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363
SCHOOLS

boarders. The plan is credited to Charlemagne's son-in-law, Eginhard. But it is known not to have been carried out in its entirety; and whether any “outer” school was ever actually erected or carried on we do not know. But, if in Charlemagne's time the monasteries in general admitted lay or clerical boys even in a separate outer school, it is certain that the next generation saw them excluded again. A council at Aachen on the 951 of July 817 (Baluze, Capit. i. 581), attended by abbots and a large number of monks, decreed “No school shall be kept in a monastery except for oblates." That this was considered as binding, or at least was followed, in England, is clear from the decrees of this council being included with the rules of Benedict, Dunstan and Ethelwold in the great Saxon monastic collection now in the British Museum (Cott. Tib. A, iii.). In England, at all events from this time, we always find public schools taught not by the monks, but by the secular clergy.

The notion that schools were monastic and monasteries schools is partly due to a verbal confusion, ecclesiastical and monastic having been ignorantly treated as convertible terms. Education and schools were the province of the church, they were subject to the canon law, and every one connected with them was reckoned as a clerk with the privilege of clergy. The secular courts could take no cognizance of pleas concerning the conduct of schools or schoolmasters, as was emphatically reaffirmed in the Gloucester School Case in 1410, any more than they could as to churches or the conduct of rectors and vicars. Just as they could entertain suits about the patronage of livings, so they could about the appointment of schoolmasters, patronage being regarded as property, and a temporal not a spiritual right, as was settled in a case against the Abbot of Battle in 1343. Both these cases have unfortunately been misrepresented as establishing that the common law of England not only “allowed all to be taught but also controlled the administration of educational foundations” (J. E. G. de Montmorency, State Intervention in English Education, 1902, p. 16). In truth, that was solely the business of the clergy, and especially of the bishops as the ecclesiastical judges of first instance, with appeal to the court of Canterbury and thence to the supreme court of the pope at Rome. There is a decree of Pope Eugenius II. in a synod held in 826 (Dec. prima pars. Dist. xxxvii. c. 12): “From certain places complaint is made to us that neither are masters found nor care taken for a school of letters (i.e. grammar school), wherefore let all care and diligence be taken by all bishops and their subjects, and in other places where necessary, that masters and teachers should be established to teach continually grammar schools (studia litterarum) and the principles of the liberal arts, as in them chiefly are the divine commands set forth and declared.” This canon only crystallized into statute what had for two centuries at least been the customary law of the church, that schools should be kept in every cathedral city, as we have seen they were at Canterbury, Dunwich and York.

After York the next place in England in which we have actual evidence of a school is at Winchester, to which intellectual superiority seems to have passed with the political suzerainty. In the history of education in the 9th century the name of Alfred takes the place of Alcuin in the 8th. Of Alfred's own education we have no real knowledge, as the tales of the so-called Asser are mere fairy stories (“The Real Alfred,” The Times, London, 17 March 1898). But Asser's account of the education of Alfred's children may be accepted as applying to Winchester, and as at all events evidence that there was a public school there in the days when “Asser” wrote, about a hundred years after Alfred's death. Edward the eldest son and Ælfthryth the eldest daughter were bred in the king's court, “nor among their other pursuits appertaining to this life were they suffered to pass their time idly and unprofitably without liberal learning. For they carefully learn the Psalms and Saxon books, especially Saxon poems, and are continually in the habit of making use of books.” But “Ethelward the youngest, by the divine counsels and the admirable prudence of the king, was sent to the Grammar School (ludis litterariae disciplinae), where with the children of almost all the nobility of the country, and many also who were not noble, he prospered under the diligent care of his masters. Books in both languages, namely Latin and Saxon, were diligently read in the school. They also learned to write, so that before they were of an age to practise manly arts, namely hunting and such pursuits as befit gentlemen (nobilibus), they became studious and clever in the liberal arts.” This passage so entirely coincides with the description of York school given by Alcuin in its evidence that the grammar school was frequented by laymen as well as clerics, and it is so improbable that “Asser” borrowed from Alcuin, that we may take it to be the normal thing that young Englishmen of good birth were brought up in the public grammar schools then as now.

Anglo-Saxon schools were not confined to bishops' sees. Apart from Malmesbury, the story of which has been so obscured by monastic writers as to make it impossible to ascertain whether it had a public school or not, there were public schools in all the principal centres of population, generally marked by being also the sites of collegiate churches. At least, wherever Ethelfleda, the Lady of the Mercians, and her brother, Edward the Elder, are recorded as building “burhs” through the Midlands to consolidate their conquests from the Danes, there we find also collegiate churches of pre-Conquest origin and early grammar schools; e.g. at Stafford and Derby, Huntingdon, Bedford and Leicester, at Bridgenorth, Tamworth and Warwick.

It is perhaps only at the last place that the direct evidence of the continuance of the school from pre-Conquest to post-Conquest times is preserved. There, in 1123 (Leach, Hist. Warwick School, 1908), the earl of Warwick, having granted to the canons of St Mary's collegiate church in the town “the school of the church, that the service of God in the same may be improved by the attendance of scholars,” the older church of All Saints in the castle appealed to the crown, and Henry I. issued a writ to “command that the church of All Saints have all its customs and ordeals . . . as fully as it used to have them in the time of King Edward and my father and brother and the school (scolas) in like manner.” In the result the two collegiate churches were united, the canons of All Saints being transferred to St Mary's and “the school of Warwick” confirmed to the united church, which was to enjoy the same liberties as London, Lincoln, Salisbury and York churches, i.e. be like a cathedral church of secular canons. That this included the maintenance of a school is clear from a reply to one of a number of questions as to their liberties and customs put by the Warwick chapter to the dean and chapter of Salisbury in 1155, viz. “the scholars to their own master stand and fall,” i.e. the master not the chapter was to look after the boys.

Even the Danes became founders of churches and schools. Thus Herman, the historian of Bury, writing in 1098 (Mem. Bury St Edmunds, Rolls ser. i. 46), and speaking of Canute little more than a generation after his death, recalls his charities, how “when he came to a minster or fortified town, he handed over, to be taught at his own expense, for the clerical or the monastic order, not any chance boy of good birth, but the more select of the poor.” Abbot Sampson, writing about a century later, c. 1180 (ibid, 126), credits Canute with “instituting public schools (publicas scolas; the earliest use probably of the term public school in any English writer) in the cities and towns, and, establishing masters at the state expense, sent to them boys of good promise to be taught grammar, including even freed sons of slaves.” Canute is praised because he turned out the canons from Bury to put in monks. But the school, though it thus fell under the sway of the abbot, continued in the town, outside the precinct of the abbey, and was served by secular masters. So when Earl, afterwards King, Harold founded the college of Holy Cross at Waltham, the chief officer next the dean was the schoolmaster, Master Athelard, imported from Liége, whose “lessons in grammar and verses and composition did not prevent equal knowledge of singing and divine service. The boys knew the psalter by heart, and entered the choir in procession from school, and on leaving choir returned to school with all the gravity of the regular canons” who in 1177 supplanted the seculars. The secular canon, one of the expelled, who wrote the history about 1180, was himself the pupil of Master Peter, son of Athelard; for secular canons married and had children.

In the half century which followed the Conquest, the cathedral and many of the collegiate churches were reconstituted and enlarged, the normal number of seven canons being increased, and reaching in some cases as many as fifty. In this reconstitution schools were not forgotten. The statutes called “The Institution of St Osmund,” said to have been made at the foundation of Salisbury Cathedral in 1091, are in almost identically the same words as the statutes of Lincoln, York and Wells, and they established, instead of two principal persons, provost or dean and schoolmaster, four, viz. dean, singer (cantor), schoolmaster or chancellor (cancellarius) and treasurer. Of these, “the cantor ought to rule the choir as to singing; the treasurer in keeping the ornaments, the chancellor in teaching school (scolis regendis), correcting the books; the archiscola ought to hear the lessons and determine, carry the church seal, and compose letters and deeds, note the readers on the table as the cantor does the singers.” The York statutes codified in 1307 expressly state that the chancellor was “anciently called the schoolmaster” (magister scolarum, a variant of which was scolasticus). At St Paul's a series of documents relating to the chancellor are