1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Schools

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SCHOOLS. As is the case with so many of the institutions of modern civilization, so with schools; the name, the thing, the matter, the method have been derived from Greece through Rome. A strange fortune has converted the Greek word σχολή, which originally meant leisure, particularly the “retired leisure that in trim gardens takes his pleasure” of men, into the proper term for the modern school.

Greek Schools.—The term and the institution date, not from the great or what may be called the Hellenic age of Greece, but from the later Macedonian or Hellenistic period. The account given by K. I. Freeman in his Schools of Hellas (1907) may be summed up in the statement, “There were no schools in Hellas.” That is, there were no schools in our sense, where, during boyhood and youth, boys spent their whole time in a continuous course of instruction. There were professional teachers of three kinds: (1) the grammatistes, who taught reading, with writing and perhaps arithmetic, in the grammateion; (2) the citharistes, who taught music, i.e. playing and singing to the cithara—it is significant that there was no Word for the music school; (3) the paedotribes, who taught gymnastic, wrestling, boxing, running, jumping, throwing the javelin, &c., in the palaistra. To these teachers the boys were taken by slaves, called boy-leaders (παιδαγωγοί, whence our pedagogues), as single pupils, and they were taught not in classes but singly.

That all boys did not go through all three schools is clear. For we hear of Socrates, when he was grown up, repairing to a lyre-school to learn music, because he thought his education was not complete without it. Roughly, the age for the grammar-school and song-school was 7 to 14, for the gymnastic school 12 to 18. A certain amount of literature was imparted, as, especially in the song-school, Homer and other early poets, the very Bibles of Hellas, were learnt by heart. In later days, under the Sophists, and Socrates, “the greatest of the Sophists,” 450–400 B.C., something approaching to secondary education was developed. But it was wholly unorganized, though a similar division of labour between separate private tutors took place as in primary education. The orators or rhetoricians taught oratory, and the learning that was considered necessary to the political orator, a smattering of Greek history, constitutional law and elementary logic. The philosophers, such as Protagoras, discoursed vaguely on natural science, “things in the heavens above and the earth beneath,” and divinity, “whether there are gods or not,” mathematics and ethics, or any subject which attracted them, while the lawyers, in the same unsystematic way, taught what law was necessary in a state where the constitution was at the mercy of chance majorities in a sovereign assembly of 30,000 people, and trials at law were settled by 600 jurymen-judges. The orators and sophists were popular lecturers, here to-day and gone to-morrow. There was no coördination between them, no regular curriculum, and the youths wandered from one to another as their own or their parents' prejudices and purses dictated.

In the next generation, the orators and the philosophers, by settling down in fixed places, began to establish something more like schools. Plato, though like his master Socrates he taught without asking fees, was the first to give a regular educational course extending over three or four years, and in a fixed place, the Academy. The gymnasium was originally a parade or practice ground for the militia or conscript army of the state, which derived its name from the exercises being in that climate performed naked (γυμνός). At the age of 15 or 16 the boys left the palaestra, or private gymnasium, for this public training school, maintained at the public expense, preparatory to their admission as youths (ἔφηβοι), to take the oath of citizenship and undergo two years’ compulsory training in regiments on the frontier. After those two years were over, they still required continuous exercise to keep themselves in training; consequently men of all ages, from 16 to 60, were to be found in the gymnasium. Though the gymnasium was free, the teachers and trainers in gymnastics were paid, and as the poorer citizens had to earn their own living, the Athenian gymnasium, like the modern university, was for educational purposes chiefly frequented by the well-to-do. So the Academy became a fashionable lounge, and here developed the walking and talking clubs, which became the Platonic or Academic Schools. Logic and ethics, built on a foundation of geometry and mathematics, seem to have been the staple subjects. An inner circle met, and dined together in Plato's private house and garden, close to the Academy. Plato devised the house and garden to his successor Speusippus, who passed them on to Xenocrates. They thus became the first endowment of the first endowed college, which grew very rich and lasted till the disestablishment and disendowment of the old learning by Justinian in A.D. 529. Aristotle, a pupil of Plato for twenty years, set up a school of his own in the Lyceum, another public gymnasium, where he lectured twice a day, in the morning esoterically to the inner circle of regular attendants, in the afternoon to the public. From these two institutions three nations of Europe have derived three different terms for a school, the Germans their gymnasium, the French their lycée, and the Scotch their academy. Yet neither of the originals was a school in any real sense of the word. In the days of their founders they were like discussion forums; at the most, courses of lectures. In later years, the gilded youth who flocked to Athens from the whole Greco-Roman world were enrolled among the ephebi, and the so-called “university of Athens” was evolved (Dumont, L’Ephébie attique).

Meanwhile the intellectual hegemony of Greece had for a time passed with the political hegemony from Athens to Alexandria. It is to the Alexandrines, either to Antiodorus or to Eratosthenes, c. 250 (J. E. Sandys, Hist. of Classical Scholarship, 7), that grammar, as a term and a science, which included literary criticism and scholarship, and the grammar school are due. The earliest extant treatise on grammar is by Dionysius of Thrace (born c. 146), a pupil of the Homeric critic, Aristarchus. It defines grammar as “the practical knowledge of the usage of writers of poetry and prose” and includes exegesis or explanation of the author in the widest sense as well as mere verbal or syntactical grammar. It was from the term thus understood that the grammar school (scola grammaticalis), the term which described the typical secondary school from that day to 1869, derived its denotation and its connotation. For a true conception of the history of secondary schools it cannot be repeated too often and too emphatically that to this day the true title of the greatest English “public schools” is grammar school. Winchester and Eton are the grammar schools of the colleges of the Blessed Mary of Winchester and of Eton respectively, and Westminster is the grammar school of the collegiate church of St Peter, Westminster. Throughout the thirteen centuries which intervened between Dionysius Thrax and Dr Kennedy, Dionysius’s grammar was the standard work and the foundation, directly or indirectly, of all other grammars, while the grammar school has always meant, and, in the hands of the better class of teachers, has always been, not a gerund-grinding machine, but a place for the training and exercise of the mind by the study of literature. The word “school,” as well as the word “grammar,” seems to be due to Alexandria. Plato in the Laws had spoken of a learned discussion or teaching, the product of leisure, as a scholé. But it does not appear that the word was transferred to the place where such discussion took place before the Alexandrian epoch. The first known use of it in that sense seems to be in Dionysius Halicarnassus' Letter to Ammaeus, c. 30 B.C. But as Plautus (c. 210) uses the corresponding Latin term, ludus literarius, some two centuries earlier, we may safely infer that he used it, not on the principle of ludus a non ludendo, but as a translation of grammar school.

Roman Schools.—At Rome schools began with intercourse with Greeks. According to Suetonius, the emperor Hadrian’s secretary, who wrote The School Masters (De grammaticis) about A.D. 140, literary teaching and the science of grammar began with Livius Andronicus, a Greek from Magna Graecia in the south of Italy, who, being brought to Rome as a slave in 272 B.C., became a freed man, translated the Odyssey into Latin, and taught both Greek and Latin. Ennius, the first Latin poet, was also half-Greek, and came to Rome in 209 B.C., where he also taught both languages. According to Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 59) the first grammar school (grammatodidaskaleion) was opened by Spurius Carvilius, a freedman of Carvilius, who was the first Roman to divorce his wife. Like master, like man. These two innovations in morals and manners took place about 230 B.C. According to Suetonius, Crates of Mallus in Cilicia, who about 169 B.C. came to Rome as ambassador from Attalus, kin of Pergamum, a great centre of learning, and was kept there by a broken leg, occupied himself in giving lectures. His example was soon followed by Romans. Schools of grammar, in which, even as late as Cicero’s time, the Laws of the Twelve Tables were the chief text-book and were learnt by heart, were kept by Greeks or freedmen. These seem to have been of the nature of elementary schools. But at Rome, as at Athens, the working classes were for the most part slaves; and elementary schools were like English preparatory schools rather than public elementary schools. The teachers were called litteratores, a translation of the Greek γραμματισταί. Schools of rhetoric, which were more like secondary schools, were also opened after the model of that of Isocrates at Athens. Their teachers were called litterati, corresponding to the Greek γραμματικοί. Suetonius says that “the early litteratores also taught rhetoric, and we have many of their treatises which include both sciences.” In 92 B.C. schools of Latin rhetoric were put down as an innovation. Yet among the treatises written by Cato, the praiser of the past at the expense of the present, was one on public speaking, the chief rule in which was “take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.” Cicero learned to declaim both in Greek and Latin, and the Gracchi had studied rhetoric under Greek teachers. Neither the gymnasium or palaestra, nor the music school, flourished at Rome. As at Athens, so at Rome the boys were sent to school in charge of a slave, a pedagogus, comes or custos. But it would seem that at Rome the pedagogus, generally a Greek slave, often himself gave elementary instruction. In Varro’s much-debated phrase, “Educat nutrix, instituit pedagogus, docet magister,” “the nurse brings up, the pedagogue instils the elements, the master teaches.” Magister, which in English became “maister” and then “master,” remained the term for the teacher of the public school from that day to this, though attempts were made at the time of the Reformation to introduce the Greek word didascalus in its place.

The Roman school was very much like the modern school. All the methods of torture which have made the service of the Muses for most boys a veritable slavery were in full vogue. Instruction was now in a foreign language, and grammar became prominent. Early rising, loud speaking and hard flogging were in the ascendant. Martial curses the master of a neighbouring school whose shouts and blows woke him up at cock crow. Horace assures us that he admires the old Latin poets in spite of their having been flogged into him by the pedagogus, Orbilius, whose name has become proverbial. The staple of instruction in the Roman schools was the works of the poets, Greek and Latin, Homer and Virgil, Hesiod and Aesop, Menander and Terence. Horace says (Ep. i. 19. 40) “that he was not thought Worthy of going the round of the schoolmasters desks”; but it was a fate not long delayed, and the writings of the poets of the silver age, Lucan and Statius, became school-books in their own lifetimes.

Our knowledge of the Roman curricula is mainly due to Quintilian’s Institutio oratoria, c. A.D. 91. Fabius Quintilianus, born on the banks of the Ebro, was not only the son of a man who kept a rhetoric school, but himself kept one, and is said by St Jerome to have been the first who kept a public school, in the sense that he was the first who received a stipend from the emperor. In endeavouring to create the perfect orator, Quintilian discusses the whole of education from the cradle upwards. It is clear from him that the grammar school had trenched on the rhetoric school. The latter was then restricted to actual oratory, the rules and practice of public speaking, while the grammar school gave much the same teaching as English grammar schools did until 1850.

The first definitely endowed school we hear of is one founded by Pliny the younger, a pupil of Quintilian, at his native place Como. In a letter to the historian Tacitus (iv. 12) he informs him that he found a Como boy was at school at Milan, because there were no teachers at Como, whereupon he lectured the parents on the “small additional expense” a day-school at Como would be, compared to the cost of boarding boys at Milan. He therefore offered to find a third of the cost, and would have found the whole did he not “fear that such an endowment might be corrupted . . . to private interests, which he saw happen in many places where teachers are hired by the public” (preceptores publice conducuntur). The choice of the master he left to the parents. Later historians say that the emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161) assigned offices and salaries (honores et salaria) for rhetoricians throughout the provinces; and that Alexander Severus did the same, and also established exhibitions for poor boys, with the limitation, curiously repeated a thousand years later in the statutes of All Souls College and of Eton, modo ingenuos, i.e. provided only that they should be free-born.

There were complaints that the masters were ill-paid. The only definite statement as to tuition fees appears to be a line of Horace (Sat. i. 6. 76), who says his father took him to school at Rome as he did not care to send him where the sons of his country neighbours went, at 8 asses a month, said to represent 4d. a month, equivalent to “about a shilling”; even this is founded on a disputed reading. Quintilian made a fortune by his school, but Juvenal calls him in this respect a white crow. As in modern times the winning jockey, so then the victorious charioteer, received more pay for a single race than the master for a whole year’s labours.

Grammar and rhetoric schools spread throughout the Roman world and continued substantially unchanged in method and subject to the days of Gregory the Great and Augustine the apostle of the English. The Confessions of St Augustine of Hippo, a schoolmaster at Carthage, Rome and Milan, before his baptism in the year 387, and the poems of his contemporary Ausonius, educated in the grammar school at Toulouse, and himself a schoolmaster at Bordeaux before becoming prefect of Illyria and of Gaul, show that the schools were much the same in the 4th century as in the first. Ausonius celebrated in verse all the Bordeaux schoolmasters, some coming from schools at Athens, Constantinople, Syracuse and Corinth, one the son of a Druid at Bayeux, others schoolmasters from Poitou, Narbonne, Toulouse, who went to Lerida and other places in Spain. Ausonius had for his pupil the emperor Gratian, who in 376 established a legal tariff for schoolmasters’ salaries. “In every town which is called a metropolis, a noble professor shall be elected.” The rhetoric master (rhetor) was to have at least 24 annonae (an annona being a year’s wages of a working man); while the grammar masters were to receive half that. But at Trier, then the capital of the Western empire, the rhetor was to have 30, the Latin grammarian 20, and the Greek grammarian, if one can be found, 12 annonae (Cod. Theod. xiii. 3. 11). The works of Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, 513–521, preserve many school declamations delivered in Milan school. The same century saw Priscian, a schoolmaster at Constantinople, compose the Latin grammar, which, itself for the most part a mere translation from Greek, reigned without a rival till the Reformation, and is represented by over 1000 MSS. Venantius Fortunatus, educated in the grammar school at Treviso, wrote in 570 a life of St Martin of Tours in three books of hexameter verse, and lives of saints and bishops. His era was one of transition, and marks the passing of the schools from secular to ecclesiastical control. His contemporary Pope Gregory rates Desiderius, “bishop of Gaul,” at Vienne (Ep. xi. 54), because “as we cannot relate without shame, it has come to our knowledge that your brotherhood teaches grammar to certain persons: which we take all the worse as it converts what we formerly said in your favour to lamentation and mourning, since the praise of Christ cannot lie in one mouth with the praise of Jupiter. Consider yourself what a crime it is for bishops to recite what would be improper for religiously minded laymen”—words which are an adaptation of a sentiment of Jerome at his worst.

This letter is the more remarkable, because it ends with commending to Desiderius the monks whom Gregory was sending with Laurence the priest and Mellitus the abbot to Augustine of Canterbury, thus bringing the grammar-school-teaching bishop into direct connexion with the conversion of the English, and the foundation of the first English school.

English Schools.—St Augustine of Canterbury landed in Kent in 596, and the king of Kent, Ethelbert, was christened two years later. He “did not defer giving his teachere a settled residence in his metropolis of Canterbury, with such possessions as were necessary for their subsistence,” says Bede. We may therefore attribute the establishment of the Church of England and the first English school to the year 598. For as nowadays the first thing modern missionaries do is to establish a school, so did Augustine. Indeed a school was even more necessary then. Now the Scriptures are always translated into the native tongue, and services conducted in it. But in those days the converted heathen, to understand the church service and to read the Scriptures, had to learn Latin and begin with Latin grammar; and indeed as the kyrie, the creed and the gloria were still rendered in Greek, if he was thoroughly to comprehend it he had to learn some Greek.

The first actual mention of Canterbury school is in 631. Sigebert of Essex, Bede tells us (Eccl. Hist. iii. 18, ed. Plummer, p. 162), while in exile in Gaul, was baptized. “On his return, as soon as he obtained the kingdom (of the East Saxons), wishing to imitate what he had seen well done in Gaul, he founded a grammar school (scolam in qua pueri litteris erudirentur), with the assistance of Bishop Felix, whom he had received from Kent, who provided them with ushers and masters (pedagogos et magistros) after the manner of the Canterburians (more Cantuariorum).” If the last words are translated Kentish folk the meaning is the same, as naturally the first and chief school of the Kentish folk was at Canterbury. Felix was a Burgundian, who had come over to Honorius, one of the last survivors of the original band of Augustine, who became archbishop in 627. The East Saxon see was placed at Dunnoc, now Dunwich, and the school there has been claimed by patriotic Suffolk historians as the first school in England. Though long before the Conquest Dunwich had ceased to be an episcopal see, being deposed in favour of Thetford, while half of it was swallowed up by the sea, yet, when between 1076 and 1083 the priory of Eye was founded by Robert Malet, he appropriated to it all the churches of Dunwich “the tithes of the whole town both of money and herrings . . . the school also of the same town.” So the school of Sigebert and Felix was still existing 400 years afterwards. It afterwards perished at the dissolution of the priory, to which it had been handed over.

As the model must be older than the copy, Canterbury school must be allowed the primacy over Dunwich. Being spoken of as an existing institution, with no suggestion that it was then newly established, we need not doubt that it was founded by St Augustine as part of the cathedral establishment of Christ Church, Canterbury. This church was not then monastic, but like all other cathedrals, a college of priests, the monks being placed apart, outside the city walls in the abbey, first called St Paul’s, afterwards known as St Augustine’s. Enthusiastic “Grecians” have attributed Canterbury school rather to the Greek archbishop, the monk Theodore, who reached Canterbury on the 27th of May 669. “Soon after” he “travelled through the whole English parts of the island,” and first established a united church of England, being “the first archbishop whom the whole English church consented to obey.” He travelled with Hadrian, a Latin-African monk, who had been first offered the archbishopric, and was sent by the pope to look after Theodore “lest after the fashion of Greeks he should introduce something against the true faith.” “Because both were abundantly learned in sacred and profane literature, they collected crowds of disciples, and streams of saving knowledge daily flowed from them, as together with holy writ they gave their hearers instruction both in the arts of metre and astronomy and ecclesiastical arithmetic,” or, as the Anglo-Saxon translation has it, “meter craft, tungolcraft and grammaticraft” (Bede, Eccl. Hist. iv. 2). “The proof is,” says Bede, “that even to this day,” c. 735, “some of their pupils survive who know Latin and Greek as well as their own language in which they were born.” It is a strange misconception of this passage which has narrowed a triumphant record of the first metropolitical visitation of England, the very point of which is that the archbishop left Canterbury to travel to the farthest parts of the heptarchy, into the foundation of a school at Canterbury. Though it is clear that Theodore did not found, there is evidence that he did actually teach in the school at Canterbury, since Albinus, who succeeded Hadrian as abbot of St Paul’s, is said to have been “the most learned man of his time in everything, having been educated in the church of Canterbury” (not, it may be noted, in the monastery of St Paul’s) by Theodore and Hadrian. Tobias, who died bishop of Rochester in 726, is also described as “a most learned man, for he was a pupil of Theodore and Hadrian, and so, together with a knowledge of literature ecclesiastical and general, Greek and Latin were as familiar to him as his native tongue.” We may therefore credit Rochester with its school at least as early as Toby’s episcopate.

Of schools still existing, we must give the precedence after Canterbury and Rochester to St Peter’s school, the cathedral grammar school at York. If it was originally started by Paulinus, the Roman missionary, in 630 or 633, and there was no church or bishop there till the time of Wilfrid, c. 700, it cannot claim to be older than his day. Whoever may be the originator of York school, it is at all events earlier than Archbishop Egbert (Ecgberht), to whom it has been credited by many writers (cf. Dict. Christian Biog.). But their authority is a life of Alcuin by a French monk, in a MS. said to have existed at Reims in 1617, but never seen since, a mere piece of hagiology, and certainly not contemporary. It makes a mystic monastic chain of Greek learning from Theodore to Bede, Bede to Egbert, Egbert to Alcuin, Alcuin to Hrabanus Maurus, the monks of St Gall and so on. It is flattering to insular pride, as it makes England the mother of all continental schools. But the chain breaks at the second link. Egbert was neither a pupil of Bede’s, nor Alcuin’s master. Nor was Egbert ever a monk, and Alcuin only became one late in life. Had Bede been Egbert’s master, he could not have failed to mention it in the well-known letter he wrote to him on becoming archbishop, in which he addresses him, not as a master might have written to a pupil, but as a rather humble but lecturing friend. Moreover, Alcuin himself, in the poem on the bishops and saints of the church of York (Hist. Ch. York., Rolls ser. i. 390), written when schoolmaster at York, only says of Egbert that he was of royal blood, an illustrious ruler of the church and an admirable teacher (egregius doctor). He finds no space for more about him, because his “muse hastens to the end of his song and the doings of his own master, who, after Egbert, received the insignia of the venerable see, Albert, called the wise.” On Albert’s merits, Alcuin descants in many verses. Nearly related to Egbert, Albert “was sent to the Minster to school in his boyish years and became a priest quite young, and by Egbert was made advocate of the clergy and preferred as master in the city of York.” This phrase exactly describes the duties of the later chancellor of the Minster, who was the chief lawyer of the college of canons and also head of the school; while it shows that the school was the school, not only of the church, but of the city, of the laity as well as of the clergy. Albert taught grammar, rhetoric, law, singing, playing on the flute and lyre, natural history and the church calendar: above all, theology. There were boarders. For “whatever youths he saw of eminent intelligence, these he joined to himself, taught, fed and loved, and so he had many pupils, advanced in various arts.” Albert travelled abroad, went to Rome and was received “as the prince of doctors, and kings and princes invited him to irrigate their lands with learning.” But he preferred to return home. Even when he became archbishop, he still continued to teach. Two years before his death he retired, and, of his two chief pupils, Eanbald succeeded him in the archbishopric. But “he gave the dearer treasures of his books to the other son, who was always close to his father’s side, thirsting to drink the floods of learning.” To the one the rule of the church, its treasures and lands; to the other the school (studium), the chair, the books.” This other son was Alcuin himself. A catalogue of the books is given. Besides the “Fathers,” including Boethius and Cassiodorus, Popes Leo and Gregory, there were Aldhelm of Sherborne and Bede the wise. There were Pliny and Pompeius Trogus, Aristotle and Cicero (De oratore). Among poets, there were Virgil, Statius and Lucan. But of four lines full of the names of poets, these are the only ones whom the ordinary classical scholar has heard of. The rest were Christian poets, who versified various parts of the Bible; Juvencus (c. 330), Paulinus (353–431), Prosper of Aquitaine (379–431), Sedulius (c. 460), Venantius Fortunatus (535–600), Arator (c. 550). Among grammarians were Valerius Probus, Donatus, Priscian, Servius (the great Virgilian commentator). Phocas (who wrote a life of Virgil in verse), Comminianus (probably Commodianus), of the 5th century. There were “many other masters eminent in the schools, in art, in oratory, who have written many a volume of sound sense, but whose names it seemed too long to write in verse.” Alcuin himself wrote dialogues on grammar, rhetoric and dialectic. In the first, the speakers were an English boy of 15 and a Frank boy of 14; in the latter, Charlemagne and Alcuin himself. For Alcuin yielded to the temptation which his master, Albert, had resisted, and meeting Charlemagne, on a visit to Rome, accepted the headship of an itinerant school attached to his court, the so-called Palace School. Except for a short visit in 792–793, Alcuin deserted England for Frankland. But he continued to take an interest in the school of York, and in one of his poems expresses the hope that the youth of York will handle Virgil’s bow and fill the Frisian ships with poems. When Eanbald II. was appointed archbishop of York in 796 Alcuin wrote to congratulate him, and recommended him to divide the school and have different masters for grammar, for song and for writing; and also to establish hospitals, which he calls by their Greek name (xenodochia), one of the many proofs that he had a tincture of Greek learning. The advice seems to have been taken, as in later times we find here, as elsewhere, the song school under the preceptor quite separate from the grammar school under the chancellor, and St Peter’s hospital just outside the cathedral precinct, which was endowed by King Athelstan, and afterwards known as St Leonard’s hospital. In another letter Alcuin sends one of his pupils to King Offa of Mercia to act as master in the school Offa was establishing, and expresses his pleasure at Offa’s intention to study and make the light of wisdom, which was extinct in so many places, shine in his kingdom. Whether this refers to the establishment of a school at Lichfield, or elsewhere, does not appear. It is to be noticed that Alcuin, all the time he was master at York and master of the so-called palace school of Charlemagne, was not a monk but a secular clerk. He always describes himself as Alcuin the levite, or deacon, until in his old age he retired to an abbacy by way of retiring pension. So too Augustine himself, though a monk, when he became a bishop and set up a school, had been advised by Pope Gregory to abandon the monastic seclusion and live with his clergy like an ordinary bishop.

The recognition of this fact is vital to an understanding of the history of schools in England and other modern countries. The history of medieval and modern schools has, thanks to the superior industry and research of the French and Germans, started with Charlemagne and Alcuin. Though the schools of France came straight from the Roman grammar and rhetoric schools, and the English schools, by new importation, direct from Italy, it has always been assumed that their origin was monastic and that monks were the chief educators. This is because Charlemagne, largely it would seem under Alcuin’s influence, did make a distinct effort to convert the monasteries practically into colleges and public schools. How far he succeeded in this is very doubtful, but if the monasteries ever did become the seats of public schools, or if the monks did anything for general education, it was only during his reign. Save for that short period, alike in England and on the continent general education and public schools were the exclusive duty and privilege of the secular clergy from the days of Augustine to the days of Laud. The monks from first to last were never public schoolmasters or educators, they never acted as teachers, and the monasteries never kept schools, except for their own novices, and they never, except incidentally as lords of manors or trustees, or transferees of the spiritual rights of secular colleges, even controlled schools.

The early monasteries and monks, as may be seen by the example of even Jerome, not only did not cultivate learning other than that of the scriptures, but even repudiated it as heathenish. It was not till Cassiodorus, about 550, composed his Institutions for the two monasteries he founded in Calabria, that the copying of MSS. and reading came to be regarded as a monkish duty. The original Benedictine rule a few years earlier set apart only two hours a day for reading, except in Lent. Then, lack of food making the monks less able to labour with their hands, they had three hours’ reading in the morning, and had to read one book through in the course of the 40 days. Even this rule was not absolute, special provision being made for work for those who were too lazy to read. There is not a word in the rule to suggest that education was one of the duties of monks or of the objects of a monastery. The only reference to boys is apropos of the reception of new brethren, boy novices “offered” (oblati) at the altar. The Celtic monasteries, according to Dr Skene (Celtic Scotland, ii. 75), became “great educational seminaries, in which the youth of the tribe were sent, not only to be trained to monastic life, but also for the purpose of receiving secular education.” But the quotations given from the ancient laws of Ireland and the life of St Brendan in support of this statement by no means bear it out. It may be questioned whether even in Ireland, or its daughter settlement in Wales, at Iona in Scotland and at Lindisfarne in England, anyone other than sucking monks imbibed the milk of learning in the nurseries of the monasteries. Where, however, as in these communities, the church and secular clergy were practically swallowed up in the monastery and monks, where even the bishops became kept officials under an abbot, it is perhaps not possible to draw a distinction between the regular and the secular clergy. The mission of St Columban in 590 took the Celtic monastery to the borders of Alsace, while indirectly through Lindisfarne it may have been known to Alcuin, as it certainly was at Fulda (Skene, 43).

Charlemagne was perhaps consciously acting under Celtic influence when in the council of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), on the 23rd of March 789–790, he entreated the congregations of monks as well as those of the secular canons “not only to get together children of slaves but also the sons of freemen, and take them into their societies,” and directed that “schools of reading boys should be established in every monastery and cathedral, where psalms, music (notas), arithmetic and grammar, and the writing of good editions of books should be taught; not allowing the boys, however, to corrupt the gospels, psalters or mass books by reading or writing, but employing men of full age for that purpose.” It must have been in pursuance of this design of turning the monasteries to account as schools, that the extant plan of the monastery of St Gall (see Abbey) was prepared. This plan shows an “inner” school of the novices, and an “outer” school for the young gentlemen. The novices’ school is shown as a replica on a smaller scale of the monastery, complete in itself with chapel, dormitory, refectory and infirmary. On the plan of it is written, “In this cloister the oblates are associated with the postulants,” i.e. the boys offered to God, set apart for the monastic life from infancy, were brought up with the ordinary novices of riper years seeking for admission. This school was at the east end of the church, next to the infirmary of the monks. But the other school, the public school, stood on the north side of the church, as far as possible from the monks’ quarters, which, at St Gall, as elsewhere when topography permitted, were on the south. This school was close to the guest hall for gentlemen, near the public entrance to the church from the street. It shows provision for about 150 boarders. The plan is credited to Charlemagne’s son-in-law, Eginhard. But it is known not to have been carried out in its entirety; and whether any “outer” school was ever actually erected or carried on we do not know. But, if in Charlemagne’s time the monasteries in general admitted lay or clerical boys even in a separate outer school, it is certain that the next generation saw them excluded again. A council at Aachen on the 951 of July 817 (Baluze, Capit. i. 581), attended by abbots and a large number of monks, decreed “No school shall be kept in a monastery except for oblates." That this was considered as binding, or at least was followed, in England, is clear from the decrees of this council being included with the rules of Benedict, Dunstan and Ethelwold in the great Saxon monastic collection now in the British Museum (Cott. Tib. A, iii.). In England, at all events from this time, we always find public schools taught not by the monks, but by the secular clergy.

The notion that schools were monastic and monasteries schools is partly due to a verbal confusion, ecclesiastical and monastic having been ignorantly treated as convertible terms. Education and schools were the province of the church, they were subject to the canon law, and every one connected with them was reckoned as a clerk with the privilege of clergy. The secular courts could take no cognizance of pleas concerning the conduct of schools or schoolmasters, as was emphatically reaffirmed in the Gloucester School Case in 1410, any more than they could as to churches or the conduct of rectors and vicars. Just as they could entertain suits about the patronage of livings, so they could about the appointment of schoolmasters, patronage being regarded as property, and a temporal not a spiritual right, as was settled in a case against the Abbot of Battle in 1343. Both these cases have unfortunately been misrepresented as establishing that the common law of England not only “allowed all to be taught but also controlled the administration of educational foundations” (J. E. G. de Montmorency, State Intervention in English Education, 1902, p. 16). In truth, that was solely the business of the clergy, and especially of the bishops as the ecclesiastical judges of first instance, with appeal to the court of Canterbury and thence to the supreme court of the pope at Rome. There is a decree of Pope Eugenius II. in a synod held in 826 (Dec. prima pars. Dist. xxxvii. c. 12): “From certain places complaint is made to us that neither are masters found nor care taken for a school of letters (i.e. grammar school), wherefore let all care and diligence be taken by all bishops and their subjects, and in other places where necessary, that masters and teachers should be established to teach continually grammar schools (studia litterarum) and the principles of the liberal arts, as in them chiefly are the divine commands set forth and declared.” This canon only crystallized into statute what had for two centuries at least been the customary law of the church, that schools should be kept in every cathedral city, as we have seen they were at Canterbury, Dunwich and York.

After York the next place in England in which we have actual evidence of a school is at Winchester, to which intellectual superiority seems to have passed with the political suzerainty. In the history of education in the 9th century the name of Alfred takes the place of Alcuin in the 8th. Of Alfred’s own education we have no real knowledge, as the tales of the so-called Asser are mere fairy stories (“The Real Alfred,” The Times, London, 17 March 1898). But Asser’s account of the education of Alfred’s children may be accepted as applying to Winchester, and as at all events evidence that there was a public school there in the days when “Asser” wrote, about a hundred years after Alfred’s death. Edward the eldest son and Ælfthryth the eldest daughter were bred in the king’s court, “nor among their other pursuits appertaining to this life were they suffered to pass their time idly and unprofitably without liberal learning. For they carefully learn the Psalms and Saxon books, especially Saxon poems, and are continually in the habit of making use of books.” But “Ethelward the youngest, by the divine counsels and the admirable prudence of the king, was sent to the Grammar School (ludis litterariae disciplinae), where with the children of almost all the nobility of the country, and many also who were not noble, he prospered under the diligent care of his masters. Books in both languages, namely Latin and Saxon, were diligently read in the school. They also learned to write, so that before they were of an age to practise manly arts, namely hunting and such pursuits as befit gentlemen (nobilibus), they became studious and clever in the liberal arts.” This passage so entirely coincides with the description of York school given by Alcuin in its evidence that the grammar school was frequented by laymen as well as clerics, and it is so improbable that “Asser” borrowed from Alcuin, that we may take it to be the normal thing that young Englishmen of good birth were brought up in the public grammar schools then as now.

Anglo-Saxon schools were not confined to bishops’ sees. Apart from Malmesbury, the story of which has been so obscured by monastic writers as to make it impossible to ascertain whether it had a public school or not, there were public schools in all the principal centres of population, generally marked by being also the sites of collegiate churches. At least, wherever Ethelfleda, the Lady of the Mercians, and her brother, Edward the Elder, are recorded as building “burhs” through the Midlands to consolidate their conquests from the Danes, there we find also collegiate churches of pre-Conquest origin and early grammar schools; e.g. at Stafford and Derby, Huntingdon, Bedford and Leicester, at Bridgenorth, Tamworth and Warwick.

It is perhaps only at the last place that the direct evidence of the continuance of the school from pre-Conquest to post-Conquest times is preserved. There, in 1123 (Leach, Hist. Warwick School, 1908), the earl of Warwick, having granted to the canons of St Mary's collegiate church in the town “the school of the church, that the service of God in the same may be improved by the attendance of scholars,” the older church of All Saints in the castle appealed to the crown, and Henry I. issued a writ to “command that the church of All Saints have all its customs and ordeals . . . as fully as it used to have them in the time of King Edward and my father and brother and the school (scolas) in like manner.” In the result the two collegiate churches were united, the canons of All Saints being transferred to St Mary’s and “the school of Warwick” confirmed to the united church, which was to enjoy the same liberties as London, Lincoln, Salisbury and York churches, i.e. be like a cathedral church of secular canons. That this included the maintenance of a school is clear from a reply to one of a number of questions as to their liberties and customs put by the Warwick chapter to the dean and chapter of Salisbury in 1155, viz. “the scholars to their own master stand and fall,” i.e. the master not the chapter was to look after the boys.

Even the Danes became founders of churches and schools. Thus Herman, the historian of Bury, writing in 1098 (Mem. Bury St Edmunds, Rolls ser. i. 46), and speaking of Canute little more than a generation after his death, recalls his charities, how “when he came to a minster or fortified town, he handed over, to be taught at his own expense, for the clerical or the monastic order, not any chance boy of good birth, but the more select of the poor.” Abbot Sampson, writing about a century later, c. 1180 (ibid, 126), credits Canute with “instituting public schools (publicas scolas; the earliest use probably of the term public school in any English writer) in the cities and towns, and, establishing masters at the state expense, sent to them boys of good promise to be taught grammar, including even freed sons of slaves.” Canute is praised because he turned out the canons from Bury to put in monks. But the school, though it thus fell under the sway of the abbot, continued in the town, outside the precinct of the abbey, and was served by secular masters. So when Earl, afterwards King, Harold founded the college of Holy Cross at Waltham, the chief officer next the dean was the schoolmaster, Master Athelard, imported from Liége, whose “lessons in grammar and verses and composition did not prevent equal knowledge of singing and divine service. The boys knew the psalter by heart, and entered the choir in procession from school, and on leaving choir returned to school with all the gravity of the regular canons” who in 1177 supplanted the seculars. The secular canon, one of the expelled, who wrote the history about 1180, was himself the pupil of Master Peter, son of Athelard; for secular canons married and had children.

In the half century which followed the Conquest, the cathedral and many of the collegiate churches were reconstituted and enlarged, the normal number of seven canons being increased, and reaching in some cases as many as fifty. In this reconstitution schools were not forgotten. The statutes called “The Institution of St Osmund,” said to have been made at the foundation of Salisbury Cathedral in 1091, are in almost identically the same words as the statutes of Lincoln, York and Wells, and they established, instead of two principal persons, provost or dean and schoolmaster, four, viz. dean, singer (cantor), schoolmaster or chancellor (cancellarius) and treasurer. Of these, “the cantor ought to rule the choir as to singing; the treasurer in keeping the ornaments, the chancellor in teaching school (scolis regendis), correcting the books; the archiscola ought to hear the lessons and determine, carry the church seal, and compose letters and deeds, note the readers on the table as the cantor does the singers.” The York statutes codified in 1307 expressly state that the chancellor was “anciently called the schoolmaster” (magister scolarum, a variant of which was scolasticus). At St Paul’s a series of documents relating to the chancellor are endorsed “of the schoolmaster, now the chancellor.” When he dropped the title of schoolmaster, the chancellor ceased himself to teach any school except the theological school, in which he continued to lecture until the Reformation, but he always remained the educational officer of the chapter. Thus at York in 1307 he was bound to be a master in theology, i.e. D.D., and “to him belongs the collation to grammar schools; but the school of York, he ought to give to a regent in arts” (i.e. an M.A. who has not taken his degree more than two years) “to hold for three years, and not longer, except by grace for four years.” The grammar schools outside York to which he was to appoint were probably those in York diocese, outside special liberties, such as Beverley (itself a collegiate church), but except for an appointment by the chapter, when the chancellorship was vacant, to Doncaster grammar school in 1351 (A. F. Leach, Early Yorks. Schools, i. 22), we do not know what they were. At Lincoln “no one can teach in the city of Lincoln without his (the chancellor’s) licence and all the schools in Lincolnshire he confers at his own pleasure” (Vict. County Hist.: Lincs. ii.).

In London the chancellor was called schoolmaster until 1205. The original writ is still extant (Mem. St Paul’s, A. ii. 25), in which, in 1138, Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester, acting as bishop of London, holding the see in commendam during a vacancy, enforced the exclusive privilege of Henry the Schoolmaster (scolarum magistro) of St Paul’s, ordering the dean and archdeacon “to excommunicate those who without a licence from schoolmaster Henry presume to teach in the city of London, except those teaching the schools of St Mary le Bow and St Martin’s le Grand.” St Martin’s le Grand was itself a collegiate church with a dean and chapter and the duty and right of keeping a grammar school, and St Mary le Bow was a “peculiar” of the archbishop of Canterbury and extra diocesan to on on.

Precisely similar provisions prevailed at the great collegiate churches like Beverley and Ripon in Yorkshire, and Southwell in Nottinghamshire (A. F. Leach, Mem. of Southwell Minster, xli. ii. 13, 205), all pre-Conquest churches and secondary cathedrals to the vast diocese of York. At the former, where we hear (Hist. Ch. of York, Rolls ser., i. 281) a curious tale about the schoolmaster (scolasticus), c. 1100, falling in love with a girl he saw in church, the schoolmaster also became chancellor. In 1304–1306 we find a series of reported cases in which he enforced by excommunication the monopoly of the grammar schoolmaster he appointed against unlicensed rivals teaching in the chapter liberty (A. F. Leach, Beverley Chap. Act Book, i. 42, 48, 55, 102, 108, 114). Similarly the collegiate churches in the castles of Pontefract and Hastings (Vict. County Hist.: Sussex, ii.) had their grammar schoolmasters about 1100. They were spread all over the kingdom.

The grammar school was a public school open to every one. It has been indeed repeatedly asserted that the cathedral schools were choristers’ schools and taught nothing but the psalter and a little elementary Latin grammar. The assertion is founded on a complete misunderstanding. It is a question whether there were any choristers in the 12th century or whether they are not a later introduction, the canons and their vicars choral or choir deputies at first doing the singing themselves. Choristers at Salisbury are not mentioned in the Institution of St Osmund, and they first appear in the 1220 edition of that document. At Lincoln we first find choristers mentioned in a statute of 1236, “To the Precentor belongs the instruction and discipline of the boys and their admission and ordering in choir.” At York the 1307 edition of the statutes says “the collection (i.e. appointment of masters) to song schools belongs to the singer,” now called preceptor, “and cases affecting them ought to be heard and decided by him, though execution belongs to the chapter” (Leach, Early Yorks. Schools, i. 12). At St Paul’s there was no preceptor till the 13th century and there is no mention of choristers till 1263, though school-boys (pueri scolarum) appear as witnessing a deed between 1142 and 1148 and receiving 4d. for cherries for doing so. It must be remembered also how very small the number of choristers was and how incapable of constituting a school. At St Paul’s they were only eight until the 15th century, at York only seven in the 14th. So far from the grammar school being a school solely or even chiefly for choristers, there are several cases in which contests arose whether they had any right of admission to the grammar school. Thus the 14th century register of the almoner or almsgiver of St Paul’s, who about 1180 was given a house for the poor, in which later the choristers were boarded, records that the grammar schoolmaster claimed five shillings a year for teaching them grammar. At Beverley in 1312 a contest between the grammar schoolmaster and the song schoolmaster took place as to whether the grammar schoolmaster was bound to admit all choristers free, or only the original number of seven. It was held after evidence as to old custom that all must be admitted free. But there could have been no doubt if the grammar school had been for their sole or chief benefit. A contest at Warwick between the grammar schoolmaster and the music schoolmaster, about 1215 (or 1315), owing to the latter intruding on the domain of the former, was settled by the chapter on the basis that the latter was to teach no grammar, but only “those learning their letters, the psalter, music and song” (A. F. Leach, Hist. Warwick School, 62-66). Everywhere from the 13th century onwards the song or choristers’ school was of the nature of an elementary school, like that attended by Chaucer’s “litel clergeon” in the Prioress’ Tale, in which the boy “sat in the scole at his prymer” but could not construe the Alma Redemptoris because “I lerne song, I can (i.e. know) but smal grammere.” Even in quite small places, as at Northallerton, Yorkshire, the distinction between the grammar school and the song school was at first strictly drawn, but tended to disappear in the dearth of M.A.s after the Black Death (Early Yorks. Schools, ii. 60-62). In the larger places the distinction was strictly maintained until the Reformation, when the song schools disappeared, except in the cathedrals and the few collegiate churches, including Winchester and Eton, which survived it, and at Newark and Coventry.

The cathedral and collegiate church grammar schools under the control of the secular clergy in the person of the chancellor of the church furnished the chief, and perhaps in the 12th century the sole, supply of schools. There is, however, some excuse for the notion that monasteries kept them, in the fact that in England, differing from the rest of the world, the cathedral churches had, in many of the chief places, notably Canterbury, Winchester and Worcester, during the monastic outburst connected with the names of Ethelwold bishop of, Winchester and Dunstan of Canterbury, been taken from the secular clergy, and monks placed in their room. In those places there was no chancellor. But so essentially was education regarded as the business, not of monks, but of the secular clergy, that even in these places the grammar schools were not placed under the monks but remained under the immediate care of the bishop, either personally or through his archdeacon, a secular. Thus we find at Winchester about 1154 Master Jordan Fantosme and John Joichel (Jekyll), “clerks of the bishop of Winchester,” carrying an appeal from the bishop about the right to teach the school at Winchester first to the Court of Arches and then to the pope, and as late as 1488 Bishop William Waynflete appointing a master to the grammar school “called in the vulgar tongue, the High School” (A. F. Leach, Hist. Win. Coll.). This school was in Symonds Street outside the monastic precinct. So at Canterbury the grammar schoolmaster appears among lay witnesses in 1259; his right to excommunicate anyone assaulting his scholars or carrying on a rival school was allowed on appeal to the Court of Arches, on production of a confirmation by the archbishop of the right as already ancient in 1292, and appointments by the archbishops of the master in 1306, 1311, 1375 and 1443 are preserved (The Times, Sept. 1897). Here also the school was outside the monastic precinct, by the parish church of St Alphege in the town (Guardian, 12 and 19 Jan. 1898). Similar evidence is forthcoming at Worcester, Norwich, Carlisle and elsewhere.

At the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th century a renewed movement began for the further extrusion of the secular clergy, on the ground of their wicked lives, the wickedness being that they insisted on the liberty to marry, and for the conversion of collegiate churches into monasteries of the new orders, first of Cluniac monks, then of Augustinian, Black or regular canons, who eschewed matrimony. Thus Dunwich School passed under the rule of Eye Priory (Cluniacs) between 1076 and 1083; and Thetford School to Thetford Priory (Cluniacs) in 1094, though it was released again to the secular dean of Thetford in 1114. Similarly the government of Gloucester School was handed over to Llanthony Abbey (Augustinians) in 1137; Reading School was given to the newly-founded Reading Abbey (Cluniacs) in 1139; Dunstable School to Dunstable Priory in 1130; Derby School to Darley Priory (Augustinian) about 1150. Bedford collegiate church was converted into a priory and moved to Newnham, and its right to the school acknowledged by the archdeacon of Bedford in 1155. A similar acknowledgment is found at Christ Church, Hants, in 1161; while Bristol School was taken from the Kalenders Gild and handed to Keynsham Abbey in 1171; and Arundel School to Arundel Priory at some date unknown (see articles on “Schools” in Victoria County History for the several counties in which these places occur). But these transfers did not make the schools monastic in the sense that the schools were kept in the monasteries or taught, much less frequented, by monks. The schools remained secular, outside the monastic precincts, frequented by lay boys and secular clerks, and taught by secular clerks, sometimes in holy orders—and at that time even sub deacons were reckoned as holy orders—but more often only in minor orders, and not seldom married men. Thus in 1420 the Patent Rolls show us one Ralph Strode, master of the scholars of the city of Winchester, bringing an action with Dionysia his wife. All that was transferred to the monks was the right of appointing the schoolmaster and the power and duty of protecting the authorized schoolmaster's monopoly. At Bury St Edmunds indeed the extrusion of seculars had gone so far that even the archdeaconry of Bury was vested in the monastery and exercised by the sacrist of it, subject to appeal to the abbot (Vict. County Hist.: Suffolk Schools, ii.). The substitution of regulars for seculars ceased in the latter part of the 12th century, owing chiefly to the secular clergy at length, under papal pressure, accepting the rule of celibacy, and to the growth of universities. The universities were developed out of the cathedral and collegiate church schools. In the days of Alcuin, as we saw, the one schoolmaster taught all subjects from the elements of grammar to theology and philosophy. In Italy the faculties of law and medicine had early in the 12th century developed schools of their own. In France theology similarly segregated itself, and, owing to the fortunate independence which the collegiate church of St Genevieve enjoyed from the jurisdiction of the scolasticus or chancellor of Notre Dame, much as in London the master of St Martin's le Grand did from that of the chancellor of St Paul's, rival schools of theology became possible, and the university of Paris, essentially a theological university, was born. The first university teaching in England came, not from France, but Italy, and was not in theology but law, and at Oxford the two collegiate churches of St Frideswide and St George's in the castle occupied much the same relative position as Notre Dame and St Geneviève at Paris. It is rather in their development and rivalry, not in a purely imaginary colony from Paris, that the origin of Oxford University must be sought. But the story of universities (q.v.) is told elsewhere. The important thing for the schools was that the university movement made the cathedral schoolmasters devote themselves to theology and to grown-up students, to the exclusion of grammar and arts, and left the grammar school entirely for boys and youths to be instructed in classical literature, rhetoric and the elements of logic, preparatory for the university. Moreover, the movement for university colleges perhaps caused a new crop of collegiate churches to spring up, of which grammar schools formed an integral and important part. In the quinquennium 1260 to 1265, the collegiate church of Howden was founded. on the Yorkshire estates of the bishop and priory of Durham at one end of the kingdom, and that of Glasney in Cornwall on the estate of the bishop of Exeter at the other. These were ordinary colleges of secular canons with grammar schools attached, and the schools outlived the colleges at the Reformation. They were contemporary with the first university colleges. The college of St Nicholas, with 20 university students, was founded by Bishop Giles Bridport of Salisbury at Salisbury in 1261, Merton College by Walter of Merton at Malden in Surrey in 1265, and St Edmund's College at Salisbury by Bishop Wyly in 127O, and Merton College was moved to Oxford in 1275. The difference between these colleges and the ordinary collegiate churches was simply that the former were ad orandum et studendum, the latter ad studendum et orandum. So closely did Merton College follow the ordinary collegiate church model, that its chapel was an impropriated parish church and it contained the usual appendage of a grammar school, though it was limited to 13 boys, who were to be of the founder's kin. The master who taught them was called the “master of glomery,” an odd corruption found also at Salisbury, Cambridge and Orleans A similar grammar school was found at Queen's College in 1340, but this from lack of endowment was never developed according to its founder's intentions. These two colleges formed a starting point for yet another new development, when William of Wykeham, in founding New College on a scale more than twice as large as Merton, separated the grammar students from the theological and legal students, and placed the former as the main object of a separate, though connected and more or less subordinate college, at Winchester in 1382. Though Winchester was the first boys' school-college, Oxford itself had been apparently the first place in medieval England at which grammar schools were maintained as separate entities, not attached to cathedrals or colleges, and practically as private adventure schools. The university apparently placed no limit on their number and rivalry, though retaining control and supervision over their efficiency, through two grammar school surveyors elected by convocation.

In the first quarter of the 14th century even the monasteries contributed to the spread of education by almonry schools, which were now built as quasi-separate institutions by, or just outside, their outer gates, under the management of the almoner or alms giver of the house. The almonry boys were apparently introduced as choristers to sing in the Lady chapels, which had become almost necessary appendages to great churches. At Canterbury a staff of six secular priests with clerks and scholars was established in the Lady chapel to sing for the soul of Edward I. in 1319. The scholars were admitted at ten years old and might stay to twenty-five, but were expected to be ordained sub-deacons and retire at twenty. They were lodged in a separate hall (Aula Puerorum), but waited on the sick and infirm monks who lived in the infirmary. At first they were taught wholly in the city or archbishop's grammar school. But by 1362 they had a separate grammar master, probably only as a house master, as the one mentioned in that year found Kingston school a better post, to which he had gone off without notice. The master was always a secular, and in 1451 was a married man. There is no evidence as to how many boys there were. At Westminster boys first appear in the almonry in 1354, and they first had a master in 1367, who from 1387 onwards, but not before, is called schoolmaster. The boys numbered thirteen in 1373, twenty-eight in 1385, twenty-two in 1387. The normal number seems to have been twenty-four (A. F. Leach in Journal of Education, Jan. 1905). This almonry school for charity boys is the only school, other than the novices' school, which existed at Westminster Abbey before, on its conversion into a cathedral by Henry VIII., the present school with forty scholars and unlimited town boys was established on the model of the old cathedral grammar schools. At Durham the almonry school first occurs in 1352; their master is first called schoolmaster in 1362 (Ibid. Oct. 1905). At the dissolution there were thirty boys, who waited on the monks in the infirmary, prayed all night round dead monks, sang in the Lady chapel, were fed on the broken meats from the novices' table and lodged in a hospital or infirmary opposite but outside the great gate of the monastery. At Reading almonry boys first appear in 1346, and were ten in number. They seem to have attended the town grammar school. At St Albans statutes were made for apparently thirteen almonry boys in 1399, who lodged by the great gate but attended the grammar school in the town. At Coventry there were fourteen boys in the almonry school, and the town quarrelled with the prior in 1432 for trying to interfere with the town grammar school for the benefit of the almonry school. The Carthusian monastery at Coventry had twelve boys in its almonry. At St Mary's Abbey, York, the almonry had fifty boys who attended St Peter's, i.e. the city and cathedral grammar school (Early Yorks. Schools, i.).

Taken altogether these almonry schools provided for the education of, or gave exhibitions to, a large number of boys, probably not less than 1000 in all. But they were not “monastic”; the boys themselves were not novices or oblates, and were looked after and taught by seculars. Various efforts were made in the 14th century and onwards to make the monks themselves learned. By papal statute in 1337 the Benedictine monasteries were each to send 5% of their number to the universities. Though Gloucester College had been established at Oxford in 1283 (reorganized in 1291) to receive them, not ¼% of the monks went there, for there is reason to think it never had more than sixty, and in 1537 had only thirty-two students (Vict. Co. Hist.: Gloucester, ii. 342). Also the monasteries were ordered to provide a grammar master who might be, and in fact nearly always was, to teach the young monks and novices. Yet in 1387 the Winchester cathedral monks were found by William of Wykeham to be “wholly ignorant of grammar” and to make the lessons in church unintelligible by wild false quantities. In the visitations of Norwich monasteries in the late 15th century (Dr Jessopp, Camd. Soc. 1892) hardly one had its grammar master as it ought to have had. In 1495 Osney Abbey provided for the monks a grammar master who was a secular (Boase, Oxford, Historic Towns). At Canterbury itself Archbishop Warham in 1511 found the monks totally ignorant of the meaning of the mass an of the lessons which they read, and ordered them to have a grammar master to teach the young monks. In 1531 Bishop Longland of Lincoln issued injunctions to Messenden Priory in English “for that ye be ignorant and have small understanding of Latin.” At the Dissolution a grammar master was teaching the monks at Winchester grammar, but he was not a monk but ex-second-master of Winchester College (Hist. Winchester Coll. 26), and other Wykehamists were to be found teaching grammar at the London Charterhouse and Netley Abbey, Hants. It is clear that the monks were by no means a learned body.

It is chiefly from the London and Oxford schools that we learn what grammar schools actually taught in the 12th to the 15th centuries. The local classicus is Fitzstephen's Description of London (Mat. Hist. Becket, Rolls series, iii. 4), as it was in the youth of Thomas à Becket when about 1127 he attended St Paul's school, “the city school,” before going to Paris university. Fitzstephen describes the contests of the scholars from it and the other two schools on saints' days, when the elders contended in logic and rhetoric, and the boys “vie with each other in verses, or in the principles of the art of grammar or the rules of preterites and supines, others in epigrams, rhymes and metres”; while on Shrove Tuesday, after a cock-fight in the morning, they had a great game of (foot?) ball in Smithfield. About a century later, 1267, Oxford University statutes show us that B.A.s had to read for their degree Priscian On Constructions twice, and Donatus's Barbarismus once; books which imply an advanced knowledge of Latin syntax. The Oxford grammar school statutes, not dated but of the 13th century, provide or grammar masters being examined in verse-making and prose composition and knowledge of Latin authors before being licensed to teach. The only authors actually mentioned, and that for the sake of being forbidden as improper, are Ovid's Art of Love and Pamphilus who wrote De Amore. Every fortnight the masters were to set a copy of verses and letters to write, which the boys were to do the next holiday, and show up on the following whole school day. Special attention was to be paid to the smaller boys in hearing and examining them on their rules as to parts of speech and accidence. It was particularly ordered that they were to observe the rule in Latin and Roman (Romanis), i.e. translations were to be done not into English but Romance, i.e. French. For after the Conquest French was the vernacular language of the upper classes, and while the pre-Conquest school glossary of Ælfric translated Latin into English, the post-Conquest glossaries, such as Neckam of St Albans school, give the translation in French. Though by the 13th century English was supplanting French, the schools as usual lagged behind, and the fiction was kept up that French was still the vernacular of England till after the victories of Edward III. John of Trevisa, translating the Polychronicon of Higden, who, writing in 1327, commented on the corruption of English due to the strange custom of boys in school being compelled to construe in French, tells us that this custom of construing into French “was changed after the first murrain (the Black Death of 1349) by John Cornwal, a ' ‘mayster of gramere’ ” followed by Richard Pencrych, so that “ now, A.D. 1385, in al the gramer scoles of Engelond children leaveth Frensch and construeth and lurneth an Englysch,” the advantage of which was that they learnt Latin quicker, but the disadvantage was that they knew “no more French than their left heel.” Master John Cornwall was an Oxford grammar schoolmaster, being paid 10d. in 1347 for “salary” of his school for the six founder's-kin boys at Merton; and Pencrych was not, as supposed by Mr de Montmorency (State Intervention, 22) through a strange misunderstanding, a schoolmaster at Penkridge in Staffordshire (though he no doubt took his name from that place), but was another Oxford man, living in 1367 in a hall by Merton, afterwards called Pencrych Hall. Though this very rational innovation thus began in Oxford, yet a new edition of the Oxford Grammar School Statutes in the late 14th or early 15th century provided that the masters should in construing teach the meaning of words by turns in English and French, “lest the French tongue should be utterly lost, ” as it came to be.

It is extremely difficult to ascertain what books were actually read in English schools before the 16th century. Whether the Christian poets such as Sedulius and Juvencus, the staple of Alcuin and recommended by Colet for St Paul's in 1518, were much read in the intermediate times, is doubtful. Vincent of Beauvais, who wrote about 1245 “on the education of noblemen” for the queen of France, quotes Horace, Ovid, Apuleius and Valerius Maximus, but would like to substitute the Christians for the classics. But he was a Dominican friar. It is certain that classical authors were not expelled. In 1356 Bishop Grandison of Exeter abused the schoolmasters of his diocese for taking the boys, “as soon as they could read the Lord's Prayer, the creed or matins and the hours of the Virgin, and before they could construe or parse them,” to “other school books and poets as if they were heathens instead of Christians.” Books of manners in verse were read in schools from the days of John de Garlandia, c. 1220, to the Quos decet in mensa of Sulpicius, a Roman schoolmaster of 1498, which was read in the lower forms of Winchester and Eton in 1535. The metrical rammar of Alexander of De villa Dei (Dol) was almost as popular as Donatus. In rhetoric Cicero De oratore was the staple work. In dialectic or logic successive manuals were founded on Boëthius and Isidore of Seville. The 15th century saw a reaction against the logic, which, valuable as it was, was begun much too early and was strongly re probated by Wayneflete, who at Magdalen School insisted that his “demyes,” or scholars, should not go on to logic till perfect in grammar. The wide knowledge of the classics shown by Chaucer, who no doubt, like Becket before him and Milton after him, went to St Paul's school, indicates what the average laymen and cleric learnt in the average grammar school.

A question has been raised as to who attended the grammar schools. The answer appears to be, all classes. Theoretically, sons of slaves and villeins were excluded. But it seems certain that picked specimens even of this class were admitted. The bulk of early schools were then, as now, in cities and boroughs, where all were free. ÆElfric's Anglo-Saxon colloquies represent sons of smiths, huntsmen, cowherds, shepherds attending school and learning Latin. That villeins' sons did go to school is clear from two instances alone. In 1312 Walter of Merton, fellow of Merton College, Oxford, a villein, was manumitted by the prior of Durham. In 1344 the manor rolls at Great Waltham, Essex, show a villein fined 3d. for sending his son to school without licence from the lady of the manor (Hist. Rev., July 1905). In 1391, after the Peasants' Revolt, the Commons sent up a bill to Richard II. “that no neif” (said to mean a female villein) “or villein may henceforth send their children to school (a escoles) for their advancement by clergy, and that for the maintenance and salvation of the honour of all the freemen of the realm.” The petition was rejected. In 1406 the statute of artisans, while putting numerous restrictions on their freedom, adds, “provided always that every man or woman of whatever estate or condition shall be free to send their son or daughter to learn grammar (literature) at any school in our kingdom.” Henry VI., in the statutes of Eton, bears witness to the admission of the unfree to schools by inserting a reactionary prohibition against villeins (nativi) or illegitimate children being admitted scholars. Illegitimates were theoretically excluded from the priesthood, but the papal registers are crammed with indulgences to scholars who were illegitimate for admission to holy orders. As to the upper class, an erroneous inference that gentlemen's sons were not sent to school has been drawn from the passage of Higden above quoted, because, after saying that children in grammar schools learnt no French now, he adds that neither did gentlemen teach their sons French. But the two classes are not mutually exclusive. Elder sons, who were going to be knights or squires, did not as a rule go to school, but the younger sons did. The vast majority of bishops, and the higher clergy, were the younger sons of noblemen and gentlemen, and had certainly been to school. It is made a reproach against Bishop Grosseteste of Lincoln in his contest with his chapter that he was not a gentleman. We find Giffard, archbishop of York, son of a great Gloucestershire magnate, sending three wards to Beverley grammar school in 1276, and another archbishop of York, William Melton, ex-privy seal and lord chancellor, sending two nephews to Newark school in 1338. The only known mention of the school of Taunton before the days of its wrongly-reputed founder, Bishop Fox, is preserved in an inquisition in 1310 to prove the age of a royal ward, Hugh, son and heir of Thomas de la Tour. John of Kent, 60 years old, knows Hugh's age because he had a son at the school of Taunton with him seventeen years before (The Genealogist, iii. 211). This cannot have been an isolated instance. William of Wykeham would not have provided for “10 sons of noblemen and gentlemen, special friends of the college,” being admitted as commensales or boarders with the scholars, nor have forbidden the scholars of Winchester and New College to quarrel as to whether their birth was noble or otherwise, nor would the earliest lists of scholars and commoners there contain the names of sons of judges and masters in chancery and country gentlemen, like the Pophams of Dorset and the ffaringtons of Lancashire, if the gentle classes were not already in the habit of going to school. At Eton the number of noblemen and gentlemen commoners was doubled. The first or second headmaster and third provost of Eton, William Westbury, a Winchester and New College scholar, was almost certainly the son of the chief justice of that name. In 1464 Mr Thomas Bourchier, son of the earl of Essex and of Eu, nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury, was a commoner outside college at Winchester, and in 1479 the son of William Paston, the judge and Norfolk landowner, was writing verses at Eton in his letters home. In 1502 Sir John Percyvale founded Macclesfield grammar school expressly for “gentlemen’s and other good men’s sons thereabout.”

Tuition fees were normally paid in grammar schools. In 1277 the fee paid to the “master of glomery” at Oxford for five Merton founder’s-kin boys was 20d., or 4d. a head a term; in 1306 the “scolagium” of eight boys in the winter term was 3s., of seven boys in the Lent term 2s. 11d. and in the summer term 2s. 4d., a variation from 4d. to 41/2d. and 5d. a term, probably owing to variation in the length of the term, and representing 1/2d. a week. In that year the dica of the usher was 1/2d. a term, and in 1310 the usher was paid 4d. for three terms for eight boys, or 1/2d. a term. The usher must have been paid something by the master, as even in that age, when the majority of livings were under £3 a year, a halfpenny could hardly have been a living wage for eight weeks. Perhaps the usher got a share of the levy of 2d. a head for offerings to the light of St Nicholas, the school boys’ patron saint. For at Worcester in 1291 the bishop was called in to settle a quarrel between the schoolmaster and the rector of St Nicholas church as to the right to the wax which guttered from St Nicholas’ light, which the boys maintained. An undated Oxford statute of the 15th century fixes the upward limit of grammar school fees at 8d. a term (Reg. Giffard, f. 341). The tariff settled by the bishop of Norwich, for Ipswich grammar school in 1476–1477 was 10d. for grammarians, 8d. for psalterians, or those learning to read the psalter in Latin, and 6d. for primerians, or those learning the primer or accidence (Vict. Co. Hist., Suffolk, ii.). But the corporation rebelled against the fee of 10d. for grammarians, and in 1482 cut it down to 8d. a term. This was certainly the normal fee. In the return of chantries at their dissolution in 1548, the school at Newland is reported (Leach, English Schools at the Reformation, 78) to have been founded in 1446, to be “half-free, that is to say, taking of scholars learning grammar 8d. the quarter, and of others learning to read 4d. a quarter.”

At successive epochs there have been attempts to make education free (Journ. of Educ., June and July 1908). Hitherto after every attempt fees have crept back under some guise or other, as the endowments provided to ensure freedom were often inadequate to start with, and anyhow became inadequate by change in the value of money, while the inveterate habit of the rich in giving “tips” to secure special attention forced contributions on others. The movement began under the Roman Empire, Pliny founding a practically free school at Como, while successive emperors from Vespasian onwards extended the area and pay of public schools at the state expense, both of rhetoric and grammar. There can be little doubt that the cathedral schools were intended to be free just as much as the church services. Yet it had become necessary by the Lateran Council in 1179 for the canon law definitely to provide that, “to prevent the poor who could not be helped by their parents’ means from being deprived of the opportunity of learning and advancement,” every cathedral church should provide a competent benefice for a master to teach the clerks of the church and poor scholars gratis: and that in other churches if any endowment had been assigned for the purpose it should be restored, while no fees were to be exacted for licences to teach. At the next Lateran council in 1215 this canon was recited and its non-observance in many places lamented. The canon was confirmed and extended from cathedrals to all churches of sufficient means, while the cathedrals were also directed to provide a theological lecturer. That the first canon was not everywhere a dead letter is proved by the grant about 1180 of Archbishop Roger to the chapter of York of £5 a year “to the fee of your school,” charged on the synodals of three archdeaconries, confirmed by Archbishop Geoffrey (1191–1212), and arrears demanded in a violent letter by the chancellor to Archbishop Giffard in 1271 (A. F. Leach, Early Yorkshire Schools, c. 12-16). So at Bury St Edmunds in 1180 Abbot Sampson, who had himself when a boy and a secular clerk been admitted to the grammar school free as a special personal favour, first made the grammar school free of fees for “school-hire” by giving it a school house outside the abbey in the town, and a few years later endowed it with half of a living worth £5 a year, for which the master was to teach 40 boys free, relations of the monks being preferred. There were also many exhibition endowments, which made schools free or partially free for poor boys, such as the provision at St Cross Hospital, Winchester, founded in 1130, of free meals daily for twelve boys from the High School, Winchester; and an endowment given to the Durham Abbey almoner about 1180 for board and lodging of three boys from Durham grammar school, while at St Nicholas’ Hospital, Pontefract, the custom was ancient in 1267 to provide 40 loaves a week “except in vacations” for the scholars of Pontefract school, which is mentioned about 1100 as granted to the collegiate church in the castle there. It is significant that while the inquisition which established this custom was taken in French in 1267 it was confirmed in a mixture of Latin and English in 1464. In connexion with Stapledon Hall, now Exeter College, Oxford, Bishop Stapledon about 1327 provided for twelve scholars of Exeter Cathedral grammar school being boarded and clothed gratis in St John’s Hospital by one of the gates of the city. In 1441 St Anthony’s school was established in St Anthony’s Hospital, London. Later, as in the famous case of Banbury Hospital, under Stanbridge in 1501, hospitals were bodily converted into schools, a precedent frequently followed since. Henry VI., in 1441, under the guidance of Chicheley and Wayneflete, copied Winchester down to the minutest particulars, and the wording of its statutes, but with the important difference that its school was declared, what Winchester was not, a free grammar school open to all from all parts of England. Another class of school, which if not free at first generally became so, was that of the grammar schools established by joint stock effort of the numerous gilds, or trades unions, which studded the towns. As the London City gilds still keep chaplains, so nearly every gild maintained one or more priests to perform the gild masses, say grace at the gild feasts, and bury the gild brethren and sisters and pray for their souls. Some of the larger ones converted parish churches, as at Boston, into little less than cathedrals in size and splendour, with a staff of priests and singing clerks as large as that of the greatest collegiate churches. Some of these priests or clerks kept schools of grammar and of song. There are unfortunately no accounts of such gilds preserved earlier than the 15th or 16th centuries. But there can be no doubt that they kept schools much earlier than that. The grammar schools at Louth and Boston, which appear, the former in the 15th century and the latter in the 14th, in gild documents, occur in other documents in 1276 and 1329 respectively. The school of the gild of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire is similarly mentioned in 1446. At Stratford-on-Avon the school appears in the earliest extant gild accounts, in 1402, but existed more than a century earlier, when, in 1295, its master or “rector” was ordained a subdeacon side by side with the rector of the parish church, William Grenfield, a future archbishop of York. It was converted into a free school by endowments given by one of the gild priests in 1482, and has continued without intermission to the present day (Vict. Co. Hist., Warwick, ii. 329).

Probably the most numerous schools were those kept by chantry priests, endowed by single benefactors to pray for their souls, who sometimes by express terms of the foundation, more often perhaps to occupy their time or eke out not too substantial endowments, kept schools. These were sometimes free, more often at first not. But we know scarcely anything of these schools before the 14th century, the foundation deeds of those isolated institutions not having been preserved like those of colleges. We find, however, Oswestry endowed as a free school by David Holbeach, a lawyer, about 1406; Middleton, Lancashire, by Bishop Langley of Durham, in 1412; Durham itself by the same in 1414; Sevenoaks by William Sennock (Sevenock), a London grocer, the schoolmaster of which was “by no means to be in holy orders,” in 1432; Newport, Shropshire, by Thomas Draper, 1442; Newland, Gloucestershire, by Robert Gryndour esquire, 1440; Alnwick, Northumberland, by William Alnwick, bishop of Lincoln, 1448; Deritend, now in Birmingham, 1448; Towcester by Archdeacon Sponne in 1449. There was somewhat of a stoppage of such foundations during the Wars of the Roses, but it was resumed with renewed vigour during the later years of Edward IV., and under Henry VII., and continued to the dissolution of monasteries. Among colleges may be noticed Acaster College for three schools of grammar, song and scrivener craft, i.e. writing and accounts, by ex-chancellor Bishop Stillingfleet about 1472; Rotherham College with three similar schools by ex-chancellor Archbishop Rotherham, 1484; Ipswich by the chancellor Cardinal Wolsey, 1528; and among chantry schools, Hull, 1482; Long Melford, 1484; Chipping Camden and Stow on the Wold, 1487; Stockport, by ex-Lord Mayor Sir Edmund Shaa, 1487; Macclesfield, by ex-Lord Mayor Sir John Percival, 1502; Cromer, by ex-Lord Mayor Read, 1505; Week St Mary, by the ex-Lady Mayoress Percival, 1508; and so on. The re-endowment of the old St Paul’s school, London, by Dean Colet in 1510–1512, with the property he inherited from Lord Mayor Colet, and its transfer under papal, episcopal, capitular and royal licence from the dean and chapter of St Paul’s to the Mercers' Company, and its conversion into a school free for 153 boys, created no small stir. Especially was this so, because it is the first instance in which the teaching of Greek is mentioned in school statutes, though only in the tentative form of a direction that the high master should be learned in Latin “and also in Greek yf suyche may be gotten.” Though Greek was probably taught at Eton and Winchester under William Horman, headmaster of Eton (1485) and Winchester (1494), whose Vulgaria, composed when headmaster, contains frequent references to Greek, and even to a Greek play seemingly prepared by the boys, it did not become a regular school subject till the reign of Elizabeth. School exercises in Greek at Winchester under Edward VI. are preserved, but Sir Thomas Pope says it had been dropped at Eton under Mary. There is no evidence of it at St Paul’s before Elizabeth’s reign. At the time of the meeting of the Reformation parliament in 1535 there were between 300 and 400 grammar schools in England, the majority of which were free schools, charging no fees for teaching.

Free schools received a notable accession, on the dissolution of monasteries, in the schools attached to all the cathedrals “of the new foundation,” except Winchester, by Henry VIII. in 1540, including Gloucester, Bristol, Peterborough, Chester and Westminster, which had not been cathedrals before. On the other hand, the list of free schools and endowed schools was much reduced by the doctrine which treated the endowments of schools under the control of monasteries not only through the 12th century transfers but even by much later and known foundations as trustees, as included in the confiscation of the monastery itself. Coventry, St Albans, Eye, Reading, Bury St Edmunds, Abingdon, Faversham are some out of many which suffered from this doctrine, and if they did not in fact cease, were for a time deprived of their endowments and only revived with new ones. Reading school was actually granted to its master, an Eton and King’s scholar. St Albans was restored by the munificence of its last and well-pensioned abbot; Bury St Edmunds, like a good many more, by grant of Edward VI.; Abingdon by a private donor; Faversham by restoration of the trust-property on cause shown. But many, like Dunwich, perished irretrievably.

Spite of the dissolution of monasteries, the creation of chantry schools and other grammar schools went on. In this very year, 1540, John Harmon (who is generally known by his assumed name Veysey or Voysey), bishop of Exeter, endowed Sutton Coldfield grammar school, and in 1544 made its gild the governors. One of the latest of great schools, that of Berkhamsted, was founded by John Incent, dean of St Paul’s, in 1541; while archbishop Holgate of York founded three free grammar schools, though without any chantry provisions, at York, Malton and Hemsworth in 1546. In 1548 all the endowed schools in England, other than the cathedral schools, were threatened and the vast majority destroyed by the act for the dissolution of colleges and chantries. Only Winchester, Eton and Magdalen College school were exempted, and they owed their exemption to being regarded as part of the universities with which (through New College, King’s and Magdalen) they were connected; and even they had been included in the similar act passed in 1546, which was, however, permissive and lasted for Henry VIII.’s life only. The Chantries Act, while providing for the abolition of colleges, gilds and chantries, contained indeed provision for the continuance by special order of all schools attached to them, which were grammar schools by foundation, and for their increase and enlargement out of the confiscated lands. Unfortunately there was neither time nor money to spare for the purpose. A commission consisting of Sir Walter Mildmay, afterwards chancellor of the exchequer, and Robert Keylway, or Kelway, afterwards serjeant-at-law and author of Kelway’s Reports, continued by warrant of the 20th of June 1548 “until further order” such schools as were clearly shown to be grammar schools by foundation, at the net income specifically enjoyed by the schoolmasters at the time. The “further order,” which was to re-endow them with lands, never came. Only in a comparatively few places, where the inhabitants or powerful persons bestirred themselves to beg, or more often to buy, chantry lands from the Crown, were the schools restored and re-endowed. The few that were restored, and even by an irony of fate some of those which were deprived of their lands by Edward VI. but managed to struggle on, got the name of Free Grammar Schools of King Edward VI. So Edward VI. has been credited with being not only the founder of schools, estimated by various writers at 22, 30 and 44 in number, of which in the most favourable cases he increased the endowment, but also with being the promoter instead of the spoiler of a grammar school system. The earliest school actually restored by him was Berkhamsted, which was refounded by act of parliament in 1549; St Albans, Stamford and Pocklington being also refounded by acts of the same year. Acts of parliament were found too cumbrous. Some, as at Morpeth, Northumberland, and Saffron Walden in Essex, were refounded by grant to a town corporation of gild property with a grammar school attached. Most of the later refoundations were by letters patent. The first refoundation by patent for a school per se under a governing body created ad hoc was that of Sherborne, 13th of May 1550, Bury St Edmunds often, but wrongly, claimed as the first, not being till the 3rd of August 1550. The bulk were refounded in 1551–1553.

The notion that there was any great advance or change in the curriculum of schools at the Reformation is erroneous. There is hardly any difference between the authors prescribed at Bury in 1550 and those at Ipswich in 1528; Cato’s Moralia, Aesop, Terence, Ovid, Erasmus, Sallust, Caesar, Virgil and Horace appearing in the statutes of both. If anything Ipswich was the more advanced, as Wolsey directed his boys to be taught précis writing in English, and essays and themes, also apparently in English, which are not mentioned at Bury. But Ipswich was a school of the first grade with eight forms, whereas at Bury only five were contemplated. The reign of Mary did not affect the schools as such one way or the other. Several, like Basingstoke grammar school and St Peter’s school, York, were re-endowed in her reign, the former by restoration of gild lands, the latter by appropriation of the endowment of a hospital for poor priests. “Heretic” masters were extruded, and occasionally, like the master of Reading school, Julian Palmer, burnt. Similar extrusions of Romanists followed on the accession of Elizabeth. In 1580 and subsequent years the bishops were ordered to inquire as to schoolmasters who did not attend church or had not licences from the ordinaries to teach. The visitations of the chapter of Southwell as ordinaries in their liberty show schoolmasters in many small towns and villages, some of them “popish recusants,” and others inhibited until they had been duly licensed. How far they taught grammar schools and not elementary schools is not very clear. But one unfortunate result of the suppression of the song schools was that attempts were now made, as at Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, to make the grammar schools serve the two incompatible purposes of grammar and elementary schools, with the result too often that the grammar school was degraded and the elementary school inefficient.

The number of school foundations credited to Queen Elizabeth or her era is very much larger than the facts justify. The greatest of all, Westminster, which during the 18th century was facile princeps in the numbers, social rank and academic and literary achievement of its scholars, had in fact never ceased after its foundation, or refoundation, as a cathedral school under Henry VIII. Though Mary had restored the monks, the school went on throughout her reign[1] and until Elizabeth formally refounded it with the restored canons. It is more extraordinary to find St Albans, founded under act of parliament of Edward VI., with Coventry, restored under patent of Henry VIII., and Lincoln, which had existed uninterruptedly from the 11th century, credited to her time. Similarly Bristol, Mansfield, Worcester, Darlington, Leicester, Eye, Bromyard, Richmond, Bodmin, Penryn, Fotheringay and others long previously existing and deriving no benefit from her or augmentation in her time, are erroneously dubbed Elizabethan.

In the curriculum of the schools, the change made by the Reformation has been much exaggerated. Already in 1446, in founding at Cambridge the college of God’s House, now included in Christ’s College, which was the first training college for grammar or secondary schoolmasters, Bingham had put forward the necessity of Latin, not only for translating the scriptures and carrying on the law and business of the realm, but also for communication with strangers and foreigners. In the Elizabethan schools the preparation for public life was slightly more emphasized. But methods and authors were little changed. The growth of Greek in all the great schools, and the attempt, as theological discussion grew keener towards the end of the reign, to acclimatize Hebrew, are the chief features. Under James I. and the Commonwealth the mention of Hebrew in statutes and the teaching of it in schools became quite common. It was advocated even by John Comenius, the Czech-German, who created a stir a few years before the Civil War by denouncing Latin as a subject of instruction except for boys going to the universities, and advocating the substitution of teaching in the vernacular language of each country instead.

There is one not wholly novel but notable feature which may be remarked in Elizabethan school foundations, mostly no doubt replacing old ones, and that is that many were the product of joint effort, partly in annual subscriptions and partly in donations of land or money down, not from one benefactor but from many persons. This is the case in many which have been attributed to the queen herself or to individual founders. Wakefield and Halifax in Yorkshire; Ashbourne, Derbyshire; Sandwich, Kent; Hexham, Northumberland; and St Saviour’s and St Olave’s, Southwark, are cases in which the evidence of joint stock enterprise has been fortunately preserved, as it has in that of Nottingham, which, after an existence of at least 300 years as a fee school, was refounded as a free school in 1512. Another and less fortunate feature may be observed in the frequent attempt to make the grammar schools do double work, and supply the loss caused by the suppression of the song schools, by doing duty also as elementary schools to teach the three R’s. It is an attempt which is being continually renewed and always results in failure; generally ending in degrading the secondary school while not making the elementary school efficient. Wellingborough in Northamptonshire is a remarkable example of this. It is a school which, founded by joint effort and out of common town estate, always languished until in recent years it shook off the elementary school and became one of the most flourishing secondary schools in the county (Vict. Co. Hist., Northants., ii.).

During the Civil War and the Commonwealth, when new ideas on every subject were broached, education received new impetus, and under the fostering care of parliament schools were increased in numbers. Many new schools were created, many old schools obtained an increase of endowment and efficiency. Among the great schools it was during this time that Westminster, with a parliamentary committee of lords and commons substituted for the dean and chapter, under Busby, definitely placed itself in that position of pre-eminence which it retained till the first decade of the 19th century. It is significant that the two oldest extant school-lists are of this period, that for Winchester, which flourished under a Puritan warden and headmaster, for 1653, and that for Westminster for 1655. The care that parliament showed for schools was most conspicuous, where it might have least been expected, in regard to the cathedral schools. On the 14th of October 1642 the estates of deans and chapters were ordered to be sequestered, subject to a direction that “allowances assigned for scholars, almsmen and other charitable uses might not be interrupted.” On the 9th of October 1643 parliament extended to schoolmasters the functions of the Committee for Plundered Ministers, to remove those scandalous in life or doctrine or who had deserted their cures.

As the property of deans and chapters was gradually sequestrated in 1643–1646, power was given this committee to relieve poor ministers and schoolmasters out of the proceeds. By act of parliament, on the 30th of April 1649, deans and chapters were abolished, but the schools were expressly saved by a clause that all payments from their revenues which before the 1st of December 1641 had been or ought to have been paid to the maintenance of any grammar school or scholars should continue to be paid. The temporal estates were ordered to be sold, but the spiritual property, i.e. livings and tithes, devolved on thirteen trustees, and afterwards on the University Reform Committee, for salaries and augmentations for preaching ministers and schoolmasters, of which £2000 a year was to go to the increase of the universities. Under these two provisions not only were all the cathedral grammar schools preserved intact, the existing masters being left in undisturbed possession where they attended to their business and did not bear arms against parliament, but in many cases they received large increases of stipend. The chapters had kept the schoolmasters at the fixed amounts prescribed by Henry VIII.’s statutes or older custom, though their own incomes they had increased to many times the statutable amounts by dividing fines amongst themselves. They had not even properly maintained the school buildings. At Canterbury, parliament had at once to spend the large sum of £50 in repairing the school and masters’ houses; and at Rochester similar amounts. The committee augmented salaries at Chester, the master from £22 to £36 and the usher from £10 to £19; at Salisbury the master from £10 to £20 and the usher from £5 to £15; at Chichester the masters from £20 to £30; at Rochester they doubled the former stipend of £13, 6s. 8d.; at Durham the allowance of £20 was doubled. So at St Anthony’s school, London, which by a grievous error the local historians killed under Elizabeth though it survived till the Fire of London, the salary, paid by St George’s, Windsor, settled in 1442, at the rate of £16, was now increased to £36 a year. Other schools paid from chapter or crown revenues received similar increases, Grimston £30; Newcastle under Lyme £20; Bridport, Dorset, £15, 10s. Two of the most backward districts had each obtained a special “act for the propagation of the gospel and the maintenance of godly and able ministers and schoolmasters there,”—Wales on the 22nd of February, and the four northern counties on the 1st of March 1650. Under these acts, the school at Llanrwst was increased by £8 and at Abergavenny by £10 a year, while new schools were established at some twenty-four places, including Carnarvon, Cardiff, Cardigan, Montgomery and Denbigh, with salaries ranging from £10 a year at Glenberiog to £40 for the master and £25 for the usher at Wrexham. In fact, the act was an anticipation of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1888. So in the northern counties the stipends of the Durham Cathedral grammar schoolmasters were doubled; and the masters of Darlington grammar school and of Bishop Auckland grammar school each received an augmentation of £20 or more than double, and the master of Heighington of £10 a year; while new grammar schools were established at Barnard Castle and Ferry Hill. New schools, perhaps elementary, were erected at Stanhope, Staindrop, Brancepeth, Aycliffe and Whickham, while a new departure was taken in the erection of navigation schools at Sunderland and Nether Heworth. The greatest effort was the establishment of the university college of Durham, anticipating by near 200 years the present university, while an elaborate plan was published in 1647 for the establishment of a university of London. But none of the good work of parliament was allowed to stand at the Restoration, and the revenues appropriated to education went back to the prebendaries whom Archbishop Cranmer wished to turn out of the hive as drones 100 years before. The master of Durham grammar school alone, on an express letter from the king, was allowed to receive an augmentation of £20 a year.

A more permanent result of the abolition of bishops and chapters and their licensing powers was the immense development given to private schools all over the country, and not least in London. Among them, John Farnaby, a royalist, who had been employed to produce a revised Lilly’s grammar in anticipation of Kennedy’s Latin Primer of two centuries later, was the most famous and successful at the time; and John Milton, though he was perhaps rather a private tutor than a schoolmaster, is the most famous now. Another of them, Charles Hoole, royalist and ex-master of Rotherham, who taught first close to Milton in Aldersgate Street and then in Tokenhouse Garden in Lothbury, produced a most novel and useful school book in his New Discovery of the Old Art of Teaching School, written in 1637 and published “after 14 years’ diligent trial in practice in London” in 1660. There is no more illuminating work for demonstrating the absurdity of the notion that thought and theorizing were not brought to bear on education in those days. Milton’s Tractate on Education (1643) is but a series of vague generalities compared with Hoole’s book, and is chiefly noticeable for its denunciation, not of education being wholly classical, which is assumed as a matter of course, but of the absurd method which devoted ten years to not learning a smattering of Latin when Italian or French were learnt in a year. But Milton’s own idea of cramming the unfortunate boys with Varro and Columella, with agriculture and fishing, tactics and strategies in Greek and Latin authors, so that the pupils might learn things instead of words, was as visionary a one as could be conceived.

The Restoration parliament not only cut off the supply of new schools and new endowments, but by the Act of Uniformity in 1662 and the Five Mile Act in 1665, imposing prohibitory penalties on all teaching in public or private schools, except by rigid Church of England men, did its best to stop all advance. The very ferocity of the attempt in the long run defeated itself. By a series of decisions of the courts all the schools but the endowed grammar schools were (in defiance, it must be admitted, of the law and historical right) freed from the control of the bishops, and even some grammar schools. Thus in Bates’s case, 1670, it was held that where a master was put in by lay patrons he could not be turned out for teaching without the licence of the ordinary, but only censured, and that the statutory penalty was a bar to proceedings in the ecclesiastical courts. Next year in Cox’s case it was settled that the bishop’s licence was only required in grammar schools. Private schools nominally to teach writing, arithmetic, French, geography and navigation were outside ecclesiastical cognizance and gradually monopolized the education of the middle classes. Singleton, expelled from the headmastership of Eton at the Restoration, is said to have had 300 boys in a school in St Mary Axe. Foubert, banished from France for Protestantism, had an academy in the Haymarket under royal patronage. No dissenter, however, could be a member of a governing body or master of an endowed school, and if a dissenter went as a scholar he had to go to church and learn the church catechism. The church was therefore left in sole control of the endowed schools, with the result that at the end of the 18th century the schools were in a more decrepit condition than they were at any time in their long history. Only those which had great possessions and attracted the aristocracy flourished.

The post-Restoration period is distinguished, however, by one great innovation, the development of girls’ schools. There were girls’ schools at Hackney and at Chelsea, at Oxford and at Bicester, boarding-schools where “young gentlewomen learnt to play, dance and sing,” and where needlework was usually taught. In 1673 Mrs Makin, who had a ladies’ school at Tottenham High Cross, and had been governess to the Princess Elizabeth, published an “Essay to Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen,” dedicated to the princess, afterwards queen, Mary. She advocates the education of girls in the same subjects as men, including Latin, though not by learning Lily’s grammar by heart, but by learning grammar in English.

In the 18th century, with the progress of the means of communication, a few great schools, of which Westminster, Eton, Winchester, Harrow were the greatest, throve at the expense of the country grammar schools to which the local nobility and gentry used to resort. They were conducted, however, like private schools—the town boys at Westminster, the dames houses at Eton, the Commoners’ houses at Winchester, being in fact private ventures. The process was imitated at Harrow from 1725, and Rugby from 1765, which emulated and sometimes surpassed the three old schools: while Charterhouse and Shrewsbury (which in the latter days of Elizabeth had been one of the largest schools in the country) also developed on the same lines. But there was little change even in their matter or method. In those schools in which French was taught and English poetry and prose were cultivated it was in a sort of amateur way and as a by-study. The serious work of scholarship was still confined to classics, though they were made the medium of excursions into history, geography and political science. The grammar schools in the country towns, with on the whole inferior teachers, clung more closely to the ancient ways. As the growth of commerce and manufactures brought into the ranks of the local aristocracy men mostly dissenters, the grammar schools, which refused to admit them either as governors or scholars, and which despised, if they did not, as they often did, wholly reject modern languages and modern subjects, were relegated to the free boys, who went there not for love of learning but because learning was free. Where some enterprising man got together a boarding-school his “young gentlemen,” who paid relatively high fees, were carefully secluded even in work, still more in play, from the common herd of free boys.

Never probably since the 9th century was the condition of the public schools of England worse than in the years 1750 to 1840. In the Victoria County Histories, in Carlisle’s Endowed Grammar Schools, in the reports of Lord Brougham’s Commission of Inquiry concerning Charities (1818–1837), it may be read in the case of county after county and school after school how the grammar schools, where they still struggled to preserve a semblance of higher education, were often taught by the nearest vicar or curate, and were reduced to ten or even to no boys. Thus at Stamford in 1729 there were five boys; at Birmingham in 1734 none; at Moulton in 1744 none; at Wainfleet in 1753 none; at Oundle in 1762 one entry, in 1779 four in the school, in 1785 none. At Repton between 1779 and 1800 fifteen boys were admitted; at Abingdon from 1792 to 1803 there were from three to ten boys; at Derby in 1826 four boys; at Chesterfield in 1827 four boys, and from 1832 to 1836 one boy constituted the whole school. Often for half a century no more than half a dozen boys had been known to attend the school; sometimes this was the case for a century, while a large proportion of the schools had been definitely converted into elementary schools, and bad ones at that. Great, if partial, improvement followed after the publication of the reports of Lord Brougham’s commission and the suits in Chancery and private acts of parliament for the restitution of endowments of schools which followed them. But the Public Schools Commission Report of 1863 and the Schools Inquiry Report of 1868 revealed still a deplorable state of things. This has largely been remedied by the removal of religious disabilities, the introduction of the principle of representative government in the governing bodies of schools, and the widening of the curriculum through special commissions with drastic powers, in the case of the great public schools under the Public Schools Commission, and in the case of the lesser public schools by the Endowed Schools Commissioners and the Charity Commissioners under the Endowed Schools Act 1869, and the carving of endowed grammar or high schools for girls out of the old schools for boys.

It is satisfactory to end this review of the history of schools with the conclusion that however much might still require to be done, the conditions in 1910 showed a complete alteration. English schools of all grades had never been so full of pupils, so well equipped with buildings and appliances, or staffed with such devoted and active bands of teachers.

Elementary Schools.—Elementary teaching prevailed in medieval England to an infinitely wider extent than has been commonly supposed. It was at first the duty of every parish priest. Its origin has been credited, even as lately as 1908 (Foster Watson, English Grammar Schools to 1660), to a decree of Theodulf, bishop of Orleans in France, in 787, and to a law of King Ethelbert in England in 994 (De Montmorency, State Intervention in English Education, 1902): “mass priests ought always to have in their houses a school of disciples, and if any good man desires to commit his little ones to them for instruction they ought gladly to receive and kindly teach them.” These decrees were, in fact, merely re-issues of the 5th canon of the 6th council of Constantinople: “Let priests throughout the towns and villages have schools, and if any of the faithful wish to commend their little ones to them to learn their letters, let them not refuse to receive them, exacting however no price nor taking anything from them, except what the parents voluntarily offer,” a phrase repeated again and again in the foundation documents of free schools, grammar or other, to the middle of the 18th century. The mass priests, however, neglected their duty. In 1295, John of Pontissera, bishop of Winchester, tried to recall those of his diocese to it by a synodal statute: “Let rectors, vicars and parish priests see that the sons of their parishioners know the Lord’s Prayer, Creed and Salutation of the Virgin . . . and the parents should be induced to let their boys, when they know how to read the psalter, learn singing also.” It may be observed that now the rectors are not required to teach boys themselves, but to see them taught. The duty of the parson had in fact been devolved on the clerk. In a decretal of Gregory IX., c. 1234, every parish priest was ordered to have a clerk to sing with him, read the epistle and lesson, and be able to keep school and warn the parishioners to send their sons to the church to learn the faith, whom he is to teach with all chastity (Decret. lib. iii., tit. i., c. iii.). This seems to be only an amplification of Leo IV., c. 850, omnis presbyter clericum habeat soholarem qui epistolam, &c. Many parish clerks duly did their duty in teaching. So we find in 1481 at St Nicholas, Bristol, “The clerks ought not to take no boke oute of the quere for childeryne to lerne in with owte licence of the procurators,” i.e. the churchwardens. At Faversham in 1506, “Item the said clarkis or one of theym as moche as in theym is shall endeavour theymself to teche children to rede and synge . . . as of olde tyme hath be accustomed.” But probably most neglected their duty, as we find in many places other provision for elementary instruction; sometimes by reading and writing schools, more often, as already stated, by the song schools. At Barnack, Northamptonshire, the rector had licence in 1359 from the bishop of Lincoln to establish a master to teach reading, song and grammar. A reading school is mentioned at Howden, Yorkshire, in 1394, but it had then become united to the song school, and a chaplain, i.e. a priest, was appointed to it (scholas tam lectuales quam cantuales). In 1401 William Coke “alias clerk,” probably because he was the parish clerk, not apparently in orders, was appointed to this joint song and reading school, a reservation, however, being made to one John Lowyke of the right to teach a reading school only (studium lectuale) for 18 boys. Next year, 1402, William Lowyke, probably John’s son, was appointed to the reading and song school, an appointment repeated in 1412, while another person was appointed to the two schools in 1426. But in 1456 the reading school was combined with the grammar school under John Armandson, B.A. At Northallerton in 1426 the reading and song school are combined; the grammar school separate; but in 1440 reading, grammar and song schools were combined in the hands of John Leuesham, chaplain.

We owe our knowledge of these schools to the casual preservation in the British Museum of a letter book of the prior of Durham cathedral monastery, who was the “Ordinary” for the Yorkshire possessions of St Cuthbert, among which were the two places named. But they can hardly have been as exceptional in fact as they are in records. Separate reading schools must have existed elsewhere. Nor can the two Yorkshire colleges of Acaster and Rotherham, founded about 1472 and 1484, be as unique as they appear to be in having, besides a grammar and song school, a writing school. At Acaster a “third [master] to teche to write and all such thing as belonged to scrivener craft,” and at Rotherham “because that country produces many youths endowed with the light and acuteness of ability, but all do not wish to attain the dignity and height of the priesthood, that they may be the better fitted for the mechanical arts and other worldly concerns, a third fellow, knowing and skilled in the art of writing and accounts,” was added to the grammar and song masters (A. F. Leach, Early Yorkshire Schools, ii. 62, 84-87, 89, 110, 151). At Aldwinkle, Northants, the chantry priest was by foundation ordinance of 1489 to teach six of the poorest boys spelling and reading (syllabilacione et lectura). At Barking, in Essex, a chantry priest was founded in 1392 to “teache the childerne to wrytte and read,” while the chantry priest at Bromyard, Herefordshire, was founded in 1394 to “brynge upe the childerne borne in the parish in reading, wrytynge and gramar.” At Normanton, Yorkshire, the chantry of Our Lady was “for good educatcion as well in grammar as wrytinge,” and at Burgh under Stainmore, Westmorland, the stipendiary priest was “to kepe a Free Grammar Schole and also to teche scholers to wryte.” At Kingsley, Staffordshire, the chantry priest was also “to kepe scole and teche pore men’s children of the said parishe grammar and to rede and singe.” At Montgomery, on the other hand, it is made matter of complaint, in 1548, that the fraternity of Our Lady hired a “prest or lerned man to kepe scole” for thirty years past, but he now “ taught but yonge beginners onelye to write and syng and to reade soo far as the accidens rules and noo grammer.” At Farthinghoe, Northants, was apparently a purely elementary school, the chantry priest being directed by foundation in 1443 by a London mercer to teach the little ones (parvulos), later translated petits, freely. At Ipswich in 1477 the little ones called Apeseyes (ABC’s) and Songe were not under the grammar schoolmaster but an independent teacher. The most elementary school was the ABC school. At Christ’s College, Brecon, founded, or re founded, by Henry VIII., besides a grammar master at £13, 6s. 8d. a year and an usher at half that, there was a chaplain to sing mass and “to teache the yonge children resorting to the said scoole there ABC” at the same pay as the usher. This seems to have been really a song school. At the college of Glasney, Cornwall, founded, or refounded, in 1264, the bell-ringer had £2 a year “as well for teachyng of pore mens children their ABC as for ringing”; while at Launceston the grammar master had £16 a year, and 13s. 4d. was “yerly distributed to an aged man chosen by the mayre to teache younge chylderne the ABC.” At Saffron Walden, Essex, in 1423, it was settled after legal proceedings, that the chantry priests at the parish church might teach children the alphabet and graces, but not further. Anything more was the privilege of the grammar schoolmaster.

In 1542 an injunction of Bonner as bishop of London shows an attempt on Henry VIII.’s part to recall the clergy to the duty of teaching “every of you that be parsons, vicars, curates and also chantry priests and stipendiaries to . . . teach and bring up in learning the best ye can all such children of your parishioners as shall come to you, or at the least teach them to read English.” The advisers of Edward VI. at first appear to have contemplated a similar development by an injunction in 1547 that “all chauntry priests shall exercise themselves in teaching youth to read and write and bring them up in good manners and other virtuous exercises.” But the Chantries Act next year swept all the chantries away by Easter 1548; and while professing to apply their endowments to education, struck a deadly blow at elementary education by omitting any saving clause for elementary schools, whether song, reading, writing or ABC schools. The first duty of a song or of a reading school being “to teach a child to help a priest to sing mass,” they were regarded as superstitious; and the rest were presumably looked on as tainted with the same poison. So of all the hundreds of song schools in the country, only two, outside the cathedrals and the university colleges and those of Winchester and Eton, Westminster and Windsor colleges, survived. These were the song school of the archdeacon Magnus foundation of a grammar school and song school at Newark in 1532; and that forming part of the grammar school in St John’s Hospital, Coventry, established by John Hales under royal licence in 1545, though not legally settled till 1572. The gap left by these schools took long to fill, and probably the ignorance of the masses and of the lower middle classes in Elizabethan and Jacobean times was greater than before the Reformation. In the big towns, like London, during the reign of Elizabeth, voluntary rates, or application of the rates, were made to partly fill the gap. Christ’s Hospital in 1553 with its 280 foundling children had, besides its grammar schoolmaster and usher, “a teacher of pricksonge, a teacher to wrighte and two schoole masters for the Petties ABC.” But in Mary’s reign, Grafton the printer was “clapt in the Flete for two daies because he suffered the children to learne the Englishe prymer” for “the Lattin abseies." In Southwark, while St Saviour’s parish set up a grammar school in 1559, St Olave’s parish in 1560 directed the churchwardens to ask the inhabitants “watte they will gyve towards the settyng up of a free skolle,” which was started next year to “teche the cheldarne to write and rede and cast accompthe.” At St Lawrence Jewry in 1568 a school was kept over the vestry. At St Ethelwyn’s in 1589 Smythe “the schoolmaster” paid 10s. “for kepinge scole in the belfry.” At Stevenage in 1561–1562 the old Brotherhood house and some endowment was bought by subscription for a school “to teach scholars called pettits to read English, write, cast accounts and learn the accidence.”

Some of these and other like schools were rather junior or preparatory departments of the grammar school than independent elementary schools. The foundation of purely elementary schools was rare in E1izabeth’s reign. In Warwickshire, Alcester in 1582, Henley-in-Arden in 1586, in-Salop, Onibury in 1593, in Essex, Littlebury in 1595, appear to be pretty well all those known. Those mentioned in Mr de Montmorency’s “State Intervention,” taken from the Digest of Schools of 1842, are mostly of charities afterwards applied to elementary education, not founded for the purpose. In most counties the earliest elementary endowed schools are of James I.’s reign, such as Appleton, Berkshire, in 1604, Northiam, Sussex, in 1614, Sir William Borlase’s school at Great Marlow in Buckinghamshire (now a secondary school) in 1624. At great impetus was given to them by the Commonwealth, and many were founded by state action, only to be destroyed at the Restoration. Conspicuous among Commonwealth schools was that of Polesworth, Warwickshire, founded by deed of 10th March 1655, the first endowed school which provided for girls as well as boys, the boys under a master to learn to write and read English, the girls in a separate schoolroom under a mistress to learn to read and work with the needle. In Wales Thomas Gouge, an ejected minister, in 1672, started voluntary schools.

After 1670 there was a large increase in elementary school foundations. The reign of Queen Anne saw a new development take place of the charity schools. The movement was started in 1698 by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and taken up by the bishops with an organized propaganda for getting subscriptions. The schools founded were commonly called blue or blue-coat schools, though there were red maids’, green and even yellow schools. Many were boarding-schools on the model of Christ’s Hospital, where slum children, girls and boys, in separate schools of course, were taken in and prepared for service and work. But there were many day schools. All, however, provided a uniform of the Christ’s Hospital type. They were chiefly in the large towns, and still comprise some of the richest endowed elementary schools. Over 100 of them were established between 1698 and 1715 in London and Westminster, and in 1729 there were 1658 schools with 34,000 children. In that year the curious development of “circulating schools” was started in Wales, the masters residing for a certain time in one district and then passing on to another. (This was a device known in medieval times, and notable examples of it were Sir Robert Hitcham’s rotatory school for Earl’s Colne and two other places in Essex during the Commonwealth.) Griffith Tones was the principal promoter, and at his death in 1761 there were 10,000 children in the schools. In 1801 the Lancasterian system of schools, not of a few boys or girls, but of several hundreds taught in classes of 60 or 80, chiefly by pupil teachers, was inaugurated in the Borough Road by Joseph Lancaster. Out of it grew the British and Foreign School Society. This was undenominational. In 1811 the National Society adopted the similar, but rival, Bell or “Madras system” for Church of England teaching. The effect of these two organizations was to cover the country with elementary schools, partly endowed, chiefly supported by voluntary contributions and low fees. These completed the system, if system it could be called, of sporadic elementary schools. After the Reform Act of 1832 the state stepped in with grants and has gradually made elementary education universal.  (A. F. L.) 

See further under Education.

  1. Nicholas Udal (q.v.) was master in 1555–1556.