Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/103

This page has been validated.
Balsham
Balsham
97

out, on the one hand, obliging them to become monks, or, on the other, intending anything hostile against monasticism. The endowment of the college was not given, as the same statute affirms, 'nisi pro actualiter studentibus et proficere volentibus.' It must be allowed that the true principle of collegiate endowments could not be more concisely stated (see Mullinger, 233). The directions taken by the studies of the college were necessarily determined by the educational views of the age; but statute 27 shows it not to have been intended that the study of divinity should either absorb all the energies of the college, or be entered upon until after a preliminary study of the 'liberal arts.' It may be added that statute 27, which allows one or two scholars of the college at a time to carry on their studies at Oxford, is most inaccurately represented by Warton's assertion (History of English Poetry, section 9), that 'Bishop Hugh de Balsham orders in his statutes, given about the year 1280, that some of his scholars should annually repair to Oxford for improvement in the sciences—that is, to study under the Franciscan readers.'

Bishop Hugh de Balsham did not long survive the foundation of Peterhouse. He died at Doddington 15 June 1286, and was interred on the 24th of the same month in his cathedral church, before the high altar, by Thomas de Ingoldesthorp, bishop of Rochester (Bentham, 151). His heart was separately buried in the cathedral near the altar of St. Martin (see memorandum appended to Peterhouse statute of 1480 in Documents, ii. 45). His benefactions to his foundation had been numerous, and are duly recorded in same memorandum, 'to wit, four "baudekins" with birds and beasts, five copes, of which one is embroidered in red, a chasuble, a tunic and a dalmatic, three albs, two cruets, the church of St. Peter without Trumpington gates, the two hostels adjoining, mill-tithes' (i.e. of Newnham mills), 'several books of theology and other sciences, and three hundred marks towards the building of the college.' According to another source of information (see Bentham, 151) the books and the three hundred marks were left by the bishop in his last will; and with the money his scholars purchased a piece of ground on the south side of St. Peter's church (now St. Mary the Less), where they erected a very fine hall. There seems reason to believe that the land on part of which the present hall is built was bought by the college from the Brethren de Sacco and the Brethren of Jesus Christ. For the rest, the college biography of the founder is extremely meagre, and dwells especially on his good works in appropriating rectories to religious and educational purposes, but not without at the same time compensating the see at his own personal expense.

The services and benefactions of Hugh de Balsham were not left unacknowledged either by his college or by the university. The latter, by an instrument dated Cambridge, 25 May 1291, and sealed with the university seal, bound itself annually to celebrate a solemn commemoration of his obit (Bentham, 151). His successors have, through all the changes which the statutes of the college have undergone, remained its visitors. It is noticeable in this connection that when in 1629 an amended statute was obtained at the instance of the college from Charles I prohibiting the tenure of fellowships by more than two natives of the same county at the same time, an exception was made in favour of Middlesex, and of Cambridgeshire with the isle of Ely, whence 'the greater part of the college income is derived.' Of these two counties four natives might simultaneously hold fellowships (Peterhouse statute of Charles I in Documents, ii. 105), it having been urged that 'Hugo de Balsham, the founder, and all the prime benefactors of the college were of those counties (the southern) which the statute' of Warkworth, assigning half the fellowships of the college to the north of England, 'most wrongs' (ibid. 99). Quite recently, when, on the occasion of the restoration of the hall at Peterhouse, the college and its friends provided for a becoming artistic commemoration of its worthies and benefactors, the place of honour was as of right assigned to a finely imagined semblance of its revered founder. It may be added that the arms of Peterhouse (gules, three pales or) are those of its founder, with the addition of the border, usual in the case of religious foundations (Bentham, Appendix, p. 42).

[Matthæi Parisiensis Chronica Majora, ed. Luard, vol. v., Rolls series, London, 1880; Bentham's History and Antiquities of the Conventual and Cathedral Church of Ely, Cambridge, 1771; Mullinger's University of Cambridge from the earliest times to the Royal Injunctions of 1535, Cambridge, 1873; Documents relating to the University and Colleges of Cambridge, vol. ii. London, 1852; Statutes for Peterhouse, approved by H.M. in Council (preamble), Cambridge, 1882; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, vol. ii., Cambridge, 1842; Baker's History of the College of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge, ed. Mayor, Cambridge, 1869; Monumenta Franciscana, ed. Brewer, Rolls series, London, 1858. The writer has to acknowledge the kindness of the late Mr. E. R. Horton, fellow of Peterhouse, who revised the whole of this article, and made numerous valuable suggestions embodied in it.]

A. W. W.

vol. iii
h