incompatible purposes of grammar and elementary schools, with the result too often that the grammar school was degraded and the elementary school inefficient.
The number of school foundations credited to Queen Elizabeth or her era is very much larger than the facts justify. The greatest of all, Westminster, which during the 18th century was facile princeps in the numbers, social rank and academic and literary achievement of its scholars, had in fact never ceased after its foundation, or refoundation, as a cathedral school under Henry VIII. Though Mary had restored the monks, the school went on throughout her reign and until Elizabeth formally refounded it with the restored canons. It is more extraordinary to find St Albans, founded under act of parliament of Edward VI., with Coventry, restored under patent of Henry VIII., and Lincoln, which had existed uninterruptedly from the 11th century, credited to her time. Similarly Bristol, Mansfield, Worcester, Darlington, Leicester, Eye, Bromyard, Richmond, Bodmin, Penryn, Fotheringay and others long previously existing and deriving no benefit from her or augmentation in her time, are erroneously dubbed Elizabethan.
In the curriculum of the schools, the change made by the Reformation has been much exaggerated. Already in 1446, in founding at Cambridge the college of God's House, now included in Christ's College, which was the first training college for grammar or secondary schoolmasters, Bingham had put forward the necessity of Latin, not only for translating the scriptures and carrying on the law and business of the realm, but also for communication with strangers and foreigners. In the Elizabethan schools the preparation for public life was slightly more emphasized. But methods and authors were little changed. The growth of Greek in all the great schools, and the attempt, as theological discussion grew keener towards the end of the reign, to acclimatize Hebrew, are the chief features. Under James I. and the Commonwealth the mention of Hebrew in statutes and the teaching of it in schools became quite common. It was advocated even by John Comenius, the Czech-German, who created a stir a few years before the Civil War by denouncing Latin as a subject of instruction except for boys going to the universities, and advocating the substitution of teaching in the vernacular language of each country instead.
There is one not wholly novel but notable feature which may be remarked in Elizabethan school foundations, mostly no doubt replacing old ones, and that is that many were the product of joint effort, partly in annual subscriptions and partly in donations of land or money down, not from one benefactor but from many persons. This is the case in many which have been attributed to the queen herself or to individual founders. Wakefield and Halifax in Yorkshire; Ashbourne, Derbyshire; Sandwich, Kent; Hexham, Northumberland; and St Saviour's and St Olave's, Southwark, are cases in which the evidence of joint stock enterprise has been fortunately preserved, as it has in that of Nottingham, which, after an existence of at least 300 years as a fee school, was refounded as a free school in 1512. Another and less fortunate feature may be observed in the frequent attempt to make the grammar schools do double work, and supply the loss caused by the suppression of the song schools, by doing duty also as elementary schools to teach the three R's. It is an attempt which is being continually renewed and always results in failure; generally ending in degrading the secondary school while not making the elementary school efficient. Wellingborough in Northamptonshire is a remarkable example of this. It is a school which, founded by joint effort and out of common town estate, always languished until in recent years it shook off the elementary school and became one of the most flourishing secondary schools in the county (Vict. Co. Hist., Northants., ii.).
During the Civil War and the Commonwealth, when new ideas on every subject were broached, education received new impetus, and under the fostering care of parliament schools were increased in numbers. Many new schools were created, many old schools obtained an increase of endowment and efficiency. Among the great schools it was during this time that Westminster, with a parliamentary committee of lords and commons substituted for the dean and chapter, under Busby, definitely placed itself in that position of pre-eminence which it retained till the first decade of the 19th century. It is signifi- cant that the two oldest extant school-lists are of this period, that for Winchester, which flourished under a Puritan warden and headmaster, for 1653, and that for Westminster for 1655. The care that parliament showed for schools was most conspicuous, where it might have least been expected, in regard to the cathedral schools. On the 14th of October 1642 the estates of deans and chapters were ordered to be sequestered, subject to a direction that “allowances assigned for scholars, almsmen and other charitable uses might not be interrupted.” On the 9th of October 1643 parliament extended to schoolmasters the functions of the Committee for Plundered Ministers, to remove those scandalous in life or doctrine or who had deserted their cures.
As the property of deans and chapters was gradually sequestrated in 1643-1646, power was given this committee to relieve poor ministers and schoolmasters out of the proceeds. By act of parliament, on the 30th of April 1649, deans and chapters were abolished, but the schools were expressly saved by a clause that all payments from their revenues which before the 1st of December 1641 had been or ought to have been paid to the maintenance of any grammar school or scholars should continue to be paid. The temporal estates were ordered to be sold, but the spiritual property, i.e. livings and tithes, devolved on thirteen trustees, and afterwards on the University Reform Committee, for salaries and augmentations for preaching ministers and schoolmasters, of which £2000 a year was to go to the increase of the universities. Under these two provisions not only were all the cathedral grammar schools preserved intact, the existing masters being left in undisturbed possession where they attended to their business and did not bear arms against parliament, but in many cases they received large increases of stipend. The chapters had kept the schoolmasters at the fixed amounts prescribed by Henry VIII.'s statutes or older custom, though their own incomes they had increased to many times the statutable amounts by dividing fines amongst themselves. They had not even properly maintained the school buildings. At Canterbury, parliament had at once to spend the large sum of £50 in repairing the school and masters' houses; and at Rochester similar amounts. The committee augmented salaries at Chester, the master from £22 to £36 and the usher from £10 to £19; at Salisbury the master from £10 to £20 and the usher from £5 to £15; at Chichester the masters from £20 to £30; at Rochester they doubled the former stipend of £13, 6s. 8d.; at Durham the allowance of £20 was doubled. So at St Anthony's school, London, which by a grievous error the local historians killed under Elizabeth though it survived till the Fire of London, the salary, paid by St George's, Windsor, settled in 1442, at the rate of £16, was now increased to £36 a year. Other schools paid from chapter or crown revenues received similar increases, Grimston £30; Newcastle under Lyme £20; Bridport, Dorset, £15, 10s. Two of the most backward districts had each obtained a special “act for the propagation of the gospel and the maintenance of godly and able ministers and schoolmasters there,”—Wales on the 22nd of February, and the four northern counties on the 1st of March 1650. Under these acts, the school at Llanrwst was increased by £8 and at Abergavenny by £10 a year, while new schools were established at some twenty-four places, including Carnarvon, Cardiff, Cardigan, Montgomery and Denbigh, with salaries ranging from £10 a year at Glenberiog to £40 for the master and £25 for the usher at Wrexham. In fact, the act was an anticipation of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1888. So in the northern counties the stipends of the Durham Cathedral grammar schoolmasters were doubled; and the masters of Darlington grammar school and of Bishop Auckland grammar school each received an augmentation of £20 or more than double, and the master of Heighington of £10 a year; while new grammar schools were established at Barnard Castle and Ferry Hill. New schools, perhaps elementary, were erected at Stanhope, Staindrop, Brancepeth, Aycliffe and Whickham, while a new departure was taken in the erection of navigation schools at Sunderland and Nether Heworth. The greatest effort was the establishment of the university college of Durham, anticipating by near 200 years the present university, while an elaborate plan was published in 1647 for the establishment of a university of London. But none of the good work of parliament was allowed to stand at the Restoration, and the revenues appropriated to education went back to the prebendaries whom Archbishop Cranmer wished to turn out of the hive as drones 100 years before. The master of Durham grammar school alone, on an express letter from the king, was allowed to receive an augmentation of £20 a year.
A more permanent result of the abolition of bishops and chapters and their licensing powers was the immense development given to private schools all over the country, and not least in London. Among them, John Farnaby, a royalist, who had been employed to produce a revised Lilly's grammar in anticipation of Kennedy's Latin Primer of two centuries later, was the most famous and successful at the time; and John
- Nicholas Udal (q.v.) was master in 1555-1556.