Page:The History of the Church & Manor of Wigan part 1.djvu/90

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History of the Church and Manor of Wigan.

that the cause of his migration to Cambridge may have been one of those visitations of the sweating sickness which overtook the city of Oxford during the reign of King Henry VII. It is known that many Oxford men went to Cambridge to avoid the consequences of it. In 1496, the Cambridge Senate, by a decree, gave leave for certain persons, members of the sister University, to be incorporated amongst them, whenever they should come thither, either during term or vacation, and Linacre may well have been one of those who availed themselves of this act of grace. John Caius, the historian of Cambridge, however, says that he migrated to Cambridge in order to avail himself of the superior reputation and learning of that University.[1] But he does not appear to have stayed there long, for it was certainly at Oxford, in the year 1497, that he made the acquaintance of Erasmus, who became his pupil in Greek, and with whom he formed a friendship which only ended with his life. Among his other pupils may also be mentioned the gentle and amiable Thomas More, afterwards Sir Thomas, the Lord High Chancellor of England. During this period of his career Linacre was actively engaged, with his friend Grocyn and others, in forming at the University a taste for ancient literature. Up to this time the schools were almost entirely in the hands of the different sects of logicians; and it is to the efforts of Linacre and his associates that we may attribute the important reforms that followed, so that they may be considered as the regenerators of the University system.

His translation into Latin of "The Sphere" of Proclus was probably the first translation of a Greek author into Latin made by an Englishman. It seems to have been made partly in Italy, and completed or revised during his residence at Oxford, in the interval between his return from that country and his invitation to the King's Court in 1501. There is no record of his having practised medicine at Oxford, and his time there seems to have been fully occupied in teaching Greek and preparing his translations.

  1. Johnson's Life of Linacre p. 154 note.