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“Tas naturall maister Aristotell saith that euery body be the course of nature is enclyned to here & se all that refressheth & quickeneth the spretys of man' / wherfor I haue thus in this boke folowinge?" gathered together divers treatises touching the Manners & Meals of Englishmen in former days, & have added therto divers figures of men of old, at meat & in bed, 3 to the end that, to my fellows here & to come, the home life of their forefathers may be somewhat more plain, & their own minds somewhat rejoiced.
The treatises here collected consist of two main ones-John Russell's Boke of Nurture and Hugh Rhodes's Boke of Nurture, to which I have written separate prefaces and certain shorter poems ałdressed partly to those whom Cotgrave calls “ Enfans de famille, Yonkers of account, youthes of good houses, children of rich parents
1 The first sentence of Aristotle's Metaphysics is · All men by nature are actuated by the desire of knowledge.' Mr Skeat's note on I. 78 of Partenay, p. 228.
? Lawrens Andrewe. The noble lyfe & natures of man, of bestes, &c. Johjīes Desborrowe. Andewarpe.
3 The woodcuts are Messrs Virtue's, and have been used in Mr Thomas Wright's History of Domestic Manners and Customs, &c.
* If any one thinks it a bore to read these Prefaces, I can assure him it was a much greater bore to have to hunt up the material for them, and set aside other pressing business for it. But the Boke of Curtasye binding on editors does not allow them to present to their readers a text with no coat and trowsers on. If any Members should take offence at any expressions in this or any future Preface of mine, as a few did at some words in the last I wrote, I ask such Members to consider the first maxim in their Boke of Curtasye, Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Prefaces are gift horses; and if mine buck or shy now and then, I ask their riders to sit steady, and take it easy.
On the present one at least they'll be carried across some fresh country worth seeing.
(yet aliue),” partly to merchants' sons and good wives' daughters, partly to schoolboys, partly to people in general, or at least those of them who were willing to take advice as to how they should mend their manners and live a healthy life.
The persons to whom the first poems of the present collection are addressed, the
yonge Babees, whome bloode Royalle Withe grace, feture, and hyhe habylite
Hathe enourmyd, the “Bele Babees” and “swete Children,” may be likened to the “young gentylmen, Henxmen,–VI Enfauntes, or more, as it shall please the Kinge,”—at Edward the Fourth's Court; and the authors or translators of the Bokes in this volume, somewhat to that sovereign's Maistyr of Henxmen, whose duty it was
" to shew the schooles? of urbanitie and nourture of Englond, to lerne them to ryde clenely and surely; to drawe them also to justes ; to lerne them were theyre harneys; to haue all curtesy in wordes, dedes, and degrees; dilygently to kepe them in rules of goynges and sittinges, after they be of honour. Moreover to teche them sondry languages, and othyr lerninges vertuous, to harping, to pype, sing, daunce, and with other honest and temperate behaviour and patience; and to kepe dayly and wekely with these children dew convenity, with corrections in theyre chambres, according to suche gentylmen ; and eche of them to be used to that thinge of vertue that he shall be moste apt to lerne, with remembraunce dayly of Goddes servyce accustumed. This maistyr sittith in the halle, next unto these Henxmen, at the same boarde, to have his respecte unto theyre demeanynges, howe manerly they ete and drinke, and to theyre communication and other formes curiall
, after the booke of urbanitie.” (Liber Niger in Household Ordinances, p. 45.)
That these young Henxmen were gentlemen, is expressly stated,
1 scholars ?
2 Sir H. Nicolas, in his Glossary to his Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VIII., p. 327, col. 2, says, “No word has been more commented upon than • Henchmen’ or Henxmen. Without entering into the controversy, it may be sufficient to stato, that in the reign of Henry the Eighth it meant the pages of honour. They were the sons of gentlemen, and in public processions always walked near the monarch's horse : a correct idea may be formed of their appearance from the representation of them in one of the pictures in the meeting room of the Society of Antiquarians. It seems from these entries (p. 79, * 125, 182, 209, 230, 265) that they lodged in the
p. 79, Item the same daye paied Johnson the mayster of for the Rent of the house where the henxe men lye xl s.
and they haul "everyche of them an honest servaunt to keepe theyre chambre and harneys, and to aray hym in this courte whyles theyre maisters be present in courte.” I suppose that when they grew up, some became Esquires, and then their teaching would prove of use, for
These Esquiers of houshold of old (were] accustumed, wynter and sumer, in aftyrnoones and in eveninges, to drawe to lordes chambres within, courte, there to kepe honest company aftyr theyro cunnynge, in talkyng of cronycles of Kings and of other polycyes, or in pypeyng or harpyng, synging, or other actes martialles, to help occupy the courte, and accompany straungers, tyll the tyme require of departing.” But that a higher station than an Esquier's was in store for some of these. henchmen, may be known from the history of one of them. Thomas Howard, eldest son of Sir John Howard, knight (who was afterwards Duke of Norfolk, and killed at Bosworth Field), was among these henchmen or pages, 'enfauntes' six or more, of Edward IV.'s. He was made Duke of Norfolk for his splendid victory over the Scots at Flodden, and Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were his granddaughters. Among the othyr lerninges vertuous' taught
house of Johnson, the master of the king's barge, and that the rent of it was 40s. per annum. Observations on the word will be found in Spelman's Etymol., Pegge's Curialia, from the Liber Niger, Edw. IV., Lodge's Illustrations, vol. i. p. 359, the Northumberland Household Book, Blount's Glossary.”
The Promptorium has Heyncemann (henchemanne) Gerolocista, duorum generum (gerolocista),” and Mr Way in his note says, “ The pages of distinguished personages were called henxmen, as Spelman supposes, from Ger. hengst, a war. horse, or according to Bp. Percy, from their place being at the side or haunch of their lord.” See the rest of Mr Way's note. He is a most provokingly careful editor. If ever you hit on a plum in your wanderings through other books you are sure to find it afterwards in one of Mr Way's notes when you bethink yourself of turning to the Promptorium.
In Lord Percy's Household (North. H. Book, p. 362) the Henchemen are mentioned next to the Earl's own sons and their tutor (?) in the list of “ Persones that shall attende upon my Lorde at his Borde Daily, ande have no more but his Revercion Except Brede and Drynk.”
My Lordes Secounde Son to serve as Kerver.
A Gentillman that shall attende upon my Lord's Eldest Son in the rewarde, and operinted Bicause he shall allwayes be with my Lord's Sonnes for seynge the Orderynge
My Lordes first Hauneshman to serve as Cupberer to my Lorde.
See also p. 300, p. 254, The Hansmen to be at the fyndynge of my Lord,
him at Edward's court was no doubt that of drawing, for we find that 'He was buried with much pomp at Thetford Abbey under a tomb designed by himself and master Clarke, master of the works at King's College, Cambridge, & Wassel a freemason of Bury S. Edmund's.' Cooper's Ath. Cant., i. p. 29, col. 2. .
The question of the social rank of these Bele Babees, children, and Pueri who stood at tables, opens up the whole subject of upper-class education in early times in England. It is a subject that, so far as I can find, has never yet been separately treated', and I therefore throw together such few notices as the kindness of friends? and my own chance grubbings have collected; these as a sort of stopgap till the appearance of Mr Anstey's volume of early Oxford Statutes in the Chronicles and Memorials, a volume which will, I trust, give us a complete account of early education in our land. If it should not, I hope that Mr Quick will carry his pedagogic researches past Henry VIII.'s time, or that one of our own members will take the subject up. It is worthy of being thoroughly worked out. For convenience' sake, the notices I have mentioned are arranged under six heads : 1. Education in Nobles' houses. 4. At Foreign Universities, p. xl. 2. At Home and at Private 5. At Monastic and Cathedral Tutors', p. xvii.
Schools, p. xli. 3. At English Universities, p. xxvi.' 6. At Grammar Schools, p. lii.
One consideration should be premised, that manly exercises, manners and courtesy, music and singing, knowledge of the order of precedency of ranks, and ability to carve, were in early times more important than Latin and Philosophy. 'Aylmar þe kyng' gives these directions to Athelbrus, his steward, as to Horn's education :
1 When writing this I had forgotten Warton's section on the Revival of Learning in England before and at the Reformation, Hist. English Poetry, v. iii. ed. 1840. It should be read by all who take an interest in the subject. Mr Bruce also refers to Kynaston's Museum Minervæ. P.S.–Mr Bullein and Mr Watts have since referred me to Henry, who has in each volume of his History of England a regular account of learning in England, the Colleges and Schools founded, and the learned men who flourished, in the period of which each volume treats. Had I seen these earlier I should not have got the following extracts together ; but as they are for the most part not in Henry, they will serve as a supplement to him.
2 First of these is Mr Charles H. Pearson, then the Rev. Prof. Brewer, and Mr William Chappell.
Stiwarde, tak nu here
236 [And] his feiren pou wise (mates thou teach) Into opere seruise. Horn bu underuonge, And tech him of harpe and songe.
240 King Horn, E. E. T. Soc., 1866, ed. Lumby, p. 7." So in Romances and Ballads of later date, we find
The child was taught great nurterye ;
& taught him curtesie.
It was the worthy Lord of learen,
he was a lord of hie degree ;
he sett him to schoole to learne curtesie. Lord of Learne, Bp. Percy's Folio MS. vol. i. p. 182, ed. 1867. Chaucer's Squire, as we know, at twenty years of age
hadde ben somtyme in chivachie,
And carf beforn his fadur at the table.
* Mr Wm. Chappell gave me the reference.
? In the Romance of Blonde of Oxford, Jean of Dammartin is taken into the service of the Earl of Oxford as escuier, esquire. He waits at table on knights, squires, valets, boys and messengers.
Aft table, the ladies keep him to talk French with them.