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CHAPTER THE TWENTY-FIFTH.
Charter-House-Christ's Hospital—Gresham College-King's College
and School-Merchant Tailor's School-New College-St. Paul's School-Westminster School University College-University of London.
THE CHARTER-HOUSE, Aldersgate Street, City, was founded in 1611 by Thomas Sutton, a wealthy London merchant, for the reception and support of 80 poor gentlemen, and for the free education of 40 poor boys. It has an income of about £29,000 a year. It is under the management of the Queen, and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and thirteen other governors. The master has a salary of £800 a year, besides a house within the walls, which inclose an area of upwards of thirteen acres. The name is a corruption of Chartreux, there having been a monastery of Carthusians founded on this site in 1371. Howghton, the last prior, and several of the monks, venturing to deny Henry VIII's supremacy, were executed at Tyburn in 1535. Their heads were planted on London Bridge, and the prior's mangled body was suspended over the monastery gate. After the suppression of religious houses it passed through several hands. Queen Elizabeth stayed here on two occasions, and James I., on his accession, kept his court and made 200 knights at the Charter-House, when it was in the possession of Lord Howard de Walden, from whom, when Earl of Suffolk, Sutton purchased it for £13,000. Sutton died in the year he bought it, and was buried in the chapel, where his handsome tomb is still to be seen. It was opened in 1842, and the body was found wrapped in lead. Not much of the old monastery remains. The Ante-Chapel and the Evidence Room above bear the date of 1512. The Great Chamber, or Old Governor's Room, was built, or at all events decorated, by the fourth Duke of Norfolk, father of the Earl of Suffolk before mentioned, and is thought to be the most perfect Elizabethan apartment in the metropolis. It was restored in 1838. Here are an elaborate chimney-piece of wood, and an ornamental ceiling. The walls are hung with tapestry. In the Great Hall notice the screen, music gallery, chimney-piece, and lantern in the roof. In the Governor's Room, in the Master's Lodge, are several portraits which deserve notice : Sutton, the founder, at the age of 79 ; Charles II.; Shelden, Archbishop of Canterbury; William, Earl of Craven, in armour; George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham; James, Duke of Monmouth; Lord Chancellor Shaftesbury; Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham ; Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury; Lord Chancellor Somers ; and a very fine portrait, by Kneller, of Dr. Thomas Burnet, author of Telluris Theoria Sacra, and a master of the house.
The eighty pensioners live together in collegiate style, being furnished with good rooms, food, and £14 a year to buy clothing. They are nominated by the governors in rotation. The scholars on the foundation are 44 in number, and they are supported as well as educated without charge. They are nominated, like the pensioners, by the governors. Other boys are educated along with them, and the whole number is about 200. Amongst the eminent persons educated here may be mentioned : Crashaw the poet, Dr. Isaac Barrow, Sir William Blackstone, Addison, Sir Richard Steele, John Wesley, Lord Chief-Justice Ellenborough, Lord Liverpool the Prime Minister, Bishop Thirlwall, and George Grote, the historian of Greece.
CHRIST'S HOSPITAL, Newgate Street, City, is a noble establishment for the education of poor fatherless children, between 800 and 900 in number, founded on the site of the monastery of the Grey-Friars by Edward VI., in 1553, shortly before his death. A few arches, part of a cloister, are the only remains of the monastery; and all the buildings of Edward and his sisters have been restored.” The great hall, seen through a double railing from Newgate Street, was erected 1825-9 from the designs of John Shaw. In the hall are a few portraits : Edward VI. granting the charter of incorporation to the hospital, sometimes attributed to Holbein ; James II. with his courtiers receiving the mathematical pupils at the annual presentation, by Verio, presented by him to the hospital ; the Queen and late Prince Consort, by F. Grant; and some others. In the counting-house there is also a portrait of Edward VI., attributed to Holbein. This is often called the Blue Coat School, from the dress of the scholars, some of whom in their quaint ancient costume may frequently be seen in the streets. They wear a blue gown, and yellow stockings. The flat caps supplied to them are so small that they are seldom worn, the boys preferring to go about bare-headed. In 1672, Charles II. founded the mathematical school for 40 boys, called King's Boys. Twelve more have since been added, and all are distinguished by a badge on the shoulder. There are 17 wards or dormitories, to each of which a nurse and two or more monitors attend. Four boys are annually sent to the universities. On the Thursdays, between Quinquagesima Sunday and Good Friday, the public are admitted by tickets obtained from the governors to see the children sup in their great hall, a curious and interesting sight. On New Year's day, the king's boys are presented at Court; on Easter Monday all the boys walk in procession to the Royal Exchange ; on Easter Tuesday they pay a visit to the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House ; and on St. Matthew's day, the 21st September, the head boys deliver orations in their hall before the Mayor, corporation, and governors. The hospital has an income of about £40,000 a-year; and its management is vested in the governors. The president has always been an alderman, until the Duke of Cambridge was elected in 1854. The boys are admitted by presentations, of which the Lord Mayor has two annually; the aldermen one each, and the other governors have a presentation once in three years. At the time of his admission, a boy must be between seven and nine years old. The younger children, about half of the whole number, are kept in a branch school at Hertford. Any one may qualify for a governor by paying £500 to the hospital. The school can reckon amongst its former pupils, Camden the historian, Richardson the novelist, S. T. Coleridge, Mitchell the translator of Aristophanes, Charles Lamb the author of the Essays of Elia, and Leigh Hunt.
GRESHAM COLLEGE, Basinghall Street, City, was founded by Sir Thomas Gresham, who gave certain property to the Corporation of London, and the Mercers' Company, upon trust that they should jointly name seven professors (viz., on astronomy, physic, law, divinity, rhetoric, and music) to lecture successively one on each day of the week, and to pay them each a yearly salary of £50. The lectures were first delivered in Gresham's mansion in 1597. Afterwards a room in the Royal Exchange was used, but when that was last rebuilt the present edifice was erected in 1843 at a cost of £7000. Over the portico Gresham's arms are sculptured between those of the City and the Mercers' Company. It contains a large library, professors' rooms, and a theatre capable of holding 500 persons. In this theatre the professors deliver their lectures, gratis to the public, during term time, daily (Sundays excepted), first in Latin ! at noon ; then in English at one in the afternoon ; those on geometry and music being delivered at seven P.M. The professors' salaries are now £100 each.
KING'S COLLEGE AND SCHOOL are vested in a body of shareholders who, in 1828, subscribed £100 a-piece to found a place where boys might be educated in connection with the Established Church. The buildings adjoin Somerset House, of which they may be considered the east wing. Sir Robert Smirke was the architect. The fagade (north to south) is 304 feet in length. Two grand staircases ascend from the hall to the museum (where Mr. Babbage's first calculating machine is deposited) and library. In addition to the school, to which boys are admitted on the presentation of the proprietors from nine to sixteen years of age, there are four departments : 1, Theological ; 2, General Literature ; 3, Applied Sciences ; 4, Medical. The great hospital in Portugal Street, Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, is in connection with the last.
MERCHANT TAILORS' SCHOOL, Suffolk Lane, City, was founded in 1561, by the Merchant Tailors' Company. The school and head master's house, both of brick, were built in 1675, the old buildings having been destroyed in the great fire. About 260 boys are educated here at a charge of £10 a year each, the company supplying the remaining funds. Thirty-seven fellowships at St. John's College, Oxford, and several exhibitions at that university and at Cambridge, are prizes that make this an attractive place of education to city people. Amongst the persons educated here were Shirley the dramatist, Titus Oates of infamous memory, and Lord Clive of Indian celebrity, with many bishops and writers on theology.
NEW COLLEGE, St. John's Wood, was erected 1850-1 by the Independent Dissenters for the education of their ministers. The building is a handsome structure of Bath stone, in the Tudor style, 270 feet long, with a central tower 80 feet high. Here is a library of 22,000 volumes.
ST. PAUL'S SCHOOL is on the east side of St. Paul's Churchyard. It was founded in 1512 by Dr. John Colet, dean of the cathedral, for 153 children, the sons of poor men. The number was adopted from the number of fishes taken by St. Peter. The lands given by Colet for the maintenance of the school are now worth more than £5000 a year. The education is altogether classical. Lilly, the author of a well known Latin grammer, was the first master. Amongst the persons educated here were Leland the antiquary, John Milton, the first Duke of Marlborough, Halley the astromoner, and Samuel Pepys. Colet's school-house was destroyed by the great fire. The present building was erected in 1823.
WESTMINSTER SCHOOL.—The chief buildings in connection with this ancient establishment are the school-house, with the library, the dormitory of the college, the college hall, and the boarding houses of the town boys.
The school stands in Little Dean's Yard, and is approached from Great Dean's Yard through a low worn Gothic arch of the thirteenth century, and a doorway attributed to Inigo Jones. It was formerly the dormitory of the monks of St. Peter's. The roof is of chestnut, and at the upper end there is a semicircular apse. On certain parts of the walls the boys of several generations have carved or painted their names, interesting records when their owners have become afterwards famous. The dormitory of the college adjoins the entrance to the school. It is 161 feet long and 25 feet broad. Here the boys annually act a play of Terence in the presence of bishops and ladies. The college hall is 47 feet long by 271 feet wide, and dates from the time of Edward III., when it was erected as a refectory. The tables are said to have been formed of wood taken out of some of the wrecked vessels of the Spanish Armada.
Amongst the eminent persons who have been educated at this school
may be enumerated—Ben Jonson, Cowley, Dryden (whose name, until lately, was to be seen cut by his own hand in one of the benches), Locke, Wren, Warren Hastings, Cowper the poet, Gibbon, and Southey, with judges and bishops beyond number.
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, Gower Street, was founded in 1828 by a number of subscribers “ for the general advancement of literature and science, by affording to young men adequate opportunities for obtaining literary and scientific education at a moderate expense.” Lord (then Henry) Brougham, Campbell the poet, and