Schools. Mercers. Merchant Taylors. 169

Schools. Mercers. Merchant Taylors.

to time many that have proved able Statesmen, Prelates, and Divines, Physicians, and Civilians, and others that have been raised to Quality and Honour, whose Names cannot here be set down; only I will mention Sir Anthony Denny, Sir Edward North, Sir William Paget, Lupset, Leland, in more antient Times: In later times, Whitaker the learned Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, and Disputant against the Papists; Dr. Cumberland, the great Philosopher and Mathematician, as well as Divine; the antient Bishop of Peterborough, now deceased, and Dr. Meggot late Dean of Winchester, a singular Preacher; Sam. Pepys, Esq; Secretary sometime to the Navy; Sir Thomas Davies, late Lord Maior of London; Benjamin Calamy, D.D. Sir Charles Scarborough, one of the learnedest Physicians of his Time; Spencer Compton, Esq; Speaker of the House of Commons, and Knight of the Shire of Sussex.

Persons of Eminence Educated in the School.

I conclude this Catalogue with the mot Victorious Duke of Marlborough, one of the greatest Generals of this Age in Europe.

I only add further the Words of him that preached the last Anniversary Day before the Gentlemen bred up at the School. "At this present some of them [that had been Scholars there] are deservedly honoured with the Mace, the Coronet, and the Mitre."

S. Knight, D.D.

The Reverend Founder saw some Success of his School in his own Time. Sir Thomas More, who had a great Friendship with the Founder (who also was his Confessor,) in a Letter to him, compared his School to the Wooden Horse of Troy, out of which the Grecians issued to surprize the City. In like manner, said he, out of this your School many have come, that have subverted and overthrown all Ignorance and Rudeness.

Besides the Founder, the School hath enjoyed other Benefactors.


The Lady Camden, Wife to Sir Baptist Hickes, Lord Camden, (some time a Mercer in Cheapside) gave certain Exhibitions of 10l. per Annum, to such of the Scholars as went thence to Trinity College in Cambridge, besides other Exhibitions.



Another of these publick Schools is that which is kept at Mercers Chapel, which I subjoyn next to St. Paul's School, because it hath the same Patrons and Governors, viz. the Company of Mercers, who pay the Master 40l. a Year, and allow him an House, for which he is bound to teach 25 Scholars gratis. The School is of great Antiquity, and hath been under the Patronage of the Mercers so long that the Founder is not known: unless it be he that was the Founder of St. Thomas of Acons, Thomas Fitzthebald, who Married Thomas Becket's Sister. Who in the Reign of K. Henry II. founded in this Place an Hospital for a Master and Brethren, Knights Hospitalers: which upon a Surrender of it to K. Henry VIII. Anno 1528. was purchased by the Mercers, who continued the School, whether by Contract, or voluntary good Will, I am yet to seek. Only thus much appears, that when by an Act of Parliament, 25 Hen. 6. Four Grammar Schools were appointed to be opened in London for the Education of the City Youth, one of these was to be kept in the Hospital of St. Thomas of Acres, or Colechurch adjoining to it; and the Master of the said House, or Parson of the said Parish, from time to time to place a fit Schoolmaster there.

The School at Mercers Chapel.

The present (or late) Master of this School is Mr. Hilsby; the Usher, Mr. Fogg.



Another School of great Fame and Reputation is, that situated in the Parish of St. Laurence Pountney, near Caning Street, and Erected Anno 1661, 3. Elizab. by the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors of London, Emanuel Lucar being then Master of the said Company. Mr. Richard Hills, sometime Master of the Company, gave 500l. toward the Purchase of the Place where the said School stands, which was called The Manor of the Rose, an House belonging to a Duke of Buckingham.

Merchant Taylors School.

This School consisteth of Six Forms, where near three Hundred Boys have their Education; whereof by the Statutes of the School an Hundred are taught gratis, Fifty at 2s. 6d. a Quarter; and an Hundred at 5s. a Quarter. And for the due instructing of these, the School maintains a Master (whose Salary is 10l. a Year, but his Benefits otherwise very considerable) and three Ushers. And for the better Enquiry into the Proficiency of all the Scholars, there is an Order appointed for the Probation of the School to be made only by the Master and the three Ushers. The first Probation to be on the 11th Day of March; the Second on the 11th of September; the Third on the 11th of December; not being Sundays, and then upon the next Day following. And there be excellent Orders set down in the Registry, (kept in the School Library) to the Number of Thirteen, directory of the Master in this Business, as to his Probation and Tryal of the Abilities of all the Boys that learn there.

The State and Condition of it.

The Schools Three Probation.

In the Year 1645, the Company of Merchant Taylors appointed a Fourth Probation, upon the Motion of Mr. Du-Gard, then chief Master of this Grammar School, viz. that there shall be another private Probation of the Scholars, besides these Three which are already settled by the Orders of the School. And this is on the 15th Day June Yearly. The precise Manner of this Examination is set down in the School Registry; and all the Orders thereof allowed and approved under the Hands of some of the greatest Scholars and Divines in those times, viz. John Overal, D.D. Dean of St. Pauls; John Dove, D.D. John Spencer, D.D. Nic. Fenton, D.D. John Childerley, D.D.

A fourth Probation appointed.

It was further thought fit afterwards, for the satisfaction of the Master and Wardens, and Court of Assistants of the Merchant Taylors, as well for the true and faithful performance of the Probation of the Master and the three Ushers, as likewise to know what Boys profit most, and be the best and likeliest Scholars, that the Probations themselves should have their Examination and Tryal, to be done at two several times every Year. And this Examination to be made by two judicious Men, well learned both in Greek and Latin, being by the Master and Wardens thereunto requested two or three Days before. The Place of Examination to be in the South Part of the School, commonly called The Chapel. The Time to be between the 11th and 12th Days of the Months of March and September. And the whole Business to be so ordered, that the Examination be fully done between the Hours of Six and Eleven. The Master and Wardens, or two of them, to be at the School with the two learned Men at Six of the Clock in the Morning.

Examinations twice a Year.

The Masters of this famous School from the first Foundation of it to the present time, with the Year of their respective Entrance, and the time of their Continuance, the following Table will shew.

A Catalogue of the Masters of this School.

Registry of the School.



Richard Mulcaster, first Master. He was bred at Eaton School, afterwards removed to Kings College in Cambridge; afterwards became a Student of Christs Church, Oxon; noted for his excellent Skill in Grammar and Philological Learning; unanimously chosen the first Master of this School: many Years after removed to the Government of

Entrance, Anno 1561.

Continuance, Anno 25.