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them till 1308. The written statutes are then stated to be de-
rived from inquiry as to the ancient customs, the earliest re-
corded statutory codification of them being dated 1250. The
chanter has now become precentor, a distinction which marks
the development of the choir. He now only begins the chant
and does not personally perform the chief part in the singing.
Most of his duties devolve on the subchanter or succentor.
His office is to instal any one raised to any dignity, or canonry,
or office. To him belongs the rule of the choir as to singing
and psalmody. When the archbishop celebrates, the precentor
presents the Antiphon to him or the Magnificat. On solemn
days he is bound to begin the mass. " Also to him it belongs
to collate to the song school (scolas de cantu) and cases concern-
ing the school ought to be heard and determined before him :
though execution belongs to the Chapter. The succentor
of the vicars writes the table of the chants ; hears what the
boys ought to sing and chastises them when necessary ; and
receives by way of emolument 2Os. a year from the Song
School." The statute as to the chancellor says that he was
" anciently called schoolmaster, he ought to be a master in
theology and actually lecture near the church. To him belongs
the collation to grammar schools, but to the School of York
(scolas Eboracenses) he ought to present a regent in arts (i.e.
an M.A. who is actually teaching school, as he was bound to
do for two years after taking his degree) of whose proficiency
there is hope, who according to ancient custom of the church
will hold it for 3 years and not beyond unless by grace
for one year." The chancellor has to preach on certain
days. He keeps the seal. " To him and his subchancellor in



COLLEGES, CHURCHES, AND SCHOOLS 163

his name it belongs to place those who ought to read on the
table and licence them to read and hear them in the vestry
before service. To him belongs the keeping of a chronicle of
notable events and assigning of lessons for those who read on
double feasts." The subchancellor ought to receive 2os. a year
from the grammar school.

Some statutes of Southwell Minster, the quasi-cathedral
church of Nottinghamshire, not a complete code, but touching
only on certain points, made at the end of March, 1248, pro-
vided that schools of grammar or logic shall not be held in
the prebends of the canons, except according to the custom
of York; while in 1238 the prebendary of Normanton in
Southwell Minster, who was ex-officio Chancellor of that
church, is recorded as having asserted his jurisdiction over
Newark Grammar School against the priory of St. Catharine
by Lincoln who were impropriators of Newark church, but
had to admit the supremacy of the chancellor by presenting
the schoolmaster of Newark to him for admission.

The statutes of Hereford Cathedral do not appear to exist
in any form earlier than a recension of the first quarter of the
fourteenth century, now in the British Museum. They are to
much the same effect as the rest, but the later date is seen
in a further development of delegation. The office of the pre-
centor, a word indicating the fourteenth-century date, is to
begin the first chant in solemn processions, and the sequences at
mass or vespers, to give the bishop the antiphons he has to
begin, to take charge of the whole singing and psalmody, to
find a succentor, and keep and repair the chant and psalm
books. The succentor's office is to write the table for singers
and rule the choir and the rulers of the choir; to find five
clerks of his school in the first form to begin the antiphons on
weekdays and at the office of the dead and to carry crosses,
candles and incense-burners. He can chastise with blows any
of the other clerks of the first form, but not turn them out of
the choir without the canon's consent. Here the first form
was the lowest, canons and priests sat in the first form ;
deacons andisubdeacons in the second ; clerks of inferior order
in the third. The reference to the clerks of the third form in
the succentor's school, who in another place are called
" boys of his school of singing in boys' voices " was necessary



164 THE SCHOOLS OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

to distinguish the choir-boys in the song school from the boys
in the grammar school. This was as usual under the chan-
cellor not the precentor. " To the office of the chancellor it
pertains to keep the books of the church and repair them
when necessary ; to order everything relating to reading, to
hear the lessons ; to compose and write deeds and writs to be
sealed with the chapter seal ; to find a regent master in arts
[the words to teach the grammar school appear to have
dropped out of the copy] who on feast-days ought to attend
choir in choir habit, and to table those who are to read, and
hear the lessons in his master's place." A separate statute
directs that no one placed on the table to read should
presume to read without having the lesson heard by the
person deputed to do so, unless he is one who by learning and
long use does not require hearing ; and if he does so presume,
and makes any bad mistake in quantity or accent, if he is a
clerk of the first or second form he shall be punished by disci-
pline, i.e. flogged, for it is expressly ordered that even a
deacon or subdeacon of the second form shall bare his back
to receive discipline from the hebdomadary. A priest-vicar
who makes any such mistake was to be even more heavily
punished. Lest it should be said that it is only a guess that
the words " to teach the grammar school " have dropped out
of the statute cited, it may be noted that in 1385, when the
chancellor was a non-resident Italian, the Bishop of Hereford
complained that although he had often required the chan-
cellor, to whom by custom the grant and appointment of the
master of the grammar school of the city of Hereford belongs,
to provide a fit master to teach the same school, he has
expressly refused to provide one and so relieve holy church
and the scholars wishing to learn from no small loss and
burden. The bishop therefore proceeded to appoint one
himself to teach and govern the school with birch and rod,
as custom is, for one year. With the usual insouciance of the
local and educational historian this has actually been quoted
as the foundation of Hereford Cathedral Grammar School,
whereas it witnesses to its being even then ancient.

The second half of the century saw the beginnings of the
collegiate system at the universities, and a revival and develop-
ment of it among the secular clergy throughout the country in





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COLLEGES, CHURCHES, AND SCHOOLS 165

the collegiate churches. It began with the universities. We
saw the embryo of it in the attachment of scholars to hospitals.
Its development was marked by independent houses established
de novo for scholars alone.

Paris set the fashion. The Oriental College founded by
direction of Pope Innocent IV in 1248, for boys to be trained
up in Oriental languages and to become missionaries, and the
theological college of the Sorbonne in 1257, were the two chief
models. The earliest English university college was at Salis-
bury, where there had been a university since 1209, the House
of the Valley Scholars of St. Nicholas. It was founded in
1262 by Bishop Giles of Bridport for two chaplains and
twenty poor, honest, and teachable scholars in a house by St.
Nicholas" Hospital, under the wardenship of a canon of the
cathedral. The Valley Scholars were a French religious order
which had been founded by an English master of Paris Uni-
versity. The English college had nothing to do with the order.
In 1264, Walter of Merton, Chancellor of England, founded
" the House of the Scholars of Merton ", first established at
Maldonin Surrey to support twenty scholars living "at Oxford
or wherever else a university may chance to flourish ". It
was moved in 1270 to Oxford. Merton, because he took
away from his heirs by founding this college the right of
succession that was theirs by the custom of the realm, gave
a preference for the scholarships, that is fellowships, in the
college, to his next of kin, and also attached a grammar
school to it by the provision " also if there are any little ones of
the heirs aforesaid, orphans, or otherwise through poverty want-
ing due sustenance while they are being instructed in the boyish
rudiments, the Warden is to cause them to be instructed in the
house aforesaid, until they can profit in the schools, if found of
ability ", when they were to be elected scholars. The same pro-
vision was repeated in the more elaborate code of 1 274, when the
house was moved to Oxford and the scholars lived in it ; but the
number of the boys was limited to thirteen. A grammar master,
apparently to be one of the scholars, was to be appointed to
devote his whole time to grammar and look after them ; though
the scholars also were to resort to him " without blushing" in
any difficulties in his "faculty", and he was to see that theytalked
Latin or the vulgar tongue (French), and instructed the seniors.



1 66 THE SCHOOLS OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

At Cambridge the first college was founded on 24 December,
1280, by Bishop Balsham of Ely, who placed some poor
scholars in the Hospital of St. John " to live together and study
in the university of Cambridge according to the rule of the
scholars of Oxford who are called Merton's ". As the regular
canons, who managed the hospital, quarrelled with them, on
28 May, 1285, he moved the scholars outside the town by St.
Peter's Church, which he appropriated to them, and thus gave
the college the name by which it is still known, Peterhouse.

The establishment of these university colleges was quickly
followed, or accompanied by a new crop of colleges or col-
legiate churches of secular canons all over the country, each
with its schools of grammar and song. Among the earliest
appears to be that of Howden in Yorkshire, the rectory of
which, belonging to Durham Cathedral Priory, was in 1266
divided into five prebends to support as many canons living
together and serving parishes round about. There are next
to no records of this collegiate church. But in a Durham
Register we find in 1 393 the Prior of Durham, as " Ordinary
of the spiritualities of St. Cuthbert in Howdenshire," appointing
masters of the song school (scolas cantuales) and grammar
school (scolas gramaticales) there, "as they have been accus-
tomed to be conferred ". In 1394 he appointed to the com-
bined reading and song school (tarn lectuales quam cantuales),
while on a fresh appointment to the same school in 1401, he
reserved to another person, no doubt the parish clerk, the right
to teach eighteen boys reading. A new appointment to the
grammar school in 1403 expressly directed the master to
make his boys attend and sing at the Lady Mass in the col-
legiate church as anciently used. It is odd to find in 1409,
and again in 1456, the reading school combined, not with the
song school as usual, but with the grammar school. A fine
Tudor building, built on to the south-west corner of the church,
still used as the grammar school, now in a very small way,
testifies to the continued interest of this earliest collegiate
church of the second crop in its school until its dissolution.

The Collegiate Church of St. Thomas the Martyr at Glasney,
now part of the town of Penryn in Cornwall, was founded by
Bishop Bronescomb of Exeter in 1267. It was for thirteen
clerks, one of whom was provost, the most usual number for



COLLEGES, CHURCHES, AND SCHOOLS 167

such establishments, after "Christ and his apostles twelve".
They were especially directed to be called secular canons and
to enjoy the same customs and liberties as those of Exeter
Cathedral. A grammar school was a part of these customs,
and we find Edward VI in 1548 on the dissolution of the
college continuing the master with 6 i8s. for his wages
yearly.

In 1283 a collegiate church of a dean and seven canons was
founded by Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, at Lanchester ;
who also refounded and re-endowed the collegiate churches of
Chester-le-Street in 1286, and St. Andrew Auckland in 1292,
with an ex-fellow of Merton as dean, and a grammar school
which still flourishes.

In 1283 the Bishop of St. David's in Wales "considering
that health and solidarity arises from the unanimous and
united company of an established college " made Llangadock
church collegiate for twenty-one secular canons and as many
vicars.

From this time to the dissolution of colleges in 1548
scarcely a year passed without witnessing the foundation of a
college at the university, or a collegiate church with its
grammar school attached, generally in the native place of its
founder. The only difference between the university college,
with its church attached, and the collegiate church, with its
schools of grammar and song attached, was that the latter
were primarily for religious services and secondarily for edu-
cation, and the former were primarily for education and
secondarily for religious services. The collegiate church was
ad orandum et studendum, the house of scholars at the univer-
sity ad studendum et orandum. Both were indifferently spoken
of as colleges.

As the extant episcopal and other registers, like the
Chapter Act Books of the cathedrals, mostly begin in this
century, we get incidentally a good many notices of schools,
especially where, the cathedrals being in monastic hands, the
schools remained under episcopal control.

Thus the earliest notice yet discovered of the grammar
school at Norwich is in the Coxford Priory Chartulary. On
Thursday before the Conversion of St. Paul, 1 240, the Official,
the judge of the bishop's court, gave judgment in a case in



1 68 THE SCHOOLS OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

which Master Vincent of Skerning (Seaming) the title shows
that he was an M.A. then schoolmaster of Norwich (rector
scolarum Norwicensium}, asserted that the school of Rudham
by Coxford was tributary to the school of Norwich, and that
no master could keep a school (regere scolas) there without
licence of the schoolmaster of Norwich. The Priory of Cox-
ford defended as patrons of Rudham School. An inquiry
was held, both of masters who had taught school there, and of
scholars who had been at school there (vacabant studio] for
a long time. The result was that it clearly appeared that
Rudham School was free of all subjection or payment of
tribute to Norwich School, and that the appointment to it be-
longed entirely to the prior and convent ; judgment was given
accordingly. Norwich School appears again in the statutes of
St. Giles's or the Great Hospital in 1256, Bishop Suffield the
founder ordaining that, like St. Cross Hospital, Winchester,
the hospital should provide dinner for poor scholars to be
named from time to time by the master of the Grammar
School. After the dissolution the so-called King Edward VI.
School entered bodily into this hospital in virtue of an ar-
rangement made by the city with Henry VIII. The earliest
register of the Archbishops of Canterbury shows Peckham
visiting Norwich in 1288 when the See was vacant and ap-
pointing a master to the Grammar School of the city and
Diocese of Norwich in the person of Godfrey of Norton ; a
precedent followed by Archbishop Whittlesey in 1369 ap-
pointing Master William Bunting clerk. It is not till 1338
that a collation by the Bishop of Norwich himself has been
preserved ; but from that time to the Reformation there is a
continual stream of appointments by the bishop to the Gram-
mar School and the Song School. The Grammar School was
not in the monastic precinct but in the parish of St. Matthew,
nor were the masters monks, but clerks and masters of arts, or,
as in the case of John Spirlyng in 1434, of grammar. For
lack of a secular chapter, the Bishop of Norwich appointed to
the Grammar Schools not only of Norwich but throughout the
county, a number of appointments by him to Thetford from
1329 to 1434 being recorded, while from such appointments
we hear of grammar schools, not otherwise known of, at
Fincham in 1432, Harleston by Redenhall in 1433, Shipdham



COLLEGES, CHURCHES, AND SCHOOLS 169

(Shipden) in 1455, Shouldham in 1462, and Thoney (Saham
Toney) in 1474.

At Worcester on 26 May, 1291, Bishop Godfrey Giffard
solemnly settled an action between Walter, rector of St.
Nicholas Church, and Master Stephen of London, rector of
the Worcester School, on behalf of himself and his scholars,
as to the celebration of the feast of St. Nicholas by the com-
pany of scholars, as to the making of the wax candles used,
for which the scholars made a collection, and as to the disposal
or custody of the candles at the end of the solemnity. The
Consistory Court had failed to decide this weighty question.
So the bishop himself summoned the parties before him at
Hartlebury Castle and decreed that as the feast had been
formerly celebrated in St. Nicholas Church by the devotion of
the scholars, so it should for ever continue to be celebrated,
and that the rector of the church should have no claim on the
wax or candles unless the masters and scholars chose to give
part of it to him out of mere devotion. The remainder wax
after the ceremony should be delivered by the master and
three scholars to some trustworthy citizen or merchant who
would undertake to restore it with due increase by way of interest
to them when next they celebrated the feast ; and the rector if
he wished could be present as a witness at the delivery of the
wax and its redelivery. Any dispute was to be referred to
the Archdeacon of Worcester or the Official, the judge of the
bishop's court. This school too, therefore, was not in the
monastic precinct or taught by monks but in St. Nicholas
parish, a considerable distance from the cathedral, where it still
was maintained by the city gild of the Trinity at its dissolution
in 1548. An appointment of Master Hugh of Northampton,
clerk, as master, by Bishop Reynolds on 28 May, 1312, is ex-
pressed to be made " whether the appointment belongs to us
by episcopal or by archidiaconal authority", there being ap-
parently some question whether the collation had not been
delegated to the archdeacon. At all events the prior and
monks had no hand in it.

Similarly at Carlisle, Pope Nicholas' taxation in 1291
shows that the schoolmaster of Carlisle (rector scolarutri) received
the large income of 20 6s. 8d. from the churches of Stan-
way and Dalston. He was described as " one of the monks "



i;o THE SCHOOLS OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

by Mr. C. Elton to the Schools Inquiry Commission in 1867,
though Carlisle Cathedral was inhabited not by monks but
regular canons, and in point of fact the schoolmaster here as
elsewhere was always a secular clerk, not a regular at all. Thus
we find in the episcopal registers, Master Nicholas of Surreton
rector scolarum Karlioli, being ordained successively subdeacon,
deacon, and priest on 18 December, 1316, 26 February, 1317,
and 22 September, 1319, on the title of probity, which ap-
parently means good repute as master, and licences to Master
William Salkeld, clerk, "to hold the grammar school in our
city of Carlisle" by Bishop Halton in 1333, and to Master John
Burdon, clerk, by Bishop Welton in 1362.

At Canterbury the archbishop retained control of the
school, as is shown by a document of 2 1 March, 1 291 , by which,
addressing his beloved son the master of the school of the
city of Canterbury, Archbishop Peckham granted him special
licence to take cognizance of and exercise jurisdiction freely
in all cases of his school and scholars with power of canon-
ical inhibition as has been anciently accustomed. The first
actual appointment of a master of Canterbury School now
preserved appears in the register of Peckham's successor,
Archbishop Winchelsea, who on 1 1 April, 1306, conferred by
way of charity on Master Richard of Maidstone, clerk, the
regimen of the school of the city of Canterbury and the same
school, which belonged to his mere collation, and instituted him
rector in the same with all its rights and appurtenances and
invested him with it by his ring. There is ample evidence that
the school was in the parish and perhaps at one time in the
church of St. Alphege, outside the monastery, opposite the
bishop's palace.

The register of Archbishop Romanus of York in the year
1289 shows us the existence of two schools, one of which,
Kinoulton, we know nothing of otherwise, while the other,
Nottingham, used to be credited to the year 1512 until the
publication of the Nottingham Borough Records exhibited it
as a going concern in 1382. It would appear that the master
of Nottingham School had been objecting to a rival school
being set up at Kinoulton. Addressing the schoolmaster of
Nottingham and the vicar of Kinoulton, the Archbishop informs
them that, as he wishes his own rights to be kept in their in-



171

tegrity, so he did not wish to derogate from the rights of others,
and he decreed therefore that only the clerks of the parish
might attend the school which had from ancient times been
customarily kept in that parish, all other clerks and foreigners
being excluded and by no means admitted to it. Thus, he
says, we both have regard to the rights of our free chapel, the
church aforesaid, and the right of the master as regards stranger
clerks is preserved in its integrity.

We get some light on the internal economy of schools from
the accounts of the Merton College Grammar School beginning in
the year 1 277. There were apparently eleven boys, four of them
in college (in domo), and seven others "in the town," under the
care of Thomas of Wallingford. The cost of the commons of
these last is given week by week, the numbers of the weeks
being given, remarkably enough, not in Roman but in Arabic
numerals. Commons for the eight of them, including the
Custos, came to 55. 4d. a week, or 8d. a head. This was pre-
cisely the sum allowed by Archbishop Giffard of York when
he sent John Aucher and two companions to Beverley
Grammar School the year before this, 7 March, 1276. The
elder scholars, or fellows, were allowed 503. a year, or a shilling
a week. The " necessaries " of the boys included " a sheet for
William of Portsmouth" at I5id., showing that schoolboys did
not sleep on straw, as has been sometimes asserted. This
was no special provision for a nominee of the still living
Founder, for in 1304-5 we find a quantity of linen cloth
bought at Winchester for 175. lod. and 2d. paid to a seamstress
for making the linen into sheets.

In the summer term all the boys were in the town under
Thomas of Wallingford. Hire of an inn (hospicium) for twelve
boys and their master for the summer term cost 2s. 8d. ; their
servants, a washerwoman, and boy (garcioni) were paid 2od.,
while to the Master of Grammar (magistro glomerie) for five
boys was paid 2od. for the term, or 4d. a term each. This
entry is of considerable antiquarian interest. It shows that
instead of the term Magister Glomeria being, as stated by
Dr. Rashdall in his History of Universities, a " wholly pe-
culiar Cambridge institution ", it was in use at Oxford. The
fact is that the word Glomery is merely a familiar corruption
of the word grammar, and was in use not only at Oxford and



172 THE SCHOOLS OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND

Cambridge, but at Orleans and Salisbury and no doubt else-
where ; the word glomerelli, for small grammar boys, being
found at Bury St. Edmunds. Master Henri d'Andely, who
wrote circa 1259 at Rouen in Norman-French a Battle of
the Seven Arts, representing in mock-heroic verse the victory
of logic studied at Paris over grammar cultivated at Orleans,



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