Page:Chronicle of the Grey friars of London.djvu/30

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xxvi PREFACE.

by letters patent which passed the great seal on the 26th of June, within a shorter time of king Edward's death than that which had elapsed between the former grant and the death of king Henry. By these letters patent[1] it was directed that the three hospitals should in future be called "the hospitals of king Edward the Sixth, of Christ, Bridewell, and Saint Thomas the Apostle."

It is the pleasure of those who celebrate the origin of the school now called Christ's Hospital, to designate king Edward the Sixth as its special founder. Captivated with the beau-ideal of an amiable prince, a youth the patron of youth, a scholar the friend of scholars, such a theme, in such hands, has naturally amplified itself into a goodly Protestant legend, almost rivalling some of those of the earlier creed. An historical antiquary would receive little thanks if he ventured to brush rudely against the hallowed dew of so much loyal poetry and pious enthusiasm. Still, it will be evident from the preceding statement of facts that king Edward had very little to do with the foundation of Christ's Hospital. Both the house itself, and the revenues for its support, came from his predecessor, or were raised by the bounty of the citizens themselves; and we do not trace any thing bestowed upon it in Edward's letters patent beyond the name by which it should be known. And that is nothing more than occurred in scores of other instances throughout the country—many a grammar-school being named the school of Henry VIII. Edward VI. or Elizabeth respectively, merely because it was established (or in many cases remodelled) under authority derived from the sovereign.

  1. Printed at length in Trollope's History of Christ's Hospital, Appendix No. V.