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in the possession of his see, received a most honourable testimony of the confidence reposed in him by his royal patron". King Henry, possibly foreseeing the troubles about to overwhelm the nation, was solicitous to insure the completion of his two colleges. He now made a testamentary provision for it; and, "in consideration of the great "discretion, the high truth, and the fer"vent zeal for his welfare, which he had
proved" in the bishop of Winchester, constituted him by his will, dated at Eton on the 12th of March 1447, his surveyor, executor, and director; as also sole arbiter of any variance which might happen with his feoffees. The desire to accomplish this measure, was perhaps the particular motive of his impatience to secure the advancement of Waynflete to the mitre.
A popular preacher of reformation (Reginald Pecock) about this time enlarged on the riches, luxury, and pride of the superior clergy; and by his eloquence rendered the grandeur annexed to episcopacy in parti
y See Appendix, No VII.
Henry VI. nominated him one of the fourteen trustees of his will, to succeed the first nominees in case of death. Sepulchral Mon.
cular, a subject of public clamour and indignation. The spiritual lords were then served on the knee, and had pompous retinues; some, it is related, appearing abroad with as many as fourscore attendants, their horses all bedecked with silver trappings". So splendid was the mitre when conferred on Waynflete; whose approved moderation, with the worthy uses to which he destined his revenue, was well adapted to conciliate the temper of its adversaries. He persevered in his wonted, unaffected humility; and, we are told, was accustomed to repeat often that verse of the Magnificat, St. Luke i. 49, "Qui potens est fecit pro me magna, et "sanctum nomen ejus;" which also he added to his arms as his motto ".
See A. Wood.
Transactions at Oxford and Winchester, with the Founding of Magdalen Hall by Bishop Waynflete.
SECT. I.HE long continuance of the war with France had engrossed the attention, and exhausted the finances, as well of individuals as of the public. The university of Oxford lamented its empty halls and inns ; and the condition of the scanty number of students, which still resorted to it, was from poverty, neglect, and the difficulty of obtaining instruction, truly deplorable. Indigent clerks had one while received assistance from customary and voluntary stipends, or exhibitions, chiefly the bounty of rich churchmen; but these, instead of residing, as formerly, on their preferments, lived in the houses of the great, or expended their revenues at the court. In a synod of the clergy held at London (1438),
In 1437. Epist. Acad. Oxon. 125. in Archiv.
archbishop Chichele had procured the renewal of a decree, that ecclesiastical benefices should be conferred only on persons who had taken their degrees; yet few of them fell to the lot of academics. Many belonged to monasteries and cathedrals, or collegiate churches, and were supplied by vicars and hirelings with knowledge proportionate to their salary. Many were bestowed by the Pope; and the university afterwards solicited archbishop Bourchier to resist this usurped power, as the bane of literature. A dispensation purchased at Rome indulged the pluralist, protected the non-resident, or admitted the beardless youth to the first offices of the church. So numerous were the discouragements and so abject was the fortune of the Oxford scholars, that it was common for them to beg from house to house. We are told that in this reign the university of Paris, which flourished, broke off its ancient connexion with that of Oxford, as beneath its notice.
The attention of Waynflete had been di
b Duck, in V. Chich.
• Duck, p. 39.
d A. Wood, p. 242, 225, 226.
e P. 58.
rected to the two universities by their alliance to the colleges of Winchester and Eton. He had observed the low estate of the scholars, clerks, and pitied their condition. On his advancement to the see of Winchester he became intent, says Budden, on demonstrating that he was equal to his new dignity, and that his possessing it would be of general advantage to the community. He studied in what manner he could most usefully oblige, not only his contemporaries but posterity. A fervent desire to increase knowledge in a country then scarcely beginning to emerge from barbarism, animated him, and he justly decided, that to promote letters was to be a public benefactor.
Waynflete appears to have conceived early, a warm regard for the university at which he was educated, and to have been connected with it by constant friendly interDuke Humphrey was an encourager of learning, and a collector of books. He had added to a present of nine volumes, which he made to the university of Oxford, one hundred and twenty in 1439, and one hundred and thirty-five in 1443. He had