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58 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

of the Free School " whose names were Jerram Wryght and
thomas crewe," 1 . . . "the w c h in the ende he praysyd verey
well." 2 Both these boys came from Cheshire.

Jerome Wright entered school in 1580, matriculated at
Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1583 as pleb. fil. of Cheshire,
and graduated B.A. in 158-?-, M.A. in 1591, and B.D. in 1600.
He was admitted to the church of North Fambridge, Essex,
on June i8th, 1599, on the presentation of the Crown. 3

Thomas Crewe had a much more distinguished career
as a lawyer. He became a serjeant-at-law in 1623, and
King's serjeant in 1629, and in 1623 he was knighted. He
also sat in several Parliaments, and was Speaker of the
House of Commons in those of 1623 and 1625. A con-
temporary epigram, testifying to his abilities as a counsel,
has been preserved.

" Would you have your cause go true,
Take Senior Crooke and Junior Crewe."

His son, John Crewe, Esq., was created Baron Crewe of
Stene in 1611. His elder brother, Sir Randolph Crewe,
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, was entered at
Shrewsbury School in 1570-71 as Rondell Crewe. In the
school list of January nth, 157^, he is called Randulph
Crewe. As he was baptised on January loth, I55f, he
must have been about twelve years old when he went
to Shrewsbury. He was admitted Student of Lincoln's
Inn in 1577, and was called to the Bar in 1584. In 1614
he was made a serjeant-at-law and knighted, and in 1624
he was promoted to be King's serjeant. On January 26th,
i62-|, he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of the King's
Bench, but he was displaced on November loth, 1626, by
writ, on account of his opposition to the project of a forced

1 Thomas Crewe was third son of Mr. John Crewe of Nantwich. He entered
Shrewsbury in 1581. Student of Gray's Inn 158$; Reader 1612 ; M.P. for
Lichfield 1604, for Northamptonshire 1614 and 1620, for Aylesbury 1623, and for
Gatton 1625. Sir Thomas died February 1st, 162^. There is a monument to
his memory in Stene Church with recumbent effigies of himself and his wife.
(See WOOLRYCH'S Eminent Serjeants and RUSH WORTH'S Historical Collections.}

2 See Taylor MS.

3 See Calendar of State Papers > Domestic.



THOMAS LAWRENCE 59

loan. The Duke of Buckingham showed some disposition
to use his influence to get Sir Randolph restored to his
position, but any intentions of this kind which he may have
had were frustrated by the Duke's assassination in August,
1628. Sir Randolph sat in the Parliaments of 1597 and
1614, and was chosen Speaker of the House of Commons
in the latter. Though he had acquired the estate of Crewe
Hall, which is said to have been originally in the possession
of his family, he seems to have resided chiefly at his house in
Westminster, and, according to Fuller, was "much praised for
his hospitality." Sir Randolph is described as " a deep black-
letter lawyer and well versed in heraldry and genealogy." 1

Several Shropshire boys, who were educated under Law-
rence, attained some distinction in after life.

Sir Francis Newport of High Ercall 2 represented Shropshire
in the Parliament of 1 592, and was Sheriff of the county in
1586 and 1601. His son was created Viscount Newport.

Sir William Leighton of Plash, 3 one of the King's Band of
Gentlemen Pensioners, is said to have been "an excellent
musician," and published various poems, the most noticeable
of which were " Feares or Lamentations of a Sorrowful Soule,"
and " Virtue Triumphant."

Sir Thomas Harries, or Harris, Bart, of Boreatton Park, 4

1 Sir Randolph Crewe, second son of Mr. John Crewe, was M.P. for Brackley
1597, and for Cheshire 1614; twice married; died at Westminster January I3th,
164!, and buried in Bartholmey Church, Cheshire. (Foss's Lives of the Jttdges ;
FULLER'S Worthies; CAMPBELL'S Lives of the Lord Chief Justices.} Wolrych
says that the two brothers were at the same school, the same college, and the same
inn. He was certainly right as regards the school, and wrong as regards the inn.

2 Francis Newport was son of Sir Richard Newport, of High Ercall. He
entered school in 1569, and was still there in 1571. He matriculated at Magd.
College, Oxford, in 1575 at the age of nineteen, and was admitted Student of the
Inner Temple in 1576. Knighted at Worsopp 1603.

3 William Leighton^ son of William Leighton, Esq., of Plash, Chief Justice of
North Wales, entered school in 1578, and was admitted of the Inner Temple in
1580. (WOOD'S Athen. Oxon.; BLAKKWAY'S Sheriffs.}

4 Thomas Harris entered school in 1571. His elder brother, Dr. Richard
Harris, has been noticed in Chapter I. Thomas Harris lived for many years in
the parish of St. Julian, and most of his children were baptised in the Parish
Church. He died at Boreatton in 1629, and was buried at Baschurch. (See
BLAKEWAY'S Sheriffs ; Toss's Judges ; State Papers, Domestic ; and Transactions
of the Shropshire Archaeological Society for 1898.)



6o SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

son of Mr. Roger Harries, draper, of Shrewsbury, who was
Bailiff in 1578-79, was a lawyer of some eminence, who was
made a master in chancery in 1583, and a serjeant-at-law
in 1604. He represented Shrewsbury in the Parliament of
1586, and was made a baronet in 1622. In 1617 he acquired
the estates of Onslow and Boreatton by purchase from
Edward Onslow, Esq., and in 1619 was Sheriff of Shropshire.
Some of his neighbours, Sir Francis Kinaston apparently
taking the lead, formally protested against Sir Thomas's
elevation to the baronetcy as a disgrace to them, and
prevailed on Captain Simon Leake, who had been employed
by the Harris family to prepare the necessary certificates of
descent, and had been treated by them with great liberality,
to allege in a petition to the King that the certificates
had been unduly obtained. After much delay the Earl
Marshal's " Court of Chivalry " was revived to try the case,
but ultimately the matter came before the Court of Chancery,
where it was decided in favour of Sir Thomas.

Nathaniel Tarporley, 1 a mathematician and astronomer of
some note, was a native of Shrewsbury, and entered school in
1571. After graduating at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1583,
he went abroad and acted for two or three years as
amanuensis to Francis Vieta of Fontenay, the celebrated
mathematician. Tarporley took his M.A. degree in 1591,
and went into Holy Orders. In 1607 he was appointed
Rector of Salwarp, Shropshire, but he seems to have resided
almost entirely at Sion College, London, for the sake of his
mathematical studies. On November 27th, 1605, Tarporley
was examined before the council on a charge of casting the
King's Nativity for a Mrs. Heriot. Henry Percy, Earl of
Northumberland, gave him a pension "in consideration of
his singular knowledge." Tarporley died at Sion College in
1632, and was buried in St. Alphege's Church. He left his
books and instruments to Sion College.

Another Shropshire boy, who was at Shrewsbury in

1 Nathaniel Tarporley matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, November i7th,
1581, as pleb. fil. of Salop, aged 17. He was of Brasenose College when he
graduated M.A. in 1591. ( WOOD'S Athen. Oxon.; State Papers, Domestic.']



THOMAS LAWRENCE 61

Lawrence's time, was Sir Clement Edmonds, 1 Clerk of her
Majesty's Privy Council. He was employed on several
occasions in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. in the
Diplomatic Service, and for a few months before his death
in 1622 he filled the office of Secretary of State. He was
a graduate of Oxford and fellow of All Souls', and is
described by Fuller as " skilled in all arts and sciences."
Sir Clement wrote treatises on Caesar's Commentaries and
Military Tactics, and, in allusion to these works, Fuller
speaks of him as "an eminent instance to what perfection
of theory they may attain in matters of war who are not
acquainted with the practical part thereof." His marriage
with Mary Clerk, daughter of Robert Clerk, of Grafton,
Northamptonshire, who was an attendant on Lady Stafford,
may have contributed, it has been suggested, to his political
advancement. After his appointment to the clerkship of
the Council in 1609 he seems to have benefited largely by
the forfeiture of recusants' estates, and bought an estate at
Preston, Northamptonshire, holding also the manor of
Preston under the Crown. On October 4th, 1613, Edmunds
received the appointment of Muster Master General for life,
and on September 2Qth, 1617, he was knighted at Hampton
Court. In the latter year, as also in 1618, he was a benefactor
to Shrewsbury School library. Sir Clement died on October
1 3th, 1622, at his house in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields 3 and was
buried at Preston, where there is a monument to his memory.

1 Clement Edmonds was a native of Shrawardine in Shropshire, and was
entered at Shrewsbury School 1572-74, together with his brother Ralph, who
afterwards became a draper in London, living in the parish of St. Mary, Vintry,
and was a witness to Clement's marriage at the church of St. Alphege. The
brothers' names are written in the school register Raffe Yeamans and Clemat
Yemans. An elder brother, Thomas, was first entered in 1571. His name is
written in the register for that year, either Ydmonds or Yemonds, it is doubtful
which. When the school reassembled in June, 1577, after the plague, the three
brothers were readmitted together as Thomas, Clement, and Rafe Yemans,
fratres. Clement Edmonds matriculated at All Souls', Oxford, in 1586, as pleb.
fil. of Salop, aged 19. He graduated B.A. in 1519 and M.A. in 1593; elected
Fellow in 1590; represented the University in the Parliament of 1620-21 ; said
to have been M.P. for Carnarvon in 1609, but the name is Edwards in the
Parliamentary lists. (See FULLER'S Worthies; WOOD'S Athen, Oxon. ; and Diet,
of Nat. Biog.)



62 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

Sir Robert Banister, who filled the office of Clerk Comp-
troller of the Household for many years during the reigns
of Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I., was a son of
Lawrence Banister, Esq., of Wem, steward of the Duke
of Norfolk's estates, and J.P. for Shropshire. He was born
in 1569, and was entered at Shrewsbury School, together
with his elder brother Richard, in 1577. The brothers
remained at school for six years, and then proceeded to
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where they were
admitted pensioners on November 22nd, 1583. Neither
brother seems to have taken a degree, and probably Robert
went into the Queen's household at an early age. In his
epitaph he is said to have been "bred at Court." It is
notorious that Mary Queen of Scots had many friends in
the household of Elizabeth, and through some of these,
it is not unreasonable to suppose, Robert Banister was
provided for at Court. Though personally innocent of
treason, Lawrence Banister, his father, had suffered severely
through his connection with the Duke of Norfolk, and he
had also earned Mary's gratitude by some acts of personal
kindness or courtesy. 1 It does not appear at what date
Robert Banister was appointed " Clerk Comptroller of the
Royal Household," but he must have been in office some
length of time on March 8th, i6of, when Lord Treasurer
Buckhurst spoke of him in a letter to Sir Thomas Lake as
"an honest and skilful servant of his Majesty." In 1605
he was knighted by the King at Greenwich. By royal
grants and leases Sir Robert seems to have acquired con-
siderable property in Northamptonshire. He was still in
office at Court in January, i62j, and lived to the age of
eighty, dying on December I5th, 1649. He was buried in
the chancel of Passenham Church. The epitaph on his
tomb describes him as " prudent, charitable, and very
industrious." 2

1 See Burghky State Papers.

2 Sir Robert Banister was married three times and had several children ; but
only one daughter, Dorothy, who married Lord Maynard, seems to have
survived him. The manor of Passenham, which had apparently been granted to



THOMAS LAWRENCE 63

Richard Banister, who is called "Sir Richard" in the
Herald's Visitation, was admitted Student of Gray's Inn
in 1586, and succeeded to his father's property at Wem in
1588. He married Winifred, daughter of Edward Norris,
Esq., of Speake, in Lancashire. On May /th, 1611, a licence
was granted to Richard and Winifred Banister to travel into
Spain. Richard Banister seems to have practised as a
lawyer, for his name appears in April, 1616, as a sworn
commissioner to take and engross depositions in the County
Palatine, and also to have engaged in commerce, as he
received a licence on March 24th, i6if, to make cloths and
beaver for twenty-one years.

Rowland Heylyn, Alderman of Cripplegate Ward in 1624,
and Sheriff of London in 1625, who published a Welsh
translation of the Bible at his own expense, and whose
portrait by Henry Cocke still hangs in Ironmongers' Hall,
was a native of Shrewsbury, although of Welsh extraction,
his family having long been settled at Pentreheylin, in Mont-
gomeryshire. His London house was in the parish of St.
Alban, Wood Street. He died in 1631, leaving 300 to the
Corporation of Shrewsbury for the benefit of the poor.
Alderman Heylyn and his wife were both benefactors to
the school library, giving between them no less than eighty-
three books. 1

Dr. Thomas Higgons, 2 a nephew of Mr. George Higgons,
who was on so many occasions elected Bailiff of Shrewsbury,
after graduating at Balliol, Oxford, was bred as a physician,

her father by the Crown, passed through her to the Maynard family. In 1626
Sir Robert restored the chancel of Passenham Church, and erected a screen
between the nave and chancel. His mansion at Passenham became in after years
the parsonage house. (See Calendar State Papers, Domestic ; WHALLEY'S
Northamptonshire; and GARBETT'S History of Wem.}

1 Rowland Heylyn was born in 1562, and entered school in 1570; apprenticed
to Thomas Wade, of London, in 1576; admitted to Freedom of Ironmongers'
Company in 1584; assistant, 1612; master, 1614 and 1625. (See Diet, of Nat.
Biog. ; Calendar of State Papers, Domestic ; and OWEN and BLAKEWAY.)

2 Thomas Higgons matriculated at Bras. Coll., Oxford, in 1582, as pleb. fil. of
Salop, aged 18. B.A. (Balliol), 1568; M.A., 1588; D.D., 1608; Rector of
Westbury, 1608. Buried at St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, March 24th, 163*. (OwEN
and BLAKEWAY. )



64 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

but ultimately took holy orders, and became Rector of
Westbury (in sinistra parte}. He was also appointed Chaplain
to James I.

In the year 1579 a Shropshire boy named Humphrey
Leach or Leake was admitted at Shrewsbury School, who
subsequently, after graduating at Cambridge, and being
ordained, became Vicar of St. Alkmond's in Shrewsbury,
and Chaplain of Christ Church, Oxford. In 1608 he was
suspended, Wood tells us, " by the puritanical doctors of
the university " for what they considered to be popish
preaching. After a fruitless appeal to Archbishop Bancroft
Leach left England, and in a few months joined the Church
of Rome. Thomas Lawrence lived long enough to sorrow
over his old pupil's perversion, as well as the long-continued
school troubles, of which the affection borne by Ralph
Gittins, one of the under masters, for his old friend and
school-fellow Humphrey Leach, the puritan intolerance which
was dominant in the town, and the loyalty to his colleagues
shown by John Meighen, Lawrence's successor in the head-
mastership, were all, in part, the cause. 1

Another Shropshire boy who was at Shrewsbury School
in these days, Osmary Hils, must be mentioned, more on
account of the picture of social life which his story discloses
than of any special distinction which he attained. After
being "bred as a scholar" Osmary Hils took a lease of
Bilmarsh Common in the parish of Middle, Shropshire, where
" he built a fair house and taught scholars there, many of
them being sons of gentlemen of good quality." Mr. Gough,
the quaint historian of Middle, tells us that several of
Osmary Hils's daughters were in service with some of the
gentlemen who had sent their sons to his school, and that
one of them, whose employer lived near Wellington, was
killed with a cleaver by her mistress, who was enraged on
seeing what she considered an act of undue familiarity
towards the poor girl on the part of her husband. 2

1 Further particulars about Humphrey Leach, and a full account of the school
troubles, of which he was indirectly the cause, will be given in a subsequent chapter.

2 Osmary Hils was buried at Middle, July 23rd, 1635.



THOMAS LAWRENCE 65

Sir Thomas Sidney, who entered Shrewsbury School in
1582-83 while Lawrence was still Head Master, though but
a short time before his resignation, was the third son of Sir
Henry. He was born in Ireland on March 25th, 1569, and
Cecil was his godfather. The Lord Deputy, writing to
Cecil on June 3Oth, 1569, thanks him for "helping to
make a Christian " of his son. Little is known of Thomas
Sidney in after life beyond the facts that he accompanied
Leicester to Flushing in December, 1585, took part in the
fatal affray at Zutphen, and was present at his brother
Philip's death, as well as at his state funeral in London.
One incident is recorded of his Shrewsbury life. On May
25th, 1584, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, accompanied
by his stepson Robert, Earl of Essex, and Lord North,
visited Shrewsbury and received something like a state
reception. Thomas Sidney was one of the schoolboy
orators on this occasion, and seems to have discharged his
duty gracefully and modestly. 1

On the whole Shrewsbury School does not show so
distinctly an aristocratic character under Lawrence as in
Ashton's time, and his scholars, as a rule, seem to have
come mainly from Shropshire and North Wales. 2 But
Lawrence was well entitled to feel proud, at the close of
his career, that in the course of twelve years, through " their
diligence in learning," and his " toil in teaching/ 1 he had been
able to send over one hundred scholars to Oxford and Cam-
bridge. And "a greate number" of these, he confidently
asserted in his farewell letter to the Bailiffs, were " as likelye
men to prove good members in the churche of God, and
worthye instruments in a Christian commonwealthe as any
whosoever or whatsoever." Many of these students can be
traced, and not a few of them fulfilled Lawrence's anticipations.

1 Thomas Sidney's name was entered at school some time between November
1 7th, 1582, and July igth, 1583. The account of Lord Leicester's visit is given in
the Taylor MS. (See also BOURNE'S Life of Sir Philip Sidney, and the Sidney
State Papers.}

2 Sir Richard Chitwood, of Chitwood, Bucks, and Sir Edward Francis, who
came from Derbyshire, were at Shrewsbury under Lawrence, but they are rather
exceptional cases.

I



66 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

Abraham Fraunce, 1 who was a fellow of St. John's College,
Cambridge, and practised as a barrister in the Court of the
Marches of Wales, had some little repute as a poet.

Shortly before Fraunce took his degree at Cambridge
Richard Webster, who, like Fraunce, was a native of
Shrewsbury and educated at the school, was elected fellow
of St. John's College. He held the vicarage of Madingley
while in residence at Cambridge, and filled many college
offices between 1577 and 1582. In 1586 he was made a Canon
of Westminster, and in 1588 a Prebendary of Hereford. In
spite of these preferments Webster seems to have been
greedy for more. On May Qth, 1 594, he wrote to Sir Robert
Cecil asking for a Prebendal Stall at Windsor. On July
1 3th of the same year he begged for the Archdeaconry of
Middlesex. And on September I3th he again urged his
claims for preferment. It is said that he ultimately received
a grant of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex in September,
1595. On the death of Dr. Whitaker, master of St. John's
in 1595, the name of Richard Webster was sent to the Queen
as of one "not misliked by the different factions of the
college " ; but he was not made master. 2 There are several
illustrations to be seen among the Lansdowne MSS. of the
persistency with which Webster sought for preferment

Richard Horde, a Bridgnorth boy, who entered Shrewsbury
School in 1577, also became a fellow of St. John's, and was
subsequently beneficed in Essex.

Richard Bruer, who afterwards went to Cambridge, and
was elected a fellow of Trinity College, entered Shrewsbury

1 Abraham Fraunce was a native of Shrewsbury, and entered school in
1571. He was sent to Cambridge by Philip Sidney, matriculating at St. John's
College May 20th, 1575; Scholar in 1578; B.A. and Fellow, 1580: M.A., 1583;
Student of Gray's Inn, 1583. His poems were chiefly written in English Hexa-
meters. In his Arcadian Rhetorike ( 1 588) he quotes SPENSER'S Faerie Queene, then
in MS. Other writings of his were The Lawyer's Logike, and The Countess of
Pembroke's Ivy Church and Emmanuel (L,an&. > 1591). (See Hist, of St. John's
College and COOPER'S Athen. Cant., and a long notice in the Diet, of Nat. Biog.}

2 Webster was admitted Pensioner of St. John's College, Camb., in June, 1572;
B.A., 1576; M.A., 1579; B.D., 1586; Praelector of College, 1579; Sublector,
1581; Hebrew Examiner, 1582. (See Calendar of Hatfield Papers^ vol. iv. ;
COOPER'S Athen. Cantab.; Hist, of St. John's College.}



THOMAS LAWRENCE 67

School in 1578. The Cambridge Collection contains Greek
verses of his on the death of Sir Philip Sidney. 1

Benjamin Bentham, eldest son of the Bishop of Lichfield
and Coventry, who entered Shrewsbury in 1579, became a
fellow of Merton College, Oxford. 2

Sir Roger Wilbraham and his two brothers, Thomas and
Ralph, were entered at Shrewsbury not long before Ashton's
resignation. 3

But enough has been said of Lawrence's pupils. Great
regrets were expressed when he first signified his intention
of resigning in 1583. The town Bailiffs earnestly entreated
him to retain his post, proposing that he should himself
select an assistant for the highest school, and his friends
urged him to accept this proposal. But Lawrence would
not consent. He was justly proud of the existing condition
of the school, the amount and distribution of its revenue,
the excellence of its ordinances, the satisfactory state of the
buildings, the large number of scholars, the notable resort
of strangers to Shrewsbury for education, and the good
progress its scholars made in learning, and hesitated to
adopt a course which might diminish its prosperity. At

1 Richard Bruer was the son of a burgess of Shrewsbury. He graduated B.A.
in January, 158^, and M.A. in 1590.

a Benjamin Bentham matriculated at Merton in February, 158^, as episc. fil.,
aged sixteen; B.A., 1586; M.A., 1589; Fellow, 1586; suspended from fellowship
October 3ist, 1598, by the Visitor, for insubordination.

3 The names of these three boys were spelt Wilbrom when first entered in
the school register. They were sons of Richard Wilbraham, Esq., of Towns
End, Nantwich. Roger was born November 4th, 1553, entered Shrewsbury
School in 1571, and was admitted Student of Gray's Inn June 27th, 1576;
Solicitor-General of Ireland February 8th, 158!; Reader of Gray's Inn 1597-98;
Surveyor of the Court of Wards and Liveries, and Master of the Court of
Requests, May 1st, 1600; knighted at Greenwich May 2oth, 1603; M. P. for
Callington, Cornwall, 1604. Sir Roger bought Dorfield Hall and Manor from
Mr. William Bromley; but in 1602 he made over Dorfield Manor, together with
the manors of Acton and Hurleston, to his brother Ralph. He died July 3 1st,
1616. His eldest brother Richard, who was not at Shrewsbury, became Common
Serjeant of London. Thomas Wilbraham, the third son, was born September
20th, 1555. He is described in the Genealogies as "of London." Ralph
Wilbraham was born March 20th, I55f, and was admitted Student of Gray's
Inn March 2ist, 159!. He held the office of Feodary of Cheshire and Flintshire.
(See ORMEROD'S Cheshire.)



68 SHREWSBURY SCHOOL

the same time he felt himself " so wearied with the work,
sO tired with the toil, and overwhelmed with the care of
the school," that he could not and would not continue
to discharge the duties of Head Master. He expressed,
however, his willingness to accept from his successor,
whoever that might be, one year's stipend, if he, "of his
own good nature," or at the Bailiffs' persuasion, should be
willing to give it to him. Lawrence's farewell letter is dated
July iQth. 1 In accordance with the ordinances the Bailiffs
proposed to promote the second master, Mr. John Baker,
of whose wisdom, learning, honesty, and experience Lawrence
had spoken in high terms. But John Baker was too modest
to accept the post of Head Master, and urged that the
college should be asked to elect "a more sufficient person"



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