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diseased; and Bridewell, for the correction and amendment of the idle and the vagabond.
For Christ's Hospital was granted the monastery of the Grey Friars; the King also presenting the foundation with a considerable stock of linen, which the commissioners, who had lately been appointed to inspect the churches in and about the metropolis, bad deemed superfluous for the performance of divine service, as celebrated since the Reformation. For the second hospital, an almonry was fitted up; and for the third hospital, Edward granted his royal palace of Bridewell. He then bestowed certain lands for the support of these foundations; and having signed the instrument, ejaculated in the hearing of his Council—“Lord, I yield thee most hearty thanks, that thou hast given me life this long, to finish this work to the glory of thy name.”
“ A large picture, (attributed to Holbein,) which hangs in the Great Hall of Christ's Hospital, portrays this interesting scene. The young monarch sits on an elevated throne, in a scarlet and ermined robe, holding the sceptre in his left hand, and presenting with the other the Charter to the kneeling Lord Mayor. By his side stands the Chancellor holding the scals, and next to him are other officers of State. Bishop Ridley kneels before him with uplifted hands, as if supplicating a blessing on the event; whilst the Aldermen, &c., with the Lord Mayor, kneel on both sides, occupying the middle ground of the picture; and lastly, in front, are a double row of boys on one side, and girls on the other, from the master and matron down to the boy and girl who have stepped forward from their respective rows, and kneel with raised hands before the King."
Edward lived about a month after signing the Charter of Incorporation of the Royal Hospitals: in the spring of 1552 he had been seized with the small-pox, when he had scarcely recovered from the measles; a consumptive cough came on; his medical advisers were dismissed, and his cure entrusted to the ignorant empiricisms of an old nurse; this disorder was greatly aggravated, and he died in the arms of Sir Henry Sidney, on the 6th July, 1553, in the sixteenth year of his age, praying God to receive his spirit, and to defend the realm from papistry.
The Old Grey Friars buildings adjoining Newgate-street were now repaired by aid of the citizens' benefactions, and in November, 1552, there were admitted 340 “poore fatherlesse children" within the ancient monastery walls. “On Christmas-day," says Stow," while the Lord Maior and Aldermen rode to Paul's, the children of Christ's Hospitall stood from St. Lawrence-lane end in Cheape towards Paul's, all in one livery of russet cotton, 340 in number; and at Easter next they were in blue, at the Spittle, and so have continued ever since.” Hence the popular name of the Hospital, “the Blue-Coat School.”
Since this period, the income of the institution has known much fluctuation ; and consequently, the number of inmates. The 310 children with which the Hospital opened had dwindled in 1580 to 150. The object of the institution has also, in the lapse of time, become materially changed, which may in a great measure be attributed to the influence of the Governors, or benefactors, its chief supporters.
The Hospital, with the church of the monastery, was destroyed by the Great Fire, but was soon rebuilt. Later was added the Mathematical School, founded by Charles II., in 1672, for 40 boys, to be instructed in navigation; they are called “King's Boys,” and wear a badge on the right shoulder; and there was subsequently added, by the legacy of a Governor, a subordinate Mathematical School of 12 boys (“The Twelves"), who wear a badge on the left shoulder; and lastly, to these have been added “The Twos."
This was the first considerable extension of the system of education at the Hospital, which originally consisted of a grammar-school for boys, and a ser arate school for girls, the latter being taught to read, sew, and mark. A book is preserved containing the records of the Hospital from its foundation, and the anthem sung by the first children.
of the school buildings, we engrave the interior of the Writing School, a large edifice built by Sir Christopher Wren, in 1694, at the expense of Sir Joha Moore, of whom a marble statue is placed in the façade. Of the ancient Friaryportions of the cloisters only remain. The great Dining Hall was commenced in 1825, and is built partly on the ancient wall of London, and partly on the foundation of the refectory of the monastery. It is a vast edifice in the Tudor style, by Shaw, the principal front facing Newgate-street, with the enclosed play-ground; the Hall, with its lobby and organ gallery, is 178 feet long: it is lit by nine large windows, and is, next to Westminster Hall, the noblest room in the metropolis. Here besides the large Charter picturc, already described, is a painting by Verrio, of James II. on his throne, receiving "the Mathematical Boys,” in the same form as at their annual presentation to this day; though in Verrio's picture are girls as well as boys.
“In this Hall are held the “Suppings in Public,” on the seven Sunday erenings preceding Easter Sunday, and on that evening, to which visitors are admitted by tickets. The tables are laid with cheese in wooden bowls; beer in wooden piggins, poured from leathern jacks; and bread brought in huge baskets. The official company then enter, the Lord Mayor or President taking his seat in a chair made of oak from old St. Katherine's Church; a hymn is sung, accompanled by the organ; a Grecian reads the evening service from the pulpit, silence being enforced by three strokes of a hammer. After prayers, the meal commences, the visitors walking between the tables. At its close, the “trade boys" take up the piggins and jacks, baskets, bowls, and candlesticks, and pass in procession before the authorities, bowing to them; the entire 800 boys thus passing out.
“The Spital (or Hospital) Sermons are preached in Christchurch, Newgatestreet, on Easter Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, the children proceed to the Mansion House, and return in procession to Christchurch with the Lord Mayor and City authorities, to hear the sermon. On Tuesday, the children again go to the Mansion House, and pass through the Egyptian Hall before the Lord Mayor, each boy receiving a glass of wine, two buns, and a shilling; the monitors half-a-crown each, and the Grecians a guinca. They then return to Ckristchurch, as on Monday.”
At the first Drawing-room of the year, forty “Mathematical Boys" are presented to the Sovereign, who gives them 81. 88. as a gratuity. To this, other members of the Royal Family formerly added smaller sums, and the whole was divided among the ten boys who left the school in the year. On the illness of King George III, these presentations were discontinued; but the Governors of the Hospital continued to pay 11. 38., the amount ordinarily received by each,
to every boy on quitting. The practice of receiving the children was revived by William IV.
Each of the “Mathematical Boys” having passed his Trinity-House examination and received testimonials of his good conduct, is presented with a watch, worth from 91. to 131., in addition to an outfit of clothes, books, mathematical instruments, a Gunter's scale, a quadrant, and sea-chest. On St. Matthew's Day, (Sept. 21,) “the Grecians” deliver orations, this being a relic of the scholars' disputations in the cloisters.
The dress of the Blue-Coat Boys is the costume of the citizens of London at the time of the foundation of the Hospital, when blue coats were the common habit of the apprentices and serving-men, and yellow stockings were generally
This dress is the nearest approach to the monkish costume now worn ; the dark-blue coat with a closely-fitting body and loose sleeves, being the ancient tunic, and the under-coat or "yellow," the sleeveless under-tunic of the monastery. The red leathern girdle corresponds to the hempen cord of the friar. Yellow worsted stockings, a flat black woolen cap, (scarcely larger than a saucer,) and a clerical neckband, complete the dress.
“The education of the boys consists of reading, writing, and arithmetic, French, the classics, and the mathematics. There are sixteen Exhibitions for scholars at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, &c. There are also separate trusts held by the Governors of the Hospital, which are distributed to poor widows, to the blind, and in apprenticing boys, &c. The annual income of the Hospital is about 50,0001. ; its ordinary disbursements 48,0001."
Among the eminent Blues are Leigh Hunt; Thomas Barncs, many years cditor of the Times newspaper; Thomas Mitchell, the translator of Aristophanes; S. T. Coleridge, the poet, and Charles Lamb, his contemporary; Middleton, Bishop of Calcutta ; Jeremiah Markland, the best scholar and critic of the last century; Samuel Richardson, the novelist; Joshua Barnes, the scholiast; Bishop Stillingfleet; Camden, "the nourrice of antiquitic ;" and Campion, the learned Jesuit of the age of Elizabeth. Coleridge, Charles Lamb, and Leigh Hunt have published many interesting reminiscences of their contemporaries in the school.
“The subordinate establishment is at Hertford, to which the younger boys are sent preparatory to their entering on the foundation in London. At Hert. ford there is likewise accommodation for 80 girls.
“Besides the Lord Mayor, Court of Aldermen, and twelve members of the Common Council, who are Governors ex officio, there are between 400 and 500 other Governors, at the head of whom are the Queen and Prince Albert, with the Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred. The Duke of Cambridge is President. The qualification for Governor is a donation of 5002.; an Alderman may nominate a Governor for election at half-price. There are from 1400 to 1500 children on the foundation, including those at the branch establishment at Hertford. About 200 boys are admitted annusky, (at the age of from seven to ten years,) by presentations of the Governors; the Queen, the Lord Mayor (two presentations,) and the Court of Aldermen, presenting annually, and the other Governors in rotation, so that the privilege occurs about once in three or four years. A list of the Governors having presentations is published annually in March, and is to be had at the counting-house of the Hospital. "Grecians' and 'King's Boys,' remain in the school after they are fifteen years old; but the other boys leave at that age.”
It is one of the unfading glories of ancient Westoninster that it has been a seat of learning since the time when it was a “thorny island," and at least eight centuries since was rebuilt the Abbey Church “to the honour of God and St. Peter.” The queen of the Confessor is related to have played with a Westminster scholar in grammar, verses, and logic, as she met him in his
from the monastery school to the palace, as related by the chronicler with all the circumstantial minuteness of the account of a royal visit of yesterday. Equally direct is the evidence that from the latter part of the reign of Edward III., down to the dissolution of the Abbey, a salary was paid to a schoolmaster, styled "Magister Scholarium pro eruditione puerorum grammaticorum,” who was distinguished from the person who taught the children of the choir to sing.
The earliest school was thus an appurtenance of the monastery; and is included in the draft (in the archives of the Chapter,) of the new establishment for the See of Westminster.
During the reign of Queen Mary, Cardinal Pole appears to have suffered the school to languish wholly unsupported. Her successor enforced the right of election to studentships, restored the revenues, and the foundation of an Upper and Lower Master and forty scholars, and gave the present statutes, whence Elizabeth has received the honorable title of Foundress. This Queen added an important statute to regulate the mode of election of novitiates into St. Peter's. College. Evelyn has recorded one of these examinations:
“In 1661, May 13, I heard and saw such exercises at the election of scholars. at Westminster School to be sent to the University, in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, in themes and extemporary verses, with such readiness and will as wonderfully astonished me in such youths.”
Dean Goodman was the next benefactor, in obtaining a perpetual grant of his prebend of Chiswick, to be a place of refuge for the members of the Chapter and College whenever pestilence might be desolating Westminster. During this Deanship, the scholars were lodged in one spacious chamber, their commons were regulated, and the apartments of the Masters received an increase of comfort and accommodation. Among the earliest grants is a perpetual annuity of twenty marks, made in 1594, by Cecil, Lord High Treasurer, to be presented as. gifts to scholars elected to either of the Universitics
Before the middle of the reign of Elizabeth, the rudiments of the Greek language were taught to boys at Westminster School; and Harrison, in his preface to Uolinshed, about 1886, states that the boys of the three great collegiate schools (Winchester, Eton, and Westminster,) were “well entered in the knowl edge of the Latin and Greek tongues and rules of versifying."
Dean Goodman had for his successor that man of prayer and “most rose preacher,” Dr. Launcelot Andrewes, who would often supply the place of the Masters for a week together. It was one of his simple pleasures, "with a sweetness and compliance with the recreations of youth,” always to be attended, in his little retirements to the cheerful village of Chiswick, by two of his scholars; and often thrice in the week, it is said, he assembled about him in his study those of the Upper Form; and the earnest little circle frequently through tho whole evening, with reverential attention heard his exposition of the Sacred Text; while he also pointed out to them those sources of knowledge in Greek and Latin, from which he had gathered his own stores of varied learning.-Walcott's Memorials of Westminster.
Once more evil days fell upon the rising school. The Abbey was desecrated, and the families of the scholars were threatened or assailed by the horrors of the Great Rebellion, when Parliament, having for about four years exercised power over the School through a Committee, in 1649 assumed a protectorate, entrusting the management of the School to a government of fifty members established in the Deanery. The fee or inheritance of many of the Abbey estates was sold; old rents only being reserved to the College. This control lasted until the Restoration in 1660; since which period the scholars have been maintained by the common revenues of the Collegiate Church, at a cost of about
12001. a year.
The Queen's Scholars wear caps and gowns; and there are four “Bishop's Boys” educated free, who wear purple gowns, and have 601. annually amongst them. Besides this foundation, a great number of sons of the nobility and gentry are educated here. Of the Queen's Scholars an examination takes place in Rogation week, when four are elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, and four to Christchurch, Oxford; scholarships of about 601. a year.
The scholars from the fourth, fifth, and Shell Forms "stand out" in Latin, Greek, and grammatical questionings, on the Wednesday before Ascension Day, in the presence of the Head Master, who presides as umpire, when the successful competitors being chosen to fill the vacancies, “the Captain of the Election" is chaired round Dean's Yard, or the school court. On Rogation Tuesday, a dinner is given to the electors, and all persons connected with the School, by the Dean and Chapter; and any old Westminster scholar of sufficient rank or standing is entitled to attend it. After dinner, epigrams are spoken by a large proportion of the Queen's Scholars. There are several funds available to needy scholars; and the whole foundation and school is managed by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.
The school buildings are in part ancient. You enter the School court from the Broad Sanctuary, through an archway in a block of houses of mediæval architecture. The porch of the School is stated to have been designed by Inigo Jones. On the north front is the racket-court, formed against part of the west wall of the dormitory. The venerable School itself, once the dormitory of the monks, ranges behind the eastern cloister of the Abbey. It is a long and spacious building, with a semicircular recess at one end, the Head Master's table standing in front of it; four tiers of forms, one above the other, are ranged along the eastern and western walls; and the room has a massive open-timber roof of chestnut. The Upper and Lower Schools are divided by a bar, which formerly bore a curtain : over this bar on Shrove Tuesday, at eleven o'clock, the College cook, attended by a verger, having made his obeisance to the Masters, proceeds to toss a pancake into the Upper School, once a warning to proceed to dinner in the Hall. *
* An interesting tradition is attached to the bar at the time it bore a curtain. Two boys at play, by chance made a grievous rent in the pendent drapery; and one of the delinquents suffered his generous companion to bear the penalty of the offence - a severe flogging. Long years went by; the Civil War had parted chief friends; and the boys had grown up to manhood, unknown to each other. One of them, now become a Judge and sturdy Republican, was presiding at the trial of some captive cavaliers, and was ready to upbraid and sentence them, when he recognized in the