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CHAP. III. Such a proceeding involved, of course, a division of the common property, and the canons, who appear to have been most anxious for the separation, were considerable losers by the result. They resigned to the secular scholars the impropriation of St. Peter's Church with the two adjourning hosChurch with- tels already mentioned, receiving in return a hostel near the ington gates. Dominican foundation, afterwards known as Rud's Hostel,
The scholars obtain the im
of St. Peter's
Separation of the two bodies.
and some old houses in the vicinity of the hospital. To the two hostels of which they had thus become the sole proprietors, the secular scholars removed in the year 1284, and there Foundation formed the separate foundation of Peterhouse. But though to that ancient foundation undoubtedly belongs the honour of having first represented the Cambridge college, as a separate and distinct institution, to the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist belongs the credit of having first nurtured the collegiate conception'. 'No doubt,' says Baker, 'our good bishop was much grieved with these divisions; but could he have foreseen, that this broken and imperfect society was to give birth to two great and lasting foundations, and that two colleges were to be built upon one, he would have had much joy in his disappointment". Within another quarter of a century the foundation of Peterhouse was further enriched by an unexpected addition. The immunities and influence enjoyed by the Franciscans and Dominicans had excited the emulation of not a few rival sects, until at length the Church found it necessary to set bounds to a movement which threatened to terminate in disaster from a too complete success. At the second Council of Lyons, held in 1274, it was decreed that only the four great orders of Friars should suppressed henceforth be recognised, the other sects being formally sup
The college becomes pos
sessed of the
site of a
1 'It may even be urged,' observes Mr. Cooper, that St. John's college is of superior antiquity to any other, as the Hospital of St. John, on the site of which it stands and with the revenues whereof it is endowed, although a religious house, was also a house of learning, its members being entitled to academic degrees.' Memorials, 112, note. So Cole, who says, 'St John's college, now grafted on that hospital, and still enjoying its
possessions, may justly be accounted the first of our present colleges.' Baker-Mayor, 11 561.
2 Ibid. p. 26. By his last will he left to his scholars many books in divinity and other sciences, and 300 marks for erecting new buildings; with which sum they purchased a piece of ground on the south side of the said church, where they built a very fine hall.' MS. Harleian, 258, quoted in Bentham, p. 151.
pressed. Among these was the order De Pænitentia Jesu, CHAP. III. the site of whose foundation at Cambridge came into the possession of Peterhouse in the year 1309; the earliest instance of that species of conversion which so largely augmented the resources of the universities at a later era.
of the two
The example set by Hugh Balsham was worthily followed Simon by Simon Montacute or Montague, his successor in the 1337-1345. bishopric. The first efforts of this prelate were directed to a more equitable adjustment of the terms on which the canons and the scholars had parted company, for the dissatisfaction. of the former found unremitting and clamorous expression; the society at Peterhouse was confirmed in its possession of the two hostels, but subjected to an annual payment of twenty shillings to the brethren of St. John's. If we further pursue the fortunes of these two foundations, we shall with The fortunes difficulty avoid the conclusion that their separation repre- compared. sented a real and radical inaffinity. Both became enriched by valuable endowments; but under the management of the canons the fortunes of their house dwindled, while the merits of the scholars of Peterhouse attracted further munificence to their foundation. Of the former, Baker tells us, a commission appointed in the reign of Richard II reported how 'by the neglect of the warden the number of students had become diminished;' 'lands, rents, and possessions granted them by Edward III wasted and destroyed;' 'charters, books, jewels and other monuments, goods and chattels, alienated and sold by the warden and his ministers or servants;' how 'debates, dissensions, and discords' had arisen betwixt the master and students, 'so that the students led a desolate life and could by no means attend to learning and study'.' Very different is the account concerning Peterhouse, within a few years of the above report; for from the same writer we learn how that John Fordham, bishop of Ely, 'having compassion of their case, and a tender regard to their notorious indigence, as likewise with regard to their celebrated virtues, as well as continued and unwearied exercise in discipline and study, and as an inexpugnable bulwark against the per
1 Baker-Mayor, 1 37.
CHAP. II. verse and sacrilegious doctrines then prevailing,' made over PART I. to them the church of Hinton, as a college property'. The former foundation regained its exclusively religious character; shared the corruption and degeneracy that mark nearly all the religious foundations from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century; and was finally dissolved in the reign of Henry VIII, to be converted into the college that now bears its name. The college of Peterhouse, on the other hand, developed the secular conception, and, further augmented by the wise munificence of its masters, sent forth, during the same three centuries, many well-trained scholars and not a few able men; offering, in both its utility and vitality, a marked contrast to the institution from which it sprang.
tacute resigns the right of presenting to felPeterhouse.
It must be regarded as a signal proof of the moderation of Simon Montacute, that he resigned to the college the lowships at valuable right he possessed, in virtue of his office, of presenting students to the fellowships3,-an act conceived in a very different spirit to that displayed by some of his successors a century later, when the encroachments of the see of Ely gave rise to the famous Barnwell Process. But the most eminent service rendered by this prelate to the new foundation, was undoubtedly the body of statutes which he caused to be drawn up for its government. To the consideration of these we shall now proceed. We shall very shortly, it is true, find a body of college statutes of yet more ancient date engaging our attention, but, as the statutes given by bishop Montacute appear to have faithfully reflected the design and motives of the founder, there seems good reason for regarding them as the embodiment of the earliest conception under which our college life and discipline found expression.
given by Si
cute 1338. (?)
The statutes copied from
That the statutes of Peterhouse have no claim to origion College, nality has been already observed; the phrase ad instar Aulæ
1 Baker-Mayor, 1 39.
2 Ibid. 1 50, 60-64.
3 For which particular favour, as well as for privileges granted by him
to the university, he was commemorated in the ancient formulary of commemorating and praying for our benefactors.' Ibid. 1 33.
ed in the fel
de Merton meets us at almost every page'. The second sta- CHAP. IIL tute affords a definite exposition of the purpose of Hugh Balsham, as interpreted by his successor, of providing, as far as lay in his power, for the security of a suitable maintenance for poor scholars desirous of instruction in the knowledge of letters.' A master and fourteen perpetual fellows, The founda'studiously engaged in the pursuit of literature,' represent master and the body supported on the foundation; the 'pensioner' of lows. later times being, of course, at this period, already provided for by the hostel. In case of a vacancy among the fellows Proficiency 'the most able bachelor in logic' is designated as the one on ment requir whom, ceteris paribus, the election is to fall, the other low. requirements being that, 'so far as human frailty admit,' he be 'honorable, chaste, peaceable, humble, and modest.' The Moral quali'scholars of Ely,' for by this name they were first known, were bound to devote themselves to the 'study of arts, Ari- Studies. stotle, canon law, or theology;' but, as at Merton, the basis of a sound liberal education was to be laid before the study of theology was entered upon; two were to be admitted to the study of the civil and canon law; one, to that of medicine. When any fellow was about to incept in any faculty it Enquiries preliminary devolved upon the master with the rest of the fellows to to a scholar's incepting in enquire in what manner he had conducted himself and gone any faculty. through his exercises in the scholastic acts; how long he had heard lectures in the faculty in which he desired to incept; and whether he had gone through the forms according to the statutes of the university. The sizar of later times is recognised in the provision that, if the funds of the foundation permit, the master and the two deans shall select two
1 The date assigned to these statutes in the Statuta Antiqua is 1338, but internal evidence shows that some of them are at least four years later. In the 35th statute reference is made to the provincial constitution of Archbishop Stratford which belongs to the year 1342. The signature of Simon Montacute appears to have been given on the ninth of April, 1344.
At first the fellows of a college
foundation were known as the scho-
'Oure corne is stole, men woll us
Both the warden, and our fellowes
CHAP. III. or three youths 'indigent scholars well grounded in Latin' PART L (juvenes indigentes scholares in grammatica notabiliter fundatos), to be maintained, as long as may seem fit,' by the college alms; such poor scholars being bound to attend upon the master and fellows in church, on feast days, and at other ceremonial occasions, to serve the master and fellows at
All meals in seasonable times at table and in their rooms. All meals were to be taken in common; but it would seem that this regulation was intended rather to conduce towards an economical management, than enacted in any spirit of studied conformity to the monastic life, for, adds the statute, 'the scholars shall patiently support this manner of living, until their means shall, under God's favour, have received more plentiful increase''
Laxity in the
We shall be able, in a future chapter, to avail ourselves of many of the interesting details observable in these statutes, which we shall here pass by; but one of the statutes, relating to the dress of the scholars, though appertaining to a minor point, affords such pertinent illustration of the whole conception of the founder, that it seems to demand a notice in this general outline.
Among other features that illustrate the character of the clergy at this period, is one which forcibly attests how largely they then intermingled with the laity and how little restraint their calling imposed on their mode of life, their disregard of the dress held proper to the profession. At the universities this licence had reached its highest point. The students, we quote from Mr. Cooper, 'disdaining the tonsure, the distinctive mark of their order, wore their hair either hanging down on their shoulders in an effeminate manner, or curled and powdered: they had long beards, and their apparel more resembled that of soldiers than of priests; they were attired in cloaks with furred edges, long hanging sleeves not covering their elbows, shoes chequered with red and green, and tippets of an unusual length; their fingers were decorated with rings, and at their waists they wore large and costly girdles enamelled with figures and gilt; to these girdles 1 Documents, II 1-42.