Schools. St. Paul's School. Ordinances thereof 165

Schools. St. Paul's School. Ordinances thereof

an easier and apter Method for learning, than any was before. And this he recommended in a Prefatory Epistle to William Lilly the Master, to teach it the Children, dated the Calends of August 1509, viz. in these Words.

Joannes Coletus suo Lilio salutem,


Accipe, optime, ac literatissime Lili, libellum puerilis Instituionis: in quo quidem eadem quæ fuerunt ab alijs tradita, ratione & ordine paulo (ni fallor) commodiore digessimus. Idq; fecimus, ut Elementa Grammatices, ut felicius influerent in puerorum animos, & tenacius inhererent. Tuum erit, qui primus es hujust novæ Pauli Scholæ Præceptor, his rudimentis diligenter exercere pueros nostros, deinceps ad majora profecturos. Nibil enim æque mibi cordi est in præsentia, quam parvuli Christi quamplurimum apud te proficiant, cum literatura, tum bonis moribus. Ad quod si eniteris, & JESUM puerorum præsidem tibi tuo studio demereberis, & me plane felicem reddideris. Vale ex ædibus meis Calend. August. Anno millesimo quingentesimo nono.

And near about this Time, or not long after, he procured from his Friend Erasmus Roterodamus, another Book for his School, namely, that entitled, De Copia Verborum. For which he promised the said Erasmus (while he was once walking with him in his Garden) fifteen Angels, as a Gratuity. And no question Erasmus was pleased well to contribute something to such a Foundation, which he himself took occasion sometimes to commend and extol; as he did in a Letter to Colet, Anno 1512, in these Words, Ludum literarium longe pulcherrimum, ac mangificentissimum instituisti; ubi sub electissimis ac probatissimis præceptoribus Britannica Pubes rudibus statim annis simul & Christum & optimas imbiberet literas, i.e. "You have erected a most beautiful and noble School, where under the choicest and most approved Masters, the English Youth might, soon after their Childhood, imbibe both Christ and the best Learning."

Procures Erasmus's Book De Copia, for his School.

In the Year 1513, Collet sent Lilly another Book for the School, of the Construction of the Eight Parts of Speech: Which was done by Erasmus also, upon the earnest Suggestion of Colet, being nothing but the Emendations of, and Additions to such a Work, first done by Lilly. This was nothing but the Grounds of our Latin Syntaxis. This Book he also introduced with a Latin Epistle, viz.

Construction of the Eight Parts of Speech.

Joannes Coletus Decanus Sancti Pauli Guilielmo Lilio ad Divum Paulum Ludi Moderatori primario, S. D.


Haud aliter mihi videor affectus in novam hanc scholam nostram, Lili charissime, quam in unicum filium pater: in quem non solum gaudet universam suam substantiam transfundere, verum etiam sua viscera, siliceat, cupit impertiri. Nam ut huic est parum genuisse, nisi eundem diligenti Educatione ad bonam frugem provexerit, ita meo animo non satis est, quod Ludum hunc institui, hoc est, genui, quodq; in sumpto patrimonio universo, vivus etiam ac superstes solidam hæreditatem cessi, nisi modis omnibus dem operam, ut pijs moribus & bonis literis diligenter educatus ad maturam frugem adolescat. Proinde libellum hunc de constructione octo partium orationis ad te mitto, pusillum quidem, sed non pusillum utilitatis allaturum nostræ pubi, si diligenter abs te fuerit traditus.

Which Colet recommends to Lilly to teach in his School.

Scis in præceptis brevitatem placere Flacco: Cujus sententiam ipse vehementer approbo. Porro, si qua præterea erunt digna cognitu, tuarum partium erit, ut incident in prælegendis authoribus, ad notare. Bene vale: Domi nostræ. MD XIII.

This Book De Constructione went some time under Erasmus's Name. Yet Erasmus declined to have it reckoned his, as being Lilly's Groundwork. And Lilly, on the other hand, modestly refused to have himself made the Author, after such considerable Changes and Improvements made by Erasmus. Who in the Year 1515, wrote a Preface before this Book, now commonly called, The Syntaxis, wherein he publickly disowned it to be his, out of respect to Lilly; concluding with these Words, Verum hæc mihi præfari visum est, ne post hac quisquam, ut meum amplectatur, i.e. But this I thought good to preface, that none hereafter might take the Book as mine.

Colet also framed a short Catechism in English, for the Youth of his School, which he obliged all to learn; and was used in the Times of Popery to be bound up at the beginning of the Accidence. It consisted of the Articles of the Christian Faith, the Doctrine of the Seven Sacraments, an Explanation of the Love of God, of our own selves, and of our Neighbours; and lastly, divers short Precepts for a good Life. To which he joined in the Latin the Apostles Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Ave Maria, and two short Prayers; one to the Virgin Mary, and the other to JESUS the Guardian of the School. And if the superstitious Parts of this Catechism had been laid aside; and the rest, which is very pious, had been retained for the Use of the School, it would, in my Opinion, have been very well done; and the Founder's Will more complied with.

Colet's Catechism for his School.

The primary Institution, Ordinances, Appointments and Documents of this School may be gathered from an old Statute Book, wrote by the Founder's own Hand, and by him delivered to Lilly; Which is thus inscribed, Hunc libellum ego JOANNES COLET tradidi manibus magistri Lillij, XVIII. die Junij, Anno Dom. MCCCCCXVIII. It begins, JOHANNIS COLETI Fundatoris scholæ manu sua propria prologus. "John Colet, Son of Henry Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, desiring nothing more than Education, and bringing up Children in good Manners and Literature, in the Year of our Lord a Thousand five hundred and twelve, builded a School [not fully finished till that Year] in the East End of St. Paul's Church for 153 Boys, to be taught free in the same. "

The Ordinances of St. Paul's School.

Ex. Chart. Societat. Merceror. Lond.

"And ordained there a Master, a Sur-Master, and a Chaplain, with sufficient and perpetual Stipends ever to endure; and set Patrons, Defenders, Governors and Rulers of the same School, the most honest and faithful Fellowship of the Mercers of London. "

" And for because nothing can continue long and endure in good Order without Laws and Statutes, I the said John Colet, have expressed my Mind, what I would should be truly and diligently observed and kept of the said Master, Sur-Master, and Chaplain, and of the Mercers, Governors of the School. That in this Book may appear to what Intent I founded this School."

Then follow his Ordinances, "That he founded the School in the Honour of Christ Jesu in pueritia, and of his blessed Mother Mary. That the High Master should be chosen by the Wardens and Assistants of the Mercers. That he be a Man whole in Body, honest, virtuous, and learned in good and clean Latin Literature, and also in Greek, if such might be gotten; a wedded Man, a single Man, or a Priest, that hath no Benefice with Cure or Service. His Wages to be a Mark a Week, and a Livery Gown of 4 Nobles, delivered in Cloth. His Lodgings to be free. And to have the Tenement of Stevenhith to resort unto. That the Sur-Master be versed in Learning and well Let-"

The Ordinances for the High Master;