ONE of the most important features in the Social Life of the later Middle Ages is the growing appreciation of the value of education, which in earlier days had been almost entirely confined to the clergy, and the increasing desire of the lower and middle classes to obtain it for themselves and their children, for nothing so surely breaks down barriers between classes as the spread of education. Ambitious men who wished to improve their position took great trouble to secure it--John Paston sent two of his sons to school in London and another to Eton, he himself went to Cambridge after he was married, and two other members of his family also went to college. Fathers often put directions in their wills regarding the education of their sons, and generous persons left bequests for the assistance of poor scholars, or for the maintenance of schoolmasters who were to give gratuitous instruction to those unable to pay for it. Sometimes testators arranged that books should be chained in churches so that they might be available for all who cared to consult them: thus John Gallion of Lowestoft, in 1472, requested his executors to purchase a liber grammaticus to be placed within the chancel of the parish church. In the flourishing com
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Publication information: Book title: English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages. Contributors: A. Abram - Author. Publisher: George Routledge & Sons. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1913. Page number: 204.