Survey of London: Schools

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Of Schooles and other houses of Learning.
IN the raigne of king Stephen, and of Henry
the ſecond
saith Fitzstephen, there were in Lon
, thrée principall Churches: which had fa-
mous Schooles,
Schooles of
philosophie by
priuiledge in
either by priuiledge and aunci-
ent dignitie, or by fauour of some particular per-
sons, as of Doctors which were accounted no-
table and renowned for knowledge in Philosophie. And there
were other inferior Schooles also. Upon Festiuall daies the
Maisters made solemne meetinges
Solemne mee-
tinges and dis-
puting of
schollers Logi-
cally and De-
in the Churches, where their
Schollers disputed Logically and demonstratiuely, as he termeth
it: some bringing Enthimems, other perfect Sillogismes, some
disputed for shew, others to trace out the truth: cunning Sophi-
sters were thought braue Schollers, when they flowed with
wordes: Others vsed Fallaxes: Rethoritians spake aptly to per-
swade, obseruing the precepts of arte, and omitting nothing that
might serue their purpose: the boies of diuers Schooles
schooles and
schollers their
did cap, or
potte verses, and contended of the principles of Grammar : there
were some, which on the other side with Epigrams and Rymes,
nipping and quipping their fellowes, and the faultes of others,
though suppressing their names, moued thereby, much laughter
among their Auditors: hitherto out of Fitzstephen for Schooles
and Schollers, and for their exercises in the Citie, in his dayes,
Sithence the which time, as to me it seemeth, by the increase of
Colledges and Studients in the Uniuersities of Oxforde and

Of Schooles and other houses of Learning.
Cambridge, the frequenting of Schooles and exercises of Schol-
lers in the Citie as had beene accustomed hath much decreased.
The three principall Churches, which had these famous
Schooles by priuiledges must needes be at the Cathedrall Church
of S. Paule
for one, seeing that by a generall Councell holden in
the yeare of Christ, 1.176. at Rome, in the Patriarchie of Lata-
, it was decreede that euery Cathedrall Church should haue
his Schoolemaister to teach poore Schollers
euery cathedral
Church had
his schoole for
and others as had
beene accustomed, and that no man shoulde take any reward for
licence to teach. The second as most ancient may seeme to haue
been the Monasterie of S. Peter at VVestminster, whereof Iu-
(Abbote of Crowland in the raign of William the Con-
writeth thus:) I Iugulphus an humble seruant of God
borne of English parentes, in the most beutifull Citie of
London, for to attaine to learning, was first put to VVest-
Free schoole at
in the raigne
of Edward the
and after to study at Oxforde, &c. And writing in
praise of Queene Edgitha, wife to Edwarde the Confessor,
I haue seene her, saith hee, often when being but a boy, I
came to see my father dwelling in the Kinges courte, and of-
ten comming from Schoole, when I met her, she would oppose
me, touching my learning, and lesson, & falling from Gram-
mar to Logicke, wherein she had some knowledge, she would
subtilly conclude an argument with mee, and by her hande-
maiden giue me 3. or 4. peeces of money, and send me vnto
the Palace where I should receiue some victuals, and then
be dismissed
The third Schoole seemeth to haue beene at the Monasterie of
S. Sauiour at Barmondsey in Southwark
: for other Priories, as
of S. Iohn by Smithfielde, S. Bartlemew, in Smithfielde. S.
Marie Ouery
in Southwarke, and that of the Holy Trinity by
Aldgate, were all of later foundation, and the Friories, Collea-
ges, and Hospitals in this Citie, were raised since them, in the
raignes of Henry the 3, Edward the 1. 2. and 3. &c. Al which hou-
ses had their Schooles, though not so famous as these first named.
But touching Schooles more lately aduanced in this Citie, I
reade, that king Henry the fift hauing suppressed the Priories
Priories alliens

aliens whereof some⎮were aboute London, namely one Hospitall,

Of Schooles and other houses of Learning.
called Our Lady of Rounciuall by Charing Crosse: one other
Hospitall in Oldbourne: one other without Cripplegate: and the
fourth without Aldersgate, besides other that are now worn out
of memorie and whilest there is no monument remayning more
then Rounciuall conuerted to a brotherhoode which continued
till the raign of Henry the 8. or Edward the 6. this I say, and o-
ther their schools being broken vp and ceased: king Henry the ſixt
in the 24. of his raigne
, by patent, appointed that there should be
in London, Grammar schooles, besides S. Paules, at S. Martins
Henry the sixt
Le Grand, S. Marie Le Bow, in Cheap, S. Dunstons in the west
and S. Anthonies. And in the next yere to wit, 1394 1. the said king
ordeyned by Parliament that foure other Grammar schools shold
be erected, to wit in the parishes of S. Andrew in Oldborne,
schools appoin
ted by Parlia-
Alhallowes the greate in Thames streete, S. Peters. v-
pon Cornehill
, and in the Hospitall of S. Thomas of Acons
in west Cheape, since the which time as diuers scholes by suppres-
sing of religious houses (whereof they were members) in the raign
of Henry the 8
. haue been decayed, so again haue some others been
newly erected, and founded for them: as namely Paules schoole,
Paules schoole
new builded.
in place of an old ruined house was builded in most ample manner,
and largely indowed, in the yeare 1512. by Iohn Collet Doctor
of Diuinity Deane of Paules, for 153. poore mens children: for
which there was ordeyned a Maister, Surmaister, or Usher, and
a Chaplen. Againe in the yeare 1553. after the erection of
Christes hospitall
Free schools in
Christes Hos-
in the late dissolued house of the Gray Friers,
a great number of poore children being taken in a Schole was
also ordaned there, at the Citizens charges. Also in the yere 1561.
the Marchant Taylors
Free schole
founded by
the Marchant
of London: founded one notable free
Grammar Schoole, in the parish of S. Lawrence Poultney by
Candleweeke streete, Richard Hils late maister of that Com-
pany: hauing giuen 500.£. toward the purchase of an house, called
the Mannar of the Rose, sometime the Duke of Buckinghams,
wherin the School is kept. As for the meeting of the Schoolemai-
sters, on festiuall daies, at festiuall churches, & the disputing of their
Scholers dispu
ted in S. Bartil-
Logically &c. whereof I haue before spoken, the same
was long since discontinued: But the arguing of the Schoole
boyes aboute 1th principles of Grammar, hath beene conti-
nued euen till our time: for I my selfe in my youth haue yearelie

Of Schooles and other houses of Learning.
seene on the Eue of S. Bartlemew the Apostle, the schollers
of diuers Grammar schooles repaire vnto the Churchyard of S.
, the Priorie in Smithfielde, where vpon a banke
boorded aboute vnder a Tree, some one Scholler hath stepped vp,
and there hath appoased and answered, till he were by some better
Scholler ouercome and put down: and then the ouercomer, ta-
king the place, did like as the first: and in the end the best apposars
and answerers had rewards, which I obserued not, but it made
both good Schoolemasters, and also good Schollers, diligently a-
gainst suchtimes to prepare themselues for the obtayning of this
garland. I remember there repayred to these exercises amongst o-
thers the Maisters & Schollers of the free Schooles of S. Paules
in London: of S. Peters at Westminster: of S. Thomas Acons
: and of S. Anthonies Hospitall: whereof the last na-
med commonly presented the best schollers: and had the prize in
those daies.
This Priorie of S. Bartlemew, being surrendred to H. the
. those disputations of Schollers in that place surceased.
Disputation of
Schollers in
And was
again (onely for a yere or twaine) in the raigne of Edward the 6.
reuiued in the Cloystre of Christes Hospitall, where the best
Schollers then stil of S. Anthonies schoole, howsoeuer the same
be now fallen, both in number and estimation, were rewarded
with bowes and arrowes of siluer giuen to them by Sir Martin
: neuerthelesse howsoeuer the encourage-
ment fayled, the children mindfull of the former vsage did for a
long season disorderly in the open streetes, prouoke one an other
with salue tu quoque, placet tibi mecum disputare, placet: and
so proceeding from this to questions in Grammar, they vsually
fel from that to blowes, many times in so great heapes that they
trobled the streets, & passengers, so that finally they wer restrained.
Of latter time, in the yeare of Christ, 1582. there was
founded a publike lecture in Chirurgerie to bee reade in the
Colledge of Phisitions,
Lecture in
in Knight-riders streete, and to begin in
the yeare 1584. on the 6. of May: and so to be continued for euer
twice in euery weeke, on wednesday and Friday, by the honora-
ble Baron, Iohn Lorde Lombley and the learned Richarde
Doctor in Phisicke: the Reader whereof to bee
Richarde Forster, Doctor of Phisicke during his life. Fur-

Of Schooles and other houses of Learning.
thermore about the same time there was also begunne a Ma-
thematicall lecture to be read in a fayre olde Chappell,
lecture read.
builded by
Simon Eayre, within the Leaden hall: wherof a learned Citizen
borne, named Thomas Hood was the first Reader. But this
Chappell and other parts of that hall being imployed for stowage
of goodes taken out of a great Spanish Caracke, the said Lecturs
ceased any more to be read, and was then in the yeare 1588. read
in the house of M. Thomas Smith in Grasse stréete, &c.
Last of all S. Thomas Gresham knight, Agent to the Quéens
Highnesse, by his last wil and testament made in the yeare 1579.
gaue the Royall Exchaunge, and all the buyldings thereunto ap-
pertayning, that is to say, the one moytie to the Mayor and com-
munaltie of London and their successors, vpon trust that they per-
forme as shalbe declared: and the other moitie to the Mercers in
like confidence. The Mayor and communaltie are to find foure
to reade Lectures, of Diuinitie, Astronomie, Musicke, and Geo-
metrie, within his dwelling house in Bishopsgate stréete, and to
bestow the summe of 200,£. to wit 50.£. the péece &c. The
Mercers likewise are to find thrée Readers, that is in Ciuill law,
Phisicke, and Rethorick within the same dwelling house, the sum
of 150.l. to euery Reader 50.l. &c. Which gift hath béene since
that time confirmed by Parliament, to take effect, and beginne
after the decease of the Lady Anne Gresham, which happened in
the yeare 1596. and so to continue for euer. Whereupon the
Lecturers were accordingly chosen and appointed to haue begun
their readinges in the moneth of Iune 1597. &c. which also they
do at this time performe. Whose names be Anthonie Wootton
for Diuinitie, Doctor Mathew Guin for Phisick, Doctor Henry
for the Ciuill lawe, Doctor Iohn Bull for Musicke,
Breerewood for Astronomie, Henry Brigges for Geometrie, and
Caleb VVillis for Rethoricke, to the great delight of many both
learned and louers of learning. These Lectures are read dayly in
the terme times, by euery one vpon his day, in the morning be-
twixt 9. and 10. in Latine: in the afternoone betwixt 2: and 3.
in English, saue that D. Bull is dispensed with to reade the Musicke
Lecture in English onely vpon two seuerall dayes, Thursday and
Saterday in the after noones, betwixt 3. and 4. of the clocke.


  1. Stow’s two dating methods do not correspond here. The year following the 24th year of Henry VI’s reign (I.e. his 25th year) should be between August 31, 1446 and August 30, 1447 (SM)


  • Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Broad Street Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 26 Jun. 2020,
  • Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Dowgate Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 26 Jun. 2020,

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MLA citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Schools. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 26 Jun. 2020,

Chicago citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Schools. The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed June 26, 2020.

APA citation

Stow, J., & fitz-Stephen, W. 2020. Survey of London: Schools. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London. Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

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Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Stow, John
A1  - fitz-Stephen, William
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London: Schools
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/06/26
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 


RT Web Page
SR Electronic(1)
A1 Stow, John
A1 fitz-Stephen, William
A6 Jenstad, Janelle
T1 Survey of London: Schools
T2 The Map of Early Modern London
WP 2020
FD 2020/06/26
RD 2020/06/26
PP Victoria
PB University of Victoria
LA English
OL English

TEI citation

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