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• Regr. Liter.
ƒ Antiq. Oxon. 1. 2. p. 33.
mean application, that was made to him, refused to accept, by a letter, which under some shew of humility, sufficiently discovers a secret latent pride, though he had not yet arrived near the height of his greatness; and so the University the same year, with indignation as well as gratitude, chose Bishop Fisher their perpetual Chancellor, or for term of his life, being the first instance of such a choice; and Dr Fawn might resume his title of Vice-Chancellor, if he continued so long, for he did not continue out the whole year, having been in office some part of the last.
This foundation of a public Preacher, was peculiar to Cambridge; for though Mr Wood' 'seems to suspect, she had done somewhat of the same kind at Oxford, yet there could be no ground for that suspicion for neither in her Will (where she enumerates all her charities) does she say any thing of such a Preacher, nor in the original foundations, which are all lodged by Bishop Fisher, amongst the archives of St John's College, together with the
1 Wood quotes the following extract from the Tables of tenths and first fruits of all Colleges and Monasteries, an. 26 Hen. VIII.-'Item prædictus Abbas Westmonaster. petit sibi allocari pro pensione unius Prædicatoris in Universitate Cantabrig. per an. x libr.; et consimili Prædicatori in Universitate Oxon. x libr.'-and remarks upon it, 'Thus the said Record; therefore either the Lady Margaret founded a Public Preacher in this University, or else, in the accompts of the said Monastery from whence the said salary did issue, the Abbot did onerate his Monastery and himself more than was just.' [Wood's Hist. and Antiq. of Oxford, by Gutch, 1796.]
king's several licences for the several foundations, is there any mention of a Preacher at Oxford.
g Inter Ar
It is probable, she might have had such intentions, but was prevented by a greater design, undertaken about this time, in the foundation of Christ's College, by the advice and persuasion of Bishop Fisher, who, after the Foundress, by her statutes was appointed Visitor for his life. This Foundation has been placed in the year 1505; the statutes were not given, nor the foundation perfected, till the year following. The original obligation of John chiva Col. Syclyng (last Master of God's House, and first Master of Christ's College) is yet extant under his hand and seal, for the observing of the Foundresses statutes, by "not procuring, or causing to be procured, or not using being procured, any dispensations from the Apostolic See, or (as much as in him was) not suffering his fellows to make use of them," bearing date Sept. 5, Ann. 22. Hen. VII. from which day and year, I suppose, and not sooner, the government and statutes of that College, took place and begun to be in force.
And because the Bishops of Ely had yet kept up some claim or shew of power, there was a grant hobtained from James Bishop of Ely, whereby he Dat. Dec. gives leave to the Master, Fellows, and Scholars,
2 In Regr. Alcock we find 'Institutio Johannis Syclyng A.M. ad ecclesiam de Fendreyton, ad presentat: Mri sive Custodis Collegii de Goddishowse Cant. et Sociorum, dat: Febr. 15, 1495.' This he held till his death, June 9,
12, an. 1506.
to celebrate Divine Offices in their College Chapel, which had been already consecrated, and to change the parish feast, from St Andrew's day, to the day of the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord. And Reg. Stan- by another grant of the same date, at the instance of the Foundress, he exempts the College from episcopal and ordinary visitation, for himself and successors for ever.
ley, an. 1506,
The endowments of this College need not be rehearsed, being all specified in the Foundress's Will; and though it appears from thence, that she herself was very liberal, having bestowed good lands and manors of her own, yet the Abbey of Creyke', given her by Henry VII. and God's House, which was the foundation of Henry VI. did go a good way and pretty deep in this foundation: and therefore the Master and three Fellows of the old foundation, John Scot, Edward Fowke, and Thomas Nunne were continued members of the new College, and Henry VI. is, I suppose, yet commemorated, as a founder or benefactor in that Society; as William Bingham, first founder of God's House, near the
22 Hen. VII. Rex omnibus ad quos etc. Damus et concedimus præchariss. Matri nostræ Margaretæ Com. Rich. et Derb. Monasterium sive Abbatiam S. Mariæ de Pratis juxta Creke in Com. Norf., ac omnia illa domus ædificia et possessiones-et quod ipsa Monasterium sive Abbat. predict. cum suis pertinen. Mro sive Custodi et Scholaribus Collegii Christi in universitate Cantebr.-dare et concedere possit-in liberam puram et perpetuam eleemos. T. R. apud Westmon. xiv. Julii. (MSS. Mr Rymer, describente Dre Kennett, Epo. Petr-burg.)
place where King's College Old Buildings now stand, either is or ought to be3.
Having done thus much for the Schools of Regr. Col. Learning, she had some reason to think, she had done enough, and therefore her other charities were intended at the Religious House at Westminster, where her son had projected a sumptuous chapel for his own interment, and where she herself intended to lie.
This, according to the genius of the age, was intended for the health and good of her soul, by having masses and dirges said there, for its rest and
2 In the Statutes of Christ's College, the Foundress, after ordering herself, her son, and his children, to be prayed for, adds, "Defunctos tamen aliquos nobis adjungi volumus, quorum Nomina subsequuntur. Edmundus, Comes Richmondiæ, vir meus, et pater Regis filii mei. Joannes, Dux Somerset, et Margareta Uxor ejus, parentes mei, cæterique omnes progenitores nostri. Elizabetha, uxor Regis filii mei. Henricus VI. quondam Rex Angliæ, Margareta ipsius consors, Edwardus filius eorum, Wills Bingham sacerdos, Johannes Brocklee.
William Bingham is commonly reputed the founder of God's House; yet in Baker's Collections, a document, dated June 18, an. 26 Hen. VI. sets forth,-'We have now late founded a College called Goddes House, for drawing forth of Scholars into Maisters of Grammar, 16 April last; and have made our well-beloved William Bingham, Parson of St John Zacaras, Proctour thereof. And amongst other things have given to the endowment of the said College, the Priory alien of Chipstowe in Wales;' so that the King seems to have taken the foundation upon himself; and accordingly it was transferred to the Lady Margaret, who 'accounted herself, as of the Lancaster line, heir to all K. Henry's godly intentions.'
happiness: but having communicated her design to Bishop Fisher, the great director of her charity', he suggested to her (what indeed had been suggested by him before the foundation of Christ's College) that the Religious House at Westminster, was already wealthy enough (as it was the richest in England) and did not want support or maintenance; that the Schools of Learning were meanly endowed, that the provisions for Scholars were very few and small, and that Colleges were yet wanting towards their maintenance; that by such Foundations she might have two ends and designs at once, that she might thereby double her charity, and double her reward, by affording as well supports to learning, as encouragements to virtue.
1 See Appendix, ‘A recitall of the Bishop of Rochester's love, and care, &c.' At the dissolution, the annual revenue of St Peter's Westminster was 3977lib. 6s. 1d.
2 She states in her Will that she had procured a licence for founding a Grammar School at Wimborne Minster, the burial place of her parents;
Item, I have licence to found a perpetuall chauntre in the church of Wynborn of oon perpetuall Preest, there to teche Gramer freely, to all them that will come thereunto, perpetually ;-to the said chauntry Preest-10 lib. per an.'
See the said licence, first from Henry VII. to the Foundress, and after by Henry VIII. to her executors, in Cistâ Fundatricis; and in Baker's MSS. Vol. XII. pp. 13, 14.
The design was carried into effect by the Executors; for Leland (Itiner. fol. 54) under the name Winburne, says, 'Erle John of Somerset, or, as I rather think, John Duke of Somerset his Son, lyith buried in a goodly Tumbe with his wife, in the south side of the Presbyterie sub arcu. There Lady Margarete, Mother to Henry VII. founded and endowed a Grammar Schoole in Winburne.'