The Schools of Medieval England

By A. F. Leach | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
UNIVERSITY COLLEGES, COLLEGIATE CHURCHES, AND SCHOOLS

THE twelfth century closed with a repetition by the Council of London in 1200 of the decree of the Lateran Council of 1179, "Let nothing be exacted from masters for licence to teach", and a revival once more, following the English canons of 994, of the canon of the Sixth Council of Constantinople in 692, that priests might send their nephews or other relations to be taught in cathedrals, and that they in their turn should keep schools in the towns or manors (villas) and teach little boys gratis, and have schoolmasters in their houses to teach boys, without expecting anything beyond what their relations were willing to give. A decree of the Lateran Council of 1215 complained that the former decree had not been observed, and ordered that not only in every cathedral church but in all others of sufficient means a fit master should be elected to instruct the clerks of the church and others in the faculty of grammar gratis; while every metropolitical church was to keep a theological teacher to teach the priests and others in the sacred page and matters concerning the cure of souls. Both grammar and theology teachers were to be given the revenue of a prebend, though they were not necessarily to be canons. Four years later, Honorius III ordered this decree to be strictly observed, and that, if there was any difficulty in finding masters, canons should be sent to theological schools for five years to study theology, while retaining their prebends. In accordance with these directions we find in the Lincoln Episcopal Register, the earliest extant in England, frequent directions to rectors and vicars on institution to attend schools. Thus in 1219 the Vicar of Barton-on- Humber was directed to attend the Lincoln school for two years to learn theology, and in 1225 the Rector of Potter Hanworth,

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