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Oxonii, ubi religionis devotio, et honestatis laudabilis decer
viget, per quem etiam honor universitatis Oxoniensis, et utilitas
ibidem studentium, etc." Dugdale's Monast. vol. vi. p. 1492.

[441] A list of celebrated authors who flourished in England, and
who were members of the Dominican Order, will be found in _Steven's
Monasticon_, vol. ii. p. 193, more than 80 names are mentioned. A
similar list of authors of the Franciscan order will be found at p.
97 of vol. i. containing 122 names; and of the Carmelite authors,
vol. ii. p. 160, specifying 137 writers; a great proportion of their
works are upon the Scriptures.

[442] Dr. Cave says, "In scholis Christianis pene unice regnavit
scholastica theologia, advocata in subsidium Aristotelis
philosophia, eaque non ex Græcis fontibus _sed ex turbidis Arabum
lacunis, ex versionibus male factis, male intellectis, hansta_."
_Hist. Liter._, p. 615. But I am not satisfied that this has been
proved, though often affirmed.

[443] It was probably the work of Andrew the Jew. _Meiners_, ii. p.

[444] At a council held at Paris in the year 1209, the works of
Aristotle were proscribed and ordered to be burnt. _Launvius de
Varia Aristotelis fortuna_. But in spite of the papal mandate the
friars revived its use. Richard Fizacre, an intimate friend of Roger
Bacon, was so passionately fond of reading Aristotle, that he always
carried one of his works in his bosom. _Stevens Monast._, vol. ii.
p. 194.

[445] See what has been said of the Mendicants at p. 79.

[446] Steven's additions to Dugdale's Monasticon from the MSS. of
Anthony a Wood in the library at Oxford, vol. i. p. 129. Agnell
himself was "_a man of scarce any erudition_." - _Ibid._

[447] He is spoken of under a multitude of names, sometimes
Grosthead, Grouthead, etc. A list of them will be found in Wood's
Oxford by Gutch, vol. i. p. 198.

[448] He gives strict injunctions as to the study of the Scriptures
in his _Constitutiones_. - See Pegge's Life of Grostest, p. 315.

[449] Utilitate Scientiarum, cap. xxxix.

[450] De Confess. Amantis, lib. iv. fo. 70, _Imprint_. Caxton _at
Westminster_, 1483. The bishop is said to have taken a journey from
England to Rome one night on an infernal horse. - Pegge's Life of
Grostest, p. 306.

[451] Stephen's additions to Dugdale's Monasticon from Anthony a
Wood's MSS. vol. i. p. 133.

[452] The Mendicant orders, unlike the monks, were not remarkable
for their industry in transcribing books: their roving life was
unsuitable to the tedious profession of a scribe.

[453] Leland's Itin. vol. iii. p. 59.

[454] Oliver's Collections relating to the Monasteries in Devon,
8vo. 1820, appendix lxii.

[455] Cottonian MSS. Vittel, F. xii. 13. fol. 325, headed "_De
Fundacione Librarie_."

[456] The library was 129 feet long and 31 feet broad, and most
beautifully fitted up. - _Lelandi Antiquarii Collectanea_, vol. i. p.

[457] This refers to the custom then prevalent of chaining their
books, especially their choice ones, to the library shelf, or to a
reading desk.

[458] MS. _ibid._ fo. o. 325 b.

[459] Script. Brit. p. 241, and Collectanea, iii. 52.

[460] Leland's Collect. vol. iii. p. 51. He found in the priory of
the Dominicans at Cambridge, among other books, a _Biblia in lingua

[461] Steven's Monast. vol. ii. p. 194.

[462] His works were of the impressions of the Air - of the Wonder of
the Elements - of Ceremonial Magic - of the Mysteries of Secrets - and
the Correction of Chemistry.

[463] Sieben's Monast. vol. i. p. 183, from the MSS. of Anthony a
Wood, who says, "What became of them (their books) at the
dissolution unless they were carried into the library of some
college, I know not."

[464] They obtained much wealth by the sale of pardons and
indulgences. Margaret Est, of the convent of Franciscans, ordered
her letters of pardon and absolution, to partake of the indulgences
of the convent, to be returned as soon she was buried. _Bloomfield's
Hist. of Norfolk_, vol. ii. p. 565.

[465] And among others of St. Augustine's books, _De Civitate Dei_,
with many notes in the margins, by Grostest. _Wood's Hist. Oxon_, p.

[466] Anthony a Wood in Steven's Monast. vol. i. p. 133.

[467] Script. Brit. p. 286.

[468] Le Boeuf gives an instance of one being represented as early
as the eleventh century, in which Virgil was introduced. _Hallam's
Lit. of Europe_, vol. i. p. 295. The case of Geoffry of St. Albans
is well known, and I have already mentioned it.

[469] MS. Cottonian Vespasian, D. viii. fo. 1. Codex Chart. 225
folios, written in the fifteenth century. Sir W. Dugdale, in his
Hist. of Warwick, p. 116, mentions this volume; and Stevens, in his
Monast. has printed a portion of it. Mr. Halliwell has printed them
with much care and accuracy.

[470] MS. Cottonian Vitel. E. 5. _Warton's Hist. Eng. Poetry_, vol.
iii. p. 326.

[471] The original was written in 1494.

[472] Ship of Fooles, folio 1570, Imprynted by Cawood, fol. 1.



We have traversed through the darkness of many long and dreary centuries,
and with the aid of a few old manuscripts written by the monks in the
_scriptoria_ of their monasteries, caught an occasional glimpse of their
literary labors and love of books; these parchment volumes being mere
monastic registers, or terse historic compilations, do not record with
particular care the anecdotes applicable to my subject, but appear to be
mentioned almost accidentally, and certainly without any ostentatious
design; but such as they are we learn from them at least one thing, which
some of us might not have known before - that the monks of old, besides
telling their beads, singing psalms, and muttering their breviary, had
yet one other duty to perform - the transcription of books. And I think
there is sufficient evidence that they fulfilled this obligation with as
much zeal as those of a more strictly monastic or religious nature. It
is true, in casting our eye over the history of their labors, many
regrets will arise that they did not manifest a little more taste and
refinement in their choice of books for transcribing. The classical
scholar will wish the holy monks had thought more about his darling
authors of Greece and Rome; but the pious puritan historian blames them
for patronizing the romantic allurements of Ovid, or the loose satires of
Juvenal, and throws out some slanderous hint that they must have found a
sympathy in those pages of licentiousness, or why so anxious to preserve
them? The protestant is still more scandalized, and denounces the monks,
their books, scriptorium and all together as part and parcel of popish
craft and Romish superstition. But surely the crimes of popedom and the
evils of monachism, that thing of dry bones and fabricated relics, are
bad enough; and the protestant cause is sufficiently holy, that we may
afford to be honest if we cannot to be generous. What good purpose then
will it serve to cavil at the monks forever? All readers of history know
how corrupt they became in the fifteenth century; how many evils were
wrought by the craft of some of them, and how pernicious the system
ultimately waxed. We can all, I say, reflect upon these things, and guard
against them in future; but it is not just to apply the same
indiscriminate censure to all ages. Many of the purest Christians of the
church, the brightest ornaments of Christ's simple flock, were barefooted
cowled monks of the cloister; devout perhaps to a fault, with simplicity
verging on superstition; yet nevertheless faithful, pious men, and holy.
Look at all this with an eye of charity; avoid their errors and manifold
faults: but to forget the loathsome thing our minds have conjured up as
the type of an ancient monk. Remember they had a few books to read, and
venerated something more than the dry bones of long withered saints.
Their God was our God, and their Saviour, let us trust, will be our

I am well aware that many other names might have been added to those
mentioned in the foregoing pages, equally deserving remembrance, and
offering pleasing anecdotes of a student's life, or illustrating the
early history of English learning; many facts and much miscellaneous
matter I have collected in reference to them; but I am fearful whether my
readers will regard this subject with sufficient relish to enjoy more
illustrations of the same kind. Students are apt to get too fond of their
particular pursuit, which magnifies in importance with the difficulties
of their research, or the duration of their studies. I am uncertain
whether this may not be my own position, and wait the decision of my
readers before proceeding further in the annals of early bibliomania.

Moreover as to the simple question - Were the monks booklovers? enough I
think as been said to prove it, but the enquiry is far from exhausted;
and if the reader should deem the matter still equivocal and undecided,
he must refer the blame to the feebleness of my pen, rather than to the
barrenness of my subject. But let him not fail to mark well the instances
I have given; let him look at Benedict Biscop and his foreign travels
after books; at Theodore and the early Saxons of the seventh century; at
Boniface, Alcuin, Ælfric, and the numerous votaries of bibliomania who
flourished then. Look at the well stored libraries of St. Albans,
Canterbury, Ramsey, Durham, Croyland, Peterborough, Glastonbury, and
their thousand tomes of parchment literature. Look at Richard de Bury and
his sweet little work on biographical experience; at Whethamstede and his
industrious pen; read the rules of monastic orders; the book of Cassian;
the regulations of St. Augustine; Benedict Fulgentius; and the ancient
admonitions of many other holy and ascetic men. Search over the remnants
and shreds of information which have escaped the ravages of time, and the
havoc of cruel invasions relative to these things. Attend to the import
of these small still whisperings of a forgotten age; and then, letting
the eye traverse down the stream of time, mark the great advent of the
Reformation; that wide gulf of monkish erudition in which was swallowed
"whole shyppes full" of olden literature; think well and deeply over the
huge bonfires of Henry's reign, the flames of which were kindled by the
libraries which monkish industry had transcribed. A merry sound no doubt,
was the crackling of those "popish books" for protestant ears to feed

Now all these facts thought of collectively - brought to bear one upon
another - seem to favor the opinion my own study has deduced from them;
that with all their superstition, with all their ignorance, their
blindness to philosophic light - the monks of old were hearty lovers of
books; that they encouraged learning, fostered and transcribed
repeatedly the books which they had rescued from the destruction of war
and time; and so kindly cherished and husbanded them as intellectual food
for posterity. Such being the case, let our hearts look charitably upon
them; and whilst we pity them for their superstition, or blame them for
their "pious frauds," love them as brother men and workers in the mines
of literature; such a course is far more honorable to the tenor of a
christian's heart, than bespattering their memory with foul

Some may accuse me of having shown too much fondness - of having dwelt
with a too loving tenderness in my retrospection of the middle ages. But
in the course of my studies I have found much to admire. In parchment
annals coeval with the times of which they speak, my eyes have traversed
over many consecutive pages with increasing interest and with enraptured
pleasure. I have read of old deeds worthy of an honored remembrance,
where I least expected to find them. I have met with instances of faith
as strong as death bringing forth fruit in abundance in those sterile
times, and glorying God with its lasting incense. I have met with
instances of piety exalted to the heavens - glowing like burning lava, and
warming the cold dull cloisters of the monks. I have read of many a
student who spent the long night in exploring mysteries of the Bible
truths; and have seen him sketched by a monkish pencil with his ponderous
volumes spread around him, and the oil burning brightly by his side. I
have watched him in his little cell thus depicted on the ancient
parchment, and have sympathized with his painful difficulties in
acquiring true knowledge, or enlightened wisdom, within the convent
walls; and then I have read the pages of his fellow monk - perhaps, his
book-companion; and heard what _he_ had to say of that poor lonely Bible
student, and have learnt with sadness how often truth had been
extinguished from his mind by superstition, or learning cramped by his
monkish prejudices; but it has not always been so, and I have enjoyed a
more gladdening view on finding in the monk a Bible teacher; and in
another, a profound historian, or pleasing annalist.

As a Christian, the recollection of these cheering facts, with which my
researches have been blessed, are pleasurable, and lead me to look back
upon those old times with a student's fondness. But besides piety and
virtue, I have met with wisdom and philanthropy; the former, too
profound, and the latter, too generous for the age; but these things are
precious, and worth remembering; and how can I speak of them but in words
of kindness? It is these traits of worth and goodness that have gained my
sympathies, and twined round my heart, and not the dark stains on the
monkish page of history; these I have always striven to forget, or to
remember them only when I thought experience might profit by them; for
they offer a terrible lesson of blood, tyranny and anguish. But this dark
and gloomy side is the one which from our infancy has ever been before
us; we learnt it when a child from our tutor; or at college, or at
school; we learnt it in the pages of our best and purest writers; learnt
that in those old days nought existed, but bloodshed, tyranny, and
anguish; but we never thought once to gaze at the scene behind, and
behold the workings of human charity and love; if we had, we should have
found that the same passions, the same affections, and the same hopes and
fears existed then as now, and our sympathies would have been won by
learning that we were reading of brother men, fellow Christians, and
fellow-companions in the Church of Christ. We have hitherto looked, when
casting a backward glance at those long gone ages of inanimation, with
the severity of a judge upon a criminal; but to understand him properly
we must regard them with the tender compassion of a parent; for if our
art, our science, and our philosophy exalts us far above them, is that a
proof that there was nothing admirable, nothing that can call forth our
love on that infant state, or in the annals of our civilization at its
early growth?

But let it not be thought that if I have striven to retrieve from the
dust and gloom of antiquity, the remembrance of old things that are
worthy; that I feel any love for the superstition with which we find them
blended. There is much that is good connected with those times; talent
even that is worth imitating, and art that we may be proud to learn,
which is beginning after the elapse of centuries to arrest the attention
of the ingenious, and the love of these, naturally revive with the
discovery; but we need not fear in this resurrection of old things of
other days, that the superstition and weakness of the middle ages; that
the veneration for dry bones and saintly dust, can live again. I do not
wish to make the past assume a superiority over the present; but I think
a contemplation of mediæval art would often open a new avenue of thought
and lead to many a pleasing and profitable discovery; I would too add the
efforts of my feeble pen to elevate and ennoble the fond pursuit of my
leisure hours. I would say one word to vindicate the lover of old musty
writings, and the explorer of rude antiquities, from the charge of
unprofitableness, and to protect him from the sneer of ridicule. For
whilst some see in the dry studies of the antiquary a mere
inquisitiveness after forgotten facts and worthless relics; I can see,
nay, have felt, something morally elevating in the exercise of these
inquiries. It is not the mere fact which may sometimes be gained by
rubbing off the parochial whitewash from ancient tablets, or the
encrusted oxide from monumental brasses, that render the study of ancient
relics so attractive; but it is the deductions which may sometimes be
drawn from them. The light which they sometimes cast on obscure parts of
history, and the fine touches of human sensibility, which their eulogies
and monodies bespeak, that instruct or elevate the mind, and make the
student's heart beat with holier and loftier feelings. But it is not my
duty here to enter into the motives, the benefits, or the most profitable
manner of studying antiquity; if it were, I would strive to show how much
superior it is to become an original investigator, a practical antiquary,
than a mere borrower from others. For the most delightful moments of the
student's course is when he rambles personally among the ruins and
remnants of long gone ages; sometimes painful are such sights, even
deeply so; but never to a righteous mind are they unprofitable, much less
exerting a narrowing tendency on the mind, or cramping the gushing of
human feeling; for cold, indeed, must be the heart that can behold strong
walls tottering to decay, and fretted vaults, mutilated and dismantled of
their pristine beauty; that can behold the proud strongholds of baronial
power and feudal tyranny, the victims of the lichen or creeping parasites
of the ivy tribe; cold, I say, must be the heart that can see such
things, and draw no lesson from them.


Adam de Botheby, Abbot of Peterborough, 145.
Adam, Abbot of Evesham, 196.
Adrian IV., Pope of Rome, Anecdote of, 259, 260.
Ælfric, Archbishop of Canterbury, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73.
Ælfride, King of Northumbria, 160, 163.
Ælsinus, the Scribe, 232.
Ailward's Gift of Books to Evesham Monastery, 195.
Albans, Abbey of St. - _See_ St. Albans.
Verses by, 33, 179, 180.
Letters of, 98, 175, 181.
His Bible, 177.
Love of Books, 173, 176, 182.
Aldred, the Glossator, 95.
Aldwine, Bishop of Lindesfarne, 99.
Alfred the Great, 151.
Angell de Pisa, a Franciscan Friar, 291.
Angraville. - _See_ Richard de Bury.
Anselm, 77, 78.
Antiquarii, 42, 43.
Arno, Archbishop of Salzburgh, Library of, 183, 184.
Armarian, Duties of the Monkish, 13.
Aristotle; Translation used by the Schoolmen, 290.
Ascelin, Prior of Dover, 90.
Augustine, St., his copy of the Bible and other books, 79.

Baldwin, Abbot of, St. Edmund's Bury, 242.
Bale on the destruction of books at the Reformation, 8.
Barkley's description of a Bibliomaniac, 301, 302, 303, 304.
Basingstoke and his Greek books, 267.
Bede the Venerable, 129, 162, 163, 170, 243.
Bek, Anthony, Bishop of Durham, 104.
Benedict, Abbot of Peterborough, and his books, 142, 143.
Benedict, Biscop of Wearmouth, and his book tours, 157, 158.
Bible among the Monks in the middle ages, 79, 89, 101, 104, 129,
144, 163, 177, 193, 194, 196, 207, 208, 211, 212, 233,
234, 237, 260, 261.
Bible, Monkish care in copying the, 36, 177.
Bible, errors in printed copies, 36.
Bible, Translations of, 71, 72, 156, 185, 296, _note_.
Bible, Illustrations of the scarcity of the, in the middle ages,
40, 41, 89, 148, 231.
Bible, Students in the middle ages, 36, 71, 75, 88, 104,
144, 163, 168, 177, 184.
Bilfrid the Illuminator, 95.
Binding, costly, 54, 85, 93, 246, 247, 258, 261, 262, 263, 273.
Blessing - Monkish blessing on Books, 25.
Boniface the Saxon Missionary, 45, 164, 165, 166, 167.
Books allowed the Monks for private reading, 20.
Books-Destroyers, 6, 7, 8, 9, 195, 282.
Books sent to Oxford by the Monks of Durham, 105.
Book-Stalls, Antiquity of, 123.
Booksellers in the middle ages, 46, 47.
Britone the Librarian - his catalogue of books in Glastonbury Abbey, 208.
Bruges, John de, a Monk of Coventry, and his books, 191.

Cædmon, the Saxon Poet, 185.
Canterbury Monastery, etc., 61.
Canute, the Song of, 244.
Care in transcribing, 33, 68.
Carelepho, Bishop of Durham, 101.
Carmelite, 287, 297.
Carpenter, Bishop, built and endowed a library in Exeter Church, 194.
Catalogues of Monastic libraries, 10, 14, 82, 83, 102, 129, 130, 142,
147, 179, 180, 190, 191, 208, 209, 210, 211, 219, 220, 237.
Catalogue of the books of Guy Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, 283, 284, 285.
Charles V. of France - his fine Library.
Charlemagne's Bible, 177, his Library, 184.
Chartey's, William,
Catalogue of the Library of St. Mary's at Leicester, 148.
Chiclely, Henry, Archbishop of Canterbury, 86.
Cistercian Monks in England, 221.
Classics among the Monks in the middle ages, 60, 84, 87, 101, 102,
116, 122, 129, 148, 190, 200, 208, 225, 226, 232, 233, 240.
Classics, Monkish opinion of the, 23, 227.
Classics found in Monasteries at the revival of learning, 58, 59, 60.
Cluniac Monks in England, 221.
Cobham, Eleanor Duchess of Gloucester, 277, 278.
Cobham, Bishop, founded the Library at Oxford, 194.
Collier on the destruction of books, 8.
Converting Miracles, 166.
Coventry Church, 191.
Coventry Miracles, 299.
Croyland Monastery, Library of, 135.
Cuthbert's Gospels, 93, 129.

Danes in England, 95, 138, 139, 140.
Daniel, Bishop of Winchester, 168.
De Bury. - _See_ Richard de Bury.
De Estria and his Catalogue of Canterbury Library, 81.
Depying Priory, Catalogue of the Library of, 234.
Dover Library, 90.
Dunstan, Saint, 64, 65.

Eadburge - Abbess, transcribes books for Boniface, 169, 170.
Eadfrid, Abbot of St. Albans, 249.
Eadmer, Abbot of St. Albans, 251, 252.
Ealdred, Abbot of St. Albans, 250.
Eardulphus, or Eurdulphus, Bishop of Lindesfarne, 96.
Ecgfrid and his Queen, 242.
Edmunds Bury, St., 241.
Edwine the Scribe, 79.
Effects of Gospel Reading, 236.
Effects of the Reformation on Monkish learning, 8.
Egbert, Archbishop of York, 170, 173, his Library, 179, 180.
Egebric, Abbot of Croyland, his gift of books to the Library, 137.
Egfrith, Bishop of Lindesfarne, 93.
Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, 277, 278.
Ethelbert, 87.
Etheldredæ founds the Monastery of Ely, 243.
Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester
his love of Architecture, 229, 244,
his fine Benedictional, 230.
Ely Monastery, 243, 244.
Extracts from the Account Books of, 245.
Erventus the Illuminator, 147.
Esseburn, Henry, 296.
Evesham Monastery, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204.

Fathers, Veneration for the, 38, 39.
Frederic, Abbot of St. Albans, 253.
Franciscan Library at Oxford, 294.
Friars, Mendicant, 115, 116, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294.

Geoffry de Gorham, Abbot of St. Albans, 255, 256.
Gerbert, extract from a letter of, 45.
Gift of books to Richard de Bury by the Monks of St. Albans, 121.
Glanvill, Bishop of Rochester, 91.
Glastonbury Abbey, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214.
Gloucester Abbey, 218.
Godeman, Abbot of Gloucester, 218.
Godemann the Scribe, 231, 232.
Godfrey, Abbot of Peterborough, 145, 146.
Godinge the Librarian to Exeter Church, 193, 194.
Godiva, Lady and her good deeds, 193, 194.
Gospels, notices of among the Monks in the middle ages, 86, 89,
90, 91, 92, 129, 139, 140, 141, 142, 169, 196, 217,
221, 244, 245, 246, _note_, 255, 262.
Graystane, Robert de, 105.
Grostest, Robert, Bishop of Lincoln, 292, 293.
Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, 87.
Guthlac, St., of Croyland, 135.
Guy, Earl of Warwick, his gift of books to Bordesley Abbey, 283, 284, 285.

Hebrew Manuscripts among the Monks, 238, 293, 294.
Henry the Second of England, 223, 227.
Henry de Estria and his Catalogue of Canterbury Library, 81.
Henry, a Monk of Hyde Abbey, 231, 232.
Hilda, 184.
Holdernesse, Abbot of Peterborough, 145.
Hoton, Prior of Durham, 105.
Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, 79.
Hunting practised by the Monks and Churchmen, 224.
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, 275.
His domestic troubles, 277, 278, 279.
His death, 279.
Lydgate's Verses upon, 280, 281.

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