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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 169



VII.] ARCHBISHOP THEOBALD. 163 time around the greater cathedrals ; but that their University organisation, their degrees and faculties, were borrowed from the established institutions on the Continent. They centralised however, and to a great extent superseded, the earlier schools; they afforded more room for speculation, gave greater scope for competition, and greater chances of independence. But as this was the age of transition from the local to the centralised system, our business now is rather with the earlier than with the later form. I have already said that the household of Archbishop Theobald, in the reign of Stephen, to some extent satisfied the want which was afterwards met by the University system. He provided learned teachers, and his clerks, after learning what they could at Canterbury, went over to Paris and Bologna to take their degrees after sufficient and more advanced study. It was not however only in the palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury that such a school existed. Every great man had a great house and household, with his chapel or collegiate church at his capital house, and his school of clerks as well as pages. Many of these large establishments lasted, with diverse modifications, into comparatively modern times, and one of the traces of survival still subsists in the privilege of noblemen to qualify so many domestic chaplains, although the particular privileges of the chaplains are mostly things of the past. But, of course, as the castles of the Earls were rather schools of knightly than of clerkly accomplishments, the best illustrations of the scholarly life are found in the houses of the prelates. The king's palace was not less a centre of learned talk and training, although, as the king was seldom at home more than two or three days together, it is not absolutely certain that he would take a strong interest in the matter ; the fact of Oxford having been a convenient royal residence may M 2


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