The Schools of Medieval England

By A. F. Leach | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
THE SCHOOLS FROM EDWARD THE ELDER TO EDWARD THE CONFESSOR

THE influence and the example of Alfred in his insistence on the importance of education continued to be felt and followed in the reigns of his son and grandson, Edward the Elder and Athelstan.

In the History of Warwick School and College, it has been shown that the existence of the school attached to the collegiate church of All Saints at Warwick in pre-Conquest days was vouched for by a royal writ of Henry I in 1123, confirming to the church "all its customs and the ordeals of iron and water as it enjoyed them in the time of King Edward and my father and brother, and the school in like manner". In all probability the church and school dated from the year 914, when Æthelflæd, the lady of the Mercians "with all the Mercians built the burh . . . towards the end of harvest at Warwick". The building of the borough, the arx (citadel, castle, or walls) of Warwick, was only one of a series of like buildings by Edward the Elder, Alfred's son, in concert with his sister, Ethelfled, the lady of the Mercians. Whether the building of a "burg", as the Winchester Chronicle, a "burh", as the Mercian Chronicle calls them, was the erection of citadels on a hill, or the planting of new towns, or merely the walling, sometimes, as at Towcester, expressly stated to be of stone, of old towns, is a matter of controversy foreign to this book. It is certain that these boroughs formed a series of fortresses, which held the Danes in check, and ended in the complete re-conquest of all that part of England, which Alfred's treaty with Guthrum had handed over to them, or rather left in their possession. Almost every place where this burg-building took place is afterwards found as a royal borough

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