1442; Newland, Gloucestershire, by Robert Gryndour esquire, 1440; Alnwick, Northumberland, by William Alnwick, bishop of Lincoln, 1448; Deritend, now in Birmingham, 1448; Towcester by Archdeacon Sponne in 1449. There was somewhat of a stoppage of such foundations during the Wars of the Roses, but it was resumed with renewed vigour during the later years of Edward IV., and under Henry VII., and continued to the dissolution of monasteries. Among colleges may be noticed Acaster College for three schools of grammar, song and scrivener craft, i.e. writing and accounts, by ex-chancellor Bishop Stillingfleet about 1472; Rotherham College with three similar schools by ex-chancellor Archbishop Rotherham, 1484; Ipswich by the chancellor Cardinal Wolsey, 1528; and among chantry schools, Hull, 1482; Long Melford, 1484; Chipping Camden and Stow on the Wold, 1487; Stockport, by ex-Lord Mayor Sir Edmund Shaa, 1487; Macclesfield, by ex-Lord Mayor Sir John Percival, 1502; Cromer, by ex-Lord Mayor Read, 1505; Week St Mary, by the ex-Lady Mayoress Percival, 1508; and so on. The re-endowment of the old St Paul's school, London, by Dean Colet in 1510-1512, with the property he inherited from Lord Mayor Colet, and its transfer under papal, episcopal, capitular and royal licence from the dean and chapter of St Paul's to the Mercers' Company, and its conversion into a school free for 153 boys, created no small stir. Especially was this so, because it is the first instance in which the teaching of Greek is mentioned in school statutes, though only in the tentative form of a direction that the high master should be learned in Latin “and also in Greek yf suyche may be gotten.” Though Greek was probably taught at Eton and Winchester under William Horman, headmaster of Eton (1485) and Winchester (1494), whose Vulgaria, composed when headmaster, contains frequent references to Greek, and even to a Greek play seemingly prepared by the boys, it did not become a regular school subject till the reign of Elizabeth. School exercises in Greek at Winchester under Edward VI. are preserved, but Sir Thomas Pope says it had been dropped at Eton under Mary. There is no evidence of it at St Paul's before Elizabeth's reign. At the time of the meeting of the Reformation parliament in 1535 there were between 300 and 400 grammar schools in England, the majority of which were free schools, charging no fees for teaching.
Free schools received a notable accession, on the dissolution of monasteries, in the schools attached to all the cathedrals “of the new foundation,” except Winchester, by Henry VIII. in 1540, including Gloucester, Bristol, Peterborough, Chester and Westminster, which had not been cathedrals before. On the other hand, the list of free schools and endowed schools was much reduced by the doctrine which treated the endowments of schools under the control of monasteries not only through the 12th century transfers but even by much later and known foundations as trustees, as included in the confiscation of the monastery itself. Coventry, St Albans, Eye, Reading, Bury St Edmunds, Abingdon, Faversham are some out of many which suffered from this doctrine, and if they did not in fact cease, were for a time deprived of their endowments and only revived with new ones. Reading school was actually granted to its master, an Eton and King's scholar. St Albans was restored by the munificence of its last and well-pensioned abbot; Bury St Edmunds, like a good many more, by grant of Edward VI.; Abingdon by a private donor; Faversham by restoration of the trust-property on cause shown. But many, like Dunwich, perished irretrievably.
Spite of the dissolution of monasteries, the creation of chantry schools and other grammar schools went on. In this very year, 1540, John Harmon (who is generally known by his assumed name Veysey or Voysey), bishop of Exeter, endowed Sutton Coldfield grammar school, and in 1544 made its gild the governors. One of the latest of great schools, that of Berkhamsted, was founded by John Incent, dean of St Paul's, in 1541; while archbishop Holgate of York founded three free grammar schools, though without any chantry provisions, at York, Malton and Hemsworth in 1546. In 1548 all the endowed schools in England, other than the cathedral schools, were threatened and the vast majority destroyed by the act for the dissolution of colleges and chantries. Only Winchester, Eton and Magdalen College school were exempted, and they owed their exemption to being regarded as part of the universities with which (through New College, King's and Magdalen) they were connected; and even they had been included in the similar act passed in 1546, which was, however, permissive and lasted for Henry VIII.'s life only. The Chantries Act, while providing for the abolition of colleges, gilds and chantries, contained indeed provision for the continuance by special order of all schools attached to them, which were grammar schools by foundation, and for their increase and enlargement out of the confiscated lands. Unfortunately there was neither time nor money to spare for the purpose. A commission consisting of Sir Walter Mildmay, afterwards chancellor of the exchequer, and Robert Keylway, or Kelway, afterwards serjeant-at-law and author of Kelway's Reports, continued by warrant of the 20th of June 1548 “until further order” such schools as were clearly shown to be grammar schools by foundation, at the net income specifically enjoyed by the schoolmasters at the time. The “further order,” which was to re-endow them with lands, never came. Only in a comparatively few places, where the inhabitants or powerful persons bestirred themselves to beg, or more often to buy, chantry lands from the Crown, were the schools restored and re-endowed. The few that were restored, and even by an irony of fate some of those which were deprived of their lands by Edward VI. but managed to struggle on, got the name of Free Grammar Schools of King Edward VI. So Edward VI. has been credited with being not only the founder of schools, estimated by various writers at 22, 30 and 44 in number, of which in the most favourable cases he increased the endowment, but also with being the promoter instead of the spoiler of a grammar school system. The earliest school actually restored by him was Berkhamsted, which was refounded by act of parliament in 1549; St Albans, Stamford and Pocklington being also refounded by acts of the same year. Acts of parliament were found too cumbrous. Some, as at Morpeth, Northumberland, and Saffron Walden in Essex, were refounded by grant to a town corporation of gild property with a grammar school attached. Most of the later refoundations were by letters patent. The first refoundation by patent for a school per se under a governing body created ad hoc was that of Sherborne, 13th of May 1550, Bury St Edmunds often, but wrongly, claimed as the first, not being till the 3rd of August 1550. The bulk were refounded in 1551-1553.
The notion that there was any great advance or change in the curriculum of schools at the Reformation is erroneous. There is hardly any difference between the authors prescribed at Bury in 1550 and those at Ipswich in 1528; Cato's Moralia, Aesop, Terence, Ovid, Erasmus, Sallust, Caesar, Virgil and Horace appearing in the statutes of both. If anything Ipswich was the more advanced, as Wolsey directed his boys to be taught précis writing in English, and essays and themes, also apparently in English, which are not mentioned at Bury. But Ipswich was a school of the first grade with eight forms, whereas at Bury only five were contemplated. The reign of Mary did not affect the schools as such one way or the other. Several, like Basingstoke grammar school and St Peter's school, York, were re-endowed in her reign, the former by restoration of gild lands, the latter by appropriation of the endowment of a hospital for poor priests. “Heretic” masters were extruded, and occasionally, like the master of Reading school, Julian Palmer, burnt. Similar extrusions of Romanists followed on the accession of Elizabeth. In 1580 and subsequent years the bishops were ordered to inquire as to schoolmasters who did not attend church or had not licences from the ordinaries to teach. The visitations of the chapter of Southwell as ordinaries in their liberty show schoolmasters in many small towns and villages, some of them “popish recusants,” and others inhibited until they had been duly licensed. How far they taught grammar schools and not elementary schools is not very clear. But one unfortunate result of the suppression of the song schools was that attempts were now made, as at Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, to make the grammar schools serve the two