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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 163



FOREIGN SCHOLARS IN ENGLAND. 157 bishops, and when Becket, according to his biographer, wished to restore learning at the court, he urged the king to recall home the English scholars who were studying abroad. Of the few, who would be all that could be named, the most prominent are Peter of Blois and Master Vacarius. Peter of Blois seems to have made his home in England, after he had tried his chances in Sicily, where he had been tutor to William the Good. He settled here about the year 1173, after the Becket troubles were over, and made himself useful to both the king and the archbishops. Like John of Salisbury he made his pen serviceable to his masters, and many of the letters of his composition which are preserved were written in their names. As chancellor or secretary to the Archbishop, as Archdeacon first of Bath and afterwards of London, and Dean of Wolverhampton, Peter seems to have led a scrambling sort of literary existence ; being used by the kings and primates on services both diplomatic and ecclesiastical, for which his versatility and command of language qualified him, but not being much trusted or highly promoted. Master Vacarius, on the other hand, was a very obscure, or rather indistinct, person ; indeed so little is known of him that it is almost hazardous to commit oneself to the theory that the earlier and later Vacarius were the same person. He is of course known to lawyers as the Lombard scholar, who, in π 49, attempted to introduce the study of the civil law into England and to teach it at Oxford. He is said to have been silenced by King Stephen, and as a teacher he disappears, but from two or three passages in the Becket letters it seems that he remained in England ; in the list of the canons of Southwell his name occurs later on in the century, and as late even as 1198 Pope Innocent III commissioned Vacarius, with another ecclesiastic of the northern province, to carry into execution certain letters touching the crusade. If the name is indeed rightly read,


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