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published a new Latin translation of Ecclesiastes, with critical annotations on the Hebrew text, printed at Antwerp
This, in an elegant Latin epiftle, he dedicates to John Webbe, prior of the Benedictine cathedral convent at Coventry; whom he styles, for his singular learning, and attention to the general cause of letters, MONACHORUM Decus. John Batmanson, prior of the Carthusians in London, controverted Erasmus's commentary on the new Testament with a degee of spirit and erudition, which was unhappily misapplied, and would have done honour to the cause of his antagonist'. He wrote many other pieces; and was patronised by Lee, a learned archbishop of York, who opposed Erasmus, but allowed Ascham a pension? Kederminster, abbot of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire, a traveller to Rome, and a celebrated preacher before king Henry the eighth, established regular lectures in his monastery, for explaining both scriptures in their original languages; which were so generally frequented, that his little cloister acquired the name and reputation of a new university'. He was master of a terse and perspicuous Latin style, as appears from a fragment of the History Of WYNCHCOMB Abbey, written by himself, His erudition is attested in an epistle from the university to king Henry the eighth'. Longland, bishop of Lincoln, the most eloquent preacher of his time,
w Theodor. Petreus, BIBL. CARTHUS. edit. Col. 1699. p. 157.
* Ascham, EPISTOL. lib. ü. p. 77. a. edit. 1581. (See also iji. p. 86. a. I on the death of the archbishop, in 15440 Ascham desires, that a part of his pension then due might be paid out of some of the archbithop's greek books: one of these he wishes may
be Aldus's Decem RHETORES,GREci, a book which he could not purchase or procure at Cambridge
Y “ Non aliter quam fi fuiffet altera no“ VA UNIVERSITAS, tamerú exigua, claus“ trum Wynchelcombense cunc temporis fe
« haberet." From his own HISTORIA, as below. Wood, Hist. Univ. Oxon. i. p. 248. There is an Epiftle from Colet, the learned dean of St. Paul's, to this ab bot, concerning a passage in faint Paul's EPISTLES,, firt printed by Knight, from the original manufcript at Cambridge. Knight's Life, p. 311.
z Printed by Dugdale, before the whole of the original was
deftroyed in the fire of London. Monast. i. 188. But a tranfçript of a part remains in Dodsworth, MSS. Bibl. Bodi. Ixv. 1. Compare A. Wood, ut fupr. and ATHEN. Oxon. i. 28. Registr. Univ. Oxon. FF. fol. 46.
in the dedication to Kederminster, of five quadragesimal fer-
Before we quit the reign of Henry the eighth, in this re-
By the interest of Clay
• It ought not here to be unnoticed, that the royal library of the kings of England, originally fubsisting in the old palace at Westminster, and lately transferred to the British Museum, received great improve ments under the reign of Henry the eighth; who constituted that elegant and judicious fcholar, John Leland, his librarian, about the year 1530. Tanner, BIBL. pag. 475. Leland, at the diffolution of the monafteries, removed to this royal repository a great number of valuable manuscripts ; particularly from faint Austin's abbey at Canterbury. SCRIPT. BRIT. p. 299. One of these was a manuscript given by Athelftan to that convent, a HARMONY of the Four GOSPELS. Bibl. Reg. MSS. i. A. xvii. See the hexafthic of Leland prefixed. See also Script. Brit. ut fupra, V. ATheL•
Leland says, that he placed in the Palatine library of Henry the eighth the COMMENTARII IN MATTHÆUM of Claudius, Bede's disciple. Ibid. V. CĻAUDIUS. Many of the manuscripts of this library appear to have belonged to Henry's predecessors; and if we may judge from the splendour of the decorations, were prefents. Some of them bear the name of Humphrey duke of Glocefter. Others were written at the command of Edward the fourth. I have already mentioned the librarian of Henry the seventh. Bartholomew Traheron, a learned divine, was appointed the keeper of this library by Ed. ward the fixth, with, a falary of twenty parcs, in the year 1549. See Rymer's Fod. xv. p. 351. Under the reign of Elisabeth, Hentzner, a German traveller, who
saw this library at Whitehall in 1598, says, that it was well furnished with Greek, La. tin, Italian, and French books, all bound in velvet of different colours, yet chiefly red, with clasps of gold and silver ; and that the covers of some were adorned with pearls and precious stones. ITINERAR. Germania, Angliæ, &c. Noringb. 1629. 8vo. p. 188. It is a great mistake, that James the first was the first of our kings who founded a library in any of the royal palaces; and that this establishment commenced at St. James's Palace, under the pa. tronage of that monarch. This notion was firft propagated by Smith in his life of Patrick Junius, Vic. QUORUND. etc. Lond. 1707. 4to.pp: 12. 13. 34. 35: Great part of the royal library, which indeed migrated to St. James's under James the first, was partly cold and dispersed, at Cromwell's accession : together with another inestimable part of its furniture, 12000 medals, rings, and gems, the entire collection of Gorlaeus's DactyLIOTHECA, purchased by prince Henry and Charles the
first. It muft be allowed, that James the first greatly enriched this library with the books of lord Lumley and Cafaubon, and fir Thomas Roe's manuscripts brought from Constantinople. Lord Lumley's chiefly consisted of lord Arundel's, his father in law, a great collector at the dissolution of monasteries. James had previously granted a warrant to fir Thomas Bodley, in 1613, to chuse any books from the royal library at Whitehall, over the Queen's Chamber. [Relig. BODL. p. Hearne, p. 205. 286. 320.]
mund, president of Corpus Christi college, an admirable scholar, a critical writer, and the general friend and correspondent of the literary reformers, he was admitted to all the libraries of the university; which, he says, were about twenty in number, and amply furnished with the books of antiquity. Among these he found numerous manuscripts of Proclus on Plato, many of which he was easily permitted to carry abroad by the governors of the colleges, who did not know the value of these treasures. In the year 1535, the king ordered lectures in humanity, institutions which have their use for a time, and while the novelty lasts, to be founded in those colleges of the university, where they were yet wanting: and these injunctions were so warmly approved by the scholars in the largest societies, that they seized on the venerable volumes of Duns Scotus and other irrefragable logicians, in which they had so long toiled without the attainment of knowledge, and tearing them in pieces, dispersed them in great triumph about their quadrangles, or gave them away as useless lumber". The king himself also established fome public lectures with large endowments . Notwithstanding, the number of students at Oxford daily decreased : insomuch, that in 1546, not because a general cultivation of the new species of literature was increased, there were only ten inceptors in arts, and three in theology and jurisprudence'.
As all novelties are pursued to excess, and the most beneficial improvements often introduce new inconveniencies, so this universal attention to polite literature destroyed philo
Iophy. The old philofopliy was abolished, but a new one was not adopted in its stead. At Cambridge we now however find the antient fcientific learning in fome degree réformed, by the admission of better systems.
In the injunctions given by Henry to that university in the year 1535, for the reformation of study, the dialectics of Rodolphus Agricola, the great favorite of Erasmus, and the genuine logic of Aristotle, are prescribed to be taught, instead of the barren problems of Scotus and Burlaeusk. By the fame edict, theology and causuistry were freed from many of their old incumbrances and perplexities : degrees in the canon law were forbidden ; and heavy penalties were imposed on those academics, who relinquished the sacred text, to explain the tedious and unedifying commentaries on Peter Lombard's fcholastic cyclopede of divinity, called the SENTENCES, which alone were sufficient to constitute a moderate library. Classical lectures were also directed, the study of words was enforced, and the books of Melancthon, and other folid' and elegant writers of the reformed party, recommended. The politer studies, soon afterwards, feem to have risen into a flourishing state at Cambridge. Bishop Latimer complains, that there were now but few who studied divinity in that university". But this is no proof of a decline of learning in that seminary. Other pursuits were now gaining ground there; and such as in fact were subfervient to theological truth, and to the propagation of the reformed religion. Latimer himself, whose discourses from the royal pulpit appear to be barbarous beyond their age,
in style, manner, and argument, is an example of the necessity of the ornamental studies to a writer in divinity. The
& Collier, EccLEs. Hist, vol. ii. p. 110.
SERMONS, &c. p. 63. Lond. 1584. 4to. Sermon before Edward the fixth, in
year 1550. His words are, “ It would
“ pitty a man's heart to hear that I hear of “ the state of Cambridge: what it is in “ Oxford I cannot tell. There be few that
study divinity but so many as of necessitie “ mult furnish the colledges.”
Greek language was now making considerable advances at
Ascham. EPISTOL. ut modo infr. p..65. a. Ascham calls Gardiner,“ omnibus lite“rarum, prudentiæ, confilii, authoritatis, “ præfidiis ornatiffimus, .absque hat una re “ effet, literarum et academiæ noftræ
pa" tronus ampliffimus.” But he fays, that Gardiner took this measure, “ quorundam
“ invidorum hominum precibus vi&tus."
Strype's CRANMER, p. 170. Afcham,
I Ascham. EPIST. lib. i.
m EPISTOL. lib. i..p. 18. b. Dat. 1550. edit. 1581.
M m m 2