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THE Recollections of Christ Hospital by Lamb, Coleridge, and Leight Hunt present a vivid and attractive picture of the school at the close of the last century. To these I have prefixed an account of its foundation, taken, in the main, from an extremely interesting document, “ A Ffamiliar and Frendely Discourse, Dialogue wyse, setting forthe the Fyrste Order and Maner of Ye Ereccons of the Hospitalles Christes, Bridewell, and St. Thomas Ye Apostle,' by John Howes 1 (whose father Edmund continued the “Annals" of Stow), sometime
Renter and Gatherer of Legacies” for the Hospital ; which was privately printed for the Governors in 1889, and has been most kindly
John Howes was also in the employ of Richard Grafton, Chronicler, King's Printer, &c., and First Treasurer of Christ's Hospital, whose account of the Foundation is copied by Stow.
put in my hands by its discoverer and editor, Mr. Wm. Lempriere.
The development of the School from Howes' days to those of Lamb is recorded in many places : most fully in The History of Christ's Hospital from its Foundation by King Edward the Sixth, by John Iliff Wilson, 1821, and A History of the Royal Foundation of Christ's Hospital, by the Rev. William Trollope, 1834. Dr. Trollope taught classics in the Hospital, of which his father had been for some years the Head-master, and his book is much more complete and detailed than Wilson's.
Since Lamb and his two friends left Christ's Hospital, it has become of necessity somewhat more like other schools. The piggins, the jacks, and the platters have been relegated to the museum of curiosities : every boy is taught arithmetic. But the quaint old-world “comely garment” lingers on, and the boys still practise the virtue of self-help. The “trades" of "knife and fork," "bread" and “platter," each with its allotted part at the “public suppers,” are flourishing to-day; and on Easter Tuesday, 1896, the Blues received from the Lord Mayor a new shilling, a glass of wine or lemonade, and two buns.1 Definitions are not yet needed for such terms as “Grecian," a "crug-basket,” or the "First Order."
Of Christ's Hospital in the present or the immediate past, much might doubtless be written, very welcome to those who can look back to days of childhood among her cloisters; but such an attempt lies outside the scope of this volume.
The Rev. R. Lee, Head-master, and Mr. R. L. Franks, the clerk of Christ Hospital, have kindly permitted the taking of various sketches and photographs for the illustrations. I have further been most generously assisted by Mr. Wm. Lempriere, of the Counting-House, who, inspired by strong loyalty to the Hospital, has lent numerous prints for reproduction from his
1 In place of the shilling, Monitors receive 2s. 6d. ; Junior Grecians, Ios. 6d. ; Grecians, 21s. The original custom was to give smaller sums (6d., Is., and ios. 6d.). The alternative of lemonade is a modern innovation.
interesting private collection, and has spared no time or trouble in answering questions, and looking over the notes, &c., to ensure their accuracy.
Mr. Everard Howe Coleman, late of the Admiralty and Board of Trade, who was at the Hospital, 1827-1834, has also kindly given me some interesting reminiscences, and lent a few prints for reproduction.
For the use of a few notes to Lamb's essays from Canon Ainger's editions, I am indebted to the Master of the Temple and his publishers, Messrs. Macmillan & Co. Mr. Ernest Hartley Coleridge has most kindly joined with Mr. W. Heinemann in allowing me to include four letters by Coleridge, written from Christ's Hospital, and first published in the Illustrated London News, April 1, 1893. Nos. I. and III. are also printed in Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge, in 2 vols., W. Heinemann, 1895, being Nos. VI. and VII. on pages 21, 22.
R. B. J.
“ Christ's Hospital is a thing without parallel in the country, and sui generis. It is a grand relic of the mediaval spirit-a monument of the profuse munificence of that spirit, and of that constant stream of individual beneficence which is so often found to flow around institutions of that character. It has kept up its main features, its
. traditions, its antique ceremonies, almost unchanged, for a period of upwards of three centuries. It has a long and goodly list of worthies.”
- Report of the Schools' Inquiry