Imatges de pàgina

eye, and even before his death bringing forth those fruits of virtue, piety, and learning, for which he had instituted them, and which he had reason to expect from them. They continued after his death to rise in reputation, and to become consolidated into the structure of English society, farnishing the Church and State with many eminent and able men in all professions, and furnishing the agents, the incentives, and the models of similar works of beneficence. One of his own scholars, Henry Chicheley, whom he had introduced into his college at Winchester and who graduated in his college at Oxford, and who became Archbishop of Canterbury, founded “All Souls' College in Oxford." Henry VI. founded his two colleges, the "College of the Blessed Mary of Eton, near Windsor," and the King's College at Cambridge," entirely upon Wykeham's plan, whose statutes he had transcribed without any material alteration, and whose head-master, William of Wayneflete, he transferred to Eton, and made provost of the college. Wayneflete himself followed the noble example of Wykeham in his ample foundation of Magdalen College in Oxford.

Dr. Lowth, from whose “Life of William Wykeham” the above facts have been gleaned, after ably sketching the private character as well as the public career of this great educational benefactor of England, concludes as follows:

We frequently hear of men who, by the force of their genius, by their industry, or by their good fortune, have raised themselves from the lowest stations to the highest degrees of honor, power, and wealth; but how seldom do we meet with those who have made a proper use of the advantages which they have thus happily acquired, and considered them as deposited in their hands by Providence for the general benefit of mankind! In this respect Wykeham stands an uncommon and almost singular example of generosity and public spirit. · By the time that he had reached the meridian of life, he had acquired great wealth: and the remainder of his days he employed, not in increasing it Lo no reasonable end, but in bestowing it in every way that piety, charity, and liberality could devise. The latter half of a long life he spent in one continued series of generous actions and great designs for the good of his friends, of the poor, and of his country. His beneficence was ever vigilant, active, and persevering; it was not only ready to answer when opportunity called, but sought it out when it did not offer itself. No man seems to have tasted more sensibly the pleasure of doing good; and no man had a greater share of this exquisite enjoyment. The foundation of his colleges, the principal monuments of his munificence, was as well calculated for the real use of the public, and as judiciously planned, as it was nobly and generously executed. Whatever Wykeham's attainments in letters were, he had at least the good sense to see that the clergy, though they had almost engrossed the whole learning of that age, yet were very deficient in real and useful knowledge; beside that, by the particular distresses of the times, and the havoc that several successive plagues had made in all ranks of the people, but especially among the clergy, the Church was at a loss for a proper supply of such as were tolerably qualified for the performance of the common service. It was not vanity and ostentation that suggested this design to him; he was prompted to it by the notorious exigence of the times, and the real demands of the public. The deliberation with which he entered upon it, and the constant attention with which he pursued it for above thirty years, shows how much he set his lieart upon the success of his undertaking, and how earnestly he endeavored to secure the effectual attainment of the end proposed, the promotion of true piety and learning. In a word, as he was in his own time a general blessing to his country, in which his bounty was freely imparted to every object that could come within the reach of his influence, so the memory of this great man merits the universal regard of posterity, as of one whose pious and munificent designs were directed to the general good of mankind, and were extended to the latest ages.


Founded in 1373


Long before William Long, or William of Wykeham, founded and er dowed St. Mary's College in 1373, Winchester had been known as “a school of kings." There Egbert had placed his son Ethelwulf under the teaching of Bishop Helmstan, and there the great Alfred had sat at the feet of SL Swithun. The Saxon Athelwold, whose praise was in all the churches, a true saint and scholar, was in all likelihood educated there; and his biographer, Archbishop Alfric, has au evident pride, near nine hundred years ago, in writing himself down "Wintonensis alumnus." There had been a “High School” there from time that had become almost immemorial even in Wykeham's days; and even that, tradition would have said, was a mere modern institution—a temple of Apollo had preceded the monk's cloister. But later and more personal memories' influenced Wykeham's choice. In that High School he had himself been educated by a rich friend's liberallty; he saw it now falling into decay; he saw young scholars, poor but deserving, much in need of the same help which he had found; and his first idea seems to have been to reëstablish and endow his old school for this purpose. He was not a man to do things by halves; and in 1373 he appears to have reopened it at once with seventy scholars, for whose charges lie undertook to provide. They were lodged on St. Giles' Hill, just outside the city; and there, under Richard de Herton and other masters, the infant community remained for twenty years. Meanwhile, Wykeham was gradually carrying out the rest of his plan; purchasing "Otterbourne Mead” and other lands in Winchester, for the site of his college there, and gradually establishing in Oxford the mother institution—the "new College" of St. Mary--which was to receive his Winchester scholars in due course for the completion of their educa. tion. Not until that noble foundation, with its warden and seventy fellows, chaplains and choristers, was launched into full life within those stately walls which are still the pride of Oxford, did he begin to build at Winchester.

Wykeham drew up for his college a carefully digested body of statutes. Long as they are, they are worth reading through by any one who still cherishes the idle notion that the monkish teaching and discipline of the fourteenth century were necessarily narrow and superstitious. Wykeham's ordinances, at any rate, are full of sound and liberal wisdom. He willed that his boys should grow up as Christians, as scholars, and as gentlemen; and he held these qualifications to be intimately connected. He would have them intelligent students of Holy Scripture, that they might be able to teach others; agreeing in this with a man of a very different age and in many respects very dissimilar spirit-. the reformer Melancthon--that Scripture is little likely to be understood theo logically by those who have never been at the pains to understand it grammatically. Therefore, he enjoins upon his scholars, above all things, the study of GRAMMAR—"the foundation-stone, the gateway, the source of all other liberal arts and sciences," as he emphatically calls it. They were to be careful to maintain amongst themselves kindness, concord, and brotherly love; "to esteem no man's person," and to hold all distinctions of birth or wealth amongst themselves to be merged in the grand fraternity of letters. To all within the walls of St. Mary's College the admission itself was to be a patent of peerage; reverence was to be paid solely to the masters and the “prefects” of their own body. But outside the gates they were to give to the rank and station of such as they met the honor that was its due. So far was the founder from encouraging the notion that the scholar was like to be the unpolished, absorbed, unsocial being which he has been sometimes represented, that he specially recommends to the Winchester boys the observance of the "curialis modus "—that graceful and courtly bearing which they had opportunity of studying in the nobles who formed the king's personal retinue. He had taken as his own motto, "Manners makyth man."

* Abridged from Blackwood's Magazine for January, 1864.

The foundation, as the Bishop devised it, was for a warden and ten fellows, three chaplains and three clerks in orders, a head-master, (informator,) an under-master, (hostiarius,) seventy scholars, "poor and in need of help," and sixteen choristers. It has been always held that there was a religious symbolism in the numbers, though Wykeham himself gives no hint of it. The warden and fellows represent the eleven apostles, Judas' place being vacant; the six chaplains and clerks are the six orthodox deacons—Nicholas, by tradition, being a heretic; the masters and scholars are the body of disciples who were sent forth two by two-the Vulgate text giving the number at seventy-two; while in the sixteen choristers are set forth the prophets of the old dispensation, four "greater" and twelve "less."*

The founder was seventy-four years old when he saw the great design of his life completed. On the 28th of March, 1393—seven years after the opening of New College in Oxford—the warden and scholars of “St. Mary College of Winchester" left their temporary location on St. Giles' Hill, and took possession of the new buildings. The good Bishop himself, with his cross borne before him, his warden, John Morris, his "informator," John Milton, and the scholars under their charge, entered in solemn procession, with chant and litany at nine o'clock in the forenoon. No fellows appear to have been appointed until the following year, and then only five out of the ten proposed.

King Richard granted a liberal charter of privileges to the new foundation, which was confirmed by all his successors except Queen Mary. The frequent sojourn of the court at Winchester could not fail to bring a certain amount of royal favor and patronage. Henry VI was a frequent visitor at St. Mary's College, attending their chapel services, and making liberal offerings; and there he found his model for bis own foundation at Eton. Whether Etonians will readily confess it or not now that the daughter has outgrown the mother, it is

* Perhaps it is with some notion of carrying out this scriptural symbolism, that the college boys (who have a very curious and copious argot of their own) have from time immemorial called the under-porters by the name of one of the minor prophets. The present official is Joel; the next is to be Amos in regulur succession,


undeniably true that the Royal College was but a colony from Winchester. The first head

master was William of Waynflete, who migrated from the elder college (where he had taught for thirteen years) with five fellows and thirty-five scholars, in 1443. The bond of connection between the two societies continued to be close and intimate for many generations, although the migration of headmasters took a reverse direction; three at least—Clement Smyth, William Horeman, and Thomas Erlysman-in the course of the following half century, resigning their office at Eton for the more honorable and lucrative position of informator at Winchester. Mutual visits and hospitalities between their wardens and provosts kept up the kindly feeling of a common origin; and in 1445 there was drawn up and signed between them an instrument styled an "Amicable Concord,” in which, after reciting the identity of object and common interest of both colleges, they undertake to support and protect each other in all lawful causes, ecclesiastical and civil, against all other persons or interests what

The use of a common grammar for some years contriouted to maintain a feeling of fellowship among the scholars. King Henry is not recorded to have dined in hall at Winchester, although several of his court were entertained there on one occasion, when the society laid in "a pipe of red wine,” which cost them eight pounds. It does not appear that bis successor, Edward IV, ever paid them a visit in person; but in January, 1471, he sent one of his men to the college with a lion, whom perhaps the boys were quite as glad to see.

When Prince Arthur was born at Winchester, Henry VII visited the college in state, and was entertained in the warden's lodging. Henry VIII paid the society two visits—the first time accompanied by the Emperor Charles V. But the Wykehamists regard him as any thing but a patron or a benefactor. Not content with forcing upon them the exchange of some of their best manors and advowsons, he did his best to suppress them altogether by the terms of his new statute for the dissolution of colleges. John White, then warden, (afterwards Bishop of Lincoln,) has the credit of having prevented the application of this slatute to his own college; and three years afterwards it was repealed by Ed ward's Statute of Exceptions. King Edward's commissioners insisted, however, on certain reforms; that in future the Scriptures should be read in hall in English instead of Latin; that each scholar should possess a New Testament; that they should omit from that time forth the singing or saying of Stella Coeli or Salve Regina, "or any such-like untrue or superstitious anthem;" and, amongst other regulations, that there should be “no excessive correction;" which lattor proviso, at any rate, was likely to make the new injunctions popular with the college boys.

The young King Edward, during his short reign, paid Winchester a visit, on which occasion the scholars of the college presented him with no less than forty-two copies of Latin verses. Thomas Hyde, the head-master at the time, was "a person of great gravity and severity, and a lover of virtuous men," says John Pitts, himself an eminent Wykehamist; “very stff and perverse," Strypo calls him—testimonies which are not quite so contradictory as they seem, when the bias of the witnesses is taken into account. On the accession of Elizabeth, not being inclined to adopt the reformed faith, he retired to Douai. The feelings of Wykeham's society, as of all collegiate bodies founded under the old discipline, were naturally hostile to the Church reformers, and there was little inclination on We part of the latter to deal in the least tenderly with what

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