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676

CHARITY

AND CHARITIES and each monastery was a centre of relief. Sometimes they weretill the end of that century. In order to estimate this established, like St Albans (796), for a hundred Benedictinewe have to apply tests similar to those we applied before monks and for the entertainment of strangers ; or sometimes to Greece and Home and the pre-mediseval Church. without any such special purpose, like the abbey of Croyland (reorganized 946), which, becoming exceeding rich from its diversorium The Family.—Largely Germanic in its origin, we may perhaps pauyerum, or almonry, “ relieved the whole country round so set down as elemental in the English race what Tacitus said of that prodigious numbers resorted to it.” But documents seem the Germans. They had the home virtues. They had a high to prove (Denton, England in Fifteenth Century, p. 245) that the regard for chastity, and respected and enforced the family tie. relief generally given by monasteries was much less than is usually The wife was honoured. The men were poor, but when the supposed. Often they distributed relief at the homes of the poor, actualpressureoftheirwork—fighting—was removed, idle. They provided accommodation for the sick, and established hospitals, were born gamblers. Much toil fell upon the wife ; but slavery which served also as schools for the gentry and for the poor; and was rather a form of tenure than a Roman bondage. As else- they were pioneers of agriculture. In the 12th century, in which where, there was in England “the joint family or household” many monastic orders were constituted, there were many lavish en(Pollock and Maitland, English Law before Edward I. i. 31). dowments. In the 14th century their usefulness had begun to wane. Each member of the community was, or should be, under some At the end of that century the larger estates were generally held in lord ; for the lordless man was, like the wanderer in Homer, entail, with the result that younger sons were put into religiouswho belonged to no phratry, suspected and dangerous, and his houses. This worldliness had its natural consequences. In the kinsfolk might be required to find a lord for him. There was 15th century, owing to mismanagement, waste, and subsequently personal servitude, but it was not of one complexion ; there were to the decline of rural prosperity, their resources were greatly grades amongst the unfree, and the general advance to freedom crippled. In their relation to charity one or two points may be was continuous. By the 9th century the larger amount of the noted : (1) Of the small population of England the professed slavery was bondage by tenure. In the reign of Edward L, monks and nuns with the parish priests (Rogers, Hist. Agric. though “ the larger half of the rural population was unfree,” yet and Prices, i. 58) numbered at least 30,000 or 40,000. This the serf, notwithstanding the fact that he was his lord’s chattel, number of celibates was a standing protest against the moral was free against all save his lord. A century later (1381) sufliciency of the family life. On the other hand, amongst them villanage—that is payment for tenancy by service, instead of by were the brothers and sisters who visited the poor and nursed quit-rent—was practically extinguished. So steady was tlm pro- the sick in hospitals ; and many who now succumb physically or gress towards the freedom and self-maintenance of the individual mentally to the pressure of life, and are cared for in institutions, may then have found maintenance and a retreat in the monand his family. by no common controlling organizaThe Manor.—In social importance, next to the family, comes asteries. (2) Bound together T the manor, the organization of which affected charity greatly on tion, the monasteries w ere but so many miscellaneous centresone side. It was “an economic unit,” the estate of a lord, on of relief, chiefly casual relief. They were mostly “magnificent which there were associated the lord with his demesne, tenants hostelries.” (3) They stood outside the parish, and they weakened free of service, and villans and others, tenants by service. All its organization and hampered its development. The Hospitals.—The revival of piety in the 11th century led to had the use of land, even the serf. The estate was regulated by a manor court, consisting of the lord of the manor or his a large increase in the number of hospitals and hospital orders. representative, and the free tenants, and entrusted with wide To show how far they covered the field in England two instances quasi-domestic jurisdiction. The value of the estate depended may be quoted. At Canterbury (Creighton, p. 87) there were four on the labour available for its cultivation, and the cultivators for different purposes, two endowed by Lanfranc (1084), one for were the unfree tenants. Hence the lord, through the manor- poor, infirm, lame, and blind men and women, and one outside court, required an indemnity or fine if a child, for instance, left the town for lepers. These hospitals were put under the charge the manor ; and similarly, if a villan died, his widow might have of a priory, and endowed out of tithes payable to the secular clergy.. to remarry or pay a fine. Thus the lord reacquired a servant and Later (Henry II.) a hospital for leprous sisters was established,, the widow and her family were maintained. The courts, too, fixed and afterwards a hospital for leprous monks and poor relations of prices, and thus in local and limited conditions of supply and the monks of St Augustine’s. In a less populous parish, Luton demand were able to equalize them in a measure and neutralize (Cobbe, Luton Church,), there were a hospital for the poor, an some of the effects of scarcity. In this way, till the reign of almshouse, and two hospitals, one for the sick and one for the Edward L, and, where the manor courts remained active, till leprous. The word “ leper,” it is evident, was used very loosely, much later, a self-supporting social organization made any and was applied to many diseases other than leprosy. There were hospitals for the infirm and the leprous ; the disease was not systematic public or charitable relief unnecessary. The Parish and the Tithe.—The conversion of England in the considered contagious. The hospital in its modern sense was but 7th century was effected by bishops, accompanied by itinerant slowly created. Thus St Bartholomew’s in London was founded priests, w'ho made use of conventual houses as the centres of (1123) for a master, brethren, and sisters, and for the entertainment their work. The parochial system was not firmly established till of poor diseased persons till they got well; of distressed women big the 10th century (970). Then, by a law of Edgar, a man who with child till they were able to go abroad ; and for the maintenhad a church on his own land was allowed to pay a third of his ance, until the age of seven, of all such children whose mothers, tithe to his own church, instead of giving the whole of it to the died in the house. St Thomas's (rebuilt 1228) had a master and minster or conventual church. Theodore, archbishop of Canter- brethren, and three lay sisters, and 40 beds for poor, infirm, and bury (667), had introduced the Carlovingian system into England; impotent people, who had also victual and firing. There were and, accordingly, the parish priest was required to provide for hospitals for many special purposes—as for the blind, for instance. strangers and to keep a room in his house for them. Of the tithe, There were also many hospital orders in England and on the a third and not a fourth was to go to the poor with any surplus ; Continent. They sprang up beside the monastic orders, and for and in order to have larger means of helping them, the priests a time were very popular : brothers and sisters of the Holy Ghost were urged to work themselves, according to the ancient canons (1198), sisters of St Elizabeth (1207-1231), Beguins and Begharda. of the Church (cf. Labbeus, IV. Cone. Carthag. a.d. 393). The (about 1175), knights of St John, and others. The Mendicant Orders.—The Franciscans tended the sick and importance of the tithe to the poor is shown by Acts of Richard II. and Henry IV., by which it was enacted that, if parochial poor in the slums of the towns with great devotion—indeed, the tithes were appropriated to a monastery, a portion of them should whole movement tells of a splendid self-abandonment and aa be assigned to the poor of the parish. At a very early date intensity of effort in the early spring of its enthusiasm—and with (1287) the parish became the area for a quasi-compulsory rate the aid of reform councils and reformations it lengthened out its (Pollock and Maitland, p. 614), though in the 14th and 15th usefulness for two centuries. centuries a church rate was seldom made. Collections were made by paid collectors, especially for Hoke money—money As in the pre-mediseval Church, the system of relief is gathered for church purposes (Brand’s Antiquities, p. 112). There that of charitable endowments—a marked con- Medl£evai were also from endowments parish doles, very many of which trast to the modern method of voluntary associa- endowed must have disappeared in the break-up of the 16th century. charities. All the greater festivals were days of feasting and the dis- tions or rate-supported institutions. tribution of food ; at funerals also there were often large dis(1) The Church as Legatee.—The church building among the tributions, and also at marriages. The faithful generally, subject to penance, were required to relieve the poor and the stranger. Teutonic races was not held by the bishop as part of what was In the larger part of England the parish and the vill were usually originally the charitable property of the Church. It was assigned coterminous. In the north a parish contained several vills. to the patron saint of the church by the donor, who retained the There were thus side by side the charitable relief system of the right of administration, of which his own patronage or right parish, which at an early date became a rating area, and the of presentation is a relic. Subsequently, with the study of Roman lawq the conception of the Church as a persona fieta preself-supporting system of the manor. The Monasteries.—As Christianity spread monasteries spread, vailed ; and till the larger growth of the guilds and corporations