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Englande, doughter to our most gracious soverayn Lorde Kyng Henry the Eight."
3. English University Education. In early days Cambridge and Oxford must be looked on, I suppose, as mainly the great schools for boys, and the generality of scholars as poor men's children,' like Chaucer's 'poore scolares tuo that dwelten in the soler-halle of Cantebregge,' his Clerk of Oxenford, and those students, gifts to whom are considered as one of the regular burdens on the husbandman, in “God speed the Plough.” Mr Froude says, Hist. of England, I. 37 :
“ The universities were well filled, by the sons of yeomen chiefly. The cost of supporting them at the colleges was little, and wealthy men took a pride in helping forward any boys of promise? (Latimer's Sermons, p. 64). It seems clear also, as the Reformation drew nearer, while the clergy were sinking lower and lower, a marked change for the better became perceptible in a portion at least of the
But Grosseteste mentions a “noble” scholar at Oxford (Epist. 129), and Edward the Black Prince and Henry V. are said to have been students of Queen's College, Oxford. Wolsey himself was a College tutor at Oxford, and had among his pupils the sons of the Marquess of Dorset, who afterwards gave him his first preferment, the living of Lymington. (Chappell.)
1 Later on, the proportions of poor and rich changed, as may be inferred from the extract from Harrison below. In the exact account of the whole number (2920) of Scholars and Students in the University of Oxford taken anno 1612 in the Long Vacation, the Studentes of Christ Church are 100, the Pauperes Scholares et alii Servientes 41; at Magdalene the latter are 76; at New College 18, to 70 Socii ; at Brasenose (Æneasense Coll.) the Communarii are 145, and the Pauperes Scholares 17; at Exeter, the latter are 37, to 134 Communarii; at St John's, 20 to 43; at Lincoln the Communarii are 60, to 27 Batellatores et Pauperes Scholares.' Collectanea Curiosa, v. i. p. 196-203.
2 Was this in return for the raised rents that Ascham so bitterly complains of the new possessors of the monastic lands screwing out of their tenants, and thereby ruining the yeomen? He says to the Duke of Somerset on Nov. 21, 1547 (ed. Giles, i. p. 140-1),
Qui auctores sunt tantæ miseriæ ? Sunt illi qui hodie passim, in Anglia, prædia monasteriorum gravissimis annuis reditibus auxerunt. Hinc omnium rerum exauctum pretium; hi homines expilant totam rempublicam. Villici et coloni uni. versi laborant, parcunt, corradunt, ut istis satisfaciant. . . Hinc tot familiæ dissipatie, tot domus collapsæ . . Hinc, quod omnium miserriinum est, nobile illud decus et robur Angliæ, nomen, inquam, Yomanorum Anglorum, fractum et collisum est. . . NAM VITA, QUÆ NUNC VIVITUR A PLURIMIS, NON VITA, SED MISERIA EST.
When will these words cease to be true of our land? They should be burnt into all our hearts.
The legend runs that the first school at Oxford was founded by King Alfred', and that Oxford was a place of study in the time of Edward the Confessor (1041-66). If one may quote a book now considered to be a monkish forgery and an exploded authority,' Ingulfus, who was Abbot of Croyland, in the Isle of Ely, under William the Conqueror, says of himself that he was educated first at Westminster, and then passed to Oxford, where he made proficiency in such books of Aristotle as were then accessible to students,' and in the first two books of Tully's , Rhetoric.-Malden, On the Origin of Universities, 1835, p. 71.
In 1201 Oxford is called a University, and said to have contained 3000 scholars; in 1253 its first College (University) is founded. In 1244, Hen. III. grants it its first privileges as a corporate body, and confirms and extends them in 1245. In his reign, Wood says the number of scholars amounted to 30,000, a number no doubt greatly exaggerated.
In the reign of Stephen it is said that Vacarius, a Lombard by birth, who had studied the civil law at Bologna, came into England, and formed a school of law at Oxford 3 . . he remained in England in the reign of Henry II. On account of the difficulty and expense of obtaining copies of the original books of the Roman law, and the poverty of his English scholars, Vacarius [ab. 1149, A.D.) compiled an abridgment of the Digests and Codex, in which their most essential parts were preserved, with some difference of arrangement, and illustrated from other law-books. . . It bore on its title that it was “pauperibus presertim destinatus ;” and hence the Oxford students of law obtained the name of Pauperists.-Malden, p. 72-3.
Roger Bacon (who died 1248) speaks of a young fellow who came to him, aged 15, not having wherewithal to live, or finding proper masters : “ because he was obliged to serve those who gave him necessaries, during two years found no one to teach him a word in the things he learned."-Opus Tertium, cap. xx. In 1214 the Commonalty of Oxford agreed to pay 52s. yearly for the use of poor scholars, and to give 100 of them a meal of bread, ale, and pottage, with one large dish of flesh or fish, every St Nicholas day.-- Wood's An. i. 185. Wood's Annals (ed. Gutch, v. i. p. 619-20) also notes that in 1461 A.D. divers Scholars were forced to get a license under the Chancellor's hand and seal (according to the Stat. 12 Ric. II., A.D. 1388, Ib., p. 519) to beg: and Sir Thos. More says "then may wee yet, like poor Scholars of Oxford, go a begging with our baggs & wallets, & sing salve Regina at rich mens dores." On this point we may also compare the Statutes of Walter de Merton for his College at Oxford, A.D. 1274, ed. Halliwell, 1843, p. 19:
1 "He placed Æthelweard, his youngest son, who was fond of learning, together with the sons of his nobility, and of many persons of inferior rank, in schools which he had established with great wisdom and foresight, and provided with able masters. In these schools the youth were instructed in reading and writing both the Saxon and Latin languages, and in other liberal arts, before they arrived at sufficient strength of body for hunting, and other manly exercises becoming their rank.” Henry, History of England, vol. ii. pp. 354-5 (quoted from Asser).
2 None were so. T. Wright.
3 Professor Rogers says: “ There is no evidence that Vacarius lectured at Oxford. The statement is a mistake made by Hallam on a passage in John of Salisbury quoted by Seiden."
Cap. 13. De admissione scholarium. Hoc etiam in eadem domo specialiter observari volo et decerno, ut circa eos, qui ad hujusmodi eleemosinæ participationem aclmittendi fuerint, diligenti solicitudine caveatur, ne qui præter castos, honestos, pacificos, humiles, indigentes, ad studium habiles ac proficere volentes, admittantur. Ad quorum agnitionem singulis, cum in dicta societate fuerint admittendi sustentationis gratia in eadem, ad annum unum utpote probationis causa primitus concedatur, ut sic demum si in dictis conditionibus laudabiliter se habuerint, in dictam congregationem admittantur.
See also cap. 31, against horses of scholars being kept.
Lodgings were let according to the joint valuation of 2 Magistri (scholars) and two townsmen (probi et legales homines de Villa). Wood, i. 255. An. 15 Hen. III. A.D. 1230-1.
In the beginning of the 15th century it had become the established rule that every scholar must be a member of some college or hall. The scholars who attended the public lectures of the university, without entering themselves at any college or hall, were called chamber dekyns, as in Paris they were called martinets; and frequent enactments were made against them. — Malden, p. 85, ref. to Wood's Annals, 1408, -13, -22, and 1512, &c.
The following are the dates of the foundations of the different Colleges at Oxford as given in the University Calendar :
.. 1613 .. 1624 .. 1714
1458 Balliol Coll., betw. 1263 & 1268 | The King's Hall and Col
1509 Merton College, founded at
lege of Brasenose Maldon, in Surrey, in Corpus Christi College 1516 1264, removed to Oxford Christ Church
1526 in 1274 Trinity College
1554 Exeter College 1314 | St John's
1555 Oriel 1326 Jesus
.. 1571 The Queen's College .. 1340 Wadham New
. 1386 | Pembroke Lincoln
1427 Worcester Ail Souls
. . 1487 St Mary's 1333 St Alban
after 1547 New Inn
1438 * The Paston Letters' do not give us much information about studies or life at Oxford, but they do give us material for estimating the cost of a student there (ii. 124%); they show us the tutor reporting to a mother her son's progress in learning (ii. 130), and note the custom of a man, when made bachelor, giving a feast : “I made bachelor .. on Friday was se'nnight (18 June, 1479), and I made my feast on the Monday after (21 June). I was promised venison against my feast, of my Lady Harcourt, and of another person too, but I was deceived of both; but my guests held them pleased with such meat as they had, blessed be God.” The letter as to the costs is dated May 19, 1478.
“I marvel sore that you sent me no word of the letter which I sent to you by Master William Brown at Easter. I sent you word that time that I should send you mine expenses particularly ; but as at this time the bearer hereof had a letter suddenly that he should come home, & therefore I could have no leisure to send them to you on that wise, & therefore I shall write to you in this letter the whole sum of my expenses since I was with you till Easter last past, and
This College is said to have been founded in the year 872, by Alfred the Great. It was restored by William of Durham, said to have been Archdeacon of Durham ; but respecting whom little authentic information has been preserved, except that he was Rector of Wearmouth in that county, and that he died in 1249, bequeathing a sum of money to provide a permanent endowment for the maintenance of a certain number of “Masters.” The first purchase with this bequest was made in 1253, and the first Statutes are dated 1280.- Oxford Univ. Calendar, 1865, p. 167.
2 I refer to the modernized edition published by Charles Knight in two volumes.
also the receipts, reckoning the twenty shillings that I had of you to Oxon wards, with the bishop's finding :
d. The whole sum of receipts is
5 17 6 And the whole sum of expenses is
6 And that [=what] cometh over my receipts & my expenses I have borrowed of Master Edmund, & it draweth to ..
8 0 and yet I reckon none expenses since Easter; but as for them, they be not great."
On this account Fenn says,
“he (Wm. Paston) had expended £6 58. 5 d. from the time he left his mother to Easter last, which this year fell on the 22nd March, from which time it was now two months, & of the expenses
since incurred' he says 'they be not great.' We may therefore conclude the former account was from the Michaelmas preceding, and a moderate one ; if so, we may fairly estimate his university education at £100 a-year of our present money. I mean that £12 10s. 11 d. would then procure as many necessaries and comforts as £100 will at this day."
What was the basis of Fenn's calculation he does not say. In 1468, the estimates for the Duke of Clarence's household expenses give these prices, among others :
d. Wheat, a quarter
3 0 0 Ale, a gallon
1 0 Beves, less hide and tallow, each 10 0
15 0 0* Muttons
2 10 (* Velys
4 0 0* Porkes
5 0 0 Rice, a pound
6 Holland, an ell (6d., 80., 16d.)
1 3 Diapre
3 0 Towelles
1 6 Napkyns, a dozen, 12s., £1, £2, 17 4
2 0 0
£31 17 8 This sum would make the things named nearly 14 times as dear now as in 1468, and raise Fenn's £100 to about £180; but no reliance can be placed on this estimate because we know nothing of the condition of the beves, muttons, veles, and porkys, then, as con
* Poor oncs.