Imágenes de páginas


To the Death of Waynflete.

SECT. I. "



T was much," says an historiana, "that in the midst of so many miseries of civil wars, Waynflete "should found his fair college," and, we may add, be able to complete it. We must agree too with another writer, that probably "hee would have done much more then hee "did, had hee not beene hindred by the warrs "betweene Yorke and Lancaster "." But a faint idea has been here given of the times in which he lived. Ferocity and barbarism prevailed in no common degree. Faction, intrigue, and discord, were insatiable of human blood. The terrible picture, drawn by the pencil of a master, would inspire dismay and horror at the situation of the public; while pity and respect would be raised by the sufferings of a small group of peaceable individuals, with Waynflete at their head.

[blocks in formation]

MSS. Aslimol. N° 810. In the printed Catal, N° 7484.

[blocks in formation]

His intervals of respite from alarm or trouble had been few and disturbed; but, though he was weary of the spectacle, his dismission was retarded until he had beheld another grand catastrophe.

Dr. Moreton, a firm adherent of king Henry, even in the camp, yielding, like Waynflete, to the torrent, had become a favourite with king Edward; who employed him in a negotiation with France in 1474, and made him a privy counsellor and bishop of Ely (1478). He was arrested by king Richard, and committed in custody to the duke of Buckingham; who, disgusted with that usurpation which he so lately, so largely, and so criminally promoted, adopted a plan formed by his prisoner, to unite the Roses, by blending the pretensions of the two families, in a marriage of the eldest daughter of Edward the Fourth with Henry earl of Richmond, an exile in Brittany, and the sole remaining scyon of the stem of Lancaster d.

An insurrection and invasion in 1483, by failing, confirmed Richard in the possession of the crown, and an obsequious parliament

• Budden, p. 82. Parker in V.
Baker, Rapin, and other historians.


passed their usual bill of attainder. But the earl renewed his preparations; and among the students who resorted to him from the university of Paris was Richard Fox, famous for his learning, and attached alike to the party of Waynflete and to his college, where he had received his education, perhaps as a demy. He was recommended by Moreton, who had escaped to the earl in disguise, and was intrusted with the equipment of a fleet. King Richard, to defeat the projected union, resolved to espouse his niece. His son opportunely died; and poison, it was believed, removed his wife; but he was pressed by the expedition of his enemy. He applied among others to Waynflete to advance money on the occasion, and he complied, probably because he dared not to refuse. The month after, Bosworth-field decided between the two rivals.

• Baker. A doctor of canon law or decrees. A. Wood, p. 243. Ayliffe, vol. i. p. 386, 357.

f "Memorandum That I Edmund Chaderton Treseorer of the "Kyngs Chamber have received of the right reverd. ffader in "God my Lord Bp. of Wynchestre this present day as money lent "to the Kyngs grace and to his use by thondys of William Fisher "Cli. In witness &c the vth day of Jule in the third year of King "Richard iiid. Edmund Chaderton."

MS. Harl. N° 4240, p. 3.

The mild virtues, or perhaps the popularity, of Waynflete, had been respected by king Richard. He had also favoured his college, and, besides granting a pardon for lands acquired in mortmain and for any irregularities in their proceedings, had conferred on it a portion of the forfeited estate of the duke of Buckingham, who had been beheaded; but Waynflete is said to have derived great satisfaction from the re-accession of the house of Lancaster to the throne; and the new king, not unapprized of his merit, distinguished him early as a friend of his family. Moreton, who was advanced' to the see of Canterbury (June 1487), and Fox, who was made a bishop and lord privy seal, were also kind to the college, or its members.


In the first parliament of the new king an act of resumption was passed, with provision that it "should not be prejudicial to "William bishop of Wynchestre, nor to the president and scolars of Seynt Mary Mag


Cartæ regis, N° 2. Index.

21 Feb. 1 Ric. III. "Concedit tres virgatas terræ cum pertinen"tiis, quæ nuper ad manus ejus pervenerunt ratione forisfacturæ "Hen. ducis Buckingham." Westcot Com. Warwick, No9. Index.

Parliament Rolls, vol. vi. p. 351.


"dalen in the university of Oxford;" to whom it confirmed the letters patent which had been isued by Henry the Sixth and Edthe Fourth in their favonr.

President Mayew attended the coronation on the thirtieth of October, 1485, and, by order of the founder, was allowed his expenses, fifteen shillings and three pence halfpenny, from the college.

SECT. II. THE life of Waynflete, and the miseries arising from civil discord, were now hastening to a conclusion. He had been employed in establishing and watching over his favourite institution at Oxford above

thirty-seven years. He had settled his society under a governor whose conduct he approved; and had given it statutes which he knew to be calculated for the advancement of its welfare and reputation, and for the increase of religion and learning, to the praise and glory of God. It had already produced, and it possessed, many men of eminence; besides younger students, whose talents and application promised to sustain, to equal, or exceed, the renown of their

Lib. Comp. 1485-6.


« AnteriorContinuar »