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HOM. Od. ix. 27 






T HAVE gratefully to acknowledge my obligations 
-*- to some of my friends. I am especially indebted 
to Mr. William Kneen, who most kindly placed his 
skilful pencil at my service. His drawings (those 
facing pp. 44, 202, 224, 244, 252, 256, 258, and 261) 
represent subjects of interest, most of which have not 
been previously used in illustration of the School. 
Mr. Kneen has also given me most effective help 
in dealing with the other illustrations. I am also 
indebted to Mr. W. N. Just for assistance with 
the proofs, and to the unvarying kindness of Dr. 
Rutherford. Something I owe to the tenacious 
memories of my own kinsmen and connexions 
among Old Westminsters. 

J. s. 

Westminster^ i8g8. 

A 2 





Its Origines — Its Dependence upon Monastery and Chapter — Dissolu- 
tion of the Monastery and Foundation of the College — Nowell — 
The Scholars — Their Allowances — Restoration of the Monastery 
— Udal . . . . ... I 



Monastery Suppressed — New Foundation — Statutes — Revenues — 
Headmastership — Payment of Masters— Queen's Scholars and 
Town Boys — Tutors — School Buildings — Hall — Common Life — 
Celibacy — Dormitory and other Buildings — Christ Church and 
Trinity — Election — Competition — Maunday Money — Challenge 
— Liberty Boy — Ages at Admission — Preference for Oxford — 
Country and Town — The Plague — House at Chiswick . . 9 



Morning — First Lessons — Gustos — Breakfast — Authors Read — Greek 
— Dinner — Afternoon Lessons — Supper — Friday's Corrections — 
Sunday — Bevers — Station— Monitors — Holidays — The Play . 36 



Grant, Head Master — Greek — Camden, Head Master — His Prose- 
lytes — Third Master — Change of Schoolroom — Difficulties with 
Christ Church and Trinity — Benefactors — Ireland, Head Master 
— Pensions — Title of Queen's Scholars — The Plague — Gun- 
powder Plot — Wilson, Head Master . . . . 51 




Osbaldeston's Politics — His Friendship with Williams — Heylyn — 
A Royal Commission — Laud the Persecutor — Osbaldeston's 
Punishment — His Pupils — Cowley— Cartwright— Osbaldeston's 
Teaching — Geography — The Play — Disuse of Common Life — 
Epigrams — Class of Boys at the School — Westminsters at Christ 
Church — Bishop's Boys . . ... 65 



His Appointment — His previous Career — Political Changes — The 
Committee — The Covenant — Governing Body — The Engage- 
ment — Bagshaw — The School's Loyalty — Its Catholicity — 
Christ Church Students — The Restoration — Westminsters at 
Oxford — Dolben — Huguenots — Coronation of James II. — The 
Revolution — Busby's Last Years — Curtain Story — Benefactors 
— Boarders — Fees — Masters' Incomes — Busby's Expenditure on 
the School — The Library— Opposition of Academies — Classes 
of Boys— Distinctions of Rank — Boarding-houses — Preparatory 
Schools . . . . ... 79 



Busby's Qualities — His Freshness of Mind — Hebrew — Arabic — 
English — Pronunciation of Latin and Greek — Mathematics — 
Private Study— Little Tutor— Objectors to Busby's Method: 
Cowley, Locke — His later Teaching — Music — Games . . 113 



Knipe's Age — His Boys — Election — Scholarship of the School — The 
Shell — Freind, Head Master — His Qualities — Politics — Members 
of the School— Sir Robert Walpole's Hostility— Its Failure- 
Decay of the Dormitory — Hannes's Legacy — Dispute in the 
Chapter — Atterbury, Dean — Appeal to the King — Wren's De- 
sign — Lord Burlington — New Buildings begun — More Difficulties 
— Completion of the Work — Mon6s — Play Scenery — Epilogues 
— Town Boy — Plays — New Customs — The Westminster Gather- 
ing — Freind's Preferments — Incidents of School Life — Funerals 
of South and Addison — Catholicity of the School — Dames* 
Houses — Fees — Shadow and Substance — Holidays — Diet — 
Squibs — Challenge — A Benefactor . . • • I35 



His previous Career and Name — His Character — Effect on the School 
— Character of the Age— Chesterfield's View — The School and 
the World — Relaxed Discipline — Vincent Bourne— Teaching — 
Dick Sutton — Cowper — Nonsense Club — Westminsters at Oxford 
— Composition — Hebrew — Latin — Greek — Carteret — Parents' 
Motives — Fame of the School — Nicoll's Latter Days— Pre- 
paratory Schools — A Benefactor — Games — School Gate . 165 

Markham's Character — Demolition of the Old Dormitory — Green 
— Play Scenery — Epilogues — Macaronics — Distinctions of Rank 
— Bentham — Bicentenary — Hinchliffe— Smith, Head Master — 
George HL— A Whig School— School Life— Turbulence— The 
Trifler — Soldiers — India — The Hastings Cup— The Curriculum 
— Verses— French— Games — Smith's Boys — Benefactors . . 1S9 

Vincent's lifelong Connexion with the School — His Qualities — 
Southey — Religious Teaching — A Controversy — Spoken Latin 
— Town Boys' Play — Benefactors — Carey's early Career — Young 
Boys — * * Mills " — Rough Life — Amusements — Longevity — Plays 
— Fields — Carey's Boys — His Benefaction — Walls of School — 
Page's Character — Water . . . . . 207 

Its Difficulties — The Chapter — Revenues — Ecclesiastical Commission 
— Scholarships less Valuable — Dormitory — Boarding-houses — 
Growth of the City— Bad State of the School— Athletics- 
Cricket — Water — The Play — Wilberforce and Buckland, Deans 
— Visitation of the Crown — Liddell, Head Master . . 229 

Proposal to Abolish the Play— Reforms of the Chapter— Choristers — 
Sanitation — Liddell's Reforms— Growth in Numbers— Games — 
The Crimean Monument — Scott, Head Master — His Character 
— Play Scenery — Trinity and Christ Church — Gymnasium — 
Class Rooms— Public Schools Commission— Act of 1868— En- 
largement of the School— Ashburnham House — College Garden 
— Challenge — Election — Abolition of Under School — Games 
—Last Words . . . ... 244 


Lists .... 

Note on the Westminster Pronunciation of Latin 




I. Chapter Acts on Bevers and Commons . 

IL Consuetudinarium of the Early Part of the Seventeenth 
Century . . . . 

III. A School Exercise of Cowley's 

IV. Letter of Charles I. on the Westminster Supper 
V. Accounts of Francis Lynn 

VI. Extracts from Letters of Lady Caithness 

VII. Atterbury's Memorial to George I. 

VIII. Description of the Forms in Freind's time 

IX. Chapter Act Relating to Markham's Improvements 

X. Inscription on the Warren Hastings Cup . 

XI. Prologues to Town Boy Plays 





Queen Elizabeth 

Dean Goodman 

The Old Dormitory 

College Hall (interior) . 

A Black Jack . 


College Hall (exterior) 


Coronation of James H, 

The Busby Library 

Westminster in 1650 


Wren's Dormitory (exterior) 

Wren's Dormitory (interior) 


Westminster in 1750 

The School Gateway 

Little Dean's Yard 

The "Warren Hastings" Cup 


Tuttle Fields . 

Marbles in Cloisters 

A Window Up School . 


The Cloisters . 

The Star Chamber Doorcase in the School 

The Gymnasium 

Staircase in Ashburnham House 

In Ashburnham House . 

The Abbey from the Drawing School 

Dr. Rutherford 



































Its Orig-ines — Its Dependence upon Monastery and Chapter — Dis- 
solution of the Monastery and Foundation of the College — 
Nowell — The Scholars — Their Allowances — Restoration of the 
Monastery — Udal. 

T N some public documents, notably in the Act of 
-^ Uniformity, the Royal College of Westminster is 
associated with William of Wykeham's College at Win- 
chester and Henry the Sixth's College at Eton. There 
are some conspicuous points of likeness ; but in its 
foundation, and, to a less degree, in its history, West- 
minster differs almost as much from Winchester and 
Eton as from Harrow and Rugby. The other schools 
can fix their dates of birth, but the origin of Westmin- 
ster is lost in the obscurity of the Middle Ages. The 
beginning of its present life is ascribed to the year 1560 
and the pious bounty of Queen Elizabeth. Knowing 
this, a young Westminster is sometimes puzzled when 
he is enjoined to commemorate among his benefactors 
the name of King Henry the Eighth, In fact, Elizabeth 


did but re-establish, with some change of form, a school 
founded twenty years earlier by her father, and existing, 
probably even flourishing, under the rule of her sister 
and Cardinal Pole. Westminster cannot give to Eliza- 
beth the single devotion which Winchester owes to 
William of Wykeham and Eton to the Royal Saint. 

Even Henry the Eighth himself was not the father 
of education within the precincts of St. Peter's. Long 
before the suppression of the Abbey, though perhaps 
not so early as the days of the Confessor, there was 
a school of some sort in the cloister. Of the character 
of that school we know but little. If it was, as some 
have thought, a school of novices, it was no place of 
education in any worthy sense of the word. If it was 
only a singing school, it has no proper place in the 
pedigree of Westminster. If indeed we could trust 
Stowe, we could assert that it was something better 
than either. When King Henry established his school, 
Stowe was a boy of fifteen. Writing in later life he 
avers that among the scholars who in his youth 
gathered for the purpose of disputations in St. Bar- 
tholomew's Churchyard were the boys of the grammar 
school of St. Peter's, Westminster. That he regarded 
the school as no new foundation is certain, for he 
surmises that of the three great London schools 
referred to by Fitzstephen in his Life of Archbishop 
Becket Westminster was one. It is, however, possible 
that Stowe's memory deceived him. After 1560 the 
school sprang so rapidly into fame that he may have 
forgotten that it had no existence in his earliest years. 
In any case he mistook Fitzstephen, who wrote only of 
the city of London and not of the city of Westminster. 


On the other hand, there is some evidence of the 
existence of a grammar school in connection with the 
monastery. As early as the reign of Edward III. a 
salary was paid to an official who is styled " M agister 
scholarium pro eniditione puerorum grammaticorum." 
In these teachers of grammar we may find the fore- 
runners of that illustrious line of head masters which 
dates from 1540. 

Another point of difference from Winchester and Eton 
was the relation of Westminster to the Collegiate Church 
of St. Peter's. The School was an integral part of the 
College, and the Dean as head of the College was head 
also of the School. Apart from the College the School 
had neither revenues nor local habitation. It was 
entitled to its share both of money and of buildings, 
and it had a call upon the services of the Dean and the 
Prebendaries. In fact, its prosperity depended in no 
small degree upon the honesty and highmindedness of 
the Chapter. That dependence the School had for more 
than two centuries and a half but little cause to regret 
and much cause to like. The history of Winchester and 
Eton shows that a governing body created for a school's 
sake may prefer to exist for its own. If corruption was 
slower to creep into Westminster, its consequences were 
for a time more disastrous. There was a brief period 
in which the Chapter forgot its duties. Unhappily it 
was the very period when for several reasons the School 
most needed them. The neglect did not last long. If 
the School owed its decline in part to the Chapter, 
it must in part also ascribe its recovery to the Deans 
who succeeded Ireland and Turton. 

Whatever part the monks of St. Peter's may have 


taken in the work of education, the history of the 
School can hardly be carried back beyond the dis- 
solution of the monastery. Be Henry or Elizabeth its 
true founder, it is in character and aim essentially a 
work of the Reformation. In the month of January, 
1540, Abbot Benson and his twenty-four monks sur- 
rendered the Abbey to the King, who at once erected 
it into a college of secular canons. The new foundation 
included provision for a school of two masters and forty 
scholars, and Benson was appointed its Dean. In this 
form the College lasted only a few months, for in the 
following December it was changed into a Cathedral 
and Thomas Thirlby nominated its bishop. Benson 
retained his Deanery, and the twelve original Preben- 
daries were named in the foundation deed. In this 
Charter the King expressed his desire rather to amend 
than to destroy. One of his objects is expressly de- 
scribed as the liberal education of youth, and it is 
implied that such education was no new thing in the 
precincts of St. Peter's. As the School was already 
established no special mention is made of it in the 
deed ; in fact, John Adams, the first Head Master, had 
already entered upon his work. Three years later he 
was succeeded by Alexander Nowell, the author of the 
Catechism and the inventor of bottled beer. Among 
Nowell's boys was William Harrison, the author of the 
Description of England. Harrison describes himself as 
an "unprofitable grammarian." The phrase implies 
that the curriculum followed that of the numerous 
grammar schools which already existed in the country. 
Yet there was a difference. Strype says that Nowell, 
as Head Master of Westminster, " brought in the read- 


ing of Terence for the better learning the pure Roman 
style." The inference has been wrongly drawn that it 
is to Nowell that the School owes the Play. But the 
debt to Nowell was none the less considerable. The 
full bearing of Strype's statement has not always been 
appreciated. Great as were Colet's services to the 
cause of education, the curriculum which he estab- 
lished at St. Paul's was in some points retrogressive. 
At any rate, he was not afraid of barbarism. He set 
less store than did Wolsey on a training in pure 
classics. Nowell must indeed be regarded as the 
educational successor rather of the Cardinal than of 
his predecessor in the Deanery of St. Paul's. Colet 
took his Latin with all the contaminations of the 
Middle Ages. Nowell, like Wolsey, was determined to 
go to the pure fountains. 

In 1550 the bishopric was abolished, and the Dean 
resumed his full authority. The Dean at the time was 
Richard Cox, who on Mary's accession was thrown into 
prison, and afterwards retired to Frankfort. 

It does not appear that Henry desired to set himself 
in rivalry with the founders of Winchester and Eton. 
His foundations or reconstructions at Oxford and 
Cambridge associated his name with the cause of 
learning. He had the same object at St. Peter's, but 
the School was perhaps not his chief means of attain- 
ing it. The School was smaller than Winchester and 
Eton, and had a less place in the College of which it 
formed a part. Had not the King been in his last 
years when he substituted his own name for Wolsey's, 
it is possible that he might have exactly followed the 


example of Henry VI. As it was, it was left to his 
younger daughter to complete his work. 

Of the management and life of the School in the 
reigns of Henry and his son it is natural that not 
many particulars should have come down to us. From 
later regulations it may be doubtfully inferred that the 
School was not confined to the forty King's Scholars. 
Unlike some schools, Westminster did not profess to 
teach the elements. For the tenure of the scholarships 
certain qualifications were required, among them being 
ability to read and write, with some knowledge of 
grammar, but there was no competitive examination. 
The Dean nominated four scholars, and each of the 
Prebendaries three. The list of them was called a 
" ball," a sense of the word which seems to have 
escaped the editors of the Oxford dictionary. Some 
of the Prebendaries regarded their right as a source of 
profit, and in 1552 the Dean and Chapter decreed that 
anyone, who could be proved to have received a reward 
for a nomination, should lose his right for ever. At 
this time the scholars were in some cases day boys, in 
others what are now called half-boarders. There was 
a common table in the College Hall, but commons 
were kept for only eighty-seven days in the year, and 
there is no proof of the existence of a dormitory. For 
each scholar there was a yearly allowance of £^ 6s. 46., 
and the cost of his commons was deducted from this 
sum, while the remainder was paid to him. Those who 
boarded at home received £^, while the difference went 
to the commons of the Fellows or Prebendaries and 
the general charges of the mess. In order to determine 
the cost, a scale of prices was fixed from time to time. 


The actual scale does not usually appear, but in 1550 
a bushel of wheat was reckoned at twenty pence, and 
a barrel of double beer at twice as much. Two yards 
of broadcloth were priced at eleven shillings, so that if 
that quantity made a gown, and a gown lasted a year, a 
scholar would have something left to pay his shoemaker 
and hosier. These facts show that Elizabeth made at 
least one great change in the foundation. As a board- 
ing school Westminster rightly dates from 1560. 

I" 1553 Cox was succeeded in the Deanery by Hugh 
Weston, for the Government had not yet made up its 
mind to restore the monasteries. The work of the 
School went on, and its maintenance throughout Mary's 
reign may be used as an argument for its existence 
before the dissolution. As, however, the election of 
scholars was continued in accordance with King 
Henry's foundation, it is more probable that the 
Queen and her advisers did not look back to the far 
past. They were unwilling to abolish a place of educa- 
tion, even though it rose on the ruins of a monastery. 
This feeling had one strange effect. Before the end of 
Weston's reign Nowell was deprived of his prebend and 
fled to Germany. A successor to the headmastership 
was appointed, and the successor was a Protestant. 
This was Nicholas Udal, the famous flogging master of 
Eton, and author of the first English comedy. Able 
and learned as he was, there are other facts than his 
Protestantism which make it difficult to explain his 
appointment. The circumstances in which he departed 
from Eton had cast a cloud upon his name, and might 
be thought to disqualify him for further employment. 
That his rod was not always able to enforce gentle 


behaviour may be inferred from an incident recorded 
by Henry Machin in 1556: "A boy kyld a byge boye 
that sold papers and prynted bokes horlynge of a stone 
and yt*^ hym under the ere in Westminster Hall : the 
boy was one of the children that was [at the] sckoll 
ther in the Abbey." A better example of the West- 
minsters of Mary's reign is found in Edward Grant, the 
great Grecian, who in 1572 became Head Master of his 
old School. 

It was not until late in 1556 that the monastery 
was restored. Its mitre was conferred upon John of 
Feckenham, and a better choice could hardly have been 
made. If the new Abbot was no favourer of the new 
churchmanship, at least he was not afraid of the new 
learning. He seems to have possessed some of the 
spirit which had made Wolsey a founder of colleges, 
and to have shown it in his dealings with his own Abbey. 
His rule, however, lasted little more than two years. 

There is some evidence that when Udal was Head 
Master of Eton the study of Greek flourished there, and 
afterwards decayed. It is possible that he brought 
Greek to Westminster. It will at any rate be shown that 
after Elizabeth's accession Greek at once took a very 
considerable place in the curriculum of the School. It 
cannot, however, be proved that before that time Greek 
was studied in other books than the New Testament. 
Of Latin books Westminster soon began to put forth 
its own editions. Udal's Flowers for Latin Speaking 
Gathered out of Terence was published in 1560. It will 
be seen that English had to yield place to Latin in 
colloquial use. 


Monastery suppressed — New Foundation — Statutes — Revenues — 
Headmastership — Payment of Masters — Queen's Scholars and 
Town boys — Tutors — School Building's — Hall — Common Life — 
Celibacy — Dormitory and other Buildings — Christ Church and 
Trinity — Election — Competition — Maunday Money — Challenge — 
Liberty Boy — Ages at Admission — Preference for Oxford — Country 
and Town — The Plag-ue— House at Chiswick. 

'nr^HE accession of Elizabeth was accepted by many, 
-■- whom it threatened with degradation and ruin. 
In the Church of St. Peter's there must have been 
much apprehension of change ; but even the monks 
felt that, however changed in form, Westminster must 
keep an eminent place in the new order. In 1559 the 
bolt fell. The Abbot was planting elms in the yard 
when news was brought him that his monastery was 
dissolved. The news can hardly have been unex- 
pected, and the old man was not to be deterred from 
continuing his work. He was well assured, he said, 
that that church would always be kept for an encour- 
agement and seat of learning. His confidence was 
justified. In the following year the College of St. 
Peter's was refounded by letters patent. In some 
points Elizabeth's constitution differed but little from 
her father's, but the School took a much higher place 
in it. The College was now to consist of a Dean, 



twelve secular Canons or Prebendaries, two School- 
masters, and forty scholars, together with petty canons 
and other inferior members. Large estates were as- 
signed to the College, together with the Abbey Church 
and such of the monastic buildings as still stood. 

Although Elizabeth was willing to take the credit 
of a foundress, there was something of filial duty in 
her reconstruction of the College. Her father on 
founding the bishopric had explicitly stated the pur- 
poses of his foundation. The chief of them were the 
ministry of the services of the Church, the liberal edu- 
cation of youth, and the sustenance of aged servants 
of the Crown. Elizabeth acted in her father's spirit, 
and showed, both in the terms of her foundation and 
in many acts during her long reign, that she regarded 
the prosperity of the School as of equal importance 
with the ministry of the College Church. 

The deed which founded the College did not contain 
statutes for its management. The first Dean of the 
re-established Church was William Bill, who was also 
Provost of Eton and Master of Trinity. Bill was no 
unworthy occupant of the place. He was an adherent 
of the new learning and a reformer, who had suffered 
something for conscience sake in the late reign. To 
him it was apparently left to draw up statutes for the 
administration of the college. Bill, however, survived 
his promotion little more than a twelvemonth. The 
statutes bear marks of his hand, especially in the 
adoption of the Eton curriculum, but in the form 
which they finally took they seem to have been the 
work of his successor, Gabriel Goodman. The new 




Dean was a dependant of Cecil's, and owed his pro- 
motion to his patron, while his Welsh birth found him 
favour in the eyes of the Tudor Queen. Cecil was a 
patron and benefactor of the School, and has even been 
credited with the design of making it the nucleus of 
a university. His appointment of Goodman was made 
in a fortunate hour. The new Dean was but little over 
thirty, and had no desire for a greater place. Remain- 
ing in the Deanery for forty years he was able to guide 
the College through its tender youth and establish a 
constitution, under which it flourished for nearly three 

It is said that the statutes were never formally 
ratified by the Queen. It is possible that she meant to 
keep a free hand during her lifetime. Indeed, she 
sometimes set the statutes aside. For instance, they 
provided that the Head Master should be a clerk in 
orders, but in 1593 the Queen procured the place for 
Camden, who, although he was at one time a Prebendary 
of Salisbury, remained a layman to his death. In the 
same way the clause which excluded the wealthier 
classes from the Queen's Scholarships was deliberately 
ignored. With these exceptions the statutes were 
practically recognized in letters patent both of Eliza- 
beth herself and of subsequent sovereigns. Three 
centuries later the legal advisers of the Crown declared 
that such parts of the statutes as had been consistently 
observed had the force of law. 

Apart from the College the School had no indepen- 
dent existence or revenues. Nor was the distribution 
of the revenues fully prescribed by the deed of founda- 


tion. Payments to the different members of the College 
were fixed by the statutes. The Head Master received 
as salary £\2 ^ year, raised to ;^20 before the statutes 
took their final form. He had also £i los. od. for his 
gown, and £6 is. 8d. for commons. The Second 
Master's fees were £'j 6s. 8d., £i 3s. 4d., and £6 is. 8d. 
The forty Scholars had each £1 os. lod. for commoris 
and two marks for gowns. The gown of course was no 
mere ornament worn over the coat, but the chief part of 
the raiment. It survives in the blue coat of Christ's 
Hospital. The sums paid to the Masters and Scholars 
amounted to nearly one-fourth of the total payments 
made to the Dean, Prebendaries, and other members 
and officers of the College. The general charges, 
including the maintenance of the fabric, were not 
inconsiderable. Of the whole revenue it would seem 
that about one-tenth was appropriated to the uses of 
the School. Unfortunately it was not foreseen that 
while the value of money fell there would be a large 
increase in the revenues. The control of the revenues 
remained with the Chapter. It will be seen how in 
course of time the Dean and Prebendaries came to treat 
the surplus as their own. For more than three centuries 
they left the Head Master's salary at ;£^20, even when 
each Prebendary was receiving sixty times his statutory 
salary. Nor was there in this point any change until 
the Public Schools Act took the control out of the 
Chapter's hands. 

The appointment to the headmastership rested alter- 
nately with the Dean of Christ Church and the Master 
of Trinity, subject to the approval of the Dean of 


Westminster. In early times the influence of the 
Crown was sometimes employed. After Busby's time 
this principle fell into abeyance. Indeed, from 16 10 to 
1764 the Head Master was invariably a Westminster 
student of Christ Church. 

The duties of the Head Master were defined with 
details that seemed to credit him with little enterprise. 
Not only was he enjoined to instruct in the tongues, in 
the poets and the orators, and to mould morals and 
manners, but he was to enforce cleanliness of skin 
and neatness of dress, hair, and nails. Above all he 
was to take care that no pediculi were to offend by 
presence on a boy or transition to his neighbour. 
Those were days when the Laus Pediculi had not only 
the humour which still provokes a smile, but also the 
practical application of which modern habits have 
deprived it. More than a century later Aubrey, in his 
sketch of education, would have his butler "to be a 
barber to shave the boys' heads and keep them free 
from '' that which is best named in Latin. 

In addition to their fixed stipends the Masters had 
their profits from their boarders. 'JThe payment was in- 
adequate, and they took means to supplement it. 
Every boy in the School was supposed to give a 
Christmas gift to each of the Masters. Practically the 
gift was a compulsory payment. In Busby's time the 
Head Master received a guinea, the Second Master half 
a guinea, and the Usher a crown, but the Usher had 
nothing from the forty Scholars. It is probable that 
the payment was originally less, but the sum is not 
known. After twenty-four years of service as Second 


Master and Head Master, Camden was able to declare 
that he had gathered a contented sufficiency by his 
long labours in the School. This he could hardly have 
done save by the Christmas gifts. 

Under the new foundation the Queen's Scholars were 
to be boarders. It was thus necessary to provide them 
with lodgings. The addition of Town boys to the 
previous foundation also called for an increase in the 
space occupied by the School. Indeed, though 
Elizabeth was not the first foundress of the College, 
she was none the less the real mother of the School. 
Her father's foundation had provided for forty Scholars 
and no more. Such a diminutive school could never 
hope to take a leading place. Elizabeth had other 
aims. The statutes, framed in accordance with them, 
enjoined that the Queen's Scholars should be chosen 
from boys who had already been at least a year in the 
School. It was thus necessary to make regulations for 
those who came to be known as Town boys. They 
were divided into three classes, Pensioners, Peregrines, 
and Oppidans. The Pensioners boarded with the Dean, 
one of the Prebendaries, or one of the Masters. The 
Dean might take six, the Head Master four, and the 
Second Master and each Prebendary two each. There 
could thus be thirty-six in all, but it is doubtful if there 
was ever the full number. Some of them had commons 
with the Queen's Scholars. In 1566 the number of 
those who had this privilege was limited to fourteen, 
the Dean to have two, and each Prebendary one. The 
Head Master's Pensioners no doubt lodged in his house, 
and the Second Master found room for two in his 


tower. The Dean's Pensioners are supposed to have 
been, like the Warden's Commensales at Winchester, 
boys of superior rank. This is probable, but can hardly 
be asserted as truth. David Barry, a son of David 
Barry, Viscount Buttevant, was a Dean's Pensioner in 
1600. Robert Cecil sent him and paid for him. With 
the decay of celibacy Pensioners were taken only by 
the Masters. The name died out, and with the 
Peregrines they became known as boarders. 

The Pensioners were intermediate between the 
Queen's Scholars, who were full members of the 
foundation, and the Peregrines and Oppidans, who 
were not on the foundation at all. Their membership 
of the College was like that of commoners at Oxford 
and pensioners at Cambridge. While the Queen's 
Scholars were said to be " admitted " into the College, 
the Pensioners were " received " as " studiorum socUr 
The Oppidans were the sons of residents in Westminster 
and the neighbourhood, the Peregrines country boys, 
who boarded with kinsmen or friends. The Oppidans 
thus answered to the present home boarders. The 
Choristers were only so far members of the School that 
they were to attend lessons during two hours on each 
week-day. Before doing this they were to have received 
a preparatory training in grammar. Godfrey Goodman, 
the Dean's nephew, and afterwards Bishop of Gloucester, 
started his Westminster career as a Choir boy. 

It was provided that the members of the School 
should never exceed one hundred and twenty beside 
the Choristers, but this provision became obsolete in 
the Queen's reign. The limitation was made in the 


interest of the Masters, but it will be shown that an 
addition to the original staff soon made it unnecessary. 
Had it been observed, the Queen's real intentions 
would never have been fulfilled. 

Of one class of persons attached to the College the 
position has not been satisfactorily explained. The 
weakness of early years, say the statutes, needs the 
advice and wisdom of the elders. Every Queen's 
Scholar and Pensioner had, therefore, to be under 
the guidance of a tutor. The tutor was responsible 
for the pupil's behaviour and, a matter of equal 
importance to the College, for his dues and charges. 
The tutor supplied his pupil with raiment, bedding, 
and other necessaries, and in case of sickness took 
the boy away. The tutors seem also to have exercised 
some general supervision over their pupils' studies. 
They do not seem to have been necessarily members 
of the College, and it may be that we find in them 
the predecessors of the Assistant Masters. 

It has been asserted that in monastic times the 
west cloister was used as the schoolroom. However 
that may have been, the expulsion of the monks left 
y\ ample room for the needs of the new foundation. The 
Abbot's public refectory became the dining-hall of the 
College, while the granary was used as the dormitory 
and living room of the Queen's Scholars. Both the 
granary and the Hall had been built by Abbot 
Litlington in the latter half of the fourteenth century. 
The Hall stands near the south-west corner of the 
Church, and north of it, under the same roof, is 
Jerusalem Chamber. The Hall was, in fact, part of 


the Dean's house, and long continued to be so. In 
1640, when Dean Williams was suspended and sent 
to the Tower, Laud obtained from the King leave for 
Archbishop Usher to occupy the Deanery. When 
Usher complained that he could not get the keys of it. 
Laud wrote to him that he might dwell in the house, 
where there was room enough for him, but the keys 
he could not have, " for the King's Scholars must come 
thither daily to dinner and supper in the Hall, and the 
butler and other officers must come in to attend them, 
and to this end there is a porter by office and oath, 
that keeps the keys." 

At first the Queen's Scholars were not alone at 
their meals. In accordance with collegiate use the 
Dean, if he chose, the four Prebendaries in residence, 
and the other members and servants of the College, 
took their meals in common ; for these all, except 
the Queen's Scholars, paid in certain proportions. In 
the case of the Scholars the allowance for commons 
was taken as covering the cost, but on any dispersion 
of the School, as for the plague, they received each a 
shilling a week to feed them at home. In 1564 it 
was arranged that on default of any Prebendary in 
residence the Head Master should preach in his place 
and receive his commons free. At other times the 
Head Master paid three shillings and sixpence a week, 
a sum which exceeded his allowance by something 
more than a shilling. In 1594 the Queen expressed 
her desire that the Head Master should have his 
commons free, and the Chapter accordingly granted a 
patent for them to Camden. This right was continued 


to his successors. The Under Master did not obtain 
his commons free until the Prebendaries generally 
ceased to take their meals in Hall. Of the thirty-six 
Pensioners two of the Dean's and one of each of the 
Prebendaries' received their commons free. For the 
other twenty-two payment seems to have been made 
at the weekly rate of one shilling and ninepence 
apiece. Choristers were admitted to the Scholars* 
commons in 1605. As the College was bound to 
show hospitality, the sums paid did not cover the 
total cost of commons, and the deficiency was made 
good in money or kind out of the general revenues. 

Some members of the College were enjoined to show 
their gratitude by gifts. Within a month of his admis- 
sion the Dean was to present a silver-gilt spoon of the 
value of thirteen and fourpence, and a silver-gilt cup of 
the value of six pounds ; and each Prebendary a silver 
spoon worth ten shillings, and two pounds ten towards 
the price of a cup. Pensioners were to contribute 
twenty shillings towards the price of a cup or salt- 
cellar, and to pay one shilling quarterly to the cost of 
their commons. If the School ever had the use of 
these gifts, it must have lost it with the discontinuance 
of the common life. It was not till 1697 that the King's 
Scholars were allowed the use of a spoon. In that 
year the butler was directed on the admission of a 
Scholar to " deliver to him a spoon and no more to be 
allowed at the College charge." 

The common life of the College of course required 
celibacy, and celibacy the Foundress was determined 
to enforce. In August, 1561, she issued an order, 


addressed to the Archbishops, and forbidding the resort 
of women to the lodgings of cathedrals or colleges on 
any pretence. The rule of celibacy no doubt obtained 
throughout her reign, but it hardly survived her. 
Andrewes, who was Dean at the time of her death, 
died a bachelor, and Montaigne and Williams, who 
held the Deanery from 16 10 down to the Civil War, 
followed his example, but Neile, who preceded Mon- 
taigne, had a wife. The Head Masters held out longer, 
for it would seem that they were bachelors till the year 
1695. The dissolution of the common life began with 
the Prebendaries and the Second Masters. Thomas 
Hardinge, who became Second Master in 16 10, was a 
married man, and "had his abode in his own familie." 
It is possible that an Usher occupied the tower, 
though years later complaint was made that the 
Second Master's absence had ruined discipline in the 
dormitory. In 163 1 most of the Prebendaries were 
married men, and made their wives an excuse for the 
neglect of their duties. 

The common life was most evident in the College 
meals. In their own dwelling the Queen's Scholars 
were under the sole control of the Second Master. The 
ancient granary, which was assigned as the place of 
their sleep and private studies, stood some little way 
to the south-west of the Hall, on what is now the 
open space of Dean's Yard. It was a substantial 
edifice built on stone arches, with a habitable tower 
at one end. Its selection for the Scholars' dormitory 
was the work of Dean Bill, and his bounty supplied 
it with furniture ; but it is doubtfully asserted that the 


room was not occupied by the boys until the time of 
Gabriel Goodman, who in 1561 succeeded Bill in the 
Deanery. The actual dormitory was one chamber, 
known for at least a century as the Long Room. The 
rooms in the tower were occupied by the Under Master. 
The present dormitory has for some time been known 
in common parlance as "College," but the name seems 
never to have been attached to its predecessor. The 
reason is obvious. For two centuries or more "College" 
was the ordinary designation both of the whole society 
and of the buildings occupied by it. Dean, Prebend- 
aries, and Masters habitually dated their letters from 
"Westminster College," and historians and biographers 
hardly used any other name for it. In formal and 
correct use the whole School is still described as St. 
Peter's College, Westminster. 

The ancient buttery became what it has ever since 
been, the Head Master's house, while some other room 
was used as the actual place of teaching. It was not 
well fitted for its purpose. It was small and low, and 
the School soon outgrew it. It was, however, in use 
for some forty years. There was, of course, no thought 
of providing form -rooms, and the whole School was 
taught under a single roof This was accounted an 
essential part of the common life. 

The Hall was heated by an open fire under a louvre. 
The louvre still exists, but a stove with a subterranean 
chimney took the place of the open fire in 1848. Logs 
were burned both in the Hall and in the kitchen, sea- 
coal not finding its way into the kitchen until 1606. In 
the dormitory it is doubtful if any means were taken to 


keep out the frost. After a time the Chapter made an 
allowance of logs, but the number was insufficient, and 
the boys paid for the necessary supplement. 

It was part of Elizabeth's scheme to bring her College 
of St. Peter's into close union with her father's founda- 
tions of Christ Church in Oxford and Trinity College in 
Cambridge. In this she was following the examples of 
William of Wykeham and Henry VI., but with this 
difference, that she imposed upon a College in either 
University an obligation which her predecessors had 
limited to one. The red rose was to be brighter than 
the white and to outshine the mitre. Three Scholars at 
the least were to be elected annually on to the founda- 
tion of Christ Church, and three to the foundation of 
Trinity. The letters patent, by which this Election was 
prescribed, expressed the Queen's wish that even more 
should be chosen. Such royal mandates were not 
infrequently issued without much regard to the means 
of obeying them. The right to Election was confined to 
the Queen's Scholars, and was not thrown open to the 
Town boys until 1873. 

As the choice of Students to Christ Church and pro- 
spective Scholars to Trinity took place at the School, 
there was every year a two-fold Election. The boys 
who stood for admission to College were called minor 
candidates, while those who desired to be " sped away," 
as the phrase ran, to Oxford or Cambridge, were known, 
as they still are, as major candidates. Of both the 
minor and the major candidates the choice originally 
lay with the same Electors. These were seven men, 
chosen from the three royal Colleges. From St. Peter's 


were the Dean or his deputy, the Head Master, and 
another, usually a Prebendary. The Dean of Christ 
Church and the Master of Trinity, appearing in person 
or by deputy, brought each a Master of his own house. 
The Electors from Oxford and Cambridge were to 
receive a reasonable sum for expenses from the funds of 
St. Peter's College. 

At Election former Queen's Scholars were invited to 
dinner by the College, and during the meal the boys 
regaled them with epigrams. The *'cap" which goes 
round after dinner was probably an early institution, 
but, as the money was divided, no boy's purse was as 
full as the Etonian's who profited by montem. On the 
Tuesday the Electors were in School, and the boys 
recited declamations on appointed theses. These verses 
were usually from the Master's pen, but occasionally a 
candidate wrote his own. This custom ceased in the 
early part of the present century. On the Wednesday 
the major candidates elected to Christ Church and 
Trinity took their leave with declamations delivered 
"up School" to the Dean, Prebendaries, Masters, and 

The principles of Election on to the foundation were 
prescribed by the statutes, and ratified by letters patent 
issued in 1576. Special regard was to be paid to a boy's 
intellect, learning, character, and want of means. No one 
of these claims was to have more weight than another. 
A preference, however, was given to the Choristers and 
to sons of tenants of the College. It has been asserted 
that only the Pensioners were eligible. This is an error 
founded on a misreading of the statutes. There were, 


however, some further restrictions. No boy was to be 
admitted before eight years of age, nor until he had 
been a whole year in the School. Not more than one 
could be taken from any one county at the same Election, 
and no owner of or heir apparent to a property exceed- 
ing ten pounds a year was eligible. These last restric- 
tions, if they were ever observed, soon fell into abeyance, 
and the change in the value of money would have made 
the latter unduly harsh. In fact, from the beginning 
some of the Scholars were not sons of poor parents. 
Most of them would be technically described as 
plebeiorum filii, and some were of narrow means. 
These shared in Robert Nowell's benefaction. Nowell, 
who died in 1569, left money to give gowns to the poor 
scholars of schools about London. Giles Ascham, 
the son of Elizabeth's tutor, whose widow was left in 
poverty, owed his Queen's Scholarship to the interces- 
sion of Burleigh. On the other hand, the College was 
not five years old when it admitted a son of Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. The Queen 
was too wise to desire that the younger sons of the 
governing class should be excluded from an intellectual 

The minimum of knowledge that qualified a boy for 
a Scholarship was acquaintance with the eight parts 
of speech, and ability to write at least moderately. 
Although the Queen's Scholars were elected from 
Town boys of at least a year's standing, the same 
qualifications were required for admission to the School. 
Though some of the boys may have been trained at 
home, the regulation clearly implies the existence of 


preparatory schools. These must have been the small 
grammar schools and Church schools in London and 
elsewhere, which for a time served as a nursery for 

In one point Election at Westminster stood alone. It 
followed, at least nominally, on a competitive examina- 
tion. This was a novel principle, of which the credit is 
probably to be assigned to Bill or Goodman. It was a 
principle which some at least of the Electors and many 
parents could hardly bring themselves to recognize. 
The Prebendary, who acted as an Elector, thought 
himself entitled to nominate a Scholar, and interest 
was very often employed to obtain a Scholar's place. 
Nor did the principle find imitators elsewhere. In 1 864 
the Commissioners reported that "until lately the 
foundation at Westminster was the single one among 
all the public schools to which admission was obtained 
by competition." 

It is perhaps worth while remarking that competition 
is a method which to a superficial observer is not to the 
interests of the less wealthy. If a place on an educa- 
tional foundation be viewed as a gift of charity, it is 
not sought by those whose means can send them to the 
School without it. Of the present King's Scholars of 
Eton not a few would before the establishment of 
competition have refrained from seeking a place in the 
College. T\\Q plebei filius would have stepped in before 
them unchallenged. It may, however, well be doubted 
if a restriction of the competition be really to the 
interest of those who seem to gain by it. The " mute 
inglorious Milton " is a creature of fiction. There may 


be quoted now, as there may be quoted again, the witty- 
saying of a Westminster Scholar. " Many a boy," said 
South, " runs his head against a pulpit who might have 
done his country excellent service at the plough-tail." 
Westminster was less obnoxious to his reproach than 
any other School. Not a few of her ablest Scholars 
were the sons of poor parents, but she has seldom been 
induced by the mere plea of poverty to bestow a gift 
whose momentary delight was to be followed by a life- 
time of bitterness. Nor has wealth been accounted a 
good ground for exclusion. Granville Leveson-Gower, 
elected into College in 1736, and afterwards Marquis of 
Stafford, was heir to the broad lands of his ancestors. 

From early times it was no uncommon thing for a 
boy of promise to receive help from persons of fortune. 
In 1580 Richard Neile, afterwards Archbishop of York, 
was sent to Cambridge by Mildred, Lady Burleigh. 
The boy's father, a tallow chandler, had died poor, and 
the son, though of no mean parts, was not a good 
grammarian. It is not known whether he missed 
Election for this defect, or was a Town boy and there- 
fore ineligible. When he rose to fortune he showed his 
gratitude by sending yearly to the Universities two or 
more King's Scholars who had missed Election. Some 
instances of later date will be mentioned hereafter. 

The Queen also founded prizes in a form which still 
exists and is peculiar to Westminster. An annual grant 
of £2 in Maunday money was given in rewards for 
exercises in prose or verse. In the seventeenth century 
the coins seem to have fallen to the composers of 
extemporary verses in Latin and Greek. At a later 


period English verses also made their claim, and the 
epigram was rewarded with a Maunday penny. 
Cowper's reference to his prize is well known : — 

" Where discipline helps opening buds of sense, 
And makes his pupils proud with silver pence, 
I was a poet too." 

The limitation of the coinage gave an artificial value 
to the small pieces of silver. Soon after Cowper's time 
some at least of the boarding-house masters used to 
give four shillings for each Maunday coin. The 
shillings were a house reward, but were not all loss 
to the master. At the present time the coins go to 
boys who are at the head of their forms or sets in each 
month. One too is given to the reciter of each School 
epigram. Of the custom of giving books as prizes 
there appears no trace in the early times. The library 
of a boy who was elected to Christ Church must have 
been much scantier than it sometimes is in the present 

The examination of minor candidates is known as 
"Challenge." The name descends from the earliest 
times, but the method has been changed more than 
once. The statutes provided that the boys should 
appear before the Electors on the Monday and Tuesday 
of Election week, and be examined in grammar, in 
humaner letters, and in composition. This brief ex- 
amination probably continued in use until the reign 
of Queen Anne. 

The boy who was elected head of the list into 
College was known as Captain of his Election and as 
Liberty boy. The latter title was conferred upon him 


by the seniors, and expressed a very real benefit. After 
admission the juniors appeared before the seniors, and 
the others heard their fate in the words addressed to 
the Captain : liber esto, ceteri servi. The servitude, from 
which the Liberty boy was free, was never formally 
recognized, but was none the less effective. It is 
described by William Taswell, admitted in 1666 : " I 
was extremely maltreated," he said, " during my seven 
months and two weeks' servitude as junior by the 
monitors, whom the considerable share of power with 
which they are invested renders insolent : employed 
chiefly in performing the menial office of a servant, in 
consequence of this diverted from my studies, and even 
when freed from the state of slavery could scarce return 
to them, indulging a lazy disposition." It is probable 
that fagging had not been so bad in the earliest days 
of the School. The Captain had to pay for his free- 
dom. In the seventeenth century he was expected to 
give a guinea to every senior. 

Queen's Scholars of fifty and sixty years ago are apt 
to imagine that the gradations in College, as they knew 
them, were coeval with the foundation. At that time 
it was customary for a boy to be admitted into College 
in his fifteenth year, to remain four or — with special 
leave — five years, and to be a major candidate at the 
end of the course. During this course he was called 
successively a junior, a second election, a third election, 
and a senior. But this rule was unknown in the earliest 
times. It was the creation of the eighteenth century, 
and even in that century the exceptions were very 
numerous. Before that time there was no uniformity 


in the age of admission or in the length of the tenure 
of a scholarship, and but little in the age of the major 
candidates. Thus of the boys elected to Christ Church 
in 1589 two were aged nineteen at matriculation, and 
he third was but fifteen. Down to the reign of Queen 
Anne the scholarships were most commonly held for 
two or three years, but instances can be quoted of wide 
divergence. Samuel Fisher was admitted as Captain 
in 1669 at the age of eighteen, and was elected to 
Christ Church in the following year. In 1675 William 
Rayner was admitted into College, and he was elected 
to Oxford seven years later. There can be no doubt 
that Fisher never was a junior. In fact, the gradations 
in College depended rather upon a boy's age at 
admission than on his standing as a Queen's Scholar. 
It followed that the number of seniors and juniors 
was not always the same. It is known, for instance, 
that in 1689 there were not ten seniors but eight. In 
the difference of ages at admission the present system 
is a reversion to the original plan. In fact, the history 
of Westminster is a record of change, while in each 
generation of Westminsters some are apt to imagine 
that all reforms began after their own time. The 
changes were least in the actual work of teaching, 
and the conservatism was strongest in the successors 
of Busby. 

Of the difference of ages at admission there were 
several causes. Not the least was the undisguised 
partiality of the Electors. They had indeed to take 
an oath against it, but either they avoided the 
obligation or the oath sat lightly on the clerical 


conscience. Their neglect of it found encouragement 
from high places. Elizabeth would not have been 
herself if she had not occasionally made a nomination 
of her own. Burleigh procured the admission of 
Giles Ascham, and other statesmen followed his 
example. In fact, each Elector claimed a right to 
nominate a boy. Some of them even looked for a 
reward. Peter Heylyn as a Prebendary was thrice 
an Elector, and complained that, though he had put 
three boys on to the foundation, he had not got by 
it so much as one pint of wine nor anything of less 
moment. As late as 1689 Francis Lynn was twice 
put by "for want of friends," and was not admitted 
until he " stood captain " and could not for very 
shame be passed by. Two years later he was " elected 
away Captain of the School to Trinity College in 

Something of the same unfairness was shown to 
the major candidates, but here there was a force to 
restrain it. The Electors from Christ Church and 
Trinity had their own interests to consider, and would 
not take a bad scholar. In 1604 James I. desired the 
election of one Moreton to Cambridge, but the boy 
was not accepted. To a titular precedence less 
objection was made. In 171 3 Atterbury, then Dean 
of Christ Church, told Bishop Trelawny that his boy 
should go first of his Election to Christ Church in 
whatever place he stood, and the Dean fulfilled his 
promise. Such a favour was, perhaps, not often shown 
to any but the son of an Old Westminster. 

If there was some partiality in both Elections, 


there was one point on which the Electors for many 
years showed great strictness. They would allow no 
genius to atone for ignorance of the rules of grammar. 
This Cowley found to his cost in 1636. His Head 
Master fully recognized his abilities, but the young 
poet would not learn according to the rules. He 
was rejected by Trinity in favour of four boys, no 
one of whom afterwards made any figure. Yet Cowley, 
though he had already published a volume of poems 
and written a comedy, seems not to have thought 
that any injustice had been done him. Indeed, he 
had little cause, for the authorities of Trinity conceded 
to Cowley the poet what they refused to Cowley the 
King's Scholar. He was at once elected to a scholar- 
ship, and in 1640 to a fellowship of the College. The 
rejection of his favourite pupil can hardly have pleased 

Originally the date of Election was fixed for the 
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after St. Peter's 
day. As it clashed with the Cambridge commence- 
ment. Dean Goodman consented to a change. The 
week of Rogation Sunday was chosen instead. For 
the Students of Christ Church the choice of this time 
of year was unfortunate. As the terms were arranged 
they could not always graduate in time to keep the 
emoluments of their studentships. In such cases it 
was necessary for them to apply for a dispensation. 
Such dispensations were easily granted, and several 
Westminsters were allowed to reckon terms, which in 
fact they had not kept. It was perhaps difficult to fix 
a date that would be equally convenient to the boys 
and to the Electors, 


From the beginning boys preferred Oxford to Cam- 
bridge. The preference was strengthened by a material 
consideration. A studentship at Christ Church was of 
considerable value, and was tenable until marriage or 
promotion. Even in Atterbury's time, when the cost 
of living had risen, an undergraduate could almost live 
on his studentship, though its nominal yearly value was 
but £20. At Trinity a boy began as a Pensioner, and 
when, after a year's interval, he obtained a scholarship, 
he found it worth but half of what fell to his Oxford 
contemporary. Nor could he be sure of a fellowship. 
Of about a hundred boys elected to Trinity in Eliza- 
beth's reign only one in three became a Fellow of the 
College. This was nearly the proportion in later times. 
In the forty-three Elections in which Bentley took part, 
one hundred and sixty- three boys were elected to 
Trinity, and fifty-six of them became Fellows. 

But for many generations there were cases of boys 
who were chosen by Trinity refusing their election. In 
1645 Walter Pope was elected to Trinity, and actually 
matriculated, but in a very short time betook himself 
to Oxford, where he matriculated from Wadham. In 
1723 Thomas Newton moved Bentley 's surprise by a 
request to be taken at Trinity. The Master was more 
accustomed to requests of the opposite sense. It is 
therefore no cause for wonder that Westminsters have 
less often occupied the Master's Lodge at Trinity than 
the Deanery of Christ Church. Though both places 
have always been in the gift of the Crown, regard has 
always been had to merit. Of the twenty-five Deans 
of Christ Church appointed since 1576 no less than 


sixteen have been Westminsters, while their only 
schoolfellow among the Masters of Trinity is John 

It must not be forgotten that Westminster was at 
this time really in the country. Under the shadow of 
the Abbey various causes, among them the mischievous 
right of sanctuary, had collected a considerable, pro- 
bably an undesirable, population. This population, 
however, was compressed within a narrow area. A 
walk of a few yards in any direction but one would 
carry a boy beyond the reach of houses. 

To the north two minutes would bring him into St. 
James's Park, and leaving the Cockpit and Spring 
Gardens on his right he could walk through fields to 
Hampstead or Highgate. To the west was the road 
to Chelsea, and on the south and south-west lay the 
marshes of Tuttle Fields. Outside the south wall ran 
the brook, whose bridge is said still to exist far below 
the surface of Great College Street. The river itself 
was a subterranean visitor, and its high tides served to 
flush the cesspools. The whole area must have been 
too damp for health. It is now one of the healthiest 
in London, and owes its health to the change which 
turned it into town. Good water it never lacked. A 
spring in the yard was fed from the high ground, 
which afterwards became Hyde Park. The pump 
which drew the water, ''pump veins'' as an audacious 
epigram of 1810 calls it, played its part in many of the 
boys' escapades. The tunnelling of the city dried it 
up in 1 8 18, but sixty years later a relic of its use still 
existed. All the water for the Head Master's house 



used to enter a cistern under the floor, and was pumped 
up to three small cisterns by means of an old-fashioned 
iron pump. When the company's water was substituted 
for the Hyde Park supply the old cistern was left in 
use, though the supply could of course have been 
carried as high as was desired. 

Bad as it was, Westminster was not less sanitary than 
the rest of the kingdom. In other points the site had 
manifest advantages. The Court, the Law Courts, and 
Parliament were close at hand. It was not long before 
the boys "sucked advantage" from them, quickening 
their wits by the arguments of Westminster Hall and 
the oratory of the House of Commons. A tradition, 
which can hardly be correct, attributes to Elizabeth 
the privilege, which they still possess, of attending the 
debates. Barristers, "neat men in ruffs," were not 
always pleased to see the boys in court. "Boy," said 
one to a King's Scholar in the reign of Charles I., " get 
you gone, this is no school." " Oh, no ! " was the reply, 
" for if it were all you gown'd-men would go up for false 
Latin." At a much later period we shall find that the 
deeds and words of Westminsters were noised in every 
coffee-house. There was more leisure for this city life 
in the days before athletics. It had, however, its draw- 
backs, and the precocity which it encouraged was no 
sure forerunner of a plentiful harvest. 

The site had indeed one disadvantage, which it shared 
with the London schools. It was liable to the visita- 
tions of the plague. Brought by Warwick's troops from 
Havre in 1563, the sickness seems at first to have 
avoided the School. It was not until May in the next 


year that the Chapter found it well to provide against 
its visitation. It was then resolved that in case of any 
sickness happening the boys should be removed to 
Wheathampstead or any other convenient place. They 
were to be accompanied by a Prebendary, who was 
allowed twenty pence a week. In 1565 the boys were 
at Putney from May to Michaelmas, and half the 
Prebendaries' commons were kept there. A more 
permanent refuge was secured by the action of Dean 
Goodman. He held the prebend of Chiswick in St. 
Paul's Cathedral. To the prebend was attached a 
house at Chiswick, and Goodman procured its tenancy 
in perpetuity for the College. There he is said to 
have planted a row of elms, some of which stood 
within living memory. 

The house at Chiswick, or the " College house," as it 
came to be called, was also used for another purpose. 
So long as the boys remained in residence during the 
holidays it was well that they should have a change of 
air and scene. For this purpose in the later summer 
months the College used to remove to Chiswick. It 
may be assumed that enough members were left at 
Westminster to provide for the services of the Church. 
When common life fell out of use only the Masters and 
boys migrated to Chiswick. In time the School outgrew 
the accommodation, and it then became customary to 
leave the Under School at Westminster. About the 
end of the seventeenth century the summer holidays 
became a reality, and removal was no longer necessary. 
The house became the country residence of the Head 
Master, and was last occupied by Dr. Markham about the 


year 1760. The lease was afterwards surrendered for a 
price. Part of the money is said to have been spent in 
building the studies in " Grant's," which still bear the 
name of " Chiswicks." The walls of the College house 
continued to bear evidence of its former occupancy. 
The names of John Dryden and Charles Montagu were 
still to be read on the walls. Nor were its literary 
associations soon closed, for some fifty years since it 
was the home of Whittingham's Chiswick Press. 



Morning- — First Lessons — Gustos — Breakfast — Authors read— Greek 
—Dinner — Afternoon Lessons — Supper — Friday's Corrections — 
Sunday — Bevers — Station — Monitors — Holidays— The Play. 

T N the scheme of educational work the statutes of 
-■- Westminster show little originality. They are 
content to borrow from their predecessors. The order 
of the day is enjoined with very great minuteness 
of detail. With some slight and almost necessary 
deviations this order was practically observed through- 
out the Queen's reign. The most marked difference 
between the consuetudinaria of Eton and Westminster 
was the larger place given at St. Peter's to the study 
of Greek. 

The Queen's Scholars were to be called at five o'clock 
by a thundering cry of '^Surgite!" from one of the 
monitors of dormitory. They then knelt to say the 
collect for grace, the sentences said alternately by one 
boy and by the rest. Each of the forty boys took 
the first sentence in his turn. Like all the prayers, this 
was said in Latin. The careless drafting of the statutes 
makes it doubtful what followed. In one chapter no 
further prayers seem ordered for this hour ; in another, 
instructions are given for a somewhat lengthy service. 



After In P nomine atris and Poenitentiam agite came 
the General Confession, the Lord's Prayer, and the 
suffrages, followed by the hymn Jam lucis orto sidere 
and Psalms vii., xix., and xxiv. After a first lesson 
from the Proverbs, the Te Deum was said, and after 
a second lesson from the Sermon on the Mount, the 
Benedictus. Then came the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's 
Prayer again with the suffrages, two collects, and the 
prayer for the Queen. The service was concluded with 
the collect for peace. 

After prayers the boys made the beds and swept the 
space under them. The sweepings were collected and 
carried out by four juniors. All then went two and two 
into the cloisters to wash. Only the hands are men- 
tioned ; but, as a dirty face brought punishment, the 
washing must sometimes have gone to this length. 
Farther it never went. As these various duties did not 
need a full hour, the boys in practice did not rise 
till 5. 1 5. 

At six o'clock all the boys — Queen's Scholars and 
Town boys — met the Second Master "up" School (if 
this phrase was then in use), and there were again 
prayers, Psalm Ixvii., the Lord's Prayer, suffrages, and 
two collects. The Master then took in turn the lowest 
four forms, the fourth at this hour sitting in the Lower 
School. Meantime one monitor took the names of the 
late and absent, while another — the monitor immun- 
dorum — scrutinized hands and faces throughout the 
School. At seven the Head Master came, the fourth 
went into the Upper School, and all boys said repetition. 
Apparently all the boys in a form said it together, 


taking the time from the custos. The custos held his 
office as a punishment. A boy who spoke English, said 
more than three words wrong in a rule, or made three 
mistakes of spelling in his exercise, became custos^ and 
remained such until another culprit was detected. He 
who had the place last in the day seems to have been 
liable to a fine, or in later times to an imposition. 
Neither fine nor imposition is mentioned in the statutes, 
and in later days the office seems to have been limited 
to meal times. 

At eight o'clock the Head Master set a proposition 
or passage in Latin to be translated by the fourth, 
varied or controverted by the fifth, and versified by the 
sixth and seventh, the custos of each form doing it first. 
Briefer passages were set by the Second Master to the 
Lower forms. Each custos then took the lesson of the 
form below him before it was heard by the Master. 
This duty of the custos soon dropped out of use. 

By accident or design no hour was assigned for 
breakfast. The draft statutes bear evident marks of 
carelessness, and in practice the hour from eight to 
nine was not spent in school. A bever, or allowance 
of bread and perhaps beer, was given to the boys ; 
but when commons ceased to be kept the bever also 
probably disappeared. At any rate, the omission of 
breakfast in the statutes came at last to provide the 
Chapter with an excuse for not supplying it. The 
consequence will be seen below. 

The insertion of the breakfast hour brought a change 
in the lessons. By the statutes the Upper forms 
wrote on themes on Monday and Wednesday in 


prose, on Tuesday and Thursday in verse, Latin and 
Greek. The Lower forms were confined to prose. 
The themes were followed by appointed authors, of 
whom some were studied on Monday and Tuesday, 
others on Wednesday and Thursday. The system 
and the list of authors were borrowed from Eton, but 
there were some notable additions. The books read 
were : — 

In the first form, the Disticha of Dionysius Cato, 
the Exercitatio Linguae Latinae of John Lewis Vives, 
and the Dialogues and Confabulationes Pueriles of 

In the second, Terence, ^sop's Fables (in Latin), 
Dialogi Sacri, and Erasmus's Colloquies. 

In the third, Terence, Sallust, Sturmius's Selection 
of Cicero's Letters, and ^sop (in Latin). 

In the fourth, Terence, Sallust, Ovid's Tristia, 
Cicero de Officiis, and in Greek Lucian's Dialogues, 
The form also began Greek grammar. 

In the fifth, Justin, Cicero de Amicitia, Ovid's 
Metamorphoses, and in Greek Isocrates and Plutarch. 

In the sixth and seventh, Caesar, Livy, Virgil, and 
in Greek Demosthenes and Homer. 

In the Upper School other authors were read in 
the afternoon. 

The list of Latin authors is somewhat longer than 
at Eton, where Sallust, Livy, and Erasmus seem to 
have been ignored. Cicero's Offices, which at West- 
minster were read by the fourth, were reserved at 
Eton for the sixth and seventh. But the most 
remarkable difference was in the study of Greek. In 


1560 the Etonian read Lucian in the second form, 
but he read him in a Latin translation. Greek he 
did not begin until he reached the sixth, and even 
then he read no author. The Westminster reached 
the fourth before he read Lucian, but then he read 
him in Greek. His Homer, Demosthenes, Isocrates, 
and Plutarch were unknown to his contemporaries at 
Eton. The Westminster's grammars were Cleonard's 
for Greek and Lily's for Latin. 

It has sometimes been asserted that the time-tables 
which appear in some school regulations of the sixteenth 
century were too elaborate to be exactly observed. 
The assertion seems to be based on mere conjecture, 
and of Westminster it is certainly untrue. One 
regulation of the time-table remained in force for 
more than two centuries. Greek was not taught in 
the three lowest forms. The permanence of the rule 
is a witness to the lasting conservatism of Westminster, 
but we may also find in it a confirmation of the reality 
of the statutory prescription. There can be no doubt 
that in Elizabeth's early years the fourth form read 
Lucian, and the sixth followed in the original Greek 
the wrath of Achilles and the wanderings of Ulysses. 
In fact, the list of authors was rather increased than 
diminished. Seventy years later we find Thucydides 
and Euripides established among the regular studies 
of the School, and it is probable that the Greek 
anthology also found an early place. The Greek 
authors must have owed their place to Dean Goodman. 
Bill was Provost of Eton, and had he brought Homer 
to Westminster would not have kept him out of the 
older College. 


It will be observed that there were in all seven 
forms. The distinction between the seventh and sixth 
was probably nominal, as the two forms seem to have 
been taught as one. The growth of the School caused 
a subdivision of the forms and, as will be seen, the 
addition of the "shell." In the present century the 
prevalence of preparatory schools caused the disappear- 
ance of the three lowest forms. 

After these lessons there were prayers, consisting of 
Psalm cxxiii., the Lord's Prayer with suffrages, and the 
thanksgiving for the Queen and benefactors. After 
prayers the Queen's Scholars and Pensioners went two 
and two into Hall, and standing in two rows down 
either side said grace before dinner. During the meal a 
boy read aloud a chapter of the Old Testament at the 
discretion of the Dean or sub-Dean. For this was 
afterwards substituted the reading of Latin manuscripts, 
"to facilitate the reading of such hands." From the 
high table a Prebendary would sometimes send down 
" good remembrances " of food with a theme for extem- 
pore epigrams. Dinner was followed by a long grace. 

On the boys returning to school the monitors took 
charge until the Second Master returned at one o'clock. 
An hour later the Head Master returned, and lessons 
went on till six o'clock. The Head Master might be 
out of school from four to five, and the Second Master 
for half an hour after five. This long period was, how- 
ever, in practice abbreviated, and an hour's respite was 
allowed in the middle of it, and twice a week an hour 
was given to music with the choirmaster. The after- 
noon lessons included Greek grammar for the sixth 


and Hebrew grammar for the seventh, with a lesson 
from the Psalter for both forms in both tongues. Other 
work comprised construing and translation from prose 
into verse and verse into prose. Themes were set for 
exercises, to be brought up next day. From Philip 
Henry we learn how time was found to do them. " It 
was customary there," says his son, " among the studious 
boys, for one or two more to sit up the former part of 
the night at study, and when they went to bed about 
midnight to call others, and they others at two or three 
o'clock as they desired." 

It is no marvel that with such habits there was at 
times a desire to sleep in school. The necessity was 
wisely recognized, and leave could be formally obtained 
to drop the head upon the desk. The word that was 
used for this slumber must date from the time when 
Latin was the tongue of common speech. Abbreviated 
as it was, the verb " dor " had dignity enough to give it 
a place in dictionaries. 

At six o'clock came supper, with the same order as 
dinner, but with different and briefer graces. At seven 
two monitors took the forms, teaching translation from 
English into Latin. After prayers the Queen's Scholars 
and Pensioners went into Hall for a supper of small 
beer only, and at eight o'clock, after evening prayers in 
the dormitory and a collect said privately, the Queen's 
Scholars went to bed. 

Friday was the day of correction and repetition. 
The monitors made a report of offences. Sometimes 
impositions were set, at others a meritorious exercise 
won forgiveness for its writer or his friend. The 


accusations, as they were called, were followed by a 
revision of the week's work. In the afternoon there 
were new lessons in Latin authors, which were repeated 
next day. The fourth now read epigrams from Martial, 
Catullus, and others, the fifth Horace, and the sixth and 
seventh Lucan and Silius Italicus. 

Saturday was also a day of repetition and examina- 
tion. In refutation of the popular Puritan error it is 
worth noting that in the statutes Saturday is called 
Dies Sabbati, and Sunday has its right name of Dies 
Dominica. At two o'clock on Saturday a bell was rung 
to call the whole College into Hall. Here two or three 
boys, chosen by the Head Master, declaimed on a given 
theme. Attendance at these declamations was in early 
times one of the duties which the Prebendaries did not 
habitually neglect. 

On Sunday mornings the Litany and Psalms were 
said and lessons read in the dormitory. On Christmas 
Day, the Sunday before Easter, Easter Day, Ascension 
Day, Whit -Sunday, and Trinity Sunday there were 
also prayers from the Liber Precum Privatarum^ edited 
by Dean Bill. The whole College attended morning 
and evening prayer and communion in Abbey. The 
Prebendaries preached in turn on Sundays and Saints' 
Days, and after morning prayer the boys made a 
summary of the sermon — the Upper forms in Latin 
verse, the fourth and third in Latin prose, and the 
rest in English. Otherwise a Saint's Day was a " play" 
or holiday. A " late play " or half-holiday was allowed 
only once a week by leave of the Dean or his sub- 
stitute. A Saint's Day barred any other play in the 


As the School became one of the sights of West- 
minster, strangers came as freely as they attended the 
public examinations at Oxford. They would often ask 
for a "play," and it was found convenient to inscribe 
on the wall the clause in the statutes which restrained 
the Master's desire to comply with the request. The 
companies of idlers, "plump -walkers" as they were 
called, gave the boys an occasion to display their 
talents, but were not always welcome to the masters. 

In addition to the regular meals there were certain 
allowances of food, in which the Scholars had a part. 
The name of bever, borne by these allowances, is 
cognate with boire^ but as early as the beginning of 
the sixteenth century had been extended to solid food. 
At Westminster it may have been originally applied to 
beer, but soon came to include bread. Afterwards the 
liquid sense went out of the word, and in the early part 
of this century the name was used almost exclusively 
of a conical roll, which was the only food at supper. 
The name has since suffered yet another change, and 
is now given by the Queen's Scholars to their supper. 
These bevers were also assigned to the almsmen, and 
in some cases were taken by those who had no right 
to them. It would seem that it was not the boys but 
the College purse that suffered from the theft. 

The last meal of the day, if small beer can be called 
a meal, has bequeathed some of its implements to 
posterity. The apparatus of bread and beef has dis- 
appeared, but the School still possesses two black jacks, 
each holding about two gallons. Though they may 
not be coeval with the foundation, their survival is no 
misleading index of early usage. If the food was 




carefully watched, it " snewede " in Hall of small beer. 
Even in later times, when the Chapter had shed its 
last ray of Saint Julian, the boys were allowed beer 
and stout to their hearts' content. There was this 
difference, that they bought it with their own moneys. 
So long as the boys paid for it, it mattered little to 
the Chapter what they ate or drank. 

From the beginning the School was under the shadow 
of the rod. Udal was known as the " greatest beater " 
of his time. Archbishop Neile avowed that the whip- 
pings he suffered under Grant prevented his obtaining 
a mastery of Latin. Until 1829 the juniors made the 
rods from which they suffered, and lamented that, if 
they were like Spartans in fortitude, they suffered in not 
bearing their wounds in front. But the rod was not the 
only means of punishment. There were probably no 
impositions in writing, but a culprit was ordered to 
repeat speeches out of Virgil, Euripides, and other 
authors, and even whole orations of Cicero or Demos- 
thenes. The less the pen was used, the more active was 
the memory. How powerful those memories were may 
be seen in Hacket's Life of John Williams. 

The Queen's Scholars were bound to be in some 
particular place, called "station," at every moment of the 
day. School, yard, fields, dormitory, hall, and cloisters 
were the places where the monitors had to see station 
observed. To these in the eighteenth century was 
added water. In course of time seniors came to be 
excused, but the rule was strictly enforced upon juniors. 
In a modified form the rule still holds good for Queen's 
Scholars and Town boys alike. It is now chiefly used 
for the encouragement of games. Thus an old rule is 


wisely adapted to new circumstances, and the necessary- 
exercise is satisfactorily ensured. In its original design 
" station " had little bearing on recreation. The Masters 
must know where every boy was at every minute of the 

The early rulers of the School saw clearly that much 
of its government must be carried on by the boys them- 
selves. Not only is the monitorial system no creation 
of yesterday, but in its earliest years it had one func- 
tion of which it is now almost wholly deprived. The 
monitors were in fact the Ushers of the School. Their 
teaching hours perhaps involved some loss of time, but 
the loss had its compensations. They were continually 
taken back to the elements of grammar, and must have 
learned something while they taught. No boy who had 
attained to the monitorial dignity would care to make a 
mistake in these matters with which his youngers were 
more directly conversant. He would know that in the 
little boys' eyes such an error, assuming excessive 
seriousness, would impair the reputation of omniscience 
which the fourth form ascribes to the seventh. Long 
after Ushers had supplanted monitors in the work of 
the form, the system of Helps in the Challenge brought 
the elder Queen's Scholars back to their elements. The 
work of the help, said Liddell, "made the elder boys 
keep up their grammar." This was a good result, of 
which the framer of the statutes may not have been 
wholly conscious. 

The statutes prescribed that there should be in all 
eighteen monitors, four of the School, one of Hall, two 
of Abbey, four of the dormitory, four of Fields, two 
of the Oppidans, and one imniundorum et sordidomm 


puerorum, who was also to be censor morum. It is, 
however, probable that the same boy held more offices 
than one. In course of time the monitors of School 
and dormitory came to be the same. The Captain and 
his three associates ruled over the Queen's Scholars, 
and their sway is described in a traditional hexameter, 
" Quattuor unanimes cedes socialiter ornant!^ The initial 
letters formed the word " Quceso,'' which became the 
name of this governing body. 

The holidays or "breaking-up times," as they were 
called, were brief. Some of them were hardly to be 
called holidays. Indeed, it is not certain that any of 
the boys went away. The removal to Chiswick was 
accounted a holiday and was accompanied by some 
relaxation of work ; but, at any rate after the appoint- 
ment of a third Master, the younger boys remained at 
Westminster. It soon became, if it was not always, the 
practice to allow some four weeks in the summer. Even 
then the School was not empty. Commons were main- 
tained, and in those days of difficult travel many boys 
did not go home. At that season there was no adequate 
discipline. The Prebendaries may have exercised some 
sort of control, a Master was sometimes in residence, 
and there was always the fear of the Dean. But, 
although disorders were not unfrequent, there were 
boys in residence as late as the reign of George II. 
The custom marks the distinction between the public 
school, which was known to the whole country, and 
the grammar school, which gathered boys only from its 
own neighbourhood. Some of the earliest Westminsters 
had their homes in distant shires. 

No institution is more characteristic of Westminster 


than the annual Play. It is true that in the days of 
Elizabeth and her successor the Play was no special 
mark of the School, for acting was generally regarded 
as a necessary part of education. There was, perhaps, 
no school of note which did not frequently put upon 
the stage both the dramas of Plautus and Terence, 
and those dull Latin comedies of which the age was 
so prolific. Indeed, play-acting was a commonplace 
of academical life. The Elizabethan statutes of Trinity 
College, Cambridge, provided that the lecturers should 
act comedies and tragedies at Christmas. The Queen 
herself witnessed plays both at Oxford and at Cam- 
bridge. For this habit of play-acting there was ample 
reason. As Latin was not merely an instrument of 
education, but the medium through which all know- 
ledge was to be acquired, it must be known colloquially, 
and to be known colloquially it must be studied in 
the Comedians. It might, indeed, be studied mediately 
in Erasmus, whose phrases are but the echo of the 
Umbrian and the " learned African slave." The forms 
of salutation, the colloquial expressions of gratitude 
and excuse, the enquiries after the wife who has borne 
twins or the business that was still to seek, show that 
to Erasmus Latin was rather a speech than a study. 
In this spirit his Colloquies were read in the second 
form, but for just elocution the Play was the thing. 
Our contempt for medieval methods has, perhaps, 
exaggerated the extent to which tmimpsimus had 
supplanted sumpsimus in monastic speech, but even 
the early reformers were content to mould their Latin 
on that which was hardly the classical style. To 
Alexander Nowell, Head Master from 1543 to the 


accession of Mary, must be ascribed the introduction 
of Terence into the School. It may be safely inferred 
that his object was to impart a colloquial knowledge 
of classical Latin. It would not, however, appear 
that he established the Play, and its annual occurrence 
must at any rate be ascribed to Elizabeth. 

After the Puritan epoch the Westminster Play was 
the sole survivor of many, and its survival is explained 
by the statutory obligation. It was provided under 
penalties for omission that every Christmas a Latin 
play should be presented by the School and an English 
play by the Choir-boys. It was not only facility 
of speech that was sought in these performances. 
Graceful delivery and elocution were the objects 
prescribed by the Queen to the Westminster actors. 
The more modern tricks of the stage, the artifices 
which give the air of nature to the players of a modern 
comedy, are as little educational as Terentian, and the 
scanty attention paid to them on the Westminster 
stage needs no defence. 

The theatre was perhaps originally the Hall. Its 
use for that purpose must have occasioned some in- 
convenience, and at an early period the scene was 
transferred to the dormitory of the Queen's Scholars. 
Of actual scenery there was none, nor was there any 
attempt to construct a convenient auditorium. As late 
as Queen Anne's time the spectators were content to 
sit on the edge of a table or the top of a box. Of 
the plays acted no record was kept. It is, however, 
probable that Terence was less often presented than 
his modern imitators. Of these Westminster imitators 
the most celebrated was William Gager, elected to 


Christ Church in 1574. In the world of pedants 
Gager's fame outshone Shakespeare's, and this partial 
verdict was ratified many years later by Anthony 
Wood. Ben Jonson never became a Queen's Scholar, 
but it is not impossible that he may have taken a part 
in the Play. Though for the last two hundred years 
at least Town boys have had no part in the Play, it 
is not clear that this was always the case. About the 
year 1686 Barton Booth's performance of Pamphilus in 
the Andria won him enough applause to send him on 
the stage. Booth was not a Queen's Scholar, and it 
may be doubted if the Town boys had yet started 
their play. Even when they did their choice was not 
Terence. They were eager to compete with Betterton 
on his own ground. Indeed, the boys had never con- 
fined themselves to their own stage. In Elizabeth's 
reign a company of child actors was formed of West- 
minsters and probably appeared even on the boards at 
Blackfriars. To maturer players these "little eyases 
that cry out on the top of question " were a cause of 
lasting offence. 

Although there was no scenery, the Play was not put 
on the stage without cost. From the earliest times 
this was made good by a "cap." At Christmas, 1563, 
the Queen was probably present at the performance. 
Her contribution to the Westminster and St. Paul's 
plays was fifty marks, and it may be conjectured that 
the sum was equally divided. 



Grant, Head Master — Greek — Camden, Head Master — His Proselytes 
— Third Master — Change of Schoolroom — Difficulties with Christ 
Church and Trinity — Benefactors — Ireland, Head Master — Pen- 
sions—Title of Queen's Scholars — The Plag-ue — Gunpowder Plot — 
Wilson, Head Master. 

BETWEEN 1563 and 1572 there were three Head 
Masters, but no one of them was a man of mark. 
In the latter year the office was conferred upon an old 
Westminster, who was one of the greatest scholars of 
his time. Edward Grant had been at the School in 
Mary's reign. As he did not matriculate at Cambridge 
until 1564, he may have been a boy at Elizabeth's 
accession. His University career was strangely varied. 
In 1564 he matriculated at Cambridge from St. John's 
College and completed his exercises for a degree, but 
did not take it. In 1572 he was allowed to take a 
degree at Oxford, and is said to have belonged to two, 
if not three, houses in succession. He took his Master's 
degree at Oxford, and was incorporated at Cambridge. 
The degree of Bachelor of Divinity he took at Cam- 
bridge, and as of that degree was incorporated at 
Oxford. His scholarly qualities had recommended 
him to the friendship of Roger Ascham, whose letters 
he lived to publish. The twenty years of his master- 



ship have left scanty written records, but there can be 
no doubt of his success. He was the first Head Master 
to leave a mark upon the School. 

We have seen that Greek was established in the 
School at that time. It was, however, attended with 
difficulties, which Grant endeavoured to remove. The 
boys had to contend with the prolixity of Cleonard's 
Grammar, and Grant assisted them with a work of his 
own. This was perhaps the second of many famous 
Westminster school books, and was destined to a 
change of form and a double change of name. First 
published as a Spicilegium in 1575, it was altered by 
Camden into an elementary Greek grammar. Sup- 
planting Cleonard's work, it remained in use at West- 
minster until the publication of Busby's Greek Grammar 
about 1647. After its rejection in its birth-place it 
continued in use at Eton. It had, however, surrendered 
its own title to its successor at Westminster, and thus 
came to be known as the Eton Grammar. Under that 
name it was familiar to many generations of Etonians, 
and was in use within living memory. 

Grant's name soon became famous, and the School 
outgrew its space. He endeavoured to obtain a larger 
and more suitable room for the work of teaching, but 
his efforts did not bear fruit in his own time. In his 
desire to increase his own somewhat slender income he 
was more successful. A prebend was conferred upon 
him in 1577, and the tithes of several rectories came 
into his pocket. He did not, however, resign his 
mastership until 1593, when he was succeeded by 
William Camden, who had held the second mastership 

1572-1622 53 

for nearly eighteen years. Of the boys who came 
under Grant and Camden the most distinguished was 
Ben Jonson. Bishops Ravis, King, Parry, Morgan, 
Bancroft, and Archbishop Neile began the long list 
of Westminster bishops. 

Camden's appointment is not without interest. It is 
probable that technically he had no university degree. 
He had matriculated from Magdalen in 1566 and sup- 
plicated for the degree of bachelor of arts in 1570. On 
a second supplication in 1573 he was admitted, but 
there is no record of his determination. In 1588 in 
an unsuccessful supplication for the next degree he 
described himself as a bachelor of arts, though, pro- 
bably, he was so only by courtesy. The clause of the 
draft statutes, providing that the Head Master should 
be a master of arts, had the saving phrase, " si commode 
fieri potest!' It has been already pointed out that 
Camden was a layman, and meant to remain one. 

Camden was not without favour at Court. The 
Queen sent a letter to the Dean, ordering that the new 
Head Master should have his diet ; and the Chapter, 
"for the dutiful acknowledging of Her Majesty's 
pleasure in that behalf," gave him a patent of it for 

The six years of Camden's rule were uneventful, but 
one fact may be quoted to illustrate the religious views 
of the time. As the Queen's Scholars were under the 
obligation of attending the Abbey services, they were 
necessarily conforming members of the Church. In the 
case of the Town boys there was no such obligation, 
and it is probable that from the beginning some 


of them were of a different faith. Some of the papist 
families were not afraid to send their sons to the 
School, but their confidence was misplaced. Camden 
took credit to himself for having brought to church 
certain Irish boys of popish breeding and affection. In 
itself his conduct was indefensible, but it was, of course, 
in accord with the morals of the time, and it must not 
be forgotten that in 1570 Pius V. impudently professed 
to absolve Englishmen from their allegiance to the 
Queen. There was, after all, little ground for Camden's 
boast, for one of his vaunted converts was Peter 
Lombard, who obtained from the Pope the titular 
archbishopric of Armagh, and died Provost of the 
Cathedral of Cambrai. 

In his leisure hours Camden did better work than 
proselytism. If the boys had few real holidays, one of 
the Masters could at times leave them. The surveys 
which led to his Britannia were made while Camden 
was still a Master in the School. But he must have 
had scanty repose in full term. The statutes made no 
provision for a Third Master, and the work of teaching 
a hundred and twenty boys must have fallen heavily 
on two men. To some extent the labour was lightened 
by the employment of the monitors and the custos. A 
line of later date dealing with life among the Queen's 
Scholars applies with equal force to life in the School : — 
" Vox est et vetus et vera^ senesce^ puer.^^ 

Further help was given by the Dean and perhaps by 
the Prebendaries. Of this work there is evidence before 
the end of the reign. It was, indeed, a regular custom 
from the time of Launcelot Andrewes, who became 

1572-1622 55 

Dean in 1601. John Hacket, afterwards Bishop of 
Salisbury, who was a King's Scholar in the early years 
of James the First, told Dean Williams how Andrewes 
would sometimes take the School work for a week 
together, and at other times look over the boys* 
exercises. In the evenings he would send for the elder 
boys to the Deanery and teach them Greek and Hebrew 
from eight to eleven o'clock. Williams himself was, as 
Hacket testifies, " assiduous in the School, and missed 
not sometimes every week, if he were resident in the 
College, both to dictate lectures to the several classes 
and to take account of them." It must be remembered 
that Hacket uses " College " in the older and more 
proper sense. 

It is probable that Andrewes and Williams were but 
following in the steps of Goodman. It may well be 
believed that such able men, though but amateurs in 
education, could do no little to make the boys prompt 
and ingenious. As, however, such assistance must have 
been irregular and capricious, the need of another 
Master was none the less real. The difficulty may have 
been partly met by the tutores. At some uncertain 
date, though certainly before the Queen's death, the 
Masters obtained the relief which they deserved. A 
formal and permanent appointment was made, although 
the Third Master never obtained a place upon the 
foundation. His work was to take the first and second 
forms, and he was paid in part, if not wholly, by their 
tutorial fees. At the same time the Head Master was 
relieved of the fourth form. The Third Master's place 
was fit for a bachelor of arts, since he could always get 


leave to count the time spent in the School as terms of 
residence in Oxford. Thus in 1622 Thomas Merry, of 
All SouFs, was on this ground dispensed seven terms 
for his Master's degree. There is no list of the Third 
Masters of this period, and the next recorded appears 
to be George Eglionby, elected to Christ Church in 
16 19, and afterwards Dean of Canterbury. The saving 
of terms at Oxford survived long after Merry and 
Eglionby. As late as 17 13 Edmund Lewis, who had 
been elected to Christ Church in 1706 and come back 
after his first degree as an Usher to Westminster, was 
allowed to graduate a Master, though he had missed 
four terms. He learned more in his Schoolmaster's 
place than he would have got from idle residence 
between the two degrees. 

In Grant's time the need of a larger schoolroom had 
become obvious. In 1591 the Chapter decreed that 
part of the old dormitory of the monks and the large 
room to the south of it should be converted into a library 
and school-room. Both rooms were out of repair, and 
the Head Master was instructed to gather moneys from 
such godly persons as would contribute to the cost of 
repair. After some delays the work was completed 
before the end of the century. In it for many years all 
the boys had their teaching. Classes were held in it 
down to 1883, and it is still the gathering place of the 
whole School. 

The room was not unworthy of its occupation. 
Built over the massive arches and pillars which still 
display the work of the Confessor, it carried on 
Norman and Early-English walls a chestnut roof of 

1572-1622 57 

the thirteenth century. It was large enough, as was 
proved in later years, to afford teaching room for more 
than four hundred boys. From an iron rod near the 
middle of it was hung a curtain to divide the Upper 
from the Under School, and below the curtain the 
Second Master reigned supreme. The division remained 
until the Under School was united with the Upper in 
1880. The curtain is gone, but the rod still remains. 
Once a year on Shrove Tuesday it plays a part in the 
School life, for over it the cook throws the pancake. 
The ceremony is the sole survivor of the medieval 
sports which were, or were supposed to be, the delight 
of infancy. Although its origin cannot be traced, 
it can hardly have come into being after the date of 
Elizabeth's foundation. 

Both Grant and Camden found some difficulties in 
the relations between the School and Christ Church 
and Trinity College. The obligation which the Queen 
had placed upon her father's foundations in Oxford 
and Cambridge was not always easy of fulfilment. 
Deaths and promotions do not always follow a king's 
will, and it would thus happen that there were not 
always vacancies for the elected of Westminster. This 
was especially the case at Christ Church, where a 
Westminster studentship, with the u&ual restriction of 
marriage or certain kinds of promotion, was tenable for 
life. At Trinity a scholarship was held for a term of 
years, and did not, without another election, lead to a 

The first Election took place in 1561, when Christ 
Church and Trinity chose each one Scholar. This 


number was doubled in each of the nine following years, 
but neither College would take more than two. In 1571 
Dean Goodman insisted upon the rights of the School, 
and the full number of six obtained Election. A com- 
promise followed, and it was agreed by the Electors 
that in every third year there should be six chosen, and 
in each of the other years four. Accordingly four only 
were taken in 1572 and in 1573, and six again in 1574. 
But the authorities of Christ Church, if not of Trinity, 
were unwilling, perhaps unable, to stand by their compact. 
Of the three whom they chose early in 1574, only one 
was admitted to a studentship before the end of the 
year, and one seems never to have been admitted at all. 
It was pleaded that there was but one vacancy 
in the studentships, and this valid objection was sup- 
ported by another, natural perhaps but technically 
indefensible. The College would rather confer its 
studentships on undergraduates of some standing than 
on raw schoolboys. In those days " grammar learning " 
was the work of the Schools, while logic and divinity 
belonged to the Universities. In 1575 Christ Church 
elected Thomas Ravis, afterwards Bishop of London, 
and Edmund Carrow. The lads went up to Oxford, and 
Christ Church refused to admit them. There was but 
one vacancy, and for that a candidate had appeared with 
a Queen's letter. Ravis and Carrow found themselves 
in a strait place. They were in Oxford and without 
means to stay or to depart. An appeal to Burleigh put 
the College on its defence. It was admitted that no 
better grammarians could be found than the Westmin- 
sters, but it was pleaded that with a free choice there 

1572-1622 59 

could be found many who were not only "poor and 
toward ly," but also logicians of two and three years' 
standing. The Queen would not admit the defence, and 
the College was compelled to admit Ravis. His fellow- 
candidate had perhaps died or wearied of the delay, for 
no more is heard of him there or elsewhere. Of the 
three elected in 1577 two have no place in the Univer- 
sity register. As the School rose in fame the objector's 
voice was less heard. From 1588 the election of three 
to either University became with stray exceptions an 
annual event. From 161 6 there was even an increase 
in this number. At Christ Church the Westminsters 
became dominant, but Trinity with its larger numbers 
was not always willing to grant them its fellowships. 
James I. did not view this unwillingness with favour. 
It is probable that he sometimes " cracked " Latin with 
the boys of the King's School, and little liked that boys 
who had listened to his Terentian idiom should not 
have the preference at Cambridge. Trinity was com- 
pelled to listen to a royal injunction. Why, said the 
King, did the Westminsters of Christ Church supply 
more bishops than their school-fellows at Cambridge? 
Let the Westminsters, if there were no objection to 
their character or learning, be elected to fellowships in 
Trinity. The grievance was not apparent, and the 
Kings letters had but little effect. In the former half 
of his reign some fourteen Westminsters became 
Fellows, and in the latter half but nine or ten. 

We have somewhat anticipated our narrative and 
must return to Camden, whose time saw the first of the 
considerable list of private benefactors to the School. 


Mildred, Lady Burleigh, Sir Anthony Cooke's learned 
daughter, had indeed preceded him by an indirect 
benefaction. Her foundation of two scholarships in 
Goodman's name at St. John's College, Cambridge, was 
designed to serve Westminster. It had already saved 
from a tallow chandler's shop a Westminster boy who 
was destined for the archiepiscopal mitre. Burleigh 
himself had shown continuous interest in the School, 
and in 1594 opened his purse in its service. A per- 
petual annuity of twenty marks was by his gift divisible 
among the Scholars elected to Oxford and Cambridge. 
Like several other benefactions, Burleigh's now sup- 
ports an Exhibitioner in the School. 

Camden retired in 1599, "having gathered a contented 
sufficiency by his long labours in the School." He was 
succeeded by Richard Ireland, elected to Oxford in 
1587. From this time for nearly two centuries and 
a half the Head Master was always a Westminster. In 
1609 Ireland pleaded that his health was broken, and 
the Chapter granted to him and John Wilson, elected 
to Oxford in 1602, a joint patent of the headmastership 
with a single fee and commons for one. The object 
of this arrangement was to secure to the retiring 
Master a small pension. Ireland probably received 
half the salary, while Wilson, of course, obtained the 
right of succession. It cannot be said that the arrange- 
ment was good. It reduced the Head Master's income, 
and, at least in some cases, it gave moneys to a man 
who had ample means from other sources. The system, 
however, came to be generally recognized. It was even 
extended to the second-mastership, and lasted into the 
eighteenth century. In 17 14 George Tollett was in- 

1572-1622 6i 

capacitated by a permanent illness. Atterbury ap- 
pointed Nicoll to his place, and Nicoll pensioned his 

Ireland, on his retirement, did not seek ecclesiastical 
preferment, and his reason was soon disclosed. He 
retired to France, and the popular voice ascribed his 
resignation to another cause than that which he had 
alleged. It was said he had turned papist. If he had, 
it is remarkable that in the same year the head of the 
Election to Cambridge was Charles Chauncey, whose 
sturdy nonconformity was destined to face many perse- 
cutions before he found his grave more than sixty years 
later in New England. On the report of Ireland's 
perversion the Chapter met and resolved that, "Whereas 
there hath of late been raised by common bruit some 
jealousy of Mr. Ireland, now in France, touching his 
disposition in religion," he should be forthwith recalled. 
Apparently he did not obey the summons, and certainly 
Wilson had all the powers of a Head Master from 1609. 
Ireland survived many years, was perhaps a papal agent 
in England, and was certainly one of those who both 
hoped and said that Laud would join the Church 
of Rome. His boys showed no disposition to follow 
their Master. The greatest of them was George 
Herbert, elected to Cambridge in 1608. Richard Lane, 
afterwards Lord Keeper, had preceded him in 1602. 
Dean Fell and Bishops Duppa, Hacket, and King 
were strenuous confessors of the Church, and Thomas 
Randolph not the least of poets. 

During Ireland's mastership Queen Elizabeth died, 
and the question must have arisen what name the Scho- 
lars were to bear. At Eton the memory of Henry VI. 


had made no compliment to the maiden Queen. At 
Westminster it was hardly possible to ignore the 
reigning sovereign, who held his Court at Whitehall. 
The School was the King's School, inherited with his 
crown, and the forty boys became the King's Scholars. 
This title they bore until the accession of Queen Anne 
brought a revival of their original designation. The 
School, whose strict title was the Royal College of St. 
Peter's, was familiarly called the King's School, and is 
sometimes so called even in official records. 

Ireland's time suffered from one of the worst visita- 
tions of the plague. On July 27th, 1603, it was hastily 
resolved that the College should break up on the 
following day until the seventh of October. By suc- 
cessive resolutions the dissolution of commons was 
continued to the end of the year. The Dean, how- 
ever, with the high spirit that always marked him, 
would not allow the danger to divert him from his 
duty. As the seniors, who were to be major candi- 
dates at the next Election, would suffer from enforced 
idleness, Andrewes called them back into residence 
with the Head Master and one or two of the Preb- 
endaries. Five servants remained to wait upon them. 
Nothing could show more clearly the original spirit of 
the College, and the important place which the School 
held in it. The time was not come when a Preb- 
endary could suppose that the College existed in order 
to support himself. 

In 1605 Andrewes was promoted to the bishopric of 
Chichester, and was succeeded by Richard Neile. Neile 
was installed on November the fifth, but the interest in 
his installation paled before a more memorable event. 

I572-I622 63 

The gunpowder plot brought out the budding poets of 
the School. It was perhaps the first of the numerous 
occasions on which a Westminster boy has found a 
publisher for his lucubrations. Edward Hawes was 
but sixteen when he sent to the Press the twenty-four 
pages of Trayterous Percyes and Catesbyes Prosopopeia. 
Perhaps his Master had set the theme. He found none 
more remarkable before his resignation in 16 10. 

Ireland's successor was a pupil of his own, the 
John Wilson who was already his colleague. He is 
said to have had a "faculty more than ordinary in 
instructing youth." His fame must chiefly rest upon 
the careers of his pupils. The greatest of them was 
George Morley, the celebrated Bishop of Winchester. 
Morley was surpassed in learning by Robert Crichton, 
Bishop of Bath and Wells, and by John Price, the 
friend of Usher, who was at one time Greek Professor 
at Pisa. Wilson retired in 1622, and showed a faculty 
more than ordinary as a pluralist. In 1634 he died 
Dean of Ripon and Master of the Savoy, bequeathing 
to posterity little but a name and a copy of verses on 
the King's visit to Christ Church. 

During Wilson's mastership the Dean was George 
Montaigne, afterwards Archbishop of York. Mon- 
taigne's lively ambition led him into profuse expendi- 
ture. There was a rise of prices at this period, and 
when in 1620 Montaigne, then Bishop of Lincoln, re- 
signed the Deanery, the College was in debt ;^300 "by 
the hospitality of the table." It is probable that the 
School would have suffered but for the munificence of 
Montaigne's successor, John Williams. By the first of 
his many services to the College the new Dean dis- 


charged the debt. His own hospitality was not less 
than his predecessors', but he was able to disprove the 
charge that he kept a plentiful table "out of the diet 
and bellies of the Prebendaries." Still less did he 
imitate Montaigne in keeping it out of the purses of 
his tradesmen. 

In the School at this time games were hardly known. 
There were, however, occasional seasons of revel. A 
bonfire on Saint Peter's Day had since 1605 found a 
companion in the destruction of Guy Fawkes. At 
Election the King's Scholars had a feast at the cost 
of the newly-admitted juniors. On Shrove Tuesday 
there was the tossing of the pancake, and the Liberty 
boy paid for tarts. Francis Lynn paid ten shillings 
in 1690, and this was perhaps the usual cost. At 
Christmas the Saturnalia showed that ancient custom 
could survive its religion and its name. The master 
of the revels was called Paedonomus. Bishop King, in 
telling how Brian Duppa, afterwards Bishop of Win- 
chester, filled the office about 1604, calls it "the greatest 
dignity the School could afford." If, as seems to be 
the case, the people chose their own king, it may be 
doubted if Duppa would in these days have been 
chosen. King quotes his election as a proof of his 
intellectual attainments. Nowadays Demus is apt to 
be attracted rather by the hand than by the head. 
Happily he sometimes finds a Crichton, who excels 
with both. 


2 o 

O s 
'^ 2 



Osbaldeston's Politics — His Friendship with Williams — Heylyn — A 
Royal Commission — Laud the Persecutor — Osbaldeston's Punish- 
ment — His Pupils — Cowley — Cart wrig-ht — Osbaldeston's Teaching- 
— Geography — The Play— Disuse of Common Life — Epig-rams — 
Class of Boys at the School — Westminsters at Christ Church — 
Bishop's Boys. 

T IKE his predecessor, Wilson was followed by a 
-* — ' pupil of his own. This was Lambert Osbaldeston, 
who was elected to Christ Church in 1612. He was 
the son of a Southwark rector, and a man of great 
activity. Elizabeth's death had been followed by the 
mutterings of the storm, and the School was now to 
be involved in the turmoil of religious and political 
controversy. Whatever doubt there may have been 
concerning Ireland's religious views, there was none 
about Osbaldeston's. Even in politics he took a more 
active part than any other schoolmaster before 
Dr. Arnold, but his boldness outran his discretion. 
Strongly opposed to the views of Laud, he was neither 
able nor willing not to plunge into the strife. In 
1620 the Deanery had been conferred upon John 
Williams, who in the following year became also 
Lord Keeper and Bishop of Lincoln. To Williams 
Osbaldeston owed his mastership and a prebend in 

F 65 


Lincoln Cathedral. It was alleged against him that 
he neglected the School to attend upon his patron 
at Buckden. The prosperity of the School, even 
apart from the direct evidence of Hacket and the 
Head Master himself, should be enough to dispose 
of the charge. On Williams' fall in 1625 Osbaldeston 
adhered to his patron, and it is possible that in his 
hatred of Buckingham and his successors he showed 
less respect than was due to the King. On the King's 
birthday it was customary for the Scholars to post 
in Hall copies of verses made for the occasion. In 
1634 this ceremony was omitted, and the omission 
was afterwards made a ground of accusation against 
the Dean. Williams admitted the fact, but pleaded 
that the Scholars had been punished for it. There 
is no doubt that the charge had been concocted by 
that unamiable controversialist, Peter Heylyn. The 
King had made him a Prebendary of Westminster 
with the direct purpose of sticking a thorn in the 
Dean's side. In the exercise of this function Heylyn 
prompted three of his colleagues to appeal to the 
Crown against the Dean. Heylyn's action established 
the principle, which but for this might at a later period 
have been disputed, that the Crown was the visitor 
of the College. In answer to the appeal a Commission 
was appointed, consisting of Laud, Neile, Juxon, and 
five laymen. As the laymen had some sense of law 
and justice, the efforts of the King and his episcopal 
nominees were for the moment unsuccessful, but Laud's 
pertinacity and Williams' friendship were in the end 
fatal to the unfortunate Head Master. In the course 


of the proceedings against the Dean in 1639 ^ P^^- 
fidious Welsh steward produced two letters addressed 
to him by Osbaldeston in the winter of 163!. In these 
letters two unnamed persons were spoken of, the one 
as " Leviathan," the other as " Vermin, little Urchin, 
meddling Hocus-Pocus." Laud, as is clear from his 
own writings, was privately prompting all the charges 
against Williams. The letters gave him an oppor- 
tunity of displaying the lack of humour which did so 
much to ruin him and his cause. He was, perhaps, 
specially pleased to interfere in a "peculiar" where 
he had no spiritual jurisdiction. Yet only a fatal 
animosity could have induced him to found a criminal 
charge on what Racket calls such "gryphes and 
oracles" as the phrases of the letters. In fact, the 
Head Master's gibberish had often puzzled his corre- 
spondent. Laud, however, chose to assume that 
Portland was the Leviathan, and himself the meddling 
Hocus-Pocus. Dr. Gardiner holds that there is no 
reasonable doubt of the correctness of the Archbishop's 
interpretation. There is, however, something to be 
said on the other side. One of the witnesses against 
Osbaldeston undoubtedly perjured himself, and the 
Welshman was certainly a traitor and probably a liar. 
Osbaldeston himself swore, and Hacket believed him, 
that he meant not Portland and Laud, but Chief 
Justice Richardson and a certain Mr. Spicer. That 
Spicer was known as Hocus-Pocus was an admitted 
fact. But Laud, though incapable of a lie himself, 
was prone to suspect one in others. He felt that the 
cap fitted, and was determined to wear it. Bishop 


Racket so far forgets the dignity of history as to 
call the accusations " fadoodles." In any case there 
was no criminal offence, but the Star Chamber cared 
little for the law, and was practically under the 
Archbishop's control. One of its members was pleased 
to display his knowledge of Aristotle. The philosopher, 
he said, had forbidden a schoolmaster to take part in 
politics. Osbaldeston foresaw his fate, and withdrew 
unnoticed from the court. He was condemned to 
lose his spiritualities, to pay two fines of five thousand 
pounds, one to the Crown and the other to the Arch- 
bishop, to have one ear nailed to the pillory in Palace 
Yard and the other in Dean's Yard in presence of his 
scholars, and to remain in prison during the King's 
pleasure. Laud was eager to see the sentence 
executed, but Osbaldeston with a taunting jest was 
fled, as Racket says, from " the cruelty of the 
Tyger." Re was gone, he left word, " beyond 

It appears from various indications that in the 
seventeenth century the nearness of the School to 
the seat of government gave to the political views of 
the boys an importance which on their merits they 
could not possess. The frankness or the turbulence 
of boyhood made their doings an index of the feelings 
of their class. At this time they seem generally to 
have agreed with Osbaldeston. They disliked Laud, 
but were loyal to the King. Pym and Cromwell 
were in their eyes monsters of malignant wickedness, 
and the execution of King Charles was an inexpiable 
crime. There were, of course, exceptions, and one 


at least of the regicides, Thomas Scott, was a 

Of Osbaldeston's qualities as a schoolmaster some 
judgment may be formed from the characteristics 
of his pupils. He seems to have given to English 
composition a higher place than it held with his 
predecessors. Some of the exercises survive in 
Cowley's Juvenilia. Cowley claims to have written 
Pyramus and Thisbe in his eleventh year, and as 
even now it can be read with pleasure, it must have 
obtained from Osbaldeston the "auspicious alpha" to 
which the poet refers. Bishop Sprat had these poems 
in mind when he wrote of "the noble genius peculiar 
to" the School. Indeed, the bent of poetical feeling, 
which Johnson oddly called metaphysical, had its 
home in Westminster, and found a fostering spirit in 
Osbaldeston. Eight years senior to Cowley was 
William Cartwright, whose meteoric splendour has 
long since paled. " My son Cartwright," said Ben 
Jonson, "writes all like a man." Jonson was attracted 
by Cartwright's immense learning, but the mannerisms 
of the School were too strong for permanent popularity. 
Dryden absorbed all that was great in Cowley, and 
the Pindaric art was soon to be forgotten. Osbaldeston 
can hardly be blamed if in the works of the " learned 
school" of poets the learning is sometimes more 
apparent than the poetry. In one of his pupils the 
Master's mannerisms were shown in rhetoric. Heneage 
Finch, Earl of Nottingham, was for a time the most 
admired of orators. His fate was harder than Cowley's, 
for the poet at least did not outlive his fame. It was 


otherwise with the orator. Nottingham, says Burnet, 
" was long much admired for his eloquence, but it 
was laboured and affected, and he saw it much despised 
before he died." 

The notable likeness of the styles of Cowley and 
Nottingham may be traced to the influence of their 
schoolmaster. It is clear that Osbaldeston's views of 
literature and art were neither before nor behind his 
age. This was at once his strength and his weakness. 
His command of the thoughts that were in the air 
stimulated his best boys. They caught his manner and 
reproduced it in poetry and prose. But his manner was 
but the whim of a generation. It held the secret of 
temporary popularity. Cowley in his lifetime was 
preferred to Milton, and Finch to Clarendon. But 
alike in poet and orator there was lacking that universal 
element which only has life. "Who now reads 
Cowley ? " said Pope. Who would now accord with 
the educational practice of Osbaldeston? 

Osbaldeston's love of conceits so stamped itself upon 
his pupils as to prove that, if his taste was defective, 
his character had no lack of strength. Nor was he 
without a desire to widen the scientific curriculum. 
Although Hakluyt, like Vincent and the present dis- 
tinguished President of the Royal Geographical Society, 
was a Westminster, it cannot be asserted that the study 
of geography has ever taken a prominent place in the 
School. Under Osbaldeston there was in summer a 
geography lesson for the seventh form and occasionally 
for others. After supper the boys went to the Master's 
room, and were there "instructed out of Hunter's 


Cosmographies and practised to describe and find out 
cities and countries in the mappes." The instructor 
was probably the Second Master, and it is doubtful if 
the lesson outlived him. It had certainly disappeared 
at the end of the century. Smollett laughs at the Duke 
of Newcastle's tardy discovery that Cape Breton was an 
island, but the Duke's ignorance was probably shared 
by many of his school-fellows. When Lord Chesterfield 
sent his son to Westminster he gave him a private 
tutor for geography, and Cowper lamented the sad 
experience which told him that geography was "im- 
perfectly, if at all, inculcated in the schools." On the 
matter of its exclusion there may perhaps be two 

Osbaldeston, like his predecessors, was a trainer of 
divines. Among them were his more famous successor, 
Bishops Rutter, Price, and Wood, and Archbishop 
Dolben. Henry Bennet was designed for orders, but 
the Civil War diverted him to another career. Accident 
rather than shining abilities gave him his coronet of 
Arlington and his place in the Cabal ministry. Bennet 
was not the only Westminster who found his way to 
the war, but the martial spirit was an accident of the 
times. It cannot be compared with the zeal for battle 
which sent Westminsters from " mills in green " to the 
Peninsula and the Crimea. 

The Play no doubt prospered under James the First, 
though there is no actual record of his attendance at it. 
His pedantry, his erudition, and his love for the 
" learned African slave " make it improbable that he 
was not sometimes present. It is possible that in his 


son's time some simple scenery was introduced, though 
there is no actual evidence of its use before the end of 
the century. In the sumptuous theatrical performances 
with which Oxford welcomed the King in 1636, the 
chief playwright and the chief actor were Westminsters. 
In Cartwright's " Royal Slave " Busby took the part of 
Cratander with immense applause. As scenery was 
used on this occasion, it may well be that Busby 
introduced the scene which is known to have appeared 
upon the Westminster stage within a few years of his 
death. The rich Persian habits, that "gave great 
content," as worn by Busby and his fellow -actors, had 
for more than two centuries no parallel on the West- 
minster stage. There from year to year Simo and 
Pamphilus followed the changes of fashion as they 
were set by Buckingham and Dorset or Oxford and 

In Osbaldeston's time the general dinner in Hall fell 
into disuse. Celibacy had gradually ceased to mark 
the life of the Prebendaries, and they preferred to take 
their meals in their own houses. During Chapter 
times, however, commons survived for some years, and 
at such periods considerable hospitality was dispensed. 
In 1 63 1 commons were formally discontinued except 
for the Queen's Scholars and Choristers. The servants 
were put on board wages, and after provision was made 
for the almsmen the surplus was divided among the 
Chapter, the Dean taking one-third and the Prebend- 
aries equal shares of the remainder. To ensure dis- 
cipline in Hall a grant of free commons was made to 
the Under Master Osbaldeston, perhaps, still dined in 


Hall, but in 1640 his successor, who kept a boarding- 
house, received a yearly grant of ;^I3 6s. 8d. in lieu of 
his free commons. 

To one form of literature the common life gave 
special encouragement, and it is a form which still 
survives at Westminster. Both in schools and in the 
colleges of the Universities it was no uncommon thing 
for Scholars to put in the hands of the president in 
Hall some epigram or set of verses in Latin or Greek. 
From those days the epigram has always been present 
in Westminster life. To the large collection, which has 
been formally and informally preserved, additions are 
yearly made at Election dinner and at Election. First- 
rate epigrams are scarce in all literature, and many of 
the Westminster budget were of ephemeral interest. 
The obituary epigrams, especially Vincent's on Lloyd, 
show much grace and feeling, and some others are not 
unworthy to rank with Martial's. A study of the worst 
of them might make a man, as Johnson said of Strachan, 
a judge of what is not an epigram. 

Elizabeth's School was now nearly eighty years old ; 
and, as the subsequent half-century witnessed a change 
which has had no inconsiderable effect upon English 
life, it may be well here to take a retrospect of the 
School's social status. It has been pointed out that 
the Foundress did not desire to confine her College to 
one class, but in this period there were reasons to pre- 
vent Westminster, or indeed any public school, from 
becoming a nursery of statesmen. The squires, the 
clergy, and the lawyers sent their sons. With them 
sat children of tradesmen and of dependents of the 


Court It is true that no Town boy register was kept, 
but the evidence is sufficient without it. The result 
was, that while the School in these eighty years bred 
a very large number of bishops and deans, many men 
of letters, and some lawyers, it sent out very few states- 
men of mark. Writing a century after the foundation, 
Peter Heylyn, a Prebendary and a King's Scholar's 
father, was able to call it "a College founded, as it 
proved, in such a happy conjuncture, that, since the 
new foundation of it, it hath given breeding and pre- 
ferment to 4 Archbishops, 2 Lord Chancellors or Lord 
Keepers of the Great Seal of England, 22 Bishops and 
13 Deans of Cathedral Churches, besides Archdeacons 
and Prebendaries and other dignitaries in the Church 
to a proportionable number, which is more than can be 
said of either of the two famous Colleges of Eaton and 
Winchester, though the one was founded 168 and the 
other 114 years before it." One of the Lord Keepers 
was Sir Richard Lane, elected to Trinity in 1602, the 
other perhaps Sir John Finch. Of the other statesmen 
Dudley Carleton was a squire's son, who rose by merit 
to be Secretary of State and Viscount Dorchester, and 
in much the same rank were born Sir Humphrey Lynd, 
Sir Thomas Aylesbury, and Henry Bennet, afterwards 
Earl of Arlington. Sir Harry Vane, if he was a West- 
minster, was an exception to be classed only with David 
Barry, Lord Barry's son, whom Lord Salisbury sent to 
board with the Dean, and Heneage Finch, afterwards 
Lord Chancellor and Earl of Nottingham. The men of 
letters included George Herbert, Lord Herbert's brother, 
but Ben Jonson, Randolph, Cartwright, and Cowley were 
of humbler origin. 


In the latter part of Elizabeth's reign fashion had 
set against the Universities, and the tendency gained 
strength under James and Charles. The eldest and 
often the younger sons of men of rank were brought 
up by a tutor at home or in foreign travel, or as pages 
in a nobleman's household. The material interests of 
the Crown kept from school the wards of the Court 
which bore their name. The few boys of rank who 
matriculated at Oxford or Cambridge went up at a 
tender age in charge of a tutor. In the sixteen years, 
from 1606 to 1 62 1, the Oxford register records the 
matriculation of but eleven noblemens' sons, and their 
average age was fifteen. In the same years the total 
number of matriculations was over five thousand, and 
seventeen was the average age. Mr. Clark has pointed 
out that the number of dispensations from keeping 
terms granted in the latter part of Elizabeth's reign 
and under James I. indicates the private tutor in the 
country house. The grand tour or residence in France 
were hardly less fashionable. In 1638 Brilliana, Lady 
Harley, was told that there were but few noblemens' 
sons in Oxford, for they were sent for the most part 
very young into France. The boys of this class, who 
in Laud's chancellorship were at Oxford, often came 
straight from home. The only school that at this time 
attracted them was Eton, and the attraction of Eton 
failed amid the clash of arms. Before the end of the 
century we shall find a striking change. 

In spite of what has been said, the range of rank 
among the boys was not inconsiderable. Defective as 
the register is, it supplies the material for such a con- 


elusion. More complete details would probably only 
strengthen it. Nor did the boys come only from 
London and its neighbourhood. Down to 1603 ^^e 
names of little more than three hundred are known, 
and not a few of them are but names ; yet among them 
may be traced the sons of squires, clergymen, and 
others from Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, 
Northamptonshire, and Wales. Indeed, the number 
of Welsh boys is remarkable, and it has been sug- 
gested that North Wales was at the time too poor 
to keep its children at home. Certainly some of the 
Welshmen, such as John Price, afterwards Greek pro- 
fessor at Pisa, were born in London, but this was not 
the case with all the King's Scholars who bore the 
names of Thomas, Williams, Griffith, Wynne, Edwards, 
Lloyd, Owen, and Powell. It must not be forgotten 
that the Queen was proud of her Welsh descent, and 
that for sixty out of these eighty years the Deans were 
natives of the principality. Competition had not yet 
won the victory over nomination, and the Dean could 
promise a Scholar's place to a boy who would come to 
London from the slopes of Snowdon. 

Of the Queen's Scholars whose names appear in the 
imperfect Oxford Matriculation lists during the reign of 
Elizabeth, two-thirds are entered as plebeiorum filii. 
More than half the remainder are generosorum filii. 
Under James I. the latter class are more than a third, 
the former less than one-twelfth. There are also more 
boys of higher rank, including two knights' sons. 
Possibly the line between pleb, f. and gen, f. was drawn 
with less strictness. This allowed, it is still clear that 


the Scholars were drawn from more classes than before. 
In fact, the scholarships were becoming an object of 
general competition among the Town boys. 

A Westminster elected to Christ Church was a per- 
manent student of the House. He thus lost a spur 
which has often proved very forcible. A Wykehamist 
elected to a scholarship at New College passed without 
challenge into a fellowship. When Laud was Chan- 
cellor he complained that the members of New College 
had lost all interest in learning. They read nothing but 
Calvin's Institutions, instead of " logic, philosophy, 
mathematics, and the like grounds of learning." It is 
hard to see why the Westminsters at Christ Church 
overcame the temptation to be idle on a competence 
and with the prospect of a College living. That they 
did overcome it is clear from the Chancellor's silence 
and the records of their careers. When Laud spoke of 
them it was in terms of commendation. He was asked 
to make Cartwright superintendent of the press, and 
replied that he had high report of him, that he was 
" passing fit for Greek, and every way well deserving this 
or a better place." It may well be that the Westmin- 
sters had drunk delight of literary London, and their 
wits were kept lively by the memories and hopes of 
the Mermaid Tavern, but the merits of the Westminster 
student may be more directly traced to the principle of 

Westminsters were already dominant in Christ 
Church, and from 1596 to 1648 six of them in succes- 
sion occupied the Deanery. They carried their school 
feeling with them, and its exclusiveness moved the 
Chancellor's anger. To the annual Westminster supper 


he objected on three grounds. It led, he said, to 
faction, to expense, and to riot. He was further 
enraged that the supper was on a Friday, a day pro- 
bably chosen in his defiance. The Dean was little 
likely to suppress a meeting in which in the past, per- 
haps even in the present, he took a part. The Chancellor 
could not directly overthrow the liberties of a college, but 
he could call in a higher power. A King's letter ordered 
the suppression of "that supper or meeting by what 
name soever it be called." The order was no doubt 
obeyed, but the discipline of a mere disciplinarian can 
never be permanently effective. Under various names 
and in various forms the meeting has survived to the 
present time. 

The chief benefaction of the period came from the 
bounty of Dean Williams. By a deed of trust he 
assigned to the Dean and Chapter rents to the amount 
of £2^ 6s. 8d. out of the manors of Sandbury and 
Stanmore for the maintenance of four Welsh Scholars. 
The boys were to receive their education free, to wear 
purple gowns, and to be called Bishop's boys. From 
School they were to be removed to St. John's College, 
Cambridge, where Williams founded two fellowships 
for their benefit. The first Fellow was elected in 1625. 
In the troubled times the two holders of these fellow- 
ships were evicted, and in later years Westminsters 
seem to have shown no liking for St. John's College. 
Under the provisions of the Universities Act the 
School in default of candidates lost its interest in these 



His Appointment — His previous Career — Political Chang-es — The 
Committee — The Covenant — Governing- Body — The Engagement 
— Bagshaw — The School's Loyalty — Its Catholicity — Christ 
Church Students — The Restoration — Westminsters at Oxford — 
Dolben — Hug-uenots — Coronation of James II. — The Revolution 
— Busby's Last Years — Curtain Story — Benefactors — Boarders — 
Fees — Masters' Incomes — Busby's Expenditure on the School 
The Library — Opposition of Academies — Classes of Boys 
— Distinctions of Rank — Boarding Houses — Preparatory Schools. 

AFTER Williams was suspended from office in 
-^~^ 1637 a royal commission had at Laud's instiga- 
tion been prepared, authorizing the Prebendaries in the 
Dean's absence to do all capitular business under the 
title of the Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church. 
Robert Newell, the sub-Dean, a half-brother of Arch- 
bishop Neile, was acting as Dean when in 1638 Richard 
Busby first took the Head Master's work. As 
Osbaldeston was under the shadow of persecution, it 
was necessary to put a man in his place. On his 
deprivation the Chapter did not at once grant a 
patent of his office to his successor. It is probable 
that they were unwilling to make a permanent 
appointment in the Dean's absence. Yet it would 
seem that Williams was ready to approve of Busby. 
On the demand of the Peers the Dean was released 



from the Tower in November, 1640, and at once 
resumed the powers of his place. In the next month 
Busby had a patent of " the office and room of school- 
master, with his house and lodging thereunto be- 

In later life Busby seems to have claimed connexion 
with the family of his name established at Addington, 
in Buckinghamshire. The connexion was probably 
fanciful. His father, a citizen of Westminster, sent 
him to the School. In 1624 the boy was elected to 
Christ Church, and at Oxford won no little fame as a 
Scholar and as an actor. He had indeed thought of 
becoming a professed player, and it is probable that he 
was diverted from that purpose by the opportunity of 
succeeding Osbaldeston. The unrivalled length and 
the unsurpassed success of his mastership, the tenacity 
with which through great political changes he clung 
to his post, the dominance of his intellect, and the 
terror of his rod, have raised his name above all of 
his profession. 

In face of the policy of the Long Parliament the 
connexion of the School with the Chapter may well 
have caused serious apprehensions in the Master's mind. 
Though he had no reason to fear the Puritan leaders, 
there were others who might fail to distinguish between 
an ecclesiastical college and a place of teaching. If the 
Chapter fell, would not the School be involved in its 
ruin? The boys at least were unwilling to dissociate 
themselves from their rulers. When the apprentices 
attacked the Abbey the King's Scholars mustered in 
its defence and gloried in, if they did not cause, the 
death of the assailants' leader. 




Such tumultuous attacks as Sir Richard Wiseman's 
could easily be repelled. The policy of Parliament was 
not to be met by force. In fact, those who desired the 
welfare of the School were little likely to adopt such a 
remedy. A thoughtless observer might suppose that 
the political changes were to affect the whole being of 
the School. Its constitution was indeed cast anew ; 
but, with Busby in possession of his chair, the alteration 
was only on the surface, and the work went on in its 
established lines. 

Of this continuity there were two principal causes, 
the educational zeal of the Puritans and the masterful 
astuteness of the Head Master. As the School had 
no independent revenues, and the very buildings were 
the freehold of the Dean and Chapter, the ordinance 
of Parliament, by which in 1642 the property of all 
ecclesiastical bodies was sequestered, would naturally 
have brought the School to an end. This, however, 
was by no means the intention of the dominant party. 
An order of the House of Commons referred it to 
the Committee of the King's revenue to see that the 
educational moneys of the Colleges of St. Peter's and 
Christ Church were not diverted from their purposes. 
The receiver of the College was still to take the rents 
and the steward the provisions. Elections were still 
made to Christ Church, though for some reason, which 
does not appear, in 1643 and 1644 no election seems 
to have been made to Cambridge. The Civil War 
seems to have detained some boys at School after 
their election to Christ Church. At any rate, they 
pleaded such detention with a view to abbreviate 


their course at Oxford. It is, however, difficult to re- 
concile their account with the Election lists. 

Election to Cambridge was resumed before Parliament 
again took the matter in hand. In November, 1645, an 
ordinance of the Lords and Commons entrusted the 
School to a Joint Committee of thirty-three men, of 
whom eleven were of the Lords. As was inevitable 
the Committee was of a Presbyterian cast. Included 
in it were Lord Manchester, who shared with Lords 
Warwick and Holland the leadership of the Presbyterian 
party, Lord Pembroke, who was soon to be the head of 
the Oxford Commission, and the younger Vane. Of 
the great lawyers there were Maynard, St. John, and 
Glynne, the last of whom was a Westminster. Of the 
other Westminsters on the Committee were Nottingham 
and perhaps Vane. Westminster's claim to Vane is 
doubtful, and the epithet of illiterate, applied to him 
by Clarendon, is certainly against it. If Clarendon 
used the word, according to Chesterfield's definition, to 
mean ignorant of Greek and Latin, there can be little 
doubt in the matter. To this Committee, of which the 
quorum was at first seven and afterwards five, together 
with the Master of Trinity and the Head Master, was 
assigned the duty of electing to Christ Church and 
Trinity. The Dean of Christ Church, Samuel Fell, a 
Westminster, was excluded because he had not taken 
the Covenant, but provision was made that if he ceased 
to be a delinquent, or were succeeded by one who was 
not a delinquent, the Dean should then be of the Com- 
mittee. Edward Reynolds, who succeeded Fell in 1648, 
was duly qualified. 



This ordinance suspended from office all members 
of the College who had not taken the Covenant. As 
Busby was not suspended it would at first sight seem 
that he must have taken it. Some indirect testimony- 
seems to point to the same conclusion. Walter Pope, 
who was elected to Cambridge in 1645 but went to 
Oxford, accuses Busby of ploughing with the Parlia- 
mentary heifers. Many years later Hearne called him 
a complier and a time-server. Hearne's evidence is 
not worth much, and neither before nor after the 
Restoration did Busby's enemies hint a word of his 
taking the Covenant. South spoke of his unswerving 
loyalty, and himself heard the prayer for the King 
read in School when the scaffold was already set in 
Whitehall. As Busby had friends in power it is 
perhaps possible that there was connivance at his 
delinquency. The Presbyterians set so high a value 
on education that they may have been willing to 
concede to Busby a grace which they denied to others. 
After no long time the rise of Independency made 
the Covenant obsolete. While it lasted the Committee 
was not inactive. When in 1647 Philip Henry stood 
for Election with Busby's nephew and others his god- 
father, Lord Pembroke, took part in the examination* 
Sir Harry Vane was a frequent visitor. On one of his 
visits Busby pointed out to him a clever boy, whose 
mother supported herself by her needle. The boy him- 
self made money by doing his school-fellows' exercises, 
and Sir Harry's purse relieved him from this immoral 
necessity. In later days the boy became famous as the 
learned and witty adversary of the Royal Society. 


In April, 1649, all Chapters were annulled by 
Parliament. Though all School revenues were exempt 
from the Act, Westminster became dependent upon 
the trustees of ecclesiastical property. But the 
Independents were no less zealous than the Presby- 
terians for the separate existence of the School. In 
the following September an Act was passed for its 
maintenance and a governing body established. The 
number of Governors was fifty-six, of whom nine or 
ten had been members of the previous Committee. 
To this body was entrusted the management of the 
School and the maintenance of the forty Scholars 
and the Bishop's boys, together with the care of the 
Abbey. In them were vested all the School buildings, 
including the house at Chiswick and the Fields. They 
were also incorporated under the title of " the Governors 
of the School and Almshouses in Westminster." By 
an Act of 1654 visitors were appointed. These were 
the visitors of the Universities or any four of them, 
whereof two were to be of the visitors of either 
University. It is clear, both from the name given to 
the Governors and from other indications, that the 
first thought of Parliament was for the School. From 
its position the Abbey was naturally kept as a place 
for lectures, and the Governors were required to pay 
the lecturers, and even to see that the preacher of the 
Abbey attended prayers in the House of Commons. 
As Independency prevailed over Presbyterianism the 
lectures may have been delivered less frequently, but 
at all times the Puritan layman cared less for preaching 
than for education. He was, indeed, willing to show 


his respect for the schoolmaster in an eminently 
practical way. By the Assessment Act of 1656 among 
other persons exempted from payment were the 
Masters and Scholars of Westminster in respect to 
their stipends. 

Busby had mastered the difficulty of the Covenant. 
In 1650 he had to face another problem of casuistry. 
Parliament resolved that he and his Scholars should 
take the Engagement. Again we are at a loss to 
determine his course. If he did not take it the omis- 
sion would probably have been alleged against him in 
a bitter quarrel in which he was soon to be engaged. 
Second of the Election to Oxford in 1646 was Edward 
Bagshaw, the son of a Northamptonshire lawyer, whose 
abilities had made him one of Busby's " white boys," or 
favourites. Bagshaw's career at Oxford did not fulfil 
the promise of his childhood. His vanity and quarrel- 
some spirit were more conspicuous than his undoubted 
intellectual parts. He became an active supporter of 
John Owen, the great Independent, who as Dean of 
Christ Church and Vice-Chancellor held for some years 
powerful sway in Oxford. The indiscretions of the 
student often outran the purposes of the Dean, but of 
this Busby seems to have had but imperfect informa- 
tion. In 1656, on Owen's suggestion. Busby offered 
Bagshaw the second mastership in succession to 
Thomas Vincent. Vincent was a sensitive scholar, on 
whose nerves the mistakes of the fourth form so jarred 
that he retired to die of their false Latin. If Vincent 
was too weak, Bagshaw was too strong, but Busby, 
even if he were acquainted with Bagshaw's qualities, 


may have found it difficult to refuse Owen's nomina- 
tion. Walter Pope, who had been by a year Bagshaw's 
senior in College, told him that he would be unwise to 
go to Westminster. Busby was masterful and Bagshaw 
was petulant, and they could never set their horses 
together. To this advice Bagshaw turned a deaf ear, 
but it soon became clear that Pope was right. Bag- 
shaw had views of his own and did not scruple to 
express them. Busby taught Arabic, and the Usher 
said it was valueless. A more tender point was 
touched by the suggestion that Busby's Greek Gram- 
mar was capable of improvement. Nor would the 
Second Master's stubborn Independency fall in with the 
usages of the School. He scandalised Busby by wear- 
ing his hat in the Abbey. For such views and actions 
Busby was not slow to manifest his dislike. Finding 
remonstrances fruitless, he took a step which was no 
doubt intended to drive Bagshaw from his place. In 
July, 1657, he removed the Upper School, together with 
Bagshaw, to Chiswick, while the Lower School remained 
with the Assistant at Westminster. Suddenly Busby 
appeared at a meeting of the Governors and obtained 
an order that the Second Master should have charge 
of the Lower School. Posting back to Chiswick he 
directed Bagshaw to return at once to Westminster. 
Disobedience was impossible, but Bagshaw vowed re- 
venge. In October, somewhat before the usual time, 
Busby brought his boys back to Westminster and 
successfully applied to the Governors for leave to take 
the Assistant into the Upper School, paying the stipend 
of forty pounds out of his own pocket. The Assistant 

BUSBY 2>7 

was William James, a precocious Scholar, who at the age 
of fifteen had been elected to Oxford in 1650. Busby- 
came up School with James, and, perhaps with some 
irritating ostentation, led him past Bagshaw and the 
little boys to install him above the curtain. In great 
wrath Bagshaw appealed to the Governors, but could 
get no redress. He returned sulkily to his post and 
forbade his boys to give James the customary recog- 
nition. He even sent a monitor to tell the Assistant 
to hold his tongue. Not content with insulting the 
underling, he struck at the Head Master. Busby, to 
his indignant astonishment, found his own name in 
the monitor's bill. The boys' delight must have been 
boundless and their amusement increased when they 
saw Bagshaw carry off his forms to teach them in his 
own rooms. 

Busby had now good ground for appealing to the 
Governors. He pointed out that Bagshaw had no 
patent of his place, and besought them to prevent 
the disorder and ruin of the School. Bagshaw was 
directed to answer the accusations, and the boys were 
summoned as witnesses. On their evidence the Gover- 
nors supported Busby, suspended Bagshaw till the next 
Election, and called on him to prove his right to 
his place. From Maynard and other leading lawyers 
Bagshaw obtained advice that the suspension was 
illegal. Acting on this he insisted on taking his place 
in the School and occupying the tower of the dormitory. 
Busby, who had procured a Cambridge undergraduate 
to take the Second Master's place, thought it was now 
time to employ force. He made his boys seize Bagshaw 


and remove him from the School, and he sent workmen 
to pull down the staircase that led to the tower. At 
Election Bagshaw laid his evidence and his lawyer's 
opinion before the Governors. He was supported by 
Owen, Bradshaw, and two others, but the majority were 
so manifestly against him that he determined to retire. 
Busby had his way, and, as if to show the real purpose 
of his action, agreed that Adam Littleton, Bagshaw's 
successor, should take the fourth form, while the Assis- 
tant went back below the curtain. 

Bagshaw's subsequent career was not happy. Ejected 
under the Bartholomew Act, he became a conventicler 
and remained a railer. After spending some time in 
several prisons he died at the end of 1671 in Tuttle 
Street. He had, however, won the respect of his party. 
His body was followed by many hundreds to its grave 
in Bunhill Fields, and Owen wrote his epitaph. 

Bagshaw was not the only Roundhead by whom 
Busby was troubled. One Owen Price, a Welshman, 
who had been under-butler of Jesus College, and was 
now Master of Magdalen College School, descried in 
Bagshaw's discomfiture an "unexpected providence" 
that was to bring him into the vacant place. Seeming 
to himself par negocio he attributed to the " divell " a 
"remora" which blocked his way. The remora was 
doubtless Busby, but Price looked to "the Lord that 
teaches to profit" to "vindicate his own name and 
interest " by procuring the appointment of his servant 
The divine guidance so confidently asserted by Price 
was less apparent to Busby, and the ex-butler remained 
at Oxford. 


After his retirement Bagshaw published a book in 
which he stated his case against the Head Master. 
If Busby had not taken the Engagement it is difficult 
to believe that in this acrimonious volume such a handle 
would not have been used against him. It is true that 
by an Act of 1654 all obligation to take the Engage- 
ment and all penalties for not taking it had been 
annulled, but the previous Act had been four years 
in force. The probable inference that Busby and his 
boys did take the Engagement does not involve any 
slur upon his loyalty. Its terms, unlike those of the 
Covenant, were such that a man might fairly take it, if, 
without approving of the government of the Common- 
wealth, he was minded to take no active steps against it. 
An acknowledgment of the Government de facto was 
not incompatible with a desire for the Government 
de jure. It may indeed be surmised that Busby acted 
with the knowledge and approval of some whose loyalty 
was beyond question. Among them must have been 
the men to whom at the Restoration he applied for a 
certificate of loyalty. The certificate was signed by 
John King, Bishop of Chichester, elected to Christ 
Church in 1608 ; John Earles, who had been Charles' 
chaplain abroad, and in 1660 was made Dean of West- 
minster ; John Cosin, the great Bishop of Durham ; and 
Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln, whose loyalty 
had once left him without a crust. Earles had lived 
at Antwerp with George Morley, afterwards Bishop of 
Winchester, elected to Christ Church in 161 5, and pro- 
bably Busby had been in communication with them. 

In fact, through all this time the loyalty of the School 


had never really been in doubt. Just as the King had 
been prayed for on the day of his execution, so the 
Church services were regularly held under Busby's own 
roof. The Scholars were still called King's Scholars, 
and even written down such in the careless jottings 
which the Head Master took for accounts. In the 
height of Cromwell's power at least one school-book 
was dedicated to the King's School. Even at 
Cromwell's funeral, with Busby in official attendance, 
a daring deed showed the spirit of the School. 
Robert Uvedale, a senior in College, sprang through 
the legs of the guard and carried off from the bier 
a satin banner, which is still in the possession of 
his descendants. To the same spirit Dean Owen bore 
testimony. He saw many Westminsters at Election 
and at Christ Church, and it would never be well, 
he said, with the nation till that School was suppressed. 
He at least knew that Busby was in the winter of his 
discontent, and always hoping for the grasshoppers. 

It was only natural that at such a time the boys 
should show much diversity of opinion. If at the 
head of the Election to Cambridge in 1650 was John 
Dryden, who had much admiration for Cromwell, at the 
head of the Election to Oxford in 1651 was Robert 
South, who had none. If Locke was sped off to 
Oxford in 1652, he was followed in 1654 by Bisby, 
who lived to be a Nonjuror. Not a few of Busby's 
pupils were deprived of their studentships by the 
Parliamentary Visitors in 1648. At least six former 
King's Scholars were ejected from their cures in 1662, 
and all the six set up conventicles or schools in London 


or elsewhere. In contrast with this it may be added 
that Westminster sent no man of mark to swell the 
ranks of the Nonjurors. A few Westminsters did 
indeed refuse allegiance to William and Mary. Two of 
them, Nathaniel Bisby and Francis Hickman, were 
Busby's pupils, but Busby's teaching did not incline 
men to imitate the impracticable obstinacy of a Leslie 
or a Dodwell. 

Christ Church was not one of the colleges that offered 
most stubborn resistance to the Parliamentary Visitors, 
and Mr. Montagu Burrows traces this submission to the 
Nonconformist leaven of the Westminster students. 
But here we must make a distinction. The students 
who held their places when the visitation began were 
not in the same case as those who at their matriculation 
found the Visitors in power. The latter could have no 
good reason for refusing to acknowledge the powers 
that were. It would be idle to impeach the loyalty of 
men like South and Wetenhall and Hooper, who were 
elected, Wetenhall to Cambridge and the others to 
Oxford, during the Commonwealth. By the reproach, 
if it be one, Busby's boys who were students in 1648 
are hardly touched. At least fifteen of them were 
expelled, and not more than five are known to have 
submitted. Nor are the five necessarily to be blamed. 
Though we may admire those who rejected the Visitors, 
in submission itself there was no crime. Philip Henry 
submitted, and his subsequent career proved that no 
persecution could turn him from his principles. Thomas 
Vincent remained a student, and in the plague year he 
showed that he had no fear of the death from which so 


many of the Church clergy had fled. Such men com- 
pare not unfavourably with such frivolous persons as 
Robert Whitehall, to whom a jest was a sufficient 
reason for "malignancy." His answer is well known: — 

" My name 's Whitehall : God bless the poet ! 
If I submit the King shall know it." 

Charles might well have said that he wanted no such 

In the mind of the government of the Restoration 
there was no serious doubt of Busby's loyalty. As he 
had held his place through all the broken times, it was 
necessary for him to get the certificate of loyalty, but 
this was little more than a form. The suppression of 
Chapters had deprived him of a prebend of Wells. He 
was restored to it, and he was made Prebendary of 
Westminster. Oxford hastened to create him Doctor 
of Divinity, and the Chapter of Wells their proctor in 
Convocation. As Prebendary he carried at the Coro- 
nation the eagle holding the sacred oil. His prebend 
gave him a second house in the precincts, and enabled 
him to add considerably to his income. If he desired 
power, and he clearly did, he was not denied his desire. 
His prebend gave him a voice in the Chapter, and the 
archdeaconry, to which he was chosen in 1672, gave 
him rank. Throughout the greater part of the reign of 
Charles H. the Dean was John Dolben, an amiable 
Westminster, who gave Busby his full support. The 
School flourished under a despotism. Busby's work 
was hardly interrupted by slight attacks of illness. In 
1667 he spat blood and his end was expected, but he 
soon returned to his post. Though he was little more 


than sixty, he had for some time spoken of himself as 
an old man. By the world he was regarded as a miracle 
of grey-headed activity. To the last he was free from 
all signs of dotage. 

Busby, perhaps, did not excel in humility, and at 
Oxford the Westminsters of the Restoration were 
rather feared than loved. They suffered for their 
supremacy and, it may be, for their arrogance. Their 
leader was not himself a Westminster, for he had 
become a student of Christ Church in his twelfth year. 
But a twofold bond attached him to Saint Peter's. He 
was a Westminster's son, and he was Dean of Christ 
Church. Most of his friends and, it must be added, 
most of his flatterers were Westminsters. His master- 
ful determination to be all in all was not greater than 
his services to the University and Westminster, nor can 
posterity deny its tribute to the memory of John Fell. 
The place which Westminsters took in his time gave 
them an opprobrious nickname. The undergraduate 
students of the Westminster Election were known 
throughout Oxford as " Hodmen." The great Oxford 
antiquary, in whose diaries some of the hodmen are 
blackened beyond their deserts, gives no clue to the 
origin of the name. Anthony Wood had some excuse 
for his petulancy, for the Latin version of his history 
was the work of a Westminster, and was mangled by 
Fell. It cannot be denied that some of the Oxford 
Westminsters of the Restoration so lived as to do little 
credit to their School. They were not, however, more 
deeply tainted than their contemporaries with the wild 
orgies that followed the triumph of the monarchy and 
the Church. 


Before that triumph began to stir the indignation 

of all moderate men, Westminster came under the 

rule of one of her own sons. As a boy of twelve 

years John Dolben, a great-nephew of Williams, had 

in 1637 been chosen a King's Scholar. Three years 

later he went, last of his Election, to Christ Church. 

Before he could take a degree he was swept into the 

vortex of the war, and bled for his cause at Marston 

Moor and at York. After the Roundsides' victory he 

returned to his studentship, only to lose it at the 

hands of the Commissioners. Nothing daunted he 

took orders in 1656, and with Fell and Allestree 

risked all penalties in the performance of the services 

of the Church. The Restoration brought him his 

reward. He became Dean of Westminster in 1662, and 

four years later united with his deanery the bishopric 

of Rochester. Dryden delighted to show his affection 

for the School in celebrating 

" Him of the western dome, whose weighty sense 
Flows in fit words and heavenly eloquence." 

His military service had left him a practical power, 
which does not always mark the divine. In the Fire 
of London he called upon the King's Scholars to form 
in rank, and marching with them to the City saved 
from the flames the Church of St. Dunstan's in the 
East. In the very stress of the fire the Westminster 
did not forget his favourite author. As he stood upon 
the bridge in Palace Yard Taswell took a Terence 
from his pocket and read it by the light of the flames 
of St. Paul's. 

For twenty years Dolben reigned over the Chapter 


and left the Head Master to rule the School. In 
1682 he was translated to York, the first of five 
Westminsters who for a hundred and ten years out of 
a hundred and sixty-five kept state at Bishopthorpe. 
At Westminster his successor was Thomas Sprat, who 
used to thank God that though no Westminster he 
was a bishop. 

The revocation of the Edict of Nantes gave the 
School the opportunity of throwing open its doors to 
the persecuted stranger. The Huguenot had, indeed, 
been welcomed at an earlier time. Michael Maittaire, 
who may have been born in England, was admitted 
into College in 1682, and was followed by Philip 
Bouquett in the next year. In 1685 the exiles 
established a school in Westminster. With the pious 
alteration of det for dat they adopted the motto of 
St. Peter's. One of their boys may have been Robert 
James Trouillant, admitted into College in 1696. It 
should perhaps be said that the original Westminster 
motto is supposed to have been Memores fecere merendo. 
The present, Dat Deus incrementmn, has not been traced 
earlier than 1732. It cannot, however, have been then 
first adopted in face of the motto of the Huguenot 

At the coronation of James II. the King's Scholars 
filled the place which they have ever since occupied 
in the ceremony. Their right is established by the 
official report of Lancaster Herald : — 

"And it is to be Noted that when the QUEEN entred 
the Choir ^ the King's Scholars of Westminster - School, in 
Number Forty, all in Surplices, being placed in a Gallery 


adjoyning to the Great Organ -Loft^ Entertained Her 
Majesty with this short Prayer or Salutation, VIVAT 
REGINA MARIA; which they continued to Sing until 
His Majesty entred the Choir^ whom they entertained in 
like manner with this Prayer or Salutation, VIVAT 
JACOBUS REX, which they continued to sing until His 
Majesty ascended the Theatre" 

On such an occasion the presence of the young is 
rightly desired, and the last survivor of the spectators 
must usually be sought among the Westminsters. Of 
the King's Scholars of 1685 Robert Freind lived down 
to 175 1. Sandford's picture represents the coronation 
with the tapestry hung round the walls. This tapestry 
was for many years, if not in the possession, at any rate 
in the use of the School. The separation of the School 
from the Chapter perhaps entailed its restoration to the 

Busby had seen too many changes and was too far 
stricken in years to be affected by the Revolution. 
The boys had the opportunity of watching the events 
which led to it. Some old Westminsters who had 
returned to the seat of their childhood supported the 
King. Stephen Crespion, the Liberty boy of 1663, was 
now chaunter of the Abbey, and dreamed himself a 
bishop when he became confessor of the royal house- 
hold. Some of his superiors were little better. The 
Dean was ready to read the Declaration of Indulgence. 
Lord Dartmouth, a Town boy at the time, has described 
the scene. When the Dean began the congregation rose 
and passed out of the Church. His hand trembled so 
that he could hardly hold the paper, and before he had 


finished reading it he had no auditors but the members 
of the College. 

This prelude of the Revolution was more alarming 
than the actual change. From a revolution guided by 
Whig wisdom the School had nothing to fear. Only 
to one of the Scholars had it any terrors. The current 
which swept away King James involved the Liberty 
boy of 1685. This was John Jeffreys, the Chancellor's 
son and successor, who may have thought it well to 
withdraw for a few years his hated name into obscurity. 
He did not stand for Election, and waited for six years 
to take his seat in the House of Lords. Once again he 
appeared upon the Westminster stage to do honour in 
his wild way to the greatest Westminster of his time. 
In 1700 Dryden died, and his son designed a private 
funeral. Lord Jeffreys forced it into publicity, and, 
though Curll's narrative is undoubtedly a fiction, the 
ceremony as performed seemed fitter for Hudibras than 
for the great poet. 

Even in William's reign Busby was still active. He 
took part in the coronation of the King and Queen, and 
in 1 69 1 his eye was not dim when he recovered from a 
sickness which was expected to be his last. He took 
his work till the last weeks of his life, and expired in 
the unhealthy spring of 1695. More than three-quarters 
of a century had elapsed since he became a Town boy 
in the School over which he presided for fifty-seven 
years. It was his good fortune that the storms came 
when he had strength to meet them, while his later 
life was spent in calm waters. For the smaller troubles 
of daily life he had ample vigour to the last. 


It is natural that not a few picturesque facts give 
colour to so long a reign. For more than twenty years 
the Head Master was under a Dean who had been his 
own pupil. The Dean's sons, and probably at least one 
of his grandsons, were of Busby's boys. Dryden also 
sent his sons to his old Master. More than nine years 
before his death Busby saw the great seal of England 
in charge of one of his pupils, who was ten years 
younger than his mastership. When death closed the 
fifty-seven years of his reign the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer was one who had been admitted into 
College when that reign was already in its fortieth 

Of all the stories of the time none has proved more 
interesting than that which bears the name of the 
Curtain. Famous as it is, and based upon fact, as it 
certainly must be, it has little claim to accuracy in the 
form in which we know it. Budgell first told it in The 
Spectator^ and put on it more weight than it could 
carry. It was best, he thought, to go to a public 
school, for there you might make a friend who would 
save you from the gallows. A meek boy accidentally 
tore the curtain which divided the Upper from the 
Under School. His dread of the rod moved the pity 
of a bolder school-fellow, who took upon himself the 
blame and the penalty. Years passed and the boys 
lost sight of each other. The vicarious criminal took 
part in Penruddock's rising, and was tried for his life. 
His judge was the boy who had torn the curtain. A 
recognition followed, and the judge, making interest 
with the Protector, saved the prisoners life. Budgell 


gave no names, but Zachary Grey states, as a thing 
well known, that the accused royalist was William 
Wake, father of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As 
Wake was born in 1628, and Penruddock's rising was 
in 1655, the judge of assize can in that case hardly 
have been more than thirty years of age. Of the 
judges at the trial none has been identified as a West- 
minster contemporary of Wake. 

Of this period the School commemorates three bene- 
factors, of whom two were her own sons. The other 
was Thomas Triplett, a student of Christ Church and 
Prebendary of Westminster, who died in 1670. His 
benefaction is now of considerable value, and yearly 
affords exhibitions and gratuities to major candidates 
who have missed their Election or increases the in- 
comes of the elected. Peter Samwaies, who was 
elected to Cambridge in 1634, founded a benefaction 
for the Westminsters elected to Trinity. Richard 
Hill, elected to Christ Church in 1640, and afterwards 
Canon of Salisbury, founded exhibitions which are still 
tenable by Westminsters of his house. 

Valuable as these benefactions are and were, they 
had less attraction than the solid merits of the School 
and its Master. 

Bagshaw had complained that, whereas the Head 
Master should have but four boarders, and those to 
diet in Hall, Busby all his time had had between thirty 
and forty boarded at excessive rates in his own house. 
It was not even true that he could claim diet for four 
in the College commons, but there was nothing to for- 
bid him taking more in his own house. The statutes 


certainly had not desired more than a hundred and 
twenty boys in the School, and Busby had seen twice 
as many. Bagshaw had not taken this point. In fact, 
the statute had long been obsolete, and it was well that 
it was. Busby's new house gave him room for more 
than forty boarders, and there is little doubt that he 
did not neglect his opportunity. 

Bagshaw's complaint that the boarding fees were 
excessive was as baseless as his other accusations. 
The complaint was repeated more than twenty years 
later by John Aubrey, the Oxford antiquary. "The 
exorbitant deare rates for boarding," he wrote in a 
treatise still unpublished, " at Westminster Schoole and 
other schools about London is a great grievance, viz., 
thirty pounds per annum, twenty - five pounds per 
annum at the least, and yet the children have not 
their bellies full." The last charge was not brought 
by Bagshaw, and was apparently groundless. The 
fees were not uniform. Boys at the Upper table, who 
answered to the Pensioners of an earlier period or the 
gentlemen commoners of an Oxford College, paid ten 
pounds a quarter. The usual charge was no more than 
six or seven. When a boarder became a King's Scholar 
he paid less than the bare cost of his diet. As, how- 
ever, he then got no breakfast, it is probable that the 
boy's delight in his gown was less than his father's. 
Whether King's Scholar or Town boy the lad had his 
money's worth, and it can hardly be contended that his 
Masters got more than their due. 

Of the cost to a Queen's Scholar's parent we have a 
record in the diary of Francis Lynn, admitted into 




BUSBY loi 

College in 1689. On his admission the boy paid about 
eleven guineas chiefly for furniture and clothing, and 
eight guineas in fees to the seniors. His School fees 
were a guinea a quarter to Busby, and half a guinea a 
year to the Second Master. Lynn's pocket money 
averaged less than two shillings a month. Candles cost 
fivepence a month. The barber and bed-maker had 
four shillings a quarter between them. Books, clothing, 
and other small charges bring the sum to nearly ten 
pounds a year. A home boarder paid a School fee of 
ten shillings a quarter, and at Christmas a guinea to the 
Head Master, half a guinea to the Second Master, and 
five shillings to the Usher. Lynn mentions no entrance 
fee, but in most cases one was paid. Its amount seems 
to have depended upon the means of the parent. 

Busby's income in his wealthiest time may be 
estimated at ;£"iooo a year, and the Second Master's 
at ;^300. If Busby's revenues were large he worked 
hard for them. There was no man of his time who 
either found less leisure or less desired it. If he held 
more places than one, he neglected the duties of none 
of them. It would of course be idle to attribute to him 
any sympathy with the objection to pluralities after- 
wards expressed by Mr. Allworthy. But if he gathered 
moneys, he spent but little on himself. His daily pint 
of claret and his habitual pipe of tobacco were no 
excessive luxuries. His charities were large, and, when 
other objects failed him, the School had the profit of 
his purse. Dolben induced the Chapter to share their 
dividend with the fabric fund of the College, and upon 
that fund Busby took care that the School made little 


claim. Even for a library, a room much needed, he 
made no appeal to the guardians of the School funds. 
The room which he built at the south-east corner of the 
School looks out upon the College garden, and under 
its beautiful carved ceiling are still gathered the books 
which he collected. For the work of education they 
are of course obsolete, but some of them have an 
antiquarian interest. Here is the Royal Slave, the 
play in which Busby won his spurs. Here is the first 
edition of the Greek Grammar, which Francis Gregory 
compiled under the Master's eye. Vocabularies and 
anthologies testify to his compiling powers, and Bibles 
in many languages to his zeal for the tongues. Among 
them is the first edition of the Bible in the dialect of 
the Massachusetts Indians, the work of John Eliot, the 
Indian apostle. Even Malay and Barou have their 
representatives, while Euclid stands beside them in 
Arabic. The first edition of Lycidas shows that West- 
minster was not unwilling to honour a poet greater than 
any of her own. 

The library, now the form room of the seventh, is but 
the most conspicuous of many like tokens of Busby's 
bounty. In fact, he seems to have defrayed out of his 
own pocket all the cost of keeping the School buildings 
in repair. He even paid for the broken windows, and 
for such of the furniture of the dormitory as was not 
supplied by the boys. In 1656, perhaps the year in 
which he built the library, he seems to have spent more 
than ;^200. Nor did his benevolence cease with his life. 
To the promotion of piety, to the assistance of the 
poor and of men of letters, and to the building of 


BUSBY 103 

churches, as is asserted by the most truthful of all the 
epitaphs in the Abbey, ^^ quicquid non erogarat vivus 
legavit moriensy 

It has been shown that before the Civil War the 
School drew but few boys from the class of hereditary 
politicians. Such statesmen as she trained rose, like 
Dorchester, from the ranks of the squires. The King's 
wards and the sons of the great houses had their 
education in a French academy or with a domestic 
tutor. A well-grounded dissatisfaction with the result 
prompted various schemes for keeping them at home. 
A Royal Academy had been more than once projected 
in Elizabeth's reign, and the matter won the attention 
of Prince Henry, Bacon, and Buckingham. In the 
reign of Charles I. two such academies were actually 
established. Had they succeeded the sons of the 
nobility and wealthier gentry would at School have 
been separated from the sons of the clergyman, the 
lawyer, and the merchant. There might have followed 
some of those evils which gave birth to the French 
Revolution. The man of action and the man of 
learning must come in time to the parting of the 
ways, but it is well that they should start together. 

From the schemes already propounded the French 
academies had little to fear, for the faction of classes 
has seldom found much favour in England. Men of 
character had, however, little reason to be pleased 
with a system which carried an innocent infant from 
England and brought him back, as Evelyn somewhat 
later complained, growing into a man "insolent and 
ignorant, debauched, and without the least tincture" 


of what should have been hoped for. Hence it was 
that before the middle of the century the French 
academy and the travelling tutor began to find 
formidable rivals in Westminster and Eton. For the 
new fashion England owes much to the Puritans. 
Men like Manchester and Warwick were naturally 
unwilling to send their sons to a corrupt education 
in a papist country. Like Cromwell they were zealous 
in the cause of the Universities. It is true that they 
would reform those seats of learning, but their hostility 
to Oxford and Cambridge is a baseless figment. A 
statesman's son who was to be sent to Oxford or 
Cambridge would naturally get his grammar learning 
at Westminster. John Owen, indeed, the great 
Independent Dean of Christ Church, had declared 
in a petulant moment that it would never be well 
with the nation till Westminster was suppressed. 
Even if, as South asserts, Owen often repeated the 
phrase, it is clear that he repented of it. As an 
Elector he showed himself most friendly to the 
School, and had the satisfaction of choosing among 
others John Locke. 

Before the death of Charles I. we find at the 
School the two sons of the second Lord Montagu 
of Boughton, who had adhered to the Parliament, 
and a little later Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland. 
These earlier examples are not convincing proofs of 
the superiority of an English education. Sunderland 
could hardly have been a more consummate master 
of profligacy and chicanery had he been educated 
only in Paris. The elder Montagu, indeed, fell 

BUSBY 105 

gallantly at Bergen, but his brother was destined to 
marry two large fortunes, to become a pensioner 
of France, to live without shame and faith, and die 
Duke of Montagu. There were others who shed 
more lustre on their School. George Legge, Lord 
Dartmouth, James the Second's Admiral, was faithful 
to an unworthy master. Contemporary with him 
were Daniel Finch, afterwards Earl of Nottingham, 
and his brother Heneage, first Earl of Aylesford. 
With them were Russells, Montagus of the Manchester 
branch, and others whose character was worthy of 
their birth. After the Restoration and the abolition 
of the Court of Wards the current set still stronger 
towards the Public Schools. By the end of Busby's 
time Westminster was become a nursery of statesmen. 
Of the Ministers of William and Anne, beside those 
already named, Charles Montagu, Dorset, Dartmouth, 
the Admiral's son. Rivers, Peterborough, Henry Boyle, 
and others were Westminsters. Of the First Lords 
of the Treasury in the reigns of George I. and his 
son four out of nine, and of the Secretaries of State 
five, if not six, out of fifteen were their school-fellows. 

Some traces of the feeling that Westminster was 
a School only for divines may be noted till the end 
of the seventeenth century. Some statesmen were 
more inclined to get tutors from Westminster than 
to send their sons to it. In spite of his Puritan 
leanings Algernon Percy sent his boy abroad in 
1658. For the boy, who was but fourteen, Evelyn 
recommended a tutor, and his choice fell on John 
Mapletoft, Locke's friend, who was elected to Trinity 


in 1648. As late as 1692 a great man's friends 
would not always advise him to send his son to 
Busby. In that year Lady Caithness, who had lately 
put her boy to Westminster, wrote to the Laird of 
Methven, "Som say the Scool he is at is mo proper 
for to breed up youths for Church men than any 
other station." Writing under Queen Anne the 
brilliant author of the Characteristics complained that 
in England a boy must be bred either in pedantry 
or in foppery. Lord Shaftesbury was a Wykehamist. 
Had he been a Westminster he would have known 
that there was a more excellent way. 

It is noteworthy that the last attempt to keep our 
statesmen from Westminster was made by a traitor 
from the camp. Lewis Maidwell was rejected at 
Election in 1668. He set up a school in London and 
boldly designed to secure it an endowment. In 1700 
he petitioned the House of Commons to this end, and 
met with some support from those who still believed in 
knightly exercises and the management of the great 
horse, but the time for such schemes v/as past. 
Happily he proposed to raise funds by a tax on all 
printed matter. John Wallis, the great mathematician, 
poured ridicule upon the adventurer's project, and in a 
short time it went into the limbo that it deserved. 

It was indeed time for the sons of the great to be sent 
to school. There they need not learn much, but the 
tutor at home usually taught them nothing. Waverley's 
Mr. Pembroke was probably a favourable specimen of 
his class, and Mr. Pembroke troubled his pupil but 
little. Burnet complained that many a boy was taught 


BUSBY 107 

dancing, fencing, and riding, but learned nothing of 
history and geography, and but little of the tongues. 
There were no doubt exceptions, of whom Chesterfield 
was one. On the other hand, there were those who, 
like Newcastle, carried much ignorance away from 
school ; but the completest gentleman of his time was 
Carteret, and Carteret was a Westminster. 

The schemes which aimed at a separate education 
for the nobility seemed to suppose that in a school all 
boys were on a level. This, however, was not yet the 
case. Distinctions of rank in school life were slow to 
break down, and traces of them may be found in the 
reign of George III. In the seventeenth century it was 
usual for a boy of wealth and rank to be attended by 
his own servant. Two or more brothers would usually 
have but one servant between them. In Busby's time we 
find such attendants on the sons of Lord Manchester, 
Lord Winchilsea, Mr. Packington, and others. Busby 
provided the servant with board and lodging and 
charged rather highly for it, as was indeed right. The 
usual payment seems to have been ten marks a month. 
The servant may have been in some cases a man, in 
others he was certainly a lad of his master's age. A 
tenant's son from the family estate might be treated as 
a humble friend. From an essay of Steele's we may 
infer that the servant was sometimes able to get some 
benefit from the school curriculum, though he never 
attained to the position of an Oxford servitor. Tom 
Trusty went to a day school in the country with Harry 
Rockrent, the son of his father's landlord, and after- 
wards accompanied him to Westminster. Tom was 


amicunt mancipium domuSy whom his master " loved en- 
tirely, and was often whipt for not keeping him at a 
distance." The distance was not increased when they 
came to Westminster. At night when Harry did his 
exercises Tom looked out words in the dictionary, and 
his master taught him what he had learned in the day. 
Harry, it must be thought, was a boy of exceptional 
virtue. In 17 12 the four sons of Lord Bristol had a 
servant. Will Fiske, for whose board at Mrs. Beresford's 
their father paid £^ a quarter. When the elder boys 
left the servant remained with the younger brothers. 
Soon afterwards the custom died out. 

Another distinction of Busby's time was the difference 
of table. For a place at the first table a higher price 
was paid. The boys who sat at it had their last 
descendants in the "parlour boarders" of the country 
grammar schools. The occupation of a private room 
may have been a younger custom. It certainly out- 
lasted the private servant. In the middle of the 
eighteenth century at least one great nobleman had 
a suite of rooms to himself. 

To Busby's later time we must probably attribute the 
establishment of a system of boarding-houses, which 
lasted for more than a century. It differed both from 
the original plan and from that of which alone any 
living Westminster, except the very oldest, has had 
personal experience. Of the Pensioners it is probable 
that in the reign of Charles II. there remained only the 
Head Master's boarders. There seem to have been no 
longer any boys in the houses of the Dean and the 
Prebendaries. The scanty profits of a few boarders 

BUSBY 109 

were beneath the notice of prosperous pluralists. The 
Second Master had to reside in the tower of the 
dormitory, and by choice or compulsion resigned his 
right to take boarders. It is not, however, certain that 
this resignation was made by Knipe, Second Master 
from 1663 until he succeeded Busby. In 1667 South 
complained that Knipe's neglect of his duty to the 
King's Scholars had ruined the School. Be that as 
it may, the supply of boarders outran the accommoda- 
tion. As they could not come as Pensioners, they must 
come as Peregrines. The Third Master was perhaps 
too young to preside over a house. Hence boarding- 
houses were opened by strangers. One of the earliest 
of these was kept by Hilkiah Bedford, a Nonjuror who 
was ejected from the rectory of Wittering, and at a later 
period was styled a bishop. Bedford had been a Fellow 
of St. John's College, Cambridge, and was no doubt 
fitted for his place. Among his Westminsters were his 
nephew, George Smith, and his son Thomas, both of 
whom became Nonjurors. They were, however, of later 
date than Busby. In Bedford's house we see the genesis 
of the system of dames. 

These boarding-houses held boys whose ages varied 
from six to twenty. In fact, it was not until the present 
century that a distinct line was drawn between prepara- 
tory schools and public schools. Very late in the reign 
of George III. boys were admitted to Westminster, even 
as boarders, at the ages of six and seven. Prepara- 
tory schools have, however, existed since the reign of 
Elizabeth ; and, whereas now the range of age at 
admission rarely exceeds three years, and is often less, 


there was in the past much greater diversity. Some 
boys came from their mothers' knees, others from the 
grammar schools of London or of Chelsea, Battersea, 
and other neighbouring villages. At least as early as 
the time of James I. boys of promise began to make 
their way from the country grammar schools. West- 
minster was their highway to Oxford or Cambridge. 
Cartwright, " my son Cartwright," as Ben Jonson called 
him, came up from the free school at Ciceter. Probably 
Randolph, another of Ben's "sons," and certainly 
Dryden were at schools in Northamptonshire. Cowley, 
a Londoner by birth, was admitted in or before his 
tenth year, and, as Sprat says, "soon obtained and 
increased the noble genius peculiar to the School." 
Unlike Philip Henry he may have known no other. 
Henry went to school first at St. Martin's, and passed 
through Battersea to Westminster at the age of twelve. 
He could protect babes of six in the First form and 
look with awe upon giants of eighteen in the Sixth. 
He may even have had grown men for his school- 
fellows. It is certain that in 1657 Charles Sackville 
had passed his twentieth birthday when he first came 
under Busby's rod. " Children of 6 years old," wrote 
Lady Caithness in 1692, "ar in the First form." 

It is a most remarkable fact that in or before Busby's 
time a King's Scholarship had in most cases ceased to 
be a direct source of profit to the parent. Only to a 
boarder was it of immediate value. His boarding fee 
might be as much as ;^40, and was never less than ;^24 
a year. His initial expense on entering College was for 
fees, livery, and furniture about £iSi and his tuition 


fees were about £^ a year. If he held his scholarship 
for three years he made a profit which varied from some 
;^50 to nearly twice that sum. The boarders, however, 
formed little more than a fourth part of the Town boys, 
and many of them had no desire to become King's 
Scholars. It followed that the majority of the King's 
Scholars were chosen from the day-boys. As a day- 
boy boarding at home paid in tuition fees and gifts 
only some £4 a year, he might actually lose nearly ;^20 
by a three years' tenure of a scholarship. Against this 
is to be set the cost of his living at home. 

In spite of this seeming disadvantage there was no 
lack of able competitors. The explanation is not far 
to seek. A scholarship was an honour, and it was a 
necessary prelude to Election, the greatest honour that 
the School could confer. Even the open partiality of 
the Electors could not deprive it of its distinction. A 
boy of more talents than interest could find an in- 
centive in the hope of compelling the Electors to 
attend to his claims. Francis Lynn was put by twice 
" for want of friends," but on the third occasion, he 
rightly boasts, " standing captain or senior I was elected 
in accordingly." To a boy designed, like Lynn, for the 
University there was a further motive. Only a King's 
Scholar could stand for Election. A studentship of 
Christ Church was perhaps the most valuable prefer- 
ment that a schoolboy could obtain. While he was an 
undergraduate it covered more than half the expenses 
of his career, and, if he chose an academical life, it 
became a permanent provision. If a scholarship at 
Trinity was of much less value, it at least gave the 


undergraduate a considerable position in the College. 
The society to which it introduced him was likely to 
stimulate his intellectual powers, and increase his 
chance of a fellowship. If he chose to serve his 
country in Church or State, a Westminster, whether 
of Christ Church or of Trinity, found the gate open 
to him. At his start in the world he was likely to get 
more credit than he deserved. George Stepney's 
wretched verses won him the name of an " illustrious 
poet," and opened the way for a brilliant diplomatic 
career. In the Church we find testimony to the same 
effect. An ambitious young Town boy would not be 
heedless of the saying of that divine who used to thank 
God that he was a bishop though he was not a West- 
minster. Under the present system, a boarder who 
becomes a resident Queen's Scholar reduces his ex- 
penditure by some £']0 a year. 


■ ; Mi'' 









Busby's Qualities — His Freshness of Mind— Hebrew — Arabic — Eng- 
lish — Pronunciation of Latin and Greek — Mathematics — Private 
Study — Little Tutor — Objectors to Busby's Method, Cowley, 
Locke — His later Teaching- — Music — Games. 

'TPHE secret of Busby's success and unique reputation 
-■- is not hard to explain. His method was not per- 
haps the best, but he was the ablest exponent of the 
method of his time. Something must be ascribed to 
his scholarship, to his dominant energy and untiring 
intellect, to his mastery of political difficulties, and to 
the protraction of his rule. But he had two qualities 
of even greater power. His enthusiasm was catching. 
It was almost too much so, for if his better boys had 
in Steele's phrase "such a peculiar readiness of fancy 
and delicacy of taste, as is seldom found in men 
educated elsewhere," his worse boys had the arrogance 
that springs from "learning without genius." It was 
a fault that in the next century was avoided by Nicoll. 
But the most potent of all Busby's influences was his 
power over the conscience. He had his own opinions, 
and knew how and when to assert them, but he also 
knew that there is something better than opinions. 
The dogma is educationally worthless, the ideal is 
I 113 


everything. His best pupils sometimes differed from 
him, and perhaps those who most differed admired him 
most and loved him best. "Child," he said reproach- 
fully to Philip Henry, "what made thee a Noncon- 
formist ? " " Truly, sir," was the reply, " you made me 
one, for you taught me those things that hindered me 
from conforming." Busby's surprise showed that he 
was hardly conscious of the true greatness of his work. 
Yet he might have remembered that in Henry's own 
case he had shown that his zeal was singularly free 
from bigotry. Henry's mother, whose native puri- 
tanism had perhaps been sharpened by her acquaint- 
ance with Laud, had successfully begged of Busby 
that her boy might attend Stephen Marshall's daily 
lectures in the Abbey, and Case's weekly lectures at St. 
Martin's. This noble toleration characterised Busby's 
Westminster. It had indeed one exception, which 
became more clearly marked under the house of 
Hanover. No uncommon theme for epigrams in the 
earlier years of the eighteenth century was the system 
of a Church which could be described in strong figures 
from the Apocalypse, and Busby himself had little 
tolerance for the Bishop of Rome. 

If Busby was no great educational reformer, he re- 
tained a freshness of mind which showed itself in the 
school work. Early in his career he supplanted 
Camden's Greek Grammar and Lily's Latin Grammar 
by works composed under his own supervision, and 
destined to bear his name. But he did not regard 
any edition as final. To an adversary like Bagshaw 
he would not admit that his Greek Grammar was 



capable of improvement, but, in fact, he was continually- 
improving it. Of each successive edition of his Latin 
Grammar he made his boys get copies and learn the 
new text. His Hebrew Grammar, though it remained 
unprinted, was transcribed for use in the School, and 
doubtless altered in the same way. He was always 
alive to new knowledge, and always seeking fresh sub- 
jects of instruction. At Oxford, or perhaps later, he 
had made some way in Arabic, and when he wrote a 
grammar of the tongue his boys said he wished it to 
be thought that all learned languages were to be got 
at Westminster. Those who did not understand that 
a teacher must always remain a learner ascribed to 
whim what was really due to wisdom. There were, 
however, critics who had perhaps better reason for 
finding fault. 

The staple of education was undoubtedly the classics. 
Busby dropped no subject, except perhaps to some 
extent geography, that had been taught by his prede- 
cessors, but he never forgot that amid the multiplicity 
of subjects the best training was to be obtained from 
Greek and Latin. Even Hebrew he regarded but as a 
means, if not to thought, at least to the study of the 
Bible. In the teaching of Hebrew Busby followed the 
letter of the statutes. It was the one subject in which 
no change was made for some three centuries, and the 
first and last change was the banishment of the tongue. 
The study was confined to the highest form, and to 
grammar and the psalter. When Andrewes was Dean 
he took the teaching of Hebrew on himself, and to him 
Bishops Duppa and Hacket owed their knowledge of 


it. Busby was equally energetic. He was glad to 
increase Taswell's scanty income by appointing him 
examiner in Hebrew to his old School. Nor was 
Taswell the only Hebraist who found a profit in his 
knowledge. In 1691 Roger Altham was made Hebrew 
professor at Oxford. He owed his place to his school 
reputation of twenty-five years back, for Wood implies 
that he had forgotten the language. He might recover 
it from Busby's own grammar, which was still multiplied 
in manuscript, and not published till 1708. The book 
seems to have remained in use until Hebrew died 
out about the middle of the present century. 

Busby did not confine his desires to the classical 
languages. He had some skill, as has already been 
pointed out, in Arabic, and loved to display it. 
At Election, as Evelyn found in 1661, there were 
themes and verses in the tongue, and at least one of 
Busby's boys. Bishop Hooper, was a master in it. 
Perhaps the subject did not outlive its introducer. 
With the Arabic Grammar appeared and disappeared 
the one book which shows Busby as an anticipator 
of more modern methods. For the use of the lowest 
forms he compiled an " English Accidence," whose 
quarto sheets were distributed to the children. It is 
still a matter of dispute whether English is not best 
taught through the medium of other tongues. Busby's 
anticipation of Lindley Murray was not destined to 
keep its place, and the School library contains no copy 
of the work. In its time the little book hardly had 
a rival, and Aubrey, who perhaps did not share the 
general admiration of Busby, was obliged to admit it 


into his scheme of education. To most of his contem- 
poraries the study of English grammar seemed little 
better than a pedagogue's caprice. After his fashion 
Busby set his Usher to compile a book upon the 
subject. William Walker's Treatise of English Par- 
ticles was dedicated to the Head Master. Walker 
was afterwards Head Master of Grantham Grammar 
School, and it is probable that some of Busby's spirit 
was carried by his Assistant into his native county of 

The list of authors prescribed by the statutes could 
not be expected to satisfy the omnivorous genius of 
Busby. Dryden's translations from Juvenal and Per- 
sius were in some cases based upon versions which he 
had made for Busby. When Busby introduced a new 
author it was his custom to publish a text. His 
publisher was Elizabeth Redmayne, who also published 
for Eton. Among the less familiar works which she 
printed for Busby was an edition of Apollodorus. A 
knowledge of mythology was one of the first steps in 
education. Some of these books were frequently 
reprinted, and when in 1846 the grammars were ex- 
pelled by Liddell, there was a large stock of the last 
edition on the hands of Ginger, the School bookseller. 
It was found necessary to compensate him for the 

If in the teaching of English Busby had no rival to 
meet, he would not admit one, even where one could 
be found. The annotators on the classics were little 
to his taste, and a plain text was all that his boys 
dare bring into form. His own comments were better 


than any that could be found in print. His neglect of 
the professional scholar was outdone by his contempt 
for the educational amateur. In one point his method 
still obtains at Westminster. The travelled English- 
man was apt to feel an unnecessary shame that his 
Latin pronunciation was hardly understood at Avignon 
or Florence. Milton learned at Rome to despise those 
who would "smatter Latin with an English tongue." 
Evelyn, who had smattered it at Padua, could not 
endure the Westminster's pronunciation. It was so 
odd, he complained, "that out of England none were 
able to understand or endure it." John Pell, the mathe- 
matician, added his voice to the protesting faction, but 
Busby was not to be misled. He knew that the object 
of school education was not the accumulation of know- 

It is doubtful if in this matter Busby's view can 
rightly be called conservative. In his early time his 
pronunciation of Latin did not perhaps obtain in all 
schools in England. There was no uniformity, and 
Aubrey declared, in words which are perhaps still true, 
that all the pronunciations were false. Before Busby's 
death his own method had perhaps completely estab- 
lished itself throughout England. Of late two rival 
methods have made way elsewhere, but at Westminster 
the standard pronunciation holds its own. The West- 
minster boy is still taught to sound c&no and cdno alike, 
and read the familiar English diphthongs into the a, i, 
and o of the Romans. The method is somewhat out 
of fashion, but is by no means incapable of defence. 
Its qualities are said, not with absolute accuracy, to 



rest in the eye and the mind, and not in the ear. It 
IS at least uniform and consistent, and for general 
educational purposes is at least as good as the new- 
fangled travesty which in some places passes for the 
pronunciation of ancient Rome. There may be lecture 
rooms at Oxford and Cambridge where Cicero would 
understand what is said, but there is probably no school- 
boy whose tongue would be intelligible to the hearers of 
the Pro Murena and the Philippics. 

In the pronunciation of Greek there has been a 
change, for which there were adequate reasons. Busby 
spoke the tongue neither as an Englishman nor as a 
Greek. He inherited or promulgated an error which in 
our own time misled the eccentric genius of John Stuart 
Blackie. The mark of accent was supposed to be, as 
it is in modern Greek, a mark of stress. A few in- 
stances will illustrate the result. Metamorphosis, a 
pronunciation denounced by Macaulay as a novelty, 
occurs in the Prologue to Ignoramus in 17 13, and like 
instances may be quoted from earlier times. The 
lines which Dryden wrote at school in honour of Lord 
Hastings contain the couplet : — 

" Learn'd, virtuous, pious, wise, and have by this 
An universal metempsychosis." 

In Greek Dryden's ear so misled his eye that he was 
capable of writing ei/pe/ca, and actually did so in the 
Religio Laid, written thirty-two years after his leaving 
school. Prior, indeed, could spell the word, but it is 
evident that his pronunciation agreed with Dryden's : — 

" Your doubts resolved, you boast your labours crown'd, 
And, €%w ! your God forsooth is found," 


Not ignorance but a false theory made him write in 
a prologue : — 

" Most of you snored whilst Cleomdnes read ." 

Dryden uses the same pronunciation throughout the 
play, and by some writers has consequently been 
accused of a false quantity. It can hardly have been 
the case that, when these names occurred in a Latin 
author, the fanciful use of the accent still obtained. 
Prior may thus justify such lines as — 

" Does Squire Protdgoras live here ? " 
and — 

" Who from Eurfpides makes Phaedra speak." 

A like inconsistency may be observed in Dryden. 
This pronunciation still obtained in the School in the 
middle of the eighteenth century. **They that read 
Greek with the accents," wrote Cowper to Unwin in 
1785, "would pronounce the e in (piXeoo as an tj. But I 
do not hold with that practice, though educated in it." 
Perhaps the last survival of the theory was in a punning 
phrase, the traditional property of the Head Master. 
On Shrove Tuesday, if the cook's throw left part of the 
pancake on the bar, the Head Master ejaculated Hav 
KttKov, and the sound was at least a passable imitation 
of " pancake on." The phrase was used by Smith about 
1775, and may perhaps have lasted into the present 
century. The theory has left its mark in the current 
pronunciation of the word "idea." 

If Westminster under Busby was, as South called it, 
inconfusa Babel, it must not be supposed that the 
tongues were the only study. Long before Charles the 
Second's foundation of a mathematical school in Christ's 


Hospital the fresh vitality of Busby had brought 
geometry and arithmetic to Westminster. His own 
command of the science of numbers sometimes broke 
down in practice. The addition sums in his account 
book are not invariably correct. In the footsteps of 
Euclid he trod with more success. As early as 1650 
one of his boys astonished him by mastering six books 
of geometry in a single week. Nor did Busby's zeal 
abate with years. He was nearly eighty when Atter- 
bury styled him another Cicero clearing away the 
brambles from the forgotten tomb of Archimedes. He 
would never rest, said his boys, till the School produced 
a second Euclid as acute as the Alexandrian. The 
language of compliment had perhaps a definite reference 
to Edward Wells, who was elected Head to Christ 
Church in 1686. Wells was a mathematician of no 
mean attainments, and his works had for some time a 
considerable vogue. A better claim might have been 
asserted for the boy who had so rapidly mastered 
Euclid. The boy taught geometry to Robert Boyle, 
and was in fact the connecting link between Bacon and 
the Royal Society. Even before Newton he divined 
the theory of universal gravitation, and had he equalled 
Newton's equanimity would have been the first to 
demonstrate it. A peevish temper drew part of his ener- 
gies into useless quarrels, and his restless mind diverted 
itself with lesser inventions. With all his defects the 
practical side of English science was largely fostered by 
Robert Hooke. 

Mathematics were of course taught through the 
medium of Latin. Among the text -books employed 


by Busby were William Oughtred's Clavis Mathematicae 
and Isaac Barrow's Euclidis Elementa. A copy of the 
latter, interleaved and annotated by Atterbury, was for 
many years in the possession of his descendants. 

With all this it may be doubted if mathematics 
formed part of the regular curriculum. Probably they 
were taught only to boys who seemed to have a taste 
for them. Hooke was a Town boy boarding in Busby's 
house, and according to his school-fellow, Sir Richard 
Knight, used to come but little into School. He pro- 
bably studied his mathematics apart, and was assisted 
by private conference with Busby. His hours were not 
all spent in pure study. He invented no less than 
" thirty severall wayes of flying," but it is not recorded 
that he induced any of his school-fellows to put them 
into practice. His liberty of study seems to have been 
shared by Christopher Wren, and it is evident that 
Busby was wise enough to exercise only a general 
supervision over the boyish ventures of true genius. 

It was not only in the irregular subjects that boys 
were encouraged to take their own line. Even his 
grammars and vocabularies owed something to their 
research. They collected the examples and noted 
words which were not to be found in the current 
dictionaries. Their efforts filled two volumes with 
" words collected out of divers authors, which were not 
to be found in Stephens's Thesaurus." The boys were 
ready to read by themselves many authors, in whose 
works they could hope to find an unrecorded word. 
Nor did the habit soon die. Even in the present 
century there have been boys who read out of School 
much more than they mastered in it. 


There was also another custom by which the elder 
boys were induced to maintain their acquaintance with 
the elements of their studies. This was a system of 
private tuition that has long since fallen into abeyance. 
The very name of " little tutor," familiar in the schools 
of the seventeenth century, is now wholly forgotten. 
The elder boys, who superintended the work of a junior, 
took on a smaller scale the place in teaching which had 
been occupied by the monitors. The tutor was usually 
a King's Scholar, and the pupil a young Town boy. 
The " little tutor " was paid for his services, and might 
thus gather a small purse against the time when he 
should go to the University. An undergraduate could 
even return to the work during his vacations. Walter 
Titley, elected to Cambridge in 17 19, had been little 
tutor to Osborn Atterbury, the Dean's son. When 
three years later young Atterbury was a major candi- 
date, Titley stayed at the Deanery to "coach" him. 
Titley and Atterbury had been King's Scholars to- 
gether. There was sometimes a greater difference of 
age. Robert Clayton, afterwards the high-minded 
Bishop of Clogher, was five years younger than his 
"little tutor," Zachary Pearce. The "little tutor" did 
not long outlive this period, but he left a lineal 
descendant in the "help" in Challenge. The "help" 
passed away when the living voice gave place to the 
pen. His function is sometimes now fulfilled by a 
Master. The subjects of instruction are become so 
numerous that the change was perhaps inevitable. 
The loss was at least equalled by the gain. 

In spite of the zeal with which Busby had thrown 


himself into the study of numbers and figures, there 
were not lacking, even in his own time, some to whom 
the Westminster curriculum seemed deficient. If his 
Babel had no confusion, it was still Babel. Even 
among Westminsters we may trace a desire for other 
learning than language and literature. The lessons of 
the Novum Organon prompted Cowley's strange pro- 
ject of a philosophical college. Intended in some 
points as an attack upon Busby, the design still shows 
Cowley as a Westminster. The College was to be 
steeped in Latin. The elements of natural science were 
to be studied in Varro and Pliny, the principles of 
divination in Cicero. Every month a play of Terence 
was to walk the boards, and even the professors' 
triennial report of their discoveries was to be written 
in " proper and ancient Latin." Busby was not to be 
moved. He would have no premature "specialising," 
and held the classical training to be the best even for a 
chemist. Of the great physicians of the time Henry 
Stubbe, Nathaniel Hodges, Sir Thomas Millington, 
John Mapletoft, and Richard Lower had been King's 
Scholars. The two last, like Walter Pope and other 
Westminsters, were Fellows of the Royal Society, of 
which Stubbe was the "snarling adversary." Sir 
Christopher Wren was a Town boy, and went to 
Oxford at fourteen without standing for College. 

While Cowley was at Westminster, Busby was still at 
Oxford. A more direct assault than Cowley's was 
made by one of Busby's own pupils, but the book in 
which it was made mentions neither the School nor its 
Master. Nor would it have seen the light but for the 


importunities of the author's friends. Written for the 
father of a young family it remained in manuscript 
almost to the ninth year, and perhaps never came under 
Busby's eye. In the matter of punishments and in 
some details he might have profited by it. Indeed 
nowadays it needs some courage to suggest that, in so 
far as they conflict with Busby's principles, there is on 
the whole a retrogressive and unworthy spirit in Locke's 
Thoughts Concerning Education. Locke's fault is not so 
much that too little place, as Johnson said, is given to 
literature : it is rather that too much is thought of 
mere worldly success. The boy is to seek for an estate, 
much as Jane Austen's young women must seek for 
husbands. This touch of vulgarity colours both the 
general view and the practical suggestions. As a man 
of ideals Busby would have rejected his pupil's material- 
ism. Himself a capable man of business, he would not 
have admitted that the only or even the first object of a 
humane education was to get an estate. Mines of gold 
and silver, says Locke, are not discovered on Parnassus. 
To Busby the sentiment would have carried its own 

Busby's zeal for languages and literature did not con- 
fine him to the desire of making scholars. The man of 
affairs was often the creation of his voice and rod. 
Indeed, of his later teaching it must admitted as a fault 
or claimed as a merit that it went to the making rather 
of the man of action, politician or churchman, than of 
the scholar. When Aldrich, himself a Westminster, 
ruled at Christ Church, his students had, as Macaulay 
says, the skill and address of most able, artful, and ex- 


perienced men. They tilted against Bentley, and so 
disguised their defeat that for a time more than half the 
world took it for a victory. Bentley was almost the 
equal in wit and immeasurably the superior in learning 
of Freind, Atterbury, Smalridge, and King, the West- 
minsters who defended the genuineness of the letters of 
Phalaris. But great as his powers were, he was no 
match for them in the art of catching the ears of con- 
temporaries. Had Busby been alive he might have 
whipped his scholars for their blunders, but would have 
marked their astuteness with an "alpha." He would 
have avowed that for the work of the world he had 
trained better men than Bentley. 

It has been already pointed out that at first the boys 
during two hours a week received instruction in music 
from the Master of the Choristers. It was held, rightly 
or wrongly, that a knowledge of music tended to clear 
elocution. It would, however, seem that the subject was 
soon dropped. John Lant, elected to Oxford in 1572, 
became public praelector in music, but prayed to be 
excused delivering lectures for the sufficient reason that 
they were of scanty value to the auditors. Under 
James I. and his son the professional musician found 
scanty favour from Westminster authorities. Dean 
Williams used to say that musicians had "but half 
brains," and Cowley, who as a King's Scholar had 
watched the Abbey choir, prayed to be delivered 

" From singing-men's religion who are 
Always at church, just like the crows, 'cause there 
They built themselves a nest." 

John Earles, afterwards Dean, drew a darker picture 


of the class. They were, he said, a bad society : their 
politeness stopped at a bow to the Prebendary ; their 
knowledge was nothing, and their exercise drinking. 
Busby, it is true, was not without some feeling for 
music, and even kept an organ in his house. It has 
been supposed that under the Commonwealth his use 
of it exposed him to the risk of punishment. The sup- 
position is, however, inaccurate. It is true that by an 
Act of 1644 all organs were to be removed from 
churches, but this Act, like others of the Presbyterian 
ascendency, fell into abeyance under the Common- 
wealth. Busby's danger was that he used the Church 
Liturgy, and the noise of the organ exposed him to the 
risk of detection. At this very time the Abbey had its 
regular organist. Richard Portman died in 1654, and 
by an Order in Council John Kingston was in the next 
year appointed to succeed him. In the early years of 
the Protectorate, while Portman was still organist, there 
was a boy who took much delight in the instrument. 
This was the same Hooke that raced through his 
Euclid. We do not know whether it was on the Abbey 
organ or on Busby's that he did " of his own accord 
learn to play twenty lessons." 

Vocal music also was not without patrons among 
the leading Independents. Cromwell's Whitehall choir 
was famous, and the Protector's liking for a good voice 
was of service to a Westminster student of Christ 
Church. James Quin, ejected by the Parliamentary 
visitors, sang before Cromwell at Whitehall. " Mr. 
Quin," said the Protector, "you have done very well. 
What shall I do for you ? " Quin begged to be restored 


to his studentship, and on Cromwell's ready compliance 
returned to Christ Church, and soon afterwards died a 
lunatic. But Quin, despite his fine bass voice, had 
little sense of time or tune, and had evidently learned 
nothing of the art of music. Richard Rhodes, elected 
to Christ Church in 1658, is said to have gone to 
Oxford " well grounded in the practical part of music," 
but like Christopher Jeffreys, who followed him in 1659 
and was "excellent at the organ and virginalls," he 
may have owed his knowledge to his father. Dean 
Aldrich, Jeffreys' junior by three years, was a famous 
composer of glees and catches. It is, however, very 
doubtful if Aldrich learned any music at Westminster. 
The last two years of his school life were subsequent 
to the Restoration. Kingston's successor was the 
" grand debauchee," Christopher Gibbons. For Gibbons 
Busby had some contemptuous toleration, and occasion- 
ally tossed him a few shillings by way of alms or, if 
the phrase may be allowed, a "tip." Once at least 
he lent him a sovereign "to be repaid." But neither 
Gibbons nor his associates were men to be admitted 
into the School. The body of the most famous of them 
disgraces the cloisters, where his vices found him an 
early grave. 

Such characters as Gibbons and Baltzar moved the 
indignation of the greatest of Busby's pupils. Super- 
ficial as the view may have been which confounded 
the art with its professors, it is little wonder that Locke, 
who had ample opportunity of judging, spoke with 
contempt of musicians, gave to music the last place 
in "the list of accomplishments," and thought that it 


were much better spared in the work of education. 
Aubrey, who desired to include the subject in his 
curriculum, spoke in even harsher terms of the com- 
panions of his contemporary musicians. Indeed the 
names which he applies to them are such as can no 
longer be mentioned without offence. In the life of 
Westminster Locke's opinion did not die with him. 
More than a century later it found frequent expression 
in the Deanery of Christ Church. The brilliant intellect 
of Cyril Jackson carried thither the fierce hostility to 
the musical art which had possessed him as a West- 
minster boy. He once asked a candidate for a Chorister's 
place what ear and voice he had, and was told by the 
boy that he had " no more ear nor a stone, nor no more 
voice nor an ass." " Never mind, my boy," replied the 
Dean, "you'll make a very good Chorister." 

Music stands half-way between study and recreation. 
Mere play had a long struggle before it won recognition. 
It would perhaps be an exaggeration to say that before 
Busby's time no Westminster played a game. The 
hours of play were certainly brief On Saints' days 
there was probably leisure in the late afternoon. If 
no Saint's day fell in the week the Dean might, if he 
chose, grant one late play. But some Deans con- 
demned play as "loitering," and Andrewes took care 
that there should be none. Even in his walks he had 
with him " a brace of this young fry, and in that way- 
faring leisure had a singular dexterity to fill those 
narrow vessels with a funnel." Bishop Hacket, one of 
the vessels, was filled too full, for his learning oozes 
out of every crack. The boys would have been the 


better for regular games. As it was they were not 
denied recreation on certain days. St. Peter's Day 
was celebrated by a bonfire. Shrove Tuesday perhaps 
claimed that primitive form of football which descended 
from the Middle Ages. The day was certainly marked 
by a custom which still survives. The schoolroom was 
divided by a curtain hanging on a bar. The curtain 
being drawn to the side, and boys and Masters all 
assembled, the College cook came in with a pancake 
in a pan. From the north side he threw the pancake 
over the bar towards the door. The boys rushed to 
seize it, and anyone who could carry it off whole could 
claim a guinea from the Dean. Of late years the 
"greese," as it is called, has been confined to a few 
boys, one representing each form. 

The other sports of early Westminster have perhaps 
but a faint interest for an age whose athletics are an 
organized system. On the hoop, the top, and the 
marble even antiquity can hardly confer an air of 
distinction. To Locke there seemed no good that 
boys should get from learning to "wrangle at Trap or 
rook at Span - farthing." He was doubtless better 
pleased with the boxing, a favourite amusement of the 
time, and the wrestling, in which Edward Bathurst, 
elected to Cambridge in 1666, was an expert. Later 
in life, as tutor of Trinity, Bathurst used to teach 
his pupils to apply to wrestling the principles of 
mathematics. Some form of ball game too was not 
unknown. In the Prologue to Cleomenes, written by 
Prior in 1696, and spoken by Lord Buckhurst, who 
still wanted some days to complete his eighth year, 

G K M C M 



I N 
UfUm Schok Weftmonafterienfis. 

L o N D I N /, ^ 

Ex Officina hliz.. Redmayne. MDCLXXXIX. 

Facsimile of he title-page of the Gr«9k Grammar iq use in 1689. 


credit was taken for the surrender of play hours to 
the work of rehearsal : — 

"Our tops neglected and our balls forgot." 

It is indeed probable that from the earliest times 
a rude form of football was not unknown at West- 
minster. The association of the game with Shrove 
Tuesday, its peculiar feast in medieval England, cannot 
be traced in the school. Certainly the game in the 
cloisters two hundred years ago was not confined 
to a single day in the year. It was an unorganized 
game such as within living memory obtained in " Green," 
and is still known at Dorking. It was not the game 
"of the twenty- two men " or of an hour and a half 
Any number could take part in it, and the cry of 
" time " was never heard. This was the sport which 
once disturbed Addison's meditations, and which, in 
1 7 10, the Chapter vainly endeavoured to repress. In 
a later generation Cowper declares that he excelled 
at it Mr. Andrew Lang, judging from Olney and 
Weston, says that nobody believes him, but Mr. 
Lang forgets the dilapidating effects of love, lunacy, 
and John Newton. A survival of this game may be 
observed in "Green." Played in the odd minutes of 
the day, when there is neither school nor station, it 
is accounted an excellent training in the command of 
the ball. 

All these amusements were probably confined to the 
precincts. It was but a scanty area, indeed little more 
than the cloisters. The open space of what is now 
Little Dean's Yard was blocked by buildings and 
small enclosures. What is now "Green" was hardly 


of more use. The dormitory and the ancient brew- 
house stood in the southern part of it. To the College 
garden it is doubtful if the boys were admitted. There 
were, indeed, Tuttle Fields, but much of that district 
was still a marsh. Such inhabitants as it had perhaps 
made it well to keep away from it. Indeed, it may well 
be doubted if any Westminster saw the fort and battery 
erected, as Clarendon says, with " marvellous expedition" 
in 1643. If Vertue's plan may be trusted, the fort stood 
almost on the site of the present pavilion. Certainly 
no boy made his way there to play cricket. Stob-ball 
was played there in 1679, but there seems no evidence 
that it was played by boys. Of cricket itself no trace 
appears at Westminster before the reign of George I. 

Facsimile of inscription facing the title-page of Greek Grammar, dated 1689. 



Knipe's Age — His Boys— Election — Scholarship of the School — The 
Shell — Freind, Head Master — His Qualities — Politics — Members 
of the School — Sir Robert Walpole's Hostility — Its Failure — Decay 
of the Dormitory — Hannes's Legacy — Dispute in the Chapter — 
Atterbury, Dean — Appeal to the King — Wren's Design — Lord 
Burlington — New Buildings begun — More difficulties — Completion 
of the Work — Mon6s — Play Scenery — Epilogues — Town Boy — 
Plays — New Customs — The Westminster Gathering — Freind's 
Preferments — Incidents of School Life— Funerals of South and 
Addison — Catholicity of the School — Dames' Houses — Fees — 
Shadow and Substance — Holidays — Diet — Squibs — Challenge — A 

"DUSBY'S successor, Thomas Knipe, had spent 
^-^ almost his whole life at the School. Born about 
1638 he became a Town boy perhaps before 1652 and 
a King's Scholar somewhat later, and was elected Head 
to Christ Church in 1657. Four years later he returned 
as Usher, and from 1663 was Second Master. It was 
not to be expected that at the age of fifty-seven he 
should do aught else but wear without change the 
shoes for which he had long waited. Even a younger 
man might have found many difficulties in altering a 
system which the world had stamped with its approval. 
It was perhaps well that such a man should hold the 
reins until the memory of Busby's management had 
lost its first freshness. 



The sixteen years of Knipe's mastership, uneventful 
as in most ways they perhaps were, witnessed another 
step in a movement which had begun under Busby. 
Westminster, always a School of poets and divines, 
became under Knipe also a nursery of statesmen. 
The statesmen were of many parties, and had not 
learned, as Freind's boys did, to make their school 
acquaintance the basis of a party. They supplied in 
the Duke of Newcastle the centre round which their 
successors gathered. Pelham, like his brother, was a 
Westminster. Pulteney, if an abler, was a less 
scrupulous representative of the School's statesmanship. 
The School had more reason to be proud of Carteret, 
who never forgot his scholarly instincts either amid the 
din of politics or under the domination of the bottle. 
Of the second rank were such men as Henry Boyle, 
Earl of Shannon, many years Speaker in Ireland, and 
Thomas Robinson, Lord Grantham. Speaker Bromley 
sent his three sons, while the names of Berkeley, 
Sackville, Chetwynd, Harley, and others testify to the 
growing affection of the governing class. If the literary 
world was illumined only by such lesser lights as 
Aaron Hill and Leonard Welsted, there was no fall in 
the standard of scholarship. The Election of 1710, 
which included Zachary Pearce, long maintained its 
reputation at Cambridge, and the School was destined 
to profit by the attainments of John Nicholl and 
Vincent Bourne. More famous in his day was Robert 
Clayton, and they who most dislike the Bishop's views 
must admire his qualities of head and heart. 

The numbers of the School steadily grew. It is 


probable that at least as early as Busby's time the 
seventh and the sixth had been divided not only in 
name, but in fact. Under Freind, possibly even under 
Knipe, we find a new form between the sixth and the 
fifth. At the north end of School was an apse, behind 
which was the rod-room. This apse was known as the 
" Shell," and from it the new form took a name, which 
has been borrowed by many other schools. At or 
about the time of the creation of the " Shell " there 
was established a rule of promotion which was not 
peculiar to Westminster. A boy who remained long 
enough at School was sure of his promotion into this 
form, but for a further move he had to rely upon his 
abilities. The tide, as Southey put it, carried him into 
the Shell, but not beyond. 

In the time of Knipe and Freind the old preference 
for Christ Church grew stronger than ever. Many boys 
refused election to Trinity, and preferred their chance 
of a canoneer studentship at Christ Church. They 
were not without reason for their confidence. From 
1689 to 17 19 three Westminsters were Deans of Christ 
Church. Though Aldrich had been unwilling to take 
more than three boys at Election, even the unrestricted 
studentships were invaded by Westminsters. "All the 
three," wrote Smalridge in 1698, "who are now come in 
by Canon's Election had before stood at Westminster, 
and been chosen to Trinity College in Cambridge." As 
these three do not appear in the lists of boys elected 
to Trinity, Smalridge must have meant that they had 
refused the offer. Thus Trinity had to take inferior 
boys. In spite of this the College usually elected four 


or five, and a considerable number of them were after- 
wards chosen to fellowships. It would therefore seem 
probable that the Canons of Christ Church had taken 
the Westminsters on their merits. The scholarship of 
the School must have been at the time without a rival. 
Some of it may perhaps have been due to the Second 
Master, Robert Freind. 

Knipe, who had been made a Prebendary in 1707, 
died four years later, and Freind succeeded him. 
Freind, who was elected to Christ Church in 1686, was 
the son of a Westminster long beneficed in North- 
amptonshire, and at Oxford had stood next to Atter- 
bury in that coterie of wits which waged unequal war 
with Bentley. The father had called himself Friend, 
and the sons altered their spelling. In the year in 
which Bentley put forth his famous second edition of 
Phalaris Freind left Oxford to become Second Master 
at Westminster. He had already determined to sit in 
Busby's seat. If the Chapter desired the School to 
train the statesmen of England they could not have 
made a better choice. 

Freind's scholarship was rather elegant than deep, 
and his learning was no match for Bentley's. Yet 
Bentley, when as Master of Trinity he met him at 
Election, was surprised to find that his old opponent 
had much more scholarship than could be inferred 
from his controversial works. If in conversation 
Freind affected, as Pope suggests, the style of Terence, 
such an affectation would easily be forgiven at West- 
minster. There was one class of parents that looked 
rather for elegant scholarship than for great learning, 


and it was a class which Freind was able to attract. 
He was well acquainted with such political leaders as 
Peterborough and Rivers, who were both Westminsters, 
and Harley, who had sent his sons to Knipe. The 
Tories trusted him, and some at least of the Whigs 
had pious reasons for sending to him their sons and 
their nephews. Yet in his own political views he made 
no compromise. In the January after his appoint- 
ment Parliament met, and, the Lords having required 
a sermon from the Whig Bishop of Norwich, Freind 
was selected by the Commons to preach the pure Tory 
doctrine at St. Margaret's. As several of the famous 
Brothers' Club were Westminsters, Freind was not long 
in making acquaintance with Swift. Swift, indeed, who 
found his nearest approach to happiness in supposing 
himself to manage other men's business, delighted in 
escorting boys to the School and hovering round them 
when they had entered it. One day he must commend 
Lady Kerry's son to the special superintendence of the 
Dean ; another he must praise his dull cousin, Pat Rolt, 
on the Master's report of his industry and sobriety. 
He was also a frequent guest at the literary gatherings 
which met under the Head Master's roof Able, as he 
imagined, to help all men but himself, he was eager to 
use his influence with the courtiers in Freind's favour. 
The School perhaps profited more from the influence of 
the Head Master's brother John, the physician whose 
polished manners almost outran the superior skill of 
Radcliffe. Thus a combination of causes led to an 
increase in the numbers and prestige of the School. 
It might be supposed that the death of Queen Anne 


was a check to Freind's prosperous career, but this 
seems not to have been the case. On the contrary, 
throughout the reign of her successor there was a 
steady growth in the numbers of the School. The 
Deanery became a centre of Jacobite plots, but the 
Whigs continued to send their boys to the boarding- 
houses. In the last year of the reign of George I. 
there were 434 boys in the School. In fact, the King 
had shown himself a good friend to Westminster ; but 
he was not able to win the approval of its Master. 
John Freind had attached himself to the Prince of 
Wales, and the tone of the epigrams of 1727 shows 
that his brother had turned to the rising sun. The 
epigrams of the next year were full of loyal flattery. 
Yet, if we may trust certain lists in the Harleian MSS., 
the years which followed brought a decided fall in the 
numbers of the School. It is difficult to reconcile the 
numbers given in these lists with the exultant tone of 
the contemporary school literature. A couplet in the 
Epilogue of 1733, the year of Freind's retirement, gives 
them the lie direct : — 

" Daily through Freind her swelling numbers rose, 
The hate, but more the envy of her foes." 

Such a vaunt can hardly have been made without 
adequate ground. 

If the fall in numbers actually occurred, it may 
perhaps be attributed to the influence of one powerful 
enemy. The Epilogue quoted was probably from the 
pen of Samuel Wesley, the elder brother of John and 
Charles. Wesley had been a Queen's Scholar, and was 
then an Usher in the School. Like the Freinds he was 


an unswerving opponent of the Whig Ministry, and 
there can be no doubt that when he wrote of the foes 
of the School he was thinking of Sir Robert Walpole. 
Hatred and contempt are said by a contemporary to 
have been the feelings with which Sir Robert regarded 
the Freinds, and something of the sentiment is re- 
flected in his son's letters. At an earlier time he had 
not been able to carry all his own kinsmen with him. 
His nephew, Anthony Hammond, author in his twenty- 
second year of some elegies of frigid pedantry, came 
to the School about the year 1720. Nor were West- 
minsters lacking among his colleagues in office. The 
Duke of Newcastle, Henry Pelham, and Lord Hervey 
remained with him to the end. But the Westminsters 
who left him to head the Opposition were men of 
greater parts. In 1725 Pulteney turned his wit, his 
wealth, and his energy against the Minister, and was 
followed in 1731 by the unsurpassed genius of Carteret. 
Among the Tory leaders they found school-fellows in 
Sir John Hynde Cotton and "downright" Shippen. 
The chief organ of their party made them pose as a 
Westminster Opposition to the great Etonian. The 
first number of the Craftsman was published in 
December, 1726, and its imaginary editor was made to 
describe himself as a Westminster of the time of 
Busby. Walpole doubted the fidelity even of the 
Westminsters who remained with him. One night the 
Duke of Newcastle came to him "half drunk," wrote 
Lord Hervey, " from a Westminster School feast, where 
he and Lord Carteret (being both Westminster Scholars) 
had dined together," The Duke made a tender in 


form of Carteret's services, and offered to be surety for 
his good behaviour in office. Walpole's reply was stern 
and decisive. The Duke must make up his mind under 
which master he would serve. If he could not, another 
should be found to take his place. The Duke swallowed 
the insult and forgot his school-fellow. 

Newcastle's rebuff occurred after Freind's retirement. 
We must return to that which was perhaps the most 
important event in his mastership. At the very time 
when the Town boys grew ever more numerous the 
Queen's Scholars found their dormitory likely to 
tumble about their ears. In Knipe's later time it 
had become evident that at least a renovation was 
necessary. The Chapter, busy with the decaying fabric 
of the Church, were unwilling or unable to undertake 
the necessary work. Knipe himself was come to three- 
score and ten, and doubtless lacked the energy to set 
himself the difficult task of raising a considerable sum 
of money. There was, indeed, an obligation on the 
Chapter, but their revenues had not yet reached the 
point when it might have been easily met. Unless the 
payment could have been extended over a term of 
years, the burden would have been heavy on the 
Prebendaries of the moment. The deciding impulse 
came from a dead hand. 

Edward Hannes, elected to Christ Church in 1682, 
had become physician, oculist, and poet, and had been 
knighted by Queen Anne. Sir Edward was hardly 
sane, and the ribald wits of the Nonjurors said that 
his knighthood was anticipated pay: the touch of a 
lunatic oculist was to restore sight to an impious 




Queen. But Hannes was sane enough to be aware 
of the lamentable state of the room where for four 
years he had worked and slept. He made a will 
bequeathing a thousand pounds to rebuild it. On 
the site and plan the Dean and Chapter were to take 
counsel with two Old Westminsters, Dean Aldrich 
and Sir Christopher Wren. On the testator's death in 
17 10, despite an effort made on his infant daughter's 
behalf to upset the will, the legacy took effect. Two 
years later the Chapter determined to rebuild the 
dormitory on the same site, and for that purpose 
lodged the Scholars in a neighbouring house. The 
project, of course, involved the destruction of much 
that was of architectural and archaeological interest, 
but it was not an age to feel scruples on such a 
point. Another objection proved of more weight. 
The Chapter had not met in full force, and it was 
soon seen that a majority were opposed to the plan. 
The work could not be done for Sir Edward's thousand 
pounds, and the Chapter would neither contribute nor 
try to raise the necessary money. Seven of the 
Prebendaries signed a protest against the resolution. 
Dean Sprat, long since obese and inert and now old 
and dying, was in no mind to fight, and an order 
was obtained from the Lord Chancellor to spend the 
money in repairing the old granary. 

Before the work was begun Sprat died, and Harley 
conferred the deanery upon Francis Atterbury, who 
had been elected to Christ Church in the year when 
Freind became a King's Scholar. It was the reward, 
said the Whigs, for the flame he had raised in the 


Church. It was certainly the forerunner of a flame 
in the precincts of St. Peter's. " I envy Dr. Freind," 
wrote Swift, "that he has you for his inspector, and 
I envy you for having such a person in your district, 
and [one] whom you love so well." The Doctor might 
have spared his envy, for inspector and inspected were 
destined to fight out their quarrels in the Law Courts. 

The new Dean would not hear of repairs, and he 
had the support of Sir Christopher Wren. New 
masonry on the old arches would but involve the fall 
of both. A new dormitory must be built, and the 
Dean was determined that it should be on a new site. 
His energy at first carried most of the Prebendaries 
with him. An appeal was issued for voluntary 
benefactions, and the boys were promptly moved back 
into their old habitation. Meantime Queen Anne 
died, Atterbury's mind was engaged in Jacobite in- 
trigues, and for five years the matter slept. 

At last in 171 8 the Dean found leisure for domestic 
affairs. The play of that year was the Adelphi, and for 
it Samuel Wesley wrote an epilogue enforcing the duty 
of contribution. The old building, it said, was too 
small even for the Play. In the vigorous English 
which he always had at command Atterbury penned 
a petition to the King. Westminster, he said, was a 
royal foundation; it had been highly favoured by His 
Majesty's ancestors, and had bred up many great men, 
and several of the present Ministers. Five thousand 
pounds at least were needed, and the King's example 
would be the best promise of procuring them. George 
could not be deaf to such an appeal. He gave a 


thousand pounds, and five hundred more were con- 
tributed by his son. Twelve hundred pounds were 
voted by Parliament, and the larger part of the cost 
was thus ensured. 

Atterbury proposed to build in the College garden, 
but his plan met with a fierce opposition, whose pettiness 
could hardly be paralleled outside the walls of a cloister. 
The opposition found an unexpected leader in Freind. 
The Head Master was not indeed opposed to a new 
building, but objected to the proposed site. He claimed 
a garden ten feet wide, over part of which it would be 
necessary to turn an arch, and he had lately leased a 
house whose light would be obstructed by the new build- 
ing. One of the Prebendaries made a like objection 
on the score of light, while another pleaded that his 
house was so near the proposed site that he must move 
out of the dust while the house was building, and be 
annoyed by the tramp and talk of the boys when it was 
built. Others complained of the threatened trespass 
on their grass-plots, and the circumscription of their 
evening promenade. Such motives easily produced a 
conviction that the garden site would not bear founda- 
tions. On this and other grounds the opponents 
obtained an injunction to stop the building. 

The masterful spirit of Atterbury was not to be 
daunted by the costs of a lawsuit. He had held two 
deaneries before, and this was not his first battle with 
a Chapter. Prior, who had known him as Captain of 
the School, avowed that the Dean would bring an action 
of trespass against anyone who, on the simple surmise 
that the owner was dead, should venture to tread upon 


his grave. Supported by four of the Prebendaries 
Atterbury appealed to the Court of Chancery. On 
the matter of ancient h'ghts he pointed out that an 
allowance had been made in anticipation on the 
renewal of the leases, and he pleaded that small 
private conveniences must give way to a great public 
good. Chancery ordered the matter to be tried in the 
King's Bench. Against this order Atterbury appealed 
to the House of Lords, and bestirred himself among 
the bishops and Old Westminster peers. As Bishop of 
Rochester he had a seat in the House, and his eloquence 
induced the Lords to order a vote of the Chapter on 
the conflicting sites. By this time he had half the 
Prebendaries on his side. His own vote gave him a 
majority, and on May i6th, 1721, the House of Lords 
gave decree in favour of the garden site. It is pleasant 
to record that Freind accepted his defeat with a good 
grace, and did his best to forward the work. 

Sir Christopher Wren had prepared a plan for the 
new building, but the long delay had deprived the 
College of his further services. It also robbed the 
architect of his due credit. The Chapter had recourse 
to the Earl of Burlington, and the Earl produced a 
design which was virtually Wren's. On the ground of 
some slight alterations or mutilations he seems to have 
taken the whole credit to himself The design was for 
an upper room over an open piazza facing the garden, 
and the foundation stone was laid in April, 1722. The 
day of the month is always said to have been the 24th, 
being the Tuesday in Election week, but the inscrip- 
tion makes it the 25 th : ^^ Posuit felicibus, (faxit Deus) 


Auspiciis Ricardus Comes de Burlington^ architectus, 
7 Kal. Mali 1722." Atterbury was not destined to see 
the fruit of his labours. The King's Scholars playing 
in the yard had for some time, says one of them, 
noticed with surprise the frequent visits paid to the 
Dean by his old enemy Lord Sunderland. It may 
have been with less surprise that they heard of 
Atterbury 's treason. On the following Bartholomew's 
Day he was committed to the Tower, and long before 
a bed was placed in the dormitory he was eating his 
heart in a hired lodging at Brussels. On his trial the 
interest he took in the building was used as an argu- 
ment that he could not at the same time be engaged 
in a criminal conspiracy. His activity was equal to 
both tasks. 

Atterbury's successor was Samuel Bradford, who had 
been one of the recalcitrant Prebendaries, and under his 
rule the Chapter made fresh difficulties. The cost of the 
building had largely exceeded the estimate, and the 
money subscribed had not been sufficient. The parish 
of St. John's had lately been constituted, and the 
Chapter had sold for one hundred and twenty pounds 
a piece of ground in Tuttle Fields to serve as its 
cemetery. This sum with the approval of the Court 
of Chancery they were willing to contribute, but out 
of their yearly dividend they would %\v^ nothing. 
The dormitory was like Dido's walls. The shell of 
the building was finished, but it had neither floor 
nor staircase. 

Meantime the old room had become uninhabitable. 
Every Election produced epigrams on its miserable 


state. The gods, it was said, had made it their habita- 
tion. Jupiter descended in rain through the roof, and 
Apollo sent his beams through the cracks in the wall. 
It was not safe, complained the Scholars, to go near 
the old room, and it was strictly forbidden to approach 
the new. In 1729 some temporary repairs were made, 
and the Chapter were at last shamed into making a 
contribution. The debt was about fourteen hundred 
pounds. They agreed to give seven hundred, if the 
Head Master would make himself liable for the rest. 
Freind accepted the liability ; but it would seem that 
he obtained most of the money by a curious device. 
William Morice, Atterbury's son-in-law, and an old 
Queen's Scholar, was high bailiff of Westminster, and 
wished to sell his office. He was allowed to do so on 
condition of contributing five hundred pounds to the 
dormitory debt. 

At last, after twenty years of agitation, the beds were 
moved from the old dormitory to the new. Even then 
the work was not complete. There were no fireplaces, 
and as the staircase was not built the boys must have 
climbed bedward by a ladder, but these defects were 
remedied in 1733. For more than seventy years Lord 
Mendip used to boast that he had slept in both rooms. 
Of those who had endured the discomforts of the old 
granary he was probably the only one that lived into 
the present century. The old dormitory was allowed to 
stand. With some repairs it became the receptacle for 
the King's and Cottonian Libraries, which had been 
previously deposited in Ashburnham House, and had 
there run imminent risk of destruction by fire. At a 


later period it will be necessary to record and regret its 

As the Chapter did not make allowance for enough 
servants, the door of the dormitory was guarded during 
school hours by a young King's Scholar. This func- 
tionary has no mention in the statutes, but probably 
descended from early times. He was known as monSs^ 
an abbreviation of monitor ostii. His duties were dull, 
but as he was exempt from all school work, an idler 
found his compensation when the office came to his 
turn. Monos held his place until after the report of the 
Public Schools Commissioners. His descendant still 
bears his name, but has few of his duties and none of 
his exemptions. It speaks ill for the Chapter that the 
School should so long have been without the services 
of a menial porter. To the boys themselves it is 
improbable that it ever seemed a grievance. 

The migration to the new dormitory was made the 
occasion of painting a new scene for the Play. A 
tradition of the last century says that in the earliest 
times a few curtains only were fastened to the beams 
at the back and sides of the stage. In Knipe's time 
there was in use a simple scene, which seems to have 
represented Covent Garden, the ancient possession 
of St. Peter's Abbey. A prologue of the time refers 
to the yearly appearance of the same scene with the 
square and colonnade. A sundial or clock marked 
an unchanging hour, but other furniture — a mirror, a 
table, and a clock — seems oddly placed in the open 
air. In 1729 a new scene was ingeniously contrived 
to serve as an appeal for money. It represented the 


new dormitory in its unfinished state, the "sleeping" 
scaffold, and the grass growing on the ^^ opera inter-' 
rupta" of the walls. In 1728 it seems that a temporary- 
theatre had been put up, for at the moment neither 
dormitory was available. When the Play actually 
migrated to the new dormitory a new scene appeared. 
It is described as neat but not Attic, and was perhaps 
a street in Westminster. It was used for the last time 
in 1757. 

At this time ladies, *^ mulierculae indoctael* as they 
are called in an ungallant prologue, were not admitted 
to the Play. This was the more illiberal that the actors 
got their women's dresses, even to the hair of their 
heads, from their lady friends. By the ladies too they 
were trained to restrict the sprawling gait and bear 
the body more seemly; but, the rehearsals over, the 
dpors were ungratefully shut upon the trainers of 
Nausistrata and Pythias. 

Although the early epilogues are no longer extant, 
the gradual development of this feature of the perform- 
ance can be traced from the beginning of the eighteenth 
century. The epilogue to the Amphitryon of 1704, if 
the date be rightly conjectured, consists of nine Latin 
couplets, spoken by Sosia, and celebrating the triumphs 
of the war. At that period English sometimes took 
the place of Latin, or the two languages made a friendly 
division of the lines. In 171! a second character 
appeared, but Dulman's part was but to say "God 
bless the Queen." Brief as his part was, it proved 
the birth of a new drama. Twelve months later the 
epilogue to the Phormio was a short dialogue of three 





^ ,.,, ^" AV 

^ 2 


characters in iambic senarii. But the monologue did 
not yield its place without a struggle. It again held 
sway until 1725, and the century had expired before 
it finally succumbed to its more boisterous rival. The 
two last monologues of the ordinary course made their 
appearances in 1794 and in 180 1. In the first winter 
of the Crimean War it was felt that desipience would 
be ill-timed, and the dialogue gave place to a serious 

The brief epilogue of early times sometimes referred 
to the public events of the hour, but was more often 
in direct connexion with the Play. Marlborough's 
victories and Nicolini's operas, the Grecian coffee house 
and the bear garden of Hockley in the Hole, suggested 
lines which hardly recall Pope's on the same themes. 
In an epilogue of Vincent Bourne's one of Thraso's 
ragged regiment appears as a Chelsea veteran. Here 
we seem to have the germ of the modern epilogue, 
in which all the characters of the Play transport them- 
selves into the nineteenth century. 

The present cycle of four plays has held its place 
since i860. In earlier times there was less regularity. 
The subject of the Amphitryon and the name of the 
Eunuchus had not yet driven them from the stage. 
Nor was there always only one play in the year. In 
17 1 3 the Ignoramus was followed a few days later by 
the Phormio, Dryden's Cleomenes was acted in 1695. 
It may have been the play of the year, or it may have 
been the private venture of the Town boys. At any 
rate, the prologue was spoken by a Town boy who 
numbered but seven summers. Prior wrote it for little 

152 Westminster school 

Lord Buckhurst, afterwards Duke of Dorset, and its 

audacity may be judged from a single couplet : — 

" We neither censure fear nor beg applause, 
For these are Westminster's and Sparta's laws." 

Unlike the classical plays, Cleomenes ventured to adopt 
classical costumes. They were bought by the boys out 
of their own moneys. This fact makes it probable that 
the King's Scholars had no part in Dryden's play. To 
the new rival Prior again lent his aid in 1720. Lord 
Dupplin spoke his prologue to Otways Orphan at 
Hickford's dancing-rooms, in Panton Street. 

In the new dormitory there grew up some customs 
which had no place in its predecessor. Among them 
should perhaps be reckoned the institution of " Watch 
in College" and "Tenner." Had they been of much 
earlier origin they would have borne Latin names. 
" Tenner," at any rate, whose title signifies ten hour or 
ten o'clock, had no place when the boys went to bed 
at eight. The "Watch in College" must have got his 
name in the new dormitory. The Watch in College 
was a junior who was on duty in the dormitory from 
early morning till ten at night. The fires, the cleaning 
of cutlery and crockery, the preparation of tea, and the 
reception of parcels, all fell to his care. When the 
dormitory was locked in the evening he conveyed 
messages to the servant who sat at the door. "John," 
or as he came to be called "College-John," was at his 
post to fetch for the seniors whatever they might desire. 
Sometimes he was sent for books, more often for meat 
and drink. Porter and "half-and-half" came from the 
inn in the Bowling Alley, nor was there anyone to 


object to the custom. The duties of the watch were 
taken in daily rotation, and the junior who was on duty 
was exempt from all school work. 

At ten o'clock the watch surrendered his office to the 
tenner, and the juniors, except the tenner, retired to 
bed. The tenner had to supply to the seniors any 
stationery that they might need. At eleven he ended 
his duties with the cry of " extinctis lucernis intrate 

Both watch and tenner were frequently called on by 
a senior to tell him the time, and a continual alertness 
was expected in him. Their office has been defended 
on the ground of the training which it enforced. It 
may be thought that quickness and readiness might 
have been instilled in other ways. 

Though Election and the Play had long attracted 
gatherings of Old Westminsters, the dinner at Election 
was restricted to former King's Scholars. In the Play 
the Town boys had but rarely and perhaps irregularly 
taken part, and their interest in it was therefore less 
than was felt by their school -fellows who had been 
on the foundation. A meeting in which Town boys 
could take part had been projected by Jeffi-eys in the 
last days of Charles II., and South wrote a sermon 
for the occasion. The King's death stopped the 
gathering, and the plan seems to have remained in 
abeyance for more than forty years. In 1727, probably 
at Freind's suggestion, it was successfully revived. 
An annual meeting was instituted, and the meeting 
naturally took place at the dinner table. Here the 
Whig and the Tory could meet in amity. The 


stewards were the Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of 
Oxford, Lord Finch, Henry Pelham, William Pulteney, 
and John Freind. Of these the last only had been 
a King's Scholar. Finch was afterwards the Lord 
Winchilsea who was First Lord of the Admiralty, 
and whose wig and spectacles were the delight of the 
caricaturist. The wealthier diners were pleased to 
send tickets to their less fortunate school-fellows. In 
dull Latin lyrics Michael Maittaire returned his thanks 
to John Freind, not without a sly suggestion that the 
gift should be annual. The dinner took place in 
College Hall, was attended by the presentation, if not 
by the oral delivery, of epigrams, and was followed 
by a representation of the Phormio. It was soon 
found that this gathering interfered with the attendance 
of Old Westminsters at Election, and it was held but 
six times in succession. It was, however, revived in 
175 1, and thenceforward remained for many years an 
annual event. It is now represented by the dinners 
of the Elizabethan Club. 

The facts of Freind's career at Westminster show 
that he was an energetic man of the world, to whom 
the School owed no inconsiderable debt. There can 
be little doubt that he hoped to exchange the 
academical cap for the mitre ; but Walpole, if he could 
not stay the progress of Westminster, had at least 
the power to direct the course of the apostolical 
succession. Freind was forced to content himself with 
a canonry of Windsor and a prebend of Westminster. 
The former benefice he obtained in 1729, the latter 
in 173 1. He did not at once resign his mastership, 


but until 1733 continued to exercise upon the boys 
an influence, which in one point at least it is not 
difficult to trace. Boys are in one respect like 
Sir Anthony Absolute. Nobody is more easily led 
when they have their own way, and in one direction 
the wishes of Master and boy undoubtedly coincided. 
A certain audacity of character has already been 
noted in the pupils of Busby. It was fostered openly 
by the example and indirectly by the connivance of 
Freind. His place in the great world made his boys 
suppose themselves also to belong to it. If they ever 
asserted their position by rough and puerile methods, 
Freind was little likely to view them with disapproval. 
In 17 16 South died Prebendary of the College. His 
connexion with it from the time of his admission to 
the School in the reign of Charles I. had been 
practically unbroken. His remains were therefore 
carried into College Hall that the Captain of the 
School might pronounce a funeral oration over them. 
By some means Edmund Curll, the most infamous 
of publishers, obtained a mangled report of the speech 
and printed the scraps. Adding folly to sin he soon 
afterwards ventured his person within the limits of 
Dean's Yard. Promptly "nabbed" by the boys, he 
was " presented with the ceremony of the blanket," 
soundly scourged, and forced to beg pardon on his 
knees. It is not improbable that the Head Master 
from his window observed Curll's body in its heaven- 
ward course. There is no doubt that he approved 
of the punishment, and a triumphant satire on the 
theme was attributed to the pen of Samuel Wesley. 


Curll vainly strove to turn the laugh by protesting 
that he had not been tossed in a blanket but in a 
rug. Such incidents prompted Pope to set the courage 
of Westminsters above that of the sons of Eton and 
Winchester. In the Dunciad the terrible schoolmaster's 
spectre makes the Etonian and Wykehamist shake 
with shuddering horror. "Westminster's bold race" 
show less alarm, but that they should shrink at all 
is to the poet's mind a conclusive testimony to the 
power of the apparition. This audacity is in one 
aspect the effect and in another the cause of the 
school life. In as far as it owed anything to Freind, 
it makes a striking contrast between his influence 
and his successor's. 

In doing honour to South the boys did honour to 
their own. The interments in the Abbey sometimes 
allowed them to show a generous recognition of others. 
In 1 7 19, at a midsummer midnight, the King's Scholars 
with tapers in their hands stood round an open grave 
in the Chapel of Henry VII. Atterbury had summoned 
them to the burial of a great Carthusian. His political 
animosities were forgotten in the bond of literature, and 
more than seventy years later Lord Mansfield recalled 
the impressive tones in which the Dean had read the 
service over the dust of Addison. 

Wholly as Addison's politics differed from Atter- 
bury 's and Freind's, there were as wide distinctions 
within Westminster itself. It is indeed very evident, 
from the list of boys who wrote verses for the anni- 
versary dinner, that the School was no party seminary. 
The names of Harley, Hay, Harcourt, and Osborn were 


balanced by those of Cowper, Sackville, and D'Arcy. 
The Tory leader, Sir William Wyndham, an Etonian, 
sent his heir to Westminster. Bishops and archbishops 
are too numerous to mention, Lord Mansfield and 
Charles Wesley too great to omit. In a time of little 
inspiration poetry was represented by Dyer, and has, 
perhaps, been stimulated by Sir Roger Newdigate, 
whose greater qualities a master hand has depicted in 
Mr. GilfiVs Love Story. 

With so catholic a list it would hardly be supposed 
that in the political world of thirty years later there was 
a coterie of statesmen dubbed the Westminsters. But to 
so acute an observer as Lord Shelburne it seemed that 
the tie of school acquaintance held them together. He 
observed sourly enough that their success was greater 
than their deserts. He was clearly unjust to Mansfield, 
whom he classed with the Stones and other West- 
minsters of the period as "a set of men who, by 
sticking together and contenting themselves mostly 
with subaltern situations, or at least with subaltern 
roads to great situations, pursuing always a Machia- 
velian line of policy, clinging to the Duke of Newcastle 
and his brother as long as they had any power left, and 
abandoning them as readily to pay their court to every 
new favourite, cultivating Whig connexions with Tory 
principles, continued always to enjoy substantial power 
and patronage, while greater men were without difficulty 
suffered to do the business and take the honours of it." 
Shelburne's dislike for the Westminsters was sharpened 
by his just dislike for Lord George Sackville, whose 
" Westminster connexion secured him constant access to 


the Duke of Newcastle." In spite of all, Shelburne's 
own sons were Westminsters, nor had Westminster any 
more devoted son than the third Lord Lansdowne. 

It has been already shown that the system of board- 
ing-houses began under Busby. The first of them 
were kept by men, but under Freind, if not under 
Knipe, some of them were kept by dames. Before the 
end of Anne's reign one such house was kept by Mrs. 
Beresford. There must have been others, for in 1706 
there were nearly four hundred boys in the School. 
The rise in the numbers, and the need of discipline 
in the dames' houses, called for additions to the staff. 
Three men could not teach four hundred boys, and 
dames could not control them. An Usher was therefore 
established in each dame's house, and this system of dual 
control lasted into the present century. Occasionally 
an Usher kept a house himself, but these seem to have 
been smaller than the dames'. Some Ushers made it 
a favour to take a boy at all. Chesterfield expressed 
his great obligation to Thomas Fitzgerald for receiving 
Philip Stanhope ; but Vincent Bourne seems to have 
had a full house. These houses were in Great and 
Little Dean's Yard, in the two College Streets, and 
in Abingdon and Great Smith Streets. The names 
of some of them may be traced. About 17 18 
William Murray, afterwards Lord Mansfield, was at 
Tollett's in Dean's Yard. It was, perhaps, kept by 
George Tollett, who had two sons elected into College 
in 17 10 and 171 3. At the same time Denison Cumber- 
land, afterwards Bishop of Clonfert, was at a house 
which thirty years later, when he sent his son there, 


was kept by Ludford. A boy of this name was elected 
into College in 175 1. A contemporary house was 
Hutton's in Little College Street, where Charles Wesley 
boarded in 1720. In that year John Hutton was 
admitted into College. The house bore the same name, 
and seems to have been kept by the same man in 1750. 
The house in which Gibbon boarded was established 
by his aunt, Catherine Porten, in College Street, in 
1748. The size of these houses varied very much. 
Mrs. Porten's, which had nearly fifty boys, was probably 
among the largest. The discipline of these houses 
was supposed to be under the control of one of the 
Masters, who received a fee from the dame. It was 
sometimes little more than a name. Of the Masters 
some at least were content to act only when the boys 
interfered with their personal comfort. Perhaps few 
were like Dodd, the actor's son, who allowed his father 
to come drunk from Drury Lane and play his part 
again to an audience of striplings and infants. 

In these boarding-houses it seems that the fees varied 
considerably. For his four sons and their servant Lord 
Hervey paid to Mrs. Beresford £sS ^ quarter. When 
the eldest son left the fees fell to £2y los. There 
were additional charges, among which was one for 
wax candles. School books seem to have cost each 
boy about thirty shillings a year. The entrance fee 
was a guinea, and the tuition fee a guinea a quarter. 
The Christmas gifts to the Masters remained as they 
had been in the days of Busby. The total charges for 
board and tuition perhaps ranged between £2$ and 
£SS ^ year. The Herveys had a brother at Bury St. 


Edmunds School, and his fees for board and tuition 
were ;^22 a year. There were not a few country 
grammar schools where the fees were considerably less. 

The increase in the number of boarders seems to 
have brought with it the custom of "substance" and 
" shadow." For his first week every new boy was a 
shadow. His substance was a boy in the same form, 
by whom he was initiated into the day's routine, and 
who was responsible for his error in it. In form the 
shadow sat next to the substance, and they rose and 
fell together. The shadow could not take down the 
substance. As a King's Scholar could not be a new 
boy, the system was confined to Town boys. At the 
present day an analogous custom is found among 
Queen's Scholars, but the names of shadow and sub- 
stance are known only to the houses. In the houses 
the substance still does his work, but he has ceased to 
be known in form. A new boy has no longer to be 
initiated into the intricacies of Busby's grammar. 

About the end of Freind's time a change was made 
in the King's Scholars' holidays. The number of those 
who remained in residence had gradually decreased. 
Travel was easier, and most of the boys were drawn 
from a wealthier class. The few who remained were 
naturally turbulent, and the Chapter determined to close 
the dormitory during the holidays. Provision was, 
however, to be made for any who chose to remain. In 
1736 it was found that in the three years past no boy 
had remained. The Scholars were therefore allowed 
" ;£"20 per annum for roots, greens, and other kitchen 
herbs with their boiled meat five days in the week ; fire, 


butter, and vinegar and pepper included." Vinegar 
with the boiled meat was a novel luxury. Nearly 
thirty years earlier a Westminster student of Christ 
Church, lamenting the world's ignorance of sauces, had 
complained that there were no hopes " of any progress 
in learning whilst our gentlemen suffer their sons at 
Westminster, Eaton, and Winchester to eat nothing 
but salt with their mutton and vinegar with their roast 
beef upon holidays." The juniors would gladly have 
spared the sauce if they could have been sure of a 
bellyful of the meat. 

The political squibs, in which Parliament figured as 
Westminster School, have sometimes been a source of 
error. One of them is in the Craftsman, and an earlier 
satire appeared as a pamphlet in 17 17. The school- 
master was, of course, George L, and Marlborough, 
Oxford, and Walpole appear among his Scholars. 
As long ago as 1820 a writer in the Gentleman's 
Magazine absurdly identified the characters with the 
King's Scholars, and invented a rebellion in which 
they were supposed to have taken part. Although 
such rebellions were incidents of fifty years later, they 
seem to have been unknown under the dominance 
of Freind, no less than under the gentle sway of his 

In the original constitution of the School the minor 
candidates, no less than the major, were examined by 
the Electors. This system seems to have obtained at 
least down to the end of the seventeenth century. 
The date of the separation does not seem to be re- 
corded. The examination of minor candidates came to 


be conducted by the Head Master and was known as 
the Challenge, a name which it still bears. The 
essence of the system was that a boy put questions 
to the boy above him. It is not improbable that this 
method came down from Elizabethan times. In was in 
fact in accord with the medieval system, but the exami- 
nation lasted but two days. When the Challenge was 
transferred to the superintendence of the Head Master 
the time was extended to six or eight weeks. The 
method may be briefly described in Liddell's words : 
" All the candidates for vacant places in College are 
presented to the Master in the order of their forms. 
There were commonly between 20 and 30 from the 
Fourth form upwards. The two lowest boys came up 
before the Head Master, having prepared a certain 
portion of Greek epigram and Ovid's Metamorphoses, 
which had been set them a certain number of hours 
before. In preparing these passages they have the 
assistance of certain senior boys, who are called their 
Helps. The lower of the two boys is the Challenger. 
He calls on the boy whom he challenges to translate 
the passage set them, and, if he can correct any fault 
in translating, takes his place. The Upper boy now 
becomes the Challenger, and proceeds in the same way. 
When the translation is finished the Challenger, which- 
ever of the two boys happens to be left in that position, 
has the right of putting questions in grammar ; and, if 
the Challengee cannot answer them and the Challenger 
answers them correctly, the former loses his place. 
They attack each other in this way until their stock 
of questions is answered. The first Challenge is called 


the Unlimited Challenge, in which they may ask any 
number of questions they like. These questions are all 
in grammar, and sometimes the boys were so well pre- 
pared that I have known two boys go on until 9 o'clock 
at night, having begun early in the morning. After this 
Unlimited Challenge, by which a clever boy who is low 
in the list may get to the top, what is called the Limited 
Challenge began, in which the questions are limited to 
a certain number, the Challenge ceasing after these 
questions were exhausted." 

The books used in the Challenge were a selection 
from the Greek Anthology and another from Ovid's 
Metamorphoses. The rules had to be said with strict 
exactness, and from grammar and dictionary there was 
no appeal. The system remained in force down to 
1855. In 1856, although Challenge still existed, it 
was not the sole ground of Election to a scholarship. 

In this method there was both good and bad. It 
brought about valuable relations between the elders 
and the youngers ; it made the elders keep up their 
grammar, and it gave them good habits of teaching 
and organizing. It was also a very strong stimulus 
to work, and it helped to teach confidence and presence 
of mind. On the other hand, it was not only a heavy 
burden upon the Head Master's time, but, while the 
Challenge lasted, it necessarily involved the neglect of 
many subjects. Further, when the Challenge was 
finished a boy who had won his place in College 
kept it for the rest of his time. At the end of his 
four or five years he appeared in that place before the 
Electors, After the hard labour of months he was 


already inclined to be slack, and the removal of com- 
petition strengthened his inclination. 

Though the Challenge usually brought out the boys 
in an order of real merit, it sometimes failed to satisfy 
a rejected candidate. Southey, who stood unsuccess- 
fully in 1789, condemned it as "cram." It is not too 
much to say that Southey 's thoughts on education were 
worthless. He held that all that a boy learned should 
be remembered through life, and he endeavoured to 
carry out his theory. His own Commonplace Book is 
a melancholy proof that judicious forgetfulness may be 
an intellectual virtue. There was perhaps a tinge of 
disappointment in the poet's condemnation. 

A benefaction of this period had an unusual origin. 
The porter of a Strand tavern was sent for to go an 
errand for a man of birth and fortune named Onley. 
The porter bore the same name, and Onley, who had 
no heir, adopted the porter's son Nicholas. Young 
Onley was sent to Westminster and elected to Christ 
Church in 1658. He became Master of the Savoy, 
and dying in 1724 left the advowson of Staverton, 
inherited from his patron, to be held by a Westminster 
student of the House. 

%//'// ////(.I ( S/'rr// /) /) 

,' J 

tl ■~^ 






His previous Career and Name — His Character — Its Effect on the 
School — Character of the Age — Chesterfield's View — The School 
and the World — Relaxed Discipline — Vincent Bourne — Teaching- 
— Dick Sutton — Cowper — Nonsense Club — Westminsters at Ox- 
ford — Composition — Hebrew — Latin — Greek — Carteret — Parents' 
Motives — Fame of the School — Nicoll's Latter Days — Preparatory- 
Schools — A Benefactor — Games — School Gate. 

T7REIND retired in 1733, and, as had so often 
-^ happened before, was succeeded by a pupil of 
his own. John Nicoll, Hke his predecessor, was of 
Northamptonshire birth, and had followed him step by 
step in his career. It was not the least of Atterbury's 
services to the School that he brought back Nicoll to 
its labours. In 17 14 George Tollett, who had been 
Second Master for some three years, was compelled by 
a serious illness to resign his place. Atterbury had 
made Nicoll's acquaintance at Christ Church, and noted 
the qualities which, however unlike his own, were 
worthy of all affection and respect. Nicoll had little 
regard for money, and was willing to allow a pension to 
his disabled predecessor. After nineteen years he 
succeeded to Freind's chair, which never had a nobler 
occupant. His one disadvantage was his age, for he 
was now past fifty ; but his virtues were of that kind 
which is but slowly impaired by the march of years. 



Nicoll has been scantily treated by biographers, and 
even the great dictionary has not accorded him a line. 
His very name was mangled not only by posterity, but 
by his own pupils and contemporaries. Pulteney and 
Chesterfield, Cowper and Warren Hastings, Warburton 
and Cumberland call him Nichols or Nicholls, and 
"Johnny" Johnson and other later writers have fol- 
lowed them. Yet Nicoll deserved better treatment, for 
no era in Westminster history is more fertile of great 
names than the twenty years of his mastership. Nor 
can we ascribe to Nicoll no part in this greatness. He 
was not inferior to Freind in scholarship or in urbanity. 
He was, wrote Cumberland, dropping for once his 
habitual jealousy, "a master not only of the dead 
languages, but also of the living manners." His 
manners came from the heart, and beside the love 
which his boys accorded him the affection of Busby's 
pupils seems cold and pale. His treatment of Warren 
Hastings is well known. The boy's guardian proposed 
to send him to India, and of this proposal Nicoll took 
the view that was natural in a cloister of learning. " I 
hazard," wrote Hastings in his old age, " the imputation 
of vanity in yielding to the sense of gratitude and 
justice, which is due to the memory of my revered 
Master, Dr. Nicholls, to relate that, when I waited 
upon him to inform him of that purpose of my 
guardian, he in the most delicate manner remon- 
strated against it, adding that if the necessity of my 
circumstances was the only cause requiring my removal, 
and I should continue at school, he would undertake 
that it should be no expense to me. I have been told 


that similar instances of his bounty were carried into 
effect." The genuine earnestness of the man had its 
influence even on the wildest spirits. On one occasion 
a new boy was tempted to escape from the Abbey and 
disturb the silence of a Quaker meeting. Reported by 
the monitor he stood trembling before Nicoll. Sixty 
years later the culprit had fresh in his memory the look 
and tone with which his Master substituted for the rod 
a phrase from the Adelphi, ^^Erubuit, salva est res!' It 
was like the phrase with which Busby had reproved 
Philip Henry, but with Busby the words were but a 
prelude to the rod. With Nicoll a prompt confession 
and an evident repentance always stayed the lifted arm. 
The boy who served up as his own a copy of Duport's 
verses broke down under the praise which Nicoll be- 
stowed upon them. With tears he confessed the piracy. 
" Child," said the Master, " I forgive you ; go to your 
seat and say nothing of the matter. You have gained 
more credit with me by your ingenuous confession than 
you could have got by your verses, had they been your 

Cowper, whose own religious opinions travelled far 
from his Master's, could not refrain from praising the 
pains which Nicoll took to prepare his boys for con- 
firmation. "The old man acquitted himself of this duty 
like one who had a deep sense of its importance ; and, 
I believe, most of us were struck by his manner and 
affected by his exhortations." Much the same thing 
had been said of Busby. 

With such a leader it is little wonder that there was 
in the School "a court of honour, to whose unwritten 


laws every member of the community was amenable, 
and which to transgress by any act of meanness, that 
exposed the offender to public contempt, was a degree 
of punishment, compared to which the being sentenced 
to the rod would have been considered as an acquittal 
or reprieve." It is evident that the standard, though 
undoubtedly conventional and defective, was at once 
high for the time, and but seldom disregarded. Cum- 
berland adds an anecdote to the point. There was, he 
says, a certain boy from the fifth, who was summoned 
before the seniors in the seventh and convicted of an 
offence, which in the high spirit of that School argued 
an abatement of principle and honour. Doctor Nichols 
having stated the case demanded their opinion of the 
crime, and what degree of punishment they conceived 
it to deserve. Their answer was unanimously, "The 
severest that could be inflicted." "I can inflict none 
more severe than you have given him," said the Master, 
and dismissed him without any other chastisement. 

Such incidents as this made Nicoll's pupils take 
a new view of school discipline. This view even found 
expression from the King's Bench. Lord Mansfield, 
the Scotsman, whom Westminster had " caught young," 
declared that severity was not the way to rule either 
boys or men. He might have quoted a proof from the 
conduct of Westminster in the rebellion of 1745. Of 
the curses showered upon the marauding army none 
were heard in the precincts of St. Peter's. There were 
boys in the School who had kinsmen in the Pretender's 
army, and while the despairing force retreated from 
Derby they might well expect blows and bitter words 


from school-fellows who were of the age which " knows 
no pity." Nicoll expressed a wish that their limbs and 
feelings should be left unhurt, and no boy raised a 
finger or wagged a tongue against them. Yet their 
feelings were strong enough to drive them to the field. 
Lord Rockingham was then a boy of fifteen on his way 
home for the holidays. His Whig spirit made him run 
away and join the army against the rebels. After his 
exploit he returned to School for the next term. He 
was too modest to boast of his adventure, and too 
earnest to repent of it. 

Nicoll's method calls for no little strength of character. 
However successful in his own case, in the weaker 
hands of some of his subordinates the system was 
undoubtedly a failure. But it was a failure that did 
less harm than an excess of brutality. It hardly needs 
the career of Charles Churchill to show that there was 
some relaxation of discipline. It would be idle to deny 
that something of the worse spirit of the time had 
found its way into the School. If there was some 
of the clearness, symmetry, sobriety, and good sense 
which Mr. Lecky ascribes to the century, there was also 
the wild excess which always characterizes the strip- 
lings of a materialistic age. That Cowper's Tirocinium 
is no picture of his own school is proved by others 
of his writings. It is, in fact, a poem with a purpose, 
the preaching of a religious partisan ; and such works 
are never truthful. Not only was Cowper, like Bunyan, 
inclined in his later years to magnify the faults of his 
youth, but he deliberately chose to paint the flock from 
the black sheep. His few white sheep he makes very 


white ; and in his own friends, such as Hastings, Lord 
Dartmouth, and the Bagots, he could see no speck. 
Yet it is true that he could find in Westminster, as in 
any public school of the time, some material for the 
darker shades of his picture. Robert Lloyd's excesses 
did not begin till his school-days were over, but there 
were boys of more precocious insobriety ; and Churchill, 
while still a King's Scholar, went so far as to take to 
himself a wife. A worse beginning led to a worse end 
in the case of Timothy Brecknock. He forged a draft 
on his father, and on detection fled from the School and 
the country. Returning after a time he became a 
gambler, an author, and a member of Lincoln's Inn. 
In 1786 he assisted "fighting" Fitzgerald, an Etonian, 
in a murder, and they were both hanged for the crime. 
Brecknock was no worthy school-fellow of Hastings 
and Cowper. 

In one point there was no undue precocity. The 
parent, whose ideal was the manners of a dancing- 
master, was sure to be disappointed. When Lord 
Chesterfield's opinion is read it must be qualified by 
a remembrance of his character. " The peerless peer 
of capers and congees " had indeed many great qualities, 
but he had scanty sympathy for the exuberance of 
boyhood. Nicoll's rule was a democracy tempered by 
affection, and no man was less a democrat than Lord 
Chesterfield. " Westminster School," he wrote, after 
Philip had left it, " is undoubtedly the scene of illiberal 
manners and brutal behaviour." On the publication of 
the Letters after Chesterfield's death the School was 
not slow to take its revenge. The prologue to the 


Phormio in 1774, though it ignored Philip Stanhope's 
Westminster training, criticised with justifiable severity 
the ideals of his father. The stinging epigram, by 
which Johnson avenged himself for an imagined insult, 
was known everywhere. Its phraseology would not in 
those days exclude it from quotation even in a form- 
room. Though the book had been so lately published, 
the prologue contains an obvious allusion to Johnson's 
famous sentence. 

The defects in Westminster manners were not, it is 
true, entirely imaginary. Cowper ascribes the awkward 
shyness of a young Englishman to his training in a 
boarding-house in a society of males. Yet here West- 
minster had an advantage over other schools. In the 
last century it became more and more the custom for 
boys to be at home or with friends from Saturday to 
Monday. Polite society opened its doors to them, 
and Lord Frederick Campbell's visits to Lady Towns - 
hend even set agog the scandalous tongue of Horace 
Walpole. Lord Huntingdon was famous at School for 
the graces which afterwards made him the head of ton^ 
and Sir Richard Sutton was as much admired for his 
bearing as for his gift of tongues. To Huntingdon's 
politeness Chesterfield himself bore witness, and was 
well content that the boy should be known as his 
adopted son. Of his own son neither the father nor 
the School had much reason to be proud. The boy 
probably suffered from the continual supervision more 
than from the unheeded exhortations of a father who 
supposed that he could make a silk purse out of a sow's 


If the boys had desired a cloistered life, they could 
hardly have ensured it. The stranger, who in these 
days turns with a curious eye to note the cap and 
gown of the Queen's Scholar passing between St. 
Margaret's and the Abbey on his way to the House of 
Commons, probably has little thought of the prominent 
place which for more than a century and a half after 
the death of Elizabeth the Westminster boy held in the 
nation's sight. From Busby's time to Nicoll's men of 
letters and of action amused themselves by turning 
into the School to talk with the Master or encourage 
the boys, to laugh at an epigram, or commend an 
exercise. In a smaller England the boys' doings could 
even have a political significance. In the reaction 
after the Popish Plot they had celebrated the fifth of 
November by burning Jack Presbyter instead of the 
Pope. The news of it caused joy in Oxford Halls, and 
"vexed," wrote Wood, "the Presbyterians of London." 
When Marlborough sent home the captured flags of the 
French and Bavarians, it was known in every coffee- 
house how a Westminster boy had said he could not 
sleep or play for thinking of the colours in Westminster 
Hall. " He ought," wrote the Spectator^ " to be free 
from receiving a blow for ever." The boys' verdict on a 
play had a value in the eyes of author and manager. 
On the production of the Beggar's Opera^ " Lord," wrote 
Swift to Gay, "how the schoolboys at Westminster 
adore you at this juncture." When a boy wrote a 
declamation on the theme, " ridentem dicere verum quid 
vetat?" the lines were at once known to Pulteney. 
The Old Westminster politician was in the very crisis 


of his last struggle with Walpole, but he found time to 
transcribe a copy of the verses for the exiled Dean of 
St. Patrick's. It need hardly be said that the laughing 
truth-teller of the epigram was the persecutor of Part- 
ridge and the writer of The Drapier Letters^ a second 
Socrates and a better Plato. Such incidents did not 
perhaps make for discipline in a School of four hundred 

The relaxation of discipline under Nicoll was perhaps 
most marked in school hours. In his own case, if there 
was an abatement of the rod, there was no loss of 
command. Sometimes, indeed, the boys would play on 
his good nature. A story goes that a lady in a sedan 
chair called on him and begged to be shown over the 
School. As he led her from form to form he was 
shocked by rude laughs, which seemed to justify 
Chesterfield's condemnation. In fact, the hoop and 
petticoat were worn by one of his own boys. The im- 
postor was young Lord Higham-Ferrers, who as Lord 
Rockingham lived to win the veneration of every true 
Whig. If on this occasion Nicoll was roused to inflict 
punishment, there were some of his masters whom no 
provocation could stir. Vincent Bourne took the fifth 
form and hardly affected any control. Once Lord 
March set fire to his master's greasy locks and then 
boxed his ears to put it out. Intent upon his own 
charming verses Bourne cared little what verses his boys 
brought him, " determined," said Cowper, " as he was the 
best so he would be the last Latin poet of the West- 
minster line." Cowper's gentle irony is nowhere better 
seen than in his ascribing the virtue of determination 


to " Vinny " Bourne. Philip Stanhope was also in the 
fifth, and his father afterwards charged him with having 
picked up in it a " curious infelicity of diction." There 
was perhaps a touch of archaism or even of pedantry in 
Bourne's style, and certainly Chesterfield's English was 
not admired at Westminster. Toplady, a contemporary 
Westminster, condemned the style of the Letters as 
fiercely as Johnson assailed their morals. In fact, 
Chesterfield lacked catholicity of judgment. When 
Philip got out of the third form he received his father s 
congratulations that it was no longer his duty to turn 
the " bad English of the Psalms into bad Latin." 
After such criticism it may be thought that the Usher's 
standard rightly differed from the Earl's, but it may be 
doubted if the gentle pedagogue really taught at all. 
Hardly more effective was Pierson Lloyd, who from 
1725 took the fourth form, and though passed over in 
1733 in favour of his younger school-fellow, James 
Johnson, became Second Master in 1748. He is the 
'' senex amabilis" of Vincent's well-known elegy, the 
** good old friend " of Cowper's translation, and as we 
regret to add, the " Tappy " Lloyd of Bentham's school- 
days. The nickname arose from a perhaps mythical 
affiliation to an innkeeper. Johnson was of sterner 
stuff, and after surviving a charge of Jacobitism died 
Bishop of Worcester. 

Indeed, if NicoU himself could dispense with the rod 
and Bourne had not the strength to use it, Johnson did 
much to fill up the blank. Colman's lively verse men- 
tions with a directness now out of fashion the part re- 
cipient of the many a cruel lash that was to " make him 


sometime hence a parson." In Colman's own case the 
rod missed its effect. The boy was advised by his 
friends to prefer Orders to the Bar, for 

" Judges there are but twelve and never more, 
But stalls untold and bishops twenty-four." 

Lord Bath compelled his nephew to neglect this advice, 
but Colman was soon claimed by the theatre. His 
translation of Terence proves that he had not wasted 
his time on the School stage. From Terence, too, he 
drew an incident in one of his comedies. In his Jealous 
Wife the intoxication of Charles is modelled on that of 
Syrus in the Adelphi. 

From Lloyd and Bourne not much was to be learned. 
In fact, throughout all the history of the School there 
has been no period, save one, when less knowledge 
was imparted, and few when more was acquired. Put 
thus baldly the statement reads like a satire on educa- 
tion, but certain deductions must be made. Children 
who are always carried will never learn to walk. The 
system of private studies, instituted or fostered by 
Busby, was still active in the School. Cowper relates 
how he and Dick Sutton read through Homer together. 
Cumberland set himself to translate the Georgics, and 
sixty years later was proud enough of the work to 
publish a part of it in his Memoirs. In style and 
metre the verses are a respectable imitation of Thomson. 
When Lord Bath's son and heir left the School for the 
grand tour his cousin, George Colman, a fifteen-year-old 
King's Scholar, sent after him a poem, of whose easy 
jingle and learned vivacity no WTiter need have been 
ashamed. A few years his senior was Clayton Mordaunt 


Cracherode, whose great learning did not aspire to 
print. Over the private studies of these boys the 
Head Master exercised a general superintendence, and 
the occasional hint of a skilful instructor may, in a 
fertile soil, bear much fruit. Such an instructor was 
Nicoll, and to some observers the crop seemed super- 
abundant. "Dick Sutton," wrote Warburton, "is a 
charming boy, but Westminster has made him a little 
whimsical. He has an insatiable thirst after new 
languages." Not only had he Latin and Greek, but 
he spoke and wrote Spanish and French with great 
exactness, understood Italian, and started his Cambridge 
career with German. "Were I," wrote the Bishop, 
" to be the reformer of Westminster School (with 
the highest reverence be it only whispered), I would 
order that every boy should have impressed upon his 
Accidence, in great gold letters, as on the back of the 
Horn book, that oracle of Hobbes, * that words are the 
counters of wise men and the money of fools.'" If 
Sutton did not fulfil all the hopes formed of him, he 
had little reason to be dissatisfied with himself. After 
making as much figure in politics as he desired he 
retained to the end of his life his activity of mind, his 
love of literature, and the warmest affection of his 
friends. No doubt the curriculum was none too broad, 
and Cowper came to be somewhat of Warburton's 
opinion, though his reform would have taken a different 
direction. " When I was eighteen years of age," he 
wrote, in 1781, to Newton, "and had just left West- 
minster School, I valued a man according to his 
proficiency and taste in classical literature, and had 


the meanest opinion of all other accomplishments 
unaccompanied by that." It was no bad frame of 
mind for a boy of eighteen, and, though most men 
should put off childish things, it would have been well 
for Cowper's happiness had he remained in his illusion. 
Cowper, indeed, is himself a sufficient example to prove 
that the Westminster training could in itself make a 
man of letters. He became so estranged from literary 
life that even the prolific Cumberland, who had been 
a boy with him "up Ludford's," was to him, in 1788, 
only the clever lad, whom on Mrs. King's report he 
was ready to suppose not to have lost his early abilities. 
Yet in this estrangement, almost without books and 
wholly without literary acquaintances, Cowper designed 
to tear from Homer the periwig with which Pope had 
crowned him. 

Before Cowper's unhappy affection drove him into 
retirement he found delight in the lucubrations of the 
Nonsense Club. Its seven members were all West- 
minsters. Bonnell Thornton was somewhat older than 
the rest, who included Robert Lloyd, Charles Churchill, 
Joseph Hill, and James Bensley. Gibbon was too 
young to be of the company. Thornton and Colman 
started the Connoisseur, while Colman was still an 
undergraduate at Christ Church. Cowper contributed 
a few papers, which, however slight, are of more value 
than the pages in which Colman taught that " virtue is 
a good thing." A more amusing offspring of the 
Nonsense Club were the Odes to Obscurity and 
Oblivion. The excellent fooling took an edge from 
the boyish rivalry with the Etonian poet. Gray was 
only amused, and perhaps felt that the Bard would 


survive the "bloody satire." The Nonsense Club paid 
another tribute to Westminster. Colman, who had acted 
in the Phormio and the Eunuchus^ afterwards translated 
Terence and a play of Plautus. Thornton began a trans- 
lation of Plautus, but died after completing five plays. 

If letters owed something to Nicoll, the debt of the 
world was much greater. To the names of Warren 
Hastings, perhaps the greatest of Westminsters, Rock- 
ingham, and others already mentioned, must be added 
those of Dowdeswell, Gower, Stormont, Dolben, William 
Burke, Richmond, Keppel, and Portland in politics, with a 
considerable list of Bishops, Archbishops, and Judges. 

A statement of Lord Shelburne's might lead to the 
false inference that in Nicoll's later time Westminster 
was no place of intellectual activity. Shelburne, who 
matriculated from Christ Church in 1753, says that 
Westminsters were always the ruling party there, and 
that the College was then very low. His proof is that 
of all his contemporaries only the Duke of Portland 
had made a name in politics or letters. The Duke 
was a Westminster, and Shelburne forgot George 
Colman, who had matriculated two years before him. 
His own chief friend was another Westminster, 
Hamilton Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork. But, in 
fact, just at that time Christ Church failed to attract 
the best boys. They perhaps did well to avoid Oxford 
in what has been called her nadir of attainment and 
discipline. England owes much to the guardian who 
kept Warren Hastings from the homes of thoughtless 
meditation, and Gibbon, short as was his school life, 
was even less indebted to Magdalen than to West- 
minster. It is a significant fact that John Conybeare, 


afterwards Bishop of Bristol, who in 1733 was made 
Dean of Christ Church " to cleanse out that Augean 
stable," some years later sent his own son to West- 
minster. Either he did not attribute to the pre- 
dominance of Westminsters the defects that he may 
have found in Christ Church, or he saw that West- 
minster under NicoU differed from Westminster under 
Freind. Of his grandsons two, also Westminsters, 
were distinguished geologists and scholars, and the 
line was continued in the editor of St. Paul's Epistles^ 
who was at the School under Williamson. 

Westminster at this time had great faith in its 
" composition." Cumberland conceived that the School 
possessed "a kind of taste and character peculiar to 
itself, and handed down perhaps from times long past, 
which seems to mark it out for a distinction that it 
may indisputably claim, that of having been above 
all others the most favoured cradle of the Muses." 
The claim may be somewhat exaggerated, but there 
certainly was a tradition, and it was not purely classical. 
Bourne's elegiacs have an elegance of their own, but 
are decidedly not Ovidian. The influence of school 
manuals and school copies sometimes overrode the 
authority of the classics. Down to a late period of 
the eighteenth century the second syllable of ego was 
habitually made long. The boys followed Maittaire and 
Bourne, and Bourne was the victim of a school tradition. 

In this period the Hebrew of the School did not 
improve. It had never been quite on a level with 
Latin and Greek, and Vincent with good reason 
ascribed the better knowledge of the classical tongues 
to the practice of composition. Exercises were indeed 


recited at Election Dinner, and were set above the 
compositions in Latin and Greek. As late as 1861 
Lord Barrington recited to Sir Robert Phillimore 
Hebrew verses which he had declaimed at Election 
no less than fifty years before. But as a rule only 
those boys whose eyes were set on orders gave much 
thought to the subject. Charles Wesley was learned 
enough to teach it to his Carthusian brother, but 
Sir James Lamb deemed his own scanty acquaintance 
with it was as much "as was at all necessary for one 
not destined to the Church." Colman's claim was 
even less extensive : — 

" Though I have long with study mental 
Labour'd at language oriental, 
Yet in my soil the Hebrew root 
Has scarcely made one single shoot." 

The colloquial use of Latin decayed in the eighteenth 
century, but was alive in NicoU's days. When Maittaire 
was training Philip Stanhope for Westminster, the boy's 
father had no fears on the score of Latin. " Pray, mind 
your Greek particularly," he wrote, " for to know Greek 
very well is to be really learned. There is no great 
credit in knowing Latin, for everybody knows it, and 
it is only a shame not to know it." The colloquial 
power was sometimes put to a strange use. Ten years 
after leaving school Cowper, in a letter to Clotworthy 
Rowley, sent to his friend Alston a message, which, in 
the vulgar tongue, would have exceeded his utmost 
enterprise. The knowledge of Greek, too, seems to 
have advanced under Nicoll. "Since you mention 
Greek," wrote Carteret to Swift in 1737, " I must tell 
you that my son, not sixteen, understands it better 


than I did at twenty ; and I tell him ' Study Greek koI 
ovSep ovSeiroTC Taireivov evOvjULtjOrja-i] oure ayav e7ri6uiuL7]cr€i9 
Tivog.' He knows how to construe this, and I have the 
satisfaction to believe he will fall into the sentiment ; and 
then, if he makes no figure, he will yet be a happy man." 
Lord Carteret's phrase will perhaps show why Gulliver 
had great difficulty in understanding Alexander's Greek 
when he met him at the Court of Glubbdubdrib. 

If Carteret was no master of Greek composition, 
his enthusiasm was undoubtedly genuine. The scene 
described by Robert Wood, well known as it is, will yet 
bear repetition. The Under Secretary of State brought 
to the dying Lord President the preliminary articles 
of the Treaty of Paris. Despite his languor Carteret 
insisted that they should be read to him, quoting in 
Greek from the great speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus. 
The story shows, says Matthew Arnold, "the English 
aristocracy at its very height of culture, lofty spirit, and 
greatness." Of Pulteney, another of Knipe's pupils, it 
was said eighteen months later that he had ceased to 
quote Greek, and must therefore be dying ; and the 
prophets were right. If his knowledge of Greek was 
rather wide than deep, it was a fault which he shared 
with the professors of the time. Of the King's Scholars 
elected to Oxford and Cambridge in the four years 
beginning with 1736, no less than four became Greek 
professors. At Oxford Samuel Dickens was appointed 
to the chair in 175 1, and was succeeded by William 
Sharpe in 1762. At Cambridge William Fraigneau 
was elected in 1744, and was succeeded by Thomas 
Franklin in 1750. Franklin's translations of Sophocles 
and Lucian once had some vogue. 


It may be well here to remark that the greatness 
of the School brought to it boys whose parents' motives 
it is impossible to praise. Eustace Budgell, in the 
Spectator^ told the curtain story as an illustration of " an 
advantage mentioned by Quintilian as accompanying 
a public way of education, . . . namely, that we very 
often contract such friendships at school as are of 
service to us all the following parts of our lives." 
Though the story, true or false, will hardly bear the 
weight of the inference, it has no touch of meanness 
in it. It is, however, easy to give a baser tone to the 
sentiment. Cumberland has done so in his rather 
absurd story of Geminus and Gemellus. Of the two 
brothers one was educated at home, the other at 
Westminster. In the result a meaner Blifil — if such a 
thing be possible — was confronted with an amended 
Jones. A feebler Thwackum prompts a debased All- 
worthy, but the tables are turned when a nobleman's 
carriage drives up to the father's door and carries 
off the Westminster to a secretaryship and fortune. 
The fiction had its parallel in life. Chesterfield urged 
his son to maintain his friendship with Lord Pulteney, 
for Pulteney 's father, he said, "cannot live long, and 
will leave him an immense fortune." Lord Bath was 
farther from his grave than Chesterfield supposed. He 
survived for twenty years, "an aged raven," said Sir 
Charles Hanbury Williams, and outlived his son. Such 
instructions were often doomed to disappointment, and 
were little likely to benefit the tone of the School. In 
a famous passage Cowper has satirised the father who 
designs his son a bishop. The boy goes to school not 
to learn "true worth and literary skill," but to find 


friends among those who will create the dignitaries 

of the Church. 

" His intercourse with peers and sons of peers, — 
There dawns the splendour of his future years ; 
In that bright quarter his propitious skies 
Shall blush betimes and there his glory rise," 

Such a course of life had raised George Stone, one 
of Freind's King's Scholars, to the Primacy of Ireland ; 
but besides Bagot, whom as his own friend Cowper 
excepts by name, the lives of Bishops Barnard, Madan, 
and others show that not all Nicoll's episcopal pupils 
were of that worldly type which must be admitted to 
have stamped one of them in its most shameless form. 
Few, indeed, will be found to defend the character 
of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Earl of Bristol and 
Bishop of Derry. 

The predominance of the School is curiously illus- 
trated by an incident of the earthquake in 1750. No 
man had a better sense of proportion than Warburton ; 
but though the shock which dislodged some pinnacles 
of the Abbey left the School buildings unharmed, it 
was not of the Chapter that Warburton thought. 
"Where," he wrote to Hurd, "was the Genius loci of 
the School when this disaster happened ? Perhaps in 
the office of Diana when her temple was a-burning, 
gone a-midwifing to some Minerva of the brain, which 
is to make its first bodily appearance in an immortal 
epigram at the next Election of scholars." If the 
epigram secured its immortality, it rests with its con- 
temporaries in the dust of unexplored archives. 

At the Universities it was not only in learning that 
the Westminster asserted himself The meetings which 
Laud had temporarily suppressed at Oxford were re- 


vived after the Restoration. At Cambridge a like 
gathering of Westminsters came to be held on the 
day of Elizabeth's accession. In 1749 a proctor, who 
suffered from an animus against Westminsters, endea- 
voured to suppress it. A company of forty-six with a 
Fellow of Trinity in the chair had just concluded 
their festivities with the toast of the Head Master's 
health when the proctor appeared among them. The 
Masters of Arts put their shields before the under- 
graduates and the proctor was baffled. The war of 
pamphlets that followed did no harm to the chairman 
of the evening. In the next year, after a fierce conflict, 
he was elected to the Greek professorship. He was the 
same professor that took the ^olian lyre for the harp 
of ^olus. Of his Cambridge contemporaries very few 
could have detected the mistake. 

We are reluctant to take leave of NicoU, whose 
amiable characteristics were repeated in some of his 
best scholars. Even now there lingers something of 
personal affection in the thought of Dick Sutton and 
Will Cowper, of Warren Hastings and Elijah Impey. 
Nicoll, it is true, was no educational reformer. His 
name cannot be handed down as the framer of any new 
principle or the founder of any new scheme of educa- 
tion. The subtle personal influence could not take 
form in any definite and lasting rules, but it could 
work with unsurpassed potency within the narrow 
bounds of a single life. Consciously or unconsciously 
he had an ideal that excelled Busby's. Busby had tried 
to make his boys, but Nicoll with a wiser instinct made 
them make themselves. If Busby's practice had ex- 
celled his theory, it was in his own despite. Busby had 


successfully contended with external difficulties which 
would have paralysed Nicoll. He was more masterful 
and more astute, and his very difficulties had set him in 
large before the world's eyes. Yet it may be doubted 
if all Busby's virtues and talents entitle him to a place 
above the unobtrusive genius and devotion of his third 

In 1753, having reached the age of seventy and 
laboured in the School for nearly forty years, Nicoll 
resigned his mastership. He retired to a canonry in 
Christ Church, whither his only son had been elected 
seven years before. His retirement was not unclouded, 
for his son died in 1759. Six years later the old man 
was laid beside him under the pavement of the Cathe- 
dral. Many of the most brilliant of his pupils had pre- 
ceded him to the grave. Few can have survived, like 
Warren Hastings, to the last years of George HI. 

For Westminster at this time there were preparatory 
schools at Wandsworth, Marylebone, and Walthamstow. 
More famous was Newcome's Academy at Hackney, 
where plays were acted in imitation of St. Peter's. The 
plays were, however, English, and some of their pro- 
logues were composed by Garrick. It might be thought 
that the little children of these schools met with gentler 
treatment from their Masters than did their elders at 
Westminster. In fact, the migration was often a relief 
The " many tears and much blood " which Gibbon shed 
in the study of grammar ceased to flow when he became 
a boarder at Westminster. Even the bully was worse 
at the infants' school. The tormentor from whom 
Cowper suffered at Dr. Pitman's, at Market Street, had 
no equal in his Westminster career. Bentham, who 


came to the School a child of six, relates that he was 
never bullied or flogged. 

In Nicoll's time the Scholars elected to the Universi- 
ties became entitled to a further benefaction. Noel 
Broxholme was elected to Cambridge in 1705, but 
preferred a canoneer studentship of Christ Church. In 
the early years of George II. he rose to the head of 
the medical profession, and in 1748 cut his throat at 
Hampton Court. His bequest of ;^20 a year has been 
commuted into an exhibition. 

While Nicoll was still Second Master the boys began 
to find their way into Tuttle Fields. "Tuttle" is one of 
those euphonic forms absurdly called corruptions, which 
prove that a language still lives. It is derived from tot 
hilly the hill of outlook, a mound which seems to have 
stood on the site of Regency Place. South and west 
of the mound lay the wide expanse of open and marshy 
fields to which the Westminster now began to betake 
himself A few stray houses had long stood among the 
ponds and ditches, and Rochester Row began to push 
its way into the waste. To the south of it there was 
an expanse of grass fitted for a game, of which society 
still doubted if a gentleman could play it. The West- 
minster boys decided the question in its favour. The 
consequence was that in Nicoll's time cricket began to 
assume importance in the school life. There were 
indeed at least two cricketers of note at the School 
under Freind. To no family did early cricket owe so 
much as to the Sackvilles, and from the brilliant wit of 
King Charles's Court to the last of the line the Sack- 
villes were Westminsters. Lord Middlesex left School 
about 1728, and seven years later was captain of an 


eleven of Kent against All England. The match was for 
;^iooo aside, and the All England eleven, captained by 
the Prince of Wales, lost it. Lord Middlesex's younger 
brother, Lord John Sackville, also learned his cricket in 
Tuttle Fields, and played in 1746 in the first match, 
whose score is preserved. The " cricketalia " instituted 
by him in Twitnam Meadows disturbed the unsympa- 
thetic pen of Horace Walpole. 

Though cricket soon took its rightful place, it had at 
first to dispute the pre-eminence with pitch -farthing. 
Some parents confused the games, and looked with 
dubious favour on both. " I have often told you," wrote 
Chesterfield to his boy in 1745, "that I wished you 
even played at pitch and cricket better than any boy 
at Westminster." There were also other competitors. 
Cowper knuckled down at taw, and delighted 

" To pitch the ball into the grounded hat, 
Or drive it devious with a dexterous pat." 

Even if the last word was dictated by the exigencies of 
rhyme, it has to a modern athlete the ring of another 

In those days the boys had by no means the exclusive 
use of their cricket field. By grace of the Chapter 
strangers frequented it for various purposes. Twice 
a year the ground was occupied by booths. Donkey 
and pony races attracted disorderly crowds. The 
Westminster trained bands performed there the 
evolutions which according to the military wits they 
mistook for drill. Nor were illegal visitors wanting. 
Once, when the young Atterburys were ill. Dr. Freind 
came to see them fresh from sitting an hour with Sir 
Cholmondeley Dering. There had been a duel in the 


Fields, and Bering died of Richard Thornhill's pistol- 

It seems probable that to Nicoll's early time the 
School owes a building which holds a considerable 
place in the memories of old Westminsters. At the 
foot of the steps leading to the School is a fine gate- 
way, which is often attributed to the hand of Inigo 
Jones. The flight of steps must no doubt have been 
there from the days of Elizabeth, and it seems that 
there was a doorway at the foot of them. It appears, 
however, from the acts of the Chapter, that at the time 
of the building of the new dormitory this doorway or 
gateway had either fallen out of repair or was con- 
sidered unworthy to stand beside the work of Wren 
and Burlington. In 1734 the Chapter contributed 
"£S^ towards the expense of taking down the old 
and putting up a new door and doorcase at the foot 
of the stairs leading into the School, provided that 
the other part of the expense be borne by voluntary 
contributors." The design can hardly have come from 
any other hand than Lord Burlington's. If that was 
so, it is his best claim on the gratitude of the School, 
for, as we have seen, the plan of the dormitory was 
really Sir Christopher Wren's. 






Markham's Character — Demolition of the Old Dormitory — Green 
— Play Scenery — Epilogues — Macaronics — Distinctions of Rank 
— Bentham — Bicentenary — Hinchliife — Smith, Head Master — 
Georg-e III. — A Whig School — School Life — Turbulence — The 
Trifler — Soldiers — India — The Hastings Cup — The Curriculum — 
Verses — French— Games — Smith's Boys — Benefactors. 

TV^ NIPE, Freind, and Nicoll had passed from the 
-•-^ Second Master's to the Head Master's chair. 
There were now good reasons for breaking a custom, 
which might easily become dangerous. Pierson Lloyd 
had many virtues, but no commanding power. He was 
a humourist and on the verge of fifty, and perhaps did 
not aspire to a place for which another was much better 
fitted. The new Head Master bore a name which, 
in the persons of his descendants, has ever since been 
connected with Westminster, and won distinction in 
many fields. William Markham was elected to Christ 
Church in 1738, and was thirty-three at the date of 
his appointment. Both at School and at Oxford he 
won a great reputation for Latin verses. After grad- 
uating in arts he proceeded in law, and it is said that 
at this time he had no intention of taking orders. 
Possibly the prospect of the headmastership made 
him alter his mind, though he thought twice before 



accepting it. He had made many friends, especially 
among the Whigs, in whose principles he was bred, 
and the literary world had hailed him as a young 
man of great promise. William Burke, who was nine 
years his junior at Westminster and Christ Church, 
had the most ardent affection for him, and the most 
unbounded confidence in him. After a time Markham 
fell away to Toryism, and described Edmund Burke's 
house as a hole of adders. The estrangement was very 
painful to his Whig friends, while the wits at Brooks's, 
who had not his personal acquaintance, ridiculed his 
poetry, his views on divine right, his affection for 
Warren Hastings, and his son's rapid promotion in 
India. He had at that time risen to be Archbishop 
of York, the fifth of the seven Westminsters who have 
held that see. 

Markham's eleven years at Westminster were a 
period of wise and successful administration. To his 
energy and public spirit was due what from the point 
of view of the School was a great improvement in the 
precincts. Unhappily this improvement involved the 
demolition of the old dormitory with its architectural 
interest and its historic memories. What is now the 
southern half of Green, the open space of Dean's 
Yard, was occupied by this and other buildings. An 
Act for dealing with it was passed by Parliament in 
April, 1/55, and in the following year Markham took 
the matter in hand. He determined to throw the 
space open as a playground for the School. As it 
was necessary to purchase certain outstanding leases, 
the cost of his scheme would be very considerable. 
To reduce it the Chapter gave him the materials of 

■-i a 


the dormitory and brewhouse, with the ground on 
which they stood, without fine or rent. A Prebendary 
named Wilson was strongly opposed to the scheme. 
He was a Fellow of the Antiquarian Society and had 
some reason for his view, but the boys, to whom the 
future was more than the past, nicknamed him the 
Antisquarian. The capital for the undertaking was 
found in part by a Dr. Cox and a Mr. Salter, a 
speculative Charterhouse Master. Six houses were 
built on a terrace at the south end of the Yard. One 
of them was taken by Gibbon's aunt, Catherine Porten, 
who had previously kept a dame's house in College 
Street, where Gibbon himself had boarded. The others 
did not easily let, and Cox fell into difficulties and 
the houses into disrepair. The School, however, had 
obtained a playground which could be used in those 
intervals whose brevity forbade a visit to the Fields. 
Markham seems also to have cleared part of the area 
of Little Dean's Yard, and to have built the houses 
on the south side of it. One of them, now known as 
Rigaud's, was rebuilt in 1897, but the other. Grant's, 
still stands. Its external architecture is hardly a work 
of consummate imagination. 

To Markham is due one considerable improvement 
in the Play. He was reasonably dissatisfied with the 
scenery that had been in use for some quarter of a 
century. Archaeology had made some progress, and 
it would be well for Terence to have an Athenian 
background. A scene was designed by James Stuart, 
known as "Athenian" Stuart, and the cost was defrayed 
by the Head Master. The scene was first used in 1758. 
The prologue to the Phormio, written by Robert Lloyd 


and spoken by Edward Salter, afterwards Canon of 
Winchester and Prebendary of York, called the 
spectators' attention to the Parthenon, the Theseum, 
and the Temple of the Winds. The scene remained 
in use for fifty-one years, and in 1809 was succeeded 
by a copy. Both the original and the copy have 
perished, and there is perhaps little reason to regret 

We have pointed out that in Freind's time is to be 
found the germ of the modern Epilogue. As the 
Play was acted in the dresses of the day, the contrast 
between Play and Epilogue was not yet strongly 
marked. The change to dialogue naturally suggested 
some corruption of the Latin. The macaronic element, 
which of late years has tended to increase, is not 
perhaps wholly justifiable. It cannot, however, be 
alleged that the fungoid growth is a thing of yesterday. 
As early as 1730 we find such words as ^^ baggis'^ and 
'' deskal' while for needless audacity one couplet of 
that year has scarcely been surpassed : — 

" Hinc ditescentes merito thrivamus honore, 
Et dat, si volumus sumere, Barra togam." 

The fashion was but temporary, and in 1759 we 
find Robert Lloyd not sure of approval for his bar- 
barous words. He would like to praise the turtle, 
which some Old Westminster had sent to regale the 
weary actors, but he says : — 

" Vereor Calepash dicere vel Calepee." 
Three years later there was no scruple in saying : — 
" Navales schedulae, Transfer, Scrip, India, Consols," 


but in 1779 there was an apology for the barbarous 
cry of the Jew : — 

" Quis transfert, vendit, emitve, 
Billas navales, Annua, Post obitus." 

The early years of this century found humour in 

such couplets as : — 

" Mysterisativus enim est, Individuali- 
tativus, Philopro-vel-genitivus Homo." 

More skill was shown in the translation of phrases 
current from the 

" Conatus longus fortis et unanimis " 
of 1806 to the 

" Tu premis umbonem, cetera nos facimus " 
of a recent year. Such versions may be dull to the 
reader, but they cause genuine amusement in the 
recitation of the stage. 

In the epilogue of 1894 a street song of the day was 
forced into an elegiac couplet. Though such trash was 
hardly worth imitating, the music was no novelty. It 
had found a place even in the Play. In 1765 the maid- 
servant in the Andria was made to sing a rhyming trans- 
lation of Swift's Kitten. Though the version was said 
to be the Head Master's, it was perhaps playing to the 
groundlings to make Mysis chant — 

" O felicula blandula, 
O felicula dulcis, 
O mihi semper amanda, 
Aliis longe prae multis." 

The precedent was imitated in 1798, when the 
Fisherman in the Rudens gave Dodd's version of an old 
ballad :— 


" Piscatores, piscatores, 
Vinum coronemus : 
Liberi feliciores 
Genio libemus." 

Natural loyalty in 1897 is hardly called upon to 
excuse the rendering of the National Anthem. 

The prologues and epilogues of the Town boy plays 
were usually, if not always, written in English. They 
may sometimes have owed touches to such Westminster 
actors as Thomas Sheridan. As far as they have been 
preserved they recall the famous epithet which Johnson 
applied to that father of a greater son. 

Although at this period boys of rank and wealth had 
ceased to be attended at School by their own man- 
servants, there was still open to them one advantage or 
disadvantage in the boarding-houses. By payment a 
boy could secure the sole occupancy of a room or 
rooms. A new boy would sometimes think himself 
entitled to a like distinction in School. The nobleman's 
son, who asked Markham to point out to him the place 
appropriated for boys of his rank, learned his first 
lesson in equality. "You, sir," the Doctor is said to 
have replied, " with more confidence and consequently 
less respect for me than you ought on this important 
occasion to feel, enquire for your proper place in the 
School. It is therefore my duty to inform you that 
here the only distinctions made are those which arise 
from superior talents and superior application. The 
youth that wishes to obtain eminence must endeavour 
by assiduity to deserve it. Therefore your place at 
present is the lowest seat on the lowest form." It 
was to Markham that Johnson bowed with "such a 
studied elaboration of homage, such an extension of 


limb, such a flexion of body as have seldom or never 
been equalled," but in rotundity of utterance Markham 
must have been the Rambler's disciple. 

The greatest of Markham's pupils was Jeremy Bent- 
ham, who entered the School in 1755 at the age of 
seven and left it for Oxford in 1760. Bentham called 
his Head Master the great glory of the boys and the 
object of their adoration, but had little content in the 
retrospect of his own school-days. Though he long re- 
tained the habit of writing Latin verses, he imagined 
that the hours of boyhood spent on them were wasted. 
His view was coloured by the fact that his contem- 
poraries who made a name at School made little figure 
in the world. Of one who was long a member of 
Parliament and a Welsh judge, he says unkindly that 
he was " good for nothing." Bentham's reminiscences 
are in some points demonstrably incorrect, and he pro- 
bably exaggerated Markham's inattention. "If the 
boys performed their tasks well, it was well ; if ill, it 
was not the less well." Yet Markham's boys held their 
own at the Universities, and some were known in a 
wider sphere. The best known of them were Arch- 
bishop Agar, Bishop Randolph, Chief Baron Macdonald, 
Deans Cyril Jackson, and Vincent, and the fifth Duke 
of Leeds. 

In 1760 the College celebrated its bicentenary. The 
celebration was an alternation of prayer and feast. The 
King's Scholars delivered orations and verses from the 
gallery in Hall; the dinner lasted from 2.15 to 4.30, and 
was immediately followed by evening service in the 
Abbey. The presiding Dean, Zachary Pearce, was 
himself a Westminster. 


In 1765 Markham resigned his mastership for the 
Deanery of Rochester. On his retirement there was a 
breach in the long tradition of an Oxonian Head 
Master. John HinchHfife was elected to Cambridge in 
1750, came back as an Usher some four years later, 
and afterwards travelled as a tutor. He owed his 
appointment to the Duke of Grafton, a Cambridge 
acquaintance, who is asserted by the Dictionary of 
National Biography to have been also a school-fellow, 
but the proof is not apparent. Appointed in March, 
Hinchliffe resigned his place in June, ascribing his 
retirement to lack of health. In fact, he had been 
asked to become tutor to Lord Hartington, and aimed 
through Whig influence at a higher place. He had 
judged aright, for he passed from the mastership of 
Trinity to the bishopric of Peterborough. As a bishop 
he remained true to his principles, and with Shipley of 
St. Asaph, whose son was Bentham's "shadow" at 
School, gave episcopal support to the ministry of his 
school -fellow, Lord Rockingham. In that Ministry, 
besides the First Lord, the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, the Lords Chancellor, President, Privy Seal, 
and Chamberlain, one of the Secretaries of State, and 
one of the Lords of the Admiralty, were Westminsters. 

Short as was Hinchliffe's reign, in one way he left his 
mark. A senior, writing to his uncle, expressed his no 
small grief at Markham's departure, and added, " Our 
new Master, Dr. Hinchliffe, is, I believe, very good- 
natured : he did not flog anyone the first week, but 
he has gone on at a good rate since." It was long 
before Westminster Masters ceased to believe that a 
boy could gain at one end only by losing at the other. 


Hinchliffe was succeeded by Samuel Smith, who had 
been of the same standing at Westminster and Cam- 
bridge. The twenty-four years of his rule are remark- 
able for a loss of Court favour, for which there were 
more reasons than one. George III. did not love the 
Rockinghams, and there were other Westminsters 
whom he loved less. Of the " Bloomsbury gang " 
Bedford and Gower were Westminsters, and if the 
King disliked anyone more than the Bedfords it was 
Beckford. Again the King preferred Windsor to 
London, and therefore preferred Eton to Westminster. 
Writing in 1804, Cumberland, while expressing his own 
affection for his own School, stated that he was not 
unaware that for some years past the tide of Court 
favour had set in another direction. Of this change 
one result was that the School lost some of its 
catholicity. It became, at any rate for a time, the 
"great seed-plot of Whig statesmen." Some great 
Tory families, notably the Somersets, remained faith- 
ful ; but the Whigs predominated, and it must be 
admitted that they showed the spirit which Swift had 
attributed to them. A Whig, wrote the Examiner, is 
against all discipline. 

A favourite amusement of the time was breaking 
bounds, or, as it was called, "going on a scheme." 
The object was often a play at Drury Lane or a trial 
in Westminster Hall. Smuggled in by peer or door- 
keeper, Westminster boys never failed to get a sight of 
Warren Hastings, or what Colman calls "a slice of the 
Duchess" of Kingston. When the lady pleaded the 
privilege of peerage they prayed for the rejection of her 
plea. They had caught the words "corporal punish- 


ment," and could conceive but one kind. Another 
incident may be told in the words of a contemporary- 
journalist : " ' Small-Talk, or The Westminster Boy,' a 
farce by Captain Topham, was attempted to be acted at 
Covent Garden for the benefit of Mr. Wells. By the 
most unexampled negligence of the Masters of West- 
minster School a number of the gentlemen educated at 
that seminary were suffered to be at the theatre this 
evening, and by every species of disturbance put a 
stop to the performance of the piece." The prologue 
to " Small-Talk " was written by a Westminster, with 
whom some of the disturbers may have been at School. 
To stop these "schemes" the Masters' only method seems 
to have been to wait in Palace Yard and the Sanctuary 
and catch the returning truants. They were seldom 
successful, for the houses which then stood near St. 
Margaret's, and whose demolition Southey regretted, 
were a cover that prevented capture. It is probable 
that the " scheme " sometimes took a boy to Almack's. 
Sir John St. Aubyn, a Town boy in his eighteenth 
year, raised money by annuity bonds, in which he 
induced a school friend just come of age to join him. 
Perhaps such excesses were not common. 

For turbulent violence the School at this time had a 
reputation not wholly unmerited. Hide-and-seek in the 
Abbey and precincts was varied by assault and battery. 
Even to visit his mother's tomb Horace Walpole dared 
not venture his fairy limbs in the precincts. His fear 
was perhaps an affectation, but, like all his affectations, 
it was crossed with a truth. Indeed, the boys' violence 
once brought them into peril of the law. On some 
unknown provocation six of them attacked a man in 


the Yard, and by a threat of ripping him up forced him 
to beg pardon on his knees. Brought before Sir John 
Hawkins and other magistrates at quarter sessions, 
four of them were sentenced to a month's imprisonment 
and a fine. If they would ask pardon on their knees 
the imprisonment was to be remitted, but this they 
obstinately declined to do. One of them, the son of 
a Northamptonshire squire, had just been elected to 
Christ Church, and on his father's appeal the imprison- 
ment was remitted. The others naturally claimed the 
same remission, and, though Sir John Hawkins was 
obdurate, he found himself in a minority, and the boys 
triumphed. The "petty classical bravoes," as a wrath- 
ful journalist called them, lived down their follies, and 
died canons, members of Parliament, or governors of 

With this fierce spirit Smith was little fitted to deal. 
"Dull and good-natured" Colman calls him, and 
Southey speaks of his "good-natured, easy way." 
He was too good-natured even to get rid of an in- 
competent Usher. Samuel Hayes, an old King's 
Scholar and Fellow of Trinity, became an Usher on 
taking his degree. He almost made a practice of 
winning the Seatonian prize for a sacred poem, and 
he quite made a practice of fuddling himself with beer. 
The boys in School used to stick his wig full of paper 
darts, a habit from which, it would seem, Vinny Bourne 
had frequently suffered. Yet Hayes was an Usher for 
nearly twenty years, and, after marrying a dame, retired 
in dudgeon because he was not made Second Master. 
The boys called him "Botch," and perhaps were sorry 
to lose him. Smith, it is true, had very capable Assist- 


ants in William Vincent, Gerrard Andrewes, afterwards 
Dean of Canterbury, and William Trivett, but the 
School was often on the verge of rebellion. Once it 
broke out, and Smith quelled it by unexpected energy 
and a thick stick. Sometimes the offenders suffered, 
and an act of insubordination put a close to the school 
career of Sir Francis Burdett. On smaller offences 
Smith was not unduly severe. On the publication of 
the Trifler^ though little pleased to see his boys appear 
in print, he satisfied his vengeance by setting as a theme 
" Scribimus indocti doctique." 

The mention of the Trifler gives occasion for pointing 
out a change in the vehicle in which a clever boy 
expressed himself The Westminsters of the past, from 
Cowley to the elder Colman, had instinctively put their 
thoughts into verse. In face of the imitative faculty of 
the young it is surprising that the Spectator and its 
numerous offspring did not earlier find followers at St. 
Peter's. The Connoisseur did perhaps prompt a few 
essays and letters which the curious may unearth from 
the magazines of the period, but the Trifler owed its 
birth to rivalry with the Etonian Microcosm. Between 
May, 1788, and March, 1789, it passed through forty 
numbers. The founders were some of the seniors of 
the year — Robert Oliphant, John Hensleigh Allen, 
William Elias Taunton, and Walter Hutchinson Aston. 
Oliphant's promising career at Cambridge was cut short 
by death, but Aston lived to succeed to his father's 
peerage, and Taunton died a judge of the King's Bench. 
They were hardly the equals of Canning. 

It has been already shown that in Nicoll's time some 
of the best boys did not stand for Election. Under 


Smith an academical career was often distasteful to the 
turbulent King's Scholar. Even before this Oxford 
was not always the prelude to a peaceful life. It may 
be fanciful to seek a Westminster in the pages of Tom 
Jones. It is at least a coincidence that the lieutenant, 
who always carried in his pocket what ensign Northerton 
called a " Homo," and damned accordingly, was named 
Thomas. Third of the Election to Christ Church in 
1732 was Lewis Thomas, a poetaster of some small 
account, who rose to be a lieutenant -colonel in the 
army, and fell at the storming of Havannah. In 
Smith's time some twenty King's Scholars entered the 
English or the Indian army, some after taking a degree 
and some without matriculating. It would almost seem 
as if Trinity, at any rate, were willing to give honorary 
election to a soldier. One at least received his com- 
mission before standing for Election, though he may 
not have joined his regiment even in the three next 
years. In the eleven years between 1770 and 1782 six 
boys elected to Trinity, instead of matriculating, took 
commissions. In the same period two boys elected to 
Christ Church, and five who did not stand for Election, 
became soldiers. Another entered the navy, and several 
received commissions after taking a degree. They may 
have been influenced to some extent by the example 
of Town boys, of whom a very large number entered 
the King's service. 

To this movement a further impulse was given by 
Warren Hastings' return to India in 1768. A cadet- 
ship or a commission in India was now open to any 
Westminster of promise. He might be excited by the 
early promotion of William Markham, who left College 


at seventeen, and at twenty-one was Resident at Benares. 
The lad amply justified his selection, but he owed it in 
part to the Governor's affection for his School. Hast- 
ings' witty enemies in spiteful burlesque made the 
youthful Resident's father tender his thanks to the man 

" Whose bounty sent 
My Markham's delegated rule 
To riot in the plunder of Benares." 

So strong was Westminster feeling in Bengal that when, 
a year or two before Hastings' return, he and Impey 
with fifteen of their school-fellows desired to send to the 
School a token of their affection, five men, who were 
not Westminsters, were proud to join in the gift. The 
silver drinking cup adorned with elephants, whose 
trunks make the handles, bears the names of the 
twenty-two donors. Two of them had been elected to 
Christ Church, but preferred the Ganges to the I sis. 
Mr. Phillimore gives 1777 as the date of the gift, but 
William Francklin, one of the donors, was elected to 
Trinity in 1781, and went to India in the following 
year. The real date was 1782 or 1783. Fifty years 
later Colonel Francklin was present at Election dinner, 
and a charming epigram saluted one who was perhaps 
the sole survivor of the donors. 

In the curriculum it seems probable that Smith made 
as little change as his immediate predecessors. He 
introduced no new subject, and he dropped no old one. 
He had a nice taste in verses, and in epigrams showed 
a decided liking for the pun. Facility in writing Latin 
verse was given by an habitual fifth- form exercise 
of this period. The exercise, though of uncertain 
origin, was probably older than Smith's time. It was 




called the Horace lesson, and lasted well into the 
present century. An ode was set to be turned into 
a different metre. An example will illustrate the 
method. Sir Elijah Impey's son had set him the 
familiar ode to Postumus. The boy went home, where 
his father was in bed recovering from a footpad's 
assault. Young Impey set to work in his father's room, 
but could not strike the vein. Sir Elijah turned in his 
bed and suggested a couplet : — 

" Labitur bora fugax, heu, Postume, Postume, vitae, 
Nee morti pietas afferet ulla moram." 

Sir Elijah in his boyhood may have transmuted the 
same ode for Vinny Bourne. Such work was pre- 
paratory to the "sacred exercise," the twenty Latin 
hexameters on a biblical subject which were expected 
from a boy in the sixth. 

At this time in the preparatory schools French held 
the place which Latin had held and, to some extent, 
continued to hold at Westminster. It was the language 
of conversation, and a divergence into English involved 
penalties. The Marylebone school, to which George 
Colman sent his son to be prepared for Westminster, 
had two French Masters, whose accent the boys 
managed to avoid. In the Lower School at West- 
minster English had probably found a place. The 
Upper School clung to Latin. Thus young Colman 
in his school career gathered his knowledge through 
a threefold medium. No doubt many boys found little 
difficulty in losing their scanty store of French, unless, 
like Philip Stanhope, they were tortured by a private 
tutor in their leisure hours. 

In the boarding-houses the dual control did not make 


for the happiness of the younger boys. Some of the 
Masters thought that a new-comer must take his 
chance. Even when there was no malice, the practical 
joke had terrors for the shy boy — the owl forced on the 
daylight. They had not all the epigrammatic resource 
of Frederick Reynolds, who, after a single night's 
experience, wrote home that he must return or die. 
" I am all over ink," said his letter, " and my fine 
clothes have been spoilt. I have been tost in a blanket, 
and seen a ghost." His sorrows were of short duration. 
The ghost made a second appearance, but a "thrashing" 
from an elder boy effectually laid him. Reynolds's 
coloured waistcoat gave place to more sober raiment, 
and happiness followed his relapse into conventionality. 
This was probably a general experience. In the 
summer of 1790 Boswell was afraid to send his son 
back after an illness, for he was much oppressed by the 
big boys ; but in the following April he wrote to 
Temple, that his " little friend James " was quite recon- 
ciled to Westminster. There must, however, have been 
children whose sufferings blighted their lives. Yet it 
would seem that, though the bullying was bad, the 
bullies were not numerous. In Southey's first room 
all the outrages were the work of one boy, and him 
mad. Southey's head was a mark for poker and porter- 
pot, water was poured into his ears while he slept, and 
he was held by the leg out of window. Sometimes 
Satan was divided against Satan, and the wolfish bully 
repressed the outrages of the mean and malicious. 
Neither race had anything to fear from the vigilance 
of Master or dame. 

The bullying would have been less had there been 


more order in the games. The dominance of athletics 
brings its own evils, but at least it diverts the thoughts 
of the idle hour. " Up Fields " there were still boys 
who played each for himself. There were others who 
"snatched a fearful joy" with one companion. George 
Colman and a friend kept a carriage and pair "up 
Fields." The carriage was of "unpainted pieces of 
rough wood clumsily nailed together, and the cattle 
were a couple of donkeys." The boys who envied 
the owners could hardly envy the beasts. Smut and 
Macaroni had no sinecure, for when one was ill their 
lords rode double upon the other. 

Colman's amusements were individual and selfish. 
From the nobler spirit of cricket some of his school- 
fellows learned the power of combination and the 
merits of self-sacrifice. One of them at least deserves 
a place in the history of the game. Cricket in the 
army has done no little to create sympathy between 
the officer and the private. Such " collusion " was little 
to the taste of a dominant aristocracy, and could hardly 
have been accomplished but by an officer of the highest 
birth. In the last decade of the eighteenth century 
the 35th Foot was happy to serve under a commander 
who had learned his cricket in Tuttle Fields. He was, 
perhaps, the first officer that played with his men, and 
the private could forgive himself if his " twisters " failed 
to dislodge the bails of Colonel Lennox, the heir and 
afterwards the successor to the Dukedom of Richmond. 

The growing greatness of Eton began about this 
period to tell upon Westminster. Under Smith the 
numbers ranged from 250 to 300 or a little more. 
The boys, however, won distinction in many fields. Of 


churchmen beside bishops and deans there was Harcourt, 
Archbishop of York, a faithful attendant at the School 
celebrations, even to his ninetieth year. Lord Amherst 
governed India, and Charles Abbot presided over the 
Commons. Of other statesmen there were the Marquis 
of Westminster, and the Dukes of Bedford, Portland, 
Beaufort, and Sutherland. Of many generals Lords 
Anglesey, Strafford, and Combermere, and Thomas 
Grosvenor rose to the rank of Field Marshal. Nor 
were Westminsters unknown in the older service of 
war. Among seamen were Admirals Sir Home Popham, 
Sir William Hotham, Sir Henry Hotham, and Sir Eliab 
Harvey. Among the Town boys was Peter Elmsley, 
the one English Scholar of the century who is worthy 
to rank with Bentley and Porson. 

From Lord North the trainer of Whigs could hardly 
hope for preferment, but an appeal, at first anonymous 
and then avowed from Bishop Newton, got the promise 
of a stall at Westminster. In 1787 Pitt added a 
prebend of Peterborough, and in the next year Smith 
retired from the School. 

The School still received benefactions from her sons. 
In 1 76 1 Richard Frewin, elected to Christ Church in 
1698, and afterwards Camden's Professor, left £So a 
year to Westminster students of the House. Another 
student of Christ Church, Fane William Sharpe, 
member of Parliament for Callington in 1771, left 
;£"500 to the School. The interest of the money now 
supports an exhibition in the School. 





Vincent's lifelong- Connexion with the School — His Qualities — 
Southey — Relig-ious Teaching- — A Controversy — Spoken Latin — 
Town Boys' Play — Benefactors— Carey's early Career — Young 
Boys — " Mills" — Rough Life — Amusements — Longevity— Plays — 
Fields— Carey's Boys — His Benefaction — Walls of School — Page's 
Character — Water. 

\ T T^ITH the doubtful exception of Busby no other 
^ * Westminster has been so long associated with 
the School as Smith's successor. Born in 1739, William 
Vincent became a Town boy in 1747, and a King's 
Scholar in 1753. He was elected to Cambridge in 
1757, and five years later, "unde abiit reversus" as his 
epitaph runs, became Usher of the lowest form. He 
had been a boy in it at the age of seven, and again as a 
Master he passed through every form. In 1771 he 
succeeded Pierson Lloyd, and in 1788 no candidate 
disputed his claim to Busby's chair. He left it for the 
deanery in 1802, and died Dean in December, 181 5. 
Of his seventy-six years more than sixty-four were 
spent at St. Peter's. 

Vincent was the type of the learned and studious 
Head Master. He had not perhaps grasped the 
principle that the object of education is not to make 
a boy know, but to make him think and act. He had 



grasped the principle that a teacher must always be a 
learner. By reflexion or by natural taste he was led to 
a practice of no less moment. He was devoted to a 
study that lay beyond the immediate sphere of school 
life. " Next to Rennell," says Sir Clements Markham, 
"and beyond him in some respects, Vincent was the 
greatest comparative geographer of his time." His 
devotion to his own subject gave him vitality in all 
others. In the "Golden Election" of 1793 there were 
sped away to Oxford three boys, who won paramount 
distinction in the three learned professions. Their 
careers illustrate the catholicity of Vincent's teaching. 
His industry grew with the growth of years. His 
physical exercise was limited to the tramps to and fro 
in front of his desk, while he thundered against in- 
accuracy or lavished praise upon the signs of spirit and 
taste. Nor was his thunder mere sound. " He rolls 
his blood-shot eyes," said a Latin epigram, " and looks 
round for the rod." " Plaguily severe " is the epithet 
applied to him by an idle pupil. In the end his 
severity was not wasted even upon the younger 

Vincent had indeed two faults. He lacked humour 
and he gave an excessive value to routine. The one 
fault abbreviated the school career of Southey, the 
other was perhaps a bar to necessary reforms. 
Southey's lifelong devotion to literature had its first 
fruit in a rejected contribution to the Trifler. The 
abortive birth was followed by a lively offspring. 
Southey's own School magazine was audaciously 
named the Flagellant^ and an early number applied 


the title to the Head Master. Vincent was moved 
to uncontrolled wrath and an action for libel against 
the publisher. Southey at once admitted himself the 
author of the paper and was promptly expelled. 

In his other controversy it cannot be denied that 
Vincent was for the moment equally victorious. Dr. 
Rennell, afterwards Master of the Temple, preaching 
a foolish sermon, reiterated an accusation made by 
Jones of Nayland. The public schools, he said, 
systematically neglected religious education. Jones 
seems to have held that the right food for the youthful 
imagination and intellect was the scientific formulae 
of dogmatic theology. A classical education was a 
training in paganism, and the boy who read Ovid 
must necessarily believe that Daphne became a laurel 
and Arachne was metamorphosed into a spider. 
Vincent sarcastically replied that he had not found 
it necessary to warn a fourth-form boy that the 
Metamorphoses were but fables, and he knew no 
student of Sanscrit who had blossomed into a 
Buddhist. Jones had admitted to Vincent that as 
regarded Westminster his accusation was groundless, 
and Vincent successfully insisted upon a like retrac- 
tation from Rennell. But the word had already passed 
on to the lips of the preachers. Two years later the 
Bishop of Meath preached a sermon which he thought 
fit to publish. In a note he repeated the charge that 
its authors had withdrawn. In a pamphlet no less 
modest than trenchant Vincent showed that the Bishop 
had mistaken " rhetoric for argument and assertion for 
truth." His lordship had preached at random to 


tickle the ears of the groundlings. As for Rennell 
he was "bred at Eton and has lived at Winchester, 
but he knows no more of Westminster than Tom Paine 
does of the Bible." If he disliked a classical education, 
why had he sent his own son to a public school ? And 
why did his own eloquence smack of Demosthenes and 
Cicero ? 

Vincent's defence was in form complete. He was 
able to show that the formulae were inculcated by 
perpetual reiteration. Of the many statutory prayers 
one only was obsolete. The theological lectures were 
still delivered, the prelude of confirmation was never 
neglected. Of the effect it was not his to speak. He 
cast, he said, his bread upon the waters, and it must 
be sought after many days. The lives of his boys 
prove that in some cases it was to be found. 

Vincent's argument silenced Jones and the Bishop 
of Meath. He proved that what they required was 
to be found at Westminster. He was not concerned 
to prove more, but he may have felt that against 
wiser adversaries there was a joint in his harness. 
At least it required care in the wearing. Vincent 
was not unaware that if the formulae were to be of 
any value the spirit must not fail. Augustus Short, 
writing of a somewhat later period under Page, 
complains that the spirit was no longer in the 
teaching. The formulae were still taught, but they 
were taught for their own sake, and there was an 

Even in Vincent's time the formulae were but dry 
bones in the hands of his assistants. The worst of his 


early colleagues had, indeed, disappeared. But the 
supersession of Hayes by John Wingfield, although 
it removed an evil example, had not provided an 
efficient successor. Southey sums up Wingfield's 
colourless personality in the statement that he had 
"no qualities at all." 

Ponderous as Vincent had shown himself in his 
assault upon the Flagellant, he could sometimes smile 
at a joke of which himself was the victim. One day in 
the gateway of Dean's Yard an aged and infirm crone 
besought his alms. He gave her half a crown, and a 
few minutes later descried the old woman held forcibly 
under the pump by Harley, afterwards Earl of Oxford, 
and Carey, afterwards Head Master. A third boy plied 
the handle. When Vincent ran to stop the outrage the 
woman's bonnet fell off and disclosed the features of a 
King's Scholar. The crone was James Hook, after- 
wards Dean of Worcester, and the father of a more 
famous son. Vincent was glad to hide his merriment 
by a precipitate retreat. 

A favourite exclamation of Vincent marks the end of 
Latin as a spoken tongue. An epigram on the subject 
is worth quoting. Vincent was Dean when in 181 1 
Owen painted his portrait for the School. His mellow 
age could laugh at the gentle satire : — 

"The tints on Owen's canvass spread 
Are truth itself, no mockery : 
I thought the living portrait said — 
^Eloquere^ eloquere' " 

The surviving traces of the spoken Latin are not 
peculiar to Westminster. To the verb " flog " Eton had 


an equal claim, and the world has made it its own. Of 
one word the use has survived the knowledge. Its true 
meaning should have lived longest at Westminster, for 
it was transcribed by the comedians from Greek. The 
boy who would cry " Hold, enough," uses a word which 
he generally believes to be the Latin word for peace. 
Historically it is of a different origin. Erasmus took it 
from Plautus, and Plautus had but given Roman letters 
to the TTcif of Aristophanes and Menander. Such abbre- 
viations as " flog " and " con " have long since ceased 
to be recognized as Latin. Some at least of them have 
found their way from the form-room into the language 
of literature. 

Vincent's vigour of mind was not the source of any 
great educational reform. The School still pursued the 
course which it had known in the days of Freind and 
Nicoll. But the boys must have gained something 
from a Master whose studies bore fruit in other fields 
than the class-room. Among his boys were not a few 
Whig statesmen, of whom not the least were Lord 
Lansdowne and Lord Broughton. Lord William 
Bentinck was the first Governor-General of India, 
and Bishop Carey's name is hardly less in the history 
of the Church than in the grateful affection of West- 

There was, indeed, one matter in which Vincent seems 
to have made a move. It appears to have been in his 
time that some slight attempt was made to extend the 
curriculum. A boy who chose to surrender his half- 
holidays was allowed to learn the elements of the 
science of numbers. The teacher of the subject was the 


writing-master, and it would seem that he paid more 
attention to caligraphy than to arithmetic. William 
Dowdeswell, a Westminster of Nicoll's time, had been 
Chancellor of the Exchequer in the first Rockingham 
Ministry, and the same post was held by Lord Henry 
Petty in the Ministry of all the Talents. Lord Henry 
was Shelburne's son, and his illustrious father took care 
that the boy should have the training which West- 
minster of itself would not have given him. The boy 
boarded with Peter Debary, then an Usher in the 
School. Debary was elected to Cambridge in 1783, and 
had graduated in the mathematical tripos. Though 
he taught no mathematics in School, he gave his pupil 
the command of figures, which was not the least of his 
many claims on the gratitude of the Whigs and the 

Under Vincent the Town boys' Play was still an event 
of the year. Modern comedy was mostly affected, but 
even Shakespeare obtained an occasional recognition. 
In 1790 King John appeared on the boards. A special 
prologue was spoken by a boy named Bourke, who 
seems to have left School at the end of the previous 
term. The play was not at the School, and took place 
in the Christmas holidays. It is probable that Bourke's 
fellow-actors had, like himself, bidden their last farewell 
to the rod. 

During the earlier part of Vincent's mastership the 
Dean was John Thomas, the seventh of eight Deans 
who had also been Bishops of Rochester. Thomas 
showed himself a consistent friend of the School, and 
on his death in 1793 left a benefaction, which has now 


taken the form of exhibitions. He was succeeded by 
Samuel Horsley, whose translation to St. Asaph in 
1802 left it open to Addington, whose eldest son was 
then at the School, to confer the deanery upon 
Vincent. Much to the King's dislike the bishopric 
of Rochester was separated from the deanery. For 
twelve years more Vincent was able to watch over 
the interests of the School, and to pursue the re- 
searches which have given him a name outside the 
sphere of education. 

Thomas was not the only benefactor of the period. 
Edward Smallwell, Bishop of Oxford, elected to Christ 
Church in 1739, died in 1797, ^^^ ^^^ ;^iooo to the 
School. This fund also is now the maintenance of 

On Vincent's elevation the head mastership was held 
for a few months by John Wingfield, who was elected 
to Cambridge in 1778, and returned as Usher in 1781. 
As he had "no qualities" it was perhaps well that he 
soon retired to a prebend of Worcester. His successor, 
William Carey, was a man of humble birth, assisted to 
rise by Vincent's early perception of his powers. The 
son of a Worcester tradesman, he was brought to the 
School by Vincent in 1783. In the second year of his 
headmastership Vincent had the satisfaction of seeing 
the boy elected head to Christ Church. Carey became 
a successful tutor of the House, and Cyril Jackson 
found the best man when he nominated him Wingfield's 
successor. There were at the time about 260 boys in 
the School, and the number probably increased during 
the twelve years of Carey's rule. 


The School had never rejected very young boys, but 
in Carey's time the number of them was perhaps larger 
than before. Augustus Short, afterwards Bishop of 
Adelaide, came at six years of age, and Lord Albemarle 
at eight. Infantile games flourished among them. A 
contemporary declamation names the top, the hoop, 
and the marble, to which Lord John Russell adds the 
pea-shooter. It might be thought that the tender 
children, who could delight in such sports, would 
receive some protection from their Masters. Carey took 
a different view of education, and the infants had to 
fight their own battles. Nor were the battles merely 
metaphorical. Carey encouraged fighting, and a "mill" 
in " fighting green " was accounted an adequate reason 
for adjourning school. " When I was a boy at West- 
minster," wrote the Bishop of Adelaide, "the boys 
fought one another, they fought the Masters, the 
Masters fought them, they fought outsiders ; in fact, 
we were ready to fight everybody." Short himself, as 
a child of seven, was compelled to do battle with a 
chimney-sweep, and to fight the only friend he had 
in the School. 

Fagging was a no less onerous duty, but never 
obtained from the authorities the recognition accorded 
to the art of self-defence. Lord Albemarle relates how 
he had to brush the clothes, clean the boots, and fill the 
basin of his fag-master — a kinsman who was less than 
kind. Even with a gentle master a fag lived a slave's 
life.* Short admits that his misery found some allevia- 
tion from the kindness of Charles Longley, afterwards 
Archbishop of Canterbury, whose "breakfast fag" he 



was; but in his old age avowed that his first year 
at School was the most wretched in his life. When, 
in the early days of the colony, carpet-curates in South 
Australia complained to their bishop of the hardness 
of their work, " You ought," he said, " to have been a 
fag at Westminster." 

The evils of this system are sufficiently patent. The 
timid boy — the owl forced upon the daylight — perhaps 
suffered less from the fagging of his elders than from 
the persecution of his coevals. The worst effect of 
fagging was on the intellect. The continual call pre- 
vented the mind from working in other ways, and the 
release from it invited a slumber which sometimes 
outlasted the school career. 

The amusements of the elder Town boys were often 
such as would not now be tolerated. The wild area 
of Tuttle Fields, with its colony of thieves and poachers, 
still offered the brutalities of duck-hunting and bull- 
baiting. At fair times there were the dramatic booths, 
to which even a fag could find time to resort. Bolder 
spirits ventured on exploits which recalled the unruly 
deeds of Lord Camelford. Lord Albemarle describes 
a race in which he took part. The course was from 
the top of St. James' Street to the gateway of Dean's 
Yard ; the time was a Sunday evening, and the racing 
vehicles were hackney coaches. The jarvies were com- 
pelled to travel inside and shudder at the reckless pace 
with which the boys swept them along Pall- Mall and 
Whitehall. The poachers of Tuttle Fields supplied the 
means of other amusements. They kept terriers, and 
would always provide rats to be killed or a badger 


to be drawn. The cat-hunts and duck-hunts were 
among the complacent memories of many Westminsters 
who are but lately dead. The ditch-jumping transferred 
itself to Battersea, and the temple of its orgies was the 
"Red House." Every larger ditch had its own name. 
Men yet living can descry in the plantations of Batter- 
sea Park the drain that runs in the line of " Spanking 
Sam," and many a boy carried back in his clothes to 
Dean's Yard the scent of " Big Ben " and " Black Joke." 
This would have been pardoned had the boys been able 
to carry themselves. As it was, St. David's Day some- 
times brought them back from the Red House in no 
state to please their Masters. The fifth of November 
brought trouble of another kind. The boys used to 
arm themselves with clubs and sally forth to seize the 
" guys." " You are an example," said Usher Ward in 
impotent wrath, "to all the rascals and scoundrels in the 
kingdom." To Digby Mackworth even these amuse- 
ments lacked excitement. For a bet he passed a night 
in the Abbey. At Election he spoke an epigram 
on his exploit. Nelson, it said, was happy to miss his 
prayer : to lie a single night among the kings and 
heroes was enough. 

Flogging might follow such exploits, but was rarely 
able to prevent them. Indeed, it may perhaps be 
doubted if Carey in his heart did not regard them 
as indications of spirit. Only when they touched his 
own authority was his wrath seriously stirred. In his 
first year the boys, failing to get an expected " play," 
hissed their Head Master. As they could not all be 
flogged Carey decimated the Fifth form. In the 


afternoon the Sixth did not refrain from expressing 
their disaffection. To the question " Who had hissed ? *' 
Lord Tavistock, a lad of fifteen, replied that he was 
one, and his back bore the sins of the form. The 
rebellion was quelled without loss of affection on 
either side. 

Short's reference to fights between boys and Masters 
clearly excluded Carey. It probably also excluded 
Page, his Second Master and successor. If Page was, 
as Lord Albemarle described him, as ignorant as a 
child of the springs which move human action, his 
temper must have deterred assaults. In the burlesque 
couplet which names the Masters of the time, two only 
are deemed worthy to be fitted with epithets, and Lord 
Albemarle held that Page's epithet described the 
whole man : — 

" Carey, vetus Smedley, Jemmy Dodd, simul et Johnny Campbell, 
Knox, Ellis, Longlands, Pageque furore gravis." 

In times of frost there was in Tuttle Fields one 
innocent amusement in which David Longlands could 
show the way to perfection. Byron described him as 
the most elegant skater he had ever seen. At other 
times hockey and quoits were much played, and the 
quoit did not disappear from " green " till the middle 
of the century. Not a few old Westminsters expressed 
their sorrow for the disuse of these games. For hockey 
it would be difficult to supply time and place, and quoits 
lack the supreme merit of combination. 

On Saturdays boys often went to the theatre, and on 
other days, when leave was not to be had, it was often 
taken. Lord Albemarle used to get over the wall into 


College Street, leaving a dummy in his bed. Detection 
at last led to his removal. Lord William Lennox, after 
names were called, escaped from Mrs. Packharness', 
actually passing through the Master's room, spent the 
evening at Covent Garden Theatre, and slept at an 
hotel. Such was the laxity of discipline in the days 
of Carey and Page. 

It is true that, as Lord Albemarle found, the conse- 
quences of detection were serious. The fault was that 
little care was taken either to stop the more serious 
excesses or to keep the roughness within reasonable 
bounds. Such a life bred in some of those who had 
lived it an unreasonable contempt for milder methods. 
Part of it was perhaps obscured by the haze of years. 
" Westminster School," wrote little Lord John Russell 
when he left it, "was a rough place." In after years 
many Westminsters would not admit that it was more 
than bracing. It gave, as an acute observer writes, 
*''a rough, harsh life, to which a man looks back with 
pleasure, not because he enjoyed it, but because some- 
how or other he lived through it." In this spirit we 
must take such exultant reminiscences as those of Lord 
Albemarle and Lord William Pitt Lennox. It is 
possible to quote others in whom the recollection moved 
little or no delight. 

Those who still have faith in the rough life can at 
least point to the longevity of the Westminsters who 
survived it. In the seven years beginning with 1890 
nine are known to have died nonagenarians, and nearly 
forty others in the obituary were past fourscore. The 
Prologue of 1896 claimed as Westminsters the oldest 


judge, the oldest beneficed clergyman, and the oldest 
peer of Parliament. Lord Mansfield and Lord Esher 
are still alive, the clergyman died in his ninety-eighth 
year. Since that time Mr. Charles Pelham Villiers 
has died, and his place in the Commons has been 
taken by Sir John Mowbray. Hence at the present 
moment the fathers of both Houses of Parliament are 
Westminsters. Of the nine fathers of the Commons 
in the present reign only three have not been of the 

Longevity is, however, no new characteristic of the 
children of St. Peter's. In every generation she has 
seen her sons among the oldest of the land. Of her 
greatest men Wren, Pulteney, Mansfield, Hastings, 
Bentham, and John Russell were octogenarians. Of 
men of the next rank a long tale of equal vivacity 
extends from Bishop Morley to the present hour. 
Lord Combermere and Archbishop Harcourt were 
among the nonagenarians. The Head Masters also 
have not hastened to the grave. Of Busby's eighty- 
eight years more than sixty were spent at the School, 
of Knipe's seventy-three all but twenty, of Freind's 
eighty -four nearly half, of Nicoll's eighty -two more 
than half, and of Vincent's seventy-six no less than 
sixty-five. Markham died at eighty-seven. Smith at 
eighty, and Carey at seventy-six. Such longevity 
became a boast. Cumberland, writing of his school- 
fellow John Higgs, who had been a Fellow of Trinity 
with him, said, "We have not a senior to us in the 
College now living." Of Oxonians the most remark- 
able instance is in the Election of 1774. The years 


of the lives of the five students then elected fell but 
six short of /our hundred. 

Of these aged pillars of Church and State not a 
few had been but babies when they first trotted among 
the giants of the sixth and seventh. Their grand- 
children stayed longer at home or in preparatory 
schools. When the youngest boy in the School could 
number ten or eleven summers his Master was un- 
willing to make him a member of the first or the 
second form. One after another the three lowest 
forms dropped out of existence, and the fourth became 
the lowest form in the School. The other forms were 
divided, while a desire for uniformity militated against 
the existence of the seventh. The sixth became the 
highest form, and so remained until the present Head 
Master restored the ancient seventh. 

We have spoken of the boys' fondness for the drama. 
Theif affection for Terence was encouraged by Carey. 
In 1808 the scenes which Markham had given made 
their last appearance. The new scenes presented by 
Carey were, however, but a reproduction of their 
predecessors. The spirit of the play had found its 
way into the boarding-houses, and the youngest boys 
were forced into its service. The small stature of 
Lord John Russell perhaps suggested the choice of 
"Tom Thumb." He played the hero to the King of 
his eldest brother. A prologue was written by Brent 
and spoken by Cator. The epilogue from the same 
pen had four characters, one of whom was represented 
by the author, the others by Lord Tavistock, his 
brother John, and Cator. These burlesques must at 


least have been winked at by the authorities. Perhaps 
such indoor exploits were encouraged by the gradual 
restriction of bounds. The old amusements of Tuttle 
Fields were now in their last days. As early as the 
days of Queen Anne the builder had begun to make 
his way along the river to the south of the College. 
Further west from the old Artillery Ground the line 
of Rochester Row still advanced into the waste. South 
of it lay the School cricket ground and King's Scholars' 
Pond. Between them and the river lay gardens and 
waste ground. All the land belonged to the Chapter, 
and the Chapter determined to let it for building. The 
alarm in the School was great. The Prebendaries were 
entreated to change their minds and set the welfare 
of the College before their private interests. A con- 
temporary epigram appealed to the Dean to respect 
the memory of the foundress : — 

" Haec nobis, oro, tueare atque Integra serves, 
Quae dederit pueris munera Eliza suis ; 
Causae et communi patriae, populique Britanni 
Effice privatae posthabeantur opes." 

It was fortunate for the School that at this crisis the 
Dean was an old Westminster. The lease was not to 
be stopped, but ten acres of the playing field should be 
excepted from it, and reserved for the use of the School. 
In 1810 a deep furrow was ploughed round the ground, 
and a trench dug at the north-east end. The surface 
was levelled and one pond filled up. The other which 
lay nearer the Thames has not wholly lost its name. 
A pumping station just above Vauxhall Bridge, now in 
the possession of the County Council, is still called after 


the King's Scholars' Pond. In 1814 a rough fence 
was made round the ground, but iron railings were 
not put up till 1842. They were supplanted by higher 
ones in 1896. 

For many years the Chapter had allowed fairs to 
be held at Easter and Whitsuntide in Tuttle Fields. 
The withdrawal of this permission was not joyfully 
accepted by the booth-holders. In 18 15 attempts were 
made to continue the fairs, and the Chapter were 
compelled to assert their rights. It will be seen that 
at a later period the freehold of the ground, now 
named Vincent Square, was transferred from the 
Chapter to the School. 

If Carey's belief in the hardening process was 
excessive, he had a genuine earnestness in the cause 
of education. He was a strong supporter of national 
schools. An epigram of 1813 commends his efforts to 
soften by religion and honesty the fierce spirits of 
plebeian England. Nor were his own pupils unable to 
combine gentleness with fortitude. Of Vowler Short, 
Bishop of St. Asaph, a Christ Church pupil truly wrote 
that " a character so simple, so truthful, and so upright 
is not the creation of a day." Short was a tutor of the 
House, and his colleagues, Longley, Bull, and Cramer, 
were all Westminsters. A name better known in 
classical literature is that of William Mure, of Cald- 
well, who went from Westminster to Edinburgh. The 
Whig tradition was continued by Lords Westminster, 
Broughton, Ebury, and Dover, and Sir David Dundas. 
The great Westminster soldier of the period was Lord 
Lucan. Sir Edward Vaughan Williams was raised to 


the Bench, which his son, also a Westminster, still 
adorns. Admiral Rous was best known in the field 
where the School has now a worthy representative in 
Mr. James Lowther, and the wilder spirit of sport ran 
unbridled in the brief life of Jack Mytton. Though 
Carey did not spare the rod, he won the affection of 
his boys. With some exaggeration they compared his 
features to Punch, and contrasted them favourably with 
the fierce lineaments of Page, who succeeded him in 
1 8 14. Carey retired to a Yorkshire vicarage, with 
which he held a prebend of Westminster, became 
Bishop of Exeter in 1820, and died Bishop of St. 
Asaph in 1846. Mindful of his debt to the School he 
established a benefaction, whose munificence exceeded 
even Busby's. To Christ Church he gave a sum of 
;£"20,ooo for the benefit of Westminster students. The 
income is known as " Carey money," and the West- 
minster Scholars of the House have good reason to 
reverence the memory of their benefactor. 

In Carey's time there was some apprehension that the 
roof of School was not safe. Its repair had no doubt 
been neglected. Whether the walls could have been 
saved it is now impossible to say. The Chapter's 
architect was Wyatt, and Wyatt had scanty respect for 
the work of his predecessors. He rebuilt the south 
window and the larger part of the east wall. A con- 
siderable part of the west wall was also so unfortunate 
as to claim his attention. His clerk of the works was 
directed to watch the roof, but the roof escaped the 
destroyer. At the south end the walls on both sides 
still testify to the solid stonework of the Middle 




Ages. Wyatt's work obliterated many names graven 
on the walls. It is unfortunate that the part which 
he left untouched has but few names of the older 

William Page, who had been twelve years Second 
Master, was the son of a Westminster student of Christ 
Church, and had himself been elected to Oxford in 
1795. That Page was a very capable scholar is clear 
from the Prologues and Epilogues which for nearly 
twenty years were mostly from his hand ; but he had 
little of the "good-humoured expression of face and 
affable manners " that were said to characterise his 
predecessor. In the senile recollections of his pupils 
the fierceness of his temper was the most prominent 
trait. Lord Albemarle's account of him, already quoted, 
perhaps exaggerates his defect, but has some air of truth. 
In the fierce shyness that characterises his portrait the 
painter has probably shown the man. 

It was Page's misfortune to rule at a time when 
parents' views of school life were rapidly changing. 
It was a reformer's opportunity, but Page was hardly 
the man to seize it. He had been less than five years 
Head Master when in 1 8 19 he died. 

In the eighteenth century it was no uncommon thing 
for Westminsters to disport themselves on the river, but 
there is little evidence that they were skilful with the 
oar. Warren Hastings was a good " boatman," but this 
does not mean that he rowed. The two boys who were 
drowned in 1778 were upset from a sailing boat. The 
School boatman, 

" Antique dictus nomine Dicky Roberts/' 


died in 1816, but the epigram on his decease says 
nothing of the oar. Roberts knew the tides and winds 
and what sails each boat should have, nor against his 
will dared any boy spread canvass over the waves of 
Thames. But before Roberts's death the six-oared Fly 
had put out from the Lambeth Wharf. Number 2 was 
William, afterwards Lord, de Ros, who about 18 16 
owned one of the first four-oars that were seen at 
Oxford. The Fly was no racing boat, but its successor, 
the Defiance^ in 1 81 8 lowered the unbeaten colours of 
the Templars. To the pedagogues of the time the in- 
novation was as offensive as span-farthing had been to 
Locke. A challenge from Eton was refused by Page's 
positive orders, and in 1820 Goodenough followed 
Page's example. It was not so easy to stop races 
with London clubs. In these two contests two West- 
minster boats, the Challenge and the Victory ^ claim to 
have never been beaten. Long expeditions were also 
in fashion, and on St. George's Day, 1825, the Challenge 
was rowed to Eton and back. The distance is about 
115 miles, and of the twenty-one hours occupied by the 
journey only fourteen were spent in the boat. 

To most men of to-day the Masters' opposition 
stands self-condemned, but Page and Goodenough 
need not be condemned for their lack of foresight. 
They were afraid of accidents, and they saw evil con- 
sequences from the excitement of the competition. 
They did not see that the organization of athletics 
brought its own advantages. Lord Albemarle and 
many of his school-fellows could have told them that 
it was possible to waste much time on selfish or even 


cruel amusements. A coming duck-hunt or a promised 
badger-baiting could absorb a boy's thoughts no less 
than a race with Eton. Had they accepted Johnson's 
belief that '* by exciting emulations and comparisons of 
superiority you lay the foundation of lasting mischief," 
they would have been at least consistent. As it was 
they prompted in the lesson the very spirit which they 
opposed in the game. Achievements with bat and oar 
are nowadays valued above their deserts, but there is 
more to be said for the champion cricketer than for the 
champion rat-catcher or marble-player of the times of 
Carey and Page. 

Even then cricket asserted itself against the more 
selfish amusements. In 1796 for the first time West- 
minster met Eton on Hounslow Heath and won the 
match by sixty-six runs. In 1799 Lord's old ground 
witnessed a drawn match, but in the two next years 
Eton was decisively victorious. King's Scholars first 
met Town boys in 1806 and won by ten wickets. 

King's Scholars and Town boys wore different 
colours, and each in turn was adopted by Cambridge. 
The pink of the King's Scholars was worn by the 
earliest Cambridge crews, and has now become the 
colours of the School. The light blue of the Town 
boys was surrendered to Cambridge, and has now no 
place at Westminster. 

Long before Page's death it had been at various 
times proposed to remove the School into the country. 
Putney was among the places first suggested. The 
proposal moved much controversy, and Westminsters 
were as a whole much averse to it. There were grave 


financial difficulties in the way, but had there been any 
approach to unanimity these might have been overcome. 
It was argued on the one side that Westminster had 
ceased to stand in the fields, that the country would 
become ever more distant, and that the system and 
traditions of the School could be upheld on a new site. 
It was objected that Westminster was a very healthy 
spot, that the Abbey and the precincts were part of its 
memories and its life, and that a removal would in fact 
be the creation of a new school. The proposal was 
renewed at several later times, but never seemed likely 
to be carried out. 

Of the boarding-houses of the time, beside those 
already mentioned, some names survive. Clapham's 
was afterwards Jones's, then Best's, later Benthall's, 
and since 1846 has been Rigaud's. Mrs. Driffield's 
was afterwards Scott's and is now owned by the 
School. Of Clough's Dodd had been usher, and of 
Mrs. Farren's Otly. Burgess', in Great Smith Street, 
and Mrs. Morell's, which sheltered Bentham, perhaps 
ceased to take boys before 1800. Glover's and 
Smedley's were houses in 1803, the latter kept by 
an usher. Grant's alone keeps the name which it had 
in the last century. 




Its Difficulties — The Chapter — Revenues — Ecclesiastical Commission 
— Scholarships Less Valuable — Dormitory — Boardingf-houses — 
Growth of the City— Bad State of the School— Athletics— Cricket 
— Water — The Play — Wilberforce and Buckland, Deans— Visita- 
tion of the Crown — Liddell, Head Master. 

' I ^HE era upon which we now enter, a period of 
-*- some twenty-seven years, is the saddest in the 
annals of the School. It is so recent that the writer 
who deals with it still walks upon the treacherous ashes, 
but he is bound to run the risk, and, where blame is 
due, not to fear imputing it. The difficulties of the 
time were great, but they were not insuperable. They 
required great qualities in the rulers of the School, and 
some of the more ordinary virtues in the Chapter. 
Edmund Goodenough, who became Head Master in 
1 8 19, and Richard Williamson, who succeeded him in 
1828, were amiable men and accomplished scholars. In 
quiet times they might have prosperously guided the 
fortunes of the School. It was their misfortune to rule 
it at a time which called for other qualities than they 
possessed. Dean Ireland and his colleagues, one of 
them a Westminster, had little sense of the School's 
claims upon the Chapter, and even less willingness to 
acknowledge them. Ireland's gifts and legacies to the 



cause of learning were considerable, and Westminster 
was not without a share in his benefactions. Yet through 
the twenty-six years of his sway he retained for himself 
and his colleagues moneys on which the School had a 
moral claim. 

There were various ways in which the Chapter might 
have computed the annual sum which they should set 
apart for the School. They might have allowed for 
the change in the value of money, and given a sum 
equivalent on this calculation to the amount contem- 
plated by the statutes. They might have assigned the 
same proportion of their revenues as the School received 
in the early days of the foundation. In neither case 
could they have paid much less than four times the sum 
actually doled out to the School. Again they might 
have defrayed the cost of the King's Scholars' board, 
lodging, and livery, assigning at the same time a reason- 
able income to the two Masters. As it was they gave 
to the School scarcely £1400 a year out of revenues 
which were perpetually increasing until they mounted 
to a very large income. Even of the small sum 
allotted to the School a part was wasted by indiffer- 
ence and mismanagement, for the Chapter kept no due 
supervision over its servants. 

Even in the Whig schemes of reform misfortune 
seemed to dog the steps of the School. The Eccle- 
siastical Commission of 1831 was designed to amend 
the anomalies and corruptions of the Church. It called 
upon Chapters to make returns of their revenues and 
estimates of their expenditure. The Chapter of West- 
minster could not assign to the proper charges of the 


School a larger sum than they had been in the habit of 
spending upon it. To do so would have been a con- 
fession of dishonesty. It followed that when the Chapter 
revenues were transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sion of 1836, the revenues of the School were fixed at 
;6"i400 a year. It is no wonder that, when the fact was 
brought before the Public Schools Commissioners, Lord 
Clarendon told the Sub-Dean to his face that the School 
had " not shared in that increase of income to an extent 
which appears to be proper and right." 

One result of the Chapter's disregard of the School's 
claims was that the scholarships lost much of their 
value. In various ways their payments had increased. 
The Chapter gave the boys no breakfast, and they had 
to pay for it in a boarding-house. The total fees of a 
Queen's Scholar came to amount to nearly ;^ioo a year. 
It was a heavy price, and a parent was little likely to 
deem it the less for a contemplation of the dormitory. 
In that room necessary repairs and the calls of sanita- 
tion were alike neglected. Broken casements recalled 
the days of the old granary, and in times of frost it was 
easy to make a slide of ice upon the dilapidated floor. 
The holes in it were the delight of innumerable rats. 
One night a boy would lose his braces, another he was 
awakened by the thief biting his ear. Longley, after- 
wards Archbishop of Canterbury, one morning missed 
his surplice, and only a corner of white led him to its 
discovery under the boards. The rats were as hungry 
as the juniors, whose frequent fate it was to find in 
Hall that, when their elders had fed, there was little or 
nothing left for themselves. The Chapter would not 


see that these hardships were intolerable. The days 
were past when a parent could regard them with the 
eyes of a Spartan. 

For the conduct of the Chapter there is some small 
excuse. Although the point was never really decided, 
they were probably acting within their legal rights. 
Andrewes and Williams and Atterbury would have 
made other use of the increased revenues, but these 
great men had almost passed from the memory of the 
Chapter. With few exceptions the Prebendaries of this 
period were not men of talents, and their ignorance is 
their defence. Their immediate predecessors knew 
nothing of the claims of the School, and had almost 
ceased to take an interest in it. They themselves took 
things as they found them, and in their ignorance of 
Elizabeth's intentions compared it to such insignificant 
grammar schools as were attached to the Cathedrals of 
Peterborough or Gloucester. They came to regard the 
charges of the School. as a benevolence of their own. 

In some few cases the Chapter was induced to spend 
money for the benefit of the School. In 1827 the lodge 
was built at the east corner of Fields. Its cost was 
;£"440, but a very small part of the profits of the recent 
enclosure. In 1837 hot-water pipes were laid down in 
the dormitory, and in 1838 the little yard was paved for 
a fives court. A much larger sum was expended on the 
railings of Tuttle Fields. The old name of this district 
died hard, but about this period the Chapter began to 
call it Vincent Square. 

Unjust as the Prebendaries showed themselves in 
their dealings with the School, they could point to less 


excusable imitators in the dames and masters who kept 
the boarding-houses. These houses varied in number 
from four to five, and had at one time to provide ac- 
commodation for some two hundred or more Town boys 
and forty King's Scholars. The boys were " crammed 
together and placed higgeldy-piggeldy, side by side and 
topsy-turvy like pigs in a sty. There they were, some 
blacking shoes, others cooking mutton chops, others 
boiling coffee, all in one room together." One day 
Lady Mansfield came to see her sick son. The boy 
was sitting on the only chair in the room and talking to 
a friend who was seated on a coal scuttle. The friend 
got up and " with perfectly natural politeness offered it 
to her ladyship to sit down upon." It would have been 
well if Lady Mansfield had interviewed the dame. 

The boys were accustomed to this life and thought 
nothing of its hardships. Parents might well take 
another view, and they had a wider choice of schools 
at their command. Many decayed foundations had 
been restored, and there was a movement to found new 
schools. Westminster's dislike of change was thrown 
into stronger relief by Arnold's work at Rugby. 

Another fact troubled the anxious and, it must be 
added, ignorant minds of mothers. The town was 
rapidly closing round the School, and it was idly 
imagined that a boy would be in better health amid 
the floods of Eton. To the west dwelling-houses had 
already risen in the College orchard and the gardens 
of the Dacres. Further south the lands of the College 
had fallen into the builder's hands. The grounds of 
Grosvenor House, whence generations of Grosvenors 


had been sent to Westminster, were covered with 
miserable dwellings and hives of industry, stretching 
along Millbank to the Penitentiary. The slaughter of 
the last snipe in Battersea Fields had already been 
claimed by many a Westminster. On the Abbey roof 
the hawk still pursued the pigeon, but a shot from 
an alien gun in 1840 was to scare away his race for 
ever. The wild wood pigeon, whose unnatural obesity 
now covers its eggs in the elms and planes of the 
precincts, had not yet learned the easy life of the city. 
Against the confinement of the streets the low death- 
rate of the neighbourhood bore witness in vain. Many 
fathers found, like Sir James Graham, that a mother's 
fears were strong enough to break a scholastic pedigree 
that went back for many generations. 

It will thus be seen that a coincidence of causes led 
to the decline of the School. Of the danger in which 
it stood no one in authority seems to have had any 
foresight. The Dean was a prosperous pluralist, little 
likely to be troubled by fears on such a point. Some 
at least of the Prebendaries, in their ignorance or 
contempt of the history of the College, were content 
with the security of their own position. A Head 
Master with sense to foresee and strength to withstand 
the difficulties might have done much. Even when the 
decline had begun he would not have been powerless. 
He could not perhaps have overcome the cupidity of 
the Chapter and successfully asserted the rights of the 
King's Scholars. He could not enlarge the room of the 
School or bring back the green fields. But a reforming 
spirit had a wide scope within the School itself. The 


" pigstyes " might have been changed into human habi- 
tations. Roughness might have been abated and disci- 
pline restored. The decline might have been arrested, 
the revival need not have waited for thirty or forty 
years. But the reformer was not found. Each difficulty 
reacted on every other. The School, which had 
numbered 324 boys in 18 18, fell to 100 in 1835, 
and the decline culminated in 1841, when the Town 
boys were actually fewer than the Queen's Scholars. 

The decay of the School brought new evils and 
aggravated those that already existed. The Masters 
lost hope and interest. Some of them could not keep 
order, and could not or would not teach. Before one 
house the boys at last made it their amusement to 
gather, that they might hoot its Master when he 
appeared at the window. In 1846 the new Head 
Master found it necessary to insist that two of his 
predecessor's staff should surrender their appointments. 
The boys felt the weakness of their superiors, and 
played with it accordingly. Every attempt to enforce 
discipline was treated as an infringement on their rights. 
The idler and the bully had no fears, while wit and 
industry fought an uphill battle against neglect and 
dislike. But the gloom was not without flashes of 
light. The School could not wholly forget its tra- 
ditions, and the Head Masters were scholars. The sixth 
form never perhaps became quite unworthy of its name. 
Many of its members still live, and it would be invid- 
ious to distinguish among them. Of those that are 
departed Joseph Anstice and Herbert Kynaston were 
in the first rank of Scholars, and Henry Octavius Coxe 


is worthy to rank with them. Sir Robert Phillimore 
was some twelve months older than Coxe and eight 
years older than James Anthony Froude ; Bishop 
Cotton came between them. 

Among other evil consequences of the School's de- 
cline was an unwillingness to admit the only principle 
which could restore it. Driven for a time to live upon 
its past, the School unconsciously crystallized its tra- 
ditions. To the scanty remnant of boys every custom 
seemed of equal value, every change was a revolution. 
There were customs, such as the minor candidates' 
dinner, to which in after years few could look back 
with satisfaction. In the School then there were few 
who did not fight for their maintenance. The Town 
boys would meet to discuss means of restoring the 
School, but their resolutions sometimes upheld the 
very things that opposed it. They naturally could 
not understand the forces that were at work. 

Both up School and among the Queen's Scholars 
there were many trivial regulations, whose infringe- 
ment might bring punishment. There was an old rule 
that no boy below the sixth form might walk in School. 
If a boy would move he must run. In the dormitory 
there must be exactitude of phrase. If "John is about 
to leave" were substituted for " John is going off" there 
was at least a rebuke from the senior. New restrictions 
sprang up, and after the lapse of a single generation 
some five or six years were accounted even by the 
juniors, who suffered from them, to be the ordinances 
of Elizabeth. The essayist of 1815 had declared that 
he knew no School so ignorant of the origin of its 


Of the perpetual insistence upon trivialities different 
views may be taken. It certainly had its good side. 
Like military discipline, it was by most boys accepted 
as inevitable. It thus taught them to do without 
discontent that which was at first distasteful. Mill's 
complaint, that the rising generation could do nothing 
that they did not like, did not apply to Westminster. 
If under iron rules routine was substituted for thought, 
the one is in some natures the best substitute for 
the other. If genius suffered some loss of liberty, 
mediocrity was at least debarred from licence. But 
the system had its dangers, which were most real in 
College. The Town boys were never overburdened 
with rules, but a junior Queen's Scholar had much to 
learn and much to do. If he had been indulged at 
home the contrast of his new life assailed his nerves. 
His imagination foresaw punishments that were in fact 
never inflicted for the lesser offences. To boys of 
better training the care of all the duties was as great 
an obstacle to industry as their performance. Nor can 
it be denied that in the rare cases, where a senior had 
a bully's spirit, his opportunities for indulging it with 
impunity were not difficult to find. 

From the sorrows of Westminster it is pleasant to 
turn to her athletic energy on land and water. In Good- 
enough's early days no Westminster cricketer surpassed 
John Loraine Baldwin, who became one of the founders 
of the I Zingari. Outside Kent, where down to his 
death in 1896 he was the most familiar figure in the 
Canterbury week, he is perhaps best known as the 
editor of the Laws of Short Whist, Among the bats- 


men who succeeded him in the School none deserves 
mention before Herbert Mascall Curteis, who was an 
Oxford blue in 1841 and 1842. Curteis became 
member for Rye, and gave up his seat to play cricket 
for his county. 

Of the rowing of this time the most lively account 
may be found in the pages of Sir George Dasent. 
Some of the boys carried their skill to Oxford, and 
five of them rowed in the Christ Church boat, which 
in 1828 was head of the river. Of these five two, with 
their school-fellow Fremantle, afterwards Dean of Ripon, 
were in the Oxford boat of 1829. In this year West- 
minster for the first time met Eton on the water. A 
defeat was followed by others in 1831 and 1835, but 
the defeated crews were thought worthy to supply oars 
to the University boats. In 1837 Westminster had its 
revenge. The race has the further interest that the 
present School colour was then established. In the pre- 
vious race both crews had worn blue and white. For 
distinction Westminster now took pink and white, and 
the boat was painted pink. From that time pink 
became the recognized colour of the School. The 
King insisted on witnessing the race. His illness was 
aggravated by his temerity, and he drove home to die. 
Westminster had won by seven lengths. 

It were long to enumerate all the great Westminster 
oars of the period. Lord Esher still lives to bear 
testimony to the vivacity of the boy who could "row 
along thinking of nothing at all." Sir Warrington 
Smyth's son has shown that skill on the water may be 
an inherited gift, and Sir Patrick Colquhoun's name 
will always be on men's lips at Cambridge. 


Of one playground the School was at this time de- 
prived. Football had long been played in the cloisters, 
though objections to the practice had been raised as 
early as 17 10. The objections were not without grounds, 
the chief of which was the probable damage to the stone 
work. The plea that the cloisters were a burial-place 
should perhaps have less weight. The inconvenience to 
the living residents must, however, have been consider- 
able, and the boys could hardly complain if they were 
driven into Green. The Chapter consulted their interests 
by putting railings round the grass, and compelling the 
bakers' and butchers' boys to go round by the road. 
They had never been allowed to cross the green with 

In the school life there were some incidents not 
devoid of interest. Since the coronation of James II. 
the Sovereigns had been acclaimed by the King's 
Scholars, whose voices were held to represent the 
people of England. At the coronation of George IV. 
the Town boys first found a place. The new King had 
many friends among Westminsters, and as Prince of 
Wales had seen the Play. At the coronation, if Hare 
may be trusted, one of the Abbey doors was kept by 
a Westminster, the most taciturn officer in the army. 
The Queen tried to push by him, and, failing in her 
attempt, appealed to him with words and tears. The 
guardsman said no word, but firmly held his sword to 
bar the way of the unwelcome visitor. 

About this period, perhaps for the first time, some 
voices were lifted up against the Play. The loudest 
was an old Town boy's. George Colman the younger. 


whose erratic summer was followed by an autumn of 
puritanical acerbity, declared that by all rules and 
theories the plays of Terence should have a noxious 
effect. It was true he could give no instance of this 
result. He was willing to allow that Charles Abbot, 
who had acted Thais in Colman's first year and had 
afterwards been Speaker, took no harm from his pre- 
sentment of the part. The boys escaped harm, but their 
escape was a puzzle to Colman. The authorities pre- 
ferred fact to theory, and Colman's demand for the 
abolition of the Play fell on deaf ears. 

In 1839 tl^^ presentation of the Play underwent a 
remarkable change. Ten years before the prologue, 
spoken by a boy who still lives, had defended the 
modern costume. Such characters as Phaedria in the 
Eunuchus appeared in frock coats, while Chcerea 
wore the full uniform of the Guards. This, said the 
prologue, was better than a sham antiquarianism. The 
real costumes of Athens were unknown, and, were they 
known, would be as great an impediment as swaddling 
clothes. Correct dresses would make the audience 
demand a style of acting which was beyond a boy's 
powers. This reasoning seemed inadequate, and in 
1839 Williamson issued a tract on the Athenian dress. 
His Eu7iuchus Palliatus was the prelude to the ap- 
pearance of classical costumes on the Westminster 
stage. The change was admittedly successful. It has 
the further merit of marking to the eye the contrast 
between the Play and the Epilogue, for the Epilogue 
is acted in modern dress. 

In spite of the applause which greeted its theatrical 


reform the School showed no signs of regaining its 
position. It was not until 1845 that there came a 
promise of better things. In May of that year Samuel 
Wilberforce was installed in the deanery, and at once 
set himself to the work of reform. His estimate of the 
School's degeneracy was perhaps exaggerated, but at 
least he saw where the fault lay. "The School," he 
wrote to Miss Noel, "is in a dreadful state, and very 
much, I feel sure, from the need of greater comforts, 
cleanliness, and attendance, which we ought to supply. 
If you treat boys as savages they will be savages." In 
his condemnation of the Chapter, Wilberforce probably 
judged only from what he saw. A study of the statutes 
must have strengthened his condemnation. His extra- 
ordinary force of character might have worked a 
thorough reform, but in a few months he was promoted 
to the see of Oxford. His successor was William 
Buckland, who, although past the prime of life, had 
still before him a few years of reforming energy. 
Buckland's appointment to the deanery preceded by 
a few months Williamson's resignation of the head- 
mastership. His position had long been very un- 
enviable. Mrs. Nickleby was pleased to fancy her son 
holding it, but had the mother's knowledge equalled 
her affection she would have turned her thoughts to 
some less thorny bed. It was little wonder that 
Williamson lost heart. In 1846 matters passed beyond 
his endurance. A Northamptonshire rector, a Queen's 
Scholar's parent, laid certain statements before Sir 
Robert Peel, then Prime Minister, and was advised by 
him to call in the powers of the Visitor. The Visitor 


was the Crown, but there had been no visitation since 
the time of the quarrel between Williams and Laud. 
Peel's advice was followed, and the Minister himself 
took an active part in the enquiry. It appeared that 
the Head Master had been the victim of his own good 
nature, but the enquiry called attention to the unhappy 
state of the School. Williamson announced his resig- 
nation, and Peel urged his old friend Thomas Gaisford, 
Dean of Christ Church, to seek a successor outside the 
ranks of Westminsters. He was convinced, he said, that 
certain reforms were necessary, and that a Westminster 
might not bring an unbiassed mind to their con- 

The place had not at the moment many attractions. 
The income was barely six hundred a year, some of the 
Chapter were hostile, and some of the Under Masters 
were notoriously incompetent. The School buildings 
were not large enough, and there seemed no immediate 
hope of increasing them. On the other hand, nothing 
could deprive the School of its history or its association 
with the buildings of Edward the Confessor and Henry 
HI. William Buckland, the new Dean, had himself 
been a Canon of Christ Church, and in his reforming 
energy did not scruple to say what he thought of the 
past conduct of the Chapter. The Whigs were on the 
eve of their return to power, and were likely to renew 
their assaults upon corrupt corporations. There were 
still many Westminster families whose affection was 
unaffected by fashion, and there were in the wider 
London many boys who might be attracted to West- 


For a man to take the place Gaisford had no need to 
look beyond the walls of his own House. The spirit 
of Liberalism and reform had no more able advocate 
than Henry George Liddell, tutor of Christ Church, 
himself a Carthusian, but a Westminster's son. In a 
happy hour for the School the Dean induced Liddell 
to accept the headmasterhip. Before his acceptance 
Liddell made certain terms with the Chapter, insisting 
among other things that they would guarantee him for 
three years an income of eight hundred pounds. But a 
small part of this sum would be paid by the Chapter, 
and even this part would not come out of the pockets 
of the Prebendaries. Under Buckland's new influence 
the Chapter accepted the condition, and in June, 1846, 
Liddell entered upon office. 



Proposal to Abolish the Play — Reforms of the Chapter — Choristers — 
Sanitation — Liddell's Reforms — Growth in Numbers — Games — 
The Crimean Monument — Scott, Head Master — His Character — 
Play Scenery — Trinity and Christ Church — Gymnasium — Class 
Rooms — Public Schools Commission — Act of 1868— Enlargement 
of the School — Ashburnham House — College Garden — Challenge 
— Election — Abolition of Under School — Games — Last Words. 

T N the very month in which Liddell became Head 
-■- Master Peel's Ministry gave way to its Whig 
successors. The new Prime Minister and the Presi- 
dents of the Council and the Board of Control, and both 
the law officers of the Crown, were Westminsters. The 
School might find in this a happy omen, and the omen 
was destined to fulfilment. For a moment the spirit of 
reform took an unexpected and unwelcome course. In 
1846 there was no Play. In the following summer 
Lord Lansdowne presented to the Dean a memorial, 
in which the great body of old Westminsters prayed 
for its continuance. Its abolition, they were convinced, 
would not be for the good of the School. Buckland 
granted their prayer and found a better sphere for 
reform. He pointed out to the Prebendaries that there 
could be no justification for their neglect to provide the 
Queen's Scholars with breakfast. It must have been 
with some shame that they announced this reform. 





Coupled with it vi^as a proposal to spend some four 
thousand pounds in building a sanatorium and in fitting 
up the cloister under the dormitory as studies. They 
did not, however, propose to pay for this necessary 
work, preferring to appeal to the Crown and to Old 
Westminsters. The work was carried out at a cost of 
something under ;^5000, towards which the Queen 
contributed £800. The Chapter were at length in- 
duced to furnish ;^700, but there was still a deficit of 
nearly ;^I500. This was paid off by a charge of five 
guineas a year upon each of the Queen's Scholars. 

The general result of these changes was that Queen's 
Scholars ceased to be members of the boarding-houses. 
It was a return to the ancient system of the School. 
The annual fees of a Queen's Scholar were reduced 
to £4S, and after some time to £^S' When these 
reforms had been effected the cost of a Queen's Scholar 
to his parent was not relatively larger than in the days 
of Busby. 

The Choristers had for many years held an anomalous 
position in the School. Many of them came from a 
class for which a classical education was unsuitable. 
The boys' duties in the Abbey removed them from 
their fellows in some school hours and most play hours. 
The result was that but few of them came to the 
School, while the rest got their education on the 
system by which Mr. Weller trained his son. Buckland 
rightly disliked the learning of the streets. In 1848 
a separate School was established for the Choristers, 
and henceforth they necessarily ceased to be West- 


Above all things Buckland delighted in sanitation. 
Though the science was in its infancy he found much 
work to do, and, it must be added, he left much to 
be done in the present generation. His subterranean 
researches, however beneficial to posterity, were not 
without loss to the health and even to the lives of his 
contemporaries. Nor did he limit his sanitation to 
the drains. In the dormitory the wood fires gave 
place to hot -water pipes, and in the Hall the open 
fire with its scattered smoke made way for a stove. 
The ancient louvre still serves for ventilation. 

While the Dean showed his energy on the School 
buildings the Head Master was at work reforming 
the School. One of his changes found some disfavour 
with Old Westminsters, but his reasons for it were 
perhaps adequate. Under his predecessor the old 
system of private tuition had become, as he 'phrased 
it, " very otiose." In fact, one at least of the Masters 
had taken the fees and done no work for them. 
Liddell desired to reduce the boys' fees, and was also 
unwilling to lay a burden upon a staff that was none 
too large. 

Among other minor changes Liddell abolished the 
purple gown, which the Bishop's boys had worn since 
the days of their Founder. As there were but four 
of them the mark of distinction was rather a burden 
than a pleasure. The boys became, what they are now, 
exhibitioners of the School. 

These are but small matters. Liddell's great work 
was the restoration of School discipline. The Masters 
whom he brought with him were men of energy, 


character, and learning. He himself would have been 
a great man in any line of life, and the change 
wrought by him was the foundation of the School's 
future prosperity. 

There were, indeed, some customs whose long 
survival can cause only astonishment. A "late play" 
was supposed to serve for the boys' recreation. In 
fact, they were locked up in the dormitory and the 
boarding-houses. At the door of College till ten 
o'clock at night sat the "College John," or servant, 
ready to fetch for the boys whatever they might desire 
to eat or drink. There were traditional punishments 
whose brutality can hardly be excused by the fact that 
they were very rarely put into force. There were other 
matters that called for a reforming hand, and if Liddell 
did not do all that he desired, he did much that was 
of lasting service. 

In Liddell's nine years the numbers rose from about 
90 to 140. It was not a great growth, but it gave a 
promise that was destined to be fulfilled. In 1855 
Liddell was appointed to the deanery of Christ Church. 
In that office he continued for thirty -six years to 
watch over the fortunes of the School. There was 
no exaggeration in the graceful lines of the Prologue 
of 1 89 1, in which his retirement was recorded by the 
present Head Master: — 

" robur animi indutus et triplex suae 

Virtutis aes, labantem sustinuit Domum, 
Reparavit vires, res secundas praebuit, 
Facultatem banc increscendi nobis reddidit." 

Before Liddell's retirement Buckland was attacked 


by the malady which clouded the last years of his 
life. His name is not formally recorded among the 
benefactors of the School, but his work is not the less 
entitled to its gratitude. Happily he found a worthy 
successor in Richard Chenevix Trench. 

Small as were the numbers of the School there was 
no lack of athletic skill. The boat celebrated Liddell's 
arrival by defeating Eton, and Henry Barker, the West- 
minster bow, carried his prowess to Oxford and Henley. 
In 1847 h^ stroked the Westminster eight, which fell an 
easy victim to Eton. Liddell did not look with favour 
on the race and afterwards suppressed it. The suppres- 
sion did not prevent the boys from showing their rowing 
skill. Sir Penrose Fitzgerald rowed bow in the Cam- 
bridge eight of 1 86 1 and 1862, and other Westminsters 
were not less distinguished on the river. On the cricket 
field Westminsters were even better known. Edward 
Tyrrwhit-Drake, now rector of Amersham, was probably 
the best slow bowler of his time, and Walter Fellows' 
swift deliveries were as effective against Cambridge as 
against the Players. Among the other " blues " of the 
period were Charlton Lane, W. G. Armitstead, F. W. 
Oliver, W. H. Benthall, and C. P. Ingram. 

About the middle of this century the less formal 
games disappeared from school life. The sharper line 
between preparatory and public schools kept the hoop 
and the marble in their proper place. Nowadays they 
are even driven back into the nursery. Quoits and 
hockey for some years more found a place in " Green," 
until the prohibition of games in the cloisters compelled 
them to make way for football. 


In the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny not a 
few Westminsters won distinction. Lord Raglan's name 
may be read among the Somersets on the north wall 
of School. It was of him, according to Sir George 
Dasent, that the Duke of Wellington said, that when 
he entrusted any order to an old Westminster he was 
sure it would be carried out. Sir Henry Barnard was 
a Westminster of the next generation to Lord Raglan. 
The gloom of the first winter of the Crimea hung heavy 
over Westminster. The nurse of burlesque forewent 
her claim to the Epilogue. A monologue of sorrowful 
elegiacs was in better accord with the feelings of the 
audience. The return of peace called on Westminster 
to do honour to her departed. The column in the 
sanctuary was her answer to the call. It was designed 
by Landseer, and the inscription was from the pen 
of Thomas William Weare. Some of those whom he 
commemorated had been his contemporaries, one had 
been elected into College with him. Mr. Weare had 
been Second Master since 1841. To the names of 
the two commanders-in-chief were added those of 
seventeen other victims of the wars. The Crimean 
names had already been inscribed on a tablet in the 
Library with the motto exovTeg ekirlSa. It were perhaps 
well to add a tablet with the names of those who dared 
death and survived. The list would be fitly headed 
with the name of Lord Lucan. 

Liddell's successor was Charles Brodrick Scott, an 
Etonian, a senior classic, and a Fellow of Trinity. The 
twenty-eight years of his rule were marked by many 
useful reforms and a steady rise in the numbers of 


the School. The Public Schools Act of 1868 gave 
to the School a promise of new and vigorous life, and 
Scott had some of the qualities by which the promise 
might be realized. His scholarship was undeniable, and 
his courage rose in the face of opposition. Of the 
duties of the Chapter towards the School he took a 
view which was at least as strongly marked as the 
facts justified, and which failed to commend itself to 
some of the older generation of the Prebendaries. If 
he was at times too eager for a momentary victory 
in dialectics, he could at least plead that he was assail- 
ing abuses. The less intelligent of the Prebendaries 
were not unaware that their characters suffered at his 
hands. It was, perhaps, not his fault that he failed to 
convince them that the blows were not undeserved. 

For a time minor matters occupied Scott's attention. 
Half a century had passed since Carey's scenery first 
appeared upon the stage. The lapse of years had 
dimmed its colours, and the growth of learning pro- 
tested against its antiquarian inaccuracy. The professor 
of architecture in the Royal Academy, Charles Robert 
Cockerell, was a Westminster, and gladly acceded to the 
request that he would furnish designs for new scenery. 
His act-drop represents the theatre of Pompeii, while 
the scene itself gives the interior of Athens with the 
Acropolis in the background. The painter was 
Fenton, who was at the time Phelps' scene painter at 
Sadler's Wells, and whose hand has not yet lost its 
cunning. In 1906 the scenes will have lived through 
their allotted half-century. It must be the wish of 
all Westminsters that the next set of scenery may 


profit by the genius of their school-fellow, the present 
President of the Royal Academy. 

In 1857 a change was made in the relation of the 
School to Trinity College. For the scholarships, to 
which Westminsters had been elected by preference, 
there were substituted Exhibitions of less value. The 
loss was in one point a gain, for a Westminster Exhibi- 
tioner can hold with his Exhibition an open Scholar- 
ship of the College. It has very frequently happened 
that an able boy has held both. At Christ Church the 
alteration of tenure was on other lines. In accord- 
ance with the general reform of Colleges the contin- 
uity of the studentship was broken. Westminsters 
were elected to junior studentships, and the senior 
studentships were awarded on another Election. The 
junior studentships were in fact scholarships, a name 
which has been since conferred on them. To the 
change of tenure no Westminster could reasonably 
object. The scholarships are of the value usual in 
Oxford Colleges, and the benefaction of Bishop Carey 
adds a considerable income to the Westminster Scholar 
of the House. 

At a later period others of the School benefactions 
were united into an Exhibition fund. These Exhibi- 
tions are tenable in the School, and some of them are 
yearly offered for competition. The examination is 
the Challenge, and the same boy can compete for both 
Scholarships and Exhibitions, but the two are of course 
not tenable together. It may here be mentioned that a 
scholarship has since been founded in memory of Mr. 
James Mure. The competitors are boys in the sixth and 


seventh under the age of seventeen, and the Scholar 
may account himself the best boy of his year. 
. In i860 the School celebrated its tercentenary. The 
occasion was marked by some real improvements in 
the buildings, for which all credit is due to the Chapter. 
Most valuable of all was the construction of a covered 
playground. Between the Chapter House and the 
vaults under the School were some old buildings of 
great architectural interest. They were, however, put 
to little use, and the Chapter bore the cost of adapting 
them for the boys' play. With no damage, rather with 
advantage, to the ancient walls a roof was built over an 
open space. An approach to it was made through a 
vaulted chamber, which still displays the massive pillars 
of the Confessor. The room is now the School gym- 
nasium, and no school in the world can boast a play- 
room of such interest and antiquity. 

In one point the year 1861 marks an era in the 
history of Westminster. Down to that year the whole 
teaching of the forms had, with some small and ir- 
regular exceptions, found its place in a single room. 
The noisy life up School was passed in the people's 
eyes. All that boy or Master said or did was patent to 
his fellows. As temperaments varied the publicity served 
as an encouragement or a restraint. Self-consciousness 
and eccentricity took a stronger note. Boldness was 
tempted into excess, and timidity shrank into its shell. 
Only a divine absence of mind, such as Vincent Bourne's, 
could be unaware that it was the aim of the practical 
joke. Only a divine enthusiasm, like William Vincent's, 
could fail to see that the valet misjudged the hero. In 


a boy only the most level or the most stupid of minds 
could be unconscious of the eyes of the School. The 
very epigram was made the vehicle of immediate satire. 
Of one member of a Westminster family it is recorded 
in the memory of his fellows that an epigram was . 
beyond his intellectual powers. On one occasion his 
form-master stooped to a cruel revenge. The boy, one 
of an albino race, had appealed to him for an epigram, 
and was sent on to the Head Master with a quatrain, 
which he had no choice but to recite : — 

" That I am of the S— r breed 
No one can doubt a minute, 
Who sees the whiteness of my head 
And knows how little 's in it." 

To a boy of ready parts this public life was not with- 
out its benefits. His readiness fed on the blame and 
praise which echoed at once through the community. 
But the few were fed at the cost of the many, and in all 
schools the time was coming when the dull boy also 
might claim his share in the meal. 

In 1 86 1 an opportunity came of adding a class-room 
to the School. To the east of the rod-room was a 
room which had formed part of a minor Canon's house. 
At Scott's request Dean Trench induced the Chapter 
to grant its use to the School. A door was opened, and 
at a later period there was inserted a doorway, whose 
arch of splayed oak Dean Stanley believed himself to 
have brought from the dismantled Star Chamber. In 
this addition to the School the Dean showed a genuine 
interest in its welfare. 

The appointment of the Public Schools Inquiry 


Commission in 1861 was of vital consequence to West- 
minster. The evidence given before it in 1862 and 
1863 brought to light some defects in the management 
of the School, but was more valuable as showing the 
injustice which had been done and the means of repair- 
ing it. What the School needed was more space, more 
money, and another governing body than the Chapter. 
The Commissioners made upon these points recom- 
mendations, most of which were embodied in the Public 
Schools Act of 1868. The Governing Body for St. 
Peter's College, constituted in accordance with the Act 
in 1 869, consisted of thirteen members. The connexion 
of the " three Royal Colleges " was rightly maintained 
in it. The Deans of Westminster and Christ Church 
and the Master of Trinity are members of it by office, 
and each College elects another Governor. One is 
nominated by the Council of the Royal Society and one 
by the Lord Chief Justice of England. The other 
members were coopted. Two more Governors have 
since been added, one of whom is elected by the 
Masters of the School. 

To some of the Commissioners it seemed that the 
Chapter had starved the School. In fact, there was 
spent upon it hardly a fortieth part of the income from 
the capitular estates. It was not to be denied that the 
Chapter's action could find its legality in a long- 
standing custom. Had the point been fought when it 
first arose the custom would probably have been other 
than it was. So eager were the Chapter to disguise the 
facts that in a return made by them in 1864 of the 
contribution to the maintenance of the School they had 


actually inserted a sum of ;^294, which they annually 
exacted from the parents of the Queen's Scholars. 
Though the error was, of course, unintentional, its 
culpable negligence is not without significance. When 
the Head Master brought it before the Chapter and re- 
quested its correction, he received for answer that 
hardly anyone was likely to read the return, and those 
who did would " forget it in a fortnight." It is fair to 
add that Dean Trench had no part in an answer which 
was perhaps characteristic of some of his colleagues. 

When this return was made the report of the Com- 
missioners had perhaps already been drawn up. In 
any case, they were no judges of past conduct. The 
control of the capitular income had passed into other 
hands, and the essential question was of the future. 
With a tender reticence the Commissioners declared 
that they did not find it necessary to decide the point 
of equity; in fact, they did decide it. They recom- 
mended that the Chapter should take upon themselves 
the whole cost of the tuition of the Queen's Scholars. 
This course would cost the Chapter an additional 
annual sum of somewhat over ;£"900. To Parliament 
this sum seemed no sufficient part of the capitular 
income. The Act of 1868 assigned to the School an 
annual income of ;£"3500 and a capital sum of ;^i 5,000. 
This sum was intended to give them the power of 
extending the School buildings. 

In accordance with the recommendation of the Com- 
missioners there were transferred to the Governing 
Body all the buildings and ground in the occupation 
of the School. The only exception was that in the 


area of Little Dean's Yard, in Hall, and in "Green" 
the School got only a right of user. The Governors 
were also given the right to purchase three houses 
belonging to the Chapter. When, on the death of the 
occupants, this right was exercised the School com- 
pleted its ownership of the ring of buildings which 
encompasses Little Dean's Yard. 

One of these houses thus purchased stands between 
the yard and the cloisters, on the site of the ancient 
guest-chamber, and the garden to the north of it was 
once occupied by the monastic refectory. The house 
itself is of very great historical and architectural 
interest. Built by Inigo Jones it appears to have been 
leased by the Chapter, and in Queen Anne's reign 
received from its occupant the name of Ashburnham 
House. It was afterwards in the occupation of the 
Crown, and gave shelter to the Royal and Cottonian 
Libraries. In 1739 it reverted to the Chapter, and was 
divided into two houses occupied by Prebendaries. At 
the beginning of this century one was occupied by 
Charles Fynes, and here his son, Henry Fynes-Clinton, 
himself a Westminster, began the great work which 
still guides the steps of the historians of Greece. In 
later years the house was inhabited by Milman. With 
Milman in 1842 Macaulay dined before seeing the 
Adelphi and a brilliant Epilogue on Wackford Squeers. 
For the possession of Ashburnham House the School 
had to wait till the death of its prebendarial occupant 
in 1882. 

Dean Stanley vainly objected to the alienation of the 
house from the Chapter, but there was no historic 




outrage to lament. The School was no less a part 
of Elizabeth's foundation than the prebends. The 
house is no less carefully preserved, and is more 
accessible to the stranger than in days past. 

Between Ashburnham House and School was situate 
a house which had to be largely rebuilt. In the hands 
of J. L. Pearson, R.A., it was shaped into class-rooms 
and a chemical laboratory. Of Ashburnham House one 
part also was turned into class-rooms, while that part 
which showed the designs of Inigo Jones became a 
library, in which is commemorated the name of Dr. 
Scott. Below these rooms are traces of the old 
monastic walls, and the rooms which they encircle 
give shelter and a common life to a house of Day 
boys. The other Day boys have their Lares in the 
ancient building which stands between the two yards. 

The two houses, now known as " Home Boarders " 
and "Ashburnham," make an essential feature in the 
modern life of Westminster. Large as is the Day boy 
element in her present constituents, her organization 
remains that of a boarding-school. Of the sixty 
Queen's Scholars forty still reside in the dormitory 
and the rooms beneath it. To the boarders in Rigaud's 
and Grant's must be added the half-boarders whose 
days from nine o'clock to five, and often in summer 
to seven, are spent with them. Of the other Day boys 
but a few do not take their midday meal in the College 
Hall, and none are exempt from "Station." Their 
whole day is thus spent in the School or up Fields. In 
their earliest months some may not perhaps appreciate 
the bond which unites them to their fellows ; but the 


boy is but seldom seen in whom the sense of a common 
interest does not soon become an energy. The better 
of them learn to make the best of two worlds. The 
love of home and the love of School gain strength from 
a reciprocal activity. 

The School did not obtain possession of all these 
buildings until after Scott's departure. Throughout his 
time, and in the earlier years of his successor, some of 
the forms were still taught up School. There was one 
point on which Scott was destined to disappointment. 
In common with most Old Westminsters he had desired 
to secure for the boys the use of the College garden. 
Sir Robert Phillimore had no doubt that research would 
prove that the garden was intended rather for the boys 
than for the wives and daughters of the Canons. He 
did not, however, mention that ordinance of Queen 
Elizabeth which has already been quoted. Apart from 
the Queen's views on celibacy there was probably no 
intention in the matter. There was a garden, and the 
College might use it as it would. Usage varies, but it 
need not be forgotten that in some Oxford Colleges the 
gardens are open to the undergraduates. Boys in the 
garden would, however, have been distasteful to the 
Sub-Dean. The Commissioners ignored his feelings, 
and recommended that the boys should be admitted 
under proper regulations. Unfortunately the interests 
of " thoughtless meditation " prevailed. The Commis- 
sioners' recommendation had no place in the Act. By 
courtesy to an ancient custom the Queen's Scholars 
and major candidates are admitted to the garden in the 
days of Election. 




The boys' play was not forgotten in the new con- 
stitution. To the Governing Body was conveyed the 
freehold of Fields and of the gymnasium. The user of 
the racquet court and of the enclosure in Dean's Yard, 
known as Green, gave the School as much as it could 
claim, if not all that it could desire. 

Under Scott the system of Challenge, that had 
obtained, it would seem, for more than a century, 
began to break down. The introduction of Latin 
Prose made it necessary to set a paper, and other 
papers were afterwards introduced. Finally, it was 
decided to throw the scholarships open to boys who 
were not in the School, and two such boys were elected 
in 1876. The necessary consequence was that the 
written supplanted the spoken word. The Examination 
still bears the name of Challenge. The last occasion 
on which the election of minor candidates was wholly 
decided by the oral Challenge was in 1855. There is 
now no oral work at all. 

In 1873, in accordance with the recommendations 
of the Commissioners, election to Christ Church and 
Trinity was thrown open to Town boys. ' Three of 
them were elected in that year, and one of the three 
was afterwards Craven Scholar at Oxford. 

Before 1880 the School had for many years been 
under a double control. The Second Master was the 
supreme head of the Under School. This power he had 
to some extent possessed until the appointment of an 
Usher in Elizabeth's latter days. He had then taken 
the third and fourth forms, but by Busby at least his 
independence was not admitted. He seems to have 


gained his independence when he returned to the lowest 
form. On Mr. Ingram's resignation in 1880 a new 
statute took effect. The second - mastership was 
abolished, and the Under School came directly under 
the authority of the Head Master. The Queen's 
Scholars were provided with a house master, who is 
styled Master of the Queen's Scholars. The same year 
saw the last of the Liberty boys, a title not likely to be 

Scott's departure coincided with the end of "water" 
at Westminster. Rowing had for some time suffered 
from ever increasing difficulties. The traffic on the 
river had driven the boats from Roberts's to Putney, and 
the Elizabethan Club had provided a launch to take the 
boys up the river. The hours were, however, not con- 
venient, and the Masters of the School found other 
objections to the system. These objections they pre- 
sented to the new Head Master, and in accordance 
with what they believed to be for the welfare of the 
School a change of hours involved the extinction of 
rowing. Its loss was regretted by many Old West- 
minsters, some at least of whom were hardly in a 
position to judge of the question. Unanimity in the 
staff of a school is not so common a thing that it may 
be made light of. Possibly its occurrence on this 
occasion was unknown to most of those who disliked 
its consequence. 

The football of Westminster and Charterhouse was 
the mother of the present Association game. In other 
schools, where handling the ball was forbidden, the 
rule of off side was the same as in the Rugby game. 




Though combination was thus impossible, the rule was 
generally adopted. Happily for the interests of the 
game Westminster and Charterhouse held out, and in 
1867 their influence prevailed. They were able to 
force their rule upon the Association, and the modern 
game may be said to date from that year. Since 1875 
the two Schools have played each other both at football 
and cricket. Of the whole number of games Charter- 
house has won a considerable majority, but in 1897 and 
1898 the advantage was with Westminster. Since the 
institution of the Oxford and Cambridge match in 1874 
twenty-one Westminsters have been football " blues." 

In 1883 Dr. Scott resigned the headmastership. His 
energy had done much for the School, and it had been 
his fortune to see it put upon a sound financial basis. 
He survived until 1894, and the regard of his pupils 
has been shown in many ways. His successor was Dr. 
Rutherford, the present Head Master. Subsequent 
events have hardly passed into the domain of history. 
One constitutional improvement must, however, find 
mention. In 1894 the number of Queen's Scholars was 
prospectively raised to sixty. From 1897 onward sixty 
is the normal number. The new twenty do not reside 
in the dormitory, but are attached to the houses as 
boarders, half-boarders, or Day boys. As a consider- 
able number of Queen's Scholars are elected at an 
early age, it has been found well to add a new rank. 
Some of the boys are now known as " fourth elections." 
There have also been some changes in the buildings. 
The School entered into possession of the houses 
granted to it by the Public Schools Act, and the 


class-room system was thus established. Room was 
also found for a chemical laboratory, and the School 
followed others in founding a modern side. Of the old 
customs none have been abolished that could profit- 
ably be maintained. In some cases they have been 
modified. Monos still wears away the stone at the 
school door, the shadow has his substance, and the 
old cries are heard before school and up fields. The 
pancake is thrown over the bar, and epigrams are 
recited at Election Dinner. Though the number of 
boarders has diminished, the School retains the essential 
features of a boarding-school. 

Westminster is almost the only School that can 
boast a descendant of the terrae filius. Before Election 
the juniors have an opportunity of satiric revenge upon 
any senior whom they may have cause to dislike. 
The seniors are obliged to sit in mute conclave while 
every junior in turn assails or commends each of them 
in English verse. Though no names be mentioned, 
there is no difficulty in the application of the lines. 
As the junior need not be the author of his own 
"declamations," it is generally believed that the other 
"Elections" sometimes find a vent for their feelings. 
Complimentary and even other verses may sometimes 
owe a grace of form to the more practised pens of a 
past generation. The custom is not without its value, 
nor has it been abused. The declaimer has, indeed, 
one advantage over his Oxford parallel. Had the 
terrae filius confined his attacks to those whose 
authority was coming to an end his office might still 


From this survey of the history of Westminster it 
is perhaps possible to estimate her place in the history 
of English education. She cannot claim, like Win- 
chester, to have been the first of her race. Indeed, 
her descent is through Eton from Winchester. There 
was nothing that was meant to be novel in her con- 
stitution, in her relation to the Universities, or in the 
statutes which directed her curriculum. Her Foundress 
was content to rival her predecessors in their own 
field. For the first century of the School's life there 
was little to indicate her subsequent pre-eminence. Yet 
the place had been well chosen. Already she had 
nursed literary giants who owed something to the 
proximity of London. A breath from the Mermaid 
Tavern had inspired their boyhood. Her own Jonson 
sat amid her sons and called them his own. 

The place which Westminster took after the 
Restoration was due to three causes. She owed it 
to her geographical position, to her Puritan rulers, 
and to the genius of Busby. At that time the 
education of the upper classes, it might almost be 
said the social order of England, was at stake. If 
boys of rank and wealth had been compelled to turn 
their backs on the public schools and the Universities, 
the whole history of the country might have been 
changed for the worse. Eton and Westminster, and 
Westminster even more than Eton, gave the means 
of victory to the opponents of seclusion. And West- 
minster did more. She justified the victory. Whatever 
verdict may be pronounced on the statesmen of the 
eighteenth century, it will hardly be denied that they 


would have been the worse for a training in Maid well's 

Originality has not the only, not always even the 
greatest, claim on the gratitude of posterity. High 
ideals may be set in the even tenour of life. If West- 
minster has not always been alive to the last movement 
of thought, she has never but once been far behind it. 
She has never, not even in her darkest hour, failed to 
serve the State or speed her nurslings on the highway 
of fame. To prove it were but to tell the tale again. 

The new life, which began under Liddell, has been 
fostered by friendly and able Deans, and by no less able 
Head Masters. The School, as far as she could, has 
extended her ancient confines, but still delights to 
nestle under the shadow of the Abbey. In an age 
when every head cries for space she cannot gather such 
a multitude as works and plays in many another ancient 
and modern school, but she sees her sons go forth to be 
" profitable members of this Church and Nation." And 
to-day, as much as ever, her sons' love for her grows 
with the flying terms, and, as an abiding presence, passes 
with them from the cloister of her life. 







William Benson . 


Francis Atterbury 

. 1713 

Richard Cox 


Samuel Bradford . 

. 1723 

Hugh Weston . 


Joseph Wilcocks 


[John de Feckenham, 

Zachary Pearce 


Abbot . 


John Thomas 


William Bill 


Samuel Horsley 


Gabriel Goodman 


William Vincent 


Lancelot Andrewes 


John Ireland 


Richard Neile 


Thomas Turton 


George Montaigne 


Samuel Wilberforce 


Robert Tounson 


William Buckland 


John Williams . 


Richard Chenevix 

[Richard Stewart * 


Trench . 


John Earles 


Arthur Penrhyn Stanle> 

r 1864 

John Dolben 


George Granville Brad- 

Thomas Sprat 


ley . . 


* Stewart was not admitted to the deanery, which remained abolished 
till the Restoration. 



John Oliver. 
Richard Cox 
Richard Martial 
George Carew 
Thomas Sampson 
Thomas Godwin 
Thomas Cooper 
John Piers . 
Toby Mathew 
William James 
Thomas Ravis 
John King . 
William Goodwin 
Richard Corbett 
Brian Duppa 
Samuel Fell 
Edward Reynolds 
John Owen . 
Edward Reynolds 



George Morley . 


John Fell . 


John Massey 


Henry Aldrich . 


Francis Atterbury 


George Smalridge 


Hugh Boulter 


William Bradshaw 


John Conybeare . 


David Gregory 


William Markham 


Lewis Bagot 


Cyril Jackson 


Charles Henry Hall 

. 1809 

Samuel Smith 


Thomas Gaisford . 


Henry George Liddell 


Francis Paget 





John Redman 


John Pearson 


William Bill 


Isaac Barrow 


John Christopherson 

• 1554 

John North . 


William Bill 


John Montague 


Robert Beaumont 


Richard Bentley 


John Whitgift . 


Robert Smith 


John Still . 


John Hinchliffe 


Thomas Neville . 


Thomas Postlethwaite . 


John Richardson . 


William Lort Mansell . 


Leonard Mawe . 

. 1625 

Christopher Words- 

Samuel Brooke . 




Thomas Comber . 


William Whewell . 


Thomas Hill 


William Hepworth 

John Arrowsmith 




John Wilkins 


Henry Montagu Butler 


Henry Feme 

. 1660 



John Adams 


Alexander Nowell 


Nicholas Udall . 


John Passey* 

John Randall 


Thomas Browne . 

■ 1564 

Francis Howlyn . 


Edward Grant 


William Camden . 


Richard Ireland . 


John Wilson 


Lambert Osbaldeston 


Richard Busby . 


Thomas Knipe . 


Robert Freind . 

. 1711 

John Nicoll . 


William Markham 


John Hinchliffe . 


Samuel Smith 


William Vincent . 


John Wingfield . 


William Carey . 


William Page 


Edmund Goodenough . 


Richard Williamson 


Henry George Liddell . 


Charles Brodrick Scott 


William Gunion Ruther- 



• It is uncertain whether Passey came before or after Udall. 




Odnell Hayborne 


Adam Littleton 


Edward Cratford 


William James 


Thomas Nott 


Thomas Knipe . 


Richard Spencer 

Michael Maittaire 




Robert Freind 


Thomas Alleyn . 


George Tollett . 


John Prise 


John Nicoll 


[John?] Frobisher 


James Johnson . 


John Grant 


Pierson Lloyd 


Thomas Atkinson 


William Vincent 


William Camden 


John Wingfield . 

. 1788 



William Page 

. 1802 

Thomas Harding 


Edward Ellis 

. 1814 

William Pritchard 


Henry Bull 

. 1821 

John Jordan 

. I63I 

George Preston . 

. 1826 

George Croyden 


Thomas William Weare 


Thomas Vincent 

. 1645 

Henry Manning Ingran 

a 1861 

Edward Bagshaw 

r\^ TVT_ T J_ 

. 1656 

• _00- i1- - _i^-_ -/• f 

■< J 

On Mr. Ingram's resignation, in 1880, the office of Second 
Master or Under Master was abolished. 



1704 (?) 
1706 (?) 
1708 (?) 
1710 (?) 


i7i§ (?) 
1713 (?) 

1719 (?) 
1721 (?) 

1723 (?) 

1724 (?) 




1733 (?) 
1736 (?) 

1738 (?) 

1739 (?) 

1743 (?) 

1744 (?) 



































1746 (?) Terence 

1747 Ruggles 

1749 (?) Terence 

1750 (?) „ 

1753 » 



1758 „ 


1761 „ 


1763 » 


1766 (?) „ 



1770 „ 


1773 » 


1775 » 

1777 » 

1778 „ 

. Eunuchus 
. Ignoramus 
. Phormio 
. Eunuchus 
. Adelphi 
. Eunuchus 
. Andria 
. Eunuchus 
. Phormio 
. Adelphi 
. Andria 
. Eunuchus 
. Phormio 
. Andria 

, Adelphi 
. Phormio 
. Andria 
, Eunuchus 
. Adelphi 

. Andria 

, Adelphi 











Terence . Adelphi 


Terence . Adel-bhi 



. Phormio 


• » 

. Phormio 



. Andria 



. Andria 


t Amphitryof 
Ruggles . Ignoramus 


' 1833 


. Adelphi 
. Phormio 


Terence . Eunuchus 


. Eunuchus 



. Adelphi 



. Andria 



. Aulularia 


. Adelphi 


Terence . Phormio 



. Phormio 



. Andria 



. Eunuchus 



[ Part of 
\ Rudens 


. Andria 
. Adelphi 


Terence . Eunuchus 



. Phormio 



. Adelphi 



. Eunuchus 



. Phormio 



. Andria 



. Andria 



. Adelphi 



. Eunuchus 



. Phormio 



. Adelphi 



. Andria 



. Phorfnio 



. Eunuchus 



. Andria 



. Adelphi 



. Eunuchus 



. Eunuchus 



. Adelphi 



. Phormio 



. Phormio 



. Andria 



. Andria 



. Adelphi 



. Andria 



. Phormio 



. Eunuchus 



. Trinummus 



. Adelphi 



. Andria 



. Phormio 



. Adelphi 






. Phormio 






. Trinummus 












• Adelphi 

















Terence . 


















Plautus . 




Terence . 









Plautus . 









Plautus . 




. Adeiphi 


Terence . 




. Phormio 














Plautus . 




. Adeiphi 






. Phormio 


>> « 




. Trinummus 




The traditional English pronunciation of Latin is almost 
extinct except at Westminster and one other public school. 
Its sound is natural to English lips, and is invariably adopted 
in words borrowed by us from the Romans. The attempts 
to improve it have ended in chaos or burlesque. Whatever 
place an antiquarian pronunciation of Latin may claim at 
the Universities, it may well be doubted if the changes of the 
last twenty years have had any educational value in schools. 
The current pronunciation of our fathers was achieved without 
effort. It added no superfluous difficulty where there were 
already difficulties enough. It was hke M. Jourdain's prose, 
but now it is in such case that it cries for exposition. It 
may therefore be well to set forth the rules which it un- 
consciously followed and which it still follows at Westminster. 
The current pronunciation of words borrowed by us from the 
Latin will be seen to follow the rules here set forth. All 
English lips are at one in their pronunciation of such words 
and phrases as genus, nisi prius, amatory, amiable, nominal, 
convenient, and invidious. No one in literary English has 
ventured to tamper with the traditional sounds of Romulus 
and Remus. 

I. All letters have the force which is natural to them in 
English words derived from Latin. Thus C and G before 
E and I have the sound of S and J respectively, as ctvisy 


genus. A stressed or half-stressed vowel before another vowel 
or H is sounded long, as deus, Priamus^ Diomedes. A long 
A, I, and O have the sound of a diphthong, as in English. 

II. Of monosyllables in all enclitics and in those which end 
in a consonant the vowel or diphthong is sounded short, as 
que^ soli quin^ haec^ except huic^ which is a traditional exception. 
In all others the vowel is sounded long. 

III. Of dissyllables the penultimate vowel, if it be followed 
by a single consonant or by T and R or L, is sounded long, 
as amo, scelus^ Titus, onus, furor, lyra, patrem, triplex. 
Traditional exceptions are ibi, tibi, sibi, quibus, Paris, and 
ero, eram, etc., from sum, to which Greek influence has now 
added ego. In all others the penultimate vowel is sounded 
short, as cinctus, cunctus, nondum, sanctus. 

IV. In words of more than two syllables, if the penultimate 
be long, the quantities are observed before a single consonant, 
as monebam, amavi. If the penultimate be short the ante- 
penultimate is also sounded short, as monitum, veritus, but 
in earlier syllables the quantities are observed, as mirabilia. 
If, however, a penultimate vowel other than U be immediately 
followed by another vowel the ante -penultimate vowel is 
sounded long, as habeo, melior, moneo, imperium, but monui ; 
except where the two vowels are both I or its equivalent, 
as utilia, Nicias, Pythius, Libya, video, inhibeo. The same 
principles apply to earlier vowels : thus the first syllable of 
amaverunt is sounded short, and the first syllable of 
Dicaeopolis long. 

V. As an exception to these rules an initial short prefix 
keeps its quantity, as subit, redeo, ineo. 

N.B. — The fourth rule has of late years so far broken down 
that in words ending in a dactyl or cretic a long vowel, unless 



followed by two consonants, keeps, except in proper names, 
its true quantity. 

Thus the ante-penultimate is now sounded long in sidera^ 
nomina^ viaticum^ but short in Sisyphus^ Lydia^ Euripides^ 
Neapolis. This innovation is to be regretted, as it is contrary 
to the genius of the English tongue. 

Complex as these rules may seem, they present no difficulty 
to an English boy, whose lips have not been guided to an 
alien pronunciation. 



I. The following extract from the Acts of the Chapter 
seems to show that the revenues of the College sometimes 
suffered from the misuse of the Bevers : — 

"Dec. 3'"'^, 1601. It is . . . agreed that it shall not be 
lawful for any to sell or to alienate to any out of his own 
household the Abbey allowance called Bevers, upon pain of 
the loss of his Bever the first time for a fortnight, the second 
of a month, the third of a whole year ; and that no Bever or 
other victuals whatsoever shall at any time be carried out of 
the Dean's Court Gate, but by such as are known to belong 
unto those parties to whom Bever of right is due, upon pain of 
the loss of the same Bever, to be taken away from him by the 
porter and given to the poor, and such further punishment as 
to the Dean or Sub-Dean and Steward shall seem meet." 

The order relating to the change in Commons runs as 
follows : — 

"Jan. II, 1631. Forasmuch as the College at this present 
is destitute of means to keep Commons together according as 
they have done heretofore, and the most part of our Society 
being married men have families of their own and live here 
in residence, we have agreed that while the said Commons 
raised out of our means and stipends is so discontinued, the 
Scholars, Choristers, and Poor being provided according to 
the usual proportion of their allowances, and the servants 
allowed board wages on full third part of wheat, malt, and 
other provisions shall be deHvered to the Lord Bishop of 



Lincoln, our Dean, and the other two parts shall be divided 
among the twelve Prebendaries according to the term of their 
several residences and housekeeping in this place, and accord- 
ing to such orders as they shall make among themselves with 
the consent of the Dean." 

II. To the industry of Archbishop Laud we owe a con- 
suetudinarium of the School in the time of Wilson or 
Osbaldeston. The transcript in Laud's handwriting is pre- 
served in the Public Record Office. It may have been made 
while Laud was a Prebendary of Westminster between 1621 
and 1628, or, as is not unlikely, after he became Archbishop 
in 1633. He may have copied the original document as a 
possible instrument in his attack upon the Dean and the Head 
Master. It is more generous to suppose that his transcript is 
an evidence of that interest in learning which he undoubtedly 
felt. The document has been printed before, but there is a 
good reason for publishing it again. It goes far to refute an 
opinion which is held by some persons at the present time. 
The curricula, it is sometimes said, which are enjoined in the 
statutes of ancient schools, were merely counsels of perfection. 
Not only must it have been impossible to carry them out to 
the letter, but much of their spirit must have vanished as soon 
as they were put to a practical test. The instructions were 
too minute, the prescribed authors too numerous and too 
difficult to keep their place in School life. Laud's transcripts 
show, at any rate for Westminster, that this view is incorrect. 
The full spirit of the statutes is breathed in the recollection of 
this seventh form boy. He reads all the statutory authors, 
and he reads other classics besides. The abundant learning 
of such men as Bishop Hacket had its origin in the strict 
course of School life. To the same course we may fairly 
attribute some of the industry of the subsequent period. But 
for our knowledge of this severe training it were hard to credit 
the heroic achievement of one of Busby's pupils. William 
King, elected to Christ Church in 1681, is said to have taken 


but eight years to " read over and make remarks upon " more 
than twenty-two thousand books and manuscripts. 

"This course was in my time taken by the Schoolm' of 
Weston: spec: for those of the 6*^, and 7*^ formes wherein 
I spent my time there. 

"About a q'^ of an houre after 5 in the morning we were 
called up by one of the Monitors of the chamber (with a 
surgite) and aft'^ Lat. prayers we went into the cloyst" to wash, 
and thence in order two by two to the schools, where we were 
to be by 6 of the clock at the furthest. 

"Between 6 and 8 we repeated our grammar p*^ (out of 
Lilie for Lat., out of Cambden for the Greek), 14 or 15 being 
selected and called out to stand in a semi-circle before the M'^ 
and other scholars, and there repeated 4 or 5 leaves in either, 
the M^ appointing who should beginne and who should go on 
with such and such rules. After this we had two exercises 
that varied everie other morn^ : the first morning we made 
verses extempore lat. and g^, upon 2 or 3 severall theames, 
and they that made the best 2 or 3 of them had some monie 
given them by the schoolm^ for the most parte. 

"The 2^ morn^ one of the 7*^ forme was called out to 
expound some parte of a Latin or g'^ author, Cicero, Livie, 
Isoer, Hom^, Apolli: Zenoph: &c. they of the 2 next formes 
were called to give an account of it, some other parte of the 
day, or else they were all of them (or such as were picked 
out, of whom the M'^ made choice by the feare or confidence 
discovered in their lookes) to repeat and pronounce distinctlie 
without booke some piece of an author that had been learnt 
the day before. 

"From 8 to 9 we had time for beav'^ and recollection of 
ourselves and preparation for future exercises. 

"Betwixt 9 and 11 those exercises were reade which had 
been enjoyned us overnight (one day in prose, the next day in 
verse) ; which were selected by the M^; some to be examined 
and punished, others to be commended and proposed to 
imitation ; w<^^ being done we had the practise of Dictamina, 
one of the 5*^ forme being called out to translate some 


sentences of an unexpected author (extempore) into good 
Latin, and then one of the 6*^ or 7*^ forme to translate the 
same (extempore also) into good greeke ; then the M'^ himself 
expounded some parte of a Lat. or Gr. author (one day in 
prose, another in verse) wherein we were to be practised that 

"At dinner and supper times we reade some portion of the 
Lat. in a manuscript (to facilitate the reading of such hands). 
And the prebendaries then hav^ their table commonlie set in 
the Hall, some of them had oftentimes good remembrances 
sent unto them from hence and withall a theame to make or 
speak some extempore verses upon. 

"Betwixt one to 3, that lesson which, out of some author 
appointed for that day, had been by the M'* expounded unto 
them (out of Cicero, Virgil, Hom'^ Eurip ; Isoc ; Livie, 
Sallust, &c.) was to be exactlie gone through by construing 
and other grammatical waies, examining all the rhetoricall 
figures and translating it out of verse into prose, or out of 
prose into verse; out of g'^ into lat: or out of lat. into G^ 
Then they were enjoyned to commit that to memorie against 
y® next morn^. 

" Betwixt 3 and 4 they had a little respite, the M^ walking 
out and they (in beav'^ times) going in order to the Hall, and 
there fitting themselves for theyr next taske. 

" Betwixt 4 and 5 they repeated a leafe or two out of some 
booke of rhetoricall figures, or choice proverbs and sentences 
collected by the M'^ for that use. After that they were 
practised in translating some Dictamina out of Lat. or G'^ 
and sometimes turning Lat. and G^ verse into English verse. 
Then a theame was given to them whereon to make prose and 
verses Lat. and G'^ against the next morning. After supper (in 
summer time) they were called to the M'^'* Chamber (spec, 
those of the 7*^ forme) and there instructed out of Hunter's 
Cosmographie, and practised to describe, and find out cities 
and counties in the mappes. 

"Upon Sundayes, before morn^ prayers (in summer) they 
were commonlie in the schoole (such as were King's Scholars) 
and there construed some parte of the Gospell in G^ or re- 


peated part of the G^ catechisme; for the afternoone they 
made verses upon the preacher's sermon, or epist. and 
gospell. The best scholars in the 7*^ forme were appointed 
as Tutors to reade and expound places of Hom'^, Virg., Hor., 
Eurip., or other G^ and lat. authors ; at those times (in the 
forenoone or afternoone or aff beaver times) wherein the 
scholers were in the schoole, in expectation of the M'^. 

"The scholers were governed by several Monitores (2 for 
the Hall, as manie for the Church, the Schoole, the Fields, 
the Cloister; which last attended them to washing, and 
were called Monitores immundorii). The Captaine of the 
Schoole was over all these and therefore called Monitor 

"These Monitors kept them strictly to the speaking of 
Latine in theyr several commands ; and withall they presented 
their complaints or accusations (as we called them) everie 
friday morn : when the punishments were often redeemed by 
exercises or favours shewed to Boyes of extraord. merite, who 
had the honor (by the Monitor monitorum) manie times to 
begge and prevail for such remissions. And so (at other 
times) other faultes were often punished by scholastic taskes, 
as repeating whole orations out of Tullie, Isoc; Demosth : 
or speaches out of Virgil, Thucyd., Xenoph : Eurip : &c. 

" Upon Play dayes (within an houre after leave granted and 
the Oppidales dismissed) the scholars of the house were often 
called in againe for an houre or more till they had brieflie 
dispatched the taske of that day. 

"There was a writing in capital letters within the schoole 
towards the upper part of the wall which the M^ was wont to 
show to strangers as a testimonial how he was restrained for 
leave to play. 

"When Plumpe- Walkers came in (i.e., such as strived to 
hold M'^ in long discourses) the M^ would call out some of his 
scholers to show what verses they could make on a sodaine 
upon a theame to be given by them, if they were scholers. 

" Every Friday they had repetitions of what was learned the 
former parte of the weeke. 

" Upon Saturdayes they pronounced their Declamations in 


g' and lat., and the Preb. did often come in and give 
encouragement unto them. 

" All that were chosen away by Elect" took their leave in a 
pub. Orat. to the Deane, Preb : M^ Ush : Scholers made in 
the Schoole." 

III. The following poem exists in manuscript in the British 
Museum. It was written by Cowley, who was at the time 
a King's Scholar of fourteen or fifteen, and forms one of 
a collection in which the boys celebrated the birth of the 
Duke of York, afterwards King James II. It is an 
eminently characteristic example of the style encouraged by 
Osbaldeston : — 

" Behold the silent night with happy birth 
Of Charles his second sonne crownes the glad earth ; 
Darkness itself discovers such a light, 
As makes the night a day, the day more bright 
The stars peep'd forth and pale with envy grow, 
To see a star greater than them below. 
Ffor were their number with Charles ofspring even 
Earth would wax proud and think itselfe a heaven. 
Wee saw a light, and guesst it Cynthia's ray ; 
But 'twas a bonfire in the milky way. w 

Wee thought it rain'd, but Jove our gladness knew, 
And sent downe Nectar, or some better dew. 
We admir'd the storme ; 'twas that our joys might bee 
Common to all the windes themselves were free. 
Him safely kill (If any such you meete) 
Whose heart 's less fil'd with bonfire then the streete. 
Lett every oake sweat rich falernian wine. 
And grow incorporate with his wife the vine. 
Let Autumne know noe fruits but such as dare 
With the Hesperian apples to compare. 
With milke and oyle let every river flow, 
If nature, loath to loose her workes, would show 
Some water still, let it such vertue bring 
As poets please to give the Thespian spring. 
Since bounteous heaven meanes with the blest increase 
Of Charles his ishew to establish peace. 
And make Astraea stay, our joyes shall win 
Nature, and call the goulden age agin." 

This poem of Cowley's should be compared with the lines 



in which, in 1649, Dryden, a King's Scholar of seventeen, 
lamented the death of Lord Hastings. Bad as in some ways 
Dryden's poem is, the comparison will show both what he 
learned from Cowley and why he surpassed him. 

IV. The following letter of Charles I., written in 1638, was 
due to the instigation of Laud. It is addressed to the rulers 
of Christ Church : — 

" Trusty and well-beloved, &c. — We are informed that you 
have for some years suffered a very ill custom to continue in 
that our Collegiate Church ; for whereas there are divers Scholars 
chosen to be Students of that House, and divers others that 
live there as Commoners, but the greatest part of the Scholars 
are chosen from our School at Westminster ; there is a supper 
maintained yearly commonly called a Westminster Supper, at 
which all and only Westminster Scholars do meet. This 
supper we hold to be a very ill custom, and no way fit to be 
continued. For, first, it is a thing not allowable in govern- 
ment that any party of men should have a several meeting, 
which is a direct way to faction and combination, and it 
teacheth the rest of the students in such a society to bandy 
themselves together against the other, that they may not be 
thought to be neglected. Secondly, such a meeting must 
needs cause more expenses than many students are able to 
bear, especially in such chargeable times as these are. Thirdly, 
it gives an occasion of much drinking and riot, and conse- 
quently of all the bad effects which follow such excesses, 
besides no small disorder in leaving or keeping open the 
gates of the College for ingress and egress for resort to that 
disorderly meeting at later hours than are fit. And most 
usually, to add to all this disorder, this supper must be kept 
up on a Friday night, against both the canons of the Church 
and laws of the Realm, and to the great scandal of all sober 
men that hear it. 

" These are therefore to will and require you, the Dean and 
Chapter, to suppress that supper or meetings, by what name 
soever it be called, and to call the students together and 


to command them in our name that they presume not at any 
time hereafter to resort together to any such meeting either 
in the College or out of it, and to register these our Letters 
among the Orders and Decrees for the government of that 
Church, as you and every one of you will answer it at your 
utmost perils; and these our letters we will shall be binding 
not only upon yourselves but upon your successors, that this ill 
and dangerous custom may never rise up into practice again." 

V. From the accounts of Francis Lynn some inferences 
have been drawn in the text. From the following portion of 
them it will be seen that a King's Scholar of the seventeenth 
century had to furnish his bed. Candles every boy had to 
supply, but, as a Home Boarder brought them from domestic 
stores, Lynn ignores them in his earlier time. His abstract 
also is not strictly correct. He says nothing of the cost 
of the clothing while he was a Town boy, and he must either 
have been unusually rich in raiment when he became a King's 
Scholar or have omitted some charges. His livery — the waist- 
coat and the long gown falling to the feet — left little else 
for the tailor to supply. Shoes and stockings cost but 
I2S. I id. in two years. Lynn's silence must not be taken 
to mean that he wore neither shirt nor breeches. If his 
mother's maid plied her needle for him, the linen must have 
been bought. It can hardly be doubted that only those 
moneys are mentioned which passed through the boy's own 
hands. The Masters usually, though not invariably, received 
their fees directly from the boys. Even Busby's boarders 
would travel up to town, carrying " in a bag " the gold to pay 
the bill of "last half." Lynn, as a Londoner's son, got his 
money at more frequent intervals. It should be observed that 
a guinea at this time was reckoned at twenty-one shillings and 
sixpence. This may be observed both in the quarterage and 
in the Under Master's New Year's gift. In one month — 
September, 1689— Lynn seems to have charged himself a 
pound too much. 


"I was born the 2^^* day of November, 167 1, about one 
of the clock in the morning, in Westminster, and bred up 
by my father and two elder brothers, John and Charles, who 
were at Westminster School till between nine and ten years 
old, and then, without having been at any other school, I was 
put there under the care of Dr. Busby, or rather of Doctor 
Knipe, the second master, being admitted the very lowest boy 
in the school, which I passed quite through, and in the course 
was captain of every form. I lodged and dieted at home, so 
the charge of my schooling, during the eight years from 
admission till I got into the college, being at los. the quarter, 
was, for eight years 16I. ; to Dr. Busby, every Christmas, as a 
gift, one guinea, 81. 12s.; to Mr. Knipe, ditto, half-a-guinea, 
4I. 6s.; to the usher, ditto, 5s., 2I. In all, besides books, 
30I. 1 8s. 

"In May, 1689, I was elected into the foundation as a 
King's Scholar, having been put by two elections before for 
want of friends, but now standing captain or senior I was 
elected in accordingly." 

Here follows a particular account of expense whilst in 
Westminster College, "taken from my father's pocket-book": — 

"May, 1689. — 3. To entertain my school-fellows upon my 
being elected, a usual custom, 7s. — 6. For my theam making, 
5s. ; for an old gown for common use, los. — 9. For a trunk, 
14s.; nine ells of Holland for surplice, il. 14s. 9d. ; 16 ells 
of sheeting, i6s. ; a yard and half of ken ting, is. 6d. ; a 
remnant more, is. ; a King's Scholar's cap, 6s. — Total, 
3I. 13s. 3d. — For admonishing money, /.^., the forfeitures 
for speaking English, 6d. — 16. A Bible, Practice of Piety, 
and a comb, 4s. 7d. — 24. For a new gown, 2I. is. — Total, 
2I. 6s. id. 

"June, 1869. — 10. This day was admitted into the college 
by the Dean, and put on my gown. — 11. For double commons 
and servant's fees, as customary on this occasion, il. ; pocket- 
money and candles, los. 5d. ; new feather bed and bolster, 
il. 13s. j bedstead cord and mat, 6s.; a rug, 12s.; two new 


blankets, iis. ; a new table, 7s.; a canopy to the bed, 7s. 
—Total, 5I. 6s. 5d. 

" 20. Paid to the eight seniors for my freedom, as customary 
for the captain of the election, 81. 12s. 

"July, 1689. — 8. Paid Mr. Gilbert for a waistcoat, i8s. 6d.; 
pocket-money, is.; poll-tax, is. — 11 and 22. Pocket-money, 
IS. 6d. — Total, il. 2S. 

"August, 1689. — 9. Pocket-money, is. — 12. Pocket-money, 
IS. — 29. Pocket-money, is. 6d. — Total, 3s. 6d. 

"September, 1689. — 9. Candles, 5d. — 12. Pocket-money, 
IS. — 16. For Dr. Busby, il. is. 6d. — 25. Pocket-money, 7d. 
— 30. Barber and bed-maker, 4s. — Total, 2I. 7s. 6d. [sic]. 

"October, 1689. — 4. For Dr. Williams's Catechism, is. — 
9. For pocket-money, 6d. — 10. Candles, 5d. ; pair of under- 
stockings, is. 3d. — 15. Pocket-money, 6d. — 25. Pocket- 
money, 6d. — 29. Wax-candles, 7d. ; cotton -candles, 5d. — 
30. Pocket-money, 9d. — Total, 5s. iid. 

"November, 1689. — 7. A waistcoat altered, 3s. 6d. — 
10-17. Pocket-money, 2s. 6d. — 30. Curtains to my bed, 12s. 
—Total, 1 8s. 

"December, 1689. — 3. Candles and pocket-money, iid. — 
13. Pocket-money, 6d. — 23. Barber, bed-maker, and self, ss. 
— 25. Box-money to servants, 2s. — Total, 8s. 5d. 

"January, 1690. — 6. To Dr. Busby for two quarters, 2I. 3s. 
— 7. Pocket-money, is. 6d. ; to Mr. Knipe, New Year's gift, 
los. 9d. — 19. Pocket-money, 6d. — Total, 2I. 15s. 9d. 

"February, 1690. — 2. Pocket-money, 6d. — 8. A pair of 
shoes, 3s. 6d. ; candles and faggots, is. 5d. — 19. Pocket- 
money, 6d. — Total, 5s. I id. 

"March, 1690. — 4. For tarts to treat as free-boy on Shrove 
Tuesday, los. — 11. For making a coat, 8s. — 27. Barber and 
bed-maker, 4s. — Total, il. 2s. 

"April, 1690. — For the election board and putting up my 
name in gold letters on the tables, los. — 19. Stockings and 
shoes, 7s. — 21. Candles and pocket-money, is. iid. — Total, 
1 8s. I id. 

" May, 1690. — 30. A pair of shoes soled, is. 2d. ; pocket- 
money, 6d. — Total, IS. 8d. 


"June, 1690. — 28. Barber and bed-maker, 4s.; pocket- 
money, IS. — Total, 5s. 

"July, 1690 — 3. Poll-tax, IS. — 14: 31. Pocket-money, 
IS. 6d. — Total, 28. 6d. 

"August, 1690. — 6 — 25. Pocket-money, 2s. 6d. 

"September, 1690. — 2. Candles, lod. — 23. For the Doctor's 
new grammar, 4s. — Total, 4s. lod. 

" October and November nothing appears. 

"December, 1690. — To Dr. Busby for a year's schooling, 
4I. 6s. 

"January, 1691. — 2. To Dr. Knipe for a New Year's gift, 
I OS. 9d. ; pocket-money since September at several times, 
I2S. ; barber and bed-maker, 8s. — Total, il. los. 9d. 

"February, 1691. — Nothing appears but five months' 
candles, 2s. id. 

"March, 1691. — 25. Barber and bed-maker, 4s.; pocket- 
money, 5s. — Total, 9s. 

"April, 1691. — 20. To Dr. Busby, quarterage, il. is. 6d. ; 
pocket-money, 3s. 6d. — Total, il. 5s. — Grand total, 39I. 17s. 

"May, 1 69 1. — 12. I was elected away, captain of the 
school, to Trinity College in Cambridge, together with the Hon. 
Dixey Windsor, Esq., William Shippen, Hugh James, and John 
Lambe. At the same time to Oxford were elected W. Adams, 
Henry Brydges, Adam Langley, and Nicholas Burton. 

" Abstract of the foregoing accounts : — Charge at West- 
minster School from my first going thither till I got to be a 
King's Scholar, 30I. i8s. ; charge while I was a King's Scholar 
till I was elected to the University, 39I. 17s." 

It * * * * * 

VI. The following are extracts from three letters written 
in 1690 and the two following years by Mary, Countess of 
Caithness, to Patrick Smythe, Laird of Methven. 

I. Letter dated October loth, 1690: — 
" . . . .1 have set my child to Westminster Seoul ; this day 
month past he entered and thanks be to god doth bear verie 


wel w^ the change of dyot w<=^ his being in publick Seoul doth 
giv him ; he is set in the 3'''^ form w°^ I supos is that cal^ the 
3"* part in Scotland for when he is don w*^ the 3"* form they 
enter Greek . . . ." 

2. Letter dated Feb. 3rd, 1691 : — 

" . . . . Colin is a busie man at all his leasons is every day 
at Seoul all this winter befor 7 o'clock and his wax candle 
with him and doth not com out until past ij and they returne 
at i and stays until neir six ; this was far from his dyot at hom ; 
and in the great cold Seoul he sits the whole day over w*^ out 
a hatt or cap ; and all the windous broak and yet thanks be to 
god he taks very wel w*^ it tho he never seeth a fir but in my 
hous ; at the beginning his felow scolers wer hard on him upon 
the account of his Nation but he dooth now hold up pretie 
wel ether at scolding or boxing with them ; however I fear I 
los a Scotsman for he begins to get ther words and actsent; 
and says he wold fain hav his portion brought up to England ; 
I askt at him what he wold do with it and he said keep it. I 
told him he must lay it out to bear interest ; no said he ; for 
non but fools or begers wold borrow so much and I wil hav 
ill getting of it again from such ; if I must lay it out said he I 
wil purchas Land with it ; hear is a long story of nothing to 
you but he being my only companion maks me hav littel other 
subject to writ of to y^, y' eldest son at Seoul w*^ Colin ; they 
ar bravely taught booth to be scolers and orators in Doctor 
busys Seoul at Westminster wher my son is; I was frighted 
w*^ the report of the severity of the Maisters but my child now 
5 months hath been at itt and hath never got a froun from any 
of the Maisters; on the contrarie he is but too much made 
off; the Maisters are wis discreet men and children of 6 years 
old ar in the first form ; Colin was entered to the 3*^ ; and in 
sumer is to goe to the forth wher they learn Greek. ..." 

3. Letter dated August 29th, 1692 : — 

" .... I am sorie that al this whil I have not seen y° that 
y° and I might had talkt together conserning my sons present 
sircumstance y"^ advice wold hav mo weight with me than many 
others; Som says the Scool he is at is mo proper for to 


breed up youths for Church men than any other station; I 
supos my sons inclinations wil not be for that post ; but I am 
resolved to folow my Lord Tarbat and Doctor Monros preceps 
to satel Colin he being now pretie wel advanced in his 
Latin . . . ." 

The writer of these letters was a daughter of Archibald 
Campbell, first Marquis of Argyll. She married George 
Sinclair, sixth Earl of Caithness, after whose death in 1672 
she married secondly, as his second wife, Sir John Campbell 
of Glenorchy, who had a large claim on the Caithness estates, 
and was himself created Earl of Caithness in 1677. The 
title was, however, successfully claimed by a Sinclair and 
relinquished by Sir John, who was then created Earl of 
Bredalbane. His wife continued to sign herself " M. 
Caithnes." Her Westminster boy was her only child by 
Bredalbane, the Honourable Colin Campbell of Ardmaddie. 
In spite of his hardy training Colin died a young man. 

Vn. Atterbury's memorial to King George I., dated 
December 8th, 1718: — 

"The bishop of Rochester, dean of Westminster, and the 
chapter of that church, humbly represent to your majesty 
that Queen Elizabeth of glorious memory founded the College 
of Westminster, which has in all times since been highly 
favoured by your majesty's royal ancestors, and has bred up 
great numbers of men useful both in Church and State, 
among whom are several who have the honour at present to 
serve your majesty in high stations : That the dormitory of 
the said college is in so ruinous a condition that it must of 
necessity be forthwith rebuilt ; the expence of which building 
(besides other charges that may thereby be occasioned) will, 
according to the plan now humbly presented to your majesty, 
amount to upwards of five thousand pounds. As a founda- 
tion for the raising of this summe, a legacy has been left by 
one who was a member of this college; and there is good 
reason to believe, that divers persons of quality, who owe 
their education to this place, may be disposed to favour this 


design, if they shall be incited by your majesty's royal 
example. The said bishop and chapter therefore humbly 
hope that your majesty will, as an encouragement to learning, 
be pleased to bestow your royal bounty on this occasion in 
such measure as to your majesty's high wisdom shall seem 

VIII. In the Gentleman's Magazine of 1739 there is a 
description of the School in verse. The author seems to have 
been a pupil of Freind, who retired in 1733. His account 
is so worded that it might be wrongly inferred that the 
"shell" came above the sixth.. Freind seems to have 
abolished the seventh, and in its stead inserted the "shell" 
between the sixth and the fifth. The seventh has been 
revived by the present Head Master, but, as the lowest three 
forms have disappeared, the " shell " is still found between the 
sixth and fifth. The following lines describe the forms as 
they were in the time of George I. : — 

** Ranged into seven, distinct the classes lie, 
Which with the Pleiades in lustre vie. 
Next to the door the first and last appears, 
Designed for seeds of youth and tender years. 
The second next your willing notice claims. 
Her numbers more extensive, more her aims. 
Thence a step nearer to Parnassus' height, 
Look cross the school, the third employs your sight : 
There Martial sings, there Justin's works appear, 
And banished Ovid finds protection there. 
From Ovid's tales transferr'd the fourth pursues 
Books more sublimely penn'd, more noble views : 
Here Virgil shines, here youth is taught to speak 
In different accents of the hoarser Greek. 
Fifth, these better skill'd and deeper read in Greek 
From various books can various beauties seek. 
The sixth, in every learned classic skill'd, 
With nobler thoughts and brighter notions fiU'd, 
From day to day with learned youth supplies 
And honours both the Universities. 
Near these the ShelPs high concave walls appear, 
Where Freind in state sits pleasingly severe. 
Him as our ruler and our king we own ; 
His rod his sceptre, and his chair his throne." 



IX. The following is the order of the Chapter relating 
to Markham's improvements in the precincts : — 

"May 28*^ 1756. This day the Re\^ Dn Markham at- 
tended in order to come to an agreement with the Dean and 
Chapter about the intended New Square and other Buildings 
in and near Dean's Yard, pursuant to an Act of Parliament 
in that behalf passed, and made the following proposals, 
namely : — 

" I St. That he the said Dr. Markham and Thomas Salter 
Esquire or their representatives should purchase in the out- 
standing Leases granted by the said Dean and Chapter and 
upon surrendering the same take a forty years lease or leases 
paying the usual and accustomed fines after the rate of 8 per 
cent according to the extended rents as they now stand or did 
stand at Lady Day 1756 at and under the present reserved 
rents and proper covenants. 

"2nd. That upon the surrendering the 40 years Lease or 
Leases to have a Lease or Leases of all the ground belonging 
to the Dean and Chapter comprised within the Chain or 
Boundary now produced (except and always reserved the 
House Mr. Gell lives in and the Dean's Laundry Garden and 
Drying Yard adjoining) for the term of 99 years to be com- 
puted from Midsummer 1755 upon the payment of an 
advanced rent equal to three years purchase at four per 

"3rd. That the Dean's Stables &c. the Minor Canon's 
Houses, the Singing Men's rents, the Almsmen's Houses and 
those they live in are not to be comprised herein but are to be 
considered as separate Estates. 

" To which proposals the Dean and Chapter agreed and out 
of regard to the School to the great expense of the Under- 
taking and to encourage the improvement they make them a 
present of the materials of the Old Dormitory and Brewhouse 
and of the Ground on which they stand without Fine or Rent. 

"And for these reasons do not only agree to waive their 
right to any advanced reserved rent till Michaelmas 1760 

" But also agree upon the renewal of their forty years Leases 


to calculate their Fines upon the column of lo per cent for 
all those in which thirty years were elapsed at Lady Day 1756 
and upon the Column of 9 per cent for all those in which 
25 years were then elapsed." 

Dr. Wilson's dissent from this scheme is expressed in a 
marginal note in his own handwriting: — "I dissent to this. 
Tho. Wilson." 

X. The following is the inscription on the Warren Hastings 
Cup: — 

" Alumnis Regiis Scholae Westmon : ipsi plerique Alumni, d. d. d. 

Warren Hastings Joh. Williams 

Elijah Impey Alex. Macleod 

Geo. Templer R. S. Perreau 

Edw. Hay Edw. Bengough 

Joh. Wombwell G. C. Meyer 

Gul. Markham Car. Cooper 

John White George Arbuthnot 

CI. Benezet F. Pierard 

Pet. Touchet Car. Mouat 

Rob. Holt Gul. Francklin 

Joh. Sea wen Gual. Hawkes." 

Of the donors Wombwell, Bengough, Cooper, Scawen, and 
Mouat were perhaps not Westminsters. Francklin, who was 
a distinguished Orientalist, survived until 1839. 

XI. The Prologues and Epilogues published as Lusus Alteri 
Westmonasterienses do not contain any verses written for 
the Town Boy Plays. The three following may serve as 
specimens. The two former are the work of Prior, who, it 
will be observed, did not disdain a little repetition : — 

" Prologue spoken by Lord Buckhurst 

in Westminster School 

at a representation of Mr. Dryden's Cleomenes 

at Christmas, 1695. 

*• Pish, lord, I wish this prologue was but Greek, 
The young Cleonidas would boldly speak : 
But can Lord Buckhurst in poor English say, 
' Gentle spectators, pray excuse the play ' ? 


No, witness all ye Gods of ancient Greece, 

Rather than condescend to terms like these, 

I 'd go to school six hours on Christmas day 

Or construe Persius while my comrades play. 

Such work by hireling actors should be done, 

Who tremble when they see a critic frown, 

Poor rogues that smart like fencers for their bread. 

And, if they are not wounded, are not fed. 

But, sirs, our labour has more noble ends. 

We act our tragedy to see our friends : 

Our generous scenes are for pure love repeated, 

And, if you are not pleas'd, at least you 're treated. 

The candles and the clothes ourselves we bought, 

Our tops neglected, and our balls forgot. 

To learn our parts we left our midnight bed ; 

Most of you snor'd whilst Cleomenes read ; 

Not that from this confession we would sue 

Praise undeserv'd ; we know ourselves and you : 

Resolv'd to stand or perish by our cause, 

We neither censure fear, nor beg applause, 

For these are Westminster and Sparta's laws. 

Yet, if we see some judgement well inclin'd 

To young desert and growing virtue kind, 

That critic by ten thousand marks should know 

That greatest souls to goodness only bow, 

And that your little hero does inherit 

Not Cleomenes' more than Dorset's spirit." 

" Prologue to the Orphan. 
" Represented by some of the Westminster Scholars at Hick- 
ford's Dancing-room, February 2, 1720. Spoken by 
Lord Dupplin, who acted Cordelio the Page. 

" What ! Would my humble comrades have me say, 
* Gentle Spectators, pray excuse the play ' ? 
Such work by hireling actors should be done. 
Whom you may clap or hiss for half a crown. 
Our generous scenes for friendship we repeat, 
And, if we don't delight, at least we treat. 
Ours is the damage, if we chance to blunder, 
We may be ask'd whose patent we act under. 
How shall we gain you a la mode de France ? 
We hir'd this room, but none of us can dance. 
In cutting capers we shall never please ; 


Our learning does not lie below our knees. 
Shall we procure you symphony and sound ? 
Then you must each subscribe two hundred pound. 
There we should fail too as to point of voice : 
Mistake us not, we 're no Italian boys. 
True Britons born from Westminster we come 
And only speak the style of Ancient Rome. 
We would deserve, not poorly beg applause, 
And stand or fall by Freind's or Busby's laws. 
For the distress'd your pity we implore ; 
If once refus'd, we '11 trouble you no more, 
But leave our Orphan squalling at your door." 

" Prologue to King John, 

performed by the Boys of Westminster School 

Spoken by Mr. Bourke, 1790. 

'* Have you ne'er seen (a quaint device 't is reckon'd 
In Dodsley's Poems, vol. i. , page the second, 
A troop of boys in sportive guise, who bear 
The arms of Mars and attributes of war, 
Assay the sword to draw, the spear to wield, 
And raise with force combin'd the massy shield, 
Whilst one o'erwhelm'd, yet dreadful to the rest. 
Nods the dire plumes that threaten o'er his crest ? 
Not quite so young, yet, as we hope, more fit, 
Lo ! we attempt before this crowded pit, 
In feudal arms and royal robes, to stalk 
With tragic dignity of mien and walk. 
And deck'd with terrors from theatric shelves. 
Start at the phantoms we have raised ourselves. 
Yet let not harsh severity deride 
These early efforts of ingenious pride ; 
Think but how oft with more inglorious art 
Men mimick us and act a boyish part. 
Whoe'er in trifles or in trash delights. 
In truant sport consumes his days and nights. 
Is still a boy, however he may brag. 
And well deserves to ride on Busby's nag. 
Heavens, how they multiply by this new rule ! 
England itself is one great public school 
With many wicked boys — O dire disaster ! — 
Spite of the good example of its Master. 
Pardon our flippant wit ; the scene, the stage 
Inspire perhaps this pert satiric rage. 



We lash not you, whom rather we must court 
To stoop your manly judgments to our sport, 
Nor wish you punishment as things now stand. 
Except a little clapping on the hand." 

The historic interest of the last prologue lies in the evident 
sneer at one in high place. It was probably written by a wit 
of Brookes's, and would not have met with Vincent's approval. 
As the play was acted in the holidays and in a hired room the 
Whig spirit was not to be curbed. 


Accusations, 42, 281. 
Adams, John, 4. 

William, 287. 

Addison, Joseph, 156. 

Agar, Charles, 195. 

Albemarle, George Thomas Keppel, 

Earl of, 215, 216, 218, 219, 225. 
Aldrich, Henry, 125, 137, 143. 
Allen, John Hensleigh, 200. 
Altham, Roger, 116. 
Amherst, William Pitt, Earl, 206. 
Andrewes, Gerard, 200. 

Lancelot, 19, 54, 59, 62, 

115, 129. 
Anglesey, Henry William Paget, 

Marquis of, 206. 
Anstice, Joseph, 235. 
Arabic, 115, 116. 
Arlington, Henry Bennet, Earl of, 

71, 74. 
Armitstead, William George, 248. 
Ascham, Giles, 23, 29. 

Roger, SI. 

Ashburnham House, 148, 256 seq. 
Aston, Walter Hutchinson Aston, 

Lord, 200. 
Atterbury, Francis, 2g,6i,i2l, 123, 

143-147, 156, 165, 289. 
Atterbury, Osborn, 123. 
Aubrey, John, 100, 118, 129. 
Aylesbury, Sir Thomas, 74. 
Aylesford, Heneage Finch, Earl of, 


Bacon, Edmund, 23. 
Bagot, Lewis, 170. 
Bagshaw, Edward, 85-89, 99. 

Baldwin, John Loraine, 237. 
Baltzar, Thomas, 128. 
Barker, Henry Raine, 248. 
Barnard, Sir Henry, 249. 

Thomas, 183. 

Barrington,William Keppel Barring- 
ton, Viscount, 180. 

Barrow, Isaac, 122. 

Barry, David, 15, 74. 

Bath, William Pulteney, Earl of, 

141, 166, 173, 175, 181, 182, 220. 
Bathurst, Edward, 130. 
Bedford, Francis Russell, 5th Duke 

of, 206. 
Bedford, Francis Russell, 7th Duke 

of, 218, 221. 
Bedford, Hilkiah, 109. 

John Russell, 4th Duke of, 


Benefactors, 60, 78, 99, 164, 186, 

206, 213, 214, 224, 230. 
Bensley, James, 177. 
Benson, William, 4. 
Benthall, William Henry, 248. 
Benthall's, 228. 
Bentham, Jeremy, 174, 185, 195, 

220, 228. 
Bentinck, Lord William, 212. 
Bentley, Richard, 31, 126, 138. 
Beresford's, Mrs., 109, 158, 159. 
Best's, 228. 

Bevers, 38, 44, 277, 279 seq. 
Bill, William, 10, 19, 24, 40. 
Bisby, Nathaniel, 90, 91. 
Bishop's Boys, 78, 246. 
Boarding-houses, 14 seq., 99 seq., 

109, 158 seq., 191, 203, 213, 219, 




Booth, Barton, 50. 
Boswell, James, 204. 
Bouquett, Philip, 95. 
Bourke, John William, 294. 
Bourne, Vincent, 136, 151, 158, 173, 

175, 179, 252. 
Bradford, Samuel, 147. 
Brecknock, Timothy, 170. 
Bristol, Frederick Augustus Hervey, 

Earl of, 183. 
Bristol, John Hervey, Earl of, 108. 
Bromley, William, 136. 
Broughton, John Cam Hobhouse, 

Lord, 212, 223, 244. 
Broxholme, Noel, 186. 
Brydges, Henry, 287. 
Buckland, William, 241-248. 
Bull, John, 223. 
Burdett, Sir Francis, 200. 
Burgess', 228. 
Burke, William, 178, 190. 
Burleigh, Mildred Cecil, I^dy, 23, 

Burleigh, William Cecil, Lord, 11, 

23, 29, 58, 60. 
Burlington, Richard Boyle, Earl of, 

147, 188. 
Burton, Nicholas, 287. 
Busby, Richard, 13, 52, 72, 79-134, 

167, 184, 220, 259, 285-288, 294. 

Caithness, Mary Campbell, Countess 

of, 106, no, 287-289. 
Camden, William, 11, 14, 17, 52- 

54, 57, 59, 60. 
Campbell, Colin, 106, 1 10, 287-289. 

John Bassett, 218. 

Lord Frederick, 171. 

Candidates {see Challenge, Election). 

Carey, William, 211, 212, 214-224, 

Carrow, Edmund, 58 se^. 

Carteret (see Granville). 

Cartwright, William, 69, 72, 74, 77, 

Challenge, 24, 26, 162-164, 259, 

Charterhouse, 261. 
Chauncey, Charles, 61. 

Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stan- 
hope, Earl of, 158, 166, 170, 

171, 174, 182, 187. 
Chiswick, 34, 84, 86. 
Choristers, 15, 18, 22, 49, 72, 245, 

Christ Church, Oxford, 12, 21 seg., 

30 seg., 57-59, 77 set/., 81 seg., 

85, 90-93, 99, 104, III, 126-129, 

137 seg., 164, 178 seg'., 181, 201, 

203, 206, 220, 223 224, 251, 259, 

Churchill, Charles, 169, 170, 177. 
Clapham's, 228. 
Clayton, Robert, 123, 136. 
Cockerell, Charles Robert, 250. 
Colchester, Charles Abbot, Lord, 

206, 240. 
Colman, George, the elder, 174 j<?^., 

175, 177, 180, 203. 
Colman, George, the younger, 197, 

199, 203, 205, 208, 239 seg. 
Colquhoun, Sir Patrick MacChom- 

baich, 238. 
Combermere, Stapleton Cotton, 

Viscount, 206, 220. 
Commons, 6, 14, 17, 19, 53, 62, 

99, 277. 
Conybeare, John, 178 seg. 
Cork, Hamilton Boyle, Earl of, 178. 
Coronations, 92, 95 seg., 97, 239. 
Cotton, George Edward Lynch, 236. 

Sir John Hynde, 141. 

Cowley, Abraham, 30, 69, 70, 74, 

124, 126, 282 seg. 
Cowper, William, 120, 133, 166, 

167, 169, 171, 173, 175, 116 seg., 

182, 184, 185, 187. 
Cox, Richard, 5, 7. 
Coxe, Henry Octavius, 235. 
Cracherode, Clayton Mordaunt, 175. 
Crespion, Stephen, 96. 
Crichton, Robert, 63. 
Cricket, 1S6 seg., 205, 227, 237 seg., 

Crimea Monument, 249. 
Cumberland, Denison, 158. 

Richard, 159, 166, 168, 

177, 179, 182, 197, 220. 



Cup, the Hastings, 202, 292. 
Curll, Edmund, 97, 155 seq. 
Curtain, the, 57, 98, 182. 
Curteis, Herbert Mascall, 238. 
Custos, 38. 

Dartmouth, George Legge, Lord, 

Dartmouth, William Legge, 1st Earl 

of, 96. 
Dartmouth, William Legge, 2nd Earl 

of, 170. 
Dasent, Sir George Webbe, 238, 249. 
Debary, Peter, 213. 
Declamations, 22, 42, 262, 281, 282. 
De Ros, William Fitzgerald de Ros, 

Lord, 226. 
Devonshire, William Cavendish, 

Duke of, 1 54. 
Dickens, Samuel, 181. 
Dodd, James, 159, 218, 228. 
Dolben, John, 92, 94, 98, loi. 

Sir William, 178. 

Doorway, School, 188. 
Dorchester, Dudley Carleton, Vis- 
count, 74. 
Dormitory, first, 16, 19, 20, i^iseq.^ 

144, 1^1 seq., 191, 291. 
Dormitory, second, 144-149, 152 J(?^., 

231, 245, 246, 261. 
Dorset, Charles Sackville, Duke of, 

Dorset, Charles Sackville, E^rl of, 

105, no. 
Dorset, Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 

Duke of, 152, 292. 

Dover, George James Welbore Agar- 
Ellis, Lord, 223. 

Dowdeswell, William, 178, 213. 
Driffield's, Mrs., 228. 
Dryden, John, 35, 69, 90, 94, 97, 
98, no, 117, 119 seq,, 151, 283. 
Dundas, Sir David, 223, 244. 
Duppa, Brian, 61, 64, 115. 
Dyer, John, 157. 

Earles, John, 89, 126. 
Ebury, Robert Grosvenor, Lord, 

Eglionby, George, 56. 

Election, 21-24, 26, 30, 57 seq., 81 

seq., Ill, 138, 153, 161, 287. 
Electors, 21, 22, 28. 
Elizabeth, Queen, i, 9-1 1, 14, 17, 

21, 25, 29, 33, 48, 59, 61. 
Elmsley, Peter, 206. 
Epigrams, 22, 26, 73, 140, 147, 183, 

253, 262, 280. 
Epilogue, The, 144, 150 seq., 192- 

194, 240, 249, 256. 
Esher, William Baliol Brett, Vis- 

count, 220, 238. 
Eton College, i, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 

36, 39 seq., 52, 61, 75. 156, 161, 

197, 200, 205, 227, 248, 263. 
Evelyn, John, 105, 118. 

Fagging, 27, 152, 215. 

Farren's, Mrs., 228. 

Feckenham, John of, 8 seq. 

Fees, 100 seq., no, 159, 231, 245, 

Fell, John, 93, 94. 

Samuel, 61, 82. 

Fields {see Tuttle Fields). 

Finch, Sir John Finch, Lord, 74. 

Fisher, Samuel, 28. 

Fitzgerald, ''Fighting," 170. 

Sir Robert Uniacke Pen- 
rose, 248. 

Fitzgerald, Thomas, 158. 

Flagellant, The, 208. 

Football, 133, 260 seq, 

Fraigneau, William, 181. 

Francklin, William, 202, 292. 

Franklin, Thomas, 181, 184. 

Freind, John, 139, 140, 154, 187. 

Robert, 96, 138-164, 220, 

290, 294. 

Fremantle, William Robert, 238. 

French, 203. 

Frewin, Richard, 206. 

Froude, James Anthony, 236. 

Fynes-Clinton, Henry, 256. 

Gager, William, 49. 
Gaisford, Thomas, 242, 243. 



Games, 64, 129-134, 186 seq.^ 205, 
215, 216, 218, 225-227, 238 seq., 
249, 260 seq. 

Garden, College, 145, 258. 

Geography, 70 j<?^., 280. 

George I., 144, 289. 

II., 140, 145. 

III., 197, 295. 

IV., 239. 

Gibbon, Edward, 159, 185. 
Gibbons, Christopher, 128. 
Glover's, 228. 

Glynne, John, 82. 

Goodenough, Edmund, 226, 229. 

Goodman, Gabriel, 10 seq.^ 20, 24, 

30, 34, 40, 58, 60. 
Goodman, Godfrey, 15. 
Graham, Sir James Robert George, 

Grammar, 4, 30, 40, 52, 58, 116 

seq. {see School-books). 
Grant, Edward, 8, 51. 
Grant's, 35, 191, 228, 257. 
Grantham, Thomas Robinson, Lord, 

Granville, John Carteret, Earl, 107, 

141, 180 seq. 
Greek, 8, 39-41, 52, 55, 115, 119, 

180 seq., 279-281, 288, 290. 
Green, 133, 190, 256 {see Games). 
Gregory, Francis, 102. 
Grey, Zachary, 99. 
Gunpowder Plot, 63 seq. 
Gymnasium, The, 252, 259, 

Hacket, John, 45, 55, 61, 66-68, 

115, 129, 278. 
Hakluyt, Richard, 70. 
Halifax, Charles Montagu, Earl of, 

35. 98, 105. 
Hall, College, 16 seq., 20, 41, 246, 

256, 280. 
Hannes, Sir Edward, 142 seq. 
Harcourt, Edward, 206, 220. 
Hardinge, Thomas, 19. 
Harrison, William, 4. 
Harvey, Sir Eliab, 206. 
Hastings, Warren, 166, 170, 178, 

184, 185, 201 seq.^ 220, 225, 292. 

Hawes, Edward, 63. 

Hawkins, Sir John, 199. 

Hayes, Samuel, 199, 211. 

Hebrew, 42, 55, 115 seq., 179 seq. 

Helps, 46, 123, 162. 

Henry, Philip, 42, 83, 91, no, 114. 

Henry VIII., 2, 5. 

Herbert, George, 61, 74. 

Hervey, John Hervey, Lord, 141, 

Heylyn, Peter, 29, 66, 73. 

Hickman, Francis, 91. 
Pliggs, John, 220. 
Hill, Aaron, 136. 

Joseph, 177. 

Richard, 99. 

Hinchliffe, John, 32, 196. 

Hingston, John, 127. 

Hodges, Nathaniel, 124. 

Hodmen, 93. 

Holidays, 47, 160 {see Plays). 

Hook, James, 211. 

Hooke, Robert, 121 seq., 127. 

Hooper, George, 91, 116. 

Horsley, Samuel, 214. 

Hotham, Sir Henry, 206. 

Huguenots, 95. 

Huntingdon, Francis Hastings, Earl 

of, 171. 
Hutton's, 159. 

Ignoramus, 151, 2.^0 seq. 

Impey, Sir Elijah, 185, 202, 203, 

Ingram, Charles Penfold, 248. 

Henry Manning, 260. 

Ireland, John, 229 seq. 

Richard, 60-62. 

Jacks, Black, 44. 

Jackson, Cyril, 129, 195, 214. 

James I., 29, 59, 62, 71. 

- n., 95, 97, 282. 

Hugh, 287. 

William, 87. 

Jeffreys, Christopher, 128. 

George Jeffreys, Lord, 98, 



Jeffreys, John Jeffreys, Lord, 97. 
Jervis, Sir John, 244. 
Johnson, James, 1 74. 
Jones, Inigo, 188, 256. 

William, of Nayland, 209. 

Jones's, 228. 

Jonson, Ben, 50, 53, 69, 263. 
Juxon, William, 66. 

Keppel, Augustus Keppel, Viscount, 

Kerry, Countess of, 139. 
King, John, Bishop of Chichester, 

61, 64, 68. 
King, John, Bishop of London, 53. 
William, 161, 278. 

Kingston, Elizabeth, styled Duchess 
of, 197. 

Kinnoul, Thomas Hay, Earl of, 

152, 293. 
Knight, Sir Richard, 122. 
Knipe, Thomas, 109, 135-138, 142, 

220, 285-287. 
Knox, John William, 218. 
Kynaston, Herbert, 235. 

Lamb, Sir James Bland, 180. 

John, 287. 

Lane, Charlton George, 248. 

Richard, 61, 74. 

Langley, Adam, 287. 

Lansdowne, Henry Petty -Fitz- 

maurice. Marquis of, 159, 212 

seq., 244. 
Lansdowne, William Petty, Marquis 

of, 157, 178. 
Latin, 37-43, 49, 115, 118, 124, 

180, 211 seq.^ 273, 279-282, 290. 
Laud, William, 17, 61, 66, 'JTi 79, 

278, 283. 
Leeds, Francis Osborne, Duke of, 

Lennox, Lord William Pitt, 219. 
Lewis, Edmund, 56. 
Liberty Boy, 26, 64, 260, 286. 
Library, Busby, 102. 

Scott, 257. 

Liddell, Henry George, 46, 235, 

243-247, 264. 

Litlington, Abbot, 16. 

Lloyd, Pierson, 73, 171, 17S, 189. 

Robert, 170, 177, 191 seq. 

Locke, John, 90, 104, 1245^^., 128, 

Lombard, Peter, 54. 
Longlands, David, 218. 
Longley, Charles Thomas, 215, 223, 

Lower, Richard, 124. 
Lowther, James, 224. 
Lucan, George Charles Bingham, 

Earl of, 223, 249. 
Ludford's, 159, 177. 
Lynd, Sir Humphrey, 74. 
Lynn, Francis, 29, 64, 100, ill, 


Macdonald, Sir Alexander, 195. 
Mackworth, Digby, 217. 
Madan, Spencer, 183. 
Maid well, Lewis, 106, 264. 
Maittaire, Michael, 95, 154, 179, 

Manchester, Edward Montagu, Earl 

of, 82, 107. 
Mansfield, Frederica Murray, Coun- 
tess of, 233. 
Mansfield, William David, Earl of, 

Mansfield, William Murray, Earl of, 

156-158, 168, 220. 
Markham, Sir Clements Robert, 

70, 208. 
Markham, William, Archbishop, 34, 

189-196, 202, 220, 291 seq. 
Markham, William, 201 seq.^ 292. 
Mary L, 7. 

Mathematics, 121 seq.^ 212 seq. 
Maunday Money, 25 seq. 
Maynard, John, 82, 87. 
Meals, 38, 41 seq., 42, 44, 72, 160, 

231, 279 seq. 
Meeting, Westminster, 153. 
Mendip, Welbore Ellis, Lord, 148. 
Merry, Thomas, 56. 
Millington, Sir Thomas, 124. 
Milman, Henry Hart, 256. 



Monitors, 37, 42, 46, 87, 279-281. 

Monos, 149, 262. 

Montagu of Boughton, Edward Mon- 
tagu, Lord, 104. 

Montagu, Ralph Montagu, Duke of, 

Montaigne, George, 19, 63 seq. 

Morell's, Mrs. , 228. 

Morgan, Robert, 53. 

Morice, William, 148. 

Morley, George, 63, 89, 220. 

Motto, School, 95. 

Mowbray, Sir John Robert, 220. 

Mure, James, 251. 

William, 223. 

Mytton, John, 224. 

Neile, Richard, 19, 25, 45, 53, 62, 

66, 79. 
Newcastle, Thomas Pelham-Holles, 

Duke of, 71, 107, 137, 141, 157. 
Newdigate, Sir Roger, 157. 
Newton, Thomas, 31, 206. 
Nicoll, John, 61, 136, 165-188, 220. 
Nonjurors, 90 seq. 
Nonsense Club, 177. 

Nottingham, Heneage Finch, Earl 

of, 69, 74. 
Nowell, Alexander, 4, 5, 7, 48. 

Robert, 23. 

Oliphant, Robert, 200. 

Oliver, Frederick William, 248. 

Onley, Nicholas, 164. 

Oppidans, 14, 15. 

Osbaldeston, Lambert, 30, 65-73, 

Oughtred, William, 122. 
Owen, John, 85, 88, 90, 104. 
Oxford, Edward Harley, 2nd Earl 

of, 154, 156. 
Oxford, Edward Harley, 5th Earl 

of, 211. 

Packharness', Mrs., 219. 
Paedonomus, 64. 
Page, William, 213, 225-227. 
Pancake {see Shrove Tuesday). 

Parry, Richard, 53. 
Pearce, Zachary, 123, 136, 195. 
Peel, Sir Robert, 241 seq. 
Pelham, Henry, 136, 141, 154, 157. 
Pembroke, Philip Herbert, Earl of, 

82, 83. 
Pensioners, 14-16, 18, 22, 100, 
Peregrines, 14, 15. 
Peterborough, Charles Mordaunt, 

Earl of, 105. 
Phillimore, Sir Robert Joseph, 180, 

236, 258. 
Play, The, 48-50, 71 seq., 149-152. 

192-194, 239 seq., 244, 270-272 

{see Scenery). 
Play, Town-boy, 151, 194, 213, 

221, 291-294. 
Plays, Early and Late, 43, 281. 
Pope, Alexander, 138, 156. 

Walter, 31, 83, 86. 

Popham, Sir Home, 206. 
Porten, Catherine, 159, 191. 
Portland, Richard Weston, Earl of, 

Portland, William Henry Cavendish- 

Bentinck, Duke of, 178, 206. 
Preparatory Schools, 24, no, 185, 

Price, John, 63, 76. 

Owen, 88. 

Prior, Matthew, iigseq., 130, 145, 
151, 292. 

Pulteney, William {see Bath). 
William Pulteney, Vis- 
count, 175, 182. 

Putney, 34, 227. 

Quin, James, 127 seq. 

Raglan, Fitzroy James 

Somerset, Lord, 249. 
Randolph, John, 195. 

Thomas, 61, 74, no. 

Ravis, Edward, 53, 58 seq. 
Rayner, William, 28. 
Redmayne, Elizabeth, 1 17, 130. 
Rennell, Thomas, 209 seq. 
Reynolds, Edward, 82. 

Frederick, 204. 




Rhodes, Richard, 128. 

Richmond, Charles Lennox, Duke 
of, 173, 178. 

Richmond, Charles Gordon-Lennox, 
Duke of, 205. 

Rigaud's, 191, 228, 257. 

Rivers, Richard Savage, Earl, 105. 

Roberts, Dicky, 225 seq. 

Rockingham, Charles Watson- 
Went worth, Marquis of, 169, 
173, 196. 

Rolt, Patrick, 139. 

Rous, Hon. Henry John, 224. 

Russell, John Russell, Earl, 215, 
219-221, 244. 

Rutherford, William Gunion, 247, 

Rutter, Samuel, 71. 

Sackville, George Germaine, Vis- 
count, 157. 

Sackville, Lord John Philip, 187. 

St. John, Oliver, 82. 

St. John's College, Cambridge, 78. 

Salisbury, Robert Cecil, Earl of, 15, 

Salter, Edward, 192. 

Samwaies, Peter, 99. 

Scenery of Play, 49, 149 seq., 19 1 
seq. ,221, 250. 

School-books, 8, 39-43, 52, 70, 86, 
102, 114-117, 122, 159, 279-281, 

School Colours, 227, 238. 

Schoolroom, 20, 52, 56 seq., 224, 

Scott, Charles Brodrick, 249-261. 

Thomas, 69. 

Scott's, 228. 

Shadow and Substance, 160. 
Sharpe, Fane William, 206. 

William, 181. 

Shelburne {see Lansdowne). 
Shell, The, 137, 290. 
Sheridan, Thomas, 194. 
Shippen, William, 141, 287. 
Short, Augustus, 210, 215 seq. 

Thomas Vowler, 223. 

Shrove Tuesday, 57, 64, 120, 130. 
Smallwell, Edward, 214. 
Smalridge, George, 137. 
Smedley, Edward, 218, 228. 
Smith, George, 109. 

Samuel, 120, 197-206, 220. 

Thomas, 109. 

Smyth, Sir Warrington Wilkinson, 

Smythe, Patrick, 287. 
South, Robert, 25, 91, 104, 120, 

153, 155. 
Southey, Robert, 137, 164, 198, 199, 

204, 208 seq. 
Sprat, Thomas, 69, 95, 143. 
Stafford, Granville Leveson-Gower, 

Marquis of, 25, 197. 
Stanhope, Philip, 158, 170, 174, 

180, 182, 187, 203. 
Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn, 253. 
Stepney, George, 112. 
Stowe, Andrew, 157. 

George, 157, 182. 

Strafford, John Byng, Earl of, 206. 
Stuart, James, 191. 

Stubbe, Henry, 83, 124. 

Substance, 160. 

Sunderland, Robert Spencer, E^rl 
of, 104, 147. 

Sutherland, George Granville Leve- 
son-Gower, Duke of, 206. 

Sutton, Sir Richard, 175, 176, 184. 

Swift, Jonathan, 139, 144, 172 Sfq.^ 

Taswell, William, 27, 94, 116. 
Taunton, Sir William Elias, 200. 
Tenner, 152. 
Terence, 5, 8, 48-50, 71 seq., 94, 

124, 138, \<,oseq., 175, 178,240, 

Thirlby, Thomas, 4. 
Thomas, John, 213. 

Lewis, 201. 

Thornton, Bonnell, 177, 178. 

Titley, Walter, 123. 

ToUett, George, 60, 158, 195. 



Toplady, Augustus Montagu, 174. 

Tothill {see Tuttle). 

Trelawney, Sir Jonathan, 29. 

Trench, Richard Chenevix, 248, 253. 

Trifler, The, 200, 208. 

Trinity College, Cambridge, 12, 21 

seg., 29-31, 48, 57-59, 81 se^., 

Ill, 137, 184,201,220,251,259, 

Triplett, Thomas, 99. 
Trivett, William, 200. 
Trouillant, Robert James, 95. 
Tutors, 15, 55. 

Little, 123, 285. 

Tuttle Fields, 32, 134, 147, 186- 

188, 216 se^., 222 set/., 232, 259. 
Tyrwhitt-Drake, Edward, 248. 

Udal, Nicholas, 7, 45. 
Usher, James, 17, 63. 
Uvedale, Robert, 90. 

Vane, Sir Harry, 74, 82, 83. 

Vincent, Thomas, 85, 91. 

William, 73, 179, 200, 

207-214, 220, 222, 252, 294. 

Wake, William, 99. 

Wales, 76, 78. 

Walker, William, 117. 

Walpole, Horace, 141, 171, 187, 

Walpole, Sir Robert, 141, 154. 
Warburton, William, 166, 176, 183. 
Ward, Thomas Watson, 217. 
Watch, 152. 

Water, 225 see/., 238, 248. 
Weare, Thomas William, 249. 
Welsted, Leonard, 136. 
Wesley, Charles, 157, 180. 

Samuel, 140, 144. 

Westminster, Richard Grosvenor, 

Marquis of, 223. 
Westminster, Robert Grosvenor, 

Marquis of, 206. 
Weston, Hugh, 7. 
Wetenhall, Edward, 91. 
Whethampstead, 34. 
Whitehall, Robert, 92. 
Wilberforce, Samuel, 241. 
William IV., 238. 
Williams, Sir Edward Vaughan, 223. 

John, 17, 19, 45» 55» 63, 

65-67, 78, 126, 278, 286. 

Williamson, Richard, 229, 240-242. 

Wilson, John, 60 seg. , 63. 

Thomas, 191, 292. 

Winchester College, 1-3, 5, 156, 

161, 263. 
Winchilsea, Daniel Finch, Earl of, 

Winchilsea, Heneage Finch, Earl 

of, 107. 
Windsor, Hon. Dixie, 287. 
Wingfield, John, 211, 214. 
Wiseman, Sir Richard, 81. 
Wood, Anthony, 49, 93, 116, 172. 

Thomas, 71. 

Wren, Sir Christopher, 122, 124, 

143, 144, 146, 220. 
Wyatt, James, 224 se^. 
Wyndham, Sir William, 157. 












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