CHAP. III. OF VNIUERSITIES.
THERE haue béene heretofore, and at sundrie times, diuerse famous vniuersities in this
Manie vniuersities somtime in England.
Iland, and those euen in my daies not altogither forgotten, as one at Bangor, erected by Lucius, and afterward conuerted into a monasterie, not by Congellus (as some write) but by Pelagius the monke. The second at Carlheon vpon Vske, neere to the place where the riuer dooth fall into the Seuerne, founded by king Arthur. The third at Theodford, wherein were 600 students, in the time of one Rond sometime king of that region. The fourth at Stanford, suppressed by Augustine the monke, and likewise other in other places, as Salisburie, Eridon or Criclade, Lachlade, Reading, and Northampton; albeit that the two last rehearsed were not authorised, but onelie arose to that name by the departure of the students from Oxford in time of ciuill dissention vnto the said townes, where also they continued but for a little season. When that of Salisburie began, I can not tell; but that it flourished most vnder Henrie the third, and Edward the first, I find good testimonie by the writers, as also by the discord which fell 1278, betwéene the chancellor for the scholers there on the one part, and William the archdeacon on the other, whereof you shall sée more in the chronologie here following. In my time there are thrée noble vniuersities in England, to wit, one
Thrée vniuersities in England.
at Oxford, the second at Cambridge, and the third in London; of which, the first two are the most famous, I meane Cambridge and Oxford, for that in them the vse of the toongs, philosophie, and the liberall sciences, besides the profound studies of the ciuill law, physicke, and theologie, are dailie taught and had: whereas in the later, the laws of the realme are onelie read and learned, by such as giue their minds vnto the knowledge of the same. In the first there are not onelie diuerse goodlie houses builded foure square for the most part of hard fréestone or bricke, with great numbers of lodging.3 and chambers in the same for students, after a sumptuous sort, through the excéeding liberalitie of kings, quéenes, bishops, noblemen and ladies of the land: but also large liuings and great reuenues bestowed vpon them (the like whereof is not to be séene in anie other region, as Peter Martyr did oft affirme) to the maintenance onelie of such conuenient numbers of poore mens sonnes as the seuerall stipends bestowed vpon the said houses are able to support.
When these two schooles should be first builded, & who were their original! founders,
When the vniuersities were builded vncerteine.
as yet it is vncerteine: neuerthelesse, as there is great likelihood that Cambridge was begun by one Cantaber a Spaniard (as I haue noted in my chronbologie) so Alfred is said to be the first beginner of the vniuersitie at Oxford, albeit that I cannot warrant the same to be so yong, sith I find by good authoritie, that Iohn of Beuerleie studied in the vniuersitie hall at Oxford, which was long before Alfred was either borne or gotten. Some are of the opinion that Cantabrigia was not so called of Cantaber, but Cair Grant of the finisher of the worke, or at the leastwise of the riuer that runneth by the same, and afterward by the Saxons Grantcester. An other sort affirme that the riuer is better written Canta than Granta, &c: but whie then is not the towne called Canta, Cantium, or Cantodunum, according to the same? All this is said onlie (as I thinke) to deface the memorie of Cantaber, who comming from the Brigants, or out of Biscaie, called the said towne after his owne and the
name of the region from whence he came. Neither hath it béene a rare thing for the Spaniards heretofore to come first into Ireland, and from thense ouer into England, sith the chronologie shall declare that it hath béene often seene, and that out of Britaine, they haue gotten ouer also into Scithia, and contrariwise: coasting still through Yorkeshire, which of them also was called Brigantium, as by good testimonie appeareth.
Oxford fiftie miles from London.
Of these two, that of Oxford (which lieth west and by north from London) standeth most pleasantlie, being inuironed in maner round about with woods on the hilles aloft, and goodlie riuers in the bottoms and vallies beneath, whose courses would bréed no small commoditie to that citie and countrie about, if such impediments were remooued as greatlie annoie the same, and hinder the cariage which might be made thither also from London.
Cambridge six and fortie miles from London.
That of Cambridge is distant from London about fortie and six miles north and by east, and standeth verie well, sauing that it is somewhat néere vnto the fens, whereby the wholesomenesse of the aire there is not a little corrupted. It is excellentlie well serued, with all kinds of prouision, but especiallie of freshwater fish and wildfoule, by reason of the riuer that passeth thereby; and thereto the Ile of Elie, which is so néere at hand. Onlie wood is the chéefe want to such as studie there, wherefore this kind of prouision is brought them either from Essex, and other places thereabouts, as is also their cole; or otherwise the necessitie thereof is supplied with gall (a bastard kind of Mirtus as I take it) and seacole, whereof they haue great plentie led thither by the Grant. Moreouer it hath not such store of medow ground as may suffice for the ordinarie expenses of the towne and vniuersitie, wherefore the inhabitants are inforced in like sort to prouide their haie from other villages about, which minister the same vnto them in verie great aboundance.
Longitude & latitude of both.
Oxford is supposed to conteine in longitude eightéene degrees and eight and twentie minuts, and in latitude one and fiftie degrées and fiftie minuts; whereas that of Cambridge standing more northerlie, hath twentie degrees and twentie minuts in longitude, and therevnto fiftie and two degrées and fifteene minuts in latitude, as by exact supputation is easie to be found.
The colleges of Oxford, for curious workemanship and priuat commodities, are much more statelie, magnificent, & commodious than those of Cambridge: and therevnto the stréets of the towne for the most part more large and comelie. But for vniformitie of building, orderlie
Cambridge burned not long since.
compaction, and politike regiment, the towne of Cambridge, as the newer workmanship, excéedeth that of Oxford (which otherwise is and hath béene the greater of the two) by manie a fold (as I gesse) although I know diuerse that are of the contrarie opinion. This also is certeine, that whatsoeuer the difference be in building of the towne stréets, the townesmen of both are glad when they may match and annoie the students, by incroching vpon their liberties, and kéepe them bare by extreame sale of their wares, whereby manie of them become rich for a time, but afterward fall againe into pouertie, bicause that goods euill gotten doo seldome long indure.
Castels also they haue both, and in my iudgement is hard to be said, whether of them would be the stronger, if ech were accordinglie repared: howbeit that of Cambridge is the higher, both for maner of building and situation of ground, sith Oxford castell standeth low and is not so apparant to our sight. That of Cambridge was builded (as they saie) by Gurguintus, sometime king of Britaine, but the other by the lord Robert de Oilie, a noble man which came in with the conqueror, whose wife Editha, a woman giuen to no lesse superstition than credulitie, began also the abbeie of Oseneie neere vnto the same, vpon a fond (but yet a rare) occasion, which we will héere remember, though it be beside my purpose, to the end that the reader may see how readie the simple people of that time were to be abused by the practise of the cleargie. It happened on a time as this ladie walked about the fields, néere vnto the aforesaid castell, to recreate hir selfe with certeine of hir maidens, that a number of pies sat chattering vpon the elmes, which had beene planted in the hedgerowes, and in fine so troubled hir with their noise, that she wished them all further off, or else hir selfe at home againe, and this happened diuerse times. In the end being wearie
of hir walke, she demanded of hir chapleine the cause wherefore these pies did so molest & vexe hir. Oh madam (saith he) the wiliest pie of all, these are no pies but soules in purgatorie that craue reléefe. And is it so in déed quoth she? Now De pardieux, if old Robert will giue me leaue, I will doo what I can to bring these soules to rest. Herevpon she consulted, craued, wept, and became so importunate with hir husband, that he joined with hir, and they both began that synagog 1120, which afterward prooued to be a notable den. In that church also lieth this ladie buried with hir image, hauing an heart in hir hand couched vpon the same, in the habit of a vowesse, and yet to be séene, except the weather haue worne out the memoriall. But to procéed with my purpose.
In each of these vniuersities also is likewise a church dedicated to the virgin Marie, wherein once in the yeare, to wit, in Iulie, the scholers are holden, and in which such as haue béene called to anie degrée in the yeare precedent, doo there receiue the accomplishment of the same, in solemne and sumptuous maner. In Oxford this solemnitie is called an Act, but in Cambridge they vse the French word Commensement; and such resort is made yearelie vnto the same from all parts of the land, by the fréends of those which doo proceéd, that all the towne is hardlie able to receiue and lodge those gests. When and by whome the churches aforesaid were builded, I haue elsewhere made relation. That of Oxford also was repared in the time of Edward the fourth, and Henrie the seuenth, when doctor Fitz lames a great helper in that worke was warden of Merton college, but yer long after it was finished, one tempest in a night so defaced the same, that it left few pinacles standing about the church and stéeple, which since that time haue neuer béene repared. There were sometime foure and twentie parish churches in the towne and suburbes, but now there are scarselie sixtéene. There haue béene also 1200 burgesses, of which 400 dwelled in the suburbes, and so manie students were there in the time of Henrie the third, that he allowed them twentie miles compasse about the towne, for their prouision of vittels.
The common schooles of Cambridge also are farre more beautifull than those of Oxford, onelie the diuinitie schoole at Oxford excepted, which for fine and excellent workemanship, commeth next the moold of the kings chappell in Cambridge, than the which two with the chappell that king Henrie the seauenth did build at Westminster, there are not (in mine opinion) made of lime & stone three more notable piles within the compasse of Europe.
In all other things there is so great equalitie betwéene these two vniuersities, as no man can imagin how to set downe any greater; so that they séeme to be the bodie of one well ordered common wealth, onlie diuided by distance of place, and not in fréendlie consent and orders. In speaking therefore of the one, I can not but describe the other; and in commendation of the first, I can not but extoll the latter; and so much the rather, for that they are both so déere vnto me, as that I can not readilie tell vnto whether of them I owe the most good will. Would to God my knowledge were such, as that neither of them might haue cause to be ashamed of their pupill; or my power so great, that I might woorthilie requite them both for those manifold kindnesses that I haue receiued of them. But to leaue these things, and procéed with other more conuenient for my purpose. The manner to liue in these vniuersities, is not as in some other of forren countries we sée dailie to happen, where the students are inforced for want of such houses, to dwell in common innes, and tauerns, without all order or discipline. But in these our colleges we liue in such exact order, and vnder so precise rules of gouernement, as that the famous learned man Erasmus of Roterodame being here among vs 50 yeres passed, did not let to compare the trades in liuing of students in these two places, euen with the verie rules and orders of the ancient moonks: affirming moreouer in flat words, our orders to be such as not onlie came néere vnto, but rather far exceeded all the monastical institutiōs that euer were deuised.
In most of our colleges there are also great numbers of students, of which manie are found by the reuenues of the houses, and other by the purueiances and helpe of their rich fréends; whereby in some one college you shall haue two hundred scholers, in others an
hundred and fiftie, in diuerse a hundred and fortie, and in the rest lesse numbers; as the capacitie of the said houses is able to receiue: so that at this present, of one sort and other, there are about thrée thousand students nourished in them both (as by a late surueie it manifestlie appeared.) They were erected by their founders at the first, onelie for poore mens sons, whose parents were not able to bring them vp vnto learning: but now they haue the least benefit of them, by reason the rich doo so incroch vpon them. And so farre hath this inconuenience spread it selfe, that it is in my time an hard matter for a poore mans child to come by a felowship (though he be neuer so good a scholer & woorthie of that roome.) Such packing also is vsed at elections, that not he which best deserueth, but he that hath most friends, though he be the woorst scholer, is alwaies surest to spéed; which will turne in the end to the ouerthrow of learning. That some gentlemen also, whose friends haue beene in times past benefactors to certeine of those houses, doo intrude into the disposition of their estates, without all respect of order or estatutes deuised by the founders, onelie thereby to place whome they thinke good (and not without some hope of gaine) the case is too too euident: and their attempt would soone take place, if their superiors did not prouide to bridle their indeuors. In some grammar schooles likewise, which send scholers to these vniuersities, it is lamentable to see what briberie is vsed; for yer the scholer can be preferred, such bribage is made, that poore mens children are commonlie shut out, and the richer sort receiued (who in time past thought it dishonor to liue as it were vpon almes) and yet being placed, most of them studie little other than histories, tables, dice, and trifles, as men that make not the liuing by their studie the end of their purposes, which is a lamentable hearing. Beside this, being for the most part either gentlemen, or rich mens sonnes, they oft bring the vniuersities into much slander. For standing vpon their reputation and libertie, they ruffle and roist it out, exceeding in apparell, and banting riotous companie (which draweth them from their bookes vnto an other trade.) And for excuse when they are charged with breach of all good order, thinke it sufficient to saie, that they be gentlemen, which gréeueth manie not a litle. But to proceed with the rest.
Readers in priuat houses.
Euerie one of these colleges haue in like maner their professors or readers of 'the toongs and seuerall sciences, as they call them, which dailie trade vp the youth there abiding priuatlie in their halles, to the end they may be able afterward (when their turne commeth about, which is after twelue termes) to shew themselues abroad, by going from thence into the common schooles and publike disputations (as it were "In aream") there to trie their skilles, and declare how they haue profited since their comming thither.
Publike readers mainteined by the prince. Studie of the quadriuials and perspectiues neglected.
Moreouer, in the publike schooles of both the vniuersities, there are found at the princes charge (and that verie largelie) fiue professors and readers, that is to saie, of diuinitie, of the ciuill law, physicke, the Hebrue, and the Gréeke toongs. And for the other lectures, as of philosophie, logike, rhetorike, and the quadriuials, although the latter (I meane arythmetike, musike, geometrie, and astronomie, and with them all skill in the perspectiues are now smallie regarded in either of them) the vniuersities themselues doo allow competent stipends to such as reade the same, whereby they are sufficientlie prouided for, touching the maintenance of their estates, and no lesse incoraged to be diligent in their functions.
These professors in like sort haue all the rule of disputations and other schoole exercises, which are dailie vsed in common schooles seuerallie assigned to ech of them, and such of their hearers, as by their skill shewed in the said disputations, are thought to haue atteined to anie conuenient ripenesse of knowledge, according to the custome of other vniuersities, although not in like order, are permitted solemnlie to take their deserued degrees of schoole in the same science and facultie wherein they haue spent their traueli. From that time forward also, they vse such difference in apparell as becommeth their callings, tendeth vnto grauitie, and maketh them knowne to be called to some countenance.
The first degree, is that of the generall sophisters, from whence when they haue learned more sufficientlie the rules of logike, rhetorike, and obteined thereto competent skill in
Batcheiers of art.
philosophie, and in the mathematicals, they ascend higher vnto the estate of batchelers of
art, after foure yeares of their entrance into their sophistrie. From thence also gluing their minds to more perfect knowledge in some or all the other liberall sciences, & the toongs, they rise at the last (to wit, after other thrée or foure yéeres) to be called masters of art, ech of
Masters of art.
them being at that time reputed for a doctor in his facultie, if he professe but one of the said sciences (beside philosophie) or for his generall skill, if he be exercised in them all. After this they are permitted to choose what other of the higher studies them liketh to follow, whether it be diuinitie, law, or, physike; so that being once masters of art, the next degrée if they follow physike, is the doctorship belonging to that profession; and likewise in the studie of the law, if they bend their minds to the knowledge of the same. But if they meane to go forward with diumitie, this is the order vsed in that profession. First, aft they haue necessarilie proceeded masters of art, they preach one sermon to the people in English, and another to the vniuersitie in Latine. They answer all commers also in their owne persons vnto two seuerall questions of diuinitie in the open schooles, at one time, for the space of two hours and afterward replie twise against some other man vpon a like numbèr, and on two seuerall daies in the same place: which being doone with commendation, he receiueth the fourth degree, that is, batcheler of diuinitie, but not before he hath beene master of art
Batcheler of diuinitie,
by the space of seauen yéeres, according to their statutes.
The next and last dégree of all is the doctorship after other three yeares, for the which he
must once againe performe all such exercises and acts as are afore remembred, and then is he reputed able to gouerne and teach others, & likewise taken for a doctor. I haue read that Iohn of Beuerleie was the first doctor that euer was in Oxford, as Beda was in Cambridge. But I suppose herein that the word doctor is not so strictlie to be taken in this report as it is now vsed, sith, cuerie teacher is in Latine called by that name, as also such in the primitiue church as kept schooles of catechists, wherein they were trained vp in the rudiments and principles of religion, either before they were admitted vnto baptisme, or anie office in the church.
Thus we sée, that from our entrance into the vniuersitie vnto the last degrée receiued, is commonlie eighteene or peraduenture twentie yéeres, in which time if a student hath not obteined sufficient learning, thereby to serue his owne turne, and benefit his common wealth, let him neuer looke by tarieng longer to come by anie more. For after this tune & 40 yéeres of age, the most part of students doo commonlie giue ouer their woonted diligence, & liue like drone bées on the fat of colleges, withholding better wits from the possession of their places, & yet dooing litle good in their own vocation & calling. I could rehearse a number (if I listed) of this sort, aswell in the one vniuersitie as the other. But this shall suffice in sted of a larger report, that long continuance in those places is either a signe of lacke of friends, or of learning, or of good and vpright life, as bishop Fox sometime noted, who
This Fox builded Corpus Christi college in Oxford.
thought it sacrilege for a man to tarrie anie longer at Oxford than he had a desire to profit.
A man may (if he will, begin his studie with the lawe, or physike (of which this giueth wealth, the other honor) so soone as he commeth to the vniuersitie, if his knowledge in the toongs and ripenesse of iudgement serue therefore: which if he doo, then his first degrée is bacheler of law, or physicke, and for the same he must performe such acts in his owne science, as the bachelers or doctors of diuinitie, doo for their parts, the onelie sermons except, which belong not to his calling. Finallie, this will I saie, that the professors of either of those Faculties come to such perfection in both vniuersities, as the best students beyond the sea doo in their owne or else where. One thing onlie I mislike in them, and that is their vsuall going into Italie, from whense verie few without speciall grace doo returne good men, whatsoeuer they pretend of conference or practise, chiefelie the physicians who vnder pretense of
So much also may be inferred of lawiers.
séeking of forreine simples doo oftentimes learne the framing of such compositions as were better vnknowen than practised, as I hate heard oft alledged, and therefore it is most true that doctor Turner said; Italie is not to be séene without a guide, that is, without speciall grace giuen from God, bicause of the licentious and corrupt behauiour of the people.
There is moreouer in cuerie house a maister or prouost, who hath vnder him a president,
& certeine censors or deanes, appointed to looke to the behauior and maners of the students there, whom they punish verie seuerelie if they make anie default, according to the quantitie and qualitie of their trespasses. And these are the vsual names of gouernours in Cambridge Howbeit in Oxford the heads of houses are now and then called presidents in respect of such bishops as are their visitors & founders. In ech of these also they haue one or moe thresurers whom they call Bursarios or Bursers beside other officers, whose charge is to sée vnto the welfare and maintenance of these houses. Ouer each vniuersitie also there is a seuerall chancelor, whose offices are perpetuall, howbeit their substitutes, whom we call vicechancelors, are changed euerie yeare, as are also the proctors, taskers, maisters of the streates and other officers, for the better maintenance of their policie and estate.
And thus much at this time of our two vniuersities in each of which I haue receiued such degree as they haue vouchsafed rather of their fauour than my desert to yéeld and bestow vpon me, and vnto whose students I wish one thing, the execution whereof cannot be preiudiciall to anie that meaneth well, as I am resolutelie. persuaded, and the case now standeth in these our daies. When anie benefice therefore becommeth void, it were good that the patrone did signifie the vacation therof to the bishop, and the bishop the act of the patrone to one of the vniuersities, with request that the vicechancellor with his assistents might prouide some such able man to succeed in the place, as should by their iudgement be méet to take the charge vpon him. Certes if this order were taken then should the church be prouided of good pastors, by whome God should be glorified, the vniuersities better stored, the simoniacall practises of a number of patrons vtterlie abolished and the people better trained to liue in obedience toward God and their prince, which were an happie estate.
To these two also we may in like sort ad the third, which is at London (seruing onelie for such as studie the lawes of the realme) where there are sundrie famous houses, of which three are called by the name of Ins of the court, the rest of the chancerie, and all builded before time for the furtherance and commoditie of such as applie their minds to our common lawes. Out of these also come manie scholers of great fame, whereof the most part haue heretofore béene brought vp in one of the aforesaid vniuersities, and prooue such commonlie as in processe of time, rise vp (onelie through their profound skill) to great honor in the common-wealth of England. They haue also degrées of learning among themselues, and rules of discipline, vnder which they liue most ciuilie in their houses, albeit that the yoonger sort of them abroad in the streats are scarse able to be bridled by anie good order at all. Certes this errour was woont also greatlie to reigne in Cambridge and Oxford, betweene the students and the burgesses: but as it is well left in these two places, so in forreine counteies
it cannot yet be suppressed. Besides these vniuersities, also there are great number of Grammer schooles through out the realme, and those verie liberallie indued, for the better reliefe of poore scholers, so that there are not manie corporat townes now vnder the quéenes dominion, that hain not one Gramar schoole at the least, with a sufficient liuing for a maister and vsher appointed to the same.
Windsor, Winchester, Eaton, Westminster.
There are in like maner diuerse collegiat churches as Windsor, Wincester, Eaton, Westminster (in which I was sometime an vnprofitable Grammarian vnder the reuerend father master Nowell now deane of Paules) and in those a great number of poore scholers dailie mainteened by the liberalitie of the founders, with meat, bookes, and apparell, from whence after they haue béene well entered in the knowledge of the Latine and Gréeke toongs, and rules of versifieng (the triali whereof is made by certeine apposers yearelie appointed to examine them) they are sent to certeine especiall houses in each vniuersitie, where they are receiued
the trained vp, in the points of higher knowledge in their priuat hals, till they be adiudged meet to shew their faces in the schooles as I haue said alreadie. And thus much haue I thought good to note of our vniuersities, and likewise of colleges in the same, whose names I will also set downe here, with those of their founders, to the end the zeale which they bare vnto learning may appeare, and their remembrance neuer perish from among the wise and learned.
OF THE COLLEGES IN CAMBRIDGE WITH THEIR FOUNDERS,
|Yeares of the foundations.
||by King Henrie 8.
||The kings college.
||K. Henrie 6. Edward 4. Henrie 7. and Henrie 8.
||L. Margaret grandmother to Henrie 8.
||K. Henrie 6. and the ladie Margaret aforesaid.
||The queenes college.
||Ladie Margaret wife to king Henrie 6.
||Iohn Alcocke bishop of Elie.
||The brethren of a popish guild called Corporis Christi.
||Maria de Valentia, countesse of Pembroke.
||Hugh Balsham bishop of Elie.
||Edmund Gundeuill parson of Terrington, and Iohn Caius doctor of physicke.
||William Bateman bishop of Norwich.
||Richard Badow chancellor of Cambridge.
||Robert Woodlarke doctor of diuinitie.
||Edw duke of Buckingham, & Thom. lord Awdlie.
||Sir Water Mildmaie, &c.
OF COLLEGES IN OXFORD.
||by King Henrie 8.
||William Wainflet first fellow of Merton
He founded also a good part of Eaton college, and a frée schole at Wainflet where he was borne.
college, then scholer at Winchester, and afterward bishop there.
||William Wickham bishop of Winchester.
||Walter Merton bishop of Rochester.
||All soules college.
||Henrie Chich leie archbishop of Canturburie.
||Corpus Christi college.
||Richard Fox bishop of Winchester.
||Richard Fleming bishop of Lincolne.
||Adam Browne almoner to Edward 2.
||The queenes college.
||R. Eglesfeld chapleine to Philip queene of England, wife to Edward 3.
||Iohn Balioll king of Scotland.
||Sir Thomas White knight.
||Sir Thomas Pope knight.
||Walter Stapleton bishop of Excester.
||William Smith bishop of Lincolne.
||William archdeacon of Duresme.
||Iohn Gifford who made it a cell for thirteene moonks.
||S. Marie college.
||Iesus college now in hand.
||Hugh ap Rice doctor of the ciuill law.
There are also in Oxford certeine hostels or hals, which may rightwell be called by the names of colleges, if it were not that there is more libertie in them, than is to be séen in the other. I mine opinion the liuers in these are verie like to those that are of Ins in the chancerie, their names also are these so farre as I now remember.
||S. Marie hall.
The students also that remaine in them, are called hostelers or halliers. Hereof it came of late to passe, that the right reuerend father in God Thomas late archbishop of Canturburie being brought vp in such an house at Cambridge, was of the ignorant sort of Londoners called an hosteler, supposing that he had serued with some inholder in the stable, and therfore in despite diuerse hanged vp bottles of haie at his gate, when he began to preach the gospell, whereas in déed he was a gentleman borne of an ancient house & in the end a faithfull witnesse of Iesus Christ, in whose quarrell he refused not to shed his bloud and yéeld vp his life vnto the furie of his aduersaries.
Besides these there is mention and record of diuerse other hals or hostels, that haue béene there in times past, as Beefe hall, Mutton hall, &c: whose ruines yet appéere: so that if antiquitie be to be iudged by the shew of ancient buildings, which is verie plentifull in Oxford to be séene, it should be an easie matter to conclude that Oxford is the elder vniuersitie.
Erection of colleges in Oxford the ouerthrow of hals.
Therin are also manie dwelling houses of stone yet standing, that haue béene hals for students of verie antike workemanship, beside the old wals of sundrie other, whose plots haue béene conuerted into gardens, since colleges were erected.
|In London also the houses of students at the Common law are these.|
And thus much in generall of our noble vniuersities, whose lands some gréedie gripers doo gape wide for, and of late haue (as I heare) propounded sundrie reasons, whereby they supposed to haue preuailed in their purposes. But who are those that haue attempted this sute, other than such as either hate learning, pietie, and wisedome; or else haue spent all their owne, and know not otherwise than by incroching vpon other men how to mainteine themselues? When such a motion was made by some vnto king Henrie the eight, he could answer them in this maner; Ah sirha, I perceiue the abbeie lands haue fleshed you and set your teeth on edge, to aske also those colleges. And whereas we had a regard onelie to pull downe sinne by defacing the monasteries, you haue a desire also to ouerthrow all goodnesse by subuersion of colleges. I tell you sirs that I judge no land in England better bestowed than that which is giuen to our vniuersities, for by their maintenance our realme shall be well gouerned when we be dead and rotten. As you loue your welfares therfore, follow
Now abbeies be gone, our dingthrifts prie after church and college possessions.
no more this veine, but content your selues with that you haue alreadie, or else seeke honest meanes whereby to increase your liuelods, for I loue not learning so ill, that I will impaire the reuenues of anie one house by a penie, whereby it may be vpholden. In king Edwards daies likewise the same sute was once againe attempted (as I haue heard) but in vaine, for saith the duke of Summerset among other spédeches tending, to that end, who also made answer therevnto in the kings presence by his assignation; It lerning decaie, which of wild
men maketh ciuill, of blockish and rash persons wise and godlie counsellors, of obstinat rebels obedient subiects, and of euill men good and godlie christians; what shall we looke for else but barbarisme and tumult? For when the lands of colleges be gone, it shall be hard to saie, whose staffe shall stand next the doore, for then I doubt not but the state of bishops, rich farmers, merchants, and the nobilitie shall be assailed, by such as liue to spend all, and thinke that what so euer another man hath is more meet for them, and to be at their commandement, than for the proper owner that hath sweat and laboured for it. In quéene Maries daies the weather was too warme for anie such course to be taken in hand, but in the time of our gratious quéene Elizabeth, I heare that it was after a sort in talke the third time, but without successe as mooued also out of season, and so I hope it shall continue for euer. For what comfort should it be for anie good man to sée his countrie brought into the estate of the old Gothes & Vandals, who made lawes against learning, and would not suffer anie skilfull man to come into their councell house, by meanes whereof those people became sauage, tyrants, and mercilesse helhounds, till they restored learning againe, and thereby fell to ciuilitie.