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CCLIV. To CRUMWELL.
My very singular good Lord, after my most hearty com- MSS. mendations; these shall be to advertise your lordship, that I Cleop. E.iv. have received your letters dated the xxvii. day of November and therewith a bill concerning the device b for the new es
b [The following is the design on which Cranmer comments: it is preserved in the same manuscript. Hen. VIII. was probably proud of it; for Sadler, his ambassador in Scotland, was directed to lay it before James V, as an example of the useful purposes to which the revenues of religious houses might be applied. See Sadler's State Papers.
"First, A provost
“Christ's Church in Canterbury.
"Item, Twelve prebendaries, every of them at 40%. by the 66 year, sum
"Item, Six preachers, every of them 201. a year
"Item, A reader of humanity, in Greek, by year
"Item, A reader in divinity in Hebrew, by year
"Item, A reader both in divinity and humanity, in Latin, by
"Item, A reader of civil
"Item, A reader of physic
"Item, Twenty students in divinity, to be found ten at Ox-
"Item, A school-master 20l. and an usher 107. by the year
20 0 0
"Item, Twelve laymen to sing also, and serve in the choir,
"Item, Ten choristers, every of them five marks by the year 33 "Item, A master of the childern
"Item, A cater to buy their diets, for his wages, diets, and "making of his books
"Item, Twelve poor men, being old and serving men, de"cayed by the wars, or in the King's service, every of "them at 6l. 13s. 4d. by the year
Burn. Ref. tablishment to be made in the metropolitan church of Canterbury; by which your lordship requireth mine advice thereupon by writing, for our mutual consents.
App. B. iii.
Surely, my lord, as touching the book drawn and the order of the same, I think that it will be a very substantial and godly foundation; nevertheless in my opinion the prebendaries which be allowed 407. a piece yearly, might be altered to a more expedient use, And this is my consideration; for having experience both in times past and also in our days, how the said sect of prebendaries have not only spent their time in much idleness, and their substance in superfluous belly cheer, I think it not to be a convenient state or degree to be maintained and established. Considering first, that commonly a prebendary is neither a learner, nor teacher, but a good viander. Then by the same name they look to be chief, and to bear all the whole rule and preeminence in the college where they be resident: by means whereof the younger, of their own nature given more to pleasure, good cheer, and pastime, than to abstinence, study, and learning, shall easily be brought from their books to follow the appetite and example of the said prebendaries, being their heads and rulers. And the state of prebendaries hath been so excessively abused, that when learned men hath been admitted unto such room, many times they have desisted from their good and godly studies, and all other Christian exercise of preaching and teaching. Wherefore, if it may so stand with the King's gracious pleasure, I would wish that not only the name of a prebendary were exiled his Grace's foundations, but also the superfluous conditions of such persons. I cannot deny but that the beginning of prebendaries was no less purposed for the maintenance of good learning and good conversation of living, than religious men were: but forasmuch as both be
"Item, Six to be employed yearly, for making and emending £. s. d. " of highways
"Item, A steward of the lands
"Item, An auditor
"Item, For the provost's expenses in receiving the rents and
surveying the lands, by the year
6 13 4
gone from their first estate and order, and the one is found like offender with the other, it maketh no great matter if they perish both together: for to say the truth, it is an estate which St. Paul, reckoning up the degrees and estates allowed in his time, could not find in the Church of Christ. And I assure you, my lord, that I think it will better stand with the maintenance of Christian religion, that in the stead of the said prebendaries, were twenty divines at 107. a piece, like as it is appointed to be at Oxford and Cambridge; and forty students in the tongues and sciences and French, to have 10 marks a piece; for if such a number be not there resident, to what intent should so many readers be there? And surely it were great pity that so many good lectures should be there read in vain: for as for your prebendaries, they cannot attend to apply lectures, for making of good cheer. And as for your sixty children in grammar, their master and their usher be daily otherwise occupied in the rudiments of grammar, than that they may have space and time to hear the lectures. So that to these good lectures is prepared no convenient auditory. And therefore, my lord, I pray you let it be considered, what a great loss it will be to have so many good lectures read without profit to any, saving to the six preachers. Farther, as concerning the reader of divinity and humanity, it will not agree well that one man should be a reader of both lectures. For he that studieth in divinity, must leave the reading of profane authors, and shall have as much to do as he can, to prepare his lecture to be substantially read. And in like manner, he that readeth in humanity, had not need to alter his study, if he should make an erudite lecture. And therefore in mine opinion it would be two offices for two sundry learned men.
Now concerning the Dean and other to be elected into the College, I shall make a bill of all them that I can hear of in Cambridge, Oxford, or elsewhere, meet to be put into the said College, after my judgment: and then of the whole number the King's Highness may choose the most excellent; assuring you, my lord, that I know no man more
meet for the Dean's room in England than Doctor Cromed, who by his sincere learning, godly conversation, and good example of living, with his great soberness, hath done unto the King's Majesty as good service, I dare say, as any priest in England. And yet his Grace daily remembereth all other that doth him service, this man only except, who never had yet, besides his gracious favour, any promotion at his Highness' hands. Wherefore, if it would please his Majesty to put him in the Dean's room, I do not doubt but that he should show light to all the deans and masters of colleges in this realm. For I know that when he was but president of a college in Cambridge, his house was better ordered than all the houses in Cambridge besides.
And thus, my lord, you have my final advice concerning the premises, which I refer unto the King's Grace's judgment, to be allowed or disallowed at his Highness' pleasure: sending unto your lordship herewithal the bill again, according to your request. Thus, my lord, most heartily fare you well. At Croydon, the xxix. day of November. [1539.] Your own ever assured,
[Cranmer's recommendation was not followed, Dr. Nicholas Wotton having been appointed the first Dean of Canterbury by the charter of incorporation. Le Neve, Fasti. For a memoir of Crome, see Strype, Memorials, vol. iii. p. 102. See also Burnet, Ref. vol. iii. p. 287. He was the author of the ingenious argument against private masses, "that if "trentals and chauntry masses could avail the souls in purgatory, then "did the parliament not well in giving away monasteries, colleges, and "chauntries, which served principally to that purpose. But if the par"liament did well (as no man could deny) in dissolving them, and bestow"ing the same upon the King, then is it a plain case, that such chaun"tries and private masses do nothing to relieve them in purgatory. This "dilemma no doubt was insoluble. But notwithstanding, the charitable 66 prelates so handled him, that they made him recant. And if he had not, they would have dissolved him and his argument in burning fire." Foxe, vol. ii. p. 572. See some valuable letters respecting this prosecution, in which Latymer also was implicated, in the State Papers, vol. i. part ii. Letter CCXLIII. &c.]
[The following narrative from one of Foxe's manuscripts throws some farther light on Cranmer's views respecting this new foundation at Canterbury. The substance of it is printed by Strype, Cranmer, p. 89. "At what time the Cathedral Church of Canterbury [was] newly " erected, altered, and changed, from monks to secular men of the clergy,
CCLV. TO CRUMWELL.
My singular good Lord, in my most hearty wise I com- Mss. mend me to your lordship; and whereas I am informed Chapter
"in the time of King Henry the VIII, as to prebendaries, canons, petty canons, choristers, and scholars, there were present at that erection "Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Riche, Chan"cellor of the Court of the Augmentation of the revenues of the Crown, "Sir Christopher Hallis, knight, the King's attorney, Sir Anthony "Sencteleger, knight, with divers other Commissioners. And taking 66 upon them to nominate and elect such convenient and apt persons, as should serve for the furniture of the said Cathedral Church, ac"cording to the new foundation, it came to pass, that when they "should elect the children of the grammar school, there were of the "Commissioners mo than one or two, which would have none ad"mitted but younger brethren and gentlemen's sons. As for other "husbandmen's children, they were more meet, (they said,) for the "plough and to be artificers, than to occupy the place of the learned "sort; so that they wished none else to be put to school but only "gentlemen's children.
"Whereunto that most reverend father, Thomas Cranmer, Arch"bishop of Canterbury, being of a contrary mind, said, that he thought "it not indifferent so to order the matter. For (said he) poor men's "children are many times endued with more singular gifts of nature, "which are also the gifts of God, as with eloquence, memory, apt "pronunciation, sobriety, with such like, and also commonly more given "to apply their study, than is the gentleman's son delicately educated. "Whereunto it was on the other part replied, that it was meet for the "ploughman's son to go to plough, and the artificer's son to apply the "trade of his parent's vocation, and the gentlemen's children are meet "to have the knowledge of government and rule in the common wealth. "For we have as much need of plough even as of any other state, and "all sorts of men may not go to school.
"I grant (quoth the Archbishop) much of your meaning here"in, as needful in a common wealth; but yet utterly to exclude the ploughman's son and the poor man's son from the benefit of learning, as though they were unworthy to have the gifts of the Holy Ghost "bestowed upon them, as well as upon others, is as much to say, as that "Almighty God should not be at liberty to bestow his great gifts of (6 grace upon any person, nor no where else but as we and other men "shall appoint them to be employed, according to our fancy, and not “according to his most godly will and pleasure: who giveth his gifts, "both of learning and other perfections in all sciences, unto all kinds "and states of people indifferently. Even so doth He many times "withdraw from them and their posterity again those beneficial gifts, "if they be not thankful. If we should shut up into a strait corner the bountiful grace of the Holy Ghost, and thereupon attempt to build our "fancies, we should make as perfect a work thereof, as those that took 66 upon them to build the tower of Babelon. For God would so provide, "that the offspring of other best born children should peradventure be"come most unapt to learn and very dull, as I myself have seen no small "number of them very dull and without all manner of capacity. And,