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


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 168

l6a BEGINNINGS AT OXFORD. [VII. under the Canons of S. Frideswide. But before the end of the reign there was a University with doctors and masters. Yes, and public lectures; for did not Giraldus Cambrensis, in 1187, come to Oxford and read his Expugnatio Hiberniae in public lectures ? and did he not secure himself an audience by entertaining, on the first day, all the poor of the town at his lodgings, and on the second all the doctors of the diverse faculties and the more distinguished scholars ; and on the third day the rest of the scholars, the passmen as we should put it, with the county people, the townsmen, and the citizens? Ah! he tells us, it was a sumptuous and noble affair, a renewal of the old and authentic days of the poets; 'nor has the present age, or any antiquity, remembered in England any such gaudy day.' It is a lesson for all time. Beyond, however, the fact that thus comes full upon us, that in 1187 there was at Oxford a great school with diverse faculties of doctors, ergo, a constituted University, we know little or nothing of University life here so early. Only we know that those who in later times might have been able to tell us something true about this, chose to tell us what was false ; and, by hunting up and forging evidences of greater antiquity, lost their hold, and prevented us from ever obtaining- a hold on the materials which might have furnished authentic history. There can be no doubt that, when the idea of the University had once impressed itself on the minds of Englishmen, it would rapidly work a change. It centralised teaching and it prompted competition. Not that the idea had to work itself out on English ground; our English Universities, however far in the historic distance we may throw back their origin, must have been framed on the model of the Continental Universities. I do not mean that they had not their rise in independent and special circumstances, or that they were not the successors of more ancient schools of study, many of which continued to exist for some

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