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A History of Giggleswick School by Bell

The Giggleswick Statutes imply its use in 1592


and Hebrew are both in the Giggleswick curriculum. Hallam says that in 1500 not more than three or four persons could be mentioned, who had any tincture of Greek. Colet, in his re-foundation Statutes of S. Paul's School ordained that future Headmasters "must be learned in good and clean Latin Literature" and also "in Greek, if such may be gotten." But towards the close of the century Greek had become well-established. Durham introduced it in 1593, the Giggleswick Statutes imply its use in 1592, and Camden, Headmaster of Westminster, in 1597 brought out a Greek Grammar, which became as universal as Lily's Latin Grammar.

Of Hebrew there are few records, and none at Giggleswick, it was probably allotted very little time, and certainly at the Universities, it was for long at a very low ebb.

With regard to English very little was done. Erasmus was responsible for a slightly wider outlook and he encouraged History in Latin books and in a less degree Geography as a method of illustration. Mulcaster who published his book "Positions" in 1561 deplored the fact that education still began with Latin, although religion was no longer "restrained to Latin." The Giggleswick Statutes set it forth that the Master shall instruct his scholars--for more knowledge of the Liberal Sciences and catechize them every week in the knowledge of Christian Religion.

If the Liberal Sciences were the appointed

task, and, if in addition, he must speak Latin or Greek or Hebrew, the boy of 1592, long as his school hours undoubtedly were, would be well occupied. We have no evidence on the point, but we can conjecture from other sources the nature of the knowledge of Christian Religion that they were expected to have.

The Primer was the layman's service-book, and consisted largely of matter taken from the Horae or Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

This litel child his litel book lerninge, As he sat in the scole at his prymer.

In 1545 Henry VIII had issued a new edition in consequence of the Reformation and he now set it forth as the only edition to be used, and emphasized the importance of learning in the vernacular, the Pater Noster--Ave Maria--Creed--and Ten Commandments.

The Primer was a book of devotion, the Catechism was rather a summary of doctrines. Alexander Nowell, Dean of S. Paul's and possibly a brother of the Giggleswick John Nowell had published a Catechism in 1570, which supplanted all others even those "sett fourth by the Kinges majesties' authoritie for all scolemaisters to teache," and it was Nowell's Catechism that the School Statutes expected to be used.

The Bible was not definitely a school subject till 1604, and although it was in earlier use in some places of education, there is no mention of it at Giggleswick. There is however one more religious aspect of school life that was very general and is mentioned in these particular Statutes. The Master shall not begin to teache or dismiss the School without convenient Prayers and Thanksgivings. The Prayers would probably consist of the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed.

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