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the seldom use that is like to be thereof, and that the same be
bestowed by the direction of the Bailiffs of the said town with
the consent of the Head Schoolmaster within two years now
next ensuing ; and that the Stock Remanent afterwards be bestowed
and employed for the founding erecting and maintaining of scholar-
ships and fellowships in the university according to the ordinance in
that behalf. They found the Stock Remanent of the said school at
the time of the making of their said certificate to be $21 us. z\d.
or thereabouts ; and that the buildings and lodgings already made
about the said school were very sufficient, and some of them
very superfluous and unnecessary; and therefore they were of
opinion that no more money should be taken or employed out
of the Stock Remanent for the further building or furnishing thereof,
saving only for the necessary repairing thereof. And whereas, by
one of the said ordinances, the Bailiff appointed for the collection
of the rents and revenues of the said school is to enter into bond or
recognizance of .300 or more with sufficient sureties for his
account and discharge of his place and the true answering of all
matters in his charge, the school revenues at the making of the
said ordinances being much smaller than now it is, the said Com-
missioners did think it fit that the bond of the said School Bailiff
(the penalty thereof being less than his yearly receipt) be renewed
and increased, and that the penalty of the bond or recognizance,
into which the School Bailiff for the time being with his Sureties
shall enter, shall be double the sum or more of his yearly receipt ;
and that part of the condition thereof be that he do not at any time



APPENDIX 447

pay or disburse any of the rents or revenues of any of the heredita-
ments given for the maintenance of the said school, or otherwise
whatsoever concerning the said school, without the consent of the
Bailiffs of the said town for the time being and the Schoolmaster.
And whereas, the Bailiffs and Burgesses of the said town stand
bound unto the King's Majesty by force of a covenant made with
the late Queen, her heirs, and successors, to employ and bestow
the rest and residue of the revenues and profits belonging to the
said school, not specially, by the Letters Patent of the said late
Queen, limited to be otherwise paid and bestowed, according to
such orders and constitutions as should be taken in that behalf
by Thomas Ashton, alias Aston, then schoolmaster there, and that
thereupon, in the 2oth year of the Reign of the said late Queen ;
the said Thomas Ashton, alias Aston, then made ordinances for
and concerning the employing and disposing of the revenues of the
said school, and the Bailiffs and Burgesses of Shrewsbury, with the
advice and consent of the then Rev. Father in God, the then Bishop
of Coventry and Lichfield, and of the said Mr. Ashton, alias Aston,
at the same time made other ordinances concerning the election,
placing, direction, rule, ordering and government of the school-
masters and scholars of the said school, the said ordinances being
all the ordinances of or concerning the said school and contained in
the three several schedules tripartite, bearing date the nth day of
February in the 2oth year of the Reign of the said late Queen
Elizabeth, made between the then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield
on the first part, and the Bailiffs and Burgesses of Shrewsbury on the
second part, and the Master, Fellows and Scholars of St. John's
College in Cambridge, and the said Thomas Ashton, alias Aston,
then late Head Schoolmaster of the said school, and Thomas
Lawrence, then Head Schoolmaster of the said school, on the third
part, by which tripartite indenture all the parties thereunto, saving
the said Aston and Lawrence who covenanted only for themselves,
and their several successors respectively, did covenant, each with the
other, truly to perform and observe all the said ordinances which
they and every of them were respectively to observe and perform ;
and that, by one of the ordinances of the said school, the Bailiffs of
the said town were yearly, at the time of the taking of their oaths for
and touching the execution of their office of Bailiwick, to take their
corporal oaths for the true accomplishment and execution of such
and so many of the said ordinances as concerned the demising,



448 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

granting, setting and letting of the possessions limited and appointed
for the maintenance and advancement of the said school, and the
employing and bestowing of the rents, issues and profits thereof,
according to the true intent and meaning of the said ordinances, at
which time the Head Schoolmaster is to be present, except by
sickness, or other urgent causes to them known, he be let thereunto,
which use for taking the oath the said Commissioners held very fit
to be continued by the Bailiffs of the said town for the time being, 1
and that also the Bailiffs and Burgesses of the said town stand bound
unto the Master, Fellows and Scholars of St. John's College in
Cambridge in the sum of ^1000 for the true observing and per-
forming of all and singular the covenants, grants and agreements
comprised in the said tripartite indenture concerning the demising,
letting, or disposing of the possessions, limited and appointed for
the said school, according to the true meaning of the said indenture
tripartite ; by reason of which several ties the Bailiffs and Burgesses
are 2 sufficiently restrained from attempting anything against the
ordinances of the said school, or any covenant in the said tripartite
indenture mentioned on their parts to be performed.

" But) forasmuch as the said complainant doth not stand bound,
neither by covenant, as his immediate predecessor did, for perform-
ance of any of the said ordinances, nor by oath concerning the
employing of any of the revenues of the said school other than only
for such money as he yearly receiveth for admission of the scholars
into the said school, the said Commissioners did conceive that that
hath been a principal occasion to encourage the complainant many
times to oppose himself against the Bailiffs of the said town for the
time being, and a great cause of breeding debates and contentions
against them ; and the rather, for that the Bailiffs of the said town,
without the assent of the Chief Schoolmaster, by the scope of the
said school ordinances cannot well dispose of any of the revenues
thereof, 3 or fail to observe their oaths in that behalf, the said

1 It is a striking instance of the bias of the Commissioners that they entirely
omit to mention either that the Bailiffs of 1609-1610 refused to take their
statutable oath during the whole of their year of office, or that for many years
previously, without any legal authority, the Bailiffs had, at each November audit,
required the Head Master to swear to his accounts.

2 One tie had been disregarded and the other was non-existent.

3 The Bailiffs, the Commissioners seem to forget, had recently disposed of a
considerable sum of money without the assent of the Head Master by simply
breaking open his lock. They did the same thing in after years by the connivance
of the School Bailiff.



APPENDIX 449

Commissioners therefore thought it fit, if it might stand with the
pleasure of this Court, that the complainant and every other Head
Schoolmaster of the said school hereafter, before he should take
upon the place of Head Schoolmaster, shall enter into bond or
covenant with the Bailiffs and Burgesses of the said town of
Shrewsbury, well and truly to observe and perform all and every
matter and thing mentioned or comprised in the said ordinances
annexed to the same tripartite indenture, which, in and by the said
ordinances, or any of them, are limited or appointed to be performed
by the Head Schoolmaster of the said Free Grammar School for the
time being, alone, or together with the Bailiffs of the said town for
the time being, or with any other, according to the purpose, true
intent and meaning of the said ordinances, and shall likewise, before
the Bailiffs of the said town, take the same oath which, by the afore-
said ordinances, the Bailiffs of the said town are appointed to take
at such time as they enter into their office of their Bailiwick. And
whereas, by one of the aforesaid ordinances, made by the said Mr.
Ashton, alias Aston, all ambiguities and doubts concerning the
understanding and meaning of the said ordinances, so made by the
said Mr. Aston, are, without delay, to be interpreted and expounded
by the Recorder of the said town for the time being together with
two learned men in the Laws of this Realm, such as the Bailiffs of
the said town for the time being and the Head Schoolmaster for the
time being shall think convenient and nominate seeing that between^ the
Bailiffs of the town for the time being and the said complainant there
had often risen many controversies, as well concerning the interpreta-
tion and meaning of the ordinances made by Mr. Ashton, alias Aston,
as also touching the ordinances made by the Bailiffs and Burgesses of
the town of Shrewsbury, with the advice and consent of the Bishop of
Coventry and Lichfield, and of Mr. Ashton, alias Aston, aforesaid,
the said Commissioners did think it fit, if so it may stand with the
good allowing and pleasure of the Court, that, for avoiding of all
quarrelling concerning the interpretation and exposition of any of
the ordinances concerning the said school and the nomination of
two learned men to join with the Recorder for the interpretation
thereof, that the Justices of Assize for the said County of Salop

1 Hotchkis appears to have accidentally omitted the words in italics. All but
the last three are taken from the ordinance to which the Commissioners refer. A
few other words, also in italics, have been inserted in order to make certain
sentences in the decree, as given by Hotchkis, intelligible.
2 G



450 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

for the time being (and the Recorder of said town for the
time being) should be only interpreters and expounders of all and
singular the aforesaid ordinances ; and that such interpretations,
expositions and directions as they from time to time should set
down in writing, under their hands and seals, of or concerning any
of the ordinances touching the said school or the reforming of any
ordinance concerning the said school, upon the petition of the
Bailiffs of the said town and Head Schoolmaster of the said school
for the time being, or any two of them, should stand and be ob-
served. And lastly, forasmuch as the said defendants had been at
great charges, as well in this suit prosecuted against them without
any just cause, for anything appearing unto the said Commis-
sioners to the contrary, as also in the discovering and manifesting
of many disorders and abuses contrary to the said ordinances as well
in the misemploying of the said revenues of the said school and
in the teachers of the said school, as also in the rule and govern-
ment thereof and otherwise, the Commissioners thought it fit (under
the favour of this Court) that their reasonable expenses should be
allowed them out of the revenues of the said school in respect of
their good service in that behalf, as by the said certificate of the
said Commissioners more at large it doth and may appear. Now,
forasmuch as the matter coming, by the appointment of the Right
Honourable the Lord Chancellor, to be heard before his lordship,
and upon the opening thereof by the counsel learned on both
sides, and reading of the certificate aforesaid, it is, this present
day, being Monday, the 28 th of June, in the n th year of the
Reign of our Sovereign Lord, James, by the grace of God, King of
England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. ;
that is to say, of England, France and Ireland, and of Scotland, in
the 46 th , by the Right Honourable Thomas, Lord Ellesmere, Lord
Chancellor of England, and the High Court of Chancery, ordered,
adjudged and decreed that the said certificate and all the matters
therein contained (except the cause and matter between Nicholas
Gibson and Thomas Hill, therein specified, which his lordship hath
reserved for further hearing in open Court) be performed by the said
parties to all intents and purposes according to the tenor and true
meaning thereof, with such further reservations and exceptions as are
hereafter expressed in these points following wherein his lordship
is pleased of his honourable providence for the good of the said
school more at large to explain himself. First, for that it is



APPENDIX 451

apparent by the said Certificate that the said Meighen, of his own
head, and without the approbation of the Bailiffs of the said town
of Shrewsbury, and contrary to the ordinances of the said school,
hath placed one Ralph Gittins in the Second Room of the said
school, 1 who is, and hath been a man wavering and unsteadfast in
religion, and for these many years past hath been accounted a
dangerous and suspected papist, and one that did not only harbour
in his house one Leach at such times as he preached many points of
popery, but also countenanced other persons ill affected in religion,
for which and such other like misdemeanours the said Gittins was
convened before the late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and by
him suspended from teaching and committed to the Gatehouse in
Westminster, and enjoined there before his enlargement to give
bond with sureties not to depart beyond the seas. For all which
reasons it is ordered and decreed by his lordship that the said
Gittins shall, between this and Michaelmas next, avoid from the
said Place, and from thenceforth no further stipend shall be allowed
unto him out of the same school revenues, and another sufficient
person shall be placed in his stead, and, to that end, the Master
and Fellows of St. John's College in Cambridge, who are forthwith
to be made acquainted herewith, are in the meantime to proceed to
a new election for that purpose according to the letter and true
meaning of the ordinances of the said school. And, whereas it was
informed that there being a fair library erected adjoining to the
said school and standing unfurnished with books, whereby no good
use is made thereof, as it was truly meant at such time as the
same was erected, and the same with some cost might be made
very commodious and beneficial to the schoolmasters and scholars
of the same school, it is, therefore, thought fit and so ordered by
his lordship that a Commission be awarded to the former Commis-
sioners, authorizing them, or any two of them, thereby (whereof the
said Mr. Barker, being Recorder of the said town, to be one) to take
consideration thereof, and, out of the Stock Remanent of the

1 It is quite evident that the Lord Chancellor was quite unaware that Gittins
had been formally promoted to the second-mastership on October 1st, 1612, by
the Bailiffs and Head Master, with the full consent and approval of the Bishop
of Lichfield and Coventry. The chief reason he gives for the removal of Gittins
is that he had been placed in the second room by Meighen " of his own head,
without the approbation of the Bailiffs." Bishop Neile's inquiry, the Order in
Council, and Gittins's formal promotion are all carefully suppressed in the
certificate.



452 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

revenues of the said school, to furnish the said library with books
and other necessaries, as they, by the consent of the Bailiffs of the
said town of Shrewsbury for the time being shall think fit and con-
venient. And, whatsoever so shall be thought fit by the said
Commissioners to be done for the repairing and furnishing of the
said library, the same is decreed by this Court accordingly. And
lastly, for that it was informed, and his lordship also conceiveth,
that the Plaintiff had no just cause of complaint in this Court
against the Defendants, but that which the Defendants did was
lawful and justifiable, being to defend the rights and possessions of
the said school, having more just cause to complain than the
Plaintiff, it is ordered by his lordship that the said Defendants shall
make their Bill of Costs and deliver the same to his lordship, who
will be pleased to consider thereof and tax the same as shall be fit. 1
But, withal, his lordship declared that if the said Plaintiff shall
hereafter conform himself to a better temper in observance of the
aforesaid ordinances, and due performance of this decree, then such
moderation shall be had of the said costs as upon his conformity

shall be thought fit.

19 Diejulii. An . Jac. : n."

SECOND DECREE OF LORD CHANCELLOR ELLESMERE.
Dated Thursday, October 24^, 1616.

JOHN MEIGHEN, Plaintiff, and THOMAS JONES and HUGH
HARRIS, Defendants.

"Whereas there hath heretofore been a suit prosecuted in this
Court wherein there is a decree passed on the behalf of the school
of Shrewsbury, in which suit the said Defendants, for the good of
the said school, have taken great pains and travail, and been at very
great charges. Therefore it pleased the Right Honourable the
Lord Chancellor to write his honourable direction to Mr. Baron
Bromley, willing him to consider of the Defendants' Bill of Costs,
and due charge for them accordingly ; who, thereupon, hath made
his certificate to this Court whereby it appeareth that the said
Defendants have expended in this suit ^127 175. 4</., besides their
travail and pains and loss of time, being tradesmen. Upon con-
sideration of which the said Mr. Baron Bromley was of opinion, and

1 The Commissioners had recommended that the ' ' reasonable expenses " of the
Defendants " should be allowed them out of the revenues of the said school."



APPENDIX 453

thought fit that 100 should be paid to the Defendants out of the
Remanent Stock of the said school, which he, the said Mr. Baron,
was the rather inclined to appoint, because it appeareth he found it
set down in the 8th ordinance of the said school that all expenses
and charges whatsoever, spent for or on behalf of the said school,
should be allowed out of the said Stock. Now, upon consideration,
. . . prosecuted and had by the Right Honourable the Lord
Chancellor, of the Defendants' petition, since the said Mr. Baron
Bromley's Certificate, his lordship, much commending the care
of the Defendants in so good a work, and being also willing to
favour the said school, so much as may be, doth fix the said charges
only at ;8o. * It is therefore ordered that a subpoena be awarded
to the Bailiffs of the said town of Shrewsbury and the Head School-
master of the said school and all other who keep the keys of the
chest where the Stock Remanent of the said school doth remain, to
deliver and pay out of the said Defendants the sum of Fourscore
Pounds towards their full charges."

SHREWSBURY SCHOOL AT GRINSHILL IN 1631-32.

The following interesting document has been found by Mr.
William Phillips among the town records. It is a testimonial sent
to the Bailiffs of Shrewsbury by the four schoolmasters, during the
time when the school had migrated to Grinshill in consequence
of the prevalence of the plague in Shrewsbury in 1631-32, in behalf
of an aged widow named Margery Hamlett who had been sum-
moned before the Bailiffs for "ale-selling" within the Liberties
of Shrewsbury. It appears from the letter of the masters that
they were dependent upon Margery Hamlett's provision for their
daily supplies of food.

" To the Right Worshipful Richard Hunt and Thomas Knight,
Gentlemen, Bailiffs of the town of Shrewsbury.

" Humbly showeth to the same that whereas Margery Hamlett,
widow, hath been warned to appear before your worships for ale-
selling, she being a poor creature of 90 years of age, or thereabouts
(as she saith, and also may seem to be) is not able to travel and in

1 The reduction of the allowance of .100 costs to the defendants, recom-
mended by Mr. Baron Bromley, to ;8o, seems to indicate that the Lord
Chancellor had by 1616 learned that the case of Messrs. Jones and Harris was
not so strong as the report of the Commissioners had led him to suppose.



454 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

person to perform her duty as she desireth : she is also at this time,
by occasion of the schools being here, a most necessary victualler
for the use of ... us, the members thereof, so as we cannot be
without the opportunity of her service, as the case standeth for us,
she being thereby occasioned, for supplying our necessities, to strain
herself to do more in her trade of life than otherwise she would do
or heretofore hath done, neither yet doth she keep any house of
evil rule by entertaining of company resorting unto it or otherwise
by any disorder used in it.

"And therefore also our special desire is, both on her behalf,
being a poor aged woman without other means to maintain her,
and likewise on our own (she being so necessary a help to us, as
hath been said) that at the least during the time of the schools'
continuance here, you will be pleased to tolerate with her : and, if
you think good, as at our requests to vouchsafe her such further
favour as she hath been wont to obtain at the request of others
formerly to other bailiffs, your worships' predecessors, and we shall
rest At your worships' command,

Jo: Meighen.

Ra: Gittins.

Da: Evans.

Hughe Spurstowe."

LETTER FROM DR. WILLIAM BEALE, MASTER OF
ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, TO THE BAILIFFS OF SHREWSBURY.

"From St. John's College,
"I] Feb., i6 3 f
" Gentlemen,

"Accordinge to this y r 2 nd intimation by letters dated
1 8 Jan. 1636, with request to choose and send you a fitt man and
able to teach in the room of M r Meighen. In our election we
have endeavoured to dischardge the chardge and truste lyeinge
upon us by virtue of the Royal Ordinances ratified under the scales
of both our bodyes. Wee neyther had before nor have wee yet
any endes of our owne in eyther the former or this followinge
Election but God's glorye, the good of y r selves, y r countye, this
Church and Realme, which wee doubte not but this our electe and
presented M r Challoner in tyme will make good. To whose further
qualification as shall appear in his instrumente we referre you
hopinge that neyther amonge you nor us any will be found desirous
to stirr up smoake, duste and collusions betwixte us. It is justice



APPENDIX 455

that makes and keepes peace. They that wronge it breake this.
God graunte us all grace to followe the one and enioye the other.
And thus we commende this bearer to your frendeley and courteous
acceptance, and you to the God of grace, righteousness, and love.
And ever we reste all, among the reste myselfe,

" Y or faythfull frende to do you any iuste respectes,

Wm. Beale."
" To the Wor 11 my honored frendes the Bayliffs of Shrewsbury

presente these with care and speede from Cambridge."
This letter is given in the school account-book.

LETTER FROM ROBERT WRIGHT, D.D., BISHOP OF
LICHFIELD AND COVENTRY, TO THE

BAILIFFS OF SHREWSBURY.
" Eccleshall Castle, 5 . 1
"Anno Dni.) 1637.

" Salutem in Christo Jesu.
" Worthye Mr. Bayliffes,

" As I ever helde it fitt for the goode of y r Schoole to remove
Mr. Gittyns, soe I both am and have (been), as consciens requires,
desirous that hee mighte subsiste in his old age, and have some-
what to maynetayne him when he hathe foregone the place. These
are therefore to lett you understande that none shall bee more
readye to further y r designes herein then I am, and I am heartely
sorrye that you have so long demur'd upon this business. And doe
nowe earnestlye intreate you to use expedition and to give him
three score powndes at the leaste as you did a hundred to the
other, 2 besides the ^15 per Ann., w h y r Statutes afforded him
duringe his life w h I presume he will take thankfullye upon the
receipte of my letters w h I nowe sende unto you by the bearer
hereof. The poore man (worthye gentleman), as I have heard, was
long deprived of his place, whereby hee loste much, and now, as I
conceave, deserves some consideration at his departure, which
makes me the bowlder to presse you thereunto. Thus with my
prayers unto allmighte god for y r healthe and happiness,
"I rest,

" Y r respective and lovinge frende,

"Rob: Co: lich:."

1 No month is named, but the date of the letter was probably January 5th,
1635. The letter is given in the school account -book.

2 Mr. John Meighen received ;ioo on his resignation.



456 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

LETTER FROM MR. CORBET KYNASTON, M.P. FOR

SHREWSBURY, TO MR. JOHN LLOYD, OF

SHREWSBURY, BARRISTER-AT-LAW.

"London, June 2$t/t, 1723.

"Sir, I was favoured with yours of the ipth, and never till then



Online LibraryGeorge William FisherAnnals of Shrewsbury School → online text (page 44 of 56)