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Go, noble book, fulfillit of gud sentence,
Wha will nought lou, lak noughtd my eloquence;
My sprite feeles ne termes asperans.
FIRST HALF OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.-COLLEGES FOUNDED.
In no age, as we have found, even the darkest and most barren of valuable produce, that has elapsed since learning was first planted among us, had there failed to be something done in the establishment of nurseries for its shelter and propagation. The fifteenth century, though it has left us little enduring literature of any kind, is distinguished for the number of the colleges that were founded in the course of it, both in this country and in the rest of Europe. This, indeed, was the natural and proper direction for the first impulse to take that was given by the revival of letters; the actual
a Poets. d Scoff not at. Boorish, clownish. f Understands no lofty (aspiring) terms. impossible that asperans can rhyme to grace. 8 Earth. b Lasting.
But it seems
generation upon which the new light broke was not that in which it was to be expected it should do much more than awaken the taste for true learning, or at most the ambition of excellence; the power of accomplishment could only come in the next era. The men of the latter part of the fifteenth century, therefore, were most fitly and most usefully employed in making provision for the preservation and transmission to other times of the long-lost wisdom and eloquence that had been found again in their day—in building cisterns and conduits for the precious waters that, after having been hidden for a thousand years, had burst their founts, and were once more flowing over the earth. The fashion of founding colleges, and other seminaries of learning, continued to prevail in this country both down to the Reformation in religion, and for some time after that mighty revolution. In the University of Oxford, Brazennose College was founded in 1511 by William Smith, Bishop of Lincoln, and Sir Richard Sutton, of Presbury in Cheshire; Corpus Christi in 1517, by Henry VII.'s minister Richard Fox, successively Bishop of Exeter, of Bath and Wells, of Durham, and of Winchester; Cardinal College by Wolsey in 1525, which, however, before the buildings had been half finished, was suppressed by the king on the cardinal's fall in 1529; the College of Henry VIII. by that king in 1532, a continuation, but on a much smaller scale, of Wolsey's design, which was also dissolved in 1545, when that of Christ Church was erected in its stead by Henry, to be both a college and at the same time a cathedral establishment for the new bishopric of Oxford; Trinity, on the old foundation of Durham College, by Sir Thomas Pope, in 1554; St.'
John's, on the site of Bernard College, by Sir Thomas White, alderman and merchant-tailor of London, in 1557; and Jesus, by Dr. Hugh Price, Queen Elizabeth also contributing part of the expense, in 1571. In Cambridge there were founded Jesus College, in 1496, by John Alcock, Bishop of Ely; Christ's College, in 1505, by Margaret, Countess of Richmond, the mother of Henry VII.; St. John's, by the same noble lady, in 1508; Magdalen, or Maudlin, begun in 1519 by Edward Stafford, the unfortunate Duke of Buckingham, and, after his execution for high treason in 1521, completed by the Lord Chancellor, Thomas Lord Audley; Trinity, in 1536, by Henry VIII., who at the same time endowed four new professorships in the University, one of theology, one of law, one of Hebrew, and one of Greek; Caius College, properly an extension of the ancient foundation of Gonville Hall, by Dr. John Caius, in 1557; Emanuel, in 1584, by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and of the Exchequer; and SidneySussex College, in 1594, by the Lady Frances Sidney, widow of Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex. In Scotland a new university was erected in Aberdeen, under the name of King's College, by a bull of Pope Alexander VI., granted at the request of King James IV., in 1494, the principal endower, however, being William Elphinstone, bishop of the see; a second college, that of St. Leonard's (now forming, with St. Salvator's, what is called the United College), was founded in the University of St. Andrew's, in 1512, by Alexander Stuart, archbishop of the see, and John Hepburn, prior of the metropolitan church; another college, that of St. Mary, now exclusively appropriated to the theological faculty,
was founded in the same university in 1537, by Archbishop James Beaton; a fourth university, that of Edinburgh, was erected by King James VI. in 1582; and a fifth, that of Marischal College, Aberdeen, by George Earl Marischal, in 1593. In Ireland, the university of Trinity College, Dublin, was founded by Queen Elizabeth, in 1591. Along with these seminaries of the highest rank may be enumerated a great number of grammar schools; of which the chief were that of St. Paul's, London, founded by Dean Colet, in 1509; that of Ipswich, by Cardinal Wolsey, at the same time with his college at Oxford, the fate of which it also shared; Christ Church, London, by Edward VI., in 1553; Westminster School, by Queen Elizabeth, in 1560; and Merchant Tailors' School by the London civic Company of that name, in 1568. In Scotland, the High School of Edinburgh was founded by the magistrates of the city in 1577.
Many of these colleges and schools were expressly established for the cultivation of the newly revived classical learning, the resurrection of which in the middle of the fifteenth century revolutionised the ancient studies everywhere as soon as its influence came to be felt. It scarcely reached England, however, as we have already intimated, till towards the close of that century. Indeed, Greek is said to have been first publicly taught in this country in St. Paul's School, by the famous grammarian William Lilly, who had studied the language at Rhodes, and who was appointed the first master of the new school in 1512. Dean Colet himself, the founder,
although accounted one of the best educated men of his time, had, during the seven years he spent at Magdalen College, Oxford, only acquired a knowledge of some of the Greek authors through the medium of Latin translations. Among the most distinguished of the early patrons of the new learning after it had been thus introduced were the two prelates and statesmen Fox and his greater protégé and successor Wolsey, both of whom, in the colleges founded by them that have just been mentioned, made especial provision for the teaching of the two classic tongues. The professor of Latin-or of Humanity, as he is designated—in Corpus Christi College, was expressly enjoined to extirpate barbarism from the new society (barbariem a nostro alveario extirpet). The Greek professor was ordered to explain the best Greek classics; "and the oets, historians, and orators in that language," observes Warton, "which the judicious founder, who seems to have consulted the most intelligent scholars of the times, recommends by name on this occasion, are the purest, and such as are most esteemed even in the present improved state of ancient learning."* Wolsey evinced the interest he took in the new studies, not only by his great school at Ipswich and his college at Oxford, but by founding in that university some years before, along with various other professorships, one for Rhetoric and Humanity, and another for Greek. "So attached was Wolsey," says the writer we have just quoted, "to the new modes of instruction, that he did not think it inconsistent with his high office and rank to publish a general address to the schoolmasters of England, in which he orders them to institute their *Hist. Eng. Poet. Sect. xxxvi.