also necessarily
introduced new arts into the country. Thus Benedict Biscop brought over
masons and glaziers from France.[31] Lamps and vessels for the use of the
Church were made, and the craft taught to the Northumbrians.[32] All the
furniture and vestments "which Benedict could not procure at home he took
care to purchase abroad."[33] The knowledge of the art of fishing by means
of nets, which apparently was not known in some parts, was introduced by
the monks.[34] Though slavery was not condemned by the Church at this
time,[35] yet the Church fostered the feeling that slavery was not
consonant with the dignity of the human soul, and the monasteries used
their influence in opposing this custom. Aidan employed some of the gifts
of money he received for the monasteries, for the redemption of
slaves.[36] Wilfrid granted liberty to the slaves on the land that had
been bestowed to the monastery founded by him.[37]

It must be borne in mind that in this country the monasteries originally
were not merely communities of men or women who were dedicated to a life
of contemplation, but were essentially centres of missionary enterprise.
Bede tells us of monks who went into the surrounding country and villages
to preach, baptize, and visit the sick.[38] Of Aidan and his company of
"shorn monks" and laymen, we learn that they traversed the country trying
to convert those who were not yet converts to Christianity, and stirring
up those who had previously accepted the faith to alms and good works.[39]
Similarly Chad, one of the disciples of Aidan, proceeded to preach the
gospel "in towns, in the open country, cottages, villages, and
castles."[40] In brief, at the period with which we are now concerned,
these monasteries served the purpose of spiritual outposts, from whence
messengers went out to extend the message of the Christian faith.

It is interesting to note that the monasteries were thoroughly democratic
in their selection of members. The monks preached that "Christian men are
brothers, whether high or low, noble or ignoble, lord or slave. The
wealthy is not better on that account than the needy. As boldly may the
slave call God his Father as the king. We are all alike before God,
unless anyone exceeds another in good works."[41] So, whilst on the one
hand kings like Ceolwulf and Ini became monks, on the other hand redeemed
slaves were admitted as inmates of the monasteries, and, if they proved
themselves capable of profiting by instruction, were advanced to the
priesthood.[42] Certain undesigned effects followed. With the progress of
civilisation, the warlike qualities which originally had gained territory
for the Teutonic invaders needed to be supplemented by the intellectual
gifts necessary for legislation and administration. These abilities could
only be found in the ranks of the clergy. As a result, priests became in
practice the ministers of the Crown; the names of Dunstan and Lanfranc
readily occur as illustrative instances. A general study of Bede, apart
from specific instances, tends to support the suggestion that Cuthbert,
Theodore, Wilfrid, and Aidan, among others, also exercised a considerable
influence over kings. As a second undesigned effect may be mentioned the
fact that, as the monasteries admitted boys who showed vocation and
promise, regardless of their social position, and gave them the best
education of which the monasteries were capable, so it happened that the
monastery was practically the only avenue through which promotion became
possible to the able and competent who were handicapped by circumstances
of their birth. Passing outside our period, we may refer to the case of
Nicholas Breakspear, who from being a servant lad at St. Albans rose to
the position of Pope.



In the preceding chapter we stated that the evangelisation of England was
mainly the work of monks. Though this statement is true, yet we must not
lose sight of the fact that the work of the secular clergy was slowly
developing side by side with that of the regular clergy, and ultimately
superseded it. It is consequently necessary that we should next
investigate into the work for education which was effected by them.

By way of introduction, we may point out that the method of work of the
secular clergy and their mode of organisation closely resembled that of
the regular clergy, and at times was scarcely distinguishable. Just as
Augustine and his band of monks settled in the capital of the kingdom of
Kent and built there a monastery, in which the bishop shared a community
life with his monks, and which served as the centre from which their
labours were directed, so a secular bishop with his companions settled in
the chief town of another kingdom, where a church was ultimately built and
a community life established. Thus in 604, Mellitus was consecrated bishop
and sent to preach to the East Saxons. The new faith was accepted both by
the king of the East Saxons and his people. A church dedicated to St. Paul
was subsequently built at London--the capital of the kingdom. This church,
instead of being a monastic church, as was Christ Church, Canterbury,
belongs to that category of churches known as collegiate churches.

For the sake of convenience, we may here point out the main differences
between monasteries and collegiate churches. A monastery consisted of a
community of men or women under the rule of an abbot or abbess. The
members of a monastery had taken certain vows and were bound to live in
accordance with the rules of that Order to which the monastery belonged. A
collegiate church consisted of a number of clergy forming a corporate body
and living under the supervision of a Dean or Provost and responsible to
the bishop. The origin of such churches has been traced to St. Augustine
of Hippo, who arranged for his clergy to live together under his direction
in a kind of community, though without the imposition of monastic vows. A
further development took place about 750 when Chrodegang, bishop of Metz,
drew up certain rules for the use of the clergy who were living with him.
The clergy who lived according to these rules were called "canons." The
rule of Chrodegang was introduced into England, but it was not generally
accepted;[43] and consequently the term "canon," in this country,
originally meant little more than a man who was a member of a college of
clergy, who served a church in common and had a common claim on its

We may also note here that when a bishop's official seat or throne
(cathedra) was placed in a church, it thereby became a cathedral church.
Sometimes the cathedral church was a monastic church, sometimes a
collegiate church; in each case the church was known as a cathedral. From
the standpoint of the development of education, as will be subsequently
shown, the distinction between a collegiate cathedral church and a
monastic cathedral church is an important one, but this distinction cannot
always be clearly made, because during the early centuries of Christianity
in England, a cathedral church was at times in the possession of the
regular clergy, and at other times in the hands of the secular clergy.
Thus Christ Church, Canterbury, was originally monastic but is said to
have fallen into the hands of the seculars during the archiepiscopate of
Ceolnoth (837-870), after which it again returned to the monks and
remained monastic till the Reformation. So too, Gloucester Cathedral was
originally monastic, then Offa transferred it to the secular clergy, later
it again became monastic.

Whether or not the cathedral church of a diocese was monastic, the bishop
of a diocese was the head of the secular clergy and obedience was due to
him from them; on the other hand, the monks owed their obedience directly
to their abbot, from him to the head of their order, and ultimately to the

In this chapter we propose to limit ourselves to the labours for education
of the bishop and the secular clergy, though, as we have previously
indicated, the line of demarcation between the work that was definitely
monastic and that which may definitely be assigned to the secular clergy
cannot always be clearly drawn.

The educational problems which had to be faced by a bishop and his band of
secular priests were similar to those which had to be dealt with by the
missionary monks. Latin, the language of the Church, had to be taught to
those who were ignorant of it and who wished to be attached to the Church
in an official capacity. A knowledge of music was necessary for those who
desired to take a personal part in the worship offered by the Church. In
addition, the principles of Christianity had to be taught more fully to
converts; the children of the faith required instruction; arrangements had
to be made for more advanced instruction for those who were desirous of
receiving it. Schools had to be founded for these purposes, and these
schools were the original schools of England.

We have already adopted as our hypothesis that the schools of this country
were not a new discovery but were modelled on those which existed
elsewhere. Our first problem consequently, is to discover where these
models were found.

Mr. Leach, in his _Schools of Medieval England_, maintains that "the true
models and source of the schools of England are not the schools of the
Church but the schools of heathendom, the schools of Athens and
Alexandria, of Rome, of Lyons, of Vienne. They were in fact the very same
"heathen" or "pagan" or, in other words, Graeco-Roman institutions, in
which Horace and Juvenal, Jerome and St. Augustine had learned the
scansion of hexameters and the accredited methods of speech-making and

This statement calls for examination. The schools to which Mr. Leach
refers came into existence about 50 B.C. and owed their distinctive
characteristics to the influence of Greek thought upon Roman activities.
Three grades of these schools are usually recognised:--

(1) The Schools of the Litteratores. In these schools only reading,
writing, and calculation were taught; they were never very highly
esteemed, and their teachers, who were generally slaves, were frequently

(2) The Schools of the Grammatici. Originally these schools dealt simply
with grammar, _i.e._ with words and their relations; but the conception of
grammar developed so that it came to include both a study of Latin and
Greek Literature and also a range of subjects embracing mathematics,
music, and elementary dialectic. Ultimately these schools were to be found
in almost every city of the empire and, generally speaking, were supported
either by public funds or by endowments.

(3) The Schools of the Rhetores. These were the most important schools;
admission to them was not possible until the "toga virilis" had been
assumed. Here the pupils studied carefully and minutely all matters
relating to success in the art of oratory--an art which at that time had
to be mastered by all who purposed to devote themselves to public life.
But oratory, as the term was then understood, denoted much more than the
art of declamation. It included a mastery of the existing literature, an
acquaintance with the knowledge of things so far as that knowledge was
then available, and a good vocabulary. To this must be added the power of
playing upon human emotions, combined with grace of manner and effective

The following reasons may be advanced in support of our contention that
Mr. Leach is in error in considering these Graeco-Roman Schools as the
models of our English Schools, which, as Mr. Leach himself admits, owed
their existence in the first place to the labours of Christian

(1) In the pagan schools, there was no thought of the moral aspect of
instruction. The literature on which the schoolboy was nourished was
created in the atmosphere of paganism and teemed with mythological
allusions.[46] The scholar was taught that the ideal age lay in the past
rather than, as Christianity taught, in the future. The great deeds held
up for his admiration were those associated with the Roman heroes who had
read the fate of their campaigns in the flight of birds or the entrails of
the victims at the altar.

(2) As Professor Woodward points out, "it is an invariable law that the
accepted ideals of the adult generation shape its educational aims."[47]
At the period in which the schools referred to by Mr. Leach were
flourishing, scepticism in religious matters was prevalent. Terentius
Varro had urged that the anthropomorphic gods were mere emblems of the
forces of nature. Lucretius had argued against the immortality of the
soul. Cicero, the greatest thinker of the time, barely veiled his
scepticism. Moreover, it was generally recognised that religion had lost
its control over the moral life of man. It is thus evident that the ideals
of Christianity and the ideals of the Graeco-Roman schools were
fundamentally opposed. In no essential respect could the schools of
paganism furnish a model for the schools of Christianity.

(3) The attitude of the Christians of the early centuries towards
classical literature serves to illustrate still further the attitude of
the Christians towards the pagan schools. Classical literature was
obnoxious to the early Christians because the general interpretation of
life revealed by these books was hostile to the Christian view. The beauty
and charm of the mode of expression made little or no appeal to men who
were confronted by the hideous reality of current licentiousness, even
though the prevailing manner of life might be cloaked by the elegance and
grace of its presentation.

As an alternative hypothesis we suggest that the schools founded by the
bishops in England were modelled on the schools of Christendom rather than
on the schools of paganism. To substantiate this hypothesis, it is
necessary that we should briefly consider the origin and character of
these early Christian schools.

The germ of the essentially Christian Schools may be traced from the
custom of the great apostles of gathering round them their disciples and
the aspirants for the priesthood, for purposes of instruction and
discipline.[48] Gradually three types of schools were evolved:--

(1) Schools for Catechumens. It is assumed that some form of instruction
would be given to Christian catechumens prior to their admission to the
Church. These classes were held either in the porch of the church or in
some other part of the building, and were controlled by a master appointed
for that purpose. The first of these schools of whose existence we have
any evidence was established by St. Mark in Alexandria.[49]

(2) Catechetical Schools. This type of school also originated at
Alexandria, and arose out of the intellectual activities which made that
city so important a centre during the first and second centuries of the
Christian era. Pantaenus, a converted Stoic philosopher who took charge of
the school at Alexandria in 170 A.D., introduced a wide range of studies
into the curriculum and made use of his old learning to illustrate and
defend his new faith.[50] Pantaenus was succeeded by two of the most noted
of the Fathers of the Early Church, Clement, who was formerly his
assistant, and Origen, who assumed the direction of the Catechetical
School at the age of eighteen years.[51]

(3) Bishop's Schools. The origin of these schools may be traced to the
fact that circumstances compelled Origen to leave Alexandria in 231.
Subsequently, at the invitation of two bishops, he opened a school at
Caesarea. It proved so successful that similar schools were opened at a
number of centres. Teaching was carried out either by the bishops in
person, or by a deputy appointed by them. To these schools came candidates
for ordination, the younger clergy whose instruction needed to be
continued, as well as those who, for some reason or other, wished to avail
themselves of the educational facilities thus provided.

One other type of educational institution must also be referred to. We
have already indicated the service rendered to the Church by St. Augustine
of Hippo in connection with the establishment of collegiate churches, and
it is equally important to note his contribution to the educational
organisation of the Church. Prior to his conversion to Christianity, St.
Augustine had been a teacher of rhetoric, and was the author of certain
treatises dealing with the seven liberal arts. Subsequent to his
consecration to the episcopate, he established a seminary for those who
were in course of preparation for ordination. This seminary, though
planned on community lines, was essentially an educational establishment
with the avowed object of making its members as efficient as possible in
the ministry which awaited them.[52] The institution proved a great
success. Many priests, who were trained there, subsequently became
well-known; the seminary itself furnished a model to be imitated by
various bishops.[53] Ultimately, this idea of St. Augustine's was adopted
by Pope Leo I.;[54] and the example thus set by Rome was followed by
several bishops in Gaul, notably by Sidonius Apollinaris, Bishop of
Clermont, St. Hilary, Bishop of Arles, and Gregory, Bishop of Tours.

The schools established by the bishops in Gaul are of special interest to
us, because the first available reference to education in this country is
the statement by Bede that Sigebert "wishing to imitate what he had seen
well ordered among the Gauls" "instituit scolam in qua pueri litteris
erudirentur."[55] It is consequently necessary that we should next turn to
the educational system of Gaul at this time.

There had existed in Gaul from Roman times (as in other parts of the
Empire) schools of the Graeco-Roman type to which we have previously
referred. The barbarian invasions, however, brought these schools to an
end. When social conditions reasserted themselves, the old condition of
things had passed away and Christianity had become a power in the land. In
the educational reconstruction which followed, the bishops played an
important part and two types of schools were ultimately to be found in
Gaul, the monastic schools and the episcopal schools.

The monastic schools taught theology mainly, but instruction was also
given in speaking, reading and writing Latin, in copying manuscripts, in
painting and architecture, and in elementary notions of astronomy and
mathematics.[56] The most famous of these schools were those of Luxeuil,
Soissons, Lérins and Saint-Vandrille. At the last-named school there were
about three hundred scholars.

The Episcopal Schools were closely modelled on the type originated by St.
Augustine. They were mainly intended for those who proposed to offer
themselves for ordination. The curriculum of these schools was narrower
and more definitely theological than that of the monastic schools. The
best known were those of Paris, Poitiers, Le Mans, Clermont, Vienne,
Chalons-sur-Saône and Gaps. These schools, however, differed from the
seminary of St. Augustine on which they were modelled because the special
circumstances of the time rendered it necessary that classes were also
held in connection with them for the boys, who were attached in some
capacity or other to the cathedral church. Thus the choir boys and others
who were desirous of preparing themselves for subsequent employment in any
capacity in which the education available would afterwards be of service
to them, found in these classes the opportunities they sought.

Our analysis of the educational institutions existing in Gaul in the sixth
century has brought out that there existed, as models for imitation, the
monastic schools and the episcopal schools. In addition, schools had also
developed in connection with the parish churches, but we propose to deal
with that development later. We have already considered the monastic
schools of this country; our present problem is then to consider whether
there is any evidence that schools, conducted by the bishop himself or by
his deputy, similar to those we have shown to have existed in France, were
to be found in this country.

Our reply is emphatically in the affirmative. Thus there was a school at
Hexham. Bede tells us of Herebald, who was a member of the school kept by
St. John of Beverley, whilst Bishop of Hexham. "When in the prime of my
youth," Herebald is reported to have said, "I lived among his clergy[57]
applying myself to reading and singing."[58] Another school existed at
Canterbury, and during the time it was conducted by Archbishop Theodore
and the Abbot Hadrian it ranked as the most famous of the episcopal
schools of this country. With regard to these two famous teachers, Bede
writes: "They gathered a crowd of disciples, and there daily flowed from
them rivers of knowledge to water the hearts of their hearers; and,
together with the books of Holy Writ, they also taught them the arts of
ecclesiastical poetry, astronomy, and arithmetic. A testimony of which is,
that there are living at this day some of their scholars who are as well
versed in the Greek and Latin tongues as in their own in which they were
born."[59] It is owing to the labours of these two men that England, for a
time, occupied the leading place in the schools of the west.[60] One of
the most celebrated scholars of the school of Canterbury was Aldhelm, who
can claim the distinction of being the first Englishman who cultivated
classical learning with any success, and the first of whom any literary
remains are preserved.[61] Bede describes Aldhelm as "a wonder of
erudition in the liberal as well as ecclesiastical learning."[62] It is
from a letter written by Aldhelm that we gain an insight into the
curriculum followed at Canterbury, and learn that the course of study
pursued there included grammar, geometry, arithmetic, metre, astronomy,
and Roman Law.[63]

A third famous episcopal school was that of York, of which we possess a
full account in Alcuin's poem "De Pontificibus Sanctae Ecclesiae
Eboracensis." Alcuin writes in most eulogistic terms of the work of this
school, and, more particularly, of the educational labours of Archbishop
Albert, to whom Alcuin was personally indebted for the instruction he

     "He gave drink to thirsty minds at the fountain of the sciences. To
     some he communicated the art and the rules of grammar; for others he
     caused floods of rhetoric to flow; he knew how to exercise these in
     the battles of jurisprudence, and those in the songs of Adonis; some
     learned from him to pipe Castalian airs and with lyric foot to strike
     the summit of Parnassus; to others he made known the harmony of the
     heavens, the courses of the sun and the moon, the five zones of the
     pole, the seven planets, the laws of the courses of the stars, the
     motions of the sea, earthquakes, the nature of men, and of beasts and
     of birds, and of all that inhabit the forest. He unfolded the
     different qualities and combinations of numbers; he taught how to
     calculate with certainty the solemn return of Eastertide and, above
     all, he explained the mysteries of the Holy Scriptures."[64]

The library of the school at York was particularly famous, and included
the works of Jerome, Hilarius, Ambrose, Augustine, Athanasius, Orosius,
Gregory, Leo, Basil, Fulgentius, Cassiodorus, Chrysostom, Aldhelm, Bede,
Victorinus, Boethius, Pliny, Aristotle, Cicero, Virgil, etc. Mullinger
remarks of this library: "The imposing enumeration at once calls our
attention to the fact that the library at York at this period far
surpassed any possessed by either England or France in the twelfth
century, whether at Christ Church, Canterbury, St. Victor at Paris, or at

The school at York is also important because it is the first known
instance in English educational history of the bishop's school being
conducted by a member of the staff of clergy associated with the bishop,
instead of by the bishop himself. On the death of Archbishop Albert, his
successor, instead of taking personal charge of the school, entrusted that
duty to Alcuin. This was a special case of the principle of the division
of labour, and the example thus set at York was of considerable importance
in the subsequent development of education in this country.

As Alcuin is commonly regarded as the most important educator of the first
half of the Middle Ages, and as it was through Alcuin that England
influenced continental education, a slight digression from the main
purpose of this chapter, for the sake of indicating the importance of
Alcuin, may be allowed. The only education which Alcuin received was
obtained at the bishop's school at York, and a consideration of this fact
should assist us in realising that these schools were in practice the
universities of the period. The reputation which Alcuin gained must have
spread beyond the borders of this country, because Charles the Great, who
had determined upon a scheme of educational reform in the dominions ruled
by him, invited Alcuin to come to his court to occupy a position analogous
to that of a Minister of Education of modern days. This position Alcuin
occupied for fourteen years, and during that period the famous
capitularies of 787, 789, and 802 were issued.[66] The effect of the
reforms carried out by Alcuin was, that scholars were attracted from all
parts of Europe to the court of Charles the Great, the Palace Schools were
developed and invigorated, learning was promoted among the clergy, and the
activities of the monastic and episcopal schools were stimulated. It has
been suggested that the reforms attributed to Alcuin owed little to his
individual genius, but were based entirely upon the practice he found in
operation in York.[67] If this is so, then the educational facilities
provided in this country in the eighth century must have been of much
greater importance than is commonly conceived. The available evidence is,
however, too scanty for any definite statements to be made on the subject.

Alcuin was a voluminous writer, and his works bear further witness to the
intellectual activity of his day. They include epistles, poems, exegetical
works, dogmatic writings, liturgical writings, biographical writings,
studies, and dialogues.[68] His educational writings include works _On
Grammar_, _On Orthography_, _On Rhetoric_, _On Dialectic_, etc. They are
written in the characteristic Anglo-Saxon dialogue form. In his _On
Grammar_, Alcuin shows that true happiness is to be found in the things
peculiar to the soul itself rather than in those things which are alien to
it; of these things, "wisdom is the chief adornment." Progress in wisdom
was to be obtained, so far as secular knowledge was concerned, by the
"seven ascents of theoretical discipline," _i.e._ the trivium and the

We have thus brought forward evidence to show that episcopal schools
existed at Canterbury, York, and Hexham, and that advanced instruction was
available at these centres. The general hypothesis we submit is that the
cathedral city of each diocese became gradually recognised as a place of
higher education, and that it was commonly regarded as the duty of the
bishop to provide, either personally or by deputy, such higher education
as the circumstances of the time rendered possible.

Facilities would also be required at these centres for elementary
instruction, and also for instruction in the "specialist" art of writing.
As the demand for such instruction arose, so the Church endeavoured to
meet it, and classes were established for this purpose. Thus, in a letter
written c. 796 by Alcuin to Eanbald II. Archbishop of York, he recommends
that separate masters should be appointed to teach those "qui libros
legant, qui cantilenae inserviant, qui scribendi studio deputentur."[69]

With the spread of Christianity in this country, the parochial system
originated. For this purpose, the Saxon "tun" was taken as the unit of
ecclesiastical organisation and it became known as the "parish," the
specific area placed under the spiritual over-sight of the parish priest.
We must again remind ourselves that Latin was the language of the Church,
and that to participate in the worship offered by the Church, to join in
its psalms, to understand its doctrines properly, or in fact to become in
any sense of the word a "churchman," a knowledge of Latin was imperative.
A custom naturally arose that the parish priest should keep a "school of
grammar," or, as we should term it to-day, should hold a Latin class for
those who were desirous of learning that language. In course of time this
custom became obligatory and a part of the law of the Church. Thus, at the
Council of Vaison held in 529, it was decreed that each priest, who was in
charge of a parish, should also have at his house a class of young men for
the purpose of preparing them for the sacred ministry. These young men
were also to be engaged in teaching the small children. The bishop in his
visitation of the parish made enquiries as to whether this law was carried
into effect.[70]

The enactment of Vaison was repeated by subsequent decrees of the Church,
notably by that of Tours, and the establishment of schools of grammar to
be taught by the parish priest was a definite part of the system of the
Church.[71] This requirement was reiterated from time to time. Thus
Theodulf of Orleans, the coadjutor of Alcuin in carrying out the
educational reforms of the kingdom of Charles the Great, issued a letter
to his clergy in 797 in which he reminded them that "Presbyteri per villas
et vicos scolas habeant, et si quilibet fidelium suos parvulos ad
discendas litteras eis commendare vult, eos suscipere et docere non

Were these parochial grammar schools to be found in England? The direct
evidence is very slight. In a letter which Alcuin wrote to Offa, King of
Mercia, about 792, he recommends to him a schoolmaster;[73] this
schoolmaster, however, does not appear to possess a strong moral
character, as Alcuin warns Offa not "to let him wander about with nothing
to do nor to become a slave to drink, but to provide him with scholars and
require him to teach these diligently." Then in another letter written by
Alcuin and attributed to 797, the Bishop of Hexham is advised to pay
attention to the education of boys and youths. It is stated in this letter
that "it is a great work of charity to feed the poor with food for the
body but a greater to fill the soul with spiritual learning."

Apart from this evidence, there are a few references in Domesday Book
which tend to support the idea of parochial schools and which we will
subsequently consider. All that we can do here is to assume that, just as
the Church in this country followed the general practice of the Church in
the establishment of schools in connection with monasteries and cathedral
churches, so she also followed the custom and precept of the Church in
establishing schools in connection with the parish churches.



The Danish invasions checked temporarily the remarkable educational
progress this country was making. Beginning early in the ninth century,
the era of Danish reconnoitring excursions closes with the year 855; the
era of methodical plundering with the year 876. As a consequence of their
various immigrations, the greater part of the English coasts were ruined
and devastated. Towns and ecclesiastical buildings were plundered and
burnt. "The Church with its civilising and cosmopolitan influences was for
a time swept out of great districts which fell momentarily into heathen

After a long and fierce struggle with the invaders, Alfred, the West Saxon
king, held them in check, and compelled them to make peace with him.
Subsequently, in the tenth century, through the successive efforts of
Alfred's son, daughter, and grandson, the territory formerly yielded was

From the ruin and desolation that the Danes had occasioned, it was the aim
of King Alfred to raise his country. No sovereign could recognise more
fully the value of Education than Alfred did. His general attitude is
evidenced by the preface he wrote to his translation of Gregory the
Great's _Pastoral Care_. In it he refers to the reputation that this
country at one time enjoyed on account of the wisdom and learning of its
clergy. Then he proceeds to show that the decay that had set in had been
so great that learning had practically disappeared from the country. He
aimed at making his people familiar with the contents of some of the chief
religious books, and, as the knowledge of Latin had by this time
practically died out in the country, he sought to get them translated
"into their own land-speech." Not content with simply expressing a wish
that this might be done, he endeavoured to stimulate the efforts of others
by the example he set. In order that education might make greater progress
in the future, he suggested that every English child born of free
condition and who had the means or faculty, should during his youth "be
given over to teachers ... till such time as they may know well to read
English writing." Those who evinced an interest in letters should then
proceed to a study of Latin.

It is an interesting question to consider how and where these educational
advantages were to be secured. Alfred himself had written: "So clean was
learning fallen off from among English folk that few there were on this
side Humber that could understand the service in English or even turn an
errand writing from Latin into English. And not many were there, I ween,
beyond Humber. So few they were that I cannot bethink me of so much as one
south of the Thames when first I took the kingdom." The suggestion of
Alfred is that "now we must get these from without if we would have them."
Unfortunately no reliable evidence is available to assist us in suggesting
an answer to the problem.

The educational activities of Alfred are described at length in Asser's
_Life of Alfred_.[75] The authenticity of this life, however, has been
called in question, and though Stevenson argues strongly in its favour yet
the evidence against is so strong that it is difficult to admit its claim
to be considered what it professes to be. Still, even if the work is not a
ninth century production, there is indisputable evidence of its existence
in the tenth century. We can, therefore, regard the work as setting out
the educational ideas which tradition, at any rate, considered to be in
harmony with the character of King Alfred. From this pseudo-Asser, we
learn that Alfred first acquired the power of reading Anglo-Saxon by the
aid of a master, who was most probably one of the priests associated with
the court. Alfred's ambition to learn Latin was difficult of
accomplishment because of the scarcity of teachers of that subject. For
the education of his children, Alfred arranged that they, together with
the young nobles and some promising youths of lower origin, should be
instructed by masters who should teach their pupils to read both Latin and
Saxon. Thus the king established at his court a Palace School similar to
that founded by Charles the Great.

Though all the details given in Asser cannot be accepted as true, yet the
general statement that Alfred played an important part in stimulating the
educational activity of his country is unquestioned. His efforts must be
regarded as the beginning of a national concern for education, as Alfred,
though a pious and religious king, was actuated not by a desire to recruit
the ranks of the priesthood but by a wish to make his subjects capable of
discharging more effectively the duty they owed to the state. This, he
considered, could be secured through education. If this contention is
sound, then Alfred was the first Englishman to recognise the sociological
significance of education.

There is, unfortunately, no evidence that the efforts of Alfred, in the
direction of improving the education of his country, met with any success.
There would be practical difficulties in securing a sufficient number of
keen and capable priests from abroad; the secular clergy of this country
had scarcely proved equal to the trust reposed in them. To the thoughtful
observer of the day the end in view could be obtained only through the
restoration of monasticism. We learn that Edgar, as a youth, had made a
vow to restore as many monasteries as possible,[76] but "until Dunstan and
Athelwold revived learning in the monastic life, no English priest could
either write a letter in Latin or understand one."[77] We must therefore
turn to those "three torches" of the Church--Dunstan, Oswald, and
Athelwold--in order to learn how a revival of interest in education was

We are fortunate in possessing two biographies of Dunstan which were
practically contemporary writings, as one was written within sixteen, and
the other within twenty-three years of his death. "Both of these are
dedicated to his successors, who knew him well, as being his fellow
scholars and his own disciples." Dunstan was born at Glastonbury in 925,
and the old monastic buildings in a semi-ruinous condition still existed
there at that time. They were then tenanted by some Irish scholars who had
come to Glastonbury to visit the tomb of Patrick the Younger.[78] To these
clerks Dunstan was sent at an early age for instruction. He made rapid
progress and not only acquired a mastery of grammar, but also showed
excellence in other branches of study.[79] Consequently, he exposed
himself to the charge of "studying the vain poems and trifling histories
of ancient paganism, to be a worker of magic."[80]

Dunstan, whilst still a young man, was introduced to the court of King
Athelstan by Aldhelm, Archbishop of Canterbury, stated by Adelard, one of
the biographers of Dunstan, to have been his uncle. A serious illness and
the jealousy of some of the nobles led to Dunstan's retirement from court.
On the advice of Alfeah the Bald, bishop of Winchester, he took the
monastic vows,[81] and in 946 was made Abbot of Glastonbury. He did all in
his power to develop the growth and importance of the monastery, and it is
interesting to find that under his rule, the establishment of Glastonbury
was more of a school than a monastery; "the words 'scholasticus' and
'discipulus' come more naturally than 'monachus.'"[82] After holding
various bishoprics, Dunstan became Archbishop of Canterbury in 959, and
was then in a position to undertake the task of restoring the monastic
conditions of the country and consequently of stimulating its educational

Turning to the coadjutors of Dunstan in his work of reform, we note that
Athelwold (who became Abbot of Abingdon in 953, and Bishop of Winchester
in 965) was one of his pupils. He attained "a most generous skill in the
art of grammar and the honeyed sweetness of verse; he was not only
familiar with the Bible, but also with the catholic and most famous
authors."[83] Oswald, the other colleague of Dunstan, had been for some
time an inmate of the monastery at Fleury.

The point which we wish here to emphasise is that the men of the time who
were in a position to judge were of the opinion that the only effective
method of producing a reform in the educational condition of the country
was primarily through the erection of monasteries, destined to be centres
of intellectual activity. With this object in view, they used every
possible means to build or restore monasteries in different parts and to
place over them men who were not only spiritually minded but who were also
men of learning and ability. We learn that in pursuance of this policy,
forty monasteries for men and eight for women were erected during the
reigns of Edgar and his sons.[84] The men at the head of these
institutions taught personally in the schools. Thus we learn of Dunstan
being in charge of the school at Glastonbury,[85] and of Aethelwold who
"did not scorn ever to explain the difficulties of Donatus and Priscian to
little boys."[86]

Efforts were also made to keep in touch with foreign monasteries,
especially those of Ghent, Corbeil, and Fleury. These monasteries were
appealed to, to send men of learning to the English monasteries, and also
for advice in the conduct of the monasteries.[87] In 968 the Abbot of
Ramsey sent to Fleury for a master to rule the schools, because "the study
of letters and the use of schools had almost died out in England."[88]
The master sent in response to this appeal was Abbo, who is described as
being well versed in the trivium and the quadrivium.[89] Abbo spent two
years at Ramsey and wrote a book _Quaestiones Grammaticales_ for the
purpose of testing the knowledge acquired by the monks of his
monastery.[90] Among the pupils of Abbo was the anonymous author of the
_Vita S. Oswaldi_ (a work which shows that the writer was a man of culture
and learning), and Byrhtferth, who wrote commentaries on Bede's
mathematical treatises and shows a knowledge of Latin authors.[91]

In 817, by the council of Aachen, it had been decreed that no one was to
be admitted to the monastery schools unless he was destined for the
monastic life. It does not appear that this distinction was observed in
England during the Saxon period, and it seems probable that the English
monasteries continued to receive pupils irrespective of whether or not
they intended ultimately to enter the monastery. Thus we learn that the
scholars of Dunstan at Glastonbury were of all ages, from the little
boy[92] to the man who had already taken priest's orders.[93] Then, of the
pupils of Wulfstan, we learn that they included both young and old, and
that many of them subsequently became secular priests.[94] Again, in the
picture drawn by Aelfric of a monastery school of the period,[95] it will
be noted that the pupils included not only a professed monk but also
others who were engaged in secular pursuits. We also read that the boys
who attended the school at Ramsey Abbey were allowed to go outside the
cloisters for play and recreation.[96]

We may summarise the educational work of Dunstan and his comrades by
pointing out that a new race of scholars sprang up in the restored
cloisters, some of whom were not unworthy to be ranked with the disciples
of Alcuin and Bede. One of these pupils was Aelfric,[97] at one time
Abbot of Eynsham, who is of special interest as the writer of certain
educational and other works: an Anglo-Latin Grammar, a Glossary, and a
translation of various extracts from Latin writers into Anglo-Saxon under
the title of _Homilies_. Aelfric's _Grammar_ is of special interest from
the point of view of the study of the principles of teaching, as it
indicates the writer was desirous of presenting his subject to his pupils
in such a manner as to facilitate their progress. "I am well aware," he
writes, "that many will blame me for being willing to devote my time to
such a pursuit as to turn the _Art of Grammar_ into English. But I destine
this lesson book for little boys who know nothing, not for their elders. I
know that words can be construed in many different ways, but to avoid
raising difficulties I follow the simplest meaning."[98]

From Aelfric's _Colloquy_ we are able to learn something of a monastic
school at work. The _Colloquy_ consists of a dialogue between the master
and various boys, and was intended as a First Latin Exercise book. Aelfric
accompanies the Latin prose with an Anglo-Saxon interlinear translation.
The dialogue opens with the request from the boys that the master would
teach them to speak correctly. This, of course, relates to the ability to
converse freely in the Latin tongue. Incidentally, the next question
throws some light on the mode by which it was then customary to stimulate
the boys to apply themselves to their school tasks.

     _Master_: "Will you be flogged while learning?"

     _Boy_: "We would rather be flogged while learning than remain
     ignorant; but we know that you will be kind to us and not flog us
     unless you are obliged."

Then, towards the end of the _Colloquy_, there is a conversation between
the Master and a professed monk.

     _M._--"Were you flogged to-day?"

     _B._--"I was not because I was very careful."

     _M._--"And how about the others?"

     _B._--"Why do you ask me that? I daren't tell you our secrets. Each
     one knows whether he was flogged or not."

Of the boys in the supposed school, one was a professed monk, others were
ploughmen, shepherds, hunters, fishermen, hawkers, merchants, shoemakers,
salters, and bakers. The daily routine of each of them is gone through,
and in this way an extensive vocabulary is introduced. One of the passages
implies that the school was not restricted to the "free" classes. Thus,
after the ploughman has given an account of his day's work, the dialogue

     _M._--"O magnus labor est."

     _A._--"Etiam, magnus labor est, quia non sum liber."

Then the boys in turn argue which occupation is the most useful, and a
counsellor is called in to decide the question. The _Colloquy_ closes with
some good advice: "All you good children and clever scholars, your teacher
exhorts you to keep the commandments of God and behave properly
everywhere. Walk quietly when you hear the Church bells and go into Church
and bow to the Holy Altar, and stand quietly and sing in unison, and ask
pardon for your sins, and go out again without playing to the cloister or
to school."[99]

So far we have described the monastic revival that took place under
Dunstan. Dunstan, however, quite clearly realised that the monasteries
alone would not provide sufficient opportunities for the revival of
education in England. Though nearly fifty monasteries had been erected,
yet that number would meet the need of only a comparatively small section
of the community. Further, no monastic institution north of the Humber
(with the doubtful exception of Ripon) had escaped the destruction wrought
by the Danes. Under these circumstances, Dunstan determined to stimulate
the parish priests to a sense of their duty in the matter of education. In
the preceding chapter[100] we noted that about 797, Theodulf of Orleans
had promulgated certain canons at a diocesan synod; these canons Dunstan
adopted, and secured their enactment for this country. They run:--[101]

     10. And we enjoin that no priest receive another's scholar without
     the leave of him whom he formerly employed.

     11. And we enjoin that every priest in addition to lore do diligently
     learn a handicraft.

     12. And we enjoin that no learned priest put to shame the
     half-learned, but amend him if he know better.

     13. And that every Christian man zealously accustom his children to
     Christianity and teach them the Pater Noster and Creed.

     22. And we enjoin that every man learn so that he know the Pater
     Noster and Creed, if he wish to lie in a hallowed grave, or to be
     worthy of housel; because he is not truly a Christian who will not
     learn them, nor may he who knows them not receive another man at
     baptism, not at the bishop's hands ere he learn them.

     21. And we enjoin that priests diligently teach youth, and educate
     them in crafts that they may have ecclesiastical support.

It is impossible to estimate the extent to which these canons were
complied with. It is, however, noteworthy that evidence exists that in the
first half of the tenth century it was customary for boys of good family
to receive education from a priest. Thus Odo, who was Archbishop of
Canterbury from 942-959, was taught "by a certain religious man while a
boy in the household of the thane Athelhelm."[102] Again, Odo's nephew,
Oswald, was taught by a priest named Frithegode, who is said "to have been
skilled in all the learning of that age in England, both secular and

In dealing with education in Anglo-Saxon times, it is necessary to use
even the slightest evidence of the existence of educational activity.
Domesday Book is, of course, the great authority for the social condition
of England at this period, and it is essential we should turn to that work
for the purpose of investigating whether or not it contains any references
which in any way relate to education.

As Professor Vinogradoff tells us, we get a good deal of information in
the "Survey" about the tenure of churches.[104] "They are a necessary
element of every township organisation. The parish church is the "tun
kirke" of Old English times, and a tenement of a hide or two virgates is
of right reserved to it." The parish priest was remunerated in various
ways, partly by tithes, partly by glebe, partly by "church scot." It is in
connection with this latter payment that we can trace a connection between
the churches and education. In 376 A.D., Gratian issued an edict, which
was applied in Britain, that teachers were to be paid in "annones," that
is, a measure of corn. Now "church scot" was a species of tax imposed on
houses or buildings for the payment of the priest.[105] There are two
passages quoted by Vinogradoff which seem to connect this payment of
"church scot" with the "annones," which were perhaps originally intended
as payments for the work of the priests as teachers of schools. On page
441 he writes:--

"Every socman possessed of a hide has to pay one carriage load of corn,
called annona, to his parish church, and there is a provision for the case
of non-performance of this duty as in Worcestershire." And on page 418 we
read that "the shire gave evidence that the church of Pershore ought to
have church rent from 300 hides, that is, one load of corn from every hide
in which a franklin is settled."

It is not suggested that any stress should be laid on these extracts. They
are interesting as indicating the possibility that a part of the
remuneration of the parish priest was a payment for his services as a

In Domesday Book itself, three references to education have been traced:--

1. Wilton Church in Wiltshire was endowed for teaching.[106]

2. Lands in Oxfordshire were given by King Edward the Confessor to the
Abbey of Westminster for the education and support of a novice.[107]

3. Aluuid, a young woman, held half a hide of the demesne lands at Oakley
(Bucks) for teaching the daughter of Earl Godric.[108]

Taken alone, these instances do not amount to much, but when they are
considered in relation to the decrees and custom of the Church and the
canons promulgated in the reign of King Edgar, they tend to support the
contention that provision for education was actually made in the various
parishes of this country.

Turning next to the Collegiate Churches, whether of a cathedral dignity or
not, we note that no evidence of their scholastic activities is available
until after the Danish conquest. Then we learn that when Canute visited a
famous monastery or borough, he sent there "at his own expense boys to be
taught for the clerical or monastic order."[109] This statement is made by
a contemporary of the king and is consequently worthy of credence. It was
repeated by Abbot Samson who wrote about a century later. Samson, however,
exaggerates matters and states that Canute was "so great a lover of
religion" that he established public schools[110] in the cities and
boroughs "charging the expense on the public purse."[111]

It is difficult to say what these statements mean. They may mean that
Canute gave further endowments to particular churches on the understanding
that an additional priest, who would be responsible for the teaching of
the boys, would be maintained, or that endowments were given to
monasteries with the implied understanding that they were given to meet
the expenses incurred in the support of the boys intended for a monastic
profession. Again, it is probable that by now the custom had grown up of
requiring payments from the boys who attended the classes of the priests;
in that case the statements would simply mean that Canute made certain
grants to the particular church to free those whom he nominated from any
further charges.

The account available of the foundation of Holy Cross Collegiate Church,
Waltham, and its re-foundation by Earl Harold,[112] enables us to
understand the organisation of the Collegiate Churches of the period and
the nature of the provision made for education. Originally, there were
only two clerks on this foundation; Earl Harold by additional endowments
made it possible for eleven further clerks to be added. Just as the
monasteries sent to Fleury and other monasteries of note for guidance in
the conduct of their monasteries, so it appears that some of the
Collegiate Churches sent abroad for guidance in the direction of their
institutions. Thus we learn that, at Waltham a certain "Master Athelard"
came from Utrecht that he might "establish at Waltham Church the laws,
statutes, and customs both in ecclesiastical and in secular matters of the
churches in which he had been educated."[113] The church seems to have
been organised on the model of a monastic community; a number of clerks
lived together under specified rules; discipline was strictly enforced. A
dean, described as "a religious man, illustrious for his character, well
known for his literary learning," was placed over the clerks. The
schoolmaster was apparently a most important official; his authority seems
to have equalled that of the dean; he taught reading, the composition of
prose and verse, and singing.[114] A stringent discipline prevailed. We
learn that the boys of the choir "walked, stood, read and chanted, like
brethren in religion, and whatever had to be sung at the steps of the
choir or in the choir itself they sang and chanted by heart, one or two or
more together, without the help of a book. One boy never looked at another
when they were in their places in choir, except sideways and that very
seldom, and they never spoke a word to one another; they never walked
about the choir.... And in walking in procession from school they go to
choir, and on leaving the choir go to school."[115]

Between thirty and forty churches of secular canons are registered in
Domesday Book, the majority of which were founded during the reign of
Edward the Confessor. Among these pre-Conquest Collegiate Churches were
All Saints' Church, Warwick, Beverley Minster, and St. Martins-le-Grand,
London. At each of these churches one of the priests acted as
schoolmaster, and so we assume that wherever a Collegiate Church was
founded, there it was customary to delegate the task of giving instruction
in Latin and Music respectively to definite persons. We know that at
Warwick and Beverley there was a separate master for Song, and hence we
may infer that, wherever possible, separate instructors were provided for
these subjects.

It must, however, be admitted that the direct evidence of general
education during the Anglo-Saxon period is slight and that we are
consequently largely driven to conjecture. We are justified in definitely
asserting that some of the monasteries were centres of intellectual
activity, and that systematic education was given in connection with some
of the collegiate churches. It is also extremely probable that it was a
general custom for the parish priest to give instruction in Latin to those
who wished for such instruction, but it is impossible, so far as our
knowledge goes now, to assert anything more than probability in this




The second stage which we propose to trace in connection with the
evolution of education, is that in which the responsibility for the
provision of educational facilities, the organisation of education, the
control and the recognition of teachers, were tacitly regarded by the
State as among the functions which ought to be undertaken by the Church.

A consideration of this question will involve, as a necessary preliminary,
some reference to the political ideas of the Church in the Middle Ages. It
would be difficult to discover any ideas which could be considered as
political in their character in connection with the labours of those
mission priests who were responsible for the introduction of Christianity
into England. Separation from the body politic, rather than a desire to
participate in its activities, was a distinguishing characteristic of
those monks who formed the nucleus of the Catholic Church of this country.
With the progress of time, however, a change in this respect became
evident. The Church tended to develop into a great social and
quasi-political institution, and the question of the relation of the
ecclesiastical to the secular power became of increasing importance.
Various factors contributed to produce this result. Not the least
significant of them was the development of the Feudal System, to which is
due, to a great extent, the development of the temporal power and rank of
the Church, because the great ecclesiastics were not only the leading men
of the Church but also great feudal lords.

By the Feudal System is meant the system of government prevailing in
Western Europe in medieval times. Though the problems connected with its
origin and development cannot yet be regarded as definitely settled, yet
opinion is practically united upon the main points; such differences as
continue to exist relating mainly to minor points of detail. We may
summarise the essential features of Feudalism in its more complete forms
by saying that "the State no longer depends upon its citizens, as
citizens, for the fulfilment of public duties, but it depends upon a
certain few to perform specified duties, which they owe as vassals of the
king, and these in turn depend upon their vassals for services which will
enable them to meet their own obligations towards the king."[116] In other
words, the individual citizen had little or no consciousness of any duty
he might owe to the State; his horizon was limited by his responsibilities
to his over-lord.

It is possible to trace the origin of the Feudal System to two practices
known to Roman Law. One of these was the "precarium." Under this form the
small landowner, induced by a fear of the effects of the disordered
condition of the times, gave up his land to some powerful landowner whose
position was strong enough to command respect. This land he received back
again no longer as owner but as tenant. The other practice--the
"patrocinium"--was of a similar character. The poor freeman, desirous of
the protection he could not otherwise secure, attached himself to the
household of a great lord, and in return for the protection thus gained he
gave to the rich man such services as a freeman might perform.

At the time of the Frankish invasion of Gaul, these practices were found
in operation, and as they corresponded in their main features to customs
current among the Franks, the German customs and the Roman customs merged
the one in the other and in their new form were adopted by the invaders.
The coupling of the special obligation of military service as a condition
of land tenure was strengthened by the efforts of Charles the Great. The
growth in size of the Frankish empire, resulting in campaigns being
necessary at great distances, produced a modification of the existing
practice. Of special significance was his ordinance that the vassals
should come into the field under the command of their lords; as a result,
each lord endeavoured to secure as fine a body of vassals as possible.
Gradually it thus came about that the inherent duty of the citizen to
defend his country "was transferred from a public obligation into a
private contract." The Feudal System developed further when other
functions of the State passed into the hands of individuals. Of great
importance in this connection was the acquisition of the power of
"jurisdiction," by which the administration of justice passed out of the
power of the State so far as persons residing within the limits of the
fief were concerned. Thus it gradually came to pass that all real power
passed from the State and centred in individual lords with the result that
patriotism and a common national feeling were almost entirely wanting.

Yet, from the very time of its origin, the Feudal System contained within
itself factors which influenced its decline and fall. The only force that
held together a fief was the personal ability of the successive
generations of lords, coupled with the nature of their success in
maintaining order and security and in compelling outlying landlords to
recognise their supremacy. But vassals were ever ready to throw off their
allegiance and to assert sovereign rights, if the opportunity occurred,
and neighbouring great barons would not scruple to entice the vassals of a
rival to change their over-lord. When the Feudal System became fixed, such
things might become less frequent, but, generally speaking, the law of the
survival of the strongest prevailed.

Sooner or later, the Feudal System was certain to result in a period of
anarchy. In this country, that period occurred on the death of Henry I.,
when the feudal party refused to abide by the oaths which the late king
had made them swear to his daughter Mathilda. The Peterborough
continuation of the English Chronicle describes this period of anarchy "in
words with which in their pregnant simplicity no modern description can
possibly vie."[117] "They filled the land full of castles, and filled the
castles with devils. They took all those that they deemed had any goods,
men and women, and tortured them with tortures unspeakable: many thousand
they slew with hunger ... and they robbed and burned all the villages so
that thou mightest for a day's journey nor ever find a man dwelling in a
village nor land tilled. Corn, flesh, and cheese, there was none in the
land. The bishops were for ever cursing them but they cared nought
therefor.... Men said openly that Christ and His saints slept. Such and
more than we can safely say we suffered nineteen years for our sins."

Apart from the practical and tangible effects of the Feudal System,
medieval theorising on politics brought forward arguments to support the
contention that the Church was not only distinct from, but was in certain
essential respects superior to, the State. The starting point in such
theorising was the dogma of the two powers, the Spiritual and the
Temporal, the power of the priesthood derived from the King of Kings, the
power of the State derived from the ability to exercise force.

Ecclesiastics maintained that of these two powers the greater dignity
pertained to the spiritual. This arose directly from the views of the
early Church as to the relative importance of the earthly life and of the
life to come. To save souls was more important than to regulate physical
life; hence, those whose function it was to save souls were not only more
worthy of honour than those who simply sought to control temporal
activities, but they possessed an authority of a higher and more
responsible character. The claim of the Church to a power of inspection
and correction in reference to the behaviour and motives of secular
rulers enhanced its authority still further. To the sacerdotal mind not
only were princes laymen, but of all laymen they were the class most prone
to sin and consequently were most in need of clerical censure. Among the
duties of the kings which were imperatively insisted upon were "respect
for and protection of the Church and her ministers." Hincmar, Gregory
VII., and Innocent III. are prominent among those who may be quoted as the
protagonists of the claim to ecclesiastical pre-eminence.

A weapon of great value in the enforcement of ecclesiastical demands was
that of excommunication and anathema. This was considered to correspond to
the death penalty of the Mosaic law, the employment of the sword of the
Spirit. If, however, the fear of excommunication was insufficient to gain
from a reluctant monarch respect for the wishes of the Church, then the
power of deposition was resorted to. The authority to do this was based on
the power claimed by the Church of absolving their members from the oaths
of allegiance they had taken. This power was of special significance in a
feudal state of society, at a time when the tendency to renounce
allegiance was continually present and opportunity and pretext alone

The Norman Conquest not only intensified the development of the Feudal
System in this country, but it also contributed largely to the recognition
of the separate power of the Church. The Conquest had resulted in the
administration of the country passing under the control of men who were
"better managers, keener, more unscrupulous, less drunken and quarrelsome,
better trained, hardier, thriftier, more in sympathy with the general
European movements, more adventurous, more temperate.... The result was
inevitably better organisation, quicker progress, great exactions and
oppressions in Church and State."[118] Moreover, the invasion had claimed
to possess a religious character and to have for its object the regaining
of an heritage which had been "filched by a perjured usurper." The
existing archbishops, bishops, and abbots fled or were deprived of their
positions, and their places were filled, generally but not always, by men
of foreign race. These men were not merely ecclesiastics, but were feudal
lords in addition, and the temporal possessions they held in virtue of
their dignities were not only considerable in themselves but, owing to
various causes, were continually increasing. The clergy were thus in
possession of increasing powers and additional interests, separate from
and independent of the rest of their countrymen. The tendency was more and
more marked for the Church to become conscious of her temporal powers, to
feel jealous of her privileges, and insistent upon her rights.

This analysis of the relationship of Church and State, as it developed
subsequent to the Norman Conquest, is necessary to enable us to realise
the part taken by the Church in regard to education. The Church was not
conceived of as a spiritual organisation existing simply for the purpose
of promoting a closer fellowship between God and man, but rather as the
partner of the State, and as having under her control all those national
activities which might be described as "spiritual" in the special sense in
which the term was employed at that time. Hence the central authority of
the State was merely the organisation which controlled the activities
which were definitely temporal. Regarded from the point of view which was
common from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, education was
essentially "spiritual," and consequently was classed under the activities
for which the Church alone was responsible.

We pass next to consider the social and economic condition of the country
during that period in which the Feudal System was the prevailing system of
government. This is necessary because experience has shown that a close
connection exists between the social and economic condition of a country
and its system of education, in fact, it is impossible properly to
understand the educational organisation of a country apart from its social

The Manorial System may be regarded as the social counterpart of the
feudal mode of government. When the Manorial System first emerges upon the
stage of history it is recognised that two elements enter into its
constitution, the seignorial and the communal; a lord and a group of
dependents having rights in common. The origin of the manor is a problem
which is still obscure. The question at issue is whether a servile
population, working for a superior who was absolute owner of the land,
existed "from time immemorial," or whether, at a particular stage of the
development of a free community, an overlord succeeded in gaining the
ascendancy and in imposing his will upon it. Two theories have been
advanced. The Mark theory[119] maintains that a certain district, marked
off from districts of a similar character, was held in common ownership,
and that the Manorial System arose when through some particular cause the
authority of a lord became recognised. The other theory is that set out by
Seebohm in his _English Village Community_, where a connection is traced
between the early English village and the Roman vill, and the conclusion
arrived at that the English villages were servile and manorial from the
earliest days of the Anglo-Saxon period.

Without attempting to express an opinion as to these two hypotheses, we
may take "Domesday Book" as our starting point. From that book, we learn
that over the greater part of England, villeins, cottars or bordars, and
slaves made up the whole of the population of the country apart from the
governing classes. Subsequent to the Norman Conquest, we can trace a rapid
increase in the number of free tenants, due to a variety of circumstances,
of which the chief were (1) the commutation by villeins of their services
for money payments, (2) the enclosure and letting out of portions of the
waste land, (3) the renting of portions of the lord's own demesne. The
term "free tenants," as Professor Ashley has shown, is elastic enough to
cover men in very different positions, "from the military tenant who had
obtained a considerable holding in return for service in the field, down
to the tenant who had received at a money rent one or two acres of the
demesne, or of new cleared ground."[120] The larger number of those who
were known as free tenants were clearly virgate-holding villeins or their
descendants, who had commuted their more onerous labour services of two or
three days a week for a fixed sum of money, and who had been freed from
what were regarded as the more servile "incidents" of their position.

In practice the manorial system implied that freedom of movement and
choice of occupation scarcely existed. Even before serfs could send their
children to school, it was necessary that the consent of the lord should
be obtained, and in many cases fines were exacted before this permission
was granted. Thus, in the single manor of Woolrichston, in Warwickshire,
we learn that in 1361, Walter Martin paid 5s. for the privilege of putting
his son "ad scholas"; in 1371, William Potter paid 13s. 4d. that his
eldest son might go "ad scholas," and Stephen Prout paid 3s. 4d.; in 1335,
William at Water paid for a licence for his younger son William "ad sacrum
ordinem promovendum."[121]

The point which we wish to emphasise here, is that the only real social
distinction on a manor was that between a lord and his tenants. Between
these two grades there was a great gulf fixed. Socially, they were as far
asunder as the poles. Between the tenants themselves the social separation
was slight. "The yardling and the cotter worked in the same way; their
manner of life was the same."[122] Even the priest in charge of the
majority of the village churches belonged to the same social grade as his
parishioners, and, in many cases, he was as poor as any of them, and glad
enough to get a few acres and to add to his income by joining in the
common agriculture.[123]

Passing from the villages to the towns, we may note that at the time of
the Norman Conquest there were only about eighty towns in England, and
that most of these towns were distinguishable from the villages only by
the earthen mounds which surrounded them. Even a town of the first rank
cannot have had more than 7,000 or 8,000 inhabitants. Until the second
half of the twelfth century, the majority of the burgesses still occupied
themselves principally in the cultivation of the common fields, and only a
minority specialised in trade or handicraft.[124]

Meredith distinguishes four stages in the evolution of a town, but he also
makes the important proviso that though the majority of the towns passed
through these various stages, yet it cannot be said that any one type of
organisation prevailed in any given half-century. Certain factors might
combine to make a particular town of great importance and to facilitate
its rapid progress; hence the stage of development reached by one town
early in the twelfth century might not be attained by another town until a
century or more later. The stages are:--

(1) The embryo municipality is but slightly differentiated from a manorial

(2) The inhabitants increase in number and in wealth and are able to
purchase self-government. At this stage a gild merchant is formed.

(3) The gild merchant loses its importance; its legislative and judicial
work is undertaken by the municipality, whilst the separate craft gilds
look after the interests of the various trades.

(4) The clear demarcation between town and country breaks down. The
capitalist and wage-earning classes emerge and the central government
makes inroads into the legislative powers of the municipality and
gradually dispenses with the executive work of the crafts.

Is it possible to trace a connection between a social and economic
condition such as we have described as existing in the manors and towns,
and education? It is obvious that there could be little or no demand for
education, because, before education is demanded, its value must be
perceived. During this period there could not exist any idea of the
culture value of education, the value of education for its own sake. Those
who held official positions as bailiffs or stewards in connection with
manorial estates might find a certain amount of education of value, but
neither the demands of commerce nor the amenities of social life were
sufficiently insistent to create a wish for education.

The main demand for education at this time came from those who desired
some position or other in connection with the Church. As will be shown in
a subsequent chapter, the Church provided facilities for education for
three reasons: as a partner of the State she was responsible for providing
it; as holding the view that intellectual training was necessary for moral
perfection it was, of necessity, her mission to supply it; and in order
that a sufficient number of adequately equipped clerks should be
forthcoming, it would be imperative that she should take the necessary

An important question now arises. To whom did the Church offer facilities
for education? To the gentry and nobility? To the middle classes? Or to
the labouring classes? This question must be considered, partly because it
arises out of our analysis of the social structure, and partly because of
the views expressed by various writers on English education.[125]

The nature of the education received by the children of the "nobility and
gentry" will be considered in Chapter VI.; here it will be sufficient to
state that the intellectual part of their education was given by a priest,
but it was provided at the expense of the relatives of those who received
it; hence, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, the Church did not
"provide" facilities for the education of the children who were of
"gentle" lineage.

Two social classes remain: the middle classes and the "gutter poor," as
Mr. Leach elegantly terms them.[126] Which of these two classes did the
Church endeavour to educate?

The answer is obvious when we consider the social structure of the period.
For practical purposes,[127] the middle class in England did not exist
until about the close of the fourteenth century. The social distinctions
between the various classes of tenants on a manor were so slight as to be
negligible; one class tended to merge into the other, so that it was
impossible to draw a clear line of demarcation between them. Consequently
when the question is asked as to the social grade for whom the Church
provided educational facilities, the answer is that such facilities were
offered regardless of social standing, and were available for the poorest,
even the "gutter poor" if the term is desired.

Indisputable evidence of the social grade of those who attended the
schools of the Church in the tenth century is available. Not only were the
various classes of persons who were employed on agricultural labour, such
as shepherds, cowherds, swineherds, represented, but even members of the
"unfree" class are described as being present in the school of which Abbot
Aelfric gives us a picture.[128]

As we shall be obliged to return to this subject again, on account of the
common misconception, we may now defer further consideration.



The place of the monasteries in connection with the educational life of
the country will become evident from a consideration of the special
circumstances of the time. Monasticism, as we have shown, originated
mainly from a sense of inability to lead a Christian life in an atmosphere
largely tinged with paganism, and in which the prevailing ideal of life
had sunk to a very low standard. The remarkable success of monasticism led
to a great increase in the number of those who desired to enrol themselves
as members of an organised religious community. In course of time, not
only had Christianity become the generally accepted religion of the
western world, but the monks had come to be regarded as the élite among
the clergy. As a class, the secular clergy of this country of the ninth
and tenth centuries had not shown themselves inspired with the same zeal,
self-sacrifice, and fervour, which had marked the early missionaries;
apparently they had been attracted to the clerical profession by a variety
of motives, and not invariably from a sense of vocation. Learning does not
appear to have been highly esteemed among them, and it would be a
difficult matter to name, in this country at this period, many secular
priests of outstanding ability. Generally speaking, the term "secular
clergy" had come to denote men of lower ideals, of less learning, of less
spirituality, and of less efficiency, than the regular clergy.

The monastic mission of the eleventh and twelfth centuries consequently
differed appreciably from that undertaken by the Benedictine and Celtic
monks in the seventh century. Originally the aim of the monks was the
introduction of Christianity; now the task of the monks is to make the
Church more efficient and powerful. Efficiency and power can be acquired
by the Church in various ways--by its temporal wealth, by its political
power, by its spiritual zeal, by its intellectual activities. It is only
with the last named aspect of the work of the Church that we are here
concerned. Education and religion were generally regarded as identical at
the period with which we are dealing; the progress of religion was held to
involve the spread of education. "Zeal for letters and religion," remarks
William of Malmesbury, "had grown cold many years before the coming of the

Here, then, is indicated the task which awaited the leaders of the Church,
the revival of zeal for religion and letters. How were they to approach
and solve the problem? We may legitimately assume that those who lived at
the time, and who were in a position to know the special circumstances of
the period, would also be in a position to consider the best policy to
adopt. The method actually adopted by them for promoting the cause of
"religion and letters" was, in the first place, by the establishment of
monasteries. We learn that between 1066 and 1135, three monastic
cathedrals, thirteen important monasteries for women, eleven important
monasteries for men, seventeen Cluniac priories and sixty cells for
foreign houses were founded in this country.[130]

One of the main effects of the Norman Conquest upon England, from an
ecclesiastical point of view, was the substitution of Norman for the
existing English bishops and abbots. Of the twenty-one abbots who attended
the Council of London in 1075, thirteen were English; of these, only three
held office at the accession of William Rufus.[131] From among the Normans
of learning who came to occupy positions of importance in England may be
mentioned Lanfranc and Anselm, successively Archbishops of Canterbury,
Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, Paul, Abbot of St. Albans, Water, Abbot of
Evesham, Gilbert Crispin, Abbot of Westminster, Ernulf, Prior of
Christchurch, Canterbury, and Thurstan, Abbot of Glastonbury, all of whom
had been connected with the school attached to the monastery of Bec.
Instances might also be given of ecclesiastics who came to this country
from the schools of Rouen, of Cluny, of Mont St. Michel, of Bayeux, and of

These appointments are all the more significant because the Church in
Normandy at this time was in a very flourishing condition, and was
conspicuous for its learning;[133] hence the Norman Conquest, among other
things, meant that men of learning and ability were appointed to the chief
ecclesiastical positions in England.

Reference should be made here to the reforms effected at Cluny--a
Benedictine monastery--in the second half of the eleventh century.
Confining ourselves to the reforms that were connected with the
intellectual activities of the monastery, we note that manual labour, in
its literal sense, became practically non-existent. In its stead
additional time was given to study and to the copying of manuscripts.[134]

The importance of Cluny for the educational progress of England arises
from the fact that Lanfranc, who was appointed by the Conqueror to the
position of Archbishop of Canterbury, had apparently studied the customs
prevailing in that monastery,[135] and had based upon them the reforms
which he sought to effect in his own Cathedral monastery at
Canterbury,[136] and also endeavoured to introduce into other monasteries
in this country.[137]

The two men who successively occupied the position of Archbishop of
Canterbury after the Conquest are of special importance both from an
ecclesiastical and from an educational point of view. Lanfranc had
acquired a reputation as a schoolmaster before he took up residence in
this country. His first school was conducted at Avranches, where he
attracted many scholars; subsequently he entered the monastery of Bec,
where he opened a school in connection with the monastery, the fame of
which spread widely. Scholars educated at this school subsequently
occupied most important ecclesiastical positions both here and on the
continent. Among them were Pope Alexander II., and Ivo who afterwards
became famous in connection with the school at Chartres.

After Lanfranc became Archbishop of Canterbury he issued his
"Constitutiones," a series of regulations for the control of the monastery
of Christ Church, Canterbury. For the most part, these regulations relate
to the stringent discipline which Lanfranc wished to enforce;
educationally, they show that he followed the course of study in the
monastery which had been customary since the council of Aix-la-Chapelle in
817. The curriculum of the school included the psalms, writing, and
reading and speaking Latin.

After the death of Lanfranc, the see of Canterbury was vacant till a
dangerous illness frightened William Rufus into the necessity for taking
action in the matter. He compelled Anselm, who had succeeded Lanfranc as
Prior of Bec, to accept the position. Under Anselm the reputation of the
school at Bec had been enhanced, so that it had become generally regarded
as the principal centre of learning in Western Europe. Little direct
evidence of the connection of Anselm with education in England is
available, but it may fairly be assumed that a man, whose learning was so
generally recognised and whose influence on European thought was so great,
would of necessity react upon the condition of learning in this country
and tend to bring education into greater repute.

The work of the monasteries for education during the eleventh and twelfth
centuries may be considered under three heads: (1) the part they played
in connection with a revival of learning, (2) their connection with
schools, and (3) their contribution to the production of books.


To bring about an increased interest in learning was generally regarded as
the first of monastic reforms.[138] This opinion was so common that it
almost became proverbial: Claustrum sine armario castrum sine
armamentario.[139] How was this interest in letters to be secured?
Obviously by requiring the monks to spend a greater amount of time in
study, and by causing them to copy a greater number of books, which would
afterwards be available for the use of the monastery. The first of these
was, as we have seen, an essential reform at Cluny, the model for the
English monastic reformers. A considerable amount of evidence is available
to show that the new abbots of the monasteries regarded it as important
that their libraries should be well stocked with books. At St. Albans the
Abbot Paul built a scriptorium in which hired writers copied the MSS. lent
him by Lanfranc, and he provided an endowment to secure the continuance of
the work.[140] A subsequent abbot, Simon de Gorham, initiated the custom
that the abbot should always maintain one writer in the scriptorium at his
own expense.[141] At Malmesbury the Abbot Godfrey paid special attention
to the formation of a library and to the education of the monks. Under his
rule the monks, who had previously been considered as ignorant, equalled,
even if they did not surpass, those of any other monastery in the
country.[142] Other instances which may be quoted are those of Bath,[143]
Thorney,[144] and Abingdon.[145]


The question of the provision of schools by monasteries is a matter of
considerable controversy. Turning first to the continental custom, we
note, on the one hand, that the decree of the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle
of 817 provided that "schola in monasterio non habeatur nisi eorum qui
oblati sunt"[146]; and, on the other hand, that there is the
incontrovertible case of the school in connection with the monastery of
Bec, conducted first by Lanfranc and later by Anselm.[147] In addition,
reference might also be made to the hostel maintained at Cluny, at the
expense of the monastery, for clerks of noble birth who attended the
schools in the town.[148] It is not suggested that any general conclusion
as to the existence of external monastic schools can be drawn from these
instances, but it does establish the point that the decree of the Council
of Aix-la-Chapelle alone cannot be considered as sufficient evidence that,
after the ninth century, the monasteries ceased to interest themselves in
the provision and maintenance of schools.

Turning next to this country, we find that schools for the inmates of the
monasteries and for their prospective members were instituted as a matter
of course. This point is so generally admitted as not to call for specific
evidence in its support.[149] The question at issue is: did the
monasteries in England make any provision for the education of external
pupils? We are not concerned here with the further question why they
should interest themselves in the subject; our only task is to enquire
whether or not they actually did so. To summarise the main evidence to
support the statement that some of the monasteries took an interest in the
provision of schools, we may note that there existed a secular school in
connection with the Abbey at St. Albans, and that among the famous
headmasters of this school were Geoffrey of Maine[150] and Neckham[151]; a
cell in connection with the monastery of St. Albans was in charge of a
monk who kept school[152]; the Abbot Samson of Bury St. Edmunds gave an
endowment towards the payment of a master of a secular school at
Bury,[153] and provided a hostel in connection with the school[154];
schools existed on two of the manors belonging to St. Edmund's Abbey to
which the Abbots appointed the masters.[155] Schools were also supported
by monasteries at Evesham, Bruton, and other places.[156] In those cases
in which monastic orders took the place of secular canons, they continued
the work of their predecessors, _e.g._ at Waltham,[157] at
Huntingdon,[158] at Canterbury,[159] and at Christ Church, Twinham.[160]

The conclusion seems to be that monasteries directly provided schools for
their own members only within the walls of the monasteries, and that, when
opportunity occurred and necessity demanded, they also undertook the
responsibility of providing schools in their neighbourhood for all who
might care to attend. As is shown by the appointments at Bury St. Edmunds,
in those cases in which the monasteries were in charge of schools, the
masters appointed to these schools were men of high intellectual
attainments. This is what would naturally be expected when the mental
calibre of some of these Norman abbots is considered; thus, Warin[161] was
a master of the University of Salerno,[162] John de Cella, his
successor,[163] was a master of Paris, and is described as "in Greek,
esteemed a Priscian, in verse an Ovid, in Physic, a Galen"[164]; and the
Abbot Samson, the hero of Carlyle's _Past and Present_, was at one time
the "magister scolarum" at Bury St. Edmunds.[165]


Though a full consideration of this topic would serve to illustrate the
intellectual activities of the monasteries, yet such a discussion lies
outside the scope of our investigation. For our purpose a brief reference
only is necessary, merely to illustrate the point that interest in
educational matters was continued in the monasteries, and to mention that
we owe to the monkish scribes most of the material that is available at
the present time for the reconstruction of the historical development of
this country. As representative writers of the eleventh and twelfth
centuries may be mentioned William of Malmesbury, Orderic Vitalis, Henry
of Huntingdon, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Florence of Worcester, Simeon of
Durham, Roger Wendover, Matthew of Westminster, and Eadmer of Canterbury.



It is inevitable that confusion of thought occurs in dealing with any
department of knowledge, unless there is a general agreement as to the
meaning to be assigned to the terms which are employed. With the possible
exception of Economics, Education suffers more than any other science from
the ambiguous use of terms. Consequently it is advisable, at this
juncture, to indicate the sense in which some of the terms frequently used
in this thesis are understood. This is particularly necessary because the
terms we propose to consider are often used in a sense different from that
in which, in our opinion, they were employed in medieval times. We have
selected the following for consideration--School, Free, Grammar, Song,
Writing, and Reading.


When the term "school" is employed to-day, it is usually taken to mean the
"school-house," _i.e._ the building in which the work of the school is
carried on. It must, however, be emphasised that in medieval times a
school-house was an "accident." Specific buildings for teaching purposes
were a comparatively late development in the history of schools. The term
"school" considered etymologically means "leisure," and probably the
modern idea of school developed from the fact that the leisure time to
which [Greek: scholê] specially related was that which was given up to
discussion. A second stage of development is reached when the term is
restricted to organised school. The essential idea of a school at this
stage is that of a master and his scholars. The master might be a man of
over seventy years of age and his pupils men of middle age (as was
probably the case in the school conducted by Archbishop Theodore), or the
master might simply be a youth, and his pupils a few village children
learning their letters, as would be the case in the schools taught by the
youths preparing for the priesthood in the house of the parish priest; in
each case the term "school" was equally applied and considered equally
appropriate. The place where the school was held was a matter of
indifference. It might be held in the open air, in the cloisters of a
monastery, in some part of a collegiate church, or possibly in some more
suitable place. Then, too, the school might be held at regular intervals
or it might simply meet occasionally. Briefly we may say that the
conception of "school" was in a state of flux, and merely implied that a
master and pupils met together for purposes of instruction.

We may point out here that it would assist in clear thought if the use of
the term "school" could be restricted to those cases in which the erection
of a school-house constituted a definite and objective sign of the
existence of a school, and to employ the term "class" for such gatherings
of teacher and pupils as were held otherwise. If this suggestion could be
adopted investigations into the origin of schools would become much more
definite and valuable. To illustrate this statement, we may consider the
statement in Bede, that Sigebert in 631 "instituit scolam, in qua pueri
litteris erudirentur."[166] What does this phrase precisely mean? If the
statement had been that Sigebert founded a monastery or a church, then we
should not be in any doubt on the matter. We have not been able to trace
in any edition of the writings of Bede any interpretation of "scola," as
the various editors take it for granted that its meaning is not in
dispute. Thus Bright in dealing with the passage in Bede we have quoted,
assumes that a school existed at Canterbury in connection with the
monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, and that the school which Bishop Felix
established at the wish of King Sigebert was probably attached to the
primitive East Anglian Cathedral which had been erected at Dunwich, then a
town on the Suffolk coast, but now annihilated by the sea.[167] But
neither at Canterbury nor at Dunwich would a specific building for the
school be provided. Consequently the phrase from Bede, which is an
important passage in the history of English educational history, simply
means that certain priests, who had obtained some experience in the art of
teaching, were specifically assigned the duty of teaching the Latin
language in classes held in the church buildings, to those who might care
to attend.

We have not found it possible in this thesis to distinguish carefully
between a "class" and a "school." We are obliged to content ourselves with
indicating the danger that exists of reading into the medieval use of the
term school the meaning commonly applied to the term at the present time.


The term "grammar" gradually superseded that of "letters" as the specified
purpose for which schools were founded. So far as England is concerned,
the first occasion on which the actual words "scola grammatice" occur, is
in a document of the latter half of the eleventh century.[168] The term
became more common in the thirteenth century owing to the necessity of
distinguishing grammar schools from the "schools" of the higher faculties
in the universities. "The first actual use of the term 'grammar school' in
English appears to be in 1387 A.D. when John of Trevisa, translating from
the Latin of Ralph Higden's 'Polychronicon,' mentions a 'gramer scole'
held at Alexandria."[169] By the fourteenth century therefore the phrase
"grammar school" had entered into ordinary colloquial speech.

But what does this term "grammar" exactly denote? On the plinths of the
right bay of the great west doors of Chartres Cathedral are to be found
statues of the Seven Liberal Arts. With reference to these statues, Dr.
Clerval in his work on "Chartres, sa Cathédrale et ses Monuments,"

     "Les autres cordons représentent les sept Arts libéraux qui ornaient
     l'esprit de la Vierge symbolisés chacun par une femme portant les
     attributs de chaque science, et par un homme, le corypliée de cette
     science, assis devant un pupître, avec plume, canif, encre, éponges,
     règles. Ainsi au bas du premier cordon de droite, c'est la Musique
     frappant trois cloches avec un marteau, et dessous Pythagore. Au
     second cordon à gauche en bas, c'est la Dialectique, portant un
     lizard subtil et un sceptre, et dessous Aristotle; puis la
     Rhétorique, discourant, et dessous Ciceron; la Géométrie avec un
     compas, et dessous Euclide; l'Arithmetique (en redescendant) avec un
     livre, et dessous Boèce ou Pythagore; l'Astronomie regardant le Ciel
     et portant un boisseau, et dessous Plotonée, portant une lunette;
     enfin la Grammaire, assise, menaçant de verges deux jeunes écoliers
     lisant à ses pieds, et au-dessous Priscien ou Donat. Ces
     représentations des Arts très curieuses sont les plus anciennes avec
     celles de Laôn. Elles s'expliquent à Chartres par les écolâtres de
     cette Eglise, spécialement Thiery, auteur de l'Heptabuclion, vers

This passage may assist us in determining the meaning assigned to Grammar
as one of the Seven Liberal Arts. It suggests that everything which was
not music, eloquence, logic, mathematics, astronomy, geometry, was
grammar, _i.e._ nearly the whole of the humanities; or, in other words,
the study of grammar was synonymous with the study of "letters" so far as
the term was then understood.

In actual practice, however, grammar did not possess this connotation.
This was due to the fact that a study of letters was not possible until a
mastery of Latin had been acquired, and consequently it resulted that the
term "grammar school" was applied to denote a place in which instruction
was given in "Donat" or "Priscian." Donat was a Roman rhetorician who
wrote _Ars Grammatica_ about the middle of the fourth century. His grammar
was the most generally used elementary text-book on the subject. In its
abbreviated form, which was the one in common use, it only consisted of
eight or nine pages. Priscian was a grammarian who flourished in the
early part of the sixth century, and who published, about 526, his
_Institutiones Grammaticae_, a most elaborate and systematic treatise on
Latin grammar. For over a thousand years Priscian's work was regarded as
the leading and authoritative text-book on the subject.

We may also note here that classical Latin literature was rarely used for
school purposes. This was the result of the attitude of the early
Christian Fathers towards these writings. We have previously pointed out
that this classical literature was closely associated with pagan beliefs
and practices, and consequently was not regarded as suitable for
introduction into classes taught by Christian priests. Even as late as
1518, the statutes of Dean Colet prescribed that the books to be studied
in his school were to be the works of such "auctours Christian as
lactantius prudentius and proba and sedulius and Juvencus and Baptisa

This analysis will help us to realise that when the term "grammar school"
is used with reference to the schools of Medieval England, what is
generally meant is a class in which elementary instruction was given in
"Donat," and in the power of speaking Latin. If advanced work was
attempted, then Priscian would be studied and the works of "Christian
authors" read.


We next pass to consider the term "free"--an epithet which usually
accompanies the expression "grammar school" and which has given rise to a
certain amount of controversy. A special meaning was given to this term in
1862 by Dr. Kennedy, headmaster of Shrewsbury School, in a paper which he
submitted to the Public Schools' Commission and which was published by
them. This special meaning was that the term "free" denoted a "school free
from the control of a superior body, _e.g._ a chapter, a college, a
monastery." He advances the following arguments in support of his

(1) "Most of the schools being then gratuitous, such a fact would hardly
have been chosen to give the distinctive title of these schools."

(2) "That free school is in Latin 'schola libera' and that 'liber' appears
never at any period to be used by itself to mean gratuitous."[171]

(3) "That whatever franchise or immunity was denoted by the word, it
would, according to ordinary usage, be an immunity for the school or its
governors, not for the scholars."

(4) "That the nearest analogies are 'free town,' 'free chapel,' and that
these mean free from the jurisdiction of the sheriff and of the bishop

(5) "That the imposition of some charge (_e.g._ admission and quarterages)
was not at all compatible with the title of free school."[172]

On the other hand, Mr. Leach maintains that the average school of the
period did charge fees and that the schools which were described as "free"
grammar schools were those in which no tuition charges were made.[173] He
quotes the case of the Newland Grammar School which was founded under
licence in mortmain of 1445-6 for "an honeste and discrete preste beinge
sufficiently lerned in the arte of gramer to kepe and teche a grammer
scole ther half-free for ever; that is to saie to take of scolers lernynge
grammer 8d. the quarter and of other lernynge lettres and to rede, 4d. the
quarter, within a house there called the chauntrie house or scoole house."

In replying to the suggestions of Dr. Kennedy we would point out that the
nature of the control exercised by bishops, monasteries or colleges over
schools is so slight as to be practically non-existent. Consequently, to
make the fact of such freedom the distinctive epithet of such schools
seems scarcely to be warranted. Moreover, these "free" schools were
founded as a general rule either by bishops personally or by
ecclesiastical persons or by persons in the closest sympathy with the
existing ecclesiastical system. It is highly improbable that they would
deliberately found an institution which was to be "free" from association
with the Church.

A similar criticism applies to the contention advanced by Mr. Leach. As
Dr. Kennedy points out, the official schools of the Church were gratuitous
from the time of their origin. Then, as we shall show in a subsequent
chapter, the schools in which fees were charged were as a general rule
those which may be classed as "private adventure" schools. Payment of fees
in Church schools is probably due to the custom which would naturally
arise that boys would make offerings to their teachers at certain
times,[174] and that in course of time this custom would become an
unwritten law. The point we wish to emphasise here is that the official
schools of the Church were always "free schools" in the sense of being
free from payment. This was such a generally well-known and recognised
fact that no need existed to apply the term "free" as the distinctive
epithet for the purpose of distinguishing between one grammar school and
another. In other words, our contention is that all the Church schools
were "gratuitous" whether or not they were described as free schools.

It is therefore necessary for us to advance another hypothesis to account
for the use of the term, and we suggest that the term "free" means "open
to all comers," _i.e._ that admission to the school was not restricted to
any particular social grade or to those who were preparing for any
particular profession or to those who were living in any particular
locality. A free school, in fact, denotes a public school. The following
reasons in support of this suggestion may be advanced.

(1) Certain schools of the period were necessarily restricted. Thus, only
those who were destined for the monastic life were allowed to attend the
monastery schools; the almonry schools were confined to those who gained
admission to them, and were not open to all who wished to attend; some of
the cathedral schools also were open only to specified classes of

(2) As the general idea of the period was that each parish was
self-sufficing and concerned with its own parishioners only a _free_
school would mean one available for the public generally. Each town
regarded every non-burgess of that town as a "foreigner," and freedom of
trade was only allowed to townsmen. Each parish had a responsibility for
its own poor; the claim to burial in the churchyard was limited to actual
parishioners. This same idea passed on to educational matters. Thus, an
entry in the York Episcopal Registers of June 1289 states that the schools
of Kinoulton were to be open to parishioners only, "all other clerks and
strangers whatsoever being kept out and by no means admitted to the

(3) The term "public" school gradually becomes a substitute for "free"
school. Thus, in the "Acte for the due Execution of the Statutes against
Jesuits, Seminaries, Preists, Recusants, etc.," there is a specific
reference to "publike or free Grammer Schools."[177]

(4) The warrant granted in 1446 to Eton College not only provided that it
should have a monopoly of teaching grammar within a radius of ten miles,
but specifically stated that the school should be open "to all others
whatsoever, whencesoever and from whatever parts coming to the said
college to learn the same science, in the rudiments of grammar,
freely."[178] This extract clearly shows a different attitude from that
specified in (2) above. We may consequently regard the institution of
"free" grammar schools as marking a stage in the policy of breaking down
the barriers which separated parish from parish and township from

We now proceed to consider a special case to test these various
suggestions. A school founded by the citizens at Exeter in the sixteenth
century was expressly described in the statutes of the school as a "Free
Grammar School." But the same statutes proceed to decree that

     "one month after Michaelmas yerely ... everyone that is admitted ...
     shall pay unto the schoolemaister of the said schoole for the tyme
     beinge as followeth, viz every childe of any ffreeman of the said
     city sixe pence, every childe of any inhabitant of the said city that
     is not ffree of the said City Twelve pence, and every Childe of any
     strangers Two shillinges respectively."[179]

We consequently plainly see that a school might be a "free" school and yet
charge fees. On the other hand, our contention that "free" denotes
"public," _i.e._ open to all comers is supported by this extract which
also shows incidentally that the idea that the school was one for citizens
only was but slowly disappearing.


A discussion of the term "song" has become necessary, because of a
tendency to regard a song school as the elementary school of the Middle
Ages. This position has been strongly taken up by Mr. Leach and has been
adopted by all writers who rely upon him. Apparently the only evidence for
this opinion is an incident arising out of a misunderstanding between the
master of grammar and the master of song with which Mr. Leach has dealt
fully in his _History of Warwick School_.[180] As a result of this
dispute, the dean and chapter of the Collegiate Church decided upon a
specific enumeration of the duties of the two masters. The master of
grammar was to have the "Donatists" and "scholars in grammar or the art of
dialectic, if he shall be expert in that art," whilst the master of song
was to be allowed to "keep and teach those learning their first letters
and the psalter."[181]

The "Donatists," as we have shown, were those who were receiving the most
elementary lessons in Latin. To "learn a Donat" had passed into colloquial
speech as the equivalent of acquiring the elements of knowledge of any
subject. If the decision at Warwick had been that the master of grammar
was to have taught the scholars "Priscian," and the master of song to have
taught them "Donat," then the inference might legitimately have been
drawn that the master of song was the elementary schoolmaster. Since,
however, Latin was the only subject of instruction at a Grammar School,
and as the elements of Latin Grammar were to be taught by the master of
grammar, it would seem as if Mr. Leach was in error in regarding the song
school as the elementary school of the period.

The two subjects, which were taught in the various schools held at this
time, were Latin and Music, and, wherever possible, separate masters for
these subjects were appointed. To attempt to estimate the relative
importance of these subjects from a social point of view, is to expose
one's self to the charge of snobbishness. Latin and Music alike were
taught because of the fact that they were of outstanding importance in
connection with the worship of the Church. Thus one of the events recorded
by Bede, as obviously an event of great importance, was the visit paid by
the Abbot of St. Martin's, Rome, for the purpose of teaching song to the
monks at the Northumbrian monasteries[182] and to all others who cared to
resort there for instruction. Bede also tells us that when Bishop Putta
was temporarily without an episcopal charge he devoted his time to the
teaching of music.[183]

We wish, therefore, to emphasise that the song schoolmaster was not the
elementary schoolmaster of the middle ages. The duty of the master of
song, as set out in the Statutes of Rotherham College, was to teach the
art of music and "presertim in plano et fractu cantu secundum omnes modos
et formas ejusdem artis."[184] Song occupied a prominent place in the
curriculum of the schools of the middle ages and it probably exercised a
greater refining influence upon the nation than is commonly realised. The
abolition of the schools of song was not the least disastrous of the
effects of the Reformation in this country, and it is of considerable
significance that the recent Royal Commission into University Education in
Wales recommends that steps should be taken for the greater encouragement
of the study of music, not only within the university itself but also in
the schools of the Principality.

One other point may also be mentioned here. It was a very frequent
occurrence for the same master to be responsible for the instruction both
in grammar and in song. Thus, in 1385, the same master was appointed "ad
informandos pueros tam in cantu quam in gramatica,"[185] in 1440, a master
was appointed "ad informandos pueros in lectura, cantu et gramatica,"[186]
and in 1426, there is a record of an appointment of a master for "scola
lectuali et cantuli."[187]


It is not easy to arrive at a decision as to the meaning of the term
"reading school." The books which were read were probably the service
books of the Church, and these, of course, were written in Latin. Is it
possible that a reading school would be a class in which boys were taught
to read Latin only, whilst in a grammar school they would not only be
taught to read Latin but also to speak it? Sometimes the references to be
found to schools seem to lead to the conclusion that "reading schools" and
"grammar schools" were but different terms for one and the same school.
Thus, the entries in various Chapter Act Books contain references to
appointments to schools of grammar, side by side with references to
schools of reading as if the meaning in each case was the same, _e.g._ at
Howden in 1394, a master was appointed "ad informandum pueros in lectu et
cantu," and again in 1401, "in lectura et cantu."[188] Sometimes the
nature of the reference leads to the conclusion that the term "reading"
denoted a lower grade of instruction in Latin than did the term "grammar,"
_e.g._ at Northallerton a master was appointed, in 1456, for the purpose
"ad informandos pueros in lectura et gramatica."[189] The record of a
previous appointment in 1440 was, that the master was responsible "ad
informandos pueros in lectura, cantu et gramatica." As the evidence is so
scanty, it scarcely seems possible to arrive at a definite conclusion,
though the probability appears to be that the use of the term "reading"
implies that the work of the school was not carried on to so advanced an
extent as it was when "grammar" was used as the descriptive term.

Since the topic of elementary education has been mentioned and as it is
obvious that elementary instruction must of necessity have been arranged
for, we may here consider briefly how this would be effected. We suggest
that, as a general rule, there would be found some clerk or other in minor
orders attached to every church who would be prepared to give this
instruction. In course of time express provision for elementary
instruction seems to have been made. Thus at Brecon, the A B C was taught
to young children by the chaplain of the college[190]; at the collegiate
church of Glasney the founder, Bishop Goode of Exeter, provided that the
bellringer was to receive "40s. yerely as well for teachynge of pore mens
children there A B C as for ryngynge the belles"[191]; at Launceston, a
benefaction existed for the purpose of paying "an aged man chosen by the
mayor to teche chylderne the A B C."[192]


Three distinct stages in the meaning to be attached to this term can be
traced. Originally it was a specialist craft, as only the skilled man
would be able to write out the charters which were required and to copy
the manuscripts which were so highly esteemed. In Saxon days there were
two distinct styles of writing in this country, the Canterbury style and
the Lindisfarne style. The Roman mission introduced the Canterbury style
of writing. The characteristics of this style were that the Roman uncials
were adopted but with the addition of some local peculiarities. The
Canterbury psalter,[193] which is now in the British Museum, is an example
of the work of this mode. The Lindisfarne style had a greater influence
upon our national handwriting, as, with certain modifications of its
half-uncial characteristics, it was the recognised English style until a
new fashion of writing was introduced from Gaul about the end of the tenth
century.[194] The next stage in the evolution of writing is connected with
its practical value as a means of communication and for business purposes.
Now it is known as the "scrivener's art." We can trace the appointment of
masters to teach writing for this purpose in this country from the
fifteenth century. Thus, of the three masters appointed to the college of
Acaster in 1483, one was to teach grammar, the second, song, "and the
third to teche to Write and all suche thing as belonged to Scrivener
craft."[195] The third stage in the evolution of writing is reached when
ability to write is considered to be one of the earliest of the school
tasks to be undertaken, and when writing is considered indispensable for
all intellectual progress. This stage was reached about the time of the
Renaissance. We stop at this point because a further consideration would
carry us outside the limit of our task.[196] Our only purpose has been to
show that the establishment of a writing school in any place in the Middle
Ages did not mean the establishment of an elementary school as the term is
understood to-day. As a matter of fact, the first elementary schools, in
the modern sense, cannot be traced further back in England than to the
establishment of the charity schools of the seventeenth century.
Preparatory schools, of course, are much older, but not elementary



In a previous chapter we have pointed out the nature of the work of the
monasteries in connection with the educational development of this
country. Important as this work was, yet it did not influence the country
as a whole to any appreciable extent, as each monastery concerned itself
only with those matters which affected its own interests or the interests
of the order to which it belonged. The secular clergy were more in touch
with the ordinary life of the people, and it is through their work that we
trace the beginnings of an organised system of education.

Though the Norman Conquest effected a distinction between Church and
State, yet it did not involve any change in the existing ecclesiastical
system, and as education at this period was inseparable from religion,
neither was any radical change effected in educational development. The
Norman contribution to religion was threefold: it brought the Church in
this country into closer connection with the Church in the continental
countries; it stimulated the activities of the Church; and it appointed to
the chief administrative posts men who were foreigners but who were also,
in many cases, men of ability and energy. The effect of this upon the
educational development was, that there gradually emerged a definite and
systematic educational organisation, and it is in this fact that we find
the distinctive Norman contribution to educational progress.

This organisation consisted of:--

(_a_) The establishment of Schools of Theology in connection with
Cathedral Churches.

(_b_) The recognition of the Chancellor of the Cathedral as the head of
the "Education Department" of the diocese.

(_c_) The establishment of Grammar Schools and Song Schools in connection
with Collegiate and Parochial Churches.

Except for the recognition of the Chancellor as the responsible head of
the educational aspect of the work of the Church, the post-Conquest
educational arrangements did not essentially differ from the pre-Conquest
arrangements. There was a real continuity of educational effort from the
days of the introduction of Christianity. The main difference is that,
after the Conquest, the educational arrangements seem to be more definite
and more effectively organised.

We now proceed to consider, in turn, the various parts of the educational
organisation which we have enumerated.


As we have already shown, it had been the custom of the Church from the
earliest date to establish schools of theology in connection with the more
important centres in which the work of the Church was carried on. With the
progress of time this custom crystallised into law. We must emphasise that
these schools of theology existed before canon law definitely refers to
them. Canon law enactments on education simply mark the transition from a
voluntary to a compulsory condition. The first definite ecclesiastical
enactment relating to schools of theology dates from 1179.[197] This was
repeated in 1216 when Innocent III., in general council, decreed that in
every metropolitical church a theologian should be appointed "to teach the
priests and others in the sacred page and to inform them especially which
are recognised as pertaining to the cure of souls."[198]

The custom of establishing schools of theology in connection with
cathedral churches was common to all those countries in which the Church
had made progress. The Church of France had gained special fame in this
respect, and the reputation of its schools had extended throughout the
civilised world. Among the celebrated continental schools of this period
may be mentioned Tourney, under Odo, Chartres, under Fulbert and Bernard
Sylvester, Paris, under William of Champeaux, and Bec, which became famous
under the mastership of Lanfranc and enhanced its reputation under Anselm.
The fame of these schools became so great that they attracted scholars to
them both from this country and from other parts of the continent of
Europe. John of Salisbury, who was one of the scholars who went from
England to France for the purpose of obtaining the best education
available at the time, has left us in his writings a valuable account of
the mode by which such an education was gained. He tells us that he went
over to France whilst he was still a youth,[199] and studied first at
Paris, under Adelard and Alberic, then at Chartres, under Richard the
Bishop and William of Conches. Subsequently he returned to Paris to
continue his studies under Robert Pullus and Simon of Poissy successively.
Among other Englishmen, of whom records remain that they went to France
for their education, may be mentioned Adam du Petit Pont, who afterwards
became Bishop of St. Asaph, Alexander Neckham, the famous Latinist, and
Samson, the celebrated Abbot of St. Albans.

It may also be interesting to note here, as indicative of the social grade
from which the majority of the students of the time came, that they found
it necessary whilst they were in France to find some means of
self-support. Thus, both John of Salisbury and Adam du Petit Pont
maintained themselves by teaching private pupils, whilst Samson was
supported by the sale of holy water, a method which seems to have been at
the time a favourite one for providing an exhibition fund for poor

So far we have shown that the immemorial custom of the Church as well as
the express decree of Canon Law required that the various metropolitical
churches at least should provide schools of theology. We have also seen
that this custom was widely prevalent in France. We still have to consider
whether the practice prevailed in this country. It is necessary for us to
point out here, that the evidence must necessarily be indirect and that
the fact that evidence is lacking must not be regarded as establishing
that schools of theology did not exist in cathedral cities. It is only
when some dispute arises or some special incident occurs that we find
references, _e.g._ that a well-known churchman was educated at a
particular school, or that a particular official was in charge of the
school at a specified time, which assist us in drawing the conclusion that
theological schools existed. If these incidents had not occurred then we
should not possess any knowledge of the existence of the school. Again, we
know that large numbers of clergy were ordained at the appointed seasons,
by the bishops of the Church. Thus in the first year of the episcopate of
Bishop Stapledon of Exeter,[201] 539 were ordained to the first tonsure,
438 acolytes, 104 sub-deacons, 177 deacons, 169 priests; in the diocese of
York in 1344/5, there were ordained 1,222 persons, of whom 421 were
acolytes, 204 sub-deacons, 326 deacons, and 271 priests.[202] Now these
clergy must have received systematic education, and it is a legitimate
inference that most of them received their education in this country.

We may next proceed to consider the evidence which is available of the
existence of the schools of theology. We know there was a school of
theology at York because Thomas, who became Archbishop of York in 1108,
and who had previously held the position of Provost of the Collegiate
Church, in Beverley, was educated there.[203] We also know, incidentally,
that there existed a school of theology in connection with St. Paul's
Cathedral because it is referred to in a deed which is dated about
1125.[204] Similarly, we know that a school of theology existed in Lincoln
because the vicar of a Lincolnshire parish was directed to attend the
school there to learn theology for a period of two years.[205]

This evidence, which is all incidental and merely the outcome of special
circumstances considered in conjunction with the general custom of the
Church and the requirement of Canon Law leads us to maintain that schools
of theology existed at most, even if not all, of the Cathedral Churches of
the period.


We have previously shown that the bishop of a diocese was originally
personally responsible for the preparation of those candidates whom he
subsequently ordained. With the progress of time and the increase in the
duties of the episcopate, it was impossible for the bishop to undertake
the personal responsibility for this work, and consequently a tendency
arose for it to be entrusted to a member of the collegiate body associated
with him. In the case of a secular bishop, a member of the Cathedral body
was appointed. This officer was definitely known as the "Scholasticus,"
and it was his recognised duty to read theology with approved students.

We are able to trace the existence of a "scholasticus" in connection with
the English cathedrals from an early date. Thus we learn that when
Thurstan, Archbishop of York, visited the Pope at Blois in 1120, he was
accompanied by "duo archidiaconi ecclesiae nostrae et scholasticus."[206]
We also know that a "scholasticus" existed in connection with St. Paul's,
London, because the expression "magister scolarum" occurs in a deed whose
date is assigned to c. 1110.[207]

In course of time the term "chancellor" was substituted for that of
"scholasticus," probably because the schoolmaster was the most highly
educated member of the cathedral staff and was therefore the most suitable
person to entrust with the care of the cathedral seal and with the
dispatch of the official letters of the cathedral body. This statement is
definitely established by the statutes of the Church of York, which date
from 1307 but which are regarded by their editor as existing from 1090 at
least. On page 6 of these statutes it is stated that "Cancellarius, qui
antiquitus magister scolarum dicebatur, magister in theologia esse debet,
et juxta ecclesiam actualiter legere." The same change of term can be
traced at St. Paul's, London. One of the witnesses to a deed dated about
1205 who describes himself as Chancellor is the same person who, when
acting in a similar capacity at an earlier date, described himself as
"magister scolarum."[208]

We must remember that this change of designation did not involve any
essential change in his duties or in the functions he discharged. The
qualification required of the Chancellor as previously of the Schoolmaster
was, that he was to be a "master in theology."[209] His duty was that he
was to teach theology either by himself or by a suitable substitute[210]
to all students who cared to present themselves. If the Chancellor became
lazy (as there is a general tendency to become when men lose their ideals
and no pecuniary inducement to energy exists) then, apparently, in some
places, a custom arose for other persons to keep schools of theology for
prospective priests in return for payment, whereas the Chancellor was
expected to admit students to his classes without the imposition of any
fee. The Church resolutely set itself against this custom of charging fees
for instruction, and by a synod held at Westminster in 1138 decreed that
"si magistri scholarum aliis scholas pro pretio regendas locaverint,
ecclesiasticae vindictae subjaceant."[211]

In order to benefit by the school of theology conducted by the Chancellor,
it would be necessary that the pupil should have received a sufficient
knowledge of Latin. It is highly probable that many of the clerks who were
attracted to a school of theology for the purpose of continuing their
studies would not have studied Latin to the extent necessary to profit by
the course given. In consequence, a demand would arise for teachers of
Latin. Now it is an accepted rule of Economics that whenever a demand for
a particular commodity exists, then an attempt to meet the demand is
forthcoming. Since scholars were to be found in a cathedral city who
wished for instruction in Latin, and since other clerks were to be found
there who considered themselves capable of giving such instruction and who
were desirous of taking private pupils, it is only natural to conclude
that the holding of Latin schools in order to meet the demand became

But the danger of such a practice soon became evident. It is highly
probable that many who would attempt to earn an income by professing to
teach pupils Latin, were incapable of doing so. To meet this contingency,
the custom arose that the Chancellor should grant a licence to those whom
he considered capable of acting as teachers.

This is an event of the very first importance in the history of Education,
because it is the first separate recognition of the teaching profession in
England. In addition, the custom led indirectly to the rise of the
university system. The custom continues, even to the present day, because
the degrees in Arts and Theology in our oldest universities are in reality
merely licences issued by the Chancellor of the University to teach those

We may also note that the necessity for the recognition of qualified
teachers was imperative not only in the interests of the scholars, but
also in the interests of the Church itself, as it had become customary to
require that priests who were in charge of parishes, and who were
discovered at episcopal or archidiaconal visitations not to be
sufficiently learned, should return to their cathedral city in order to
pursue a further course of study.[212] Such priests would certainly
require more individual attention than they would secure at the ordinary
school of theology.

In course of time, apparently, some chancellors saw in this granting of
licences to teach to approved teachers an opportunity of exacting fees.
The Church opposed this practice. In 1160 Canon Law prescribed that "For
licence to teach nothing shall be exacted or promised; and anything
exacted shall be restored and the promise released."[213] Pope Alexander
III.[214] wrote to the Bishop of Winchester requiring him "strictly to
prohibit for the future any exaction or promise of anything from anyone in
your diocese."[215] This was again repeated in 1170 by the Canon Law of
that year.

The duty of the Chancellor in the granting of licences was defined more
rigidly by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1179. At that Council it was
enacted that the Chancellor should grant, without fee of any kind, a
licence to teach to every and any person who was qualified to act as a
teacher. The decree laid down that "the seller of a licence to teach or
preventer of a fit person from teaching is to be deprived of his

The Chancellor is consequently the head of the educational work of the
diocese. He is required to prepare all clerks who desire to offer
themselves for ordination, to supervise the studies of all incumbents
whose education has been found to be defective, and he has also the
responsibility of passing judgment upon the abilities of these who are
desirous of acting as teachers and of granting certificates to teach to
those of whom he approves.


We have seen in a previous chapter that it had been the custom of the
Church from the earliest times to establish schools in connection with the
various churches. Just as in course of time schools of theology which had
previously been customary, were made the subject of express ecclesiastical
enactment, so, too, the holding of Grammar Schools was also definitely
prescribed. Thus in 1215, Innocent III. decreed that in connection with
"every cathedral or other church of sufficient means" masters were to be
appointed who were to be able to teach theology and Latin
respectively.[217] These masters were to be remunerated out of the common
fund of the cathedral church. If, however, the revenues of the Church did
not permit of this, then provision was to be made for the remuneration of
the grammarian out of the funds of some other church of the city or
diocese.[218] At the risk of exposing ourselves to the charge of
repetition, we must reiterate that this enactment did not indicate a new
departure on the part of the Church or constitute a decree for the
establishment of schools. The provision of facilities for education in any
locality practically dates from the foundation of a church in that
locality. The value of this enactment is twofold: it indicates the
considered mind of the Church towards education, illustrating still
further, that the Church realised the importance of education and
recognised it as her duty to make provision for it; and in the second
place it would act as a stimulant to those dioceses or centres in which
the ecclesiastical authorities had not been sufficiently alert to their
responsibilities and duties. The Lateran Council of 1179 had not only
decreed that "in every cathedral church a competent benefice shall be
bestowed upon a master who shall teach the clerks of the same church and
poor scholars freely," but it had also enacted that it was the duty of the
Church to provide free education "in order that the poor, who cannot be
assisted by their parents' means, may not be deprived of the opportunity
of reading and proficiency."[219]

Since then the immemorial custom of the Church and Canon Law alike
required that schools should be established in connection with the various
churches, we have next to consider a narrower problem, to what extent was
this requisite complied with in this country.

In this connection we must first of all note the difficulty of finding the
necessary evidence. The schools were not a separate foundation but an
integral part of the work of the Church. All that can possibly be done is
to collect references which will justify us in the inference that schools
were carried on in connection with the different churches. Complete
evidence for the whole of the educational work of the Church will never be
forthcoming. We can only hope to obtain representative evidence and then
to submit that this was typical of the general work of the Church, and
consequently to maintain that wherever a church, or at any rate a
collegiate church, was found, there a master of grammar would also be

There is abundant evidence that schools existed in the cathedral cities of
England practically from the date of the foundation of these
cathedrals.[220] Turning next to collegiate and parochial churches we note
that prior to the close of the thirteenth century, schools have also been
traced in connection with the church at Bury St. Edmunds,[221]
Waltham,[222] Warwick,[223] Pontefract,[224] Hastings,[225] Christ Church,
Hants,[226] Beverley,[227] St. Albans,[228] Thetford,[229]
Huntingdon,[230] Dunstable,[231] Reading,[232] Bristol,[233] Derby,[234]
Bedford,[235] Northampton,[236] Marlborough,[237] Newark,[238]
Southwell,[239] Kinoulton.[240] In addition to these instances, we learn
quite by accident, as it were, of six schools in the diocese of Lincoln,
viz. Barton, Partney, Grimsby, Horncastle, Boston, and Grantham.[241]

The cumulative effect of all this evidence, we venture to think, is that
it establishes the suggestion that the Church of England was not negligent
of the custom of the Catholic Church and made the requisite provision for
the establishment of schools in connection with her churches.

It is also important to remember that a school of song was also
established in connection with the various churches, as well as a school
of grammar. There does not appear to be any express decree to this effect,
but there is abundant evidence of the common existence of such schools,
_e.g._ at London,[242] York,[243] Lincoln,[244] Beverley,[245] and
Warwick.[246] The master of song was not licensed by the Chancellor, but
by the Precentor, the official of the Cathedral body who was in charge of
the musical part of the services.[247]

Up to this point we have considered mainly the provision for education
made by the collegiate churches where it would be possible for a definite
person to take charge of the teaching of grammar. But schools were not
limited to these churches. On the contrary, the priest in charge of
practically every parish church would be expected to keep school. This was
a part of the traditional custom of the Church, a custom that was
enforced, as we have seen by the Council of Vaison,[248] the canons of
Theodulf,[249] and the so-called canons of King Edgar.[250]

Passing to the period with which we are more immediately concerned in this
chapter, we find the requirement that parish priests should keep school
reiterated by Canon Law "ut quisque Presbyter, qui plebem regit, clericum
habeat, qui secum cantet, et epistolam et lectionem legat, et qui possit
scholas tenere, et admonere suos parachianos, ut filios suos ad fidem
discendam mittant ad Ecclesiam: quos ipse cum omni castitate
erudiat."[251] The Council of Westminster, held in 1200, also decreed

     "Priests shall keep schools in their towns and teach little boys

     "Priests ought always to have a school of schoolmasters in their
     houses and if any devout person wishes to entrust little ones to him
     for instruction, they ought to receive them willingly and teach them

The teaching of the Church on the matter was consequently clear and
explicit. The question next arises, to what extent did the parish priests
in this country comply with the regulations of the Church. Rashdall is of
the opinion that "it may be stated with some confidence that at least in
the later Middle Ages the smallest towns, and even the larger villages
possessed schools where a boy might learn to read and acquire the first
rudiments of ecclesiastical Latin."[253] The available evidence to support
the contention that it was customary for the parish priests of the Middle
Ages to keep school is admittedly slight, but it establishes clearly that
it was regarded as a common practice for schools to be held in the various
parishes. Thus, we learn in _Philobiblon_ of "rectores scholarum ruralium
puerorumque rudium paedagogos."[254] Roger Bacon[255] tells us that
schools existed everywhere "in every city, castle and burg."[256] Abbot
Samson in speaking of the days of his boyhood at Diss in Norfolk says that
he attended a school which was held there,[257] and John of Salisbury
narrates that when he was a boy he went in company with other boys to a
priest "ut psalmos addiscerem."[258] Then, again, an interesting passage,
which supports our contention, occurs in the correspondence (usually
assigned to a date between 1119 and 1135) which took place between
Theobald of Etampes and an anonymous critic. The writer of this passage is
supposed to be attacking a statement that there was a scarcity of secular
clerks. He urges: "Are there not everywhere on earth masters of the
liberal arts, who also are called clerks? You yourself, a nobody, are you
not said to have taught as a master sixty or one hundred clerks, more or
less? Have you not been a greedy seller of words to them, and perhaps have
wickedly deceived them in their ignorance as you have deceived yourself?
Where then, I pray, is this want of clerks of yours? For not to mention
other parts of the empire, are there not nearly as many skilled
schoolmasters in ... England, not only in boroughs and cities, but even in
country towns, as there are tax collectors and magistrates?"[259]

One other important question still remains to be considered: when were
definite school houses first erected? We have used the term "school" to
describe the classes which were held in connection with the churches, but,
as we have pointed out, these were for the most part merely classes in
which a priest or a youthful clerk taught boys their "Donat." These
schools were usually held in some part of the church building. Shakespeare
refers to this:--

          "Like a pedant that
  Keeps a school i' the Church."
                          _Twelfth Night._

Similarly, in the _Memorials of Southwell Minster_ it is recorded on the
occasion of one of the visitations, that one of the clerks complained that
the boys who were being taught made so much noise as to disturb the
services which were in progress.[260] It is not until a school possesses a
definite building of its own that it can be said to possess a real
independent existence. This question is also of interest in connection
with the conflicting claims to the title of being the "oldest public
school in England" which have been set up. If we content ourselves with
the definition of a school as "a class held in a church for the purpose of
teaching Latin," then the question of the relative antiquity of schools is
that of the relative antiquity of churches, a question of comparatively
little interest from the point of view of the history of education. We
contend that we are on much firmer ground when we ask, when was the first
building for specific school purposes erected in England. This is a
question which still awaits investigation and can only be solved by one
school establishing evidence to maintain the date of its first building
and then waiting until its claim is overthrown by a school which can show
a still more ancient origin. So far as we have been able to trace, the
earliest record of a separate school building dates from about 1150 when
Abbot Samson bought a stone house at Bury St. Edmunds and gave it for a
schoolhouse.[261] We note also that about the same date, Wakelin of Derby
and his wife Goda gave certain buildings in Derby "on this trust that the
hall shall be for a school of clerks and the chambers shall be to house
the master and clerks."[262] It is highly improbable that these are really
the first instances.


It is necessary that we should add here some reference to schools for
choristers. It is obvious that for the adequate rendering of divine
service, the use of boys' voices would be imperative, and consequently the
need of providing instruction for them and of maintaining them would
arise. The general rule was that the choir boys would be taught Latin by
the master of grammar attached to the cathedral, and similarly music would
be taught by the master of song.

The duty of the cathedral master of grammar in relation to the choristers
is evidenced by various disputes which occurred. Thus at Beverley in 1312,
the master of grammar refused to teach, without the payment of fees, more
than seven choristers. The dean and chapter enquired into the "ancient
customs" and reported that the grammar master was obliged to teach all the
choristers freely.[263]

Again, at St. Paul's, a similar dispute took place in the fourteenth
century. Here, also, the dean and chapter investigated the matter, but
their decision--though supporting the contention that the choristers were
taught by the cathedral master of grammar--was that a certain payment was
to be made to him for these services from the cathedral funds. The entry
in the almoner's register runs:--

"If the almoner does not keep a clerk to teach the choristers grammar, the
schoolmaster of St. Paul's claims 5/- a year for teaching them, though he
ought to demand nothing for them, because he keeps the school for them, as
the treasurer of St. Paul's once alleged before the dean and chapter is to
be found in ancient documents."[264]

In addition to providing instruction, it was also necessary that the
choristers should be lodged, clothed, and fed. Various devices to effect
this seem to have been tried at various times. In some cathedrals, an
arrangement was made with an individual to provide the necessary
accommodation at an arranged charge;[265] in others, the duty of attending
to the welfare of the choristers was assigned to the almoner.[266]
Gradually it came about in some cathedrals, _e.g._ Wells, that the
choristers were housed together. In 1459-60, Bishop Beckington of Wells
drew up an elaborate code of statutes for the control and government of
the Choristers' School.[267] These statutes provided, _inter alia_, that
the master of the choristers, who was to be learned in grammar and song,
was to be appointed by the Chancellor. Latin was to be spoken in the
house. Full details with regard to meals, discipline, and finance were
also given.

At the present day, the headmaster of a school is not only responsible for
teaching certain specified subjects but is also in general charge of the
organisation, discipline and administration of the school. It is
interesting to note that during the Middle Ages, the masters of grammar or
of song taught the subjects entrusted to them and had no further duties.
The idea of the organisation and disciplinary functions of the master
seems to have been evolved from the necessity for exercising control over
the choristers, but this duty was at first assigned to an officer distinct
from the one who was exercising the teaching function. It was the custom
at York, according to the Statutes of the Cathedral, which are dated 1307
but merely codified the customs which had prevailed since the eleventh
century, to entrust the government of the choristers to the
precentor.[268] The office of taking charge of the choristers developed
more completely at other cathedrals. Thus at Lincoln in 1352, Ralph of
Ergham was appointed "custos choristatum." The preface to the record of
the appointment shows that the function was that of a "canonicum
supervisorem et custodem communitatis choristarum."[269]

This custom of appointing a supervisor, as distinct from the schoolmaster,
prevailed at the schools, other than schools for choristers, which were
founded from time to time. Thus at Winchester, Eton, Acaster, and
Rotherham--to name a few instances only--the responsible head of the
institution was the provost, while the master of grammar was merely
required to give instruction in the subjects assigned to him. The
evolution of the schoolmaster as the superintending organiser and
controller of an establishment belongs to a later date in English
educational history. We must defer, for the present, a further
consideration of this topic.



In studying the original sources from which we derive our knowledge of the
educational development of this country, we find numerous references to
alleged infringements of the monopoly of schoolkeeping claimed by the
official schoolmaster. It is, therefore, necessary for us to consider the
origin and nature of this monopoly.

The idea of monopoly in connection with trade and industry can be traced
back to a very early date in the history of our country. To trace the
origin and development of this idea generally, would not only be a
valuable, but also an interesting contribution to our knowledge of our
economic development. Here, we must content ourselves by limiting our
investigation to the educational aspect. The earliest known instance of
the claim to this monopoly dates from the eleventh century, and will
subsequently be described. It is highly probable that the idea of the
monopoly of keeping school in a prescribed area is of much more ancient
date, as records, of necessity, only exist when some actual or threatened
infringement of the monopoly necessitated recourse to some authority, who
possessed the power of enforcing its observance.

A preliminary question naturally arises: if instruction was given
gratuitously, why was there any need for the desire to possess this
monopoly, why should not all comers teach school, if they so wished? A
solution of this problem may be obtained from a consideration of that
tendency for social exclusiveness which everywhere manifests itself. Even
to-day, in this time of free education, parents, who can barely afford to
do so, prefer to send their children to a fee-paying school for social
reasons, even though the instruction given in the public free school may
be given by better qualified and more efficient teachers than are to be
found in the fee-paying schools. By analogy, we can reconstruct the
situation in the eleventh and succeeding centuries. A knowledge of Latin
was perceived, by this time, to possess value, and the boy who had
received an education was recognised as being in a position to make his
way in the world. We may, therefore, assume that some parents were
prepared to make payments, in order that this education might be obtained.
Where was this education to be gained? There were two possibilities. One
was that the church schoolmaster might give supplementary attention to
fee-paying pupils, or he might teach them separately, and outside the
official time which the conditions of his appointment required. The other
possibility was, that some other priest might come to the neighbourhood to
set up school, and recompense himself by taking fee-paying pupils, leaving
to the official schoolmaster only those pupils who were unable or
unwilling to make payment for the instruction they received.

An elementary knowledge of human nature readily leads to the conclusion
that the second alternative was not one to which the official schoolmaster
would quietly consent. He would look upon the new-comer as an intruder,
and would take such steps as were possible to prevent interference with
what he claimed to be his monopoly of keeping school in his own district.

It is around this question of the monopoly of school keeping that the
educational disputes of the Middle Ages mainly centre. The question is a
difficult one because (1) this monopoly was not a matter of definite
enactment either by Church or State; it simply evolved. (2) The authority
by whose aid the monopoly could be enforced was not specified, and the
absence of any definite regulating authority, and of any official
pronouncements, led to many prospective schoolmasters setting up schools
in promising localities. Sometimes this was accomplished without any
interference, _e.g._ we find that at Rotherham a boy, who subsequently
became Bishop of Lincoln, owed his early education to a schoolmaster who
came to that neighbourhood to establish what would to-day be termed a
"private school."[270] This "private" schoolmaster was at times even
welcomed. Thus at Beverley, which was afterwards notorious as the scene of
some exciting disputes relative to the infringement of the monopoly of
school keeping, we learn that "a certain scholar came there, wishing, as
the place was full of clerks, to keep school there; and was received by
the authorities of the church with unanimous approval."[271] We must
therefore conclude that the monopoly was not always rigorously enforced.
It was only when a schoolmaster felt himself aggrieved and possessed
energy, that action was taken in the matter.

The question of the authority by whom the question of an alleged
infringement could be ultimately settled, was not definitely prescribed.
Was the ultimate appeal to be to the chancellor of the diocese, to the
patron of the school, to the bishop, to the archbishop, or to the pope?
Were such cases to be dealt with, first of all, in an inferior court and
then an appeal to be made to a higher court in the event of an
unsatisfactory verdict being obtained? We shall be assisted in answering
these questions if we consider the origin of the right of keeping school.

Originally, as we have seen, it was an unwritten custom of the Church that
the parish priest should keep school. When there was the possibility that
pecuniary advantage could arise through the keeping of a school, then it
appears that this duty became a privilege and was formally expressed, in
some cases, in a deed. In other words, in founding a church, a patron
bestowed upon it not only certain lands and tithes, but also the right to
keep school. Thus, at a date between 1076 and 1083, Robert Malet, who
founded the conventual church of Eye, gave to the church "scholas ejusdem
villae."[272] Similarly, when Ilbert of Lacey founded the Church of St.
Clement in his castle, C. 1080, he "dedicavit ipsam ecclesiam, cum scolis
de Kirky et Pontefracti."[273]

It is in this connection that we encounter one of the first disputes
relating to the question of monopoly. The question was this, if a new
church was established in a particular area, did the erection of this new
church diminish the educational rights of the parent church as well as its
spiritual rights? We may put the matter in another way by asking whether
the patron of a church possessed the power of alienating the monopoly of
school-keeping possessed by that church.

Roger, who became Earl of Warwick in 1123, apparently thought that the
patron did possess this right. He bestowed the right of holding schools in
Warwick upon the Collegiate Church of St. Mary's, thus alienating the
right from the Church of All Saints', Warwick, which had previously
possessed it. The authorities of All Saints' desired to protest against
this alienation and to preserve their rights. To what authority was this
appeal to go? No information is available of the whole course of the
struggle, but apparently the matter was ultimately referred to the king;
for we find that a deed was issued by Henry I. to the bishops of Worcester
and Gloucester, to Roger, Earl of Warwick, and to all the barons of
Warwickshire, stating the king's command that the Church of All Saints',
Warwick, was to retain the schools of Warwick as it had possessed them in
the reign of Edward the Confessor.[274]

This decision is a most important one. It is a recognition by the state of
the monopoly possessed by a particular church, and, in addition, it
establishes the principle that the enforcement of this monopoly was a
matter of temporal and not of spiritual jurisdiction.

Whether as the result of this decision or not we have now no means of
determining, but the fact remains that many churches seemed to have been
in doubt as to whether they possessed, or did not possess, this right of
monopoly of school keeping. To resolve this doubt, appeal seems to have
been made to the king, and a number of documents still exist which show
the decision that was arrived at. Thus Henry I. confirmed to St. Oswald's,
Gloucester, the monopoly of school-keeping in that city,[275] to the
priory of Huntingdon the monopoly of Huntingdonshire,[276] to the priory
of Dunstable the monopoly of schools in that town.[277] Even as late as
1446, there was a grant of the monopoly of school-keeping to Eton

The principle which seems to be established in these cases is that, when a
dispute arose as to the monopoly right of keeping school in a particular
area (apart from merely keeping an unlicensed school) the Crown alone
possessed the power of deciding the dispute, and that when it was desired
to establish an official school in any area, in addition to the existing
schools, it was necessary to obtain the consent of the Crown.

This practice continued for several centuries. Thus in 1446, on the
petition of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, Henry
VI. ordained that there should be five schools in London, viz. in
connection with the Churches of St. Paul, St. Martin, St. Mary-le-Bow, St.
Dunstan, and St. Anthony, respectively.[279]

In the following year, another petition was sent to the king asking for
four additional grammar schools in London, which were to be established in
connection with the churches of St. Andrew's, Holborn, St. Peter's,
Cornhill, All Hallows, and with the Hospital of St. Thomas. The reasons
why the establishment of these schools is asked for are interesting,
"forasmuche as to the Citee of London is the commune concours of this
lond, wherein is gret multitude of younge peple, not only borne and
brought forthe in the same Citee, but also of many other parties of this
lond, som for lake of Scole maistres in their oune Contree for to be
enfourmed of gramer there, and som for the grete almesse of Lordes,
Merchaunts and other, the which is in London more plenteously doon, than
in many other places of this Reaume, to such pouere Creatures as never
shuld have be brought to so greet vertu and connyng as thei have, ne hadde
hit ben bi the means of the almes aforesaid."[280] They therefore ask
that, in connection with the churches we have enumerated, they should be
allowed "to create, establishe and sette a persone sufficiently lerned in
gramer to hold and exercise a scole in the same science of gramer, and it
there to teche to all that will lerne."[281] The king assented to this
petition "so that it be doone by thadvyse of the Ordinarie, otherelles of
the Archebishope of Canterbury for the tyme beyng."

The same procedure was even adopted in the seventeenth century. Owing to a
dispute having arisen between the Master of the Grammar School at Exeter
and the City Authorities, the latter appealed to the bishop, that he might
license an additional master of grammar in the city, as had previously
been done. The bishop did not consider that the special circumstances
warranted him in taking the step desired by the civic authorities. As they
failed to obtain their request, they appealed to the Crown in Council for
permission to establish and maintain an additional school in the city, a
request which was finally granted in 1631.[282]

A consideration of these cases enables us to understand why it was not
possible, until comparatively recent times, to establish schools except by
the consent of the Crown. Thus, in the reigns of the Tudor and Stuart
sovereigns, a number of schools were established, but only by royal
authority. When we come to consider the case of the Chantry Schools, we
shall find that a number of schools were founded, but even in these cases
the consent of the civil and of the ecclesiastical authorities was
obtained. A licence to establish the school would be necessary, as well as
a licence in mortmain.

The confirmation of the monopoly right of keeping school to a particular
church practically meant that the patronage of the mastership of the
school was vested in the authorities of that church. This patronage could
be transferred, but the proceedings in such a case were of a civil, and
not of an ecclesiastical character. This is similar to the procedure
involved in the transfer of the right of patronage of an ecclesiastical
benefice to-day. The procedure is purely civil and entirely outside the
jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical authorities. If there is any dispute as
to the rightful power of patronage, the dispute must be settled in the
civil courts. One of the earliest recorded cases of the transfer of the
patronage of a school is that of Gloucester School. We have seen that
Henry I. confirmed to St. Oswald's Church, Gloucester, the right of
keeping school in that city[283]; in 1137 Henry II. confirmed the
transference of the patronage of the mastership of the school from St.
Oswald's Church to the Canons of Llanthony Abbey; and this transference
was again confirmed by King John in 1199.[284] The fact that the
settlement of disputed right of patronage of schools was a matter for the
secular courts, is clearly brought out by a prohibition issued by the
Courts in 1343.[285] This document runs: "The King to the Registrar and
commissaries of the Court of Canterbury greeting--whereas the pleas
relating to the patronage of grammar schools on our kingdom of England
belong especially to our Crown and dignity and (whereas) the Abbot and
Convent of Beaulieu are bringing before you in the Court Christian, as we
have been informed by many, William Pipard, Clerk, relative to the
patronage of the grammar schools of Ferendon--we forbid you to entertain
that plea in the ecclesiastical court, such pleas belonging especially to
us and to no other in this kingdom."[286]

We have quoted this document in full, because Mr. de Montmorency instances
it to support his contention that there existed a collision between Church
and State in matters relating to education. He also maintains that this
same document shows that the state "controlled the administration of
educational foundations." Mr. de Montmorency is in error here. When a
vacancy arises in the incumbency of any parish to-day, of which the
patronage is not in the hands of the bishop himself, it is possible that a
dispute might arise as to the right of presentation. In such a case, the
bishop would naturally refer the matter to his legal advisers. It would
always be open for any interested party to stay such proceedings and to
let the matter in dispute be determined by the High Court. It could hardly
be seriously maintained that such action illustrates a collision between
church and state in this country.

After a patron had appointed a master to a particular school, that master
possessed the monopoly of keeping school in the prescribed area as long as
he held the mastership of the school. No other school was allowed to be
kept except with the consent of the master of the school. If any
individual attempted to establish a school without such consent, then it
was open to the schoolmaster to take the necessary steps to end this
infringement of his monopoly.

One of the earliest cases of this character, of which records still exist,
dates from 1138. Apparently some unlicensed schools had been set up in
some parts of London. The schoolmaster of St. Paul's reported the matter
to the Bishop of Winchester (who was acting as Bishop of London during a
vacancy in the see). The Bishop consequently issued a writ, in which
sentence of excommunication was passed against all those who should
continue to keep school in the city of London without the permission of
Henry, the schoolmaster.[287] Other cases are recorded in the Beverley
Chapter Act Book,[288] one of which may be taken for illustrative
purposes. It seems that in 1304 Thomas of Brompton was the recognised
master of the school of grammar in connection with the collegiate church
at Beverley. An attempt was made by an unauthorised person to set up a
school.[289] The schoolmaster reported the offender to the chapter; the
chapter determined that if the offence was continued, then the intruding
schoolmaster would be, _ipso facto_, excommunicate and that the chapter
clerk was to announce, every Sunday, the fact of such excommunication.

There is no real evidence that there was any ground of appeal against such
a sentence of excommunication. Only one instance of an appeal having been
made is on record. It seems that a dispute as to the right of keeping
school arose at Winchester, and that the party dissatisfied with the
verdict carried the case to Rome. It has not been found possible, so far,
to trace the result of the appeal.[290]

One of the most important of the cases in which an alleged infringement of
monopoly took place, is the "Gloucester School Case," which has come to be
regarded as the leading case on the subject. Briefly, the facts are: the
prior of Llanthony, as patron of the schools at Gloucester, had appointed
John Hamlyn to the mastership of the school. A priest named Thomas More,
who had previously been "scolemaster atte Herford," set up an unlicensed
school at Gloucester. Hamlyn therefore took action against More but,
instead of bringing the defendant before a spiritual court, as had
previously been customary, he brought the action in the Court of Common
Pleas, and the case was tried before the Lord Chief Justice and two other

The considered decision of the court was, that it was not an offence
against the Common Law of England to keep a school. If an offence had been
committed, it was an offence against ecclesiastical law, and that
consequently the remedy was to be found in the ecclesiastical courts.[291]

The significance of this case was that the monopoly of school keeping was
partly broken down. Henceforth, anyone who did not fear ecclesiastical
censure and excommunication might keep school, if he so desired. The
practical effect of the decision was slight since, as we have seen,[292]
the monopoly right of keeping school was granted to Eton College thirty
years later.

A problem in connection with this question of monopoly arose in Lincoln in
1407-9. There were two recognised schools in Lincoln; the general grammar
school attended by the children of the citizens, and to which the
choristers formerly went for their instruction in Latin, and the school of
the choristers. In course of time, the choristers' school ceased to
confine itself to the study of music and added Latin to its curriculum.
For some reason or other, this school also attracted outside scholars. The
Mayor and Corporation, as representatives of the citizens of Lincoln,
objected;[293] ultimately the matter was settled by a compromise; the
teachers of the choristers were to be allowed "to teach grammar to the
choristers and to the commoners with them, also to the relations of the
canons and vicars of the church or those living at their expense and
charity or dwelling in their family," provided that a nominal
acknowledgement of the rights of the master of the City Grammar School was
made each term.[294]

Another problem arose out of the competing claims of the master of song
and of the master of grammar. The master of song apparently maintained
that he was as much an official master as the master of grammar, and
probably considered himself quite as competent as his colleague to give
lessons in Latin. This problem seems to have been particularly acute at
Warwick, and so the authorities of the collegiate church made careful
enquiries as to the ancient customs on the matter, and ultimately found
that the Latin master alone possessed the right of taking classes in
Latin. As a concession, they allowed the master of song to take paying
pupils in the "first letters" and the psalter.[295]

The grammar master was not alone in his desire to enforce the monopoly of
school keeping in his subject; the master of music was equally tenacious
of his prerogative. Thus in 1305, the song master of Lincoln Cathedral
complained to the Cathedral Chapter that the Parish Clerks of the city
were teaching music to the boys in their churches without his permission,
and he charged them with holding "adulterine schools to the prejudice of
the liberty of the mother church." The chapter compelled the offenders to
swear, "holding the most Holy Gospels, that they will not henceforward
keep any adulterine schools in the churches, nor teach boys song or music
without license from the schoolmaster."[296]

In bringing this chapter to a close, we might quote from the statutes of
St. Albans Grammar School, which were confirmed by the Abbot of St.
Albans, in 1310, the section which deals with this question of monopoly.
It is there stated that "the master for the time being shall annul,
suppress, destroy, and eradicate all adulterine schools within our
territory or jurisdiction, by inhibiting ... under pain of
excommunication, any persons from resorting to or presuming to keep any
schools without the will and assent of the master of our Grammar School
within our aforesaid jurisdiction."[297]

Though the privilege of school keeping was highly prized and stoutly
defended, yet it has now passed into oblivion. This was effected, not by
express decree either of law court or of state, but simply because the
instruction in Latin, which was offered by these schools, ceased to be in
demand. Two forces contributed to produce this result, the Reformation,
and the increasing use of the vernacular. The Reformation brought to an
end the number of appointments in connection with the Church for which a
knowledge of Latin was a necessary qualification; and consequently the
demand for grammar schools diminished. The increasing employment of the
vernacular caused Latin to drop out of use as the language of commerce and
the medium of written communication.



We now proceed to consider questions connected with (_a_) the appointment,
(_b_) the tenure, (_c_) the remuneration, and (_d_) the judicial functions
of schoolmasters.


We may distinguish between schools in connection with (1) monasteries, (2)
collegiate churches, (3) parishes, (4) chantries and gilds.


It is significant that in the monasteries, the position of schoolmaster
does not seem to have been definitely recognised. Thus, in the list of the
officers and obedientaries of Evesham in the thirteenth century, for
example, there is included the prior, sub-prior, third prior, and other
"custodes ordinis"; the precentor, sacrist, chamberlain, kitchener,
cellarers, infirmarer, almoner, warden of the vineyard and garden, master
of the fabric, guest master and pittancer; but there is no mention of a
"magister scolarum." We have not been able to discover any instance of a
monk, who was pensioned at the time of the dissolution, and who was
described as acting in the capacity of a teacher at that time.

Occasionally we come across references to the "master of the
novices."[298] An account of the Novices' School at Durham has been
preserved.[299] The school was held in the "weast ally" of the cloisters
both in the morning and in the afternoon. The scholars attended for a
period of seven years, during which time they received food and clothing.
If they were "apte to lernynge ... and had a pregnant wyt withall" they
were then sent to the University to study theology; otherwise they were
kept at their books in the monastery until they were considered ready for
ordination. The Novices' School at Durham was taught by the eldest learned
monk in the monastery. At Canterbury the school was under the charge of
the "Magister ordinis," and at Abingdon under the "Instructor
juvenum."[300] The need for the instruction of the novices was reiterated
by the General Benedictine Statutes of 1334, which provided that a secular
priest was to be appointed to teach grammar when a monk was not available
for the purpose.

The appointment to the scholastic posts within the monastery would
naturally be in the hands of the abbot or prior.[301]

There exists evidence that schools for the education of the laity existed
in the neighbourhood of most, even if not all, of the greater monasteries.
Thus, prior to the thirteenth century, such schools may be traced at
Reading, Dunstable, Huntingdon, Bedford, Christchurch (Hants.), Thetford,
Derby, Gloucester, Waltham, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, Leicester,
Cirencester, Lewes, Battle, Arundel, Lancaster, Chesterfield, Bruton,
Winchcombe, Malmesbury, and other places in which a monastery is known to
have existed. In many of these cases we are able to trace that the
appointment of the "magister scolarum" was in the hands of the abbot. Thus
the statutes of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds state that:--

"The collation of the schools of St. Edmunds belongs to the abbot in the
same way as the collation of Churches.... The schools indeed in the manor
of Mildenhall and of Beccles are by law to be conferred by those in whose
custody the manors are. And it is to be noted that when the 'rector
scolarum' is to be removed he ought to be given notice, by the person who
appointed him, before Whitsuntide. If, on the other hand, the master
wishes to retire, he is bound to give like notice to the person who
appointed him."[302]

A third class of school (which will be described in a subsequent chapter)
in connection with the monasteries was the Almonry School. The appointment
of the "grammar master" at these schools was usually in the hands of the
almoner of the monastery, but the appointment had to be approved of by the
Chancellor or Archdeacon who was acting as the head of the educational
administration of the diocese.[303]


More definite information is available when we pass to consider the
appointments of masters of the schools in connection with collegiate
churches. Here, as we have seen, the chancellor (who was previously the
schoolmaster) was the responsible head of the education in the diocese. It
was his duty to appoint a master of grammar in connection with the
cathedral church, and not to allow any other teacher to keep school within
the city without his consent.[304] Sometimes the chancellor seems to have
taken no steps to make the appointment, possibly because the remuneration
of the master came partly out of the benefice of the chancellor. A letter
is still extant which was written to the chancellor of York Cathedral in
1344 informing him that unless he took immediate action in making the
appointment of a master, he would be liable to punishment.[305]

The general procedure in making an appointment to the master-ship in
grammar of a school, in connection with a collegiate church, was that the
chancellor should select the man whom he considered suitable and submit
his name to the dean and chapter. The appointment was completed by the
dean and chapter admitting the nominee of the chancellor to the

We have not been able to trace any appointments of a song
schoolmaster.[307] The procedure would probably be similar except for the
fact that the nomination would be in the hands of the precentor instead of
the chancellor.[308]

In the case of those cathedral churches which were served by monks, there
would not, of course, be a "chancellor." In such cases, the appointment of
the "magister scolarum" was made by the bishop. Thus we read of Archbishop
Peckham, during a vacancy of the see of Norwich, appointing a master to
Norwich School.[309] The first available record of an appointment to the
mastership by a bishop of Norwich dates from 1388; after this date the
Norwich Chapter Act Book records a continuous stream of such appointments.
In Canterbury, which was also a monastic cathedral, the appointment of the
schoolmaster was similarly in the hands of the archbishop.[310]


We have used the term "parish" here to denote those districts which were
served by a vicar or rector, and not by a college of clergy. The
appointments to the parochial church schools, unless arrangements were
made to the contrary, were made by the patrons of the church itself. In
some cases the patrons would be the bishops,[311] in others the dean and
chapter of a collegiate church[312]; in others again, the patronage would
be in private hands, whilst in other cases a monastery might have the
power of nominating.[313] We must remember that when a parish was
subdivided the power of keeping a school did not pass to the new parish,
but continued to be the prerogative of the parent church, and that
consequently the patrons of the new church did not possess the right of
nominating a master of grammar to keep a school in connection with the
newly-founded church.[314]

Disputes occasionally arose in connection with the exercise of this right
of patronage. It would seem as if the chancellor of the diocese,[315] in
the case of a secular cathedral, and the "magister scolarum" in the case
of a monastic cathedral, claimed the right of making _all_ the schools
appointments in their respective dioceses. Records are still available of
the action which was taken in various cases to attempt to enforce this
claim. We will briefly describe two of these cases, one of which was due
to the action taken by the chancellor of a secular collegiate church, the
other to the action taken by a "magister scolarum" in a city served by a
monastic cathedral.

Taking first the case of the chancellor of a secular collegiate church, we
note that the prior and convent of St. Catherine's by Lincoln were the
patrons of Newark Church. In 1238 there occurred a vacancy in the school.
The patrons of the church took the necessary steps to fill the vacancy.
The chancellor of Southwell Minster maintained that the power of
nomination was "ex officio" vested in him. Both parties appealed to the
pope. The result of the action was, that the power of making the
nomination to the school was declared to be the right of the patrons, but
that the admission of the nominated master to the position was to be
effected by the chancellor.[316]

Turning next to the claim of the "magister scolarum" in connection with a
monastic cathedral we note that the Norwich Chapter Act Book records a
similar dispute. The prior and convent of Coxford were the patrons of the
church of Rudham by Coxford. On a vacancy in the mastership of the schools
occurring in 1240, the patrons proceeded to make the necessary
appointment. The "magister scolarum" brought an action in the bishop's
court to prevent this, as he claimed that he possessed an "ex officio"
right to make the nomination. The decision of the court was that the power
of appointing the master of the school belonged to the patrons of the

We may note here that the authority who possessed the power of determining
disputes relating to patronage of schools does not appear to have been
definitely prescribed. In the first of the two cases we have referred to
here, the authority of the pope was invoked, in the second, the authority
of the bishop, whilst records are available of other cases, in which a
writ of prohibition was obtained with the view to the case being heard in
the king's court.[317]


In the latter part of the Middle Ages a number of schools were established
in this country by means of endowments. These endowments were usually
associated with the foundation of gilds or chantries. The special point we
are interested in here is that in such cases arrangements were made for
the requisite appointments to be effected when the need arose. Thus the
ordinances and statutes in connection with the foundation of the grammar
school at Wotton-under-Edge[318] prescribe that "the master of the school
was to be presented by Lady Berkeley during her life, and afterwards by
Sir Thomas Berkeley and his heirs male, whom failing by Sir John Berkeley
her second son, and his heirs male, whom failing by the lord of the manor
of Wotton."[319] As a result of this more definite determination of the
right of appointment, disputes relating to the exercise of patronage no
longer arose.[320]


We find a difficulty in dealing with the question of the tenure of the
masterships of the various schools because of the scarcity of evidence and
of its conflicting character. Thus, in the Lincoln Chapter Act Book, there
is a record that the dean and chapter in 1327 appointed six masters to as
many schools in the diocese.[321] In the following year the same men were
reappointed and this reappointment continues year after year until 1335,
when notices of the appointments of schoolmasters cease. It would
therefore appear as if the custom in the diocese of Lincoln was that the
masters were appointed for one year only but that if their character and
conduct were considered satisfactory they would be reappointed.

In the diocese of York the masters seem to have been appointed for three
years. Thus there is a record that at Beverley Collegiate Church, in 1306,
the master was appointed to the school for that period[322]; in 1320 there
is a record of a similar appointment.[323] It is expressly stated in the
note of an appointment made in 1368, that the customary tenure of schools
in the diocese of York was three years and that under special
circumstances this period might be extended to five years.[324]

In course of time the nature of the tenure changes. The first change
which we have traced occurred in 1368 when the master appointed was stated
to be allowed to retain his appointment until he obtained another
benefice. The reason for this change is stated to be the scarcity of
priests due to the mortality occasioned by the plague. The triennial
tenure was again in vogue in 1426,[325] but in 1486 a departure occurs, as
the schoolmaster appointed in that year was to hold his office "durante
vitae," if he so wished.[326]

A further change of tenure took place in 1575 when the master was
appointed to hold office "durante beneplacito Decani et Capituli."[327]

In the schools which were founded in the sixteenth century and later it
began to be common to draw up statutes and ordinances for the
administration of the schools. It was usual in these school statutes to
refer to the tenure of the mastership. Thus the statutes of Newark
School[328] provide that the master at the time of his admission to his
post, should be thus instructed:--

"Sjr, ye be chosen to be maister and preceptour of this scoole and to
teche chyldern repayring to the same not onely good literature, gramer and
other vertuous doctrine but also good maners accordyng to the ordynance of
Master Thomas Newark. Wherefore we doe ascertayne you that this ys a
perpetual roome of continuance upon your good demeanour and dutie in this

In making the appointment for life, the founder of Newark School adopted a
practice which was different from the common one. Thus William of Wykeham,
Waynflete, and Colet, all made the masters of the schools founded by them
removeable at will. In fact, Colet arranged that the mastership of St.
Paul's was merely to be renewed from year to year.


We are faced with another difficult question when we proceed to consider
the question of the remuneration of masters. This problem is one about
which contradictory opinions have been held owing to the fact that it is
disputed whether or not the education given in the schools of the Middle
Ages was free education. It is indisputable that the original schools of
the Church were entirely free and that the schoolmaster was remunerated by
sharing equally with the other priests in the common fund of the Church.
The transition from free education to fee paying education may be said to
date from the time when the schoolmaster became the chancellor. The
chancellor continued to draw his share of the revenue of the Church, but
no express provision was made for the maintenance of the schoolmaster whom
the chancellor appointed.[330]

It was probably due to this neglect that the council of 1179[331] decreed
that a benefice should be bestowed upon a master so as to enable him to
teach the "clericos et scholares pauperes" gratis. This decree was
repeated in 1200[332] and 1215.[333] It has not been found possible to
trace the appointment to sinecure benefices, subject to the condition that
the incumbent of such benefice should hold a school, as the record of the
appointment would not also record the condition. We may safely assume that
this was done in some cases, as the custom even prevails to-day.[334]

In course of time, the master of a school derived a certain amount of his
remuneration from the fees which he received from his pupils. This
originated in a natural custom that pupils should make some voluntary
offering to those who taught them. Thus, the enactment of 1200, which
decreed that "presbyteri per villas scholas habeant, et gratis parvulos
doceant" also practically enacted that voluntary contributions on the part
of the relations of the pupils would be permitted. It is not difficult to
conceive that this custom of voluntary offering would develop into one of
compulsory payment.

The terms used to describe these voluntary offerings are somewhat strange,
_e.g._ "cock penny," "potation penny," "nutt money." "Cock pennies" were
gratuities given to the schoolmasters in connection with the almost
universal custom of cock-fighting which took place in schools on Shrove
Tuesday. William Fitzstephen[335] gives an account of the practice,
stating that "each boy in the school brings a fighting cock to his master,
and the whole of that forenoon is given up to a holiday to watch the
cock-fights in the school." Cock-fighting was prohibited in St. Paul's
School by Colet's statute of 1518, but the custom seems to have continued
at the Manchester Grammar School until 1815.[336] "Potation pennies" were
gratuities made when a feast was provided, whilst "nutt money" was the
term applied to the gifts made to the schoolmasters at Michaelmas.

In some cases, these offerings were regarded as a natural part of the
remuneration of the schoolmaster. Thus the ordinances of Hartlebury
Grammar School prescribe that "the schoolmaster shall and may have, use
and take the profits of all such cock-fights and potations, as are
commonly used in schools and such other gifts as shall freely be given
them."[337] In other cases, an effort was made to put an end to the
custom. Thus the Coventry Grammar School statutes state that "there shall
not be any other or more Potations in any one yeare ... than one

In addition to these optional payments, certain other payments gradually
became recognised which in course of time were known as "entrance money"
(because the payment was made when the pupil was admitted to the school),
"quarterages" (payments made at the beginning of each term), "breaking up
money" (similar payments made at the end of term). These payments did not
become common until the sixteenth century--a period which is outside the
time with which we are dealing; consequently, it will not be necessary for
us to deal more fully with the question here. The record of the chantry
founded at Newland by Richard Gryndour, however, may be referred to.[339]
At the school which the chantry priest was required to teach, he was
entitled to charge "scolers lerning gramer, 8d. the quarter, and of others
lerning to rede, 4d. the quarter."[340] As instances of other types of
payments to schoolmasters we may quote the regulations of Ipswich Grammar
School where it was prescribed in 1476-7 that those attending the grammar
class should pay 10d., the psalter class 8d., and the primer class 6d.
each quarter.[341] A reduction in these terms appears to have been made
for the sons of burgesses living in Ipswich who were to pay "8d. a quarter
... and not above."[342] Again, the statutes and ordinances of the Boteler
Grammar Schools,[343] described as a _Free_ Grammar School, prescribe that
"it shall be lawfull to the schoolmaster to take ... four pennys by-year
that is to say in the Quarter next after Christmas A cock penny and in any
of the three other Quarters in the year one Potation Penny."[344] The deed
of 1414 which recorded the wishes of Bishop Langley with regard to his
foundation at Durham, stated that "diligenter instruere et docere pauperes
qui dem gratis pro Deo, si hoc ipsi vel parentes sui pro amore Dei
humiliter petierint, ab illis autem, qui se vel amicos suos scolares
voluerunt recipiendo stipendia moderata in aliis scolis grammatice vel
cantus solvi consueta."[345]

The custom of providing an endowment for the support of the school and its
master, as distinct from the maintenance of scholars, dates from an early
period. The earliest definite instance in this country, which has been so
far traced, occurred C. 1190 when Abbot Samson endowed "the schoolmaster
who for the time being taught in the town of St. Edmunds" with half the
revenues of a rectory.[346] The next available instance is the record at
Wells of a house being given to the schoolmaster there, for the time
being, together with the prebend of Biddenham as an endowment.[347]
Endowments gradually become increasingly numerous as will be exemplified
in detail when we deal with the foundation of chantries and other
charitable institutions.


By the ordinance issued by William the Conqueror, the separation of the
civil and the ecclesiastical courts was effected. As a result, it came
about that those who were entitled to the "benefit of clergy" claimed that
disputes in which they were concerned, should be dealt with in the
ecclesiastical courts. Possibly it is by an extension of this principle
that it was claimed that cases in which the scholars of a particular
school were concerned, should be considered to be under the jurisdiction
of the schoolmaster of that school. The evidence available is not
sufficient to enable us to decide the extent to which this custom
prevailed, but a study of the powers of jurisdiction possessed by the
schoolmasters of Salisbury, Cambridge, St. Albans, and Canterbury will
assist us to determine its general character.

The respective jurisdiction of the Chancellor and the Sub-dean of
Salisbury was decided in 1278 when it was provided that the chancellor "ad
cuius officium pertinet scolas regere" should deal with all disputed
matters (with the exception of questions of immorality) in which his
scholars were implicated, whilst the sub-dean was to exercise jurisdiction
in all matters in which the priests of the city were concerned.[348]

A similar decision was arrived at by the Bishop of Ely in 1276, when he
sought to define the respective jurisdiction of the "Magister Glomerie,"
the Chancellor of Cambridge University, and the Archdeacon of Ely.[349]
The judicial powers of the Master of St. Albans School were set out in
detail in the school statutes of 1309.[350] It is interesting to note that
the master could be assisted "by the secular arm, invoked if need be for
the special purpose."

The Canterbury schoolmaster possessed considerable powers of jurisdiction
in matters in which his scholars were concerned, and there is evidence
that some of these schoolmasters did not hesitate to use their powers when
necessity arose. John Everard, "Rector scolarum civitatis Cantuariensis"
in 1311, in particular, was keen on asserting his authority. The claim,
which he maintained that he possessed, was investigated by a special
commission of clerics and laymen, who reported in his favour. To prevent
him from exercising his authority, an appeal was made to the Court of
King's Bench. The schoolmaster continued vigorously to press the
recognition of his powers of jurisdiction and ultimately the authority he
claimed was upheld.[351]

We cannot generalise from these instances, but it is unquestionable that
some schoolmasters possessed special powers of acting in a judicial
capacity in cases in which their pupils were involved.



It is necessary to consider now the nature of the Education of those whose
social position prevented them from sharing in the gratuitous Education,
which was offered by the Church and freely accepted by the sons and
daughters of "liberi tenentes," or of villeins, cottars, or serfs. These
educational facilities thus offered by the Church might possibly be
utilised by the children of the manorial officials, the steward, or the
bailiff; but they would never be shared by children of gentle birth.

In the Middle Ages, in England as on the continent, youths of noble
parentage were not sent to schools for their education, but to the
households of great nobles or great ecclesiastics. Thus, as we have seen,
Odo, subsequently Archbishop of Canterbury, was taught as a boy in the
household of the thane Athelhelm[352]; this custom was consequently
already well established in the tenth century. Other instances that may be
given are those of Stephen of Blois, who received his education at the
court of his uncle, Henry I.; of Henry II., who lived at the house of Duke
Robert of Gloucester; and of Henry VI., who was put under the care of
Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. To that noble were also entrusted the
heirs of baronies in the Crown's wardship, so that his court practically
became "an academy for the young nobility."

Fitzstephen, the biographer of Thomas à Becket, tells us that "the nobles
of England and of the neighbouring kingdoms used to send their sons to
serve the Chancellor, whom he trained with honourable bringing-up and
learning; and when they had received the knight's belt, sent them back
with honour to their fathers and kindred; some he used to keep. The king
himself, his master, entrusted to him his son, the heir of the realm, to
be brought up; whom he had with him, with many sons of nobles of the same
age, and their proper retinue and masters and proper servants in the
honour due."[353]

The nature of the education which was given at the houses of the great
nobles was determined by an ideal which grew out of the special
circumstances of the time. Prominent among the contributory factors to the
formation of this ideal were (1) the Feudal System, (2) the Crusades, (3)
the Church.

(1) We have already dealt briefly with the origin and development of the
Feudal System; hence it will be sufficient to point out here, that the
Conquest had succeeded in establishing it more firmly in this country.
Each fief now became in practice a separate court under its lord, whose
eldest son could naturally look forward to succeeding to the position
occupied by his father. It is in this connection that we find one need
which the education of the young noble would be expected to meet. It was
necessary that he should receive the training which would be of service to
him in discharging effectively the position which in the ordinary course
of things he would subsequently be called upon to fill.

(2) Without enquiring fully into the causes contributory to the Crusades,
we may mention that they arose out of one of those outbursts of energy
which in subsequent ages found expression in such movements as the Revival
of Learning and the French Revolution. More definitely, the Crusades were
the response made by the nobility to the appeal of the East for help
against the infidel. This response was given the more readily because it
was in harmony with the restless love of adventure and with the desire
for glory and fame, which manifested themselves during this period.

(3) It is also important to notice that there existed at this time a
widespread belief in the efficacy of penitence and ascetism, as a means of
gaining religious virtue. This frequently took the form of a pilgrimage,
and the Crusades furnished a "stupendous pilgrimage under specially
favourable and meritorious conditions." "The first Crusade was the
marriage of War and Religion, the consecration by the Church of the
military spirit, which was the first step in the creation of

These three factors contributed to the growth of those customs which
prevailed among the noble classes in Western Europe during the greater
part of the Middle Ages, and to which the term chivalry is usually
applied. A certain ideal of the qualities which were essential to a
"perfect knight" gradually evolved. Hence it was the business of the
household to which the sons of the nobility were sent for training to
endeavour, as far as possible, to equip their "pupils" with the knowledge,
skill, habits, and qualities which custom had decreed should be possessed
before admission to the grade of knighthood was obtained.

It is possible to trace four main elements in the chivalric ideal: (1)
military prowess, (2) service and loyalty, (3) the "worship of woman," (4)

Taking each of these points in turn, we note first that the importance of
military training at this period is a topic which scarcely calls for
elaboration. The age was essentially warlike; the definite objective of
the Crusades was one that could only be achieved through military skill.
Hence, no slight amount of the training of the future knight was devoted
to the acquisition of skill as a horseman and in the use of the weapons of

The second element to which we have referred--"service and loyalty"--may
be described as the underlying principle of chivalry. The service,
however, sprang from pride in the position occupied; no task was
considered menial if it arose out of the service due from the squire to
his liege lord. Loyalty is inherent in the idea of chivalry; it is an
inseparable part of the knightly ideal.

Only a passing reference is necessary to the third element--the "worship
of women"--even though it played a most important part in the development
of the character of the prospective knight by refining his manners,
checking coarseness of expression, and tending generally to the growth of
the idea of courtesy which is now conceived of as the distinctive mark of
a chivalrous man. Here we may simply say that to do the pleasure of ladies
was regarded both as the chief solace of the knight and the mainspring of
his actions.

The remaining element in the chivalric ideal is that of religion. The
Church looms large; the knight was brought up to use her sacraments, to
obey her precepts, and to show reverence to her ministers. "The Crusader,
the Hospitaller, and the Knights of Santiago were champions of the Church
against the infidel. The knight's consecration to chivalry was after the
form of a sacrament, and to defend the Church was a part of his
initiation. The least religious acknowledged the authority of religion and
it was the imputation of impiety rather than of immorality which destroyed
the Templar; for impiety was in those days a worse imputation than

To summarise the course of preparation for knighthood, it may be pointed
out that for the first seven years of training, the aspirants were known
as pages, varlets, or damoiseaux. Under their masters and mistresses they
performed most humble domestic duties and practised at doing everything
they saw done by the knights. After attaining the age of fourteen years,
they were promoted to the rank of squire, a promotion that was celebrated
by a religious ceremony. The training now became more severe and included
ability in all matters relating to the art of warfare, together with
duties in connection with the stables and horses, and skill in the art of

The intellectual part of the training of the squire involved instruction
in "sondry languages" and the acquisition of ability "to pipe, sing,
dance" and to play the harp.[356] In the oft-quoted passage from Chaucer
it is stated that the squire:--

                            "wel cowde ryde,
  He cowde songes wel make and endite,
  Justne and eek daunce, and wel purtray and write."

The actual school curriculum followed by the squire would therefore
resemble that of children of lower social grades, to the extent that
"song" and "writing" were included in both. Among the "sondry languages,"
it is certain that Latin would be numbered; in addition he would learn
French and (possibly) Italian.

Chivalry began to decline about the middle of the thirteenth century.
"Froissart characterises and describes with picturesque detail this
tendency to decay which, as time advanced, gradually resulted in a
complete transformation, so that the chivalric ideal became lost and the
independence of the soldier, once the slave only of his God and of his
lady, gave way to the obsequiousness of the courtier, and finally became a
selfish and pitiful servility."[357]

What place does chivalric education occupy in the evolution of educational
thought and practice? In the first place, it contributed to the
elaboration of the educational ideal. Though, as we have indicated,
chivalric education was based on utility, just as was the education of the
schools of the cloister or of the church, yet it resulted in a wider
connotation being given to the term "education." Chivalric education aimed
at fitting a man to live a life in society; whereas the education given by
the monk or priest aimed only at fitting a man to lead a religious life. A
change was also made in the estimation of educational values: the
intellectual element of education (though not entirely ignored) was yet
relegated to a subsidiary position, whilst the care of the body,
notoriously absent from the ecclesiastical education, was exalted to an
important position. It is interesting also to note that the custom of
sending boys of good family away from home directly contributed to the
practice of sending boys to a residential school, which is characteristic
of the present day, especially among parents of good financial means. In
addition, we must note that some of the ideals of chivalry have tended to
live on in our great public schools of to-day; further, they have
influenced our secondary schools and, to a lesser extent, our elementary
schools. Admiration for physical prowess, as exemplified on the playing
fields, still occupies the highest place in the mind of the schoolboy; the
ideal of service survives in the custom of "fagging"; loyalty, honour,
courtesy, and deference to external ceremonial continue to be distinctive
marks of the "schools of the nobility" of to-day.

There is a danger in assuming that all the ideals of chivalry were equally
high, and that the contribution of chivalry to education was greater than
it really was. "Chivalry," writes Cornish, "taught the world the duty of
noble service willingly rendered. It upheld courage and enterprise in
obedience to rule, it consecrated military prowess to the service of the
church, glorified the virtues of liberality, good faith, unselfishness,
and courtesy, and, above all, courtesy to women. Against these may be set
the vices of ostentation, love of bloodshed, contempt of inferiors, and
loose manners. Chivalry was an imperfect discipline, but it was a
discipline, and one fit for the times. It may have existed in the world
too long; it did not come into existence too early; and with all its
shortcomings, it exercised a great and wholesome influence in lifting the
medieval world from barbarism to civilisation."[358]

The practice of sending the sons of the nobility and gentry to the houses
of other nobles continued even after "chivalry" itself as a mode of life
had died out. Thus, Sir Thomas More was brought up at the house of
Cardinal Morton;[359] Cardinal Wolsey had a number of young lords
residing with him;[360] in the household of the Earl of Northumberland in
1571 were a number of young gentlemen.[361]

For the purpose of teaching these young nobles, it was customary that
there should be a "Maistyr of Gramer" as a part of the establishment of
the house, who was responsible for the instruction "which is necessary for
song and the rules of grammatical construction."[362] Various household
books bear testimony to the presence of this tutor.[363] It is not
suggested that the education given at the houses of nobles and other great
men was very effective from an academic point of view. In fact, the
opinion in which letters were generally held at the time was not
sufficiently high to serve as an inducement for study to be taken up
seriously by young members of the higher social classes.[364] The course
of study followed included Latin, French, writing, fencing, accounts, and
music,[365] but this enumeration of subjects does not imply that a high
standard was attained. A further consideration of this subject will be
necessary when the period subsequent to the Reformation is dealt with.





During the period we now proceed to consider, the idea gradually developed
that education was not a matter which exclusively pertained to the Church.
With the rise of the universities, the control of education tended to pass
out of the power of the Church; with the social and economic progress of
the country, there was a growth of the idea that civic and trade and craft
organisations respectively owed a duty to the community, and that this
duty included the provision of facilities for education.

This idea of civic or community responsibility for education which began
to manifest itself in a tentative manner, was not the outcome of any
opposition to the Church, or due to a feeling that the Church had not been
sufficiently alive to its responsibilities. On the contrary, the provision
for education which was made was, generally speaking, entrusted to the
care of the Church, and the teachers of the schools continued to be the
priests of the Church. In fact, we may go so far as to assert that the
consciousness of social responsibility which now developed was, to a
great extent, the outgrowth of religious teaching.

At the same time that we emphasise this general statement, we must admit
that there existed certain signs of a tendency to assert independence of
the Church, and various symptoms began to manifest themselves which were
indicative of the fact that school-keeping was ceasing to be regarded as
exclusively a function of the priesthood. The tendency to independence of
the Church showed itself, among other places, at Coventry, where the
corporation sent a deputation to the Prior of Coventry "wyllyng hym to
occupye a skole of Gramer, fyye he like to teche hys Brederon and
Childerom of the aumbry, and that he wolnot gruche ne meve the contrai,
but that euery mon off this Cite be at hys ffre chosse to sette hys chylde
to skole to what techer off Gramer that he likyth, as reson askyth"[366];
and at Bridgenorth, where an ordinance was passed in 1503, that no priest
should keep a school after a schoolmaster had come to town.[367] As
illustrating the tendency to place schools under the control of
organisations other than the Church may be mentioned the school founded at
Farthinghoe in 1443 by John Abbot, a mercer of London, who placed the
school under the control of the Mercers' Company,[368] and the school
founded by Sir Edmund Sha in 1487, which was put in mortmain "unto his
felliship of the craft of goldsmythes."[369] Two other instances are
available. In 1502, Sir John Percyvale founded a "Fre Gramer Scole" at
Macclesfield[370] for "gentil mennes sonnes and other good menses children
in Maxfiled and the Countre thereabouts." The government of the school was
entrusted to seventeen local laymen who were to act as trustees. In 1505,
Sir Bartholomew Read, who founded a school at Cromer, made the Goldsmith's
Company the governing body.[371] That school-keeping was ceasing to be
regarded as the exclusive function of the priesthood is indicated by the
will of the founder of Sevenoaks Grammar School in 1432, which specified
that the schoolmaster was not to be a priest "in sacris ordinibus minime
constitutus,"[372] and by the fact that the names of schoolmasters are to
be found on the rolls of the Freemen of the city of York.[373]

The growing interest of the laity in education did not result in apathy on
the part of the Church. On the contrary, the Church was stimulated to
renewed activity. Not only did the great churchmen of the day, _e.g._
Wykeham, Chicheley, and Waynflete, found schools of enduring magnificence,
but a large number of collegiate churches were established in various
parts of the country, and there exists considerable evidence (which we
shall consider in a subsequent chapter) to show that the majority of these
collegiate churches provided special facilities for education.

The change in the attitude of the nation towards education is the direct
outcome of its social and economic conditions, and if we are properly to
understand the educational developments, it is necessary that we should
consider briefly the changes in the economic conditions of England, and
the resultant social changes, which manifested themselves in the closing
centuries of the Middle Ages.

The date of the pestilence termed the Black Death will form a convenient
starting point from which we may consider these changes. The factors
contributory to the results, which we propose to describe, may be traced
to an earlier date, but as we are concerned in this chapter with general
tendencies rather than with minute economic investigations, the year 1349
will admirably serve our purpose.

The economic effects of the Black Death were particularly evident in the
rural districts. The decay of the manorial system was accelerated; the
system of manorial farming was thrown into confusion and new methods of
land tenure became imperative; the existing system of customary regulation
was no longer possible. In the towns the influence of the pestilence was
not so marked. Though individual towns might suffer, yet the relative
importance of towns in the life of the nation was increased, and the way
was prepared for that industrial and commercial supremacy of towns which
began to manifest itself in the early years of the fifteenth century.[374]

In addition to the economic effects, the Black Death had important
educational effects. The mortality among the clergy was considerable, and
consequently the number of men who were qualified to act as schoolmasters
was appreciably diminished. The reduction in the number of priests, as a
result of the Black Death, is indicated by a letter which Pope Clement V.
wrote in 1349 to the Archbishop of York, and in which it is stated that
"in consequence of the Plague, there are not enough priests to administer
the sacraments."[375] A statute of 1362 also refers to the fact that "the
priests be become so very scant after the pestilence to the great
grievance and oppression of the people."[376]

This diminution in the number of schoolmasters, for some reason or other,
seems to have continued into the following century. William Byngham, in
the petition which he submitted to the king in 1439 for the purpose of
obtaining permission to found a college at Cambridge for the training of
teachers for grammar schools throughout the country, stated that, "on the
East of the way between Hampton and Coventry and no further north than
Ripon, no less than seventy grammar schools had fallen into desuetude
because of the scarcity of teachers."[377]

It is also extremely probable that the Black Death contributed
considerably to the almost total disappearance of the French language from
the schools. One effect of the Norman Conquest had been the gradual growth
of French as the spoken language; after the pestilence period, the use of
the native tongue of the English nation again became common. This is
directly evidenced by statements contained in John de Trevisa's
translation of Higden's _Polychronicon_. After showing that French was at
one time very prevalent in this country because it was the language in
common use at schools and that the children of "gentil men" were taught
that language from the time they were "i-rokked in here cradel," Trevisa
states that after the Black Death the knowledge of French had disappeared
to so great an extent that "now children of gramer scole conneth na more
Frensche than can hir lift heele."[378]

The fifteenth century witnessed important changes in the economic
condition of England. The most important of these changes was connected
with the development of manufactures. At the close of the fourteenth
century, we learn that wool was "la Sovereigne Marchandise and Jewel ...
d'Angleterre"[379]; a century later, it is said that "the makeyng of
cloth" was "the grettest occupacion and lyving of the poor people of the

Various enactments of the period testify to the growth of the woollen
industry, and to the efforts which were made by the government to foster
and develop it. But though the manufacture of cloth was the most important
industry, yet it was not the only form of industrial occupation. Before
the close of the fifteenth century, the manufacture of silk had been
established in London, coal mining was carried on to a considerable
extent, the manufacture of beer had been instituted, the making of bricks
had been renewed, guns were being made, and ship-building was making

The development of manufactures naturally brought about changes in the
organisation of industry. Owing to the operation of the principle of
division of labour, new crafts came into existence, and these, in their
turn, were also sub-divided into other new crafts. Gradually, all the
various classes of the industrial world--the artisan, the manufacturer,
the middleman, and the merchant--began to emerge. As a result, the "rude
beginnings of a factory system" manifested themselves,[382] and there are
even traces of a movement which resembles a modern strike.[383]

These changes in the industrial system necessarily exerted a powerful
influence upon the agricultural industry, which previously had been the
principal occupation of the people. The Black Death had been responsible
for a great diminution in the number of agricultural labourers, and as a
result, it was scarcely possible to find sufficient labour for the
cultivation of the soil. This scarcity of labour was intensified by the
fact that employment in the manufacturing industries proved to many a more
attractive form of occupation than service on the land. The Central
Government took steps with the object of compelling people to work on the
land, and an attempt was even made, as we shall see in a subsequent
chapter, to prevent agricultural labourers from sending their children to
school. Thus in the reign of Richard II., it was enacted that any person
who was engaged on agricultural labour up to twelve years of age, was to
be compelled to remain at that occupation during the remainder of his
life.[384] Other Acts of Parliament, with a similar object, were passed in
1406 and 1444.[385] This repressive legislation failed to secure its
purpose, as the steady flow of labour from agriculture to manufacture

The increasing scarcity of labour led naturally to the gradual
substitution of sheep farming for the cultivation of wheat, a development
to which the growth of the cloth industry necessarily contributed. The
demand for wool by the English manufacturers of cloth increased to so
great an extent that sheep-farming gradually became more profitable than
the cultivation of the soil and, as a result, the enclosure movement,
which began to set in during the closing years of the fourteenth century,
made such progress that, during the fifteenth century, there occurred
"the greatest of those agricultural changes which have in successive ages
swept over this country--the transition from arable to pasture

Even more important than the industrial changes were the commercial
changes, which occurred during the fifteenth century. These arose out of
the development of English foreign trade with its natural effect upon the
growth of a shipping industry. The records of the time show that English
merchants visited all the civilised maritime countries of Europe, notably
Holland, Zealand, Flanders, and the shores of the Baltic. Trade was also
carried on with Iceland, Spain, Portugal, the countries of Southern
Europe, and, in spite of the Hundred Years' War, with France.

These developments in manufactures, in agriculture, and in commerce
naturally necessitated changes in financial matters. In the earlier part
of the Middle Ages a system of barter had been common. Such a system could
not continue under the new order of things. Not only did the use of money
for facilitating international exchange become common, but money began to
be employed for capitalistic purposes instead of being hoarded or used for
unproductive military purposes.

These various changes could not occur in the economic life without
producing important effects in the social life of the community. One of
the most important of these resulted from an appreciation of the power of
wealth. Formerly, rank and birth had been the main mark of distinction
between one man and another. Apart from high birth, the Church had
previously been the only avenue by which a man of ability could attain to
a position of importance. Under the new condition of things, the
possession of wealth proved to be a passport to social recognition, and
the old ideas of status and class began rapidly to disappear.

The social standing thus gained by men of wealth naturally hastened the
decline of the Feudal System; the failure of the Feudal System involved
the decay of chivalry, which was closely associated with it. Outwardly
chivalry continued to flourish, but the tournaments which now took place
were held for political purposes on occasions of pomp and show, and not
with the object of effecting a training to war.

The closing century of the Middle Ages not only witnessed the rise of the
capitalist class, but it also saw the rise of the middle class, which has
been described as the "most noteworthy feature in the history of social
life in England in the late fourteenth and the early fifteenth
century."[387] The various changes in the economic conditions had made it
possible to acquire wealth through successful trade, and abundant evidence
exists that the merchant class was both numerous and was held in high
esteem. Socially, these men seem to have ranked with squires and in
consequence "Merchaundes and Franklonz, worship fulle and honourable, they
may be set semely at a squyers table."[388]

The educational development of a country is closely connected with its
social and economic progress, and it is necessary clearly to bear in mind
the economic changes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries if we are
properly to understand the educational adjustments which resulted.



It is possible to trace a rapid advance in the intellectual life of
England after the eleventh century. Among the contributory factors may be
mentioned the restoration of social and political order, resulting in the
greater security essential for intellectual life, and the influence of the
Crusades. The Crusades were not only a sign of the reawakened energy of
Europe but were also a cause of increased intellectual activity and
change. Those who took part in the Crusades were brought in contact with
new people and new ideas; new interests were created, and a more human
conception of the world developed. Moreover, the deeds of the Crusades
supplied new material for historical literature, and stimulated the
romantic element in life and thought. The intellectual effect of the
Crusades was manifested in every department of literary activity; the
number of books written was greatly increased; studies of law, medicine,
and theology received greater attention; scholastic philosophy manifested
itself, and the universities came into being. Of these effects, the
development of scholasticism and the rise of the universities are closely
connected, and are of special importance for our present purpose.

The development of that system of thought known as scholasticism may be
traced from the subjects taught in the medieval schools. These subjects
were the Trivium,[390] and the more advanced Quadrivium.[391] The ordinary
text-books of the age (of which the chief were founded on the works of
five authors--Orosius, Martianus, Boethius, Cassiodorus, and Isidorus)
enable us to estimate what was known of these subjects of instruction.
Music included little more than the rules of plain song; arithmetic was
discussed chiefly with reference to the mystical interpretation of
numbers; geometry consisted of a few propositions from Euclid without
demonstrations; astronomy, together with arithmetic, found its way into
the curriculum chiefly because these subjects supplied the means of
finding Easter.

The Trivium was the real basis of the secular education of the period.
Grammar included both the rules formulated by Donatus and Priscian and the
study of a few of the classical writers of ancient Rome. "Under the head
of rhetoric, the treatises of Cicero, such as the 'De Oratore' and the
pseudo-Ciceronian 'Ad Herennium' were largely read. The elements of Roman
Law were often added, and all schoolboys were exercised in writing prose
or what passed for prose."[392] The most prominent and important of the
subjects of secular instruction was Dialectic or Logic. The student of
this subject had at his disposal richer material than in most other
branches of secular knowledge. Rashdall instances the translations by
Boethius of the "De Interpretatione" and the "Categoriae," as well as the
"Isagoge" of Porphyry.[393] It was this concentration on Dialectic by
minds whose chief interest was theology that paved the way to that
philosophic system known as scholasticism. From its nature, it is scarcely
possible to define scholasticism, but its meaning may be understood by
considering the ground on which theological statements were based. For
some centuries, such statements were required to be accepted merely on
the authority of the Church. By the eleventh century, heretical views had
crept in which could scarcely be dealt with so summarily. The stimulation
of intellectual interests, due to the Crusades, made it necessary that
theological beliefs should be carefully formulated and defended by
intellectual weapons.

The history of scholasticism falls into two fairly distinct periods. Among
the great names associated with the first period are Anselm, "the last of
the great monastic teachers," Roscellinus, William of Champeaux, and
Abelard, "the true founder of the Scholastic Theology."[394] The second
period which extended from the beginning of the thirteenth century to the
Renaissance was the period of the culmination of scholastic thought and
its consolidation into a system. The "great schoolmen" include Albertus
Magnus, a Dominican who has been described as "the great organising
intellect of the Middle Ages," Thomas Aquinas, famous as the scholar who
brought scholasticism to its highest development by harmonising
Aristotelianism with the doctrines of the Church, and two Englishmen, both
of whom were Franciscan friars, Duns Scotus, and William of Occam.

The intellectual activity of the schoolmen was connected mainly with
questions of interpretation. Original investigation was scarcely
attempted. The form adopted was that of commenting upon Aristotle or the
Church Fathers, and the method employed was that of discussion and
dispute, conducted according to recognised logical methods. At an early
date, a question which was considered of primary and fundamental
significance began to be discussed--the nature of universals. Stated
briefly, the problem is: have the universals a substantial existence of
their own, as the realists claimed, or, are they merely conceptions in the
mind, as the nominalists maintained? This philosophical problem was bound
up with such questions as the reality of the Church, of the State, of the
Trinity, of the Sacraments. Was the Church a "reality," or was it merely
the name of certain individuals who professed a certain allegiance? Was
the State a "reality," or simply a name? Such questions as these serve to
illustrate the passionate interest taken in the matter by the medieval
world of learning.

It was under the stimulus of this interest in dialectic that certain
schools connected with cathedrals or monasteries became famous in the
later eleventh century and the beginning of the twelfth. Prominent among
these was Paris, as the reputation of its master, William of Champeaux,
attracted scholars to it from many parts. Abelard was one of the students
who had been drawn to Paris by the fame of its school, but before long he
openly combatted the teachings of its masters and determined to open
school for himself. On account of the principle of the licensing of
schools and of teachers, this was a matter difficult of accomplishment,
but the difficulties were temporarily overcome, and Abelard is later found
as the deputy master of the Cathedral School. Fresh difficulties arising,
Abelard resumed his studies, this time under Anselm at Laon. Later he
returned to Paris, and lectured as a duly authorised master in the schools
of Notre-Dame. His reputation spread rapidly, and Abelard became supreme
in the intellectual capital of Europe. In 1118 occurred his rapid and
terrible downfall occasioned by his liaison with Heloise. In every attempt
which he made after this to regain his position, he was met by fierce and
relentless opposition especially from Bernard of Clairvaux. Twice he was
condemned for heresy, in 1121 and 1141; his persecution being due, not so
much to definite heretical opinions as to the general spirit and method of
his teaching. Abelard may be regarded as the best exponent of his time of
that method which applies the test of reason to all established beliefs
and opinions. Though he was defeated personally at the Council of Sens,
yet the movement which had been associated with his name continued.

Forces that tended to make Paris one of the most important cities of
transalpine Europe were in operation at this time; hence the stream of
pilgrim students to Paris, which set in in the days of Abelard, continued
for at least one and a half centuries.[395] At this time, too, the
tendency for those who had interests in common to associate in some form
of "gild," was everywhere prevalent. It was, therefore, only natural that
wherever a concourse of masters or students was found, the necessity soon
arose for some form of organisation, which would serve to protect their
common interests. Though these organisations came into existence without
any express authorisations, yet from such beginnings the universities of
the Middle Ages originated. The circumstances, which contributed to the
formation of a medieval university were therefore twofold: (1) the
existence of a cathedral school, or monastic school, which had attained
eminence, and (2) the formation of a gild, either of masters, or of
students, or of both. Special circumstances led to the selection of the
original university centres. One of these circumstances was the
specialisation of the learning of the time. A mass of learning and
tradition on subjects of interest to man and essential to his welfare, had
grown up in a particular locality. Students who desired to possess
themselves of this knowledge were attracted to the place. Thus, the
schools at Bologna developed into specialised law schools about 1100 to
1130; Salerno became famous for the study of medicine; Paris became
celebrated as the main centre of scholastic philosophy.

It must be noted, however, that the term "universitas" was not the common
appellation for one of the higher schools; the earliest specialised name
was "studium" or "studium generale"--a term that Denifle has traced back
as far as 1233. At the outset, no restriction upon the establishment
anywhere of a "studium generale" existed, but by the latter half of the
thirteenth century this unrestricted liberty came to an end. The idea
gradually grew that the erection of new "studia generalia" was a papal or
imperial prerogative; hence in 1224 the Emperor Frederick II. founded a
"studium generale" at Naples; in 1229 Gregory IX. established one at
Toulouse, whilst in 1244 or 1245 Innocent III. founded a "studium
generale" in the Pontifical Court itself.[396] In 1292 even the old
universities--Bologna and Paris--received formal recognition of their
existence by Bulls of Nicholas IV. "From this time, the notion gradually
gained ground that the 'jus ubique docendi' was of the essence of a
'studium generale,' and that no school which did not possess this
privilege could obtain it without a Bull from Emperor or Pope."[397]

Turning to the question of the origin of the University of Oxford, it may
be noted that though many mythical origins trace the existence of the
university to a very early time in the history of the country, yet, in
fact, Oxford did not become known as a centre of learning until the
twelfth century. The earliest definite reference, which has been traced so
far to the existence of any school at Oxford, dates to some time in the
decade 1110-1120, when Theobald of Etampes is described as a "Master of
Arts at Oxford."[398] Apparently, Thurstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, had
referred to Theobald the question whether monks could legally impropriate
churches and tithe. His reply was in the negative on the ground that the
monk was one who had retired from the world, and "by choosing the monastic
habit and putting the world aside had judged himself unworthy of the
dignity of an ecclesiastic."[399] This provoked an anonymous reply which
incidentally contains the statements that Theobald held a scholastic post
of some importance. "You, yourself, a nobody, are you not said to have
taught as a master sixty or one hundred clerks, more or less?"[400] This
statement supports an hypothesis that the schools at Oxford must have been
flourishing at the time.

A new era in the development of Oxford may be traced from C. 1135 when
Robert Pullen, a theologian, lectured there.[401] Then, at a date between
1145 and 1150, the jurist Vacarius, "a Lombard by birth, an upright man
and a lawyer," was teaching Roman Law somewhere in England.[402] At some
time or other he also taught at Oxford and is stated to have been the
first to teach Roman Law in that city.[403] The university must be
regarded as being fully in existence by 1189, as Giraldus Cambrensis
lectured there about that date on "Ireland" to "all the doctors of the
different faculties and such of their pupils as were of greater fame or
note" on one day, and to the "rest of the scholars" on another.[404] After
this date, the references are numerous and conclusive.

Two main theories have been advanced to account for the rise of a "studium
generale" at Oxford. One group of writers[405] connects its origin with
some one or other of the conventual schools at Oxford. By analogy with the
origin of the European universities which are considered "primary," they
suggest that the Church was the foster-mother of the university, and that
the earliest schools were those in connection with St. Frideswide and the
abbeys of Oseney and Eynesham. The other theory (advanced by Rashdall)
connects the rise of a university at Oxford with a migration from Paris,
which is supposed to have occurred in or about the year 1167. In support
of this hypothesis it is pointed out that about that date Henry II. (who
was then engaged in a conflict with his Archbishop, Thomas Becket)
required "that all scholars be compelled to return to their country or be
deprived of their benefices."[406] Rashdall also points out that from this
time onwards we hear of sermons being preached expressly for "clerkes from
various parts of England."[407]

Both of these theories are open to objections. The evidence in favour of a
migration is based upon a series of assumptions; if a migration of this
character really occurred it is difficult to account for the silence of
all the English chroniclers on an event which must have appealed to the
imagination; no record is available of any clerk who left Paris on
account of the edict, or of any clerk going from Paris to Oxford. On the
other hand, it must be admitted that the theory of gradual development is
also open to objection. It is vague and indefinite as to details of the
growth of the "studium generale"; no authoritative explanation is given
for the independent position of the early Oxford masters, and for their
freedom from all immediate ecclesiastical control.

The question of the relationship of the university to the Church needs
careful consideration. A great deal depends upon the account of the origin
of the university which is accepted. If it is maintained, that from the
time of its origin, it was under ecclesiastical supervision, then it is
difficult to account for the spirit of independence which was manifested
during the period that immediately preceded the Legatine Ordinance of
1214. However, by that ordinance ecclesiastical control was definitely
asserted; the scholars were made subject to the jurisdiction of the
Church, and the position of chancellor was established--probably to mark
the subjection of the masters to episcopal control.[408]

The chancellor of the university was, at first, merely the representative
of the bishop possessing only such powers as were delegated to him. As
long as Robert Grosseteste was Bishop of Lincoln, the relationship between
the university and the bishop was most harmonious. Soon after his death,
however, disputes began to arise between the two authorities.[409] The
details of the conflict may be omitted here; the fact that needs to be
noticed is, that in connection with the dispute, the chancellor (though in
theory a representative of the bishop) becomes identified with the
interests of the university. Four years later we find the chancellor
exercising the power of excommunication on his own responsibility, a power
which was subsequently confirmed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.[410] The
Archbishop also took the part of the chancellor in a dispute with
reference to the exercise of certain privileges, which arose between the
university and the bishop in 1280; the bishop was practically compelled to
yield on all the points in dispute. From that time onwards, the chancellor
was in practice independent of the bishop.[411] The last phase of the
struggle between the bishop and the university is concerned with questions
arising out of the confirmation of the election of the chancellor. The
dispute first arose in 1288 and recurred with successive elections. The
question was finally settled in 1368 when the Pope decreed that the
confirmation of the chancellorship by the Bishop of Lincoln might be
dispensed with.[412] Ever since that date, the university of Oxford has
enjoyed the power of electing and confirming its highest honour without
reference to any ecclesiastical authority.

An important event in the history of the university occurred in 1209. The
murder of a woman by a scholar led to two or three of the scholars being
hanged by the townsmen with the tacit consent of the king. "On this nearly
3,000 clerks, masters, and scholars alike, left Oxford, not a single one
of the whole university remaining. Some of them went to study the liberal
arts at Cambridge, some to Reading, but the town of Oxford was left
empty."[413] Oxford remained practically destitute of scholars till 1213
when the townsmen humbled themselves, an event contributed to by King
John's submission to the pope. Rashdall states that the ordinances issued
by the papal legate in 1214 constituted the first official recognition of
the university which has come down to us.[414]

By this time Oxford had become a recognised centre of learning and had
attained to such importance that its opinion on disputed matters was
highly esteemed. Thus, in 1252, Henry III. submitted to the university the
question in dispute between Raleigh, Bishop of Norwich, and himself;
Archbishop Boniface of Canterbury went to Oxford in 1252 in order to make
known to the university the conduct of the Bishop of Winchester, so that
through the influence of the university the news might be spread
throughout the world of learning.

Passing next to the university of Cambridge, we find that its origin also
is a matter of doubt. Here, again, two theories have been advanced--one
which upholds the idea of gradual development, the other which bases the
origin of the university on a migration from Oxford.

The earliest extant reference to a university at Cambridge dates from
1231. In that year Henry III. sent a communication to the sheriff of
Cambridge, authorising him to take action in the case of "divers
disorderly and incorrigible clerks" ... and also "divers criminals in the
guise of clerks pretending to be what they are not."[415] Evidence also
exists to show, that in 1276, the Bishop of Ely defined the jurisdiction
of the Chancellor of Cambridge University, the Archdeacon of Ely, and the
Grammar Schoolmaster.[416]

The early history of the university of Cambridge, like that of its sister
university, is largely a history of disputes, of feuds between the
townsmen and the burgesses, of quarrels between the opposing "nations," of
disputes arising out of disorders on the part of the students, and of the
struggles for independence of ecclesiastical control. The last of these is
the only one which concerns us here, but as the matter is so fully dealt
with elsewhere[417] it will suffice to point out here that the growth of
freedom from episcopal supervision was slower at Cambridge than at Oxford.
It was not until the close of the fourteenth century that the power of the
Bishop of Ely to decide internal disputes between the chancellor and the
masters, and between the various faculties and to hear appeals from the
chancellor, was dispensed with, and it was not until 1432 that the
university was entirely independent of the direct control of the Church.

In this chapter we have given the various hypotheses which have been
advanced, to account for the origin of the English universities. Whichever
hypothesis we accept, the important fact is that a class of teachers
gradually grew up in this country, and that these teachers, influenced by
the gild spirit which was particularly strong in the twelfth century,
ultimately formed themselves into a gild which became strong enough to
gain recognition. It is impossible to point to any definite charter or
document by which this was effected; it is not until the university was in
actual being and admitting to its degrees those teachers whom it
considered qualified for admission, that we have any real evidence of its

The development of the universities had three important effects, so far as
the special subject of this investigation is concerned.

(1) The licensing of teachers passed out of the hands of the Church and
was undertaken by the universities. With the general recognition of the
universities, the licence to teach which was considered valuable was the
licence granted by the university and not that of bishop or cathedral
chancellor. It is interesting to note that the power of conferring degrees
now possessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury is a relic of the power
which he formerly exercised of granting recognition to teachers in the
diocese of Canterbury.

(2) The theological schools of the chancellor gradually ceased to exist,
as the theological teaching at the universities began to develop. Since
specialised teaching centred itself at the universities, and as the
demands upon the time of the chancellor became more insistent with the
increasing work of the cathedral and diocese, together with the fact that
the teaching function of the chancellor was gradually being lost sight of,
so it came about that the theological schools of the chancellor became of
less and less note until at last it is impossible to trace any real signs
of their existence.

(3) The universities, and not the Church, became recognised as the centre
of the intellectual activity of the country. As we have shown, the Church
was originally regarded as the custodian of all interests which might be
conceived of as intellectual. "Religion and letters" were considered to be
identical; gradually the principle of division of labour manifested
itself, and the Church was left to concern itself with its spiritual
functions, leaving to others the care of those matters which may be
considered as exclusively relating to the development of the intellectual
well-being of man.



At an early stage in the development of the English nation there became
manifest a tendency for persons who possessed certain interests in common,
to organise themselves into a species of club or association. To such
associations the term "gild" has been applied. Mr. Toulmin Smith maintains
that the early English gilds came into existence for the purpose of
joining all classes together, for assisting the needy and promoting
objects of common welfare. These gilds were inspired by religious motives,
and were closely associated with the Church.[418] The first three English
gilds of which records are now available, are those of Abbotsbury,[419]
Exeter, and Cambridge. The earliest available statement of the purposes of
gilds appears to date from 858, when the Archbishop of Rheims, in giving
particulars of the gilds of that date in France states that they "unite
for offerings, for mutual assistance, for funeral services for the dead,
for alms, and for other deeds of piety."[420] The number of these
associations rapidly increased. Brentano states that at one time during
the Middle Ages, there were twelve gilds in Norwich and Lynn respectively.
Gallienus counts 80 gilds in Cologne, Melle about 70 at Lübeck, and
Staphorst over 100 at Hamburg.[421] Gilds were so very numerous and so
marked a characteristic of the social life of the period that it is not to
be wondered at if exaggerated statements were made as to their number.
"In Norfolk, the most densely populated county of England, Taylor is said
to have counted no less than 909 gilds, and in Lyme Regis alone 75."[422]

It is important to remember that the most prominent characteristic of
gilds was the religious element. As a matter of fact it is impossible to
conceive of any social organisation which was entirely divorced from
religion, existing at this time. Hartshorn states "No matter what the
specific _raison d'être_ was of any gild, it necessarily had a religious
aspect. Each had its patron, in whose honour candles were burnt. Some had
as their object the aid of poor scholars, the maintenance of schools or
the payment of schoolmasters, the presentation of religious plays, as even
to-day that of Oberammergau in South Bavaria, or the repair of roads and
bridges. The Frith Gilds had rules for helping the gild-brothers in every
need. The statutes of the English gilds frequently mention loans made to
needy brothers with but one condition, that it be repaid when there was no
more need of it."[423]

Before proceeding to consider the educational significance of the gilds,
we may refer here, for the sake of convenience, to two subsequent
developments of the gild movement--the gild-merchant and the craft gild.

In the years which immediately followed the Conquest the more important
towns of England suffered greatly, partly on account of the chances of war
and partly on account of the policy of castle-building associated with the
English kings of the Norman period. However, as soon as the Norman rule
was firmly established, an internal peace, such as had not been previously
enjoyed, was secured for this country; the towns, consequently, made rapid
progress, and in one commercial centre after another a gild-merchant was
set up.[424]

A gild-merchant came into existence for reasons similar to those which
brought into being the religious and social gilds. There was a
consciousness of a community of interest, and a common object which could
be secured more effectively through co-operation. It is foreign to our
purpose to attempt to examine critically the origin of gilds-merchant, and
so it must suffice for us simply to state that their history has been
traced back to corporations of merchants and artisans, which existed in
Rome under Numa Pompilius, and which were termed "collegia" or "corpora
opificum et artificium."[425] In France, the first gild-merchant was
formed in 1070, and came into existence for the purpose of protecting the
free townsmen against the oppression of the nobility. Gradually their
number increased, and with the growth in their number their purposes
became more clearly defined, and the custom developed that the gild should
receive formal recognition from recognised authority. Thus the traders of
Paris formed the "Hanse des marchandes de L'eau" and the privileges they
claimed were confirmed by Louis VII. in 1170.

The first purposive mention of a gild-merchant in England dates from C.
1093.[426] The general line of development seems to have been that such
associations gradually came into existence at various centres; they
defined their purposes, their claims, and the exclusive privileges they
desired. When a favourable opportunity presented itself, they secured from
the king or other lords the grant of a charter which was necessary for
legal recognition. Henry I. seems to have been the first king who
systematically granted these charters; during the reign of Henry II.,
charters were obtained by many of the principal towns of the country,
notably Bristol, Durham, Lincoln, Carlisle, Oxford, Salisbury, and
Southampton; in each of these charters the recognition of a gild-merchant
was an important feature.[427] Ashley writes: "In spite of the paucity of
evidence, the existence of a merchant gild can be definitely proved in 92
towns out of the 160 represented at one time or other in the parliaments
of Edward I. No considerable name--with two exceptions, namely London and
the Cinque Ports--is wanting from the list. It is impossible not to
conclude that every town, down to those that were not much more than
villages, had its merchant gild. This fact of itself is enough to prove
the great part it must have played in the town life of the time."[428]

A third type of gild--the craft gild--begins to appear early in the
twelfth century. These gilds become more numerous as the century advances.
In the thirteenth century they are a common feature of industrial life.
The circumstances which gave rise to the origin of gilds of this character
are still in dispute. The popular view is that the gilds-merchant came
into existence, first of all, in order to secure protection against the
feudal lords. Gradually they became exclusive and so rendered necessary
the formation of craft gilds for the protection of the common interest of
those who were engaged in crafts in opposition to the interests of those
who were concerned in the sale of the commodities produced.

Ashley points out the difficulties involved in this theory,[429] and
suggests an alternative hypothesis. He states that originally membership
of the town assembly was bound up with the possession of land within the
town boundaries, and that membership of the gild-merchant was practically
identical with citizenship. In course of time, there came into existence a
class of landless inhabitants of the town, who consequently could not be
regarded as burgesses, and therefore could not be admitted into the
gild-merchant without the payment of fees. Some of these people would turn
to handicrafts. The same spirit of community of interest which produced
the religious gilds and the gilds-merchant respectively would also operate
to induce the craftsmen to form a guild of their own.[430]

The first craft gilds which come into notice, were those of the weavers;
the weavers of London date their charter from the reign of Henry I. There
were also gilds of weavers in London, Lincoln, and Oxford in existence
before 1130.[431]

Just as the gild-merchants obtained a legal recognition of their
existence, so the craft gilds also in course of time received recognition
from the king, whilst those gilds which were not authorised were amerced
as "adulterine." No attempt, however, seems to have been made forcibly to
dissolve the adulterine gilds.

The only definite provision contained in these charters of recognition
was, that no one within the specified area should follow the craft unless
he were a member of the gild. This provision, however, involved the
imposition of conditions of membership, and a general power of supervision
over the members of the craft.

We are concerned in this thesis only with the educational significance of
the gilds; hence we need not discuss further their economic aspects. It
is, however, interesting to note that the social value of these gilds
survived their economic functions. Judged from an economic standpoint,
they began to degenerate during the fourteenth century. They had come into
existence in response to the impulse arising out of a vague sense of the
value of association of membership in a corporate body; against this
spirit, the sense of individualism, which particularly manifested itself
at the time of the Reformation, asserted itself and ultimately triumphed.

The gild system was of considerable importance from the point of view of
education. We may note that the gild spirit manifested itself among
teachers. They organised themselves into a form of association. Gradually,
they laid down the conditions of membership of their body. In course of
time, legal recognition was received from pope or emperor or king, and the
embryo university gradually obtains general recognition. "The rise of the
universities," says Rashdall, "was merely a wave of that great movement
towards association which began to sweep over the cities of Europe in the
course of the eleventh century."

We may next note that the gilds we have described proved to be the means
by which the growing social consciousness of the nation evinced an
interest in education. The term "social consciousness" is vague, and is
capable of being variously defined. The origin of the phenomenon may be
traced to the gregarious instinct, when the resulting consciousness is
merely the "consciousness of kind," to use Professor Giddings' phrase. A
higher stage of development is reached when an individual member of a
group recognises the relationship in which he stands to the other members
of the group, together with a realisation of the duties which such
relationship involves. A still higher degree of development of the social
consciousness results when the group as a whole recognises that it
possesses social duties and responsibilities.

We may trace roughly four stages in the growth of a national social
consciousness. First, there is the stage at which the individual cares
only for himself, a second stage is attained when family claims are
recognised, a still higher stage when a duty to a social group is
perceived, a fourth stage is reached when social organisations are formed
for discharging more effectively social duties.

The earliest of these social organisations in point of time--and the most
important from the standpoint of education--were the social gilds. These
gilds, as we have shown, were essentially religious. They were a
manifestation of what may be described as a "democratic religious
impulse." The term is admittedly clumsy, but it denotes a desire
proceeding from the people to carry out religious duties apart from the
official requirements of the Church. On a large scale we can see this
force at work in the movements initiated by St. Francis of Assisi and St.
Dominic respectively, or, to take a more recent example, in the Methodist
revival in the Church of England. To return to our period, we find that
men and women, impelled by a spirit of association, formed themselves into
a gild in order to carry out more effectively their religious and social
responsibilities. We particularly wish to note that, in some cases, these
responsibilities included the making of provision for the education of the

It is not possible yet to indicate the full extent to which these social
gilds made such provision, but it is probable that they did much more for
education than is commonly conceived. Our chief means of discovering what
was accomplished, is by an examination of the returns which were made when
the gilds were being dissolved. From an examination of these records, we
are led to the conclusion that, after an association or gild had been
formed for specified purposes the general method of procedure was, that
the members of the gild made certain payments to secure the services of
one or more priests, who were to devote themselves to carrying out such
objects as the gild had in view. These aims frequently included the
keeping of a school.

We can find this illustrated by a consideration of the information
available[432] with regard to the Gild of Kalendars, Bristol. In 1318 the
Bishop of Gloucester issued an inquisition as to the rights and privileges
of this gild. The report of the commissioners states that "the beginning
of the fraternity exceeds the memory of man," and it was established that
it existed before the Conquest. The gild was formerly called the "Gild or
Brotherhood of the Community of the clergy and people of Bristol" and
received a licence from the Cardinal-legate Gualo in 1216. Among other
works carried out by this association is mentioned the maintenance of "a
school for Jewes and other strangers, to be brought up and instructed in
christianitie under the said fraternitie."[433] Here then is established
the fact that gilds, as apart from churches, conceived themselves as
responsible for education at least as early as the thirteenth century.

We may also consider the Palmers Gild which was founded in 1284. This gild
supported a "warden, 7 priestes, 4 singyng men, twoo deacons, syx
Queristers, ... 32 pore Almes people" as well as a schoolmaster to teach

As additional instances of schools which were established through the
agency of gilds we may enumerate the school at Maldon which is supposed to
have been founded by the Fraternity of the Assumption of the Virgin,[435]
and the school at Raleigh, which was founded by the Trinity Gild in
1388-9.[436] The chantry certificate relating to this gild states that
"lands were put in feoffement by diverse and sundry persons to ffinde a
prieste ... to teach a fre schole their to instruct youth. Which seide
town of Raleigh is a very greate and populous towne."[437] These instances
readily demonstrate the democratic appreciation of education, and that
among the purposes for which people joined themselves together in
voluntary association was the provision of facilities for education.

We pass to an important topic when we consider the work of the
gilds-merchant and the craft gilds. If we can trace any educational
activities on the part of these associations then we can trace the origin
of the interest taken by the civic communities and by organised labour
respectively in education.

Though it is an error to conceive of the gild-merchant as identical with
the municipal authority yet as Gross points out the distinction between
them was barely perceptible. Now, if we can show that the gilds-merchant
in some cases supported schools, then we have shown the interest of the
civic community (as apart from the work of the Church) in educational
matters. The only specific case of a gild-merchant taking an interest in
education which we have been able to find is that of the gild-merchant of
York. The chantry certificate of the city of York states that "the
governour and kepers of the mysterye of merchauntes of the cytie of York,"
co-operated in the foundation of a hospital which had as one of its
objects the maintenance of "two poore scolers."[438]

Our difficulty in dealing with this topic arises from the fact that the
"founder" of schools mentioned in the available documents is so very
frequently not the real founder. It is for this reason that Edward VI.,
Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and others have been regarded as the founders
of schools which cannot in any real sense be attributed to them. In the
case of gilds, we find the names of certain persons mentioned as the
founders of various charitable trusts without a distinct statement of the
fact that they were acting simply as representatives of an association.

We are, therefore, driven to consider the full objects of the charitable
trust under discussion. If the objects mentioned are mainly religious or
eleemosynary, then it is probable that the trust created was
ecclesiastical in its origin, but if these characteristics are not
definitely present, or if the purposes specified by the trust include
duties which should form a part of the duty of the municipality, then we
consider that the gild should be classed under the municipal gilds.

With this object in view, we may examine the chantry certificate for the
town of Wisbech, one of the fullest and most complete of the chantry
certificates and one which would have well served as a model to others who
had the duty of drawing up these returns. In answer to the question of the
founder of the gild, the certificate states the gild was founded in the
reign of Richard II. by certain clerks whose names are specified "with
other mo." This last phrase is significant as it supports the inference
that the gild was formed by the citizens of the town, but that the clergy,
as the natural leaders of the community, would append their names first to
the document.

The objects of the gild, which are specified in this return may be briefly

     (1) The maintenance of Divine service.

     (2) Prayer for the souls of the faithful departed.

     (3) Maintenance of a Grammar School.

     (4) Relief of the Poor.

     (5) Maintenance of almshouses.

     (6) Repair of the church.

     (7) Maintenance of dykes "for the sauftie bothe of the sayd towne and
         14 other towns."[439]

Here we have an effective enumeration of the duties of a municipal
authority, and when the date of the founding of the gild and the absence
of any legislation which compelled the carrying out of such tasks are
considered, then the duties specified point to a high degree of social
responsibility having been attained at Wisbech at this date. We may,
therefore, conclude that the gild at Wisbech was not simply a religious
association for purely spiritual purposes, but was an association of the
civil community for municipal purposes. That these purposes included
certain religious functions is not a matter of surprise. Religion in the
Middle Ages was more closely interwoven with the life of the people than
it is to-day.

The gild existing at Stratford-on-Avon seems also to have been a citizen
gild. Its origin can be traced to a date earlier than 1295. In the return
made to the sheriff's proclamation in 1389, it was stated that the gild
was begun at a time beyond the memory of man. The affairs of the gild were
administered by two wardens who were elected by the members. The main
objects of the gild seem to have been the maintenance of priests to
celebrate divine service and the keeping of a grammar school.[440]

The chantry certificate of the city of Worcester further supports the
contention that the municipal authority provided a school. The certificate
referred to was signed by the master of the gild, two bailiffs of the
city, an alderman, a citizen, and two stewards of the gild. It is notable
that not a single ecclesiastic signs the return. The school, moreover,
was kept in the Gild Hall of the city, and was apparently a successful
one, as there were over 100 scholars who attended it. This return, coupled
with the fact that Worcester was a cathedral city, raises several points
of interest which it is hoped that future research will elucidate. From
whom was the necessary authority to establish the school derived? Was the
school the outcome of a dispute between the civic and the ecclesiastical
authorities, as was the school at Exeter in the seventeenth century?
_Prima facie_, facts certainly point in that direction.[441]

We have quoted the case of these three gilds to support the contention
that it had begun to be realised that it was the duty of the municipal
authorities to make provision for education. A full investigation into
this subject can only gradually be made, as the various municipal
documents are examined with this object in view. We may, however, note
here that the "Gilds of Holy Trinity and St. George" in Warwick were
responsible for the continuance of Warwick School,[442] that the burgesses
of Coventry seem to have maintained a school,[443] that a grammar school
at Ipswich was founded by the municipality,[444] that the civic
authorities at Bridgenorth were in charge of the schools,[445] and that
the school at Plymouth was founded by the corporation.[446]

The work of the craft gilds for education still remains to be considered.
We find that at Shrewsbury, the Drapers' Gild, the Mercers' Gild, the
Shermen Gild, the Shoemakers' Gild, the Tailors' Gild, and the Weavers'
Gild, each supported a chantry priest at either the church of St. Mary, or
St. Chad, or St. Julian. By analogy with other cases, we assume that these
chantry priests acted as schoolmasters to the children of the members of
the craft gilds.[447]

A new departure was instituted when a successful member of a craft gild
bequeathed money to it for the purpose of endowing a school at a specified
place. Thus, in 1443, John Abbot made the Mercers' Craft the trustees of
a school to be founded at Farthinghoe in Northamptonshire.[448] A school
at Lancaster was founded in 1469 by John Gardyner, burgess and probably
miller, of Lancaster.[449] In 1487, Sir Edmund Shaw or Sha "cytezen
goldsmyth and alderman and late mayer of the citee of London" devised
money to the Goldsmiths' Company for the purpose of establishing and
maintaining a grammar school at Stockport.[450] Then, in 1505, another
Lord Mayor, Sir Bartholomew Read, founded by will a school at Cromer and
also appointed the Goldsmiths' Company as trustees.[451]

The general conclusion we seem to be justified in drawing from these
instances is, that the value of education was being more and more
realised, and that the duty of making provision for education ceased to be
regarded as exclusively the function of the Church. This does not mean
that there existed an idea that education was not still regarded as
something which should be closely associated with the Church, but rather,
that the idea had originated and developed that organisations which
represented the municipality and handicrafts respectively, also possessed
a responsibility in making provision for the education of the young.

In addition to making provision for schools, the gilds were important
educative forces in other directions. They constituted one of the most
important agencies for breaking down social exclusiveness and "in
transmitting social manners and ideals from a narrower to a wider circle."
As the gilds had increased in number, so they increased in wealth and
importance. They built halls which were the external testimony to the
position they occupied. At times they entertained kings and other magnates
of the realm and admitted persons of standing to honorary membership.
Music and the drama were also fostered by the gilds. Several gilds existed
in England[452] with the object of developing an interest in music. The
performance of dramatic representations was a common feature of the

Membership of the gilds also proved to be a training for the performance
of the duties of citizenship and of society, as the members of such
organisations were brought into intimate relation with a wider circle than
their own individual interests would furnish, and they would be required
to take part in the transactions of the business of the gild. It is
noteworthy that gilds were organised on a social basis, and that women
were admitted to the membership of the merchant and craft gilds, as well
as to that of the social and religious gilds. Thus at Kingston, the Gild
of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1357 by 10 men and 13
women,[453] and the Gild of Corpus Christi founded in the same town in
1338 included 18 women among its 43 founders.[454] The sons and daughters
of these founders might be admitted to membership of the gilds without
initiatory payment.[455] Again, at Coventry, the names of women as well as
men are mentioned in the Charter of the gild merchant.[456]

One other point may be mentioned, a point which has been described as "the
most important educational service of the gilds." This service was the
growth of the system of apprenticeship. Originally, apprenticeship was
merely a private contract between an individual and his prospective
master. With the development of gilds, regulations specifying the
conditions of such apprenticeship began to be issued, _e.g._ the master
craftsman might teach his art to as many members of his family as he
pleased, but he could only have one other apprentice. Moreover, from the
outset, the apprentice was under the special protection of the gild which
was practically a court of appeal in the event of any serious complaint on
the part of the apprentice. Important, however, as this topic is, a
further consideration of it would lead us beyond the special limits of our



One of the characteristics of the ecclesiastical life of this country
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was the institution of
chantries; altogether upwards of 2,000 of them are known to have been
founded during the period. As chantry priests played an important part in
connection with the provision of educational facilities in England, the
topic of chantries calls for careful consideration.

A chantry may be defined as a foundation for the purpose of providing a
priest who shall pray daily, primarily for the soul of the founder, and
secondly for the souls of all Christian people. The earliest instances of
chantries definitely recognised as such, date from the latter part of the
thirteenth century. The "Taxatio of Pope Nicholas" only mentions two; one
which was founded by Hugh of Lincoln, who died in 1225, and the other
which existed at Hatherton in the county of Warwick. The custom gradually
grew, but did not become common until the fifteenth century, the period in
which the number of such institutions largely increased.[457]

The idea of offering prayers for the souls of the faithful departed was
not a new one. The practice is at least as old as the institution of the
Christian faith, and is a custom which is perfectly natural to those who
believe in the immortality of the soul, and a state of future personal
existence. It had also been a custom, "from time immemorial," that
prayers for the souls of the founders were regularly offered up in
religious houses and other ecclesiastical foundations. A list of donors
and benefactors was carefully preserved, and prayers for their good estate
were offered up for them while they were living, and for the repose of
their soul after death. Thus, the "Catalogus Benefactorum" of St. Albans
Monastery, with its detailed account of every benefaction, is still
preserved in the British Museum.[458] The distinctive mark of a chantry
was, that it was expressly founded for the apparently selfish purpose of
making financial provision to secure the prayers of others for the future
well-being of the soul of the founder.

But though this selfish and personal purpose may have been the dominating
thought in the case of some foundations, yet it is probable that it was
not the only purpose of the majority of these institutions. The primary
point to be remembered is that it is a laudable desire to wish to
perpetuate one's memory, especially if the memorial should take a form
which will benefit the social community. In the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, the prevailing method of doing this was by establishing a

In attempting to investigate the reasons why chantries were founded, we
are faced from the outset with a difficulty. The licence in mortmain, by
which permission to assign lands for the support of the chantry priest was
effected, scarcely ever mentions any other object for the memorial except
the chantry itself, whilst the foundation statutes, which enumerate more
specifically the purpose of the founder, are very rarely forthcoming.

An example will make this clear. In 1414 Langley, Bishop of Durham, issues
to himself an episcopal licence empowering the founding of the chantry he
wished to endow. In the same year he, in his temporal capacity as Earl of
a County Palatine, grants a licence in mortmain, authorising the chantry
to hold lands and to make the chantry priest a corporation.[459] Both
these records are available, but in neither of them is there any
reference to the _real_ objects for which the chantry was to be
instituted. Consequently, if further information was not forthcoming, we
would assume that all that the Bishop of Durham had done was to evince, in
some tangible manner, his belief in the efficacy of masses for the

Fortunately, however, there still survives a lengthy deed,[460] dated the
day after the licences to which we have referred were granted. This deed
specifies that the priests appointed to the chantry were to keep schools
of grammar and of song respectively, in addition to offering prayers for
the souls of the departed, and that a certain sum of money out of the
proceeds of the chantry was to be used for the purpose of distribution to
the poor.[461]

Strangely enough, we are dependent for information as to the purposes of
chantries, on the instrument which brought about their destruction. In
1545 was passed the Chantries' Act of Henry VIII. This Act began by
reciting that many people had been appropriating the endowments of
"Colleges, Freechapelles, Chantries, Hospitalles, Fraternities,
Brotherhoods, Guilds and Stipendarie Priests," and that the expenses of
the war with France and Scotland had been heavy, and then proceeded to
give authority to the king to send out commissioners to investigate the
nature of these endowments and afterwards to take such action as he
thought fit.

"Apparently, Henry had a fit of reaction after the Chantries' Act was
passed. He is reported to have dissolved Parliament with a speech in which
he said he was going to reform chantries, not destroy them."[462]

A new Chantries' Act was passed in the first parliament of Edward VI.[463]
The object of this Act was essentially different from that of its
predecessor. The preamble to the Act specified that it was thought that "a
great part of superstition and errors in Christian religion has been
brought into the minds and estimation of men, by reason of their
ignorance of the very true and perfect Salvation through Christ Jesus, and
by devising and fancying vain opinions of purgatory and masses
satisfactory to be done for them which be departed, the which doctrine and
vain opinion by nothing more is maintained and upholden than by the abuse
of trentals, chantries, and other provisions made for the continuance of
the said blindness and ignorance."

The Act proceeded to vest in the Crown "all Colleges, Free Chapels and
Chantries"; "all Lands given for the finding of a Stipendiary Priest for
ever"; "all payments made by corporations, gilds, fraternities, companies,
or fellowships, of mysteries or crafts."

A commission was to be issued, under the Great Seal, to investigate the
origin and purpose of the various chantries, etc., to arrange for the
continuance of such charitable objects as they deemed necessary, and to
assign pensions to the incumbents whose office was abolished.

It is to the returns that were made to these commissioners that we are
mainly indebted for a knowledge of the objects and purposes for which the
chantries were provided. The purposes, which are most frequently
mentioned, are:--

      1. Provision of a priest to teach children freely.

      2. Assistance of the parish priest.

      3. Care of bridges.

      4. Relief of the poor.

      5. Provision of almshouses.

      6. Repairing the parish church.

      7. Equipping soldiers.

      8. Repairing the sea walls.

      9. Provision of lamps.

     10. Provision of dowries.

Of these purposes, the most important was probably the provision of an
endowment to enable a priest to keep a school. Mr. Leach, who was the
first writer to realise fully the significance of the chantries in
relation to the provision of facilities for education, states that "in
all 259 schools appear in these records."[464] Two or three examples will
serve to make clear the nature of the provision for education made by the
chantry bequests.


Cantaria Margarite Comitisse Rychemond et Derbie matris Domini Regis
Henrici Septimi.

Memorandum that this was foundyd to the intent that the incumbent thereof
should say masse for the solles of the founders and to be a Scolemaster,
to teche frely almanner of childern Gramer within the said College."[465]


Gryndoures chauntrye.

Foundyd to Fynde a preste and a gramer scole half free for ever and to
kepe a scoller sufficientt to teche under hym contynually."[466]


The Colledg or Spones Chauntree.

Founded to mayntene 2 Prestes, beyng men of good knoweledg. The one to
preach the Worde of God. And the other to kepe a Grammar Scole."[467]

Our task is now that of attempting to interpret the reasons why the
chantries were founded.

We must give due weight to the ostensible object, which must be also
regarded as the primary one. A widespread belief in the efficacy of
prayers for the departed existed; unfortunately, there also prevailed,
apparently, a belief in the value of hired prayers. It must be clearly
realised that it was for the purpose of securing prayer for the welfare
of the living and the repose of the departed soul that these chantries
were founded.

But, side by side with this main object, there also existed in the minds
of the majority of the founders a desire to benefit the community. We have
already enumerated the main directions in which it was proposed to effect
the benefit. The remarkable fact is, that, in as many as 259 cases,
education was regarded as of such importance that specific arrangements
were made to provide for it.

In a large number of cases, it is specified that the proceeds of the
chantry are to be devoted to the support of a priest to assist the parish
priest. We venture to suggest that there is to be found here a clue to the
explanation of many of the unspecified trusts and particularly of those in
which it is expressly laid down that it was a purpose of the chantry to
provide a priest for educational purposes. We have previously shown that
it was a recognised duty of the parish priest to keep a school. The growth
in the duties of a parish priest would make it difficult for him
effectively to discharge this function; possibly, in some cases, he might
be incapable of doing so; moreover, the progress of the universities had
caused the profession of a teacher to be a definite one. Our analysis of
the social structure[468] has enabled us to realise that the increasing
complexity of our industrial system and the social and economic changes
which occurred, had caused education to be more necessary and to be
esteemed more highly. The "Paston Letters" show that the dependents and
servants of great households were able to read and write.[469] Thorold
Rogers states that the accounts of bailiffs afford proof that they were
not illiterate, and he also evidences that artisans were able to write out
an account.[470] We must not, however, assume that a knowledge of reading
and writing, though probably widespread, was universal. It is interesting
to note that, of the twenty witnesses who were examined in connection with
the enquiry touching Sir John Fastolf's will in 1446, eleven were
described as "illiterate"; they consisted of five husbandmen, one
gentleman, one smith, one cook, one roper, one tailor, and one mariner.
The description "literatus" was applied to seven persons, two husbandmen,
two merchants, and one whose occupation was not specified.[471] The two
remaining witnesses could both read and write.

Our hypothesis is, that the founder of the chantry desired to be of
assistance, both to the parish priest himself, and to the children of the
parish. He sought to accomplish this by leaving lands to provide an
endowment to support a priest who would relieve the parish priest of his
duties as a teacher. This hypothesis would also help to explain the
gradual disappearance of the parish priest as the responsible master of
the parochial school, a disappearance which would be accelerated by the
increasing recognition of the fact that teaching was a specialist
function, to be entrusted to a person expressly appointed for that

A most important and noteworthy feature of some chantries is, that in
certain parishes they were founded by the inhabitants themselves, for the
express purpose of providing educational facilities. We do not imply that
the religious element was lacking, or that the doctrine of the efficacy of
prayer for the departed was lightly held. In all probability, the
religious motive was a strong impelling force. For our present purpose,
the significant fact is, that in certain communities some of the
inhabitants founded chantries with the provision of facilities for
education as the expressed object. We have been able to trace the origin
of the following schools to the action of the inhabitants, but it is not
claimed that the list is exhaustive.

  Aldeborough.          Wragby.
  Basingstoke.          Bridgenorth.
  Deritend.             East Retford.
  Eccleshall.           Lancaster.
  Eye.                  Truro.
  Gargrave.             Coggeshall.
  Northallerton.        Thaxted.
  Odiham.               Prittlewell.
  Staunton.             Berkhampstead.

We may now consider the establishment of typical cases.


The school at Basingstoke was founded "by the decision of the inhabitantes
at the begynnyng."[472] Apparently, the inhabitants of the town had formed
themselves into a gild called the "Brotherhood of the Holy Ghost" for this
special purpose. Their school can be traced back to 1244, and is the
earliest school of which at present we have any knowledge, whose origin
may be attributed to the enterprise of the inhabitants.


This school existed before 1321, as is evidenced by the fact that in that
year the master was appointed to the school by the prior of Durham.[473]
It was founded by "certen well disposed persones--for the better bringinge
up of the children of the towne."[474]


The existence of this school can be traced back as far as 1448, and is due
to the enterprise of "the inhabitans of the same hamlet cauled


The first available reference to a school at Lancaster occurs in a deed in
the priory chartulary which dates from the reign of Henry III.[476] The
school was "ordeyned and founded by the Mayor and burgesses of


"Having no foundacion but presented by certain feoffees of severall landes
gyven by syndry persons of the said paroch."[478]


"The enhabitants of Eccleshall did among themselfes, without
incorporacion, erect two Gyylds ... and one of the same priestes have
alwais kept a scole and taught pore mens children of the same parishe


"Founded by the predecessors of the bailiffs, burgesses, and Commywalts of
the said towne."[480]


"Founded by the inhabitants there."[481]


"Founded of the devocion of the inhabitantes ... to the intente to teche
children gramer."[482]


"Founded by the parishenours there upon theyr Devocion." It was the
purpose of this chantry that the priest appointed should assist the
incumbent "in his necessitie"; apparently this assistance included the
teaching of "many pore mens chylderne."[483]


"There is no foundacion of the same but certen landes and tenementes
purchased by the parishioners to th'entente ... to teach chyldren in the
saide paroche."[484]


"Of the Benyvolence of the Mayer and burges of the saide Towne to fynde a
preste for ever to mynyster in the parish churche and to kepe a scole

As we have stated, these instances we have quoted cannot claim to be
exhaustive. They are examples which are available, and they serve to
indicate the noteworthy fact that a consciousness of the value of
education existed among the inhabitants of many towns and villages in
England in the Middle Ages. The question is sometimes raised, whether
these schools were elementary or secondary schools, or whether some of
them might be classed as elementary and others as secondary.[486] The
question is quite irrelevant. The distinction between elementary and
secondary education is entirely a modern one. In fact, it is difficult,
even now, to determine the meaning of these terms. If we regard the
elementary school as one in which the chief academic aim is to teach the
children to read and write English, and to work elementary problems in
arithmetic, and a secondary school as one in which the classical languages
form an important part of the curriculum, then we have set out the
difference between two types of schools which were prevalent during the
greater part of the eighteenth and nineteenth century; but this
distinction is inapplicable to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The
chantry school did not attempt to teach English, but Latin, as Latin still
continued to be the language of the Church of this country. Of the 259
instances of chantry schools which Mr. Leach has collected, 193 of them he
regards as grammar schools; the remaining schools he classes either as
song schools or as elementary schools.[487] The distinction is quite
unnecessary. The chantry schools were simply the parochial church schools,
which were now supported by a separate endowment, and taught by a priest
who was practically able to devote his whole time to the work, instead of
being under the control of the parish priest who, in many cases, would
scarcely be able to set aside a definite part of each day for the work of

We have pointed out that the child who attended these church schools was
required previously to have obtained a knowledge of the alphabet at least.
If Colet was setting out the current practice in the statutes which he
drew up for St. Paul's School, even more knowledge was required antecedent
to admission, as he states that "the master shall admit these children as
they be offirid from tyme to tyme; but first se that they can saye the
catechyzon, and also that he can rede and write competently, else let him
not be admitted."

In the case of some of the chantry schools, express arrangements were made
for elementary teaching. Thus, the bell ringer at Glasney was required to
teach the ABC as a part of his duty[488] at Brecon; at Chumleigh it was
expressly stipulated that the ABC was to be taught by the chaplain;[489]
at Launceston it was stipulated that an old man chosen by the mayor was to
teach the alphabet.[490] Then, the chantry priest at Newland was required
to provide "meate, dryncke, clothe and all other necessaries" to one of
his scholars who, in return, was to assist with the teaching of the little

The provision of exhibitions to assist in supporting poor scholars at
schools and universities was also a purpose of some chantries. Thus, at
Brecon, twenty poor scholars were to receive 24/- each annually:[492] at
Chumleigh, a part of the proceeds of the chantry was employed to support
"a lyttle childe who goythe to scole, and hathe no other profyttes
towardes his fynding and sustentacion"[493]; at Eton "70 scollers, 13
poore children and 10 choristours" were to be supported:[494] at Stamford
"the Revenues and proffyttes thereof hathe byn convertyd only to the use
of ... an infant of the age of 13 or 14 yeres, towards his exhibicion at
Schole."[495] Other instances of the provision of school exhibitions are
to be found in the chantry certificates relating to Houghton, Hull,
Lincoln, Lyme Regis, Newland, Rotherham, Sullington, Thornton, Winchester,
and Wotton-under-Edge.

Turning next to the chantries which were employed for the purpose of
supporting students at the universities, we find that the return to the
chantry commissioners, which relates to the chantry of North Wroxall,
states that: "the sayd Incumbent is a student in Oxforde, but no prieste;
and, ferthermore, a verey pore man, havynge no parentis, or any other
lyvinge to kepe hym to scole."[496] In the return for the chantry at
Norton are given the names of 8 men, among whom the proceeds of the
chantry are shared, so as to enable them "to studye at the
universite."[497] Other instances of chantry foundations for the purpose
of supporting university students are those of Asserton, Calne, Crediton,
Denton, Dorchester, Holbeach, etc.

The analysis of the chantry foundations we have given, serves to
illustrate our contention that, not only was there a growing appreciation
of education but that there also existed a growing sense of the
responsibility of the community, or of representative members of the
community, to make provision for education, and that the responsibility
for making this provision did not rest on the Church alone. At the same
time, the Church was alive to the necessity of emphasising the duty of the
clergy to interest themselves in education, as is evidenced by the canon
promulgated at the Convocation of Canterbury in 1529 which intimated to
the "rectors, vicars and chantry priests that when divine service is done,
they shall be employed in study, prayer, lectures or other proper
business, becoming their profession: namely, teaching boys the alphabet,
reading, singing, or grammar; and on three days in the week, for three or
at least two hours a day, shall, in the absence of some lawful hindrance,
occupy themselves in reading Holy Scriptures or some approved doctor. And
the ordinaries shall make diligent inquiry about this in their
visitations, to the end that they may severely chastise and punish lazy
priests, or those who spend their time badly."[498]

This canon was practically reiterated by the Royal Injunctions of 1547,
which prescribed that "all chauntery priests shall exercise themselves in
teaching youth to read and write, and bring them up in good manners and
other vertuous exercises."[499]

The practical effect of the Chantries' Act of 1547 was that it put an end
to the educational provision which the founders of the chantries had made.
This was not contemplated by the Act. On the contrary, the Act gave to the
commissioners "full power and authoritie to assigne and shall appoynte, in
every place where guylde fraternitye, the Preist or Incumbent of anny
Chauntrye in Esse ... oughte to have kepte a gramer scoole or a preacher"
for the continuance of such school.[500] The usual practice of the
commissioners was to vest the chantry lands in the Crown, and to make a
Crown charge of a certain annual sum, equivalent to the stipend which the
teacher of the grammar school was then receiving. But as the value of
money has now decreased to so considerable an extent, and the value of
land has so enormously increased, the practical effect of this
legislation, as we have indicated, was the disendowment of the educational
provision which had been made by the founders of gilds, colleges, and



The problem of the relation of monasteries to education in the later
Middle Ages is an obscure one. On the one hand, there is the popular
opinion (which is followed, generally, by uncritical writers) that the
monasteries afforded the main means of education at this time; on the
other hand, the tendency of modern research into the nature of the
educational work of the monasteries is to maintain that no general work
for education was accomplished by them.[501] Effectively to set out the
work of the monastic orders for education, it is advisable to consider
separately: (I.) schools in connection with monasteries, (II.) almonry
schools, (III.) the education of girls, (IV.) the education of the
novices, (V.) the monks and university education, (VI.) education and the
mendicant orders.


As a general principle, it may be assumed that a school existed in
connection with every large monastery. The connection consisted in the
fact that these schools were maintained by the monasteries, and that the
master was appointed by the monastic authorities. These schools fall into
one or other of two classes: they were either founded by the monasteries,
or they were handed over to the monasteries, which acted as trustees for
their maintenance, by their real founders. It is not easy in every case to
determine whether the school was the property of the monastery or was
merely held on trust by them. The commissioners, entrusted with the task
of securing the dissolution of all the monasteries, did not attempt to do
so. The property held by the monastery was confiscated, regardless of
whether the property was held on trust for other purposes, or was
indisputably the possession of the monastery. Among the earliest of the
schools which we know of, as being connected with monasteries are St.
Albans, c. 1100;[502] Christ Church, Hants, c. 1100;[503] Thetford, c.
1114;[504] Huntingdon, c. 1127;[505] Dunstable, c. 1131;[506] Reading, c.
1135;[507] Gloucester, c. 1137;[508] Derby, c. 1150;[509] and Bedford, c.
1160.[510] We know that Bourne School was in connection with the
monastery, because the Abbot of Bourne possessed the patronage of the
school.[511] For a similar reason, it can be shown that the school at Bury
St. Edmunds was monastic.[512]

Passing next to give instances of the schools which were held by
monasteries as trustees, we may mention Lewes Grammar School, which was
founded in 1512 by the will of Agnes Morley, who provided that the
appointment of the schoolmaster should be vested in the prior of
Lewes.[513] We note, too, that Peter of Blockesley gave possessions to the
prior and convent of Coventry in trust for the school.[514] The school at
Bruton may also be quoted as illustrative. By an endowment deed of
1519,[515] various possessions were given to the Abbot of Bruton, subject
to the condition that he should provide a schoolhouse and house for the
master, and also pay him £10 a year. The returns to the chantry
commissioners from Bruton[516] state that, after the dissolution, the
schoolmaster was no longer called upon to work, but as he had had a
pension assigned him, he was able "to lyve licentiously at will than to
travaile in good education of yewthe" "to the greate Decaye as well of
vertuous bringing uppe of yewthe of the saide shire in all good lernyng,
as also of the inhabitants of the Kinges said town of Brewton."


An essential duty discharged by the inmates of a monastery was the
offering of divine worship. Effectively to discharge this duty, the voices
of boys were required in addition to those of the men. It is difficult to
determine when this custom originated; probably it was adopted first of
all in the collegiate churches, and then subsequently imitated by the
monasteries. The earliest available reference to an almonry school in this
country is in connection with St. Paul's Cathedral. A statute which dates
c. 1190 refers to the boys of the almonry, and informs us that they lived
on alms.[517] Lincoln, York, and Salisbury are three other secular
cathedrals, at which choristers, who were boarded and lodged together,
were maintained.

The boys, who acted as choristers in the monasteries, were lodged at the
outer gate; they were clothed, fed, and educated at the expense of the
monks. The earliest reference available to almonry boys in monasteries
dates from 1320, when it was provided that "no scholar shall be taken into
the almonry unless he can read, and sing in the chapel, and is ten years
old."[518] The earliest statutes which set forth the work of the almonry
are those of St. Albans, and date from 1339. They include the following

(1) "Let the boys be admitted to live there for a term of five years at
the most, to whom this period suffices for becoming proficient in grammar.

(2) No poor scholar shall absent himself from the Almonry without the
licence of the sub-Almoner, under the penalty of expulsion until

(3) Whosoever is convicted or notorious for being incontinent, a night
walker, noisy, disorderly, shall be wholly expelled.

(4) Immediately on admission, the scholars shall shave an ample tonsure,
after the manner of choristers, and shall cut their hair as becomes

(5) Every scholar shall say daily the matins of Our Lady for himself, and
on every festival day the Seven Psalms for the convent and our

In the schedule of the almoner's duties at St. Albans[520] it is stated
that the almoner is responsible for the repair of the studies of the
monks, and of the grammar schoolhouse in the town. He has also the right
of appointing the master of grammar, subject to the approval of the
archdeacon. He is entrusted with the general care and supervision of the
boys, and for the payment of the stipend of the schoolmaster.

A description of the almonry school at Durham is given in the "Rites of
Durham."[521] This account states that "there were certain poor children
called children of the Almery, who only were maintained with learning and
relieved with the alms and benevolence of the whole house, having their
meat and drink in a loft, on the north side of the abbey gate. And the
said poor children went daily to school at the Farmary School, without the
abbey gates; which school was founded by the prior of the said abbey, and
at the charges of the said house."

There is also a reference to this school in the _Valor
Ecclesiasticus_[522] which mentions "De magno solario supra tenebatur
scola." The same authority tells us that there were thirty poor scholars
who attended this school.

The duties commonly undertaken by the schoolmaster of the almonry boys may
be gathered from the agreement entered into in 1515, between the abbot of
the monastery of Gloucester and the schoolmaster he appointed. The
agreement specified that the master was to "teach the art of grammar to
all the youthful brethren of the monastery sent to him by the abbot, and
thirteen boys of the clerk's chambers; and shall teach and inform five or
six or seven boys apt and ready to learn in plain song, divided or broken
song and discant, sufficiently and diligently." In addition, the
schoolmaster was to sing and play the organ at the monastery

Besides the almonry schools in connection with the monasteries at St.
Albans, Durham, and Gloucester, to which we have referred, almonry schools
have also been traced at Canterbury,[524] Reading,[525] Westminster,[526]
Winchester,[527] Bardney,[528] Worcester,[529] St. Mary's Abbey,
York,[530] the Carthusian Monastery, Coventry,[531] Coventry Priory.[532]

The examples given support the probability that every monastery supported
an almonry school. Admission to these schools was in some cases regarded
as a valuable scholarship. This is evidenced by a letter which Queen
Philippa wrote to the prior of Canterbury in 1332, and in which she asks
for a boy to be admitted into the almonry "to be maintained like other
poor scholars of his estate."[533]

It would be an idle task to attempt to estimate the value of these
almonry schools for national education. We do not possess any definite
information as to the number of boys who were educated in this way at each
monastery, neither do we know for certain the number of monasteries which
provided these facilities. All we can really assert is, that a large
majority of the chief monasteries provided board and residence and
education for a number of children, who would otherwise be unable to
obtain any education. These children would learn to sing and read, and
would also master grammar to the extent necessary to proceed to the
universities if they desired to do so.

Mr. G. C. Coulton warns us that there was a great temptation for the
monastic authorities to neglect the almonry schools. He points out that,
in 1520, the visitors found that Norwich Cathedral Priory had cut down its
almonry scholars from thirteen to eight, and that in 1526 it was noted at
Rushworth that "pueri in collegio non continue aluntur sumptibus collegii
sed custodiunt pecora parentum nonnunquam."[534]


When Robert Aske, in 1536, was endeavouring to justify his rebellion
against the action of Henry VIII. in suppressing the monasteries, he
stated as one of the good works of these institutions that "in nunneries
their daughters (were) brought up in virtue."[535] The education of girls
of the higher classes was one of the duties undertaken by some of the
convents, but it is difficult to estimate the extent to which this was
done. The available references to the education of girls at convents may
be readily summarised: at the time of the dissolution, there were from
thirty to forty girls being educated at Pollesworth Nunnery, who were
described as "gentylmen's children"[536]; at St. Mary's Nunnery,
Winchester, there were twenty-six girls who are similarly described.[537]
A claim has also been made[538] that girls were educated at Carrow Abbey,
Norfolk, but Mr. Coulton shows that "among all the 280 persons who are
recorded to have boarded with the nuns of Carrow during forty-six years
(an average of six a year), not one can be clearly shown to be a
schoolgirl."[539] The point that needs to be emphasised is that the
question of a nunnery school, as Mr. Coulton indicates, was at bottom a
financial one. Convents which were not well endowed found it necessary to
have recourse to some means of increasing their revenues, and teaching was
one of the possible means of doing so. The early references to schoolgirls
in episcopal registers show that an effort was made either to restrict or
prohibit the practice. The reason of this episcopal opposition was the
fear that the institution of a school would break down the discipline of
the convent, and distract the attention of the nuns. Thus, at Elstow in
1359, Bishop Gynwell would only allow girls under ten and boys under six
to remain there, because, "by the living together of secular women and
nuns, the contemplation of religion is withdrawn and scandal is
engendered."[540] Very few other references to the education of girls in
monasteries have been traced so far. Dr. Abram tells us that "In the
Chancery Proceedings it is recorded that 'Lawrens Knyght, gentleman,'
arranged that the Prioress of Cornworthy, Devon, should have his two
daughters, aged respectively seven and ten, 'to scole' and he agreed to
pay her twenty pence weekly for their meat and drink."[541] In English
literature, the only instance we have been able to discover is the
well-known reference of Chaucer to the Miller's wife.


Abbot Gasquet has written a careful and interesting account of the life of
a novice in a claustral school of the fifteenth century.[542] Dealing with
St. Peter's Abbey, Westminster, he says, "The western walk was sacred to
the novices, whose master took the first place, with the youngest nearest
to him. Their method of sitting was peculiar: they were placed one behind
the other, so that the face of one looked on the back of his neighbour.
And this was always the case, except when there was general conversation
in the cloister. The only fixed seats were those of the abbot, prior, and
master of novices; the rest were placed according to the disposition of
the prior, sub-prior, or novice-master, to whom the care and due order of
the cloister were specially committed. There, in the morning after the
chapter, and at other intervals during the day, the novices attended to
their tasks, and one by one took their books to their master, who either
heard their reading himself, or sent them to some other senior for help or

The "Rites of Durham"[544] also gives us a description of a novices'
school. It is there stated that the school was held both in the morning
and in the afternoon in the "weast ally" of the cloisters. Boys began to
attend these schools when they were seven years of age, and the eldest
learned monk acted as their tutor. The novices were fed, clothed, and
educated gratuitously. If they were "apt to lernynge ... and had a
pregnant wyt withall" they were afterwards sent to Oxford to study
divinity; otherwise, they were kept at their books till they could
understand their service and the scriptures, and then became candidates
for ordination to the priesthood.

Incidental references to the school of the novices occur in various
monastic records. Thus, we learn that when Richard II. held his first
parliament in 1378, at Gloucester, he and his court were lodged in the
abbey, with the result that the monks were obliged to have their meals "in
the schoolhouse."[545] The same chronicler also laments the destruction of
turf in the cloisters, which "was so worn by the exercises of the
wrestlers and ball players there that no traces of green were left on

The Benedictine Statutes of 1334 emphasised the importance of study, and
in order that monks might subsequently be fitted to proceed to the
universities, it was decreed and ordained that "in all monastic cathedral
churches, priories or other conventual and solemn places of sufficient
means belonging to such order or vows, there shall henceforth be kept a
master to teach the monks such elementary sciences, viz. grammar, logic
and philosophy."[547] If, however, a competent teaching monk could not be
found in the monastery, a secular priest was to be appointed for the
purpose who, in addition to his residence, food and clothing, was to
receive £20 a year--a large salary for the time.[548]

Some records are still available of agreements to teach between the prior
of a monastery and a secular priest. As an example may be quoted the one
made between the prior of Durham and a priest who covenanted to teach "the
monks of Durham and eight secular boys." He was especially to teach "plain
song, accompanied song, singing plain prick note, faburdon, discant square
note and counterpoint," and to play on the organ at the monastic

Enquiry was also made from time to time to ascertain whether sufficient
attention was being paid to the education of the novices. Thus, at the
visitation of the priory of St. Peter's, Ipswich, in 1514, the complaint
was made that there was no schoolmaster at the monastery;[550] in 1526,
the monastery was required to provide a master to teach the novices

Similarly, among the defects noted by William Warham, Archbishop of
Canterbury, at his visitation of the monastery in 1511, was the lack of a
"skilled teacher of grammar ... to teach the novices and other youths
grammar." The archbishop emphasised his point by stating that "in default
of such instruction it happens that most of the monks celebrating mass and
performing other divine service are wholly ignorant of what they read, to
the great scandal and disgrace both of religion in general and the
monastery in particular."[552] It is interesting to note that a statement
is appended to this criticism, intimating that "one of the brethren is
deputed to that work and has already begun to do it, and teaches the
younger monks daily."[553]


Originally, we have seen, the monasteries were the centres of the
intellectual activities of this country. The progress of the universities
caused a change in this respect, with the result that Oxford and Cambridge
gradually became the chief places of theological, as well as other
branches of academic study. It then became necessary that the monks should
adapt themselves to the new order of things, and arrange that those of
their number who showed ability should avail themselves of the
opportunities of advanced study which the new centres of learning

It is not possible to state when monks first went to either Oxford or
Cambridge for the purpose of study, but it must have been at a
comparatively early date in the thirteenth century, because at a general
chapter of the Southern Benedictines held at Abingdon in 1275, it was
decided to erect a house at Oxford in which "the brethren of our order who
are to be sent from the various monasteries may live properly."[554] It
was further resolved that each Benedictine house in the province of
Canterbury should contribute for the first year "twopence in every mark
of all their spiritual and temporal possessions according to the
assessment of the former lord of Norwich ... and in the following years
shall contribute a penny a mark to provide for the said places and other
things in the said chapter."[555] It was also enacted, at the same time,
that a theological lecturer to instruct the monks should be appointed in
every monastery, as quickly as possible.

The first definite mention of monastic students at Oxford occurs in a
letter written by Bishop Giffard of Worcester to the Chancellor of the
University, requesting that "a doctor in the divine page" might be
nominated to instruct the monks who were in residence.[556] In 1287, a
site for the erection of a college for the monks, which was known as
Gloucester College (now Worcester), was conveyed to the abbot and convent
of Gloucester.[557]

This was not the only college for monks which was established at Oxford.
In 1286, the prior and convent of Durham had purchased land there (which
is now the site of Trinity College) for the purpose of securing further
education for the monks of Durham.[558]

In addition to these institutions, the monks of Christ Church, Oxford, had
a hall of their own as early as 1331.[559] This they sold to the monks of
Westminster, after acquiring a regularly endowed college of their own
known as Canterbury Hall. Canterbury Hall, which was founded by Simon
Islip, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1362, was at first intended to be used
both by seculars and regulars. This policy did not prove a success; the
college was then used by the regular clergy only, and continued to be used
by them until the dissolution.[560] Other monastic educational
establishments at Oxford were the Cistercian Abbey of Rewley, St.
Bernard's College, and St. Mary's College.[561]

Returning to Gloucester College--the most important of the monastic
colleges--we note that the first of the Benedictine monks to obtain the
D.D. degree at Oxford was William Brock, who achieved that honour in 1298.
The occasion was regarded as important, and a feast, which was attended by
the leading English members of the order, was held to commemorate it.[562]

A difference of opinion exists as to the normal number of monastic
students who were in residence at Gloucester College. The editors of
"Worcester College" estimate that there were from one hundred to two
hundred students as a general rule at the college.[563] Mr. Leach denies
this, and considers that the usual number of monks to be found at the
college would be about sixty.[564] In 1537, there were thirty-two students
there.[565] The importance of university education for Benedictine monks
was emphasised by the Benedictine statutes of 1334, which enacted that
"the cathedral churches, monasteries, priories, and other such places,
each of them ... shall be bound to send out of every twenty monks one who
is fit to acquire the fruit of greater learning to a university, and to
provide each one so sent with the yearly pension underwritten."[566]

Whether or not this decree was systematically complied with, we have no
means of determining. It is interesting to note that further action was
subsequently necessary, because, in 1504, John Islip, Abbot of
Westminster, complained that "for lakke of grounded lerned men in the
lawes of God, vertue emonges religious men is little used, religion is
greatly confounded, and fewe or noo hable persones founde in dyvers houses
of religion, lakking lerned men to be the heddes of the same houses to the
high displeasure of God and great subversion of religion."[567]

In order to deal with this ignorance on the part of the monks, Henry VII.
conveyed lands for the endowment of three chantry priests at Westminster
Abbey. It was resolved that "the said Abbot, Prior, and Convent and their
successours shall provide encrease have and fynd three moo monkes of the
said monastery over and above the said three monkes contynually and
perpetually to be and contynue scolers in the said Universitie of Oxonford
there to studye in the science of Divinitie."[568]

Dr. Rashdall does not consider that the monastic colleges were of great
importance, either in the history of learning or of education. He
maintains that the aim of these colleges was simple and practical, viz.
the preparation of a few instructed theologians who were able to preach an
occasional sermon, and to give an elementary theological education to the
novices. In addition, a supply of men capable of transacting the legal
business of the convent was also necessary.[569] The real services of the
monks to literature lay in the realm of medieval history. "The Benedictine
monks of this period were, above all things, men of the world: their point
of honour was a devotion to the interests of the House; their intellectual
interests lay in its history and traditions."[570]


Reference must also be made to the part played in education by the
Mendicant Orders. St. Francis of Assisi was a devout and earnest believer
in Christianity. Impelled by a force working in him, he renounced all
material and worldly possessions, and accepted for himself the task of
building up the Church, through the conversion of the souls of men. In
1207 he received formal recognition from Pope Innocent III.; a band of
enthusiastic converts soon gathered around him, with the single aim of
preaching and ministering to the poor. "To the poor by the poor. Those
masses, those dreadful masses, crawling, sweltering in the foul hovels, in
many a southern town with never a roof to cover them, huddling in groups
under a dry arch alive with vermin; gibbering cretins with the ghastly
wens; lepers too shocking for mothers to gaze at and therefore driven to
curse and howl in the lazar house outside the walls, there stretching out
their bony hands to clutch the frightened almsgiver's dole, or, failing
that, to pick up shreds of offal from the heaps of garbage--to those, St.
Francis came."[571]

The Franciscan movement was originally a movement of piety only, and did
not contain within itself any intellectual elements. In fact, learning was
distinctly discouraged. "Must I part with my books?" said the scholar with
a sinking heart. "Carry nothing with you for your journey" was the
inexorable answer. "Not a Breviary? Not even the Psalms of David?" "Get
them in your heart of hearts, and provide yourself with a treasure in the
heavens. Whoever heard of Christ reading books save when He opened the
book in the synagogue and then _closed_ it and went forth to teach the
world for ever."[572]

Almost simultaneously with the founding of the Franciscan movement, St.
Dominic realised the necessity of bringing about a moral reformation. His
method, however, differed appreciably from that adopted by St. Francis. To
St. Dominic, ignorance and vice were the great evils to be contended
against: hence, he formed a community whose purpose it was to instruct the
unlearned and to confute the heretic, through the agency of the
pulpit.[573] To this community, Innocent III. gave his formal sanction in

Study was not regarded in the same way by the Friar as it was by the monk.
To the monk, study or labour was enjoined as a means for bringing about a
subjugation of human passions, or as an occupation for hours that would
otherwise be spent in idleness; the extent to which they became teachers
arose out of the exigencies of the times. "Officium monachi non docentis
sed plangentis." The aim of the monk was simply the salvation of his own
soul; for the outside world he disclaimed duty or responsibility.
Seclusion and separation from all but the members of his own community,
were regarded as the great instruments by which his object was to be
achieved. To the friar christianity appeared as a means by which the
regeneration of society could be effected. Hence the cause of the
difference in the attitude towards education. It was not an occupation for
idle hours, or a prophylactic against temptation, but a means by which a
power to influence the minds of men could be acquired. Particularly was
this true of the Dominicans. The immediate purpose of their Order was
resistance to the Albigensian heresy. "Hence it was natural that Dominic
should have looked to the universities as the most suitable recruiting
ground for his Order; to secure for his preachers the highest theological
training that the age afforded, was an essential element of the new
monastic ideal."[574] It was not, however, long before the Franciscans
also found it necessary to go to the universities for additions to their
ranks. Within thirty-five years of the death of their founder, the
Franciscans had become as conspicuous for intellectual activity as the
Dominicans, and, for the next two hundred years, the intellectual history
of Europe is bound up with the divergent views of these great Orders.

In 1224 the Franciscans opened a school at Oxford, which served as a
centre from which teachers went all over England; in the following year,
they also opened a school at Cambridge. It is stated that, prior to the
Reformation, there were sixty-seven Franciscan professors at Oxford, and
seventy-three at Cambridge.[575]

Mr. A. G. Little has investigated the educational organisation of the
Mendicant Friars in this country.[576] He points out that the absence of
authentic materials will probably make it for ever impossible accurately
to give the history of the Mendicant Orders in England. The available
sources consist only of "a few chronicles, a few letters, the general
constitution of the Orders, the Acts of the General Chapters, the
registers of the general masters, and the Acts of the provincial chapters
of other provinces."[577]

The general system of education in vogue among the Mendicant Orders was
developed before 1305.[578] This was established in England in 1335, when
the General Chapter held at London in that year decreed that provincial
priors and chapters in their respective provinces should provide "de
studiis theologie, philosophie, naturalium et artium."[579]

At the basis of the educational organisation of these Orders would be the
grammar schools. Novices were not accepted unless they had attained to a
certain standard of education. The Dominican statutes of the thirteenth
and fourteenth centuries required candidates to be examined "in moribus et
scientia," and they were rejected if they were deficient in either.[580]
Consequently, the instruction to be given by the master of the novices was
mainly moral.[581]

For the next grades of instruction, the convents were combined into
groups. Common schools for special studies were established in one or more
convents of each group.[582]

The first of these grades was the "studium artium." At one time the
study of arts was discouraged. "Students shall not study in the books
of the Gentiles and philosophers though they may look into them
occasionally."[583] The statutes of 1259 and 1261 indicate a different
attitude. "Quot fratres juniores et docibiles in logicalibus
instruantur."[584] No student was to be sent to a "studium artium" until
he had been two years in the Order.[585] The next grade was the "studium
naturalium." The period of study at this stage extended over two years at
least.[586] The "studia naturalium" were less numerous than the "studia
artium." There seem to be few traces of the existence of these in England,
but Mr. Little has established that there was one at Lynn in 1397.[587]

The "studium theologie" was the third grade. In these schools a period of
three years might be spent, but the usual stay was for two. Mr. Little
raises the question where such "studia" were to be found in England and
considers that they may possibly have existed at Thetford in 1395, at
Lincoln in 1390, at Norwich in 1398, at Ipswich in 1397, at
Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1397, at Guildford in 1397, and at London in

The convents of Oxford and Cambridge stood at the head of the educational
system. The statute of 1305 enacted that "No one shall be sent to a
'studium generale,' either in his province or out of it, unless in the
order mentioned he has made sufficient progress in logic and natural
philosophy, and has attended lectures on the 'Sentences' for two years in
some 'studium particulare' and unless the testimony of the lector, cursor,
and master of the students gives good hope that he will be fit for the
office of lector."[589]

Mr. Little also deals with the appointment and qualifications of students
and lecturers, and shows that, generally speaking, their selection was in
the hands of the provincial prior and the provincial chapter, who were
bound to make diligent enquiry each year for promising friars.[590] In
this way, the most capable and efficient members of the order attained to
the positions of the greatest importance. Learning was always most highly
esteemed among the Dominicans, and the prosecution of studies regarded as
a religious occupation worthy of being ranked with the divine services
properly so called.[591] Important privileges were allowed to students and
lectors, and care was taken that every possible facility was available
for those who were desirous of continuing their education.

Neither the history of the Mendicant Orders, nor the causes which
contributed to their degeneracy, concern us here. It will be sufficient to
mention two ways in which they influenced educational development. The
first arises out of the connection of the friars with the universities.
For a time they captured the intellectual centres of the country, and
dominated its literary activities. The leading men of learning of the time
were friars. Among them may be mentioned Alexander of Hales, John Peckham,
Richard of Middleton, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. The second
arises from the relationship between the friars and the secular clergy.
This relationship was not a friendly one, as the seculars were jealous of
the intrusion of the mendicants into their parishes. We suggest that the
friar movement served to accustom the people of the country to the thought
that the National Church was not the only spiritual agency, and thus
incidentally contributed to the development of those forces which were
causing the control of education to pass out of the power of the Church.



The Chantries' Act of 1547, which we have previously described, expressly
stipulated that its provisions should not apply either to the
universities, or to the cathedral churches, or to "the Colledg called St.
Marye Colledg of Winchester of the foundation of Bishopp Wikeham: nor to
the College of Eton."[592] It is these two latter schools with which we
are now concerned, and more particularly with the questions relating to
their origin and purpose.

A great deal of the current misconception of the origin and purpose of
these schools may be removed if we reconstruct for ourselves the special
ecclesiastical and educational features of the time. Our starting point in
this connection must be the Black Death which, as we have shown,[593]
caused so great a scarcity of priests and of candidates for the
priesthood. William of Wykeham, desiring to give thanks to Almighty God
because He had "enriched us, though unworthy, with ample honours and
beyond our deserts raised us to divers degrees and dignities,"[594]
founded "a perpetual college of seventy poor scholars, clerks, to study
theology, canon and civil law and arts in the university of Oxford."[595]
In erecting this college, Wykeham was only following the example which was
already well established at the universities, since several colleges had
previously been established both at Oxford and at Cambridge. Experience
soon convinced him that to found a college was one thing; to obtain a
supply of students, who were qualified to profit by the proposed course
was quite another; especially as, "through default of good teaching and
sufficient learning in grammar, (they) often fall into the danger of
failing, where they had set before themselves the desire of success."[596]

Nor was a lack of knowledge of Latin the only difficulty. A greater
obstacle was the poverty of the prospective student of the period. Wykeham
refers to this, "There are and will be, hereafter, many poor scholars
suffering from want of money and poverty, whose means barely suffice or
will suffice in the future to allow them to continue and profit in the
aforesaid art of Grammar." Neither was this poverty a relative poverty, a
mere "façon de parler," as some would maintain. The university itself was
poor, and had scarcely any funds available for general purposes.[597] "The
university students of the Middle Ages were drawn from every class of
society, excluding probably as a rule the very lowest, though not
excluding the very poorest."[598] We also note that poor students received
from the chancellor a licence to beg.[599]

The writer of _Piers Plowman_ illustrates the contemporary opinion of the
social standing of many of those who proceeded to the priesthood.

  "Now might each sowter his son setten to schole,
  And each beggar's brat in the book learne,
  And worth to a writer and with a lorde dwell,
  Or falsely to a frere the fiend for to serven,
  So of that beggar's brat a Bishop that worthen,
  Among the peers of the land presse to sythen;
  And lordes sons lowly to the lorde's loute,
  Knyghtes crooked hem to, and coucheth ful lowe,
  And his sire a sowtor y-soiled with grees,
  His teeth with toyling of lether battered as a sawe."

The "Norwich Corporation Records" contain an account which, even if not
typical, is certainly illustrative of the way in which the sons of many
poor men found their way to the priesthood. The account to which we refer
is the story of his life which was given by "Sir William Green" when
undergoing examination on the charge of being a spy. He stated that he was
the son of a labouring man living at Boston, Lincolnshire, and that he
"lerned gramer by the space of 2 yeres." For about five or six years he
was engaged in manual occupation with his father; next, he is at school
again "by the space of 2 yeres and in that time receyved benet and accolet
in the freres Austen in Boston of one frere Gaunt, then beyng suffragan of
the diocese of Lincoln." Subsequently he is found at Cambridge, where he
enters upon his studies, and supports himself, partly by labour, partly by
"going to the colleges, and gate his mete and drynke of almes." After an
interval, he "obteyned a licence for one year of Mr. Capper, than being
deputee to the Chancellor of the said univ'sitie, under his seal of office
whereby ... (he) gathered toguether in Cambridgeshire releaff toward their
exhibicion to scole."[600]

We need not follow the fortunes or misfortunes of this pretended priest
any further. The record gives the names of three men who were of the
lowest social grade, and who were evidently unscrupulous, as they not only
forged begging licences, but also forged letters of ordination. Though we
do not claim that the case is typical of the social class from which
students come, yet, on the other hand, it should not be regarded as
entirely exceptional; in other words, the class of person who received the
licence to beg as an accredited student of the university must have been a
commonly recognised one. We must remember, at the same time, as Dr.
Hastings Rashdall points out, that the example of the Friars had made
mendicity comparatively respectable. "Many a man who would have been
ashamed to dig was not ashamed to beg; and the begging scholar was
invested with something like the sacredness of the begging Friar."[601]

Realising that it was necessary that prospective priests should study
grammar before they proceeded to the universities, and assuming that these
embryo scholars were literally poor, and could not afford even to attend
the local grammar schools, which, as we have seen, were common in medieval
England, we ask what action would a man such as William of Wykeham, who
was desirous of perpetuating a memorial to himself and of being of service
to the Church generally, naturally take?

The answer to this question depends partly on the nature of the models
available for imitation. We have previously shown that imitation has
played a large part in English educational development. The first obvious
model for imitation was the ordinary one of providing a master who should
teach grammar freely to all boys who might care to come to him. This plan
naturally commended itself at first to William of Wykeham, and was adopted
by him. In 1373 he made an agreement with Master Richard Herton,
Grammarian, that he "should instruct and teach faithfully and diligently
in Grammar the poor scholars whom the said Father keeps and shall keep at
his own expense; and shall receive no others without the licence of the
said Father."[602]

This arrangement would scarcely meet the purpose which Wykeham had in
mind. He wished to provide for suitable poor youths in all parts of the
country, and not only for those whose homes were in the locality of

Again we ask, what models were available? Provision for the feeding of
poor scholars had been made, two centuries previously, in connection with
the Hospital of St. Cross, about a mile distant from the city of
Winchester, by Bishop Henry of Blois. At this hospital thirteen poor and
infirm men were lodged and boarded, and, in addition, one hundred of the
poor of the city were provided with a dinner each day. Among these one
hundred poor were to be included, "thirteen poor scholars of the city
school," who were to be sent there "by the Master of the High Grammar
School of the city of Winchester."

A similar custom had prevailed "from time immemorial" at the Hospital of
St. Nicholas where forty loaves were to be provided each week for the
scholars who attended Pontefract School.[603]

Then too, the provision of a house for the lodging of scholars was a form
of charity whose origin could be traced back to the twelfth century at
least. About 1150, Walchelin, the moneyer of Derby, and Goda, his wife,
bequeathed certain property to the abbey of Derby "on this trust that the
hall shall be for a school of clerks and the chambers shall be for the
house of a master and clerks for ever."[604]

A more immediate example for Wykeham in his desire to make provision for
the maintenance and education of "pauperes et indigentes clericii" was
Bishop Stapledon of Exeter. He wished to provide for the "maintenance of
boys studying grammar and receiving instruction in morals and life" in
connection with the Hospital of St. John at Exeter. The accomplishment of
this purpose was prevented by his death, but Bishop Grandisson, his
successor, arranged in 1332 that the master and brethren of the hospital
were to provide accommodation and all other necessaries for a master of
grammar and fourteen boys. Prior to admission, the boys were to know their
psalter and to be familiar with plain song.[605]

Several similar instances may be quoted. Thus, about the close of the
twelfth century, the Archdeacon of Durham, of the time, provided an
endowment for the purpose of supplying three scholars of Durham School
with food and lodging at the almonry.[606] In 1262 Bishop Giles of
Salisbury founded a hostel in that city "for the perpetual reception and
maintenance of a warden, two chaplains and twenty poor, needy,
well-behaved and teachable scholars."[607] In 1364, Walter de Merton,
Chancellor of England, gave certain manors "for the perpetual maintenance
of twenty scholars living in the schools at Oxford or elsewhere."[608]
About 1387, Bishop Burghersh of Lincoln provided that the chantry founded
by him should maintain six poor boys who were "professing the art of

In addition to these models, there existed the models furnished by the
collegiate churches and the monasteries. The collegiate churches were
under the control of a dean or provost and a small number of officials;
generally speaking, a master of grammar was also attached to the Church.
These colleges were non-resident. The priests attached to the church lived
in their own homes. A monastery was presided over by an abbot or prior,
the monks were resident, and a small number of choir boys were also

It does not require any great stretch of the imagination to conceive of
William of Wykeham pondering over all these possibilities. In the end, the
monastic idea seems to have triumphed with this important distinction
that, for the adult monks, were substituted "scholares pauperes et

A study of an illustration of Winchester School serves to support this
conception. The most prominent feature of the college buildings was the
church. Divine worship was to be effectively rendered daily. Grouped round
the church were the cloisters and the chambers, the dwelling places for
the poor scholar clerks. The more closely the building is examined, the
more clearly is its relation to the monastic ideal realised.

The influence of the monastic ideal is even more evident in connection
with the foundation of Eton College, the second of our great public
schools in respect of date of origin. The foundation charter of this
school was sealed on October 11th, 1440. In this charter, Henry VI., the
founder of the college, who was then eighteen years of age, declared his
intention to establish a college[609] "in the honour and for the support
of our great and most holy mother in the parish church of Eton by Windsor,
which is not far removed from the place of our birth."[610]

This college, as originally planned, was to consist of a "provost and ten
priests, four clerks, and six chorister boys whose duty it shall be to
serve divine worship there daily, and twenty-five poor and needy scholars
whose duty it shall be to learn grammar and moreover twenty-five poor and
weakly men whose duty it shall be always to pray in the same place for our
good estate while we live and for our soul when we have passed from this
light ... also of a master or teacher in grammar, whose duty it shall be
to teach the said needy scholars and all others whatsoever and
whencesoever of our realm of England coming to the said college, the
rudiments of grammar gratis without exacting money or anything else."[611]

The monastic conception is brought out prominently. At the head of the
institution were the provost and ten priests, corresponding to the abbot
and the obedientaries of a convent, next we find the chorister boys who
correspond to the boys of the almonry school who assisted in divine
worship, next comes the support of poor and weakly men, a common feature
of many monasteries, finally there are the "poor and needy scholars" to
take the place ordinarily occupied by monks.

In 1441 Henry VI. founded a college in Cambridge University by the name of
King's College of St. Nicholas. At first, there was no connection between
Eton and King's College, but in 1443, new statutes were made which
enlarged the number of students who could be admitted there and also
arranged for the admission of "commensales" who were to pay for their
board. The addition of "commensales" accentuates still further the
influence of the monastic model. From early times, it had been customary
for the heads of monasteries to receive a kind of "parlour boarder" and
it would be particularly fitting that, in an institution which was
primarily educational and not merely devotional, arrangements should be
made for the reception of those scholars who were able and willing to pay.

Henry showed his interest in the school by his issue of a warrant in 1446,
in which, after reciting that he had founded a college at Eton for
"seventy scholars whose duty it is to learn the science of grammar and
sixteen choristers whose duty likewise it shall be, when they have been
sufficiently instructed in singing, to learn grammar, also a master
teacher in grammar and an usher to teach the aforesaid boys, scholars and
choristers,"[612] he proceeded to declare that "it shall not be lawful for
anyone, of whatever authority he may be, at any time to presume to keep,
set up, or found any such public grammar school in the town of Windsor or
elsewhere within the space of ten English miles from our said Royal

This warrant is specially significant in two respects. One is, that it
shows that the institution, founded by Henry VI., was not intended to
differ in any essential respect from the other local grammar schools which
existed in various parts of the country. On the contrary, steps were taken
to prevent opposition. There was a real danger that the gratuitous
character of the instruction given at Eton might tempt masters to open fee
paying schools, with the inevitable result that the social prestige of the
school would be lowered. The other significant fact arises from the use of
the phrase "public grammar school." This is the first use of the term in
this sense which we have been able to trace, and it is probable that we
have here the first occasion on which the word is employed as an
alternative for "free," which denotes, as we have explained, that the
school was open to all comers.

It is not necessary that we should consider any further the history of the
public schools. This subject has already been fully treated by others,
notably by Mr. Leach in his _History of Winchester College_, and by Sir
H. C. Maxwell Lyte in his _History of Eton College_.

We may, however, note three respects in which Winchester first, and
subsequently Eton differed from the scholastic institutions, which had
previously been established.

1. The scale on which Winchester College was carried out, clearly
differentiates it from all earlier foundations. The number of scholars for
whom Wykeham provided, and the value of the endowments attached to the
school, mark a considerable advance on what had been attempted previously.

2. It was a new idea to associate a school in a district remote from a
university centre with a college at Oxford. Rashdall points out that
Robert Egglesfield, the founder of Queen's College, had hoped to have had
at Oxford a school of boys in connection with his college. This proposal
was not carried out. That which Egglesfield simply proposed for Oxford,
Wykeham actually accomplished at Winchester.[614]

3. Winchester College is the first example of a boarding school, pure and
simple. Collegiate churches had previously provided for the gratuitous
instruction of scholars, but the real object of the establishment of a
collegiate church was that divine worship should be rendered in an
effective and dignified manner. Endowments had previously been provided
for the feeding and lodging of scholars, but this was to be effected in
connection with an existing charitable institution. At Winchester, for the
first time, an institution was established for the combined purpose of
teaching and of maintaining scholars, and for those purposes alone. "The
really important new departure was taken, a real step in advance made,
when Wykeham made his school a separate and distinct foundation.... The
corporate name of 'Warden and scholars, clerks' stamped the school and the
schoolboys as the aim and object of the foundation."[615]

One other question must be considered. The great public schools to-day are
attended by the sons of wealthy parents: were these schools founded
originally for children of the social grade who now attend them? The
foundation deeds state explicitly that they were established for "pauperes
et indigentes scolares."

Mr. Leach writes vehemently on the subject. "A great deal of discussion
has taken place, and much excellent eloquence run to waste on the
qualification of 'poor and needy.' It was alleged ... that there had been
a robbery of the poor in the matter of endowed schools; that the persons
entitled, under the founder's statutes, to the benefits of Winchester
College, were the poor in the sense of the poor law, the destitute poor,
the gutter poor, or, at least, the poor labouring classes. There is not, I
believe, a title or a shred of justification for any such allegation in
the case of any public or endowed grammar school founded before

The following arguments are advanced by Mr. Leach in support of the views
he enunciates:--

(1) He urges that the test of poverty from the school point of view, was
the oath which every scholar had to take on reaching fifteen years of age:
"I have nothing whereby I know I can spend beyond five marks a year."[617]
Now, as there were at this date sixty-seven livings in the diocese of
Winchester below this value, and as £1 6s. 8d. was the pay of a skilled
artisan of that date, Mr. Leach maintains that the possession of £3 6s.
8d. was a very considerable income for a boy.

In reply it may be pointed out that the oath would provide for extreme
cases only. In this connection, it may be mentioned that it was proposed,
towards the close of the reign of Henry VIII., to establish a free grammar
school in connection with Exeter Cathedral. Forty of the scholars of this
school were to be admitted without making any payment for their
instruction and, in addition, they were to receive a shilling a week for
the purpose of paying for "their commons within the citie." Now, the test
of poverty to qualify the candidates for this position was, that their
parents were not to be in receipt of a higher income than £300 a year,
possibly equal to £5,000 to-day.[618] If we assume that the money payments
of the opening years of the twentieth century were forty times the value
of such payments in the fourteenth century, even then the extreme limit of
the income of a candidate for admission to Winchester was £133 6s. 8d. of
modern money. It is, therefore, obvious that the class of boy for which
Winchester College was intended must have been of a lower social scale
than that for which the proposed cathedral grammar school at Exeter was to
be established.

(2) By a clause which forms a postscript to Rubric XVI., it was provided
that "sons of noble and powerful persons ... to the number of ten _might_
be instructed and informed in grammar within the college, without charge
to the college." This clause Mr. Leach describes as containing the "germ"
of the public school system, and he claims that he has traced among the
early commoners of the college "young noblemen, scions of county families
and relations of judges and chancery officials."

We contend that this does not apply to the case at all, inasmuch as
"parlour boarders," as Mr. Leach himself points out,[619] had frequently
been received in monastic houses. Even apart from the fact that the
details which he gives are meagre, and that his conclusions are by no
means demonstrated, it may be maintained that the presence of wealthy boys
at school, under special circumstances, does not invalidate the contention
that the boys normally found there were the "poor and needy." Thus Dr.
Hastings Rashdall, in speaking of the students at the university, states
that "there was the scion of the princely or noble house who lived in the
style to which he was accustomed at home, in a hostel of his own with a
numerous 'familia' including poorer but well born youths who dressed like
him.... At the other end of the social ladder there was the poor scholar,
reduced to beg for his living, or to become the servitor of a college, or
of a master or well-to-do student."[620] If the poor, in the sense of
those who had to beg for a living or earn it, whilst they were at
college, by manual labour, were not excluded from the university, why
should it be assumed that they did not rank among the "pauperes et
indigentes scolares" for whom Winchester College was expressly founded?

We may also point out that it was not customary, at this time, for boys of
good family, or even the sons of wealthy and prosperous merchants and
tradesmen, to be educated by being sent to school. The instances which may
be given are few and inconclusive. The usual practice adopted for the
education of these young people, as we have shown, was either by sending
them to a great household or, at a later date, by having a private tutor
in the house. Evidence may also be adduced to show that youths of good
social standing rarely proceeded to the universities at this time. Thus
Dr. Furnivall points out that, up to the close of the sixteenth century,
only three names of noblemen and nine of sons of knights are mentioned in
Cooper's _Athenae Cantabrigienses_ and only nineteen men of noble or
knightly birth in Wood's _Athenae Oxonienses_.[621]

We may next pass to consider the evidence for the contention which we
advance, that, when Wykeham built his college, he intended it for those
who were too poor to pay for an education, irrespective of their social
position, and that the term "poor" did not exclude the children of men who
were members of the labouring classes of the community.

(1) As we have reiterated so frequently, the actual term used in the
foundation deed is "pauperes et indigentes." Mr. Leach maintains that this
simply means the "relatively poor," the poor relations of the nobility, or
the children of prosperous merchants. His contention seems to be an
unwarranted extension of the meaning of the phrase, and it will not be
possible to quote from any charter or document of the time in which this
special meaning is assigned to the term.

(2) Even sixty years later, at the foundation of Eton College, when the
character of Winchester School would be definitely fixed, when King Henry
VI. desired to establish a foundation which should exceed that of Wykeham,
he associated with the school an almshouse for "twenty-five poor and
weakly men." The associating of an almshouse with the school marks the
purpose of the school as a charitable endowment for the lower classes of
the community.

(3) The middle class of the fifteenth century was a wealthy class. In the
eleventh century, there were only two social grades in England, the
nobility and the various classes of tenants. The middle class, which
gradually grew up, won its way through its wealth. Wealthy and prosperous
merchants would seek to emulate the nobility of the land, and send their
sons to the houses of nobles for their education or--at the least--to
provide them with a tutor. It may also be added that the clergy of the
period, who were practically the professional class, were celibates.

(4) Mr. Leach himself, undesignedly, applies examples to show that the
sons of serfs attended schools. He instances that in 1295, Walter, the son
of Reginald the carpenter, "was licensed to attend school" subject to the
payment of a fine.[622] Similarly, in 1344, a villein at Coggeshall in
Essex was fined for sending his son to school without license. At Harrow
in 1384, a villein was deprived of his horse for sending his son to school
without license. Mr. Leach continues "the fourteenth century manor rolls
all over the country are dotted with fines for sending boys, 'ad scolas
clericales,' to schools to become clerks."[623] Now, it would appear to us
obvious, that if some serfs sent their sons to schools after paying a
license, others would attempt to do so without payment and would probably
succeed in doing so. But the point which is established, without doubt, is
that it was customary for children of parents of the lowest social grade
to attend school.

When these arguments are fairly considered, it is claimed that the
institutions of Eton and Winchester were originally intended for boys
whose parents were "poor and needy"--and not simply for scions of the
nobility or the sons of prosperous merchants. The only condition of
admission, practically, was that these boys would subsequently proceed to
the universities, in order that their course of preparation for the
priesthood might be completed.



In the early chapters of this work, we have shown that the work of
evangelising England was simultaneously the work of the regular and of the
secular clergy. The regular clergy were those who had taken certain vows
and who shared a common institutional life. The secular clergy fall into
one or other of two classes. In the one class, we place those who worked
in the various parishes of which they were placed in charge; in the other
class, were certain bodies of clergy who were organised into communities,
termed colleges, and who served a church in common.

About the beginning of the twelfth century, there was in this country a
general movement towards monasticism. Some of the existing secular
cathedrals and collegiate churches were made monastic, and, in addition,
there was a great increase in the number of monasteries. This practice
continued until about the middle of the thirteenth century, when the
beginning of the collegiate system at the universities manifested itself.
The tendency to build new monasteries gradually ceased. Henceforth, we
read of the establishment of colleges and collegiate churches.

One of the earliest instances of the building of a university college is
that of the "College de Dix-huit" which was established at Paris, in 1180,
by Joisey of London on his way home from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. His
sole object was that of making some provision for the scholar clerks who
were studying at Paris.[624]

In England, the earliest instance of a university college was the one
established at Salisbury by Bishop Giles of Bridport. Ever since 1209,
there had been a university at Salisbury, which was augmented by a
migration from Oxford in 1238.[625] In connection with this university,
Bishop Giles, in 1262, set up a hostel for "the perpetual reception and
maintenance of a warden, for the time being, two chaplains and twenty
poor, needy, well behaved and teachable scholars serving God and the
Blessed Nicholas there, and there living, studying and becoming proficient
in the Holy Scriptures and the liberal arts."[626]

The origin and development of the university colleges in connection with
the universities of Oxford and Cambridge has been so fully dealt with by
various writers that little more than a passing reference is necessary
here. Dr. Hastings Rashdall describes Walter de Merton as "the true
founder" of the English college system. In 1264,[627] he founded at Maldon
"The House of Merton's Scholars" "for the perpetual maintenance of twenty
scholars living in the schools at Oxford, or elsewhere where a university
might happen to flourish and for the maintenance of two or three ministers
of the altar of Christ living in the same house."[628] The idea of this
founder, originally, was the provision of funds for the education of his
nephews or the descendants of his parents, or (failing a sufficient number
of these) of other "honest and capable young men."[629] The men supported
by these funds were to hire a hall and live together as a community in the
university. In 1274, a new code of statutes for the control and regulation
of the foundation was issued. Here, in the first of the English colleges,
the monastic institutions form the model which was imitated. At the head
of the institution was an official corresponding to the abbot, next come
certain officials who resembled the various officers of a monastery; these
include the "Vicenarii" who were placed over every twenty scholars, and
the "Decani" over every ten scholars. The scholars corresponded to the
monastic novices. The scheme for the control of the boys (because some of
the scholars might often be only thirteen or fourteen years of age)[630]
resembles in its general spirit the regulations of Lanfranc for the
oblates and novices school at Canterbury.[631]

The similarity between a monastery and Merton's foundations manifests
itself still more clearly when we realise that he even provided for a
class which would correspond to the oblates. He enacted that "if any
little ones of the kindred aforesaid becoming orphans or otherwise through
their parents poverty want maintenance while they are receiving primary
instruction in the rudiments, then the warden shall have them educated in
the house aforesaid."[632]

The example set by Walter de Merton was followed by Bishop Balsham of Ely
in his foundation of the first college at Cambridge in 1280. He placed
some poor scholars in the Hospital of St. John "to live together and to
study in the university of Cambridge according to the rule of the scholars
of Oxford who are called Merton's."[633] The experiment did not prove a
success because "in process of time from various causes, matter of
dissension had often arisen between the brethren of the same house and the
scholars aforesaid,"[634] as a result of which the scholars were moved
outside the town "and translated to the inns by St. Peter's Church"[635]
which was appropriated to them, and in consequence the college received
the name of Peterhouse by which it is still known.

We must leave here the subject of the establishment of university colleges
and pass to consider the colleges of secular canons which were rapidly
founded in all parts of the country. The _Monasticon_[636] gives a list
of twenty-six establishments, described as collegiate churches, and of one
hundred and sixty-five, which are described simply as colleges, exclusive
of the cathedral churches. We are underestimating the number when we state
that, outside the universities, there were two hundred colleges or
collegiate churches in this country. The term "college" or "collegiate
church" may be used indifferently; both imply an organisation of secular
priests or of secular priests and scholars founded for the purpose "ad
orandum et studiendum."

One of the first of the collegiate churches to be established subsequent
to the Conquest was that of Howden in Yorkshire. The church was intended
at one time to form the endowment of a monastery,[637] but in 1266 Bishop
Robert of Durham caused it to become a college of secular priests.[638]
The remaining records of this church are meagre and relate mainly to the
endowments which it gradually received.

Howden Collegiate Church serves to illustrate the difficulties in
connection with tracing the educational history of this country, and also
the educational significance of the collegiate churches. As we have just
remarked, the records of this church are extremely meagre, and if we were
dependent upon them alone we would naturally conclude that no educational
interest was attached to this institution. A different interpretation is
put upon the matter when we examine a Durham register of the period.[639]
Here we find records of scholastic appointments to this church, _e.g._ to
a song school in 1393, to a grammar school in the same year, to a reading
and song school in 1394, to a reading and song school in 1401, to a
reading and song school in 1402, to a grammar school in 1403, to a grammar
and reading school in 1409, to a song and reading school in 1412, separate
appointments for reading and song in 1426, whilst the last record is that
of J. Armandson, B.A., who was appointed "ad informandum pueros in lectura
et grammatica" during the good pleasure of the prior.

We have given these various references to the appointments because they
show that the collegiate churches, as a general rule, regarded it as one
of their definite functions to provide educational facilities for those
who cared to avail themselves of them. For the purpose of demonstrating
this statement more fully, we now proceed to give a series of examples of
the establishment of collegiate churches.

In 1267 the collegiate church of St. Thomas the Martyr was founded at
Glasney near Penrhyn, in Cornwall, by Bishop Bromescomb of Exeter.[640] We
should not know anything about the educational work carried on at this
church were it not for the return made to the commissioners under the
Chantries' Act of 1547. The Continuation Certificate stated that a school
was to continue at Glasney because it had previously been kept by "one of
the said vicars scolemaster ... for the which the people maketh great
lamentacione and it is mete to have another lerned man, for there is muche
youthe in the same Towne."[641] This college is particularly interesting,
as it is one of the few places of which records are available where
provision was made for teaching the first rudiments of learning. It is
stated that:--

"John Pownde, bell rynger there, of the age of 30 yeres, hathe for his
salarye ther 40/-, as well for teachynge of pore mens children there ABC
as for ryngynge the Bells 40/-."[642]

Passing next to the college founded in 1337-8 at Ottery St. Mary in
Devonshire by Bishop Grandison, we find the first instance of a collegiate
church where the charters of the institution provide that the
establishment should include "a Master of Music" and a "Master of
Grammar."[643] The chantry return stated that "Syr John Chubbe preste,
beyng scholemaster ther" received an annual stipend of £10.[644]

A college of secular priests was founded at Raveningham in Norfolk in
1350; this was moved to Mettingham Castle in 1382. This college also made
the usual provision for education.[645] For a time the boys associated
with this college seem to have attended the grammar school at

A foundation, which was quasi-collegiate, but which may be considered as
the precursor of the non-residential grammar schools which subsequently
became common, dates from 1384. It was founded at Wotton-under-Edge by
Katherine, Lady Berkeley, who gave certain lands for the provision of a
schoolhouse and the maintenance of "a master and two poor scholars clerks
living college-wise therein."[647] The priest-schoolmaster was to act as
chaplain at the Manor house of the foundress, and to celebrate "for the
healthy estate of us ... and for our souls when we shall have passed from
this light."[648] Arrangements were made for the appointment of the master
of the school as vacancies arose. It was also required that the master
"shall kindly receive all scholars whatsoever, howsoever and whencesoever
coming for instructions in the said art of grammar, and duly instruct them
in the said art, without exacting, claiming or taking from them any
advantage for their labour in the name of stipend or salary, so that the
masters aforesaid could not be accused of solicitation."[649] The
regulations relating to the scholars provide that they "shall not be set
by the master for the time being to do any office or service, but shall be
compelled continually to devote their time to learning and study."[650]

Another similar small college was that of Bredgar in Kent which was
founded in 1393 by eight persons, chief among whom was Robert de Bredgar.
The licence to found the college,[651] merely states the usual purpose of
praying for the good estate of the founders while living, and for their
souls, when they have passed from this light, and also for the souls
"omnium fidelium defunctorum." We obtain further knowledge of the
intentions of the founders from a study of the "Statuta et Ordinationes
pro meliori Gubernatione ejusdem."[652] It is not necessary for us to
consider these statutes in detail here, though they emphasise considerably
the educational aspect of the foundation. One of these statutes runs:--

     "Volo et ordino, quod nullus capellanus ad capellanium dicti collegi
     admittatur nisi tunc sciat bene legere, bene construere, et bene
     cantare; nullus praeficiatur clericus scolaris dicti collegii, nisi
     tempore praesentationis hujusmodi bene legere et competenter cantare

The same year in which Bredgar College was founded witnessed the
establishment of a college at Pleshy, in Essex, by Thomas, Duke of
Gloucester. The foundation was to consist of a master, eight secular
priests, two clerks, and two choristers.[653] The licences for the
foundation of the college do not, as usual, mention anything about
teaching, but the return to the chantry commissioners, 1547-8, states that
a priest, who kept a free grammar school, was attached to the
college.[654] William Courtney, Archbishop of Canterbury, founded in 1396
a college of secular priests on a large scale at Maidstone in Kent. A
hospital, which had been founded in 1260 by a previous Archbishop of
Canterbury, was taken to form the nucleus of the new college. The parish
church was utilised as the collegiate church. The various licences, which
authorised the foundation of the college,[655] do not refer to education,
but we know that provision for teaching was made because at the
dissolution of the college, the town council bought from Edward VI. the
right to keep school.[656]

The church of Hemmingborough, in Yorkshire, was made collegiate in 1426,
with a provost or warden, three prebendaries, six vicars choral and six
clerks.[657] The king's licence for the foundation gives the usual reason
for its establishment stating that there was to be in the church "quoddam
collegium de uno praeposito sive custode et caeteris prebendaris,
vicariis, clericis, et ministris, qui divina in dicta ecclesia celebrent,
pro salubri statu nostro, dum vivimus, et pro anima nostra, cum ab hac
luce subtracti fuerimus."[658] There is a record of the prior of Durham
appointing a master to the school in 1394,[659] so that in all probability
educational facilities were provided by the college.

A college which calls for special mention is that of Tonge in Shropshire,
which was founded in 1410 by the widow of Sir Fulk Penbridge.[660] The
complete foundation consisted of a warden, four secular priests as
chaplains, two clerks, and an almshouse for thirteen persons.[661] We are
fortunate in possessing the "Statuta et Ordinationes pro Gubernatione
ejusdem,"[662] as these make it clear that these colleges commonly
conceived it their duty to provide for education. The clause runs,
"Statuimus etiam et ordinamus, quod unus e capellanis praedictis, vel
alius clericus dicti collegii, si capellanus in hac parte habere non
poterit in lectura, cantu, et grammatica competenter instructus, qui pro
dispositione custodis, et sanioris partis dicti collegii, clericos et
alios ministros collegii, et ultra eosdem pauperes juvenes ejusdem villae,
seu de vicinis villis, teneatur diligenter instruere."[663]

It is important to note that a collegiate foundation provided for
education even in such a small place as Tonge.

In 1415, the College of Stoke-next-Clare was founded by Edmund Mortimer,
Earl of March. There had existed here previously an alien priory, which
was afterwards converted into a college of secular priests. The Earl of
March augmented its revenues, so as to provide for a dean, six
prebendaries, eight vicars, four clerks, six choristers, officers and
servants.[664] From the statutes and ordinances for the government of this
college,[665] we learn that a schoolmaster was to be appointed to teach
the boys of the college reading, plain song, and descant.[666]

"A noble college"[667] was founded at Fotheringhay in 1412 by Edward, Duke
of York. The college consisted of a master, twelve chaplains or fellows,
eight clerks, and thirteen choristers. The statutes of the college were
largely based on those of Winchester and New College, and provided for the
appointment of one master to teach grammar, and of another to teach song
to the choristers.[668]

Henry Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury, founded a college at Higham
Ferrers, his birthplace, in the last year of King Henry V., for a master,
six secular chaplains, four clerks, and six choristers; of these, "unus
eorundem capellanorum sive clericorum ad grammaticam, et alius capellanus
sive clericus de eisdem capellanis sive clericis ad cantum instruendum et
docendum ibidem deputetur et assignetur."[669] The act of Chicheley in
making his schoolmasters an integral part of the foundation marks an
advance on Wykeham, who made them stipendiary officers only.[670]

An institution, which was of the nature of a hospital rather than a
college, was founded in 1432, at Ewelme, by the Earl of Suffolk. It
consisted of an almshouse for two chaplains and thirteen poor men,[671]
and to the almshouse a grammar school was attached. The school statutes
provide that the schoolmaster was to be "a well disposed man, apte and
able to techyng of grammar to whose office it shall long and perteyne
diligently to teche and inform chylder in the faculte of gramer, provyded
that all the chylder of our chapelle, of the tenauntes of our lordshyp of
Ewelme and of the lordshypes perteyning to the said Almesse Howse, now
present and at alle tymes to com, frely be tawt without exaccion of any

In 1432, John Kempe, at that time Archbishop of York and afterwards
Cardinal, obtained a licence from Henry VI., to establish a college for
celebrating divine service and for the education of the youth in the
parish of Wye.[673] The college was to consist of "a maister and six
priests, two clerks and two queristers and over that a maister of grammar
that shal frely teche withoutyn anything takyng of hem al thos that wol
come to his techyng."[674]

At Tattershall, in Lincolnshire, a college was founded and endowed by Sir
Ralph Cromwell, in 1439. It consisted of a warden, six priests, six
clerks, six choristers, and an almshouse for thirteen poor persons. The
existence at this college of a master of grammar and of a master of the
choristers can be traced.[675]

We now pass to consider the two chief colleges which were founded prior to
the Act of 1547 which brought about their dissolution--Acaster College and
Rotherham College.

The original documents of the foundations of Acaster College do not appear
to be extant. No reference to the college is made in the _Monasticon_. A
private Act of Parliament passed in 1483 for the purpose of settling a
dispute relating to a question of enclosure, which had arisen, recites
that the college was founded[676] by Stillington, Bishop of Bath and
Wells, and that this foundation included "three dyvers Maisters and
Informatours in the faculteies underwritten; that is to witt; oon of theym
to teche Gramer, another to teche Musyk and Song, and the third to teche
to Write, and all suche thing as belonged to Scrivener Craft, to all maner
of persons of whatsoever Cuntre they be within the Reame of Englond ...
openly, and freely without exaction of money or other thyngs of any of
their suche Scholars and Disciples."[677]

The chantry certificate relating to this college stated that:--

"There ys a provost and three fellows being all preistes whereof one dothe
kepe a free scole of grammar according to the foundacion."[678]

Full information is available of the foundation of a college at Rotherham,
by Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York, under licence of Jan. 22nd,

In the college statutes[680] the founder stated that he would have grown
up "unlearned, unlettered, and rude," if by chance a "vir in gramatica
doctus" had not come to the neighbourhood and thus made it possible for
those who were desirous of doing so, to learn the elements of grammar. In
order, therefore, to provide for the youth of the future, he had
established a college to consist of a provost, three fellows, and six

The provost was to exercise a general supervision over the establishment,
to guide the studies of the fellows and all others who wished to avail
themselves of his services, and to preach in the diocese of York,
especially in specified churches.[681]

The first fellow was to give instruction in grammar under the direction
and supervision of the provost. The second fellow was to teach the art of
music[682] "especially in plain and broken chant, in all the moods and
forms of the art," to scholars desirous of learning coming from any part
of England and especially from the diocese of York.[683] The third fellow
was to be learned in the art of writing and in the keeping of accounts.
Archbishop Rotherham states that he founded this third fellowship because
he desired to assist those who did not wish to attain to the "high
dignity" of the priesthood, to fit themselves "for the mechanical arts and
other worldly concerns."[684] All these fellows of the college were
diligently to teach "without exaction of money or anything else in the
schools and houses assigned for the purpose in the college."[685]

Before proceeding to consider the data we have collected in this chapter,
we may refer briefly to the educational provision made in connection with
hospitals. In addition to the educational aspect of the charitable
foundation at Ewelme, to which we have already referred,[686] we note that
in 1231 a Jewish synagogue existed in the parish of St. Bennet Fink. This
was given to the brethren of St. Anthony of Vienne in France by Henry III.
A hospital consisting of a master, two priests, a schoolmaster, twelve
poor brethren, and various officers was established by them.[687] A
further development occurred in 1441 when John Carpenter, who held the
position of master of St. Anthony's Hospital at that time, obtained from
the Bishop of London the revenues of a rectory adjoining the hospital for
the maintenance of "a master or fit Informer in the faculty of grammar ...
to keep a grammar school in the precinct of the hospital or some fit house
close by, to teach, instruct and inform gratis all boys and others
whatsoever wishing to learn and become scholars."[688] The school, thus
founded, made considerable progress and for about 200 years was the chief
school in London.

We may also mention the foundation of Heytesbury Hospital in Wiltshire.
Licence was granted[689] in 1472 to Lady Hungerford to found an almshouse
to consist of a master and twelve poor brethren. The statutes for the
government of the institution show that the master was to be able to teach
grammar, that the chancellor of Salisbury was to present "an able keeper
and a sufficient teacher of grammar at every avoidance," and that it was
the duty of the master "to teach and inform all such children and all
other persons that shall come to the place which is ordained and deputed
to teach them in within Heytesbury and ... shall teach them from the
beginning of learning until such season as they learn sufficient ... of
grammar; no school hire take of no person or take (except from) such as
their friends may spend £10 or above, or else that will give freely."[690]

Our treatment of the problem with which we are concerned in this thesis,
has differed in this chapter from that adopted in other chapters. We have
here collected together a mass of evidence illustrative of the part taken
by collegiate churches in education. The evidence is not exhaustive. We
can readily adduce evidence of the education provided by the collegiate
churches at Ledbury, at Llangadock, at Brecon, at St. David's, at
Crediton, and probably further research would enable additional examples
to be obtained.

The question is: what general principles arise as a result of a
consideration of these examples?

(1) The Church considered it one of her primary works of charity to
provide for education. The charitable aspect becomes particularly evident
when we consider the association of almshouses and schools as at Eton,
Ewelme, Heytesbury, and St. Anthony's. Though, as we have tried to show in
preceding chapters, the rise of a social consciousness had led various
community organisations to realise that they had a duty to discharge in
the provision of educational facilities, yet the fact that other
authorities were stirring themselves in the matter did not involve that
the Church was to be apathetic. On the contrary, the examples we have
adduced indicate considerable activity.

(2) Each of the collegiate churches was normally regarded as a centre of
educational work. This fact seems to have been so generally known that it
is rarely expressed in the licences authorising the foundation. It is only
some special circumstances, _e.g._ the existence of the statutes or the
return to the chantry commissioners, which enables the teaching work of
these colleges definitely to be known. Since the educational aspect of the
work of these colleges was not a matter of enactment[691] it must have
been due to tradition. This tradition must date back to the earliest days
of the establishment of such colleges and here we go back to the time of
the introduction of Christianity to this country. In fact, a definite
connection between collegiate churches and education can be traced back to
the days of St. Augustine of Hippo.[692]

(3) A change is gradually observable in the relationship of these
collegiate churches to education. At first the master of grammar and of
song was merely a hireling, a clerk, probably, who was attached in some
subordinate capacity to the institution. The foundation deed of Winchester
College, for example, makes no mention of a master of grammar, the
foundation charter of Eton College refers to a "magister sive informator
in grammatica," but, whilst other appointments are definitely mentioned,
the appointment of a schoolmaster was apparently of secondary
consideration. Gradually the position of the master improves until we see
in the last instance of the establishment of a college prior to the
Reformation, and which we have given in this chapter, the foundation of
Rotherham College, that the establishment consisting of a provost and
three fellows, each of whom was engaged in educational work, was one in
which the scholastic aspect took precedence over all other aspects.



The conventional view of the curriculum of the schools of the Middle Ages
regards it as consisting of the trivium[693] and the quadrivium;[694]
under these two terms was substantially included all the learning of the
time. To investigate here the contents of the "Seven Liberal Arts" would
involve us in an unnecessary digression, especially as the extent to which
these subjects actually formed part of the school curriculum is still a
matter of considerable doubt.[695]

Having now paid our homage to the generally accepted view, we note,
however, when we turn to examine the actual sources now available for the
study of medieval education, that the terms which occur most frequently in
the records, as indicative of what was taught in the schools, are
"grammar" and "song." They are reiterated time after time; a master is
appointed "ad informandum pueros in grammatica" or "in cantu"; or, in the
chantry returns, "to teche frely almanner of childern Gramer;"[696] to
"teache gramer and plane songe."[697] Any student who enters upon an
investigation of the subjects of the curriculum of the schools of the
Middle Ages, without any preconception of what was taught in the schools,
and who diligently reads through the documents of the period now
available, would unhesitatingly state that the curriculum consisted of
grammar and song.

We have previously considered[698] what these terms denoted in a general
sense. Our next task is to consider whether any details are available of
the school curricula during the period with which we are concerned. As
these are comparatively meagre, it will be possible for us to gather
together an account of most of the sources which enable us to reconstruct
the curriculum of the schools of medieval England.

The most systematic account we possess of medieval education is derived
from the writings of John of Salisbury. The main facts of his life are
readily given. After spending about fifteen years on the continent
undergoing a course of study, he returned to this country and became
secretary to Archbishop Theobald, by whom he was entrusted with important
diplomatic missions both at home and abroad. Subsequently he became the
friend and adviser of Thomas à Beckett, at whose death he was present. For
the last four years of his life John was Bishop of Chartres. We may here
anticipate an objection which will probably be forthcoming. The education
of John of Salisbury took place mainly in France, and as this thesis
professes to deal with English education, the question arises: is not the
section irrelevant? The answer is that John of Salisbury was an
Englishman, and one of the greatest scholars of the Middle Ages. The
education he obtained was the education possible to an Englishman of his
period. Further, the account of John of Salisbury's education is the best
account available for a study of the curriculum of medieval times.

John tells us that whilst he was a boy he was placed under the charge of a
priest, along with some other boys "ut psalmos addiscerem."[699]
Incidentally, it may be mentioned that this priest seems to have been
interested in magic, and to have employed his pupils to assist him.
However, as John proved a disturbing influence, his services were not made
use of after the first occasion.

In his _Metalogicus_,[700] John gives an account of his further education.
He crossed over to France to study when he was quite a young man.[701]
There he studied under Abelard, from whom he received his first lessons in
logic. Subsequently he was instructed by Alberic, the successor of
Abelard, whom he describes as "a greatly esteemed dialectician and the
bitterest assailant of the nominal sect." He also was taught by Robert of
Melun, an Englishman, who later became Bishop of Hereford. John remained
under these masters for about two years. Both of them, he says, possessed
considerable ability as logicians and in disputations, though their
methods differed. One of them was scrupulous to the least detail, and
discussed fully the slightest difficulty in connection with the problem
under consideration; the other was prompt in reply, and never avoided a
question that was proposed, "but by multiplicity of words would show that
a simple answer could not be given."

By these teachers only logic was taught, and the cultivation of "a sharp
and nimble wit with an acute intellect" seems to have been the only goal
aimed at. At this subject John became so expert that "in the commonplace
rules and other rudimentary principles which boys study, and in which the
aforesaid masters were most weighty, I seemed to myself to know them as
well as my nail and fingers. One thing certainly I had attained to,
namely, to estimate my knowledge much higher than it deserved. I fancied
myself a young scholar, because I was quick in what I had been taught."

John, however, became conscious of an intellectual appetite which the
formal routine of logic did not satisfy; consequently, he determined to
enter upon the study of grammar, and for this purpose he left Paris for
Chartres, to study under the Grammarian, William of Conches. The
cathedral school at Chartres had long been famous as a centre of learning.
One of the most famous masters of the school was Bernard Sylvester,
described by John of Salisbury as "in modern times the most abounding
spring of letters in France."[702] Poole gives an account of this school
under Bernard:--

     "The pupil went through all the routine of metaplasm, schematism, and
     figures of speech; but this was only the groundwork. As soon as
     possible he was introduced to the classical texts themselves and in
     order to create a living interest in the study, Bernard used not
     merely to treat these grammatically, but also to comment freely upon
     them.... Nor did he confine himself to the form of what was being
     read; he was still more anxious to impress upon his pupils its
     meaning. It was a principle with him that the wider and more copious
     the master's knowledge, the more fully will he perceive the elegancy
     of his authors and the more clearly will he teach them."[703]

Among the teaching methods adopted by Bernard, and by his successors in
the school, Richard the Bishop, and William of Conches, were those of
requiring exercises daily in prose and verse composition. By way of
preparation for these exercises, the pupils were shown the qualities in
the classical writers which were deemed worthy of adoption. The pupils
passed round their exercises to one another for comment and criticism, and
in this way emulation was stimulated. In addition to composition, the
pupils had a good deal to commit to memory; they were every day required
to keep a record of the lessons they had received. John of Salisbury
writes of Richard the Bishop that he was a man "who was master of every
kind of learning and who had more heart even than speech, more learning
than eloquence, more truth than vanity, more virtue than ostentation; the
things I had learnt from others, I reviewed from him, besides certain
things which I now learnt for the first time relating to the
Quadrivium.... I also again studied Rhetoric, which previously I had
scarcely understood when it was first treated of superficially by Master
Theodoric."[704] John also studied rhetoric from Peter Helias, "a
grammarian of high repute."

Apparently John was obliged to maintain himself during this period, as he
had no parents or relatives who could support him. Consequently, we find
that he taught the "children of noble persons." He did not consider the
time he spent in teaching the young as wasted, because it forced him to
revise that which he had previously learnt himself. Whilst engaged in the
task of teaching, John became acquainted with Adam du Petit Pont, an
Englishman who subsequently became Bishop of St. Asaph. John describes
Adam as a man "of much learning who had given special study to Aristotle."
John is careful to point out that he was never a pupil of Adam, yet Adam
seems to have been well disposed to John, and to have assisted him in
various ways.

In order to apply himself to the study of theology, John returned to
Paris. His course was interrupted by his poverty; during the necessary
interval he again acted as tutor. At the end of three years, he was once
again in Paris, where his studies were continued, first under Robert
Pullus and afterwards under Simon of Poissy--"a trusty lecturer but dull
in disputations."

In the conclusion of the record of his school studies, John gives an
account of a visit he paid to the school of logic at Paris attended by him
whilst a youth. He states that his purpose in doing so was to endeavour to
estimate the relative progress made by the schools of logic, and by
himself. He writes:--

     "I found them as before and where they were before; nor did they
     appear to have reached the goal in unravelling the old questions, nor
     had they added one jot of a proposition. The aims that once inspired
     them, inspired them still; they only had progressed in one point,
     they had unlearned moderation, they knew not modesty. And thus
     experience taught me a manifest conclusion that, whereas dialectic
     furthers other studies, so if it remain by itself it lies bloodless
     and barren, nor does it quicken the soul to yield fruit of
     philosophy, except the same conceive from elsewhere."[705]

We also obtain a certain amount of educational biography from the writings
of Alexander Neckham, who was at one time the master of the school at
Dunstable.[706] Neckham tells us that, when he was a boy, he attended the
school at St. Albans; then he passed over to Paris, where he studied
theology, medicine, canon and civil law.[707]

A third account needs to be referred to before we can consider what
conclusions we can draw with regard to the curriculum of the twelfth

William Fitzstephen, (d. 1190), was employed by Thomas à Beckett. He
witnessed the murder of his master and wrote his biography. This work
contains an interesting account of London in the twelfth century and,
incidentally, describes an important occasion in schoolboy life. He

     "On feast days, the masters celebrate assemblies at the churches, _en
     fête_. The scholars hold disputations, some declaiming, others by way
     of question and answer. These roll out euthymemes, these use the
     better form of perfect syllogisms. Some dispute merely for show as
     they do at collections; others for truth, which is the grace of
     perfection. The sophists using the Socratic irony are pronounced
     happy because of the mass and volume of their words; others play upon
     words. Those learning rhetoric, with rhetorical speeches, speak to
     the point with a view to persuasion, being careful to observe the
     precepts of their art, and to leave out nothing that belongs to it.
     The boys of the different schools vie with each other in verses; or
     dispute; or dispute on the principles of grammar, or the rules of
     preterites and supines."

Fitzstephen concludes with a quotation from Persius:--

                  "multum ridere parati
  Ingeminant tremulos naso crispante cachinnos."[708]

We may also note, from the same work, the reference which Fitzstephen
gives to the education of Beckett. He tells us that the future archbishop
was first brought up "in religiosa domo canonicorum Meritoniae," then he
passed the years of "infantiae, pueritiae, et pubertatis" in the home of
his father and "in scholis urbis." When he became a young man, Thomas
proceeded to Paris to study.[709]

These accounts we have given of the education of John of Salisbury,
Alexander Neckham, and Thomas à Beckett are noteworthy. They show that
education in the twelfth century was much more general, and much more
advanced, than we usually think. The audiences, assembled at the school
festivities, were able to understand, and thoroughly to appreciate
dialectical disputations carried on in Latin. So too, we learn elsewhere,
that when Giraldus Cambrensis was giving addresses, he was everywhere
understood when he spoke in Latin.

Taking these three accounts together, we are justified in distinguishing
four stages of education during the twelfth century.

     I. The Grade of Elementary Instruction.--At this stage, the children
     would learn from the horn book and primer,[710] and would also commit
     certain psalms to memory.

     II. The Grammar Grade.--The object of the instruction at this stage
     would be to give the student a working knowledge of the Latin
     language. The chief grammars used were those of Donatus and Priscian;
     these would be supplemented by a study of various compilations of
     proverbs, fables, and dialogues, _e.g._ Cato's "Distichs." Song was
     studied concurrently with grammar.

     III. The Logic Grade.--This would be the study of the boys who had
     made satisfactory progress with grammar. It consisted of formal logic
     only. The writings of Boethius were the sources from which the early
     Middle Ages drew their knowledge of logic.

     IV. The University Grade.--This term we use to denote the advanced
     studies of the period, whether pursued at Paris or Oxford, or at any
     other famous centre of intellectual activity. The examples we have
     given, of the studies carried on by John of Salisbury and Alexander
     Neckham, will serve to illustrate the character of the work which was
     being done at this stage.

In the thirteenth century the only educational reference which throws
light on the school curriculum, outside the university of Oxford, which we
have been able to trace, is an extract from the Chapter Act Book of
Southwell Minster, which states that, in 1248, "non teneantur Scole de
Grammatica vel Logica infra prebendas Canonicorum, nisi secundum
consuetudinem Ebor."[711] This passage serves to illustrate the continued
existence of the three grades of educational instruction we have

The statutes of Merton College, Oxford, which date from the thirteenth
century, refer to the study of grammar, which is to be undertaken both by
the scholars and the boys. The grammarian is to talk Latin with the boys
whenever it shall be to their benefit, or he may talk to them in "idiomate
vulgari" (_i.e._ French). The same chapter gives the studies of the
scholars as consisting of "arts, philosophy, canon law, or theology."

Further insight into the conditions of medieval education can be obtained
from a study of some of the writings of Roger Bacon. Of his life scarcely
anything is known: "Born, studied at Oxford, went to Paris, studied,
experimented; is at Oxford again, and a Franciscan; studies, teaches,
becomes suspect to his Order, is sent back to Paris, kept under
surveillance, receives a letter from the Pope, writes, writes, writes--his
three best-known works; is again in trouble, confined for many years,
released and dead, so very dead, body and fame alike, until partly
unearthed after five centuries."[712]

Whilst at Oxford, Bacon studied under two teachers whose names he
gives--Robert Grosseteste, who "knew the sciences better than any other
man,"[713] and Adam Marsh, whom he links with Grosseteste as "perfect in
divine and human wisdom." From Oxford Bacon went to Paris, where he not
only continued his studies but also engaged in teaching. He writes, "I
caused youth to be instructed in languages and geometric figures, in
numbers and tables and instruments, and many needful matters."[714]

Interest in education was apparently spreading about this time. "Never,"
writes Bacon, "has there been such a show of wisdom, nor such prosecution
of study through so many regions as in the last forty years. Doctors are
spread everywhere, especially in theology, in every city, castle, and
burgh, chiefly through the two student orders."[715] In spite of this
general interest Bacon complains that "never was there so much ignorance
and so much error." Four causes are enumerated by him to account for this
ignorance--"the example of frail and unworthy authority, long established
custom, the sense of the ignorant crowd and the hiding of one's own
ignorance under the show of Wisdom."[716] The fourth cause, especially, is
arraigned by Bacon: "This is a lone and savage beast, which devours and
destroys all reason--this desire of seeming wise, with which every man is

In addition to this general attack upon the causes of the prevalent
ignorance, Bacon specifies seven distinct charges against the teachers of
his day.[717]

(1) Though theology is the queen of the sciences, yet philosophy is
allowed to dominate.

(2) Theologians do not study sufficiently the "best sciences." By the
"best sciences," Bacon meant "the grammar of the foreign tongues, from
which all theology comes. Of even more value are mathematics, optics,
moral sciences, experimental science, and alchemy." The "common sciences"
(scientiae viles) include "grammar, logic, natural philosophy in its baser
part, and a certain side of metaphysic."

(3) Scholars are ignorant of Greek and Hebrew and Arabic, and consequently
they are ignorant of what is contained in the books written in these

(4) They lecture on the "Sentences" of Peter Lombard, instead of on the
text of Scripture.

(5) The copy of the Vulgate Scripture at Paris is very corrupt.

(6) Through the corrupt condition of the text, both the literal
interpretation and the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture is full
of error.

The text of the _Opus Minus_ is broken off at this point, so that no
information is forthcoming as to the seventh criticism that Bacon desired
to offer.[718]

In order to remedy the educational shortcomings, Bacon suggests additions
to the usual subjects of study. Special attention, he thinks, should be
paid to languages, particularly to Latin and Greek; in addition, Bacon was
anxious that Hebrew, Chaldee, and Arabic should be studied. It is
noteworthy that Bacon desired these languages to be studied for the sake
of their knowledge-matter, and not for the literature they embodied. Next
to languages, Bacon placed the study of mathematics. "I hold mathematics
necessary in the second place, to the end that we may know what may be
known. It is not planted in us by nature, yet is closest to inborn
knowledge, of all the sciences which we know through discovery and
learning. For its study is easier than all other sciences, and boys learn
its branches easily. Besides, the laity can make diagrams, and calculate
and sing, and use musical instruments. These are the 'opera' of

From Bacon we learn something of the difficulties with which the medieval
scholar had to contend. Among other things, he complains of the
indifferent value of the translations, through whose aid alone knowledge
was possible. "Though we have numerous translations of all the sciences
... there is such an utter falsity in all their writings that none can
sufficiently wonder at it."[720] The scarcity of books placed a great
obstacle in the way of those who wished to profit by them. "The scientific
books of Aristotle, of Avicenna, of Seneca, of Cicero, and other ancients,
cannot be had except at great cost; their principal works have not been
translated into Latin, and copies of others are not to be found in
ordinary libraries or elsewhere."[721] The scarcity of competent
teachers, especially in mathematics, still further intensified the
difficulties. "Without mathematics, nothing worth knowing in philosophy
can be attained. And, therefore, it is indispensable that good
mathematicians be had, who are very scarce. Nor can any obtain their
services, especially the best of them, except it be the pope or some great
prince."[722] Moreover, there was the scarcity and the expense of
obtaining the necessary scientific apparatus: "without mathematical
instruments no science can be mastered; and these instruments are not to
be found among the Latins, and could not be made for £200 or £300. And
besides, better tables are indispensable requisites, for although the
certifying of the tables is done by instruments, yet this cannot be
accomplished unless there be an immense number of instruments."[723] The
question of expense is a matter that Bacon frequently refers to, as he
found that inability to meet the expenditure necessary for the work he
desired to carry out effectually checked the projects he had in his mind.
"I know how to proceed," he writes, "and with what means, and what are the
impediments; but I cannot go on for lack of the necessary funds. Through
the twenty years in which I laboured specially in the study of wisdom,
careless of the crowd's opinion, I spent more than two thousand pounds on
occult books and various experiments and languages and instruments and
tables and other things."[724]

Details are also available of the curriculum for the bachelors who were to
determine at Oxford in 1267. This included:--

_Logic._ The bachelors "shall swear on the gospels that they have gone
through all the books of the old Logic in lectures at least twice, except
Boethius, for which one hearing is enough, and the Fourth Book of
Boethius' Topics, which they are not bound to hear at all; in the new
Logic, the book of Prior Analytics, Topics and Fallacies twice; but the
book of Posterior Analytics, they shall swear that they have heard at
least once."

_Grammar._ Priscian and Donatus.

_Natural Philosophy._ "De Anima, De Generatione et Corruptione."[725]

For the fourteenth century we have the writings of Chaucer, which serve to
throw some light upon what was taught in the schools. He tells us of:--

  "A litel scole of Cristen folk ther stood
  Doun at the ferther ende, in which ther were
  Children an heep, y comen of Christen blood
  That lerned in that scole yeer by yeer,
  Swich maner doctrine as men used there,
  That is to seyn, to singen and to rede,
  As smale children doon in hir childhede."[726]

Among these children, he describes a "widwes sone, a lytel clergeon, seven
yeer of age" who had been taught by a pious mother to kneel down and say
an "Ave Marie" whenever he saw "th' image of Cristes moder." The little
boy heard his elders singing the "Alma redemptoris," and asked one of them
to "expounden this song in his langage, or telle him why this song was in
usage." The older boy explains that it was sung in honour of the Mother of
Christ, "Hir to salue and eek hir for to preye." However, he could tell
his questioner little more.

  "I can no more expounde in this matere;
  I lerne song, I can but smal grammere,"

_i.e._ he was learning how to read and sing, but his knowledge of Latin
was slight.

These extracts from Chaucer enable us to see that schools were common at
this time, and that the curriculum of the schools consisted of Latin
reading, of song, and, for those who showed aptitude, a further study of
Latin grammar.

Chaucer also describes for us:--

  "A clerk ther was of Oxenford also,
  That unto logik hadde longe y go,"

but the only information we glean of the academic studies of this clerk
was, that he had,

                "at his beddes heed,
  Twenty bokes, clad in blak or reed,
  Of Aristotle and his philosophye."[727]

At the close of the fourteenth century, the statutes of New College,
Oxford, which were also partly those of Winchester College, give us the
curriculum of the time. The university scholars were to study Theology,
Canon and Civil Law, Arts, and Philosophy; the choristers were to be
taught to read and sing; this is subsequently explained to mean "reading,
plain song and old Donatus." The "pauperes scholares" of Winchester were
expected to be proficient in grammar.[728]

From this time onwards we begin to get fuller particulars of the school
curriculum. Hence it is only necessary for us to quote representative


Some particulars of the curriculum of a grammar school may be gleaned from
an extract from an entry in the Ipswich Court Book of 1476-7. It runs:--

"The grammar master shall henceforth have the jurisdiction and governaunce
of all scholars within the liberty and precinct of this town, except only
petties called "Apeseyes" and song, taking for his salary from each
grammar scholar, psalter scholar, and primer scholar, according to the
tariff fixed by the Bishop of Norwich, viz. for each grammarian 10d.,
psalterian 8d., and primerian 6d. a quarter."[729]

This extract brings out four grades of instruction.

1. The petties or infants, consisting of those who learnt the A B C.[730]

2. Those who were studying a primer.[731]

3. Those learning the Psalms.

4. Those studying Donatus and Priscian.


The first full curriculum of a school which we have been able to trace, is
that which was drawn up for the use of the school which was founded in
1526 at Childrey, in Berkshire, by Sir William Fettiplace. The priest to
be appointed to the school was required to be well instructed in grammar.
The children in the school were to be taught, first, the alphabet, and
then in Latin, the Lord's Prayer, the "Hail Mary," the Apostles' Creed,
all things necessary for serving at Mass, the De Profoundis, collects for
the departed, and grace for dinner and supper; and in English, the
Fourteen Articles of Faith, the Ten Commandments, the seven deadly sins,
the seven sacraments, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven works
of mercy, the manner of confession, good manners and good conduct. In
addition, if any of those who attended the school were capable of
profiting by further instruction, the master was required to instruct them
in grammar.[732]


We also possess a full account of the curriculum adopted at the school
founded by the will of Edmund Flower, a "citizein and marchaunt tailor of
London."[733] Previous to his death, Flower had "for certeine years past
at his cost and charge caused a fre Gramer Scole to be maintained and kept
at Cukfelde." This school was further endowed by William Spicer, the
incumbent of Balcombe in 1528, who required that the schoolmaster should
"teach the said school grammar after the form order and usage used and
taught in the grammar school at Eton near Windsor from form to form." For
this purpose, a copy of the Eton time table was obtained. This original
has, unfortunately, been lost, but a copy, which dates from the Stuart
period, is still preserved in a book in the possession of the Vicar of
Cuckfield.[734] The Eton time table of this period was also sent to
Saffron Walden School, and, together with the time table of Winchester,
was incorporated in the Saffron Walden School statutes.[735]

The statutes show that the Latin grammar in use was that by Stanbridge, so
far as the lower forms were concerned, and that by Whittington in the
higher forms. John Stanbridge, who was made master of Banbury Hospital
School in 1501, wrote several Latin Grammars. The teaching of grammar
"after the manner of Banbury" was subsequently prescribed at a number of
grammar schools, _e.g._ Manchester, Cuckfield, and Merchant Taylors.[736]
Whittington was the master of the school at Lichfield, in connection with
St. John's Hospital in that city; he brought out an improved version of
the grammar of Stanbridge.[737]

The Latin authors mentioned in these statutes include Terence, Cicero,
Sallust, Caesar, Horace, Ovid, Virgil, thus showing that the influence of
the Renaissance was beginning to be felt. Here, however, we touch upon a
topic which must be reserved for future consideration. It is possible to
read too much into this list of authors, as Colet, in his statute of 1518,
when dealing with the choice of authors to be studied at St. Paul's
School, mentions Lactantius, Prudentius, Proba, Sedulius, Juvencus, and
Baptista Mantuanus, even though he expressly stated that he wished to
select only "good auctors suych as have the veray Romayne eloquence joyned
with wisdome."

We may, therefore, summarise the school curriculum of the Middle Ages as
consisting mainly of grammar, meaning by the term the study of the reading
of ecclesiastical Latin, and the acquisition of the power to speak Latin.
During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Logic was also studied and,
for a time, was the supreme study. Gradually the study of Logic returned
to a subsidiary position, due, partly, to the fact that new studies were
slowly finding their way into the curriculum owing to the humanistic
influences which began to manifest themselves in Italy in the fourteenth
century; and partly to the fact that the barren nature of the study of
Logic was being realised by men of thought.

A new subject began to win a place in the school curriculum towards the
close of the fifteenth century--the study of the Scrivener's art, or the
art of writing. We have already dealt with this subject in previous
chapters.[738] Here it may suffice to set forth the reason which Thomas
Rotherham, Archbishop of York, gave for introducing the subject into his
Foundation of Rotherham College in 1483:--[739]

     "Tercio que, quia multos luce et ingenii acumine preditos juvenes
     profert terra illa, neque omnes volunt sacerdotii dignitatem et
     altitudinem attingere, ut tales ad artes mechanicas et alia mundi
     Concernia magis habilitentur, ordinavimus tercium socium, in arte
     scribendi et computandi scientem et peritum."



In reviewing the educational progress which our country has made during
the later Middle Ages, our starting point must be the consideration of the
ideals which at various times dominated education, and created a supply
of, and a demand for, facilities for education.

The ideal behind the schools first established in this country was
essentially religious. The early missionaries clearly realised that the
Christian religion could not exist side by side with ignorance. It was
necessary that provision should be made to enable converts effectively to
participate in the divine service offered by the church; it was imperative
that Latin should be taught to those who wished properly to understand the
teaching of the church and to those who were desirous of being admitted to
office in the church. Latin was the native language of the Christian
missionaries; the services of the church were conducted in that tongue;
and medieval ecclesiastical literature was written in the Latin language.
More than this, Latin was the universal language of the civilised world of
the time and, it must be remembered, there was no standard language in
this country which could act as a substitute. It was in response to this
ideal of the Church, the ideal which required that facilities for
religious education should be within the reach of all, that the Church set
herself to see that in every parish, in every town, in every city, a
school should be found.

The progress of the Christian religion entailed a progress in morality.
Progress in morality necessarily involved progress in civilisation. With
the growth of civilisation, there developed gradually an interest in the
things of the mind as well as the things of the body. Thus it came about
that education began to possess a value for its own sake, apart from its
service in connection with religious progress.

But the ideal of education, as necessary for moral perfection, never
ceased to be the ideal behind the establishment of church schools. From
the earliest date three things have been considered necessary for
religious education: there must be a training in habits of worship and
devotion, the mind must be stored with adequate and systematised knowledge
of the doctrine of the Church to serve as a guide to conduct, and there
must be held before the mind of the pupil the ideal character of Christ,
human and divine.

Hence we note that the curriculum of the schools evolved in response to
this ideal. It consisted, as we have seen, of song and grammar: song,
because of its value in the training of habits of worship and devotion;
grammar, because it put the scholar in possession of the key to unlock the
store of knowledge which the Church possessed.

Gradually another ideal came into existence. People began to realise that
these church schools were useful for "bread and butter" purposes. Just as
the ideal which we have first outlined and which created the supply of
schools was the highest possible, so the motive which exercised an
important influence upon the demand for schools was the lowest possible.
Yet, it must be confessed that the "bread and butter" motive proved to be
a most powerful one in stimulating the demand for schools. Throughout the
history of the human race self-interest has always been a powerful
stimulant to action. Under normal circumstances and in the great majority
of cases, as soon as a man freely realises that a certain course will be
of service to him, he proceeds to take the necessary action.

These two ideals were in operation, side by side, during the period from
the eleventh century to the close of the Middle Ages. The authorities of
the church, believing in the value of education as an agency for the
elevation of the human character sought to provide schools; the principle
of self-interest, in many cases, led children to attend these schools.

Towards the latter part of the period we are now concerned with, a new
ideal and a new agency gradually manifested itself. The new ideal arose
out of the perception of the value of education. Education began to be
conceived of as a preparation for a life in this world as well as a life
in eternity; now "learning and manners" begin to be combined just as
previously "religion and letters" were linked together. Thus we read that
the school at Wisbech was founded that children might be instructed in
"godly and vertuos lerninge,"[740] and the school at Tewkesbury "for the
bringynge up of the saide youths in knowlege of vertue and good

With this realisation of a social ideal for education, schools began to be
provided by civic societies and by merchants who had gained a fortune for
themselves. The social ideal arose out of the value of religious
education, hence the curriculum was not affected. There was a change in
the agency through which the school was provided, there was a change in
the mode of governing the schools, there was a change in the relationship
of the teacher to the church, but there was no change in the curriculum.
Inspired originally by a religious ideal, it was now known to serve a
social purpose.

Among the early merchant founders of schools may be mentioned William
Sevenoaks, a grocer of London, who founded Sevenoaks Grammar School in
1432, Edmund Flower, citizen and merchant tailor of London, the founder of
Cuckfield Grammar School in 1521, Richard Collyer, mercer, who founded
Horsham School, Sussex, in 1532, and William Dyer, mercer, who founded a
school at Houghton Regis in 1515.

Bearing these general principles in mind, we find that the main events
connected with the progress of education during the later Middle Ages may
conveniently be considered under three headings.

     1. Circumstances which influenced the demand for schools.

     2. Lollardism and Education.

     3. Educational Legislation.

(1) The circumstances which influenced the demand for schools arose out of
the existing social conditions. The Church, as a profession, offered
considerable attraction to the able but penniless youth. Many of the
outstanding churchmen of the Middle Ages were men who had come from a
comparatively lowly origin. Thus William of Wykeham was the son of a
yeoman whose ancestors for generations had "ploughed the same lands, knelt
at the same altar, and paid due customs and service to the lord of the
manor." Henry Chicheley, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, famous as
the founder of All Soul's College, was also the son of a yeoman. William
Waynflete, afterwards Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England,
was of lowly origin and at one time occupied the comparatively humble
position of grammar master at Eton College at a salary of £10 a year.

But apart from the great prizes of the church available to those of
outstanding ability, there were also a large number of openings possible
to the man who had availed himself of the educational facilities offered
by the church schools and had there mastered the elements of grammar. He
might proceed from the parochial church schools to the school of a
collegiate church, and possibly he might make his way to the university
and ultimately obtain ordination to the priesthood.

The financial advantages of the education offered by the church became
obvious after the Norman Conquest, and arose out of an undesigned
circumstance. Prior to the Conquest, the parishes of this country were
under the spiritual care of Saxon rectors who were generally well-born and
whose position was well-endowed. The Norman Conquest ultimately resulted
in these men being deprived of their cures and being replaced by ill-paid
vicars or parochial chaplains. The chief factors which brought about this
condition of things were impropriations, papal provisors, pluralities, and
the custom, which gradually grew up, of appointing to livings men who had
only been admitted to minor orders in the church.

The practice of impropriation was an indirect result of the revival of the
monastic principle. The custom of endowing a newly founded monastery with
the patronage of existing churches gradually came into being. When a
vacancy occurred, the monastery as patrons of the benefice bestowed it
upon themselves as a corporation, and drew the stipend attached to it,
appointing a "vicar" to perform the requisite spiritual duties, and
allowing the vicar only a comparatively insignificant share of the
temporalities of the benefice. The position of the incumbent was
consequently considerably degraded both in dignity and in emolument.

The custom of papal provisors dates from the thirteenth century when the
popes began to assume a power of nominating to vacant benefices. In this
way foreigners were appointed to many of the most lucrative of the English
benefices. Naturally they never came near their parishes, but contented
themselves with the appointment of an ill-paid parochial chaplain to
discharge the necessary duties. This custom was put an end to by the
Statute of Praemunire (1392).

We must also note that the system of pluralities was carried on in the
Middle Ages to an extent which seems to us almost incredible to-day. One
man might hold several valuable livings which he never went near, whilst a
clerk, who was frequently paid a miserable wage, was expected to do the
work. Equally vicious was the custom of appointing to benefices men who
had only been admitted to minor clerical orders. "A glance at the lists of
incumbents of parishes in any good county history will reveal the fact
that rectors of parishes were often only deacons, sub-deacons, or
acolytes. It is clear that in many of these cases--probably in the
majority of them--the men had taken minor orders only to qualify
themselves for holding the temporalities of a benefice and never proceeded
to the priesthood at all."[742] Just as in the other cases we have
mentioned, these men drew the revenues of the living and then appointed a
deputy at a small salary to be responsible for the duty.

Whilst the spiritual effects of this policy were disastrous, the policy
itself resulted in education becoming an object of desire to men in the
lower social grades, as they saw in education an opportunity of escape
from their existing circumstances. It does not follow that these men made
either incapable or undesirable priests. One of the most charming pictures
drawn by Chaucer is that of the poor parson of the town, but his social
position is indicated by the fact that "with him there was a ploughman,
was his brother."

The number of possible ecclesiastical appointments does not end with
vicars and parochial chaplains. In addition there were the numerous
chantries, which existed in connection with so very many churches in the
country, and for each of which one or two priests would be required. Then
again the gilds to which we have already referred usually maintained one
or more chaplains. In these ways employment would probably be found for a
large number of priests. "There were at the Reformation, ten gilds in
Windham in Norfolk, seven at Hingham, seventeen at Yarmouth. Moreover, a
gild like a chantry, had sometimes more than one gild priest. Leland tells
us that the gild of St. John's in St. Botolph's Church, Boston, had ten
priests 'living in a fayre house at the west end of the parish
churchyard.' In St. Mary's Church, Lichfield, was a gild which had five

Besides all these regular appointments, there were a large number of
priests who earned fees by taking "temporary engagements" to say masses
for the souls of the departed. Thus Archbishop Islip in his
"Constitutions" speaks of this class as those who "through covetousness
and love of ease, not content with reasonable salaries, demand excessive
pay for their labours and receive it."[744] Chaucer introduces one of
these characters into his _Canon Yeoman's Tale_:--

  "In London was a priest an annueller,
  That therein dwelled hadde many a year
  Which was so pleasant and so serviceable
  Unto the wife there as he was at table
  That she would suffer him no thing to pay
  For board ne clothing went he never so gay
  And spending silver had he right ynoit."

Employment for qualified men was also available in connection with the
establishments of great nobles. The household books which are available
usually contain a record relating to a "maister of gramer." In addition to
grammar masters, these establishments often afforded opportunities for
employment for a number of priests. The "Household Book of the Earl of
Northumberland" gives us information which enables us to see that he
maintained a dean, ten other priests, and six children, who formed a choir
for his private chapel.[745]

It was not only noblemen of high standing who numbered chaplains on their
establishment. Knights and gentlemen and even wealthy tradesmen and yeomen
also had their domestic chaplains. Sir Thomas More writes: "there was such
a rabel (of priests) that every mean man must have a priest to wait upon
his wife, which no man almost lacketh now."[746]

We have thus demonstrated that there existed a considerable demand for men
who had received a certain amount of education, and that as a result the
demand for schools was stimulated. The account we have given in the
preceding part of this work shows that a supply of schools was forthcoming
to meet this demand. We have confined ourselves here to treating of the
demand for men of education in connection with ecclesiastical positions,
but it would also have been possible to show that men of education were
also needed in connection with commerce and law.

(2) Turning next to the second of the three headings we have indicated, we
note that Lollardism is the general term applied to the political and
theological doctrines associated with the name of John Wycliffe. His main
ideas are embodied in his _De Civili Domino_ and _De Domino Divino_. The
chief subject discussed in these works is the nature of the relationship
between a ruler and his subjects and between divine and civil lordship.
His conception of this relationship is based on a feudal view of society,
and he continually borrows illustrations of the relationship of divine to
civil lordship from the connection between feudal lord and vassal. It was
his application of this doctrine to questions touching temporal property
that brought him under the imputation of heresy because he taught that
"ecclesiastical persons or corporations had no indefeasible right to
temporalities which might be taken away in case of misuse."[747] This
theory cut across the doctrine of the supremacy of the spiritual power.
The State, according to Wycliffe, possessed the power of determining the
function of the Church, and when the Church either extended the sphere of
its legitimate operations or misused the revenues entrusted to it for
spiritual purposes, then it was the duty of the State to take such action
as might be necessary for the reformation of the Church.

Poole points out[748] that the main principle contained in the writings of
Wycliffe is the recognition of the significance of the individual whom
Wycliffe regarded as directly responsible to God, and to no one else.
Wycliffe divorced the Church from any necessary connection with the State
and conceived of it simply as a spiritual idea and as consisting of
individuals in a certain relation to God. It is to the uniqueness of
Wycliffe's idea of individualism that Poole considers the claim of
Wycliffe to rank as the "precursor of the Protestant reformation" to be

The doctrines associated with Wycliffe seem to have made great progress
among the teachers of the time. This is not a matter for surprise.
Facilities for education were abundant and education was free. Either by
means of begging, or by exhibitions, or through social interest, a student
might be maintained without expense to himself until his course was
completed. What happened then? Owing to the system of patronage prevailing
in the Church, the clerk found that all the lucrative positions were
usually given to men who on account of their social connections could
command influence, regardless of their merits or demerits. This is brought
out clearly when we consider the presentees to benefices by patrons whom
Bishop Grosseteste refused to institute. One presentee was refused by the
bishop because he was a "boy still in Ovid";[749] another on the ground
that the young man was practically illiterate;[750] in answer to a request
of the papal legate, to institute a son of Earl Ferrers to a living, the
bishop asks to be excused; when pressed, he suggests that the son of Earl
Ferrers should simply draw the revenues of the living and appoint a vicar
to discharge the spiritual duties.[751]

It is not a matter of wonder that the views of Wycliffe found ready
supporters among those of the clergy who were of a low social origin. They
considered themselves qualified for ecclesiastical positions which they
had little hope of ever filling; hence they drifted to the teaching
profession, and in their bitterness of feeling would use the opportunity
they possessed to propagate among their scholars the new ideas they had

It is on an hypothesis of the kind which we have outlined that it is
possible to interpret the legislation against Lollard teachers which was
enacted in the fifteenth century. In 1400, an Act was passed which
provided that:--

     "None of such sect and wicked doctrines and opinions shall make any
     conventicles, or in any wise hold or exercise schools."[752]

Any offender against this Act or anyone who in any way assisted or
supported an offender, "shall before the people in an high place be

In 1406 a petition was presented to the king by the Prince of Wales which
drew attention to the propagation of teaching against the temporal
possessions of the clergy by certain teachers in "lieux secretes appellez
escoles,"[753] and prayed that no man or woman of any sect or doctrine
which was contrary to the catholic faith should hold school. The rigour
with which this commission was enforced is illustrated by the commission
which was issued to the prior of St. Mary's, Coventry, and to the mayor
and bailiffs of that city ordering them to arrest and imprison all
offenders found there.

The spread of Lollardism among teachers is further illustrated by the
"Constitutions" of Archbishop Arundel issued in 1408. He forbade "masters
and all who teach boys or others the arts of grammar and that instruct men
in the first sciences" to teach theology except in accordance with the
customary teaching of the Church, and also prohibited them from allowing
their scholars to select as subjects for disputations any topics relating
to the catholic faith or the sacraments of the Church.[754]

As the existing legislation was apparently not sufficient to effect the
desired purpose, another Act was passed in 1414. By this Act "all of them
which hold any errors or heresies as Lollards" and who sustained it in
"sermons, schools, conventicles, congregations, and confederacies" were to
be arrested.[755]

We have not found it possible to trace the effects of this legislation.

(3) We pass next to consider the Educational Legislation during the later
Middle Ages. In our summary of the economic condition of this country at
the opening of this period we referred to the scarcity of labour
consequent upon the Black Death.[756] As a result an Act was passed in
1388, which provided that "he or she which used to labour at the Plough
and Cart till they be of the age of twelve years, from henceforth they
shall abide at the same labour without being put to any Mystery or
Handicraft; and if any Covenant or Bond of Apprentice be from henceforth
made to the contrary, the same shall be taken for void."[757] The reason
for this Act is embodied in the statute itself: "there is so great
scarcity of Labourers and other Servants of Husbandry that the Gentlemen
and other People of the realm be greatly impoverished for the cause

Either on account of the prosperity of the labouring classes due to the
increase of wages resulting from the demand for labour in the later
fourteenth century, or to avoid the provisions of the Act we have just
described, or for the purpose of making progress in social status, the
custom of sending children to schools seems to have developed. As a
result, the Commons of England petitioned the king in 1391 "de ordeiner et
comander, que null neif ou Vileyn mette ses Enfantz de cy en avant a
Escoles pur eux avancer par Clergie et ce en maintenance et salvation de
l'honour de toutz Frankes du Roialme."[758]

Mr. de Montmorency suggests four reasons for this action on the part of
the Commons.

     (1) The Commons "were anxious to check the further increase in the
     number of unbeneficed clergy and of those whom the bishops could
     claim as subject to ecclesiastical law."

     (2) Lollardism would be very attractive to the newly educated and
     "the Legislature must have realised the revolutionary possibility of
     the first and nobler Reformation."

     (3) "The jurisdiction of Rome increased with the increase of popular
     education," consequently, this "was a serious consideration for the
     patriotic baronage of England."

     (4) If a man became ordained, his services would be lost to the

These reasons do not appear to be very conclusive. The first implies an
opposition between the clergy and laity which was non-existent; the
second and the third are contradictory. If the development of education
fostered Lollardism (which is probable, though it has not yet been
demonstrated) it could scarcely be regarded as equally favourable to Rome.
Further, the desire of limiting the jurisdiction of the Church could have
been gratified more simply by the abolition of the "privilege of clergy."

His fourth reason is a more plausible one but it must be noted that the
consent of the lord of the manor was required before children could be
sent to schools and before ordination.[760] For this reason, legislation
would scarcely be necessary to effect this purpose.

The more probable reason for this petition of the commons is that the
diminution of the supply of labour had caused employers to become fearful
of future possibilities, and that they were afraid that the result of
sending children to school would be that the number of those who would be
prepared to act as "hewers of wood and drawers of water" would be
seriously diminished.

We have just referred to the custom that villeins were not allowed to send
their children to school without the consent of their lords. This custom
was abolished by a statute of 1406 which provided that "chascun homme ou
femme de quele estate ou condicion qil soit, soit fraunc de mettre son
fitz ou file dapprendre lettereure a quelconque escole que leur plest
deinz le Roialme."[761] The same statute provided that labourers could not
apprentice their children to trades and manufactures in the towns unless
they owned land worth £1 a year, probably about £40 a year now.

It is difficult to understand the reasons for this legislation. The Feudal
System was already crumbling and its complete collapse was not far off. It
cannot therefore be assumed that the Act was passed merely to remove a
grievance, because the grievance itself was probably lightly felt. It is
just possible that the Act might have been intended to facilitate the
process by which it was sought to make good the deficiency of priests
occasioned by the Black Death. The reference to "daughters," however,
makes this suggestion improbable. There is also the possibility that the
phrase "dapprendre lettereure" meant an education which would provide for
"godly and virtuous living," which, as we have shown in the preceding
chapter, was becoming recognised as a part of the educational ideal.

The years 1446-7 are important in the history of education in England. In
1446 the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London petitioned the
king for permission to erect two new grammar schools in London; the
permission was granted and the Letters Patent duly issued.[762] In 1447, a
petition was similarly sent to the Commons by four London Rectors for
permission to set up four new grammar schools.[763] As we have already
considered these petitions in the chapter dealing with the question of the
monopoly of school keeping,[764] it will not be necessary for us to deal
further with the topic here.

We have now brought to a close our exposition of the educational
administration in England in the Middle Ages. Until comparatively recently
it was generally believed that the educational provision available in this
country could not be traced back further than to the efforts of the
Reformers of the Church in the sixteenth century, and to the influence of
the Renaissance. We are now able to realise that the two centuries
preceding the Reformation, at least, were a period in which facilities for
education in England were widespread and practically open freely to all.
The educational effect of the Reformation--even though undesigned--was to
remove from the great mass of the people the opportunities for attending
school which had previously been available for them. It is also extremely
probable that the significance of the Renaissance upon the educational
development of this country has been considerably exaggerated; this,
however, is a question which still awaits investigation.




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_Ed. Ch._ Educational Charters.

_E. S. R._ English Schools at the Reformation.

_S. M. E._ Schools of Medieval England.


  Aachen, Council of, 36, 58, 60

  Abbot, John, 125, 155

  Abbot of Ramsey, 36

  Abbotsbury Gild, 144

  "A B C," 74, 167, 228, 229

  Abelard, 134, 135, 218

  Acaster College, 75, 91, 211 _et seq._

  Adam du Petit Point, 78, 220

  Adelard, 34, 78

  Adulterine Gilds, 148

  Aelfric, Abbot, 36, 37, 54

  Agatha, 13

  Agriculture, 7, 129, 130

  Aidan, St., 11, 15, 16

  Aix-la-Chapelle, Council of, 58, 60

  Alberic, 78, 218

  Albert, Archbishop, 26, 27

  Albertus Magnus, 134

  Albigensian Heresy, 184

  Alchemy, 224

  Alcuin, 26 _et seq._, 29, 30, 36

  Aldeborough, 163, 165

  Aldhelm, 12, 26

  Alexander II., Pope, 58

  Alexander of Hales, 187

  Alexandria, Schools of, 20

  Alfeah, Bishop, 34

  Alfred's Palace School, 33

  Alfred the Great, 31 _et seq._

  All Hallow's (London) School, 96

  All Saints' School, Warwick, 43

  Almonry Schools, 69, 106, 170, 172, 174

  Almshouses, 200, 210

  Aluuid, 41

  Annones, 40

  Anselm, Archbishop, 57, 58, 60, 78, 134, 135

  Appointment of Schoolmasters, 104, 105

  Apprenticeship, 153, 154

  Aquinas, Thomas, 134

  Arabic, 224, 225

  Architecture, 7

  Aristotle, 134, 220, 225

  Art, 228

  Arundel School, 105, 241

  Asceticism, 6

  Aske, Robert, 175

  Asser, 32

  Asserton, 168

  Astronomy, 25

  Athelard of Waltham, 42

  Athelhelm, 39, 117

  Athelstan, King, 34

  Athelwold, Bishop, 33, 35

  Athens, Schools at, 20

  Augustine, St., of Canterbury, 3, 12, 20, 26

  Augustine, St., of Hippo, 18, 23

  Avranches School, 58

  Bacon, Roger, 87, 224-227

  Balcombe, 229

  Balsham, Bishop, 204

  Banbury, 230

  Bardney, 174

  Barton School, 86

  Basil, St., of Caesarea, 7, 14, 27

  Basil, St., of Lindisfarne, 11

  Basingstoke, 163, 164

  Battle School, 105

  Beccles Manor, 105

  Beckington, Bishop, 90

  Bec, Monastery of, 27, 57, 58

  Bede, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 24, 25 _et seq._

  Bedford School, 85, 105

  Begging Scholars, 189 _et seq._

  Benedict Biscop, 12, 13, 14

  Benedict, St., 8 _et seq._

  Benedictine monks, 5 _et seq._

  Benedictine rules, 9, 105, 178, 181

  Benedictine statutes, 105, 178, 181

  Berkeley, Lady, 207

  Berkhampstead, 164

  Bernard of Clairvaux, 135

  Bernard Sylvester, 219

  Bernard's, St., College, Oxford, 180

  Bishop's Schools, 23, 24, 28 _et seq._

  Black Death, 126, 127, 241, 243

  Boethius, 133, 222, 226

  Bologna, 136

  Boniface, Archbishop, 140

  Boston, 85, 237

  Botelor School, 114

  Bourne, 171

  Brecon, 74, 167, 214

  Bredgar, 207

  Bridgnorth, 154, 163

  Bristol Gilds, 146, 150

  Bristol Schools, 85

  Brock, William, 181

  Bromiscombe, Bishop, 206

  Brotherhood of the Holy Ghost, Gild of, 164

  Bruton, 61, 105, 171, 172

  Burghersh, Bishop, 193

  Bury St. Edmunds, 61, 85, 89, 105, 114, 171

  Byngham, Wm., 127

  Byrhtferth, 36

  Caedmon, 12

  Calne Chantry, 168

  Cambridge Gild, 144

  Cambridge, Univ. of, 140, _et seq._, 179, 184, 186, 203, 204

  Canon Law, 79, 80, 83, 85, 87

  Canterbury, 26, 27, 28, 61, 74, 75, 204

  Canterbury Hall, 180

  Canute, King, 41

  Capitalist Class, Rise of, 131

  Capitularies, 787, 789, 802, 27

  Carlisle Gilds, 146

  Carpenter, Sir J., 213

  Carrow Abbey, 176

  Cassian, 7, 8

  Cassiodorus, 8, 133

  Catechetical Schools, 22

  Cathedral Schools, 10, 22 _et seq._, 69

  Ceolfrid, 10, 12

  Ceolnoth, Archbishop, 19

  Ceolwulf, 16

  Chad, St., 5, 15

  Chalons-sur-Sôane, 24

  Chancellor, 80 _et seq._, 106, 142, 213

  Chantries' Act, 159, 169, 188, 206

  Chantry Schools, 98, 109, 157 _et seq._

  Charles the Great, 28, 46

  Chartres, 5, 8, 66, 78, 218

  Chaucer, 121, 176, 227, 237, 238

  Chesterfield, 105

  Chicheley, Archbishop, 126, 210, 235

  Childrey, 229

  Chivalry, 119, 120, 131

  Choristers' Schools, 89 _et seq._

  Christ Church, Hants., 85, 105, 171

  Christ Church, Oxford, 180

  Christ Church, Twineham, 61

  Christian Schools, 22 _et seq._

  Chrodegang, Bishop, 18

  Church and Education, 1, 2, 18, 19, 33 _et seq._, 44 _et seq._, 53 _et
        seq._, 118 _et seq._, 168, 169 _et seq._

  Church and State, Relation between, 12, 17 _et seq._, 44, 45, 49, 76

  Church Scot, 40

  Cicero, 13, 21, 133, 225, 230

  Cirencester, 105

  Clement of Alexandria, 22

  Clement V., Pope, 127

  Clermont, 23, 24

  Cloveshoo, Council of, 11

  Cluny, 57 _et seq._

  Cock Penny, 113

  Coggeshall School, 164, 200

  Colchester, 105

  Colet, Dean, 67, 111, 113, 167, 230

  College de Dix Huit, 202

  Collegiate Churches, 17 _et seq._, 44 _et seq._, 106 _et seq._, 193,
        196, Bk. III. Ch. 7

  Collyer, Richard, 234

  Cologne Gilds, 144

  Commensales, 194

  Commercial changes in the 15th century, 130

  Common Sciences, 224

  Corbeil, 35

  Corpus Christi, Gild of, 156

  Coventry Gild, 156

  Coventry Leet Book, 125

  Coventry School, 113, 154, 171, 174, 241

  Coxford Priory and Convent, 109

  Craft Gilds, 52, 146-148, 151

  Crediton Chantry, 168, 214

  Cromer School, 125

  Cross, St., Hospital of, 191

  Crusades, Influence on Education, 118 _et seq._, 132, 134

  Cuckfield, 229, 230, 234

  Curriculum, 22, 24, 26, 133, 166, 167, 226, 229, 230, 234, Book III.
        Chap. 8

  Cuthbert, St., 13, 16

  Cynewulf, 12

  Danish Invasions, 31

  Decay of Chivalry, 131

  Decline of Feudal System, 130

  Denton, 168

  Derby, 85, 89, 105, 171, 192

  Deritend, 163, 164

  Dialectics, 133

  Diet, 5

  Discipline, 42

  Dominic, St., 149, 183

  Dominician Friars, 183 _et seq._

  Donatus, 35, 66, 71, 88, 133, 228

  Doomsday Book, 30, 39, 43, 50

  Dorchester, 168

  Drapers' Guild, 154

  Duns Scotus, 134, 187

  Dunstable, 85, 96, 105, 171, 221

  Dunstan, Archbishop, 16, 33 _et seq._, 38, 39, 96

  Dunwich, 65

  Durham, 105, 114, 123, 124, 146, 173, 174, 177, 178, 192

  Dyer, William, 234

  Eadmer, 62

  Eanbald, Archbishop, 29

  East Retford, 163, 165

  Eata, 11

  Eccleshall, 163, 165

  Economic conditions in Anglo-Saxon times, 14

  Edgar, King, 33, 41, 86

  Edward the Confessor, 43

  Edward VI., Schools of, 152

  Egglesfield, 196

  Elementary Instruction, 222

  Elizabeth, Queen, 152

  Endowment, 196

  Episcopal Schools, 24, 28, 61

  Ernwulf, Prior, 57

  Eton, 70, 91, 96, 101, 167, 188 _et seq._, 193, 194, 195, 196, 200, 201,
        214, 215

  Evesham, 61, 104

  Exeter, 70, 97, 144, 154, 192, 197, 198

  Experimental Science, 224

  Eye Chantry, 164

  Eynsham, 138

  Factory System, 129

  "Fagging," 122

  Farmary School, 173, 174

  Farthinghoe, 125, 155

  Fastolf, Sir John, 162

  Ferendon, 98

  Feudal System, 45 _et seq._, 118 _et seq._, 243

  Fines, Feudal, 51

  Fitzstephen, 10, 113, 117, 221

  Fleury, 35, 42

  Florence of Worcester, 62

  Flower, Ed., 234

  Foreign Trade in 15th century, 130

  Fotheringhay, 210

  France, Church of, 78

  Franciscans, 149, 182, 183

  Fraternity of the Assumption of the Virgin, 151

  Free School, 67 _et seq._

  Free Tenants, 50, 117

  French Language in Schools, 127, 128, 223

  Freya, 3

  Friars, 182 _et seq._, 223

  Frideswide, St., 138

  Frith Gilds, 145

  Frithegode, 39

  Gallienus, 144

  Gaps School, 24

  Gardyner, John, 155

  Gargrave, 164, 165

  Geoffrey of Maine, 61

  Geoffrey of Monmouth, 62

  Ghent, 38

  Giffard, Bishop, 180

  Gilds, 2, 52, 109 _et seq._, 136, 142, 144, 145, 147, 148, 150, 151,
        155, 156

  Giles, Bishop, 192, 203

  Giraldus Cambrensis, 138, 222

  Girls, Education of, 170 _et seq._

  Glasney, 74, 167, 206

  Glastonbury, 33, 34

  Gloucester, 19, 96, 98, 100, 105, 171, 174, 177, 178

  Gloucester College, Oxford, 180, 181

  Godfrey of Malmesbury, 59

  Goldsmiths' Company, 125, 155

  Goode, Bishop, 74

  Graeco-Roman Schools, 20, 24

  Grammar, 7, 65, 193, 194, 198, 205, 206, 210, 211, 213, 215, 216, 222,
        224, 227, 228, 229, 233, 238, 241

  Grammar School, 20, 65 _et seq._, 84 _et seq._

  Grandisson, Bishop, 192, 206

  Grantham School, 86

  Gratian, Edict of, 40

  Greek Education, 8

  Greek, 224, 225

  Green, Sir Wm., 190

  Gregory, Bishop, 23, 26, 31

  Gregory VII., Pope, 48

  Gregory IX., Pope, 136

  Grimsby School, 86

  Grosseteste, Robert, 139, 223, 240

  Gryndour, Richard, 114

  Guildford, 186

  Guldulf, Bishop, 57

  Gynwell, Bishop, 176

  Hadrian, Abbot, 12, 25

  Hamburg Gild, 144

  Hamlyn, John, 100

  Hanse des Merchandes de L'eau, 146

  Harold, King, 42

  Harrow, 200

  Hartlebury, 113

  Hastings, 85

  Hatherton, 157

  Hebrew, 224, 225

  Hemmingborough, 208

  Henry I., 147

  Henry II., 47, 146

  Henry III., 140, 141

  Henry VII., 181

  Henry VIII., 159

  Henry of Blois, Bishop, 191

  Henry of Huntingdon, 62

  Herebald, 25

  Hermit, 6

  Herton, Rd., 191

  Hexham, 25, 28, 30

  Heytesbury, 213

  Higham Ferrens, 210

  Hilary, Bishop, 23

  Hincmar, 48

  Hingham, 237

  Holbeach, 168

  Holy Cross, Waltham, 42

  Horace, 13, 20

  Horncastle, 86

  Horsham, 23

  Hospitals, 191, 192, 210, 213

  Hospitaller, 120

  Houghton, 168, 234

  Howden Schools, 73, 205

  Hull Schools, 168

  Hundred Years' War, 130

  Huntingdon, 61, 62, 85, 96, 105, 171

  Ideals of Chivalry, 119, 120

  Ilbert of Lacy, 94

  Impropriation, 236

  Infant Education, 7, 10

  Ini, King, 16

  Innocent III., Pope, 47, 84, 182

  Ipswich, 114, 116, 154, 178, 179, 186, 228

  Ireland, 11, 20, 34

  Isidorus, 133

  Islip, John, Abbot, 180

  Islip, Simon, Archbishop, 180, 237

  Ivo of Chartres, 58

  Jarrow, 12

  Jerome, 20, 26

  Jews, 6

  John, Abbot, 13

  John, King, 140

  John of Cella, 61

  John of Salisbury, 78, 87, 217-220, 222

  John, St., Bishop of Hexham, 25

  John, St., of Beverley, 25

  Joissy of London, 202

  Kalendars, Gild of, 105

  Kempe, John, 211

  King's College, Cambridge, 194

  Kingston Gild, 156

  Kinoulton, 70, 86

  Knighthood, 120

  Knights of Santiago, 120

  Lancaster, 105, 155, 163 _et seq._

  Lanfranc, 15, 57, 58, 78, 204

  Langley, Bishop, 114, 158

  Lateran Council, 83, 84

  Latin, 4 _et seq._, 11, 13, 19, 29, 32, 43, 72, 103, 166

  Launceston, 74, 167

  Law, 221, 228

  Lectors, 186

  Ledbury, 214

  Legislation, 235, 241

  Leicester, 105

  Leland, 137

  Le Mans, 24

  Leo I., Pope, 24, 26

  Lerens, 24

  Lewes, 105, 171

  Libraries, 12, 26, 27

  Lichfield, 230, 237

  Lincoln, 80, 86, 91, 101, 102, 146, 168, 172, 186

  Lindisfarne, 3, 11, 74, 75

  Litteratores, School of, 20

  Llangadock, 214

  Llanthony, 98

  Logic, 133, 218, 219, 220, 221, 223, 224, 226, 230, 235, 238, 240, 241,
        242, 243

  Lombard, Peter, 224

  London, Council of, 56

  Lübeck, 144

  Lucretius, 21

  Luxeuil, 24

  Lyme Regis, 145, 168

  Lynn, 144

  Lyons, 20

  Macclesfield, 125

  Maidstone, 208

  Maistyr of Gramer, 123

  Maldon, 150

  Malet, Robert, 94

  Malmesbury, 105

  Manchester, 113, 230

  Manners, 234

  Manorial System, 49 _et seq._, 126

  Manufactures, Rise of, 128

  Manuscript, Transcription of, 8, 9

  Marlborough, 86

  Marseilles, 7

  Martianus, 133

  Mary-le-Bow, 96

  Mary, Queen, 152

  Mary's, St., Coll., Oxford, 180

  Mathematics, 20, 224, 225, 226

  Mathilda, Empress, 47

  Medicine, 221

  Mellitus, Bishop, 17

  Mendicant Orders, 170, 182 _et seq._

  Mercers' Gild, 125, 154

  Merchant Gilds, 52, 145, 146, 151

  Merchant Taylors, 230

  Merton College, 193, 203, 204, 221, 223

  Metaphysics, 224

  Methodist Revival, 149

  Mettingham, 207

  Middle Class, Rise of, 131

  Mildenhall Manor, 105

  Monachism, 5, 6, 55

  Monasteries, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 24, 25, 42, 55 _et seq._, 170 _et
        seq._, 193, 194, 195, 202, 204, 236

  More, Sir Thomas, 122, 238

  Moral Sciences, 21, 224

  Morton, Cardinal, 122

  Municipal Authority, Development of, 52, 151, 208

  Music, 19, 20, 43, 71, 72, 133, 178

  Naples, University of, 136

  Nations, 141

  Natural Philosophy, 224

  Neckham, Alexander, 221, 222

  Neckham, Robert, 61, 78, 221, 222

  New College, 210

  New Testament, 6

  Newark, 86, 108, 111

  Newcastle-on-Tyne, 186

  Newland School, 68, 114, 161, 167, 168

  Newman, Cardinal, 1

  Nicholas Breakspear, 16

  Nicholas, St., Hospital of, 192

  Nominalist, 134

  Norfolk Gilds, 145

  Norman Conquest, 48 _et seq._, 56, 57, 76, 127, 128

  North Wroxall Chantry, 168

  Northallerton, 73, 164

  Northampton, 86

  Norton Chantry, 168

  Norwich, 107, 144, 175, 186, 190

  Notre Dame Schools, 135

  Novices, Schools for, 105, 116, 170, 174, 177, 178, 204

  Nutt Money, 113

  Oakley, Bucks, 41

  Oblates, Schools for, 204

  Odiham School, 164, 165

  Odo, Archbishop, 39, 117

  Offa, King, 19, 30

  Optics, 224

  Orderic Vitalis, 62

  Origen, 23

  Orosius, 26, 133

  Oseney Abbey, 138

  Oswald, St., 3, 34 _et seq._

  Ottery St. Mary, 206

  Oxford, 137 _et seq._, 146, 179 _et seq._, 184, 186, 193, 196, 203, 222,
        224, 226, 227, 228

  Pachomius, 6

  Pages, 120

  Palace Schools, 28, 29, 33

  Palmers' Gild, 150

  Pantaenus, 22

  Paris, 24, 27, 78, 135, 138, 146, 202, 203, 218, 220, 221, 222, 224

  Parish Schools, 25, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40 _et seq._, 107, 108

  Parlour Boarder, 195

  Partney School, 86

  Paston Letters, 162

  Patrick, St., 34

  Paul, Abbot, 57, 59

  Peckham, Archbishop, 107, 187

  Penrhyn, 206

  Percival, Sir John, 125

  Pershore, 40

  Peter Helias, 219

  Peterhouse, Cambridge, 204

  Peter's, St., School, Cornhill, 96

  Philosophy, 227, 228

  Piers Plowman, 189

  Plesby, 208

  Plymouth School, 154

  Poitiers School, 24

  Political Ideas of Church in Middle Ages, 44, 45

  Polesworth Nunnery, 176

  Polychronicon, 65

  Pontefract, 85, 192

  Potation Money, 113

  Poverty of Scholars, 197-199, 201, 220

  Praemunire, 236

  Primer, 228

  Priscian, 35, 66, 71, 133, 228

  Prittlewell School, 164

  Provisors, 236

  Psalter, 6, 74, 75, 217, 228

  Public School, 69 _et seq._, 122, 188 _et seq._, 195, 198

  Public School Commission, 67

  Pullen, Robert, 137, 220

  Putta, Bishop, 72

  Quadrivium, 28, 36, 133, 219

  Questiones Grammaticales, 36

  Raleigh, Bishop, 140

  Raleigh School, 151

  Ramsey Abbey, 36

  Raveningham, 207

  Read, Sir Bartholomew, 125, 155

  Reading, 73

  Reading School, 20, 73, 85, 171, 174

  Realists, 134

  Reformation, 215, 242, 244

  Remuneration of Schoolmasters, 111 _et seq._

  Renaissance, 244

  Revival of learning, 59, 118

  Rewley, 180

  Rhetores, School of, 20

  Rhetoric, 7, 133, 219

  Richard II., King, 152

  Richard of Middleton, 187

  Ripon, 38

  Rites of Durham, 173, 174, 177

  Robert of Melun, 218

  Roger Bacon, 87, 224-227

  Roger, Earl of Warwick, 95

  Roger, Thorold, 162

  Roger of Wendover, 62

  Roman Law, 26, 45, 133, 137, 138

  Roman Uncials, 74

  Roscellinus, 134

  Rotherham, 72, 91, 94, 168, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 231

  Royal Commission into University Education in Wales, 72

  Rushworth School, 175

  St. Albans School, 65, 221

  St. Andrew's, Holborn, School, 96

  St. Anthony, London, 96

  St. Augustine, 3, 12, 17

  St. Augustine of Hippo, 18, 20, 23, 24, 26

  St. Basil of Caesarea, 7

  St. Benedict, 9

  St. Jerome, 12

  St. Paul's School, 17, 80, 81, 90, 96, 99, 111, 167, 172

  St. Vandrille School, 24

  Salerno Medical School, 136

  Salisbury Gilds, 146

  Salisbury, John of, 65, 128, 217-220, 222

  Salisbury School, 115, 172

  Samson, Abbot, 41, 61, 78, 87, 89, 114

  Scholasticism, 132, 134, 135

  Scholasticus, 80

  School Books, 13 _et seq._

  School Fees, 69

  School Houses first erected, 88

  Schools of Theology, 78 _et seq._

  Sciences, Common, 224

  Scola Grammatice, 65

  Scot, Church, 40

  Scriptorium, 10, 12

  Scripture, 19, 39 _et seq._

  Secular Clergy, 18 _et seq._, 55, 76 _et seq._

  Sens, Council of, 135

  Sentences, 224

  Seven Liberal Arts, 66, 216

  Sevenoaks School, 126

  Shermen Gild, 154

  Shoemakers' Gild, 154

  Shrewsbury School, 67, 68, 154

  Sidonius Apollinaris, Bishop, 23

  Sigebert, 24, 64

  Simeon of Durham, 62

  Simon de Gorham, 59

  Simon of Poissy, 220

  Singing, 10 _et seq._, 121

  Social Consciousness, 167, 168, 214

  Song School, 71 _et seq._, 166

  Southampton Gilds, 146

  Southwell School, 86, 88, 108, 223

  Spiritual Power, Dogma of, 47

  Stamford College, 167

  Staphorst Gilds, 144

  Stapleton, Bishop of, 79, 192

  State and Church, 1, 2, 49, 76 _et seq._

  Staunton School, 164, 165

  Stockport School, 155

  Stratford-on-Avon Gilds, 154

  Studium, 136, 185, 186

  Sullington School, 168

  Tabenna, 6

  Tailors' Gild, 154

  Tattershall, 211

  Taxatio of Pope Nicholas, 157

  Teaching Profession, Recognition of the, 82

  Temporal Power, Dogma of, 47

  Tenure of Schoolmasters, 110 _et seq._

  Tewkesbury, 234

  Thaxted School, 164

  Theobald, Archbishop, 216

  Theobald of Etampes, 88, 137

  Theodore, Archbishop, 2, 16, 25, 64

  Theodulf of Orleans, 30, 38, 86

  Theological Schools, 78 _et seq._, 142, 220, 221, 223, 228, 241

  Thetford, 85, 105, 171, 186

  Thirsk School, 164

  Thomas à Becket, 1, 7, 138, 216, 221, 222

  Thomas, Archbishop, 79

  Thomas of Brompton, 100

  Thornton School, 168

  Thurstan, Abbot, 57

  Tonge, 209

  Toulouse, University of, 136

  Tours, Council of, 29

  Towcester, 161

  Trades in School Curriculum, 7

  Transcription of Manuscripts, 8, 9

  Trevisa, John, 65, 128

  Trinity College, Oxford, 180

  Trinity Gild, 151

  Trivium, 28, 36, 133

  Truro School, 164, 166

  Twineham, Christ Church, 61

  Universities, 124, 132 _et seq._, 170, 179 _et seq._, 188, 203, 222,
        Book III. Chap. VII.

  University and Church, 139 _et seq._

  Utrecht, 42

  Vacarius, 137

  Vaison, Council of, 86

  Valor Ecclesiasticus, 137

  Vienne School, 18, 24

  Villeins, 50, 117

  Virtue, 234

  Walchelin of Derby, 192

  Waltham Abbey School, 42, 61, 85, 105

  Warham, Archbishop, 179

  Warin, 61

  Warwick Gild, 154

  Warwick School, 43, 71, 72, 85, 86, 95, 102, 154

  Water, Abbot, 57

  Waynflete, William, 111, 126, 237

  Wearmouth, 11 _et seq._

  Weavers' Gild, 147, 154

  Wells School, 115

  Wendover, Roger, 62

  Westminster Abbey, 40

  Westminster, Council of, 87

  Westminster School, 174, 177, 181

  Whitby Abbey, 12

  Whitington, 230

  Wilfrid, 12, 15, 16

  William II., King, 56

  William of Champeaux, 134, 135

  William of Condres, 218

  William of Malmesbury, 56, 62

  William of Occam, 134, 187

  Winchcombe, 105

  Winchester Nunnery, 176

  Winchester School, 91, 168, 174, 188, 193, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201,
        210, 228, 230

  Windham, 237

  Wisbech, 152, 153, 234

  Wolsey, Cardinal, 122

  Woodwork in curriculum, 7

  Woolrichston Manor, 51

  Wotton-under-Edge School, 110, 168, 207

  Worcester College, Oxford, 181

  Worcester Gild, 153, 154

  Worcester School, 174

  Wragley School, 163, 165

  Writing, 9, 11, 20, 74 _et seq._, 211, 231

  Wulfstan, 36

  Wycliffe, 239, 240

  Wye College, 211

  Wykeham, William of, 111, 126, 188, 189, 191, 192, 193, 196, 199, 200,
        210, 235

  Wymborne School, 161

  Yarmouth, 237

  York, 12, 26, 27 _et seq._, 79, 86, 91, 151, 152, 172, 174



[1] _English Grammar Schools_, p. 10.

[2] _Constit. Hist._, p. 563.

[3] Montalembert: _Monks of the West_, I., 178.

[4] Green: _Short History_, Ch. I., sec. 3.

[5] Montalembert, _op. cit._ I., 23.

[6] Cf. Draper: _Intellectual Development of Europe_.

[7] Cf. _Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire_.

[8] _Regula S. Pachomii_, cap. 139, 140.

[9] _Regulae Fusius Tractatae_, XV. Interrog. (Pat. Lat., v. 31, col.

[10] _Regulae Brevius Tractatae_, Interrog. CCXCII.

[11] _Regulae Brevius Tractatae_, XXXVIII.

[12] _Italy and Her Invaders_, IV., 391.

[13] Chapter XLVIII.

[14] _Etudes Monastiques_, p. 18.

[15] _H. E._, V., 24.

[16] Haddon and Stubbs: _Councils and Documents relating to Britain and
Ireland_, Vol. III, pp. 364-5.

[17] _H. E._, III., 27.

[18] _H. E._, III., 27.

[19] Sandys: _History of Classical Scholarship_, I., 52.

[20] "Eum innumerabilem librorum omnis generis copiam apportasse."

[21] Alcuin. _Ep._, 13.

[22] _H. E._, V., 15.

[23] _Monks of the West_, IV., 464.

[24] _H. E._, V., 24.

[25] _H. E._, IV., 18.

[26] Sandys: _History of Classical Scholarship_, I., p. 53.

[27] Cf. Traill: _Social England_, I., p. 177. Bede: _H. E._, II., 20:
III., 11.

[28] _H. E._, IV., 13.

[29] Smith and Wace: _Dictionary of Christian Biography_.

[30] _H. E._, IV., 13.

[31] Bede: _Hist. Abb._, V., cf. _H. E._, III., 4.

[32] _Hist. Abb._, V.

[33] _Hist. Abb._, V.

[34] _H. E._, IV., 13.

[35] Cf. "homo XIII. annorum sese potest servum facere" Theod. _Penit._
XIX., sec. 29.

[36] _H. E._, V., 5.

[37] _H. E._, IV., 13.

[38] _H. E._, III., 27.

[39] _H. E._, III., 5.

[40] _H. E._, III., 28.

[41] Aelfric, _Homilies_, vol. I., p. 261.

[42] _H. E._, V., 3.

[43] Hunt: _Hist. of the Eng. Ch._, p. 239.

[44] Cf. Medley, _Constitutional History_, p. 557.

[45] _Op. cit._, p. 13.

[46] Dill: _Last Century of the Western Empire_, p. 67.

[47] _Erasmus_, p. 73.

[48] Hodgson: _Primitive Christian Education_, p. 103.

[49] Jerome: _Lives of Illustrious Men_, Ch. VIII.

[50] Eusebius: _H. E._, VI., pp. 3, 26.

[51] Jerome: _Lives of Illustrious Men_, Ch. XXVIII.

[52] _Sermo_ CCCLV., sec. 2, 6, 7.

[53] _Vita S. Augustini_, c. 11.

[54] Theiner: _Histoire des Institutions d'Education Ecclesiastique_, v.
1, pp. 103-117.

[55] Bede, _H. E._, III., 18.

[56] Cf. Fischer de Chevrier: _Histoire de l'Instruction Populaire en
France_, Ch. IV.; Mullinger: _University of Cambridge_, p. 11; Ampere:
_Histoire Littéraire de la France avant le Douzième Siècle_, II., 278;
Joly: _Traité Historique des Ecoles Episcopales et Ecclésiastiques_, pp.

[57] _I.e._ the clergy of the Bishop of Hexham.

[58] _H. E._, V., 6.

[59] _H. E._, IV., 2.

[60] Mignet: _Memoire sur la conversion de l'Allemagne par les Moines_, p.

[61] Sandys: _History of Classical Scholarship_, I., 451.

[62] _H. E._, V., 18.

[63] _Aldhelmi Opera_, ed. Giles, p. 96.

[64] _De Pontiff. Ebor._, lines 1431-1447, trans. by Munroe.

[65] _Schs. of Charles the Great_, p. 61.

[66] For capitulary of 787 and 789, see Pertz: _Leges_, I., pp. 52, 65;
for that of 802, Pertz, I., 107; for translation see _Schools of Charles
the Great_, pp. 97-99.

[67] Mullinger: _op. cit._, p. 50.

[68] _Alcuini Opera Omnia_; Migne, _Pat. Lat._, Vols. C., CI.

[69] _Alcuini Epistolae_, Migne, _Pat. Lat._, 1851, Vol. C., p. 222.

[70] Heinemann: _Statutes of 852_, XI. _Acts of the Province of Rheims_,
I., p. 211. Azarias: _Essays Educational_, p. 180.

[71] Mansi: _Concilia_, vol. IX., p. 790.

[72] Migne: _Pat. Lat._, vol. CV., p. 196.

[73] _Alcuini Epistolae_, ed. Migne, _Pat. Lat._, vol. C., p. 214.

[74] _Social England_, I., p. 141.

[75] Asserius, _de Rebus Gestis Alfredi_, ed. W. H. Stevenson, 1904.

[76] Stubbs: _Memorials of St. Dunstan_, p. 290; _Chronicon Abbatiae
Rameseiensis_, p. 25.

[77] _Aelfrici Grammatica Latino-Saxonica_, p. 2.

[78] Stubbs, _op. cit._, pp. 10, 74, 256.

[79] _Op. cit._, p. 257.

[80] _Op. cit._, p. 4.

[81] _Op. cit._, p. 14.

[82] _Op. cit._, p. LXXXV.

[83] Wulfstan: _Vita St. Aethelwoldi_, Migne: _Patrologia Cursus
Complexus_, CXXXVII., p. 87.

[84] Stubbs, _Memorials_, p. 214.

[85] _Op. cit._, p. 28, 46.

[86] Aelfric, _op. cit._, p. 1.

[87] Stubbs, _op. cit._, p. 101; _Chron. Mon. de Abingdon_, I., p. 129.

[88] _Chron. Abbat. Ram._, p. 42.

[89] _Vita Sancti Abbonis_, Migne, _Pat. Cur. Com._, CXXXIX., p. 390.

[90] _Chron. Abb. Ram._, p. XXVII.

[91] Stubbs, _op. cit._, XVIII, XIX.

[92] Stubbs, _op. cit._, pp. 28, 46.

[93] _Op. cit._, p. 261.

[94] Wulfstan, pp. 91, 95.

[95] See below, p. 38.

[96] _Chron. Abb. Ram._, pp. 112, 113.

[97] C. 940-1006.

[98] _Ed. Ch._, p. 39.

[99] _Ed. Ch._, p. 43.

[100] P. 30.

[101] _Ancient Laws_, p. 396.

[102] _Hist. Ch. York_, I., p. 404.

[103] _Chron. Abb. Ram._, p. 21.

[104] _English Society in the Eleventh Century_, p. 373.

[105] _Op. cit._, p. 143.

[106] D. d. I., f. 68, Ellis, I., 332.

[107] I., f. 1546, Ellis, I., 304.

[108] I., f. 149, Ellis, I., 267. See also _Times' Educational
Supplement_, 10th Oct., 1918.

[109] Hermanus: _De Miraculis Sancti Eadmundi_, sec. 16 in Mem. of St.
Edmund's Abbey (R. S.) p. 46.

[110] "Publicas instituens scholas."

[111] _Memorials of St. Edmund's Abbey_, p. 126.

[112] 1060. See _Tractatus de inventione Sante Crucis_, ed. W. Stubbs,

[113] _Ibid._, p. 15. These customs were probably due to the influence of
the reforms instituted by Chrodegang of Metz. We may assume that the
Godwin family supported the secular clergy in opposition to the regular
clergy who followed Edward the Confessor from Normandy.

[114] _Ibid._, p. 35.

[115] _Ibid._, p. 35.

[116] Adams: _Civilisation in the Middle Ages_, p. 197.

[117] Traill: _Social England_, I., p. 257.

[118] Traill, _op. cit._, I., p. 243.

[119] Advocated by Kemble in his _Saxons in England_.

[120] _Econ. Hist._, I., p. 20.

[121] Thorold Rogers: _Agriculture and Prices in England_, vol. II., pp.
613, 615, 616.

[122] Ashley, I., p. 42.

[123] _Ibid._, p. 34.

[124] Meredith: _Econ. Hist._, p. 49.

[125] Cf. Leach: _English Schools at the Reformation_. Holman: _English
National Education_.

[126] _Winchester College_, p. 92.

[127] See Book III., Ch. I.

[128] See p. 37.

[129] _De Gestis Regum Anglorum_, II., 304.

[130] Böhmer: _Kirche und Staat in England und in der Normandie_, p. 113,
n. 1.

[131] _Ibid._, p. 107.

[132] See Bateson: _Medieval England_, Ch. IV.

[133] Böhmer: _Op. cit._, pp. 3-24.

[134] Cf. Pignet: _Histoire de l'Ordre de Cluny_, III., p. 41. Maitland:
_The Dark Ages_, pp. 375, 389, 390.

[135] Cf. D'Achery, _Spicilegium_, IV., 4-226.

[136] Cf. _Constitutiones Lanfranci_.

[137] Cf. _Gesta Abbatum Monasterii Sancti Albani_, I., p. 52.

[138] Wm. of Malmesbury, _De Gestis Pontificum_, p. 249.

[139] Martini et Durand: _Thesaurus Anecdotorum_, I., 511; quoted Graham,
_Trans. Hist. Soc._, XVII.

[140] _Gesta S. Albani_, I., p. 57.

[141] _Ibid._, pp. 76, 184, 192.

[142] _De Gestis Pontificum_, p. 431.

[143] _Ibid._, p. 194.

[144] _Ibid._, p. 32.

[145] _Chron. Mon. de Abingdon_, II., 44, 289. See also _Hist. Intro.
Rolls Series_, ed. Stubbs, p. 43; Rashdall, _Universities_, II., p. 476;
J. Willis Clark, _The Care of Books_, p. 74; _De Gestis Regum_, I., pp.

[146] The case for the non-existence of schools in connection with
monasteries is effectively set out by Mr. G. G. Coulton in his _Monastic
Schools of the Middle Ages_.

[147] See Lanfranc, _Opera_, ed. Giles, I., 296. Cf. _L'Abbaye du Bec et
ses Ecoles_ par M. L'Abbé Porrée.

[148] Migne, _Patrologia Cursus Completus_, CLXXXIX., 1051.

[149] Coulton, _op. cit._, p. 3.

[150] _Gesta S. Albani_, I., 73.

[151] _Ibid._, I., 196.

[152] _Mem. St. Edmund's Abbey_, I., 77, 78, 145.

[153] _Ibid._, p. 296.

[154] _Ibid._, p. 249.

[155] Cf. _Mem. St. Edmund's_, III., 182.

[156] See pp. 85, 86, 105, infra.

[157] _Foundation of Waltham Abbey_, pp. 15, 35.

[158] _Monasticon_, VI., pt. I., p. 79.

[159] _Ibid._, VI., pt. II., p. 615.

[160] _Ibid._, VI., pt. I., pp. 304, 305.

[161] Abbot of S. Albans, 1183-1195.

[162] _Gesta S. Albani_, I., p. 194.

[163] 1195-1214.

[164] _Ibid._, p. 217.

[165] _Mem. S. Edmund's Abbey_, XLIII.

[166] _H. E._, III., 18.

[167] _Early English Church History_, p. 125.

[168] Foster Watson: _Old Grammar Schools_, p. 2.

[169] _Op. cit._, p. 2.

[170] _Op. cit._, pp. 58, 59.

[171] In the _Cyclopaedia of Education_ Mr. Leach points out that there
are three passages in Livy alone (XXX., 17; XXXV., 23; XLI., 6) in which
"libera" is used in the sense of free from payment.

[172] _Report of Schools' Inquiry Commission_, pp. 122, 123.

[173] Art. "Free Schools," _Cyclopaedia of Education_.

[174] Cf. "cockpennies." See p. 113, infra.

[175] _Linc. Chapter Act_, Bk. A.2.30: _Ed. Ch._ p. 386.

[176] _V. C. H., Notts_, II., 216, _Ed. Ch._ 235, _Epis. Reg. York,
Romanus_, X., 75.

[177] _Stat. of the Realm_, ed. 1819, IV., pt. II., sec. 8.

[178] _Chancery Warrants_, Series I., file 1439, _Ed. Ch._, 412.

[179] Izacke's MS.: _Memorials of the City of Exeter_, fo. 178 _seq._;
reprinted Parry: _Founding of Exeter School_, pp. 104-112.

[180] _Op. cit._, p. 66.

[181] _Ed. Ch._, p. 273.

[182] _H. E._, IV., 18.

[183] _H. E._, IV., 12.

[184] _Yorkshire Schools_, vol. II., p. 116.

[185] _Yorkshire Schools_, II., 61.

[186] _Ibid._, p. 62.

[187] _Ibid._, 87.

[188] _Ibid._, p. 85. Cf. with the appointments recorded in pp. 62 and 87.

[189] _Ibid._, p. 87.

[190] _E. S. R._, II., p. 31.

[191] _Ibid._, p. 31.

[192] _Ibid._, p. 34.

[193] C. 700.

[194] Hunt: _English Church_, p. 202.

[195] _Yorkshire Schools_, II., 89.

[196] For additional particulars, see article on "Writing" in the
_Cyclopaedia of Education_.

[197] Rashdall, _Univ._, I., p. 283. Mansi, _Concilia_, XXII., ch. 228.

[198] Dec. V. it. 5: _Ed. Ch._, pp. 142-145.

[199] "Quum primum adolescens admodum studiorum causa migrassem in
Gallias." _Metal._, Bk. II., ch. 10.

[200] Cf. _Reg. Pontissera_, f. 55; _Ed. Ch._, p. 232.

[201] 1308-9.

[202] Cutts: _Parish Priests_, p. 46.

[203] "Erat enim apud nos sub patruo suo amabili et amicabili educatus, et
decenter eruditus." _Hist. Ch. of York_, II., 124.

[204] For additional references to the Chancellor's School of Theology at
St. Paul's, see reprint in Archaeol., vol. 62, pt. 1, p. 219 of deeds in
St. Paul's Mun. Box. 21, No. 621 and 865; Gregory's _Chronicle_ (Camden
Soc. N. S. XVII., 1876, ed. J. Gairdner) p. 230: and Register of Bishop
Fitz-James, f. 127 b., printed in Sparrow Simpson's _Registrum
Statutorum_, p. 413.

[205] _Ep. Reg. Linc., Rot. Hug. de Wells_, III., 101.

[206] _Hist. Ch. of York_, II., p. 162.

[207] Reprinted in _Archaeol._, vol. 62, pt. I., p. 211.

[208] Deed reprinted in _Archaeol._, vol. 62, pt. I., p. 211.

[209] _Statutes of the Ch. of York_, p. 6; Sparrow Simpson, _Registrum
Statutorum_, p. 413.

[210] _Hist. Ch. of York_, III., 320; _Corpus Juris Canonis_, ed. H. L.
Richter, Dec. V. tit. 5; _Ed. Ch._, p. 143.

[211] Mansi: _Concilia_, I., 415.

[212] _Ep. Reg. Lincoln._, III., 101.

[213] Dec. V., tit. 5, ch. 2. _Ed. Ch._, p. 119.

[214] 1159-1181.

[215] _Ed. Ch._, p. 119.

[216] _Ed. Ch._, p. 123; see also Rashdall, II., p. 283; Mansi, XXII., c.

[217] Decretal V., tit. 5, cap. IV.

[218] _Ed. Ch._, p. 145.

[219] _Ed. Ch._, p. 123, from Decretal V., tit. 5, cap. I.

[220] _H. E._, III., 18; IV., 1; _Hist. Ch. of York_, I., p. 390.

[221] _Mem. St. Ed. Abbey_, I., 46-7.

[222] _Tractatus de inventione Crucis_, p. 15.

[223] _History of Warwick Sch._

[224] _Early Yorkshire Schools_, II., 1.

[225] P. R. O. Anc. Deeds, 1073, _Ed. Ch._, p. 69.

[226] _V. C. H., Hants_, II., 251.

[227] _Hist. Ch. of York_, I., 281.

[228] _Gesta Abbatum Mon. St. Alb._, I., 72.

[229] _V. C. H., Suffolk_, II., 303.

[230] _Ed. Ch._, p. 93.

[231] _Ibid._

[232] _V. C. H., Berks_, II., 245.

[233] _V. C. H., Gloucester_, II., 355.

[234] _V. C. H., Derby_, II., 209.

[235] _V. C. H., Beds_, II., 152.

[236] _V. C. H., Northampton_, II., 234.

[237] _Ed. Ch._, p. 152.

[238] _Mem. Southwell Minster_, XLI.

[239] _Ibid._, p. 205.

[240] _V. C. H., Notts_, II., 216.

[241] _V. C. H., Lincs._, II., 449.

[242] _Archaeol._, v. 62, pt. I., p. 211.

[243] _Statutes of the Ch. of York_, p. 6.

[244] _V. C. H., Lincs._, II., 423.

[245] _Mem. of Beverley Min._, p. 292.

[246] _Hist. War. Sch._, p. 66.

[247] _Statutes of the Ch. of York_, p. 5.

[248] A.D. 529.

[249] A.D. 797.

[250] A.D., C. 960.

[251] _Decret. Greg._ IX., Lib. III., tit. 1: Rashdall, _Univ._ II., p.

[252] Wilkins, _Concilia_, I., p. 270, _Ed. Ch._, p. 139. Cf. this with
Theodulf's Capitularies of 797. See p. 30 supra, and Mullinger, Schs. of
Charles the Great, p. 130.

[253] _Univ._ II., p. 602.

[254] _Op. cit._, ed. Thomas, p. 79.

[255] A.D. 1212-1294.

[256] _Opera Inedita_, ed. Brewer, p. 398.

[257] _Mem. St. Edmund's Abbey_, I., p. 248.

[258] _Polycraticus_, II., 28, ed. Giles, p. 155.

[259] _Oxford Hist. Soc. Collectanea_, II., 156.

[260] _Op. cit._, p. 49.

[261] _Chron. Jocelyn de Brakelonde_, p. 3.

[262] _V. C. H., Derbyshire_, II., 213, from Cott. Mss. Titus, C. IX., f.

[263] _Beverley Chapter Act Bk._ (Surtees Soc.) Vol. I., p. 293.

[264] Reprinted in _Archaeol._ vol. 62., pt. I., p. 198.

[265] _York Chapter Act Bk._ I., f. 25 b.

[266] Sparrow Simpson: _Registrum Statutorum_, pt. V., ch. 8; Brit. Mus.,
_Harl. MSS._, 1080.

[267] See Reynold's _Wells_, pp. CLXXX-V.

[268] _Statutes of the Ch. of York_, p. 5.

[269] _Registrum Antiquissimum Linc._, Chap. Mun. A 2, 26, fol. 10. b. _V.
C. H., Lincs._ I., 424. Similar appointments are recorded in 1427 and
1432. _Reg. Antiq. Lincs._, fol. 67 b.

[270] _Yorkshire Schools_, II., p. 110.

[271] _Hist. Ch. of York_, I., 281.

[272] _Dugd. Mon._ III., 405.

[273] _Early Yorkshire Schools_, II., 1.

[274] _Hist. Warwick Sch._, p. 5, from Chartul. S. Mary's, Warwick, G. R.
Eccl. Misc. Bks. 22.

[275] _Cal. Pat._, 12 Rich. II., pt. 2, m. 10; _Ed. Ch._, p. 77.

[276] _P. R. O._, Cart. antiq. H., No. 18; _Ed. Ch._, p. 93.

[277] _Charter Roll_, II., Henry III., pt. 1, m. 27; _Ed. Ch._, p. 93.

[278] _Chancery Warrents_, Series 1, file 1439; _Ed. Ch._, p. 413. Dealing
with this grant of a monopoly of school keeping to Eton College, Mr. Leach
remarks "The remarkable invasion of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, to which
alone the grants and still more the enforcement of the monopoly of endowed
schools belonged," etc. _Schs. Med. Eng._, p. 259. Mr. Leach is in error
here. The grant of the monopoly of school keeping was a civil matter.

[279] _Pat._, 24, Hen. VI., pt. II., m. 28.

[280] _Rot. Parl._, V., 137.

[281] _Ibid._

[282] _Privy Council Register_, vol. VI.; Parry, _Founding of Exeter
School_, pp. 101-112.

[283] Supra, p. 96.

[284] _V. C. H., Gloucester_, II., 315, from Rot. Chart., p. 7.

[285] _Registrum Brev._, 35.

[286] Quoted by de Montmorency: _State Intervention_, p. 16.

[287] _Ed. Ch._, p. 91 from St. Paul's Mun. Press A., Box 60, No. 48.

[288] Surtees Society, vol. 98. See I., pp. 42, 48, 102, 113, etc.

[289] _Op. cit._, p. 102.

[290] _Epis. Joh. Saresberiensis_, ed. Giles, No. 19.

[291] The text of the "Gloucester School Case" is to be found in the Year
Book of the eleventh year of Henry IV., p. 47. It is reprinted as an
appendix to de Montmorency, _State Intervention_, pp. 241-242. Mr. de
Montmorency would seem to be in error in his interpretation of the

[292] Supra, p. 96.

[293] It is interesting to note here that the maintenance of a monopoly
was insisted upon by civic authorities no less than by ecclesiastical

[294] _Chapter Act Book, Lincoln_, 1406-7. _V. C. H., Lincs._, II., 426.

[295] _Hist. Warwick School_, p. 66.

[296] _Linc. Chapter Act Bk._, A. 2. f. 2; _Ed. Ch._, p. 237.

[297] _Reg. John Whethamstede_, II., 305.

[298] _Hist. Mon. Glouc._, III., 290.

[299] See _Rites of Durham_, (Surtees Society) p. 81.

[300] _Abingdon Obedientaries Accounts_, 1375-6; Camden Soc.

[301] _Roger Prior's Reg._, V., 261 b.

[302] Statutes of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds. B. M. Harl. MSS. 1005,
fol. 95.b., Trans., _V. C. H. Suffolk._ II., 307. For other instances of
appointments of schoolmasters by abbots, see _Gesta Abbatum Mon. S.
Albani_, (R. S.) I., p. 72. _V. C. H. Lincs._, II., 450.

[303] _B. M. Landsdowne MS._, 375: _Ed. Ch._, 299. _Westminster Abbey
Obedientaries Accounts_, reprinted _Ed. Ch._, pp. 306-315.

[304] Cf. _Statutes of the Church of York_, p. 6.

[305] _Yorkshire Schools_, I., p. 18 from Acta Capituli, G., c. ii. 70.

[306] _Beverley Chapter Act Bk._, I., pp. 157, 382; _Mem. Southwell
Minster_, p. 29. The function of the dean and chapter was not simply
formal. _Mem. Southwell Minster_, p. 125.

[307] The appointment of a master of song at a monastery was made by the
prior. Cf. Roger Prior's _Reg._ V., 261 b.

[308] _Statutes of the Ch. of York_, p. 5.

[309] _Lambeth MSS. Reg. Peckham_, f. 38 a., _Ed. Ch._, p. 233.

[310] _Lambeth MSS. Reg. Winchelsea_, f. 300. b., _Ed. Ch._, p. 239.
Scholastic patronage in monastic cathedral dioceses was subject to
episcopal review. _Worc. Epis. Reg. Silvester_, fol. 202.

[311] _Newcourt, Report_ II., 86, 87, 88.

[312] _Linc. Chapter Act Bk._, pp. 2, 24.

[313] See p. 61.

[314] See Chap. IV.

[315] The chancellor of a diocese exercised a considerable amount of
scholastic patronage.

[316] _Memorials of Southwell Minster_, XII.-XLII., 52.

[317] _Registrum Brevium_, fol. 35. The power of patronage to a school
could apparently be delegated. Thus the Bishop of Lincoln granted a
licence to the rector of Willeford "to chose a lettered and fit man in the
parish to teach the boys and others going to him the said science." See
_Linc. Epis. Reg. Gynwell_, fol. 135 b. This unusual action was due to the
scarcity of schoolmasters after the Black Death.

[318] 1382.

[319] _Reg. Ep. Worcester, H. Wakfeld_, p. 72. _Ed. Ch._ pp. 331-341.

[320] See also _Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries_, III., 241.

[321] _Op. cit._, A. 2, 24, f. 14.

[322] _Early Yorkshire Schools_, I., 90.

[323] _Ibid._, p. 97.

[324] _Ibid._, p. 23.

[325] _Ibid._, p. 27.

[326] _Ibid._, p. 29.

[327] _Ibid._, p. 67.

[328] Re-founded 1531-2.

[329] In town muniments of Newark; reprinted by T. F. A. Burnaby, Town
Clerk, 1855.

[330] But cf. _Great Roll of the Pipe_ (Rec. Com.) pp. 9-10, which
suggests customary arrangements.

[331] Decretal V, tit. 5, cap. I.

[332] Wilkins: _Concilia_ I., p. 506.

[333] Decretal V., tit. 5, cap. IV.

[334] Cf. appointment of Principal of St. David's College, Lampeter.

[335] Who died c. 1191.

[336] See _Notes and Queries_, 8th series, vol. VII., pp. 338, 473-474;
_Cyclopaedia of Educ._, vol. II., p. 42.

[337] Carlisle: _Grammar Schools_, II., p. 759.

[338] _Ibid._, p. 649.

[339] See _Trans. Bristol and Glas. Archaeol._, Soc. VI.

[340] _E. S. R._, II., 82.

[341] _Ipswich Court Bk. Brit. M. Addit._, MS. 30158, fol. 34.

[342] _Ibid._

[343] Founded 1520.

[344] _Trans. Hist. Soc. Lancs. and Chester_, VIII., 51.

[345] _V. C. H., Durham_, I., 371.

[346] _Chron. Jocelyn de Brakelonde_, p. 3.

[347] _S. M. E._, p. 161.

[348] Rashdall, _Univ._, II., pt. II., p. 765.

[349] Cooper: _Annals of Cambridge_, I., p. 56.

[350] _Reg. Joh. Whethamstede_, II., 305.

[351] _Cant. Cath. Mun._, X., 4, S. B. 4: _Ed. Ch._, pp. 252-267. The
Statutes of Ipswich School (1476-7) state that "The grammar schoolmaster
shall henceforth have jurisdiction and governance of all scholars within
the liberty and precint of this town, except only petties." _Ipswich Court
Bk._, B. M., MS. Add. 30158, fol. 34.

[352] P. 39.

[353] _Vita S. Thomas_, pp. 189, 190, ed. Giles, quoted Furnivall.
_Forewords_, p. 6.

[354] Cornish, _Chivalry_, p. 24.

[355] Cornish, _op. cit._, pp. 15, 16.

[356] _Liber Niger_, p. 45; quoted _Forewords_, p. 11.

[357] Lacroix; _Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages_, pp. 137,

[358] _Op. cit._, p. 27.

[359] Roper's _Life of More_, ed. Singer, p. 3.

[360] Cavendish: _Life of Wolsey_, ed. Singer, vol. I., p. 38.

[361] _Household Book_, p. 254.

[362] _Liber Niger_, p. 51.

[363] _Household Bk._, Earl of Northumberland, pp. 41, 47, 97, 254.

[364] _Forewords_, p. 13.

[365] Froude, _Hist._ V., pp. 39, 40.

[366] _Coventry Leet Book_, I., 101.

[367] Mrs. Green, _Town Life in the Fifteenth Century_, II., 18.

[368] Chantry Certif., E. S. R., II., 144.

[369] Mrs. Green, _op. cit._, II., 16.

[370] Carlisle: _Grammar Schools_, I., 117.

[371] _Schools of Medieval England_, p. 246.

[372] Sharpe, _Wills_, II., 484.

[373] _Freemen of York_, vol. I., pp. 1, 77, 98--Sur. Soc., No. 96, 1897.

[374] Meredith: _Econ. Hist._, p. 81.

[375] _Historical Papers and Letters from the Northern Registers_ (R. S.),
p. 401.

[376] 36, Ed., III., c. 8.

[377] _Muniments of King's College, Cambridge_: _Ed. Ch._, p. 402.

[378] _Op. cit._, II., 157.

[379] _Rot. Parl._, II., p. 246.

[380] _Ibid._, V., p. 274.

[381] Abram: _Social Life in England_, Ch. 1.

[382] Green: _Life in an Old English Town_, p. 278.

[383] Abram: _Social England_, p. 13.

[384] _Rot. Parl._, III., 501.

[385] _Ibid._, III., 601-2, V., 113.

[386] Abram, _op. cit._, p. 30.

[387] Abram, _op. cit._, p. 96.

[388] _Manners and Meals_, p. 189.

[389] The subject of the origin and development of the English
universities has been so fully treated by other writers, notably by Mr.
Bass Mullinger and Dr. Hastings Rashdall, that it has only been dealt with
here to the extent strictly necessary for the thesis with which we are

[390] Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic.

[391] Music, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Astronomy.

[392] Rashdall, _Univ._, I., p. 36.

[393] _Ibid._, p. 39.

[394] _Ibid._, p. 42.

[395] Rashdall, _Univ._, II., p. 60.

[396] Rashdall, _Univ._, I., p. 10.

[397] _Ibid._, p. 72.

[398] _Oxford Historical Society: Collectanea_, II., p. 153.

[399] _Ibid._, p. 105.

[400] _Ibid._, p. 156.

[401] _Ibid._, p. 159.

[402] _Rob. de Monte, Chron._ ed. Migne, Vol. CLX., p. 466.

[403] _Gervasius Cantuar., Actus Pontificum Cant._, ed. Stubbs, Vol. II.,
p. 384.

[404] _Giraldus Cambrensis_: ed. Brewer, Vol. I., pp. 72, 73.

[405] Mullinger, pp. 80, 81, Brodrick, p. 3, Laurie, p. 236.

[406] _Materials for the Life of Becket_, ed. Robertson, VII., p. 146.

[407] Rashdall, _Univ._, vol. II., p. 342.

[408] _Munimenta Academica_ (R. S.), I., 2.

[409] See Rashdall, _Univ._, II., 419-421.

[410] _Munimenta Academica_: I., 39, 40.

[411] Rashdall, _Univ._, II., 424.

[412] _Munimenta Academica_ (R. S.), I., 228, 229.

[413] _Chron: Roger of Wendover_ (R. S.), II., p. 51.

[414] See also _Munimenta Academica_, pp. 1-4.

[415] _Cal. Close Rolls_, 15 Hen. III., p. 586; _Ed. Ch._, p. 149.

[416] Cooper: _Annals of Cambridge_, I., 56.

[417] Mullinger, 288, 290; Rashdall, II., 549, 550.

[418] Toulmin Smith: _English Guilds_, p. XIV.

[419] Dates from the eleventh century.

[420] _English Guilds_, p. lxxxi.

[421] _Ibid._, p. lxxxiii.

[422] _Two Thousand Years of Gild Life_, p. 106.

[423] Hartshorn: _Study of Voluntary Associations in Europe_, 1100-1700,
p. 12.

[424] Ashley: _Econ. Hist._, I., p. 70.

[425] Gasquet: _Précis des Institutions de l'Ancienne France_, II.,

[426] Gross, _Gild Merchant_, p. 32. n. 1.

[427] _Ibid._, pp. 37 _seq._

[428] Ashley, _Econ. Hist. I._, p. 72.

[429] _Ibid._, p. 79.

[430] _Ibid._, p. 80.

[431] _Ibid._, p. 81.

[432] _Bristol Little Red Book_, fol. 82-3. Ed. by W. B. Bickley for the
Corporation of Bristol.

[433] Toulmin Smith, _op. cit._, p. 280.

[434] T. Smith, _op. cit._, p. 198.

[435] Maldon Court Rolls, Dr. Andrew Clark in _Essex Rev._ XV., p. 146.

[436] _Gild Certif._, 57.

[437] Other instances are Prittlewell, _Cal. of Pat._ 1476-85, p. 34;
Thaxted, _ibid._, p. 227; Finchingley, _Chantry Certif._, XIX., 13; XX.,
19; XXX., 17. The connection of a grammar school at Ipswich with the
Corpus Christi Gild is shown by the _Ipswich Court Bk._, Brit. Mus. Ad.
MS., 30158 fol. 34; at Winchester with the Corpus Christi Gild, Brit. Mus.
Ad. MS. 24435 fol. 153 b.; at Louth with St. Mary's Gild, Church-wardens'
Accounts of the Parish Church, 1533 in R. W. Goulding's Court Rolls of the
Manor of Louth. The gild of the Blessed Mary founded a school at
Wellingborough in 1392 (Pat. 16, R. II., pt. ii., m. 29, 30). See also p.
161 infra.; gilds and chantries are so closely connected that it is
difficult to draw a definite line of demarcation in some cases.

[438] _E. S. R._, II., 283, 284.

[439] _E. S. R._, II., pp. 20-22.

[440] Toulmin Smith, _English Gilds_, p. 221.

[441] _Ibid._, pp. 203-205; _E. S. R._, 267-268.

[442] _Hist. of Warwick Sch._, p. 95.

[443] _Coventry Leet Book_, I., 101.

[444] Redstone, _Trans. Royal Hist. Soc._, N. S., XVI., p. 166.

[445] _Hist. MS._, Com. X., App. IV., 425; _Ed. Ch._, 439.

[446] Carlisle: _Endowed Gr. Schs._, I., 335.

[447] _E. S. R._, II., 180-184.

[448] P. C. C., 34 Luffenham, p. 269.

[449] Copy of will in _Duchy of Lancaster Misc. Bks._, 25 fol. 19.

[450] _E. S. R._, II., 144.

[451] _E. S. R._, II., 144.

[452] _E.g._ Douze Gild, Feste du Pin.

[453] Toulmin Smith: _English Gilds_, p. 115.

[454] _Ibid._, p. 155.

[455] _Ibid._, p. 160.

[456] _Ibid._, p. 226. For other instances see pp. 179, 194, 287, and
Hartshorn, _op. cit._, p. 15.

[457] Cf. Page, _Yorkshire Chantries_, Surtees Society.

[458] See also _Liber Vitae_ of Durham, Surtees Society.

[459] _E. S. R._, I., 53.

[460] See _V. C. H., Durham_, I., p. 371.

[461] _E. S. R._, II., 60.

[462] _Ibid._, p. 65.

[463] _Stat. of the Realm_, IV., pt. I., p. 24.

[464] _Eng. Schs. at Ref._, p. 91.

[465] _E. S. R._, II., 56.

[466] _Chant. Certif._ XXI., No. 24, Trans. Bristol and Glouc. Archael.
Soc. VI.

[467] _Chantry Certif._, No. 36. This chantry was founded by Letters
Patent. (Pat. 27, Henry VI., pt. I, m. 27). Further Letters Patent were
granted in 1451. (P. C. C. Luffenham, p. 278). The chantry patent does not
say anything about the school. See also _E. S. R._, II., 146.

[468] Bk. III., Ch. 1.

[469] _Paston Letters_, V., 21.

[470] _Work and Wages_, p. 165.

[471] _Paston Letters_, IV., 237-44; Abram: _Social Life in England_, p.

[472] _E. S. R._, II., p. 89.

[473] _Yorkshire Schools_, II., pp. 60, 61.

[474] _E. S. R._, II., p. 286.

[475] _E. S. R._, p. 228.

[476] _S. M. E._, p. 177.

[477] _E. S. R._, II., p. 123.

[478] _E. S. R._, II., p. 297.

[479] _E. S. R._, II., p. 201.

[480] _E. S. R._, II., p. 160.

[481] _E. S. R._, II., p. 302.

[482] _E. S. R._, II., p. 89.

[483] _E. S. R._, II., p. 100.

[484] _E. S. R._, II., p. 297.

[485] _E. S. R._, II., p. 39.

[486] Cf. Leach, _E. S. R._, I., p. 91.

[487] _E. S. R._, I., pp. 91, 92.

[488] _E. S. R._, II., p. 31.

[489] _E. S. R._, II., p. 317.

[490] _E. S. R._, II., p. 34.

[491] _E. S. R._, II., p. 78.

[492] _E. S. R._, II., p. 317.

[493] _E. S. R._, II., p. 47.

[494] _E. S. R._, II., p. 15.

[495] _E. S. R._, II., p. 152.

[496] _E. S. R._, II., p. 258.

[497] _E. S. R._, II., p. 320.

[498] Wilkins, _Concilia_, III., p. 722; _Ed. Ch._, pp. 444-6.

[499] Wilkins, _Concilia_, IV., p. 3.

[500] _Statutes of the Realm_, IV., pt. 1, p. 24.

[501] Cf. Coulton: _Monastic Schools of the Middle Ages_. Leach:
"_Monasteries and Education_" in _Cyclopaedia of Education_.

[502] _Gesta Abbatum Mon. S. Albani_, I., p. 72.

[503] _V. C. H., Hants._, II., p. 251.

[504] _V. C. H., Suffolk_, II., p. 303.

[505] _P. R. O._, antiq. H., No. 8.

[506] Charter Roll, 2 Henry III., pt. 1, m. 27.

[507] _V. C. H., Berks._, II., p. 245.

[508] _Rot. Chart._, p. 7.

[509] _V. C. H., Derbyshire_, II., p. 209.

[510] _V. C. H., Bedfordshire_, II., p. 152.

[511] _V. C. H., Lincs._, II., p. 450.

[512] _Statutes of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds_, Harl. MSS. 1005, fol.
95 b. The list of schools in connection with monasteries does not profess
to be exhaustive.

[513] _V. C. H., Sussex_, p. 413.

[514] Exch. K. R. Misc. Bks. (P. R. O.), fol. 21, 168, 178, 180. _V. C.
H., Wars_, II., p. 319.

[515] See _Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries_, III., p. 241.

[516] _Chant. Certif._, 42, No. 172.

[517] Sparrow Simpson, _Registrum Statutorum_, pt. VIII., ch. 6.

[518] _Ed. Ch._, p. xxxii.

[519] Reg. Whethamstede, (R. S.), II., 315, trans. Gibbs: _Hist. Rec. of
St. Albans_.

[520] B. M. Landsdowne, MS., 375, see _V. C. H., Herts._, II., p. 315.

[521] Surtees Society publication, p. 91.

[522] _Op. cit._, V., pp. 302-3.

[523] _Hist. Mon. Glouc._, III., p. 290.

[524] _Lit. Cantuar_ (R. S. 85), II., p. 464.

[525] _B. M. Add. Chart._, 19641, _V. C. H., Berks._, p. 243.

[526] _Journal of Educ._, Jan. 1905. _Ed. Ch._, p. 306.

[527] _S. M. E._, p. 220.

[528] _Ibid._, p. 221.

[529] _Ibid._, p. 221.

[530] _Early Yorkshire Schools_, I., p. 31.

[531] Sharpe: _Hist. and Antiq. Coventry_, p. 154 n.

[532] Valor. Eccl. (R. C.), III., p. 51. Among the remaining almonry
schools were those of Sherborne Abbey, Thornton, Ixworth, Norwich, Ely,
Evesham, Furness, Bristol, Tewkesbury, Winchcombe, and Winchester.

[533] _S. M. E._, p. 218.

[534] Mon. Schs. in Mid. Ages. _Contemp. Rev._, June 1913. Appendix. As to
the number of children in the almonry schools, we may note that there were
only three boys at St. Swithun's in 1381-2, five in 1400-1, eight in
1469-70, and none at all in 1484-5. Compotus Rolls ... of St. Swithun's,
204 n. See also Abram: _English Life and Manners_, p. 207. Leach considers
that the total number of boys educated in the almonry schools was 1,000.
_S. M. E._, p. 230.

[535] _Letters and Papers of Henry VIII._, ed. Gairdner, Vol. XII., p.
405. Coulton, Monastic Schools, _Contemp. Rev._, June 1913.

[536] _Dugd. Mon._, II., p. 363.

[537] _Ibid._, II., p. 457.

[538] _Ibid._, IV., p. 69.

[539] Coulton, _Mon. Sch._, p. 7.

[540] _V. C. H., Beds._, I., p. 356.

[541] _Social Life_, p. 216. See also _Early Chanc. Proceed._, 44/227.

[542] _Downside Rev._, Vol. X., p. 31, _seq._

[543] _The Old English Bible and other Essays_, p. 227.

[544] Surtees Society, 107, ed. Canon Fowler, p. 91.

[545] _Hist. Mon. Glouc._, I., 53.

[546] _Ibid._

[547] B. M. Cott. Faust., VI. (Durham Priory Register): _Ed. Ch._, p. 290.

[548] _Ibid._

[549] Roger Prior's _Reg._, V., 261 b.

[550] "Non habeant ludimagistrum."

[551] _Visitations of Dioc. of Norwich_ (Camd. Soc.) 1888, ed. Jessop, pp.
137, 221.

[552] Brit. Mus. MSS., Arundel, f. 69, _Ed. Ch._, p. 445.

[553] _Ibid._

[554] _Worcester College_, by C. H. Daniel and W. R. Barker, p. 3.

[555] _Chron. Petroburgense_ (Camd. Soc., 1849), p. 31, _Ed. Ch._, p. 197.

[556] Worc. Epis. Reg. Giffard, fol. 206, _Ed. Ch._, p. 199.

[557] Worc. Ep. Reg. Giffard, f. 429, _Ed. Ch._, 198.

[558] _Some Durham College Rolls_ (Oxon. Hist. Soc., 1896); _Collectanea_,
III., 7.

[559] Rashdall, _Univ._, II., p. 498.

[560] _Ibid._, p. 499.

[561] _Ibid._, pp. 478-480.

[562] _Hist. Mon. Glouc._ (R. S.), I., 34.

[563] _Op. cit._, p. 26.

[564] _V. C. H., Glouc._, II., p. 341.

[565] _Worcester Coll._, p. 27.

[566] B. M. Cott. Faust., VI. (Durham Priory Reg.), _Ed. Ch._, p. 293.

[567] Brit. Mus. MS. Harl., 1498. _Ed. Ch._, p. 440.

[568] _Ibid._

[569] Rashdall: _Univ._ II., p. 480.

[570] _Ibid._

[571] Jessop: _Coming of the Friars_, p. 21.

[572] _Ibid._, p. 22.

[573] See Denifle: _Constitutiones des Predeger_--Ordene vom Jahre,
1228--in Archiv. fur Litt. und Kirchenges des Mittelalters, 1885, p. 194.

[574] Rashdall: _Univ._, vol. I., p. 348.

[575] _Cyclopaedia of Educ._, Art. Franciscans.

[576] _Trans. Roy. Hist. Soc._, VIII., N. S. May, 1894.

[577] Little: _Op. cit._, p. 49.

[578] _Acta Selecta Capitulorum Generalium Ord. Praed._, ed. Martene and
Durand, IV., pp. 1899-1900.

[579] Douais: _Essai sur l'Organisation des Etudes dans l'Ordre des Frères
Precheurs en Provence et Toulouse_, p. 53. Little points out that
"philosophy is generally equivalent to arts, and is sometimes applied to
natural philosophy. So one may take 'naturalium et artium' as
interpretative of 'philosophie,'" _op. cit._, p. 50.

[580] _Constitutiones antique ordinis Predicatorum_, ed. Denifle, I., p.

[581] _Ibid._, I., p. 201.

[582] Little: _op. cit._, p. 50.

[583] Denifle: _op. cit._, p. 222.

[584] Douais: _op. cit._, p. 3.

[585] Little: _op. cit._, p. 53.

[586] Douais: _Op. cit._, p. 58.

[587] Little: _op. cit._, p. 53.

[588] _Op. cit._, p. 54.

[589] Martene: _op. cit._, IV., p. 1900.

[590] _Op. cit._, p. 56.

[591] Denifle: _op. cit._, pp. 190-1.

[592] _Stat. of the Realm_, IV., pt. 1, p. 24.

[593] Bk. I., Ch. 1.

[594] Foundation deed, Winchester College in Hist. _Winchester Coll._, p.

[595] _Ibid._

[596] _Ibid._

[597] Lyte: _Hist. Univ. Oxford_, p. 97.

[598] Rashdall, _Univ._, II., p. 656.

[599] _Munimenta Academica_, II., p. 684.

[600] _Norwich Corporation Records. Session Book of 12th Hen. VIII._
Norfolk Archaeol., IV., p. 342.

[601] _Univ._, II., p. 657.

[602] Quoted in Moberly's _Life of William of Wykeham_, p. 108.

[603] _Yorkshire Schools_, II., p. 4.

[604] Cott. MSS. Titus, c. IX., f. 58; _Ed. Ch._, p. 110.

[605] _Grandisson's Register_, II., p. 666.

[606] _Durham Cathedral Muniments, Liber Elemosinarii_, fol. 12 r.; _Ed.
Ch._, p. 124.

[607] _Sarum Church and Diocese_ (R. S.), p. 334.

[608] _Stat. Coll. Oxon._, I.; _Ed. Ch._, p. 171.

[609] Strictly speaking, Winchester and Eton were examples of the
collegiate churches we are describing in the next chapter. In their turn,
the collegiate churches of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were
chantries on a large scale.

[610] _Rot. Parl._, V., 45.

[611] _Ibid._

[612] Chancery Warrants, Series I., file 1439: _Ed. Ch._, p. 413.

[613] _Ibid._

[614] _Univ._ II., p. 500.

[615] _Winchester College_, pp. 88, 89.

[616] _Winchester School_, p. 92.

[617] _Ibid._

[618] Whiston: _Cathedral Trusts_, p. 12.

[619] _S. M. E._, p. 119.

[620] _Univ._, II., p. 656.

[621] _Forewords_, XXXI.-XXXVI.

[622] _S. M. E._, p. 206.

[623] _Ibid._, p. 207.

[624] Lebeuf: _Histoire de la Ville et tout le Diocese de Paris_, II., pp.
129, 130.

[625] Walsingham: _Ypodigma Neustriae_ (R. S.), p. 141.

[626] Sarum Ch. and Dioc. (R. S.), p. 334.

[627] Or 1263, _Univ._, II., p. 481.

[628] _Stat. Coll. Oxford_, I.; _Ed. Ch._, p. 171.

[629] _Univ._, II., p. 482.

[630] _Univ._, II., p. 485.

[631] Wilkins, _Concilia_, I., pp. 3, 55 _seq._

[632] Statutes, cap. 40; _Ed. Ch._, p. 185.

[633] Pat. Roll, 9 Edw., I., m. 28; _Ed. Ch._, p. 224.

[634] Charter Roll, 13 Edw., I., m. 28; _Ed. Ch._, p. 226.

[635] _Ibid._

[636] Ed. Caley, Ellis and Bandinel.

[637] Wharton: _Anglia Sacra_, I., p. 740.

[638] _Mon._, VI., p. 1473.

[639] Brit. Mus. _Cott. MSS. Faustina_, A., VI. f. 104, reprinted in
_Early Yorkshire Schools_, Vol. II., pp. 84-86; _Registrum Parvum_, f. 11,
reprinted _Yorkshire Schools_, pp. 86-88.

[640] _Mon._, VI., p. 1344.

[641] _E. S. R._, II., p. 40.

[642] _E. S. R._, II., p. 31.

[643] _Mon._, VI., p. 1346.

[644] _E. S. R._, II., p. 54.

[645] _Mon._, VI., p. 1459.

[646] _S. M. E._, p. 210.

[647] _Reg. Ep. Worcester_, H. Wakefield, p. 72, _Ed. Ch._, pp. 330-334.

[648] _Ibid._

[649] _Ibid._

[650] _Ibid._

[651] Pat. 16, Ric. II., p. 1, m. 24.

[652] Reg. principale D. Archiep. Cantuar, fol. 124 a, reprinted _Mon._,
VI., p. 1391.

[653] _Mon._, VI., p. 1393.

[654] Duchy of Lanc. Cert. of Colleges, No. 4, Chant. Certif. XX., 43.

[655] Reprinted _Mon._, VI., pp. 1394-1395.

[656] _S. M. E._, p. 209.

[657] _Mon._, VI., p. 1375.

[658] _Pat._ 5, Hen. VI., p. m. 19.

[659] _S. M. E._, p. 211.

[660] _Mon._, VI., p. 1401.

[661] _Pat._ 12, Hen. IV., _pars unica_, m. 20.

[662] _Pat._, 3, Hen. V., pt. I, m. 6, reprinted Mon., VI., pp. 1404-1411.

[663] _Ibid._, p. 1407.

[664] _Mon._, VI., p. 1415.

[665] MS. in bibl. Cotton, fol. 8, reprinted in _Mon._, VI., pp.

[666] See also _Chant. Certif._, 45, No. 47.

[667] _Mon._, VI., p. 1411.

[668] Cf. _E. S. R._, II., pp. 153, 154, 155, 280; P. R. O., Aug. Off.
Misc. Bks. 147.

[669] _Pat._ 10, Hen. V., m. 3, reprinted _Mon._, VI., pp. 1425-6.

[670] Cp. _S. M. E._, p. 254.

[671] _Mon._, VI., p. 716.

[672] Carlisle, _Endowed Gr. Schools_, II., p. 301.

[673] _Mon._, VI., p. 1430.

[674] _S. M. E._, p. 255.

[675] _S. M. E._, p. 256.

[676] Probably about 1470.

[677] _Rot. Parl._, V., p. 256; reprinted _Yorkshire Schools_, II., pp.

[678] _E. S. R._, II., p. 298.

[679] _Mon._, VI., pp. 1441-1443; _Yorkshire Schools_, II., pp. 101-141.

[680] Reprinted _Yorkshire Schools_, II., 109-130, from MS. at Sydney
Sussex Coll., Camb.

[681] _Ib._, pp. 113, 114.

[682] _Ib._, p. 115.

[683] _Ib._, p. 116.

[684] _Ib._, p. 110.

[685] _Ibid._, p. 116.

[686] p. 210.

[687] _Mon._, VI., p. 766.

[688] _S. M. E._, p. 261.

[689] Pat., II., Ed. IV., p. 2., m. 15, _Mon._, VI., p. 725.

[690] Cf. _S. M. E._, p. 272.

[691] Canon Law of 1179 and 1215 did not initiate the custom.

[692] See Bk. I., Ch. II.

[693] Grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic.

[694] Geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy.

[695] On the general subject, see Abelson, _The Seven Liberal Arts_,
Parker, "The Seven Liberal Arts," _Eng. Hist. Rev._, V., pp. 417-461, July
1890; Rashdall, _Univ._, I., pp. 33-37; West, _Alcuin_ pp. 4-27.

[696] _E. S. R._, II., p. 56.

[697] _E. S. R._, II., p. 117.

[698] Bk. II., ch. II.

[699] _Polycraticus_, II., 28.

[700] Bk. II., ch. X.

[701] "Quum primum adolescens admodum, studiorum causa migrassem in

[702] _Metal._, I., 24.

[703] _Illustrations of Medieval Thought_, p. 121.

[704] Johannis Saresberiensis, _Opera_, ed. Giles, Vol. V., pp. 79, 80.

[705] _Metal._, II., 10; trans. by Poole.

[706] _Gesta. Abb. Mon. S. Albani._, I., 72.

[707] _Ed. Ch._, p. 116.

[708] _Life of Thomas à Beckett_ (R. S.), III., p. 3.

[709] _Ibid._, p. 14.

[710] For description see Drane: _Christian Schools and Scholars_, pp.
230-2; Foster Watson, _Grammar Schools_, pp. 32-37.

[711] _Mem. of Southwell Minster_, p. 205.

[712] Taylor: _Medieval Mind_, vol. II., p. 516.

[713] Bacon: _Opera Inedita_, ed. Brewer, Rolls Series, p. lix.

[714] _Ibid._, p. 59.

[715] _Ibid._, p. 398.

[716] _Opus Major_, par. 1.

[717] See Brewer's ed., p. 322, _seq._

[718] Cf. Taylor, _op. cit._, vol. II., p. 527.

[719] _Opus Tertium_, Ch. XXIX., trans. by Taylor.

[720] _Opera Inedita_, ed. Brewer, p. lix.

[721] _Op. cit._, p. lxii.

[722] _Op. cit._, p. lxxv.

[723] _Op. cit._, p. lxxv.

[724] _Opera Inedita_, ed. Brewer, pp. 58, 59.

[725] Anstey: _Munimenta Academica_, I., p. 34.

[726] Chaucer: _Canterbury Tales_, ed. Skeat, p. 299.

[727] _Ibid._, p. 421.

[728] _Statutes of the Colleges of Oxford_, vol. I.; _Ed. Ch._, pp.

[729] Brit. Mus. Add., MS. 30158, f. 34.

[730] _I.e._ the "Apeseyes."

[731] Cf. article in _Cyclopaedia of Education_.

[732] Carlisle: _Grammar Schools_, I., p. 314.

[733] _P. C. C._, 8 Maynwaryng.

[734] See Carlisle, _op. cit._, II., pp. 594-598.

[735] A copy of this time table is reprinted in Leach: _Educational
Charters_, pp. 448-451; see also _Archaelogia_, XXXIV., p. 37, _seq._
Foster Watson gives a full account of the projected statutes for Cardinal
College, Ipswich (1528) in _Old Grammar Schools_, pp. 16-18.

[736] For an account of the manuals of Stanbridge, see Foster Watson:
_English Grammar Schools_, pp. 385-386.

[737] _Ibid._, pp. 238-45.

[738] Among the records of the chantry schools, six are mentioned as
teaching writing; see _E. S. R._, II., pp. 66, 98, 251, 305, 307, 312.

[739] _Yorkshire Schools_, II., p. 109.

[740] _E. S. R._, II., p. 21.

[741] _E. S. R._, II., p. 85.

[742] Cutts: _Scenes and Characters in the Middle Ages_, p. 200.

[743] Cutts: _op. cit._, p. 205.

[744] Johnson: _Canons_, II., p. 421.

[745] _Household Book of Henry Algernon, fifth Earl of Northumberland_,
Antiq. Repertory, IV., p. 242.

[746] _Dialogue of Heresies_, III., c. 12.

[747] Dunning: _Political Ideas_, p. 263.

[748] _Illustrations of Medieval Thought_, p. 305.

[749] _Letters of Grosseteste_ (R. S.), p. 63.

[750] _Ibid._, p. 68.

[751] _Ibid._, p. 151.

[752] 2 Hen. IV., c. 15. _Stat. of the Realm_, II., 127.

[753] _Rot. Parl._, III., 584.

[754] Johnson: _Laws and Canons_, II., p. 465. Wilkins: _Concilia_, III.,
p. 317.

[755] 2 Hen. V., c. 7.

[756] See p. 129.

[757] _Rot. Parl._, 12, R. II., c. 5.

[758] _Rot. Parl._, 15, Ric. II., 39; quoted de Montmorency, _State
Intervention_, p. 27.

[759] _Op. cit._, pp. 30-32.

[760] See p. 200.

[761] _Statutes of the Realm_, 7, Henry IV., c. 17.

[762] _Pat._, 24, Henry VI., pt. ii., m. 28.

[763] _Rot. Parl._, V., 137.

[764] Bk. II., ch. VI.

      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained from
the original text.

The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version these
letters have been replaced with transliterations.

Punctuation has been corrected and standardized without note.

In the list on page 39 (beginning "10. And we enjoin that no priest
receive another’s scholar . . .), the numbers are presented as in the
original text.

In the original text, footnote 451 appears on page 155 with no
corresponding marker. The marker in this text has been added by the

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