網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

with lands; prioresses procured impropriations for their own nunneries; and, princesses becoming foundresses of religious houses, and investing them with their whole dowries and fortunes", undertook their government. It is remarkable, too, that to monasteries, societies of monks, not favourable to the sex, females have been used to shew great partialities, and been most liberal in their benefactions and endowments. Colleges, as afterwards formed, out of monastic houses, into literary and more liberal institutions, were still guarded against female influence; yet, to these, also, the fair sex generally manifested great regards. Prompted by a generosity of mind, by sentiments of piety, or a desire of perpetuating their names, some ladies have enlarged them by their benefactions, others, as foundresses, have endowed them. And of this number was the lady whose name stands connected with Clare Hall. This house had, in more ancient times, the name of University Hall. It is supposed by some, to have been that called Solere Hall, in one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Mr. Robert Smyth", indeed, says, “it is remarked, this hall, called University Hall, is the same as that called by Chaucer, Solere Hall. If so, he himself was a student in it. Archbishop Tennison gives him up, and says, the poem styled, Aula Amoris, was none of his.”

valuable Codex, composed by John Abbot, in 1496, containing an account of privileges from popes, and grants from kings and princes, down to that time, made to the monasteries of the Cistercian order.

• Thus the famous Etheldreda, daughter of Anna, king of the East Angles, and wife of Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, becoming the foundress and first abbess of the monastery of Ely, settled on it the whole Isle of Ely, being a principality, and her marriage portion. See Bentham's Hist, and Antiquities of the Conventual and Cathedral Church of Ely, p. 45, first edition.

* Smyth's MS.

What authority they have for giving up “the Court of Love,” as not Chaucer's, I know not. Mr. Tyrwhitt, a better critic, I suspect, than either, with respect to Chaucer, gave it him *. But unfortunately for the Archbishop, and my good friend, Robert Smyth, the passage in question, about Solere Hall, is not in the Court of Love, but in the Reve's Tale. Ao

[ocr errors][merged small]

University Hall had its origin from Richard Badew, a cleric, who was, at the time, chancellor of the university. But the foundation was not his single act, nor, indeed, accompanied on his part with any endowment. He, uniting with some other collegiates, bought of Nigellus de Thornton, two messuages and a piece of ground in Milne, or Millar’s Lane, which then lay between what are now called Queen's College and Clare Hall, near St. John Zacharie's Church". Over this house he appointed Walter de Thaxted principal, with a few, who were called pensioners: but, though so denominated, they supported themselves at their own expense. Thus continued the state of things at University Hall, for sixteen years, when it was accidentally destroyed by fire.

William Badew was of a family of Great Badew, near Chelmsford, in Essex, that distinguished itself in an age, when knighthood, the last order in rank, but the first in antiquity, was in all its glory; and he added to the lustre of his house by his patronage of literature, though mot entitled to the honour of founding this hall. For the building having been, as already observed, entirely consumed, the premises were resigned by Walter de Thaxted, with the consent of the said Richard Badew", to a patroness, capable of giving Dr. Badew's wishes effect. This was Elizabeth de Burgo, the then Dame of Clare, widow, who received a surrender from Dr. Badew, and the University, of all the rights invested in this Hall. She then procured royal letters for erecting a building on the scite of University Hall, and, having bestowed on it ample endowments, allowed it to be called

a The Preface to his edition of the Canterbury Tales. * Clare Hall Register.

[ocr errors]

after her own name".

[ocr errors]

This lady was of royal descent. She was daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, by

Joan de Acres, daughter of King Edward I.", and Queen Eleanor of Castile. She first married John de Burgo, son of Robert de Burgo, and had issue by him, William de Burgo, Earl of Ulster; she afterwards became the wife of Theobald de Verdon; and, thirdly, of Sir Roger de Amorie. She was mother of William de Burgo, last Earl of Ulster, and possessed the title of Countess, say some, in her own right, as daughter and co-heiress to the last Earl of Clare, Gloucester, and Hertford: Mr. Cole, however,is notincorrectin saying, “she is generally, but not correctly, styled countess”, for she never attained to the title.” Mr. Cole" further observes, that in a grant, dated 24th of April, 29 Edw. III. “ she is stiled, la tres honorable Dame Elizabeth de Bourg Dame de Clare,” and “ that the family of Clare was so great and eminent in the time of King Henry III. that the arms of Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, stand embossed and painted on the new wall of Westminster Abbey, next to those of St. Louis, king of France; and there were few cathedrals or religious houses in England without them".” The new building was raised, and the endowment made at this lady's own expense; so, that with her justly rests the title of foundress, whether we consider Badew's attempt at raising a hall at first, or the Duke of Gloucester's patronizing the latter institution. In the master's lodge there is a half length portrait of this lady, though it is only a copy. - The other more distinguished patrons of Clare Hall were, Thomas Cecil", Earl of Exeter, counsellor to James I. (A fine full length portrait of this benefactor, and his lady, are in the Combination Room.) He gave to the amount of 108l. a year: John Freeman Butler, Esq. the most distinguished physician of his age, physician to James I. also, gave 200l. towards the support of fellows and scholars, besides a chalice and cover, for the altar, of pure gold, worth 300l. together with his library and other valuables. Among the benefactors, also, appears the name of George Ruggle", author of the Macaronic comedy, entitled Ignoramus, that so tickled the fancy of James I. He left 400l. in money and plate, together with some books, among which was the original MS. of Ignoramus, with notes, which, as I am informed, is now, unfortunately, missing. Clare Hall has had its full proportion of donations and legacies: its church preferments too, are considerable. Among the livings belonging to it, ten are reckoned good ones. And, accordingly, Dr. Blythe, in succession fellow and master, and D. D. by mandamus, and styled M. D. by R. Smyth, ranks high in the list of benefactors; for, besides his library, he bequeathed to this college 5000l. which was laid out, principally, in the purehasing of church livings. - * . I omit several other benefactors' names, though, by a list taken from a college register, a large catalogue might be made: but in conformity with the idea, introductory to this chapter, I should notice some benefactresses, among

a Register of Clare Hall.

b Licentia Instituendi Collegium Scholarium, in Mylne Street, per Cancellarium ac Magistros Universitatis. Hare’s MS. vol. iii. 32. This was in 1309, the first year of Edward II. This, according to Hare’s Index, p. 59, is in the vice-chancellor’s copy of Hare’s Collections, though not in the Registrar’s. In 1326, the first year of Edward III. the date commonly assigned to the foundation of the college, there is, in Hare’s Index, p. 15, a licentia perquirendi terras ad valorem annuum £20, concessa Aulæ de Clare, ad petitionem Cancellarii et Magistrorum Universitatis: and in the 47th of Edward III. Literae Patentes, ne Mandatum Regis in Causá Discordiae inter Scholares Aulae suae, et Scholares Aulae de Clare quovis modo tendat in prejudicium Libertatum Universitatis, nec in consequentia trahatur. Ibid. p. 23, 24. From the above account it is clear to me, that most of Mr. Cole's dates relative to the begimming of this college of Clare Hall are wrong. He makes the year of changing its name, from University to Clare Hall, 1340. Some, he says, write that this change was made in 1861. But from what has been said, it is clear both dates are wrong.

° Called, therefore, in a licence of Edward III. empowering her to give the appropriation of Lydlington, in the county of Cambridge, to

the master and fellows of this house, Consanguinea Nostra Elizabetha de Burgo. Pat. 10. Edw. III. p. 1. m. 3. A. D. 1336. Rymer's Foedera, vol. iv.

a See Selden’s Titles of Honour, 2d part, chap. ix.
b MSS. vol. ii. .
e Sandford's Genealogical Hist. p. 141.

* Clare Hall Register.

* Borne at Lavenham in the countie of Suffolk; M.A. fellow, in 1617. Clare Hall Register,

« 上一頁繼續 »