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Schools, and Houses of Learning.

During the Time of Christmas, they have several Divertisements; as Feasting every Day, Musick, Singing and Dancing, with Dicing. To the Dicing all Comers are admitted; and it is so excessive, having such abundance of Tables placed in the Hall, that what comes to the Box generally amounts to about 50l. a Day and Night: So that by this, with a small Contribution from each Student, the great Charge of the whole Christmas is defrayed.

The Divertisements.


But these Revellings and Playings give Occasion to so much Mischief, by the People's losing their Money, and Apprentices stealing from their Masters, that it is but seldom allowed of; and it could be wished it were to be no more.

Sometimes, when they have a young Gentleman that will be profuse, they create him a Prince, with such a Title as they please; and he hath all his Officers, and a Court suitable to a great Prince: And then most of the principal Nobility, publick Officers of State, with the chief of the Gentry, are splendidly treated and feasted, with curious Musick, Interludes, &c.

They create a Prince.

From All-Saints Day to Candlemas, each House usually hath Revels on Holidays, with Musick and Dancing: And then some young Student is chosen to be Master of the Revels.


There are, in and about this famous City, other Publick Schools, Colleges, and Places of Literature; all which shall be taken notice of in their proper Places in which they are seated, and partly in the following Chapters. Insomuch that London may not unfitly be stiled an University, since that in it are taught all the Liberal Arts and Sciences; besides the Profession of the Common Laws of the Nation: A Thing that can scarcely be said of any other City in Europe.

The Advantages of all kinds of Learning in London.

Moreover, all Languages: Also Geography, Hydrography, Astronomy, Navigation, Fortification; Geometry, Musick, Logick, Rhetorick; Chymistry, Painting, Horsemanship, Fencing; and indeed, all other Things both Military and Civil, that may in any way contribute to the Accomplishment of a Gentleman, are here taught.]



Of Schools, and other Houses of Learning, as are, or have been in the City. Chirurgery Lecture. Hood's Mathematical and Military Lecture. Gresham College. Sir Thomas Gresham's Will. The Lectures there. The Settlement thereof.

IN the Reign of King Stephen, and of Henry the Second, (saith Fitzstephen) there were in London Three principal Churches, which had famous Schools, either by Privilege and ancient Dignity, or by Favour of some particular Persons, (as of Doctors) which were accounted notable and renowned for Knowledge in Philosophy. And there were other inferior Schools also.

Famous Schools of Philosophy, by Privilege, in London.

Upon Festival Days, the Masters made solemn Meetings in the Churches, where their Scholars disputed Logically and Demonstratively; some bringing Enthymems, others, perfect Syllogisms: Some disputed for Shew; others, to trace out the Truth: And cunning Sophisters were thought brave Scholars, when they flowed with Words. Others used Fallacies. Rhetoricians spake aptly to persuade, observing the Precepts of Art, and omitting nothing that might serve their Purpose. The Boys of divers Schools did cap or pot Verses, and contended of the Principles of Grammar.

Solemn Meeting, and Disputing of Scholars, Logically and Demonstratively.

There were some, which (on the other side) with Epigrams and Rhimes, nipping and quipping their Fellows, and the Faults of others, (tho' suppressing their Names) moved thereby much Laughter among thelr Auditors.

Grammar Schools and Scholars, their Exercises.

Hitherto Fitzstephen, for Schools and Scholars, and for their Exercise in the City in his Days. Sithence the which Time, as to me it seemeth, by Increase of Colleges of Students in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Frequenting of Schools, and Exercises of Scholars in the City, (as had been accustomed) very much decreased.

The Three principal Churches, which had these famous Schools by Privileges, must needs be the Cathedral Church of S. Paul for one; seeing that by a General Council, holden in the Year of Christ 1176, at Rome, in the Patriarchy of Lateran, it was decreed, "That every Cathe- dral Church should have its Schoolmaster, to teach poor Scholars, and others, as had been accustomed; And that no Man should take any Reward for Licence to teach."

Three Schools.

The first.

Mat. Paris.

Every Cathedral Church had its School for poor Scholars.

The Second, as most ancient, may seem to have been the Monastery of St. Peter at Westminster; whereof Ingulphus, Abbot of Crowland, in the Reign of William the Conqueror, writeth thus:

The Second.

Free School at Westminster in the Reign of Edward the Confessor.

I Ingulphus, an humble Servant of God, born of English Parents in the most beautiful City of London, for to attain to Learning, was first put to Westminster, and after to study at Oxford, &c.

And writing in Praise of Queen Edgitha, Wife to Edward the Confessor;

I have seen her (saith he) often, when being but a Boy, I came to see my Father, dwelling in the King's Court: And often coming from School, when I met the Queen, she would oppose me, touching my Learning and Lesson. And falling from Grammar to Logick, (wherein she had some Knowledge) she would subtilly conclude an Argument with me: And by her Handmaiden, give me three or four Pieces of Money, and send me unto the Palace, where I should receive some Victuals, and then be dismissed.

The Third School seemeth to have been at the Monastery of St. Saviour, at Bermondsey in Southwark. For other Priories, as of St. John by Smithfield, St. Bartholomew in Smithfield, St. Mary Overy in Southwark, and that of the Holy Trinity by Aldgate, were all of later Foundation: And the Frieries, Colleges and Hospitals in this City, were raised since them, in the Reigns of Henry III. and Edward I. II. and III. &c. All which Houses had their Schools, tho' not so famous as these first named.

The Third.