The city of Exeter: Letters and other papers (5 of 10)

Pages 133-162

Report On the Records of the City of Exeter. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section

Abraham Rutter.

L. 221. May 27, 1622.—The Lords of the Council forward to the Mayor a warrant for the arrest of Abraham Rutter, a citizen of Exeter, as soon as he should return from the Low Countries. (fn. 1)

Postscript.—You are to carrie this busines verie secretly least that Rutter having notice thereof doe forbeare to returne thither and keepe out of the way.

In L. 224, June 15, 1622, Lord Mandeville [President of the Council] writes to the Mayor, &c., that he has received their letter of June 11th and therewithall Abraham Rutter, whom you had order from the Board to apprehend. He desires them to search Rutter's house for his Books of Account and letters of advice, and them to take and keepe in your custody till you have further order from the Board.

In L. 232 (undated, but circ. July 8, 1622), William Prouse writes to the Mayor:—"I am commaunded to attend the Kinges Attorney tow. [i.e. touching] your letter, Mr. Maior, to the Lord president, which accordingelie I have don this evening. From Mr. Attorney's owne mouthe, I am required to intreate you to send up such bookes and other writinges as you have taken into your custodie of Mr. Rutter's; and to send them up fast sealed under your hand and seale, that they maie not faile to be here at the fardest by the 15th of this monethe, that my selfe maie have them to deliver with my owne hand to Mr. Attorney, from whom he expectes to receive them as a person trusted by him for the expeditinge of his Majesties service, which as is pretended is of greate importance; hereof I humblie beseche your worship have speciall care to send them by a faithfull and speedie messenger, that I maie receive them in due tyme, to present them as is spetiallie required, which I leave to your wisedome and graver consideracon. [With side note: "Reade this parte to Mr. Maior onlie."]

The Free Schools.

L.234. July 15, 1622.—The Lords of the Council write to the Bishop of Exeter [i.e Valentine Cary, see L.10, p 17] enclosing a petition of William Perriman, "Schoolemaister of the Haigh School in the Cittie of Exeter [called "the ancient school of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter" in Cal. Dom., 1629–1631, p 297, June, 1630], complaining of divers great abuses and outrages offered unto him, his ushers and schollars by Zacharie Wills, an apprentice and others [endorsed "The Lords letter to the Lord Carye Bishopp about the riott at Southernhay," see L. 242, p 131; also Lloyd Parry, p 19], and desiring the Bishop to take full examinations concerning the matter.

This letter, which is somewhat torn, has been the outside of a bundle of papers relating to this business, and is thus endorsed by Izaack:—"These several papers doe expresse the particuler vexations and complaynts of Wm. Perryman, a Schoolemaster, against the Cittie of Exeter, and charitable worke &c., wherein though two Bishops [i.e. Cary and Hall] and the Deane and Chapter of Exeter joyned with them, yet were their reasons rejected and severall men's pious donations ordered to be performed prout Pasch 7 Car. [i.e. Charles I—1631] R. in May att the Counsell Board." (fn. 2)

In L. 271, Jan. 4, 1624–5 [also L. 235, undated, which is a duplicate, wrongly endorsed 1622, with slight verbal variations] William Perriman, Schoolemaister of the Highe School in the Cittie of Exeter, petitions George [Abbot] Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, stating that the magistracy of Exeter out of a long suppressed malice against him for complaining some three yeres since to the Lords of the Council (L. 234) of the countenancing and bearing out certain riotous persons who had highly violenced and wronged him, his ushers and scholars, have of late besides divers false and scandalous aspersions tendinge to his defaminge and disablinge in his person and profession contrarie to the letter of the Lords, the opinion of the Judges of Assize, and without anie former president caused him to be taxed for the first payment of the last Subsidie and since to the second payment.

That notwithstanding by his solicitation and private charge of 300l. he hath byn the meanes of reedifying the said schoole, wherein he hath ymployed his best tyme and endeavors theise 22 years, they have labored to erect a newe schoole in prejudice if not overthrowe of his most auncient schole.

That lookinge herein redresse from the Reverend Lord Bishop there (though verie willinge) was not able to releive hym, havinge noe Temporall jurisdiction in that Cittie.

That lastlie in further execution of their still continuinge spleene they have without any former usage assessed him towards the erectinge of a magazine for powder and he humblie suinge therein for the priviledge of his profession was by them bound in this tyme of Chrismas and dead of winter to appear before the right Honorable the Lord Russel, Lord Lieutenant of that Countie here near London, (fn. 3) and could by noe meanes begge a further and more seasonable journey.

With a note : I praie the Lord Russell to give the best assistance that his Lordshipp can to this petitioner in his honest cause.—G. Cant. [See Lloyd Parry, pp. 28, 31.]

On the back is a copy of a writ dated Whitehall, Feb. 7 1624–5, summoning "such two of the Aldermen of the Cittie of Exeter as you shall thinke fittest instructed and authorised on your behalfes to make answare to the said complaintes" of George (sic). Perriman :—

In a further petition addressed to the Lords of the Privy Council, a duplicate of which is in L. 272 (undated), Mr. Perryman asserts:

They practize to erecte a newe schoole and bringe in another schoolmaster your petitioner havinge served in that place without just cause of exception 22 yeres, drawne thither by themselves from a place of equall benefitt, the schole beinge capable of receivinge manie more, and your petitioner havinge at his owne charges of 300l. reedified the same and provided learned ushers at his greate cost to serve there.

That on his return from the interview with Lord Russell, "residinge neare London," they first in approbrious termes reviled your petitioner, saying he was a proude, sawsie, insolent fellowe, and they would whipp hym worse then he whipped anie scholler, and within fewe daies after to the further disgrace of yur petitioner, called an unusuall assembly to gether and pressed your petitioner, there to make publique confession and pressed your petitioner there to make publique confession and acknowledgment of the afore said supposed error. Divers other causeless reproaches and Injuries tendinge to the scandalizinge of his person and disablinge and discouraginge hym in his profession are dailie offered to your petitioner, whereof your Lordshipps may be likewise pleased to be further informed by his Counsell.

The premisses considered the petitioner humblie praieth your Lorshipps to take such course as in your wisdomes shall seeme best as well for the petitioner's furture exemption from the like taxes and charges and for upholdinge the priviledges of the Auncient Schoole, as also for the future quiet of your petitioner and some reparation for the disgrace susteyned as beforesaid.

L. 236 (undated).—Wee have heard of a petition about three yeares past exhibited by the schoolmaster of Exeter unto the Lords of his Majesties privye Councell complayninge as now against the Magistrates of Exeter—which busenes when itt came to hearinge before the Lord Byshopp, as wee are crediblie informed by the Recorder of Exeter, beinge present, he onelie called and accused one of the Aldermen, namely Mr. John Prowze, which wee are the rather induced to beleeve because none of us besides the said Alderman Prowze were either publikelye called before the said Lord Byshopp at the tyme of the examynacon of the busenes or privatlie dealt with therein by the lord Byshopp or any from hym. Butt as wee have heard the said Schoolmaster finding his owne error that he had peticioned against the whole Governors and att the hearinge called and accused butt one by the advice (as itt seemes) of some frend of his complayned att the laste in grosse against all the Governors, but soe Coldlye as nott any one of us (Mr. Prowse excepted) were ever called before my Lord touchinge the busenes and the petition itt self which was exhibited unto the lords of his Majesties Privy Counsell after itt was once read before the said Lord Bishopp, as wee have heard could not ever againe be seene, soe as wee could not informe ourselves of the Injurye Slaunders he did us therein Whereby wee might have proceeded to right our selves by a Course of Lawe.

Now for justifieinge of our proceedings in this busenes, on Complaint made on the parte of the ushers (though on examynacion wee found both partyes faultye as itt will [presentlye] appeare) yett wee bound over onelie the Townsmen unto the next generall Sessions. At which Sessions there beinge noe legall proceedings against them by the adverse parte they were discharged in open Sessions by the then Maior and Justices, Richard Waltham, Counsellor at lawe then sittinge in place of the Recorder."

[Endorsed: "The passages of the busines touching Perriman in 1622 before ye Lord Bishop of Exon, et that not binding the ushers as the townsmen were argues us [i.e. the magistracie] to be farr from mallice." For abstract, see Lloyd Parry, p. 18.]

In L. 243, London, April 27 (s.a., but=1624, though endorsed 1623, as Lloyd Parry, p. 24), J. Chappell [possibly a son of John Chappell, who was Mayor in 1595] writes to the Mayor, John Gupwill:—

"Right Worshipfull.

"My humbell and most Bounden dutie unto you and the Rest of the Worshipps Remembered. Accordinge to your derectiones I have Imparted unto Mr. Recorder [Nicholas Ducke] and Mr. Prouze the substance of the buisnes which your worship and the Rest willed me to dow, and in especiall, touching the Treatie with our Lord Bushoppe for his favour in permitinge of another skoolmaster to teach within the City.

"The weeke after my first Cominge to London the Lord Bushope was moved by Mr. Recorder, Mr. Prouze and my selfe beinge present, and his Awnsear was That as yet he was not so fullye acquented with the maner of the skooll, but would advise himsealfe with those which better knowe yet and then would give his Awnsear; and one Sundaye last Mr. Recorder, Mr. Prouze and my sealfe In The afternone went to his house, and ther after many Comunicationes, wher his Chauncelor was present, his Awnsear was fullie and plenarily thus: "That yf yet might appear of any particular Comodity might Redound to the citizens by the havinge of another skoolmaster, he would willinglie yeald to their request, &c., and that at his next Cominge downe into the Cuntrie, which he said by Godes grace should be present after this seecion of parlement: he doupted not but to give them good satisfaction, and withal said That yf any other course wear taken for the admission of another skoollmaster yet should in no maner discontent him. In the discourses of pro and con., The Chauncelor touched that Mr. Periman had not in all one hundred and ffortie skollers and that he did not macke clear of the skooll above a hundred pound per annum, and said he would mantayne the poyntes to be True.

"This is far under the number and some which Mr. Recorder and Mr. Prouze alleaged, and so upon thoes termes wee parter; nowe having Receaved this determinat Awnsear, Mr. Recorder willed me to signifye unto your worshippis what had passed, and withall said for present he saw no waye to Attayne unto yet except some pregnant mattir could be proved against Mr. Periman of any fact done by him: and for to move yet in the parlement yet would bee but a hassard to expend mony upon a douptfull event, for the parlement is possessed with many petitions and billes, and yf everi daye wear a weeke, yet would bee time littell yenoufe to determine them, and many will come short of ther expectation.

"The Buisines of examinations about the Lord Treasearor [see L. 268, p 114] which hath binne dependinge near a moneth hath binne the cause that many billes and petitiones of greavanceslye backe, and attend time. Diverse Merchantes of London and Bristtowll and my selfe wear summoned to appear before the Lords of the heier house and ther sworne by the Lord Keeper to awnsear before the Lordes Committes touchinge greavances of which Attendance wee are not yet freed, but this weeke we hoope the Lord Tresearour's Buisines will be Censured, which I fear will fall heavye; for our greavances of the pretermitted Custome, the Grocerie, the prisage, the Alowance of repayment of Impost upon sugares exported, the Allowance upon other Perpetuances, and small Devon, Somersett and Dorset Dozns, wee are in good hoope of some Redresse: for other particular * * * hear, yet is the backe see ebbinge and flowinge, up and downe; so a man dare not be thauthoc (?) onlie his Majesties graciouse speache [see p.114], whereof I send you a coppie [not preserved], and his generall pardon is said to be verie large. The licke hath not binne since the first year of the late quenes Raigne. In Mr. Recorder's Chamber ther was some speache of Mr. John Martin's (fn. 4) death, and many Reported to be suttores for the Town clark Shippe, and emongest many which were named, Mr. Recorder said he could wyishe yf yett did so please the Mr. of the 24 that Mr. Wm. Neald, which hath binne well experimenced in the ofice to be a fit man and cappabell to dow good ofices for the Citye upon any occasion. Thus I humblie take my leave and dow Remayne at your Worshippe's comandement in all dutie to be comanded,

"J. Chappel."

In L.268, Westminster, April 24, 1624, John Prowse writes to the Mayor:—"Concerning a newe scholemaster I feare our bishop wilbe adverse to our desire, whose aunsweare wee shall understand tomorrow, however Mr. Recorder and my selfe joyne in opinion that you should by a letter subscribed by yourselfe and all our magistrates, with some others of the better citizens, wryte to my Lords Grace of Canterbury, humbly Intreating his favor in this busynesse which being sent in season wee will second you, in the meane tyme wee purpose notwithstanding to be suters unto his Grace for the efecting of your Request if possybly wee maie obteyne the same."

L. 273. Chiswick, Jan. 6, 1624–5.—Francis Lord Russell (see p.II) writes to the Mayor and deputy Lieutenants of Exeter:—

"After my hartie commendacons I received from you latelie a letter with a Recognizance wjerein Mr. Willyam Perryman, Schoolemaister of Exeter, was bound to appear before me together with your informacion against hym towchinge the cause of his byndinge over; Soe it is that he made his byndinge over; Soe it is that he made his apparance before me within the tyme prefixed by the recognizance and before I had received your letter or informacion against hym towchinge the cause of his byndinge over; Soe it is that he made his apparance before me within the tyme prefixed by the recognizance and before I had received your letter or information against hym whereby I could not att the first charge hym particularlie with anie offence; but since then he hath come to me againe; And nowe comparinge your information with his aunsweares I find his refusall to pay the rate imposed on hym towards your magazine of powder to be the onlie matter of substance laide to his charge proper for me to consider and judge of. And touchinge that point he laboures to excuse or att least to extenuate the offence complyned of by alleaginge your former passinge by of him for theis manie yeres in rates of like nature, which thoughe it were not of right seemeth to have byn done out of some favour which yourselves in former tymes helde not inconvenient to afford hym. And therefore albeit I approve and commend your proceedings hitherto against hym, yet fyndinge hym now to fall of from that spiritt of contradiccion which you alleadge to have formerlie byn in hym and willinge to submitt hymselfe to my judgment and that he acknowledgeth his error of his confident protestacions that he gott the most part of that little meanes he hath without your Cittie by a match, and that he hath alreadie laid out a good part of his fortune in reedifyinge the schoole house of your Cittie, from whence you may all reape a common benefitt. I am for these reasons and in respecte of a speciall recommendacion in his behalfe from the Lord's Grace of Canterbury induced to give waye that he be spared from contributinge to this rate att this tyme with this causion neverthelesse that he confesse his error before you and in such sorte as the other refractorie persons formerlie did, and that it be not drawne into precident for men of anie qualitie who may not take occasion by the example of this one favor showed to a single scholler to presume of the like indulgence. Thus I bidd you hartelie farewell, restinge,

Your verie lovinge ffrend,

Ffra. Russell.

[For abstract see Lloyd Parry, p. 28.]

L. 274. Whitehall, Feb. 7, 1624(25).—The Lords of the Council write the Mayor and Aldermen of Exeter:—

"After our hartie commendacons, Whereas George (sic) Perryman, Schoolmaster of the Cittie of Exeter, hath by peticion humblie complained to this Board of sundrie causeless and uniust vexacions putt uppon hym by you the particulars whereof appear more at large in his said peticion, a coppie whereof we send you inclused [i.e. L. 271,p. 135], wee have thought good hereby to will and require you to cause to appear before us at Whitehall the 18th daie of this present month such two of the Aldermen of the said Cittie as you shall thinke fittest instructed and authorized on your behalfe to make aunsweare to the said complaint, and soe wee bid you farewell.—Your lovinge ffriends,

H. Mandeville, G. Cant." [and 6 others]. [This is copied verbatim, but without the signatures on the back of L. 271.]

L. 275 (undated and somewhat damaged).— "Aunsweares to Mr. Willyam Perryman's false and slanderous allegacons. ffirst for the complaynt touchinge the supposed ryott. The 26th daie of June, 1622. Mr. Perryman came unto the then Maior and complayned of some abuses done unto hymself and the ushers, and desired Mr. Maior to take the informacion of one witnes that was then suddenlie to departe the Cittie, which Mr. Maior and one of the Aldermen forthwith tooke. And the 27th daie Mr. Maior and all the Aldermen of the Cittie (Mr. Sheeres onlie excepted) spent the whole daie in further examination of the buysnesses. The 28th daie was markett daie, which Mr. Maior for manie servics is to attend. The 29th daie the s [? several] persons complayned of were bound to the good behaviour and to appeare at the Sessions, which they did, and noe one then prosecutinge anie legall course against them, they were discharged. Richard Waltham, Esq., Counsellor at Law, beinge then presente and in . . ., as by the said severall examinacions and recognizances the coppies whereof wee send herewith maie . . . Add hereunto that the peticion unto the Lordes in anno 1622 was generall against the Maior and Aldermen of the Cittie, yet att the severall hearinges before the Lord Bishopp by refferance from the boarde (Mr. Recorder beinge then presente) he complaynes against Mr. John Prouse onlie ; so that not anie other of the Aldermen were eyther called or questioned, nether hath there anie hurt or damage ever since happened to anie one by reason of the said difference.

ffor the Subsidie yt is Commissioners dutie to performe what they be trusted with. And it was the opinion of divers Learned Lawyers that he was not to be exempted as his case stands. And therefore wee in discharge of our duties did thinke fitt he should stande, as the raters had presented hym to us, the same beinge before anie man had given his opinion to the contrarie, yett we have heard that some of the Commissioners did afterwards certefie for hym into the Exchequer, whereuppon he was for that first Subsidie (with much labour) discharged, but with this direction (as wee were informed) that this favour was not againe to be expected for hym. Whereuppon wee againe gave waie he should be rated to the second Slubsidie alsoe, and whither that be discharged or noe wee knowe not. The reasone whie he was not formerlie rated here to the Subsidie was in regarde the best parte of his estate (as wee understande) was then in a Tenement he had in the Countie of Devon. . . . was there rated by the Commissioners for that Countie, which Tenement beinge since sold . . . in his purse wee holde ourselves to rate hym here. And to the ratinge of hym to the ffifteenethes wee fynde by precedence . . . as he is nowe rated xijd. in the same. ffor our purpose in erectinge a newe schoole, it is a strange complaynt, since it hath byn ever understoode . . . worke of pietie, and this was earnestlie sought by a peticion to the Chamber of Exon under the . . . of 60 of the sufficients of the Commons att the leaste, which said peticion did importune the magistrates to solicite the Lord Bishopp to this purpose, without anie thought (for ought wee knowe) to supplant the man, but to add another schoole to this Cittie, and if wee proceede therein the intente is it shalbe a ffree schoole indowed with maintenance for the Ease of posteritie for the education of their children, the payments nowe to the maister and ushers by the parents and frinds of the schollors beinge verie extraordinarie greate more than doble ever heretofore unto anie of his predecessors, which is exceedinglie complayned of, and the populousnes of this Cittie togeather with those that are sent hither from the Countrie greatelie needinge another teacher. And as for his comynge from his former place of teaching to this Cittie, he hymselfe was an earnest suitor for the same. And Archdeacon Hellier did earnestlie solicite for hym alsoe unto the then Maior. This change was well worthy his endeavours, for that wee conceive it to be seaven tymes more in value then his former place, which hath enabled hym to bestowe . . . the Schoole. What his charge was wee knowe not, but he received . . . towards the same by the benevolence of manie gent. and other both in Countrie and Cittie. And some are of opinion that his receipts did exceede his disbursements.

ffor the powder rate it was comaunded by Authoritie and required by the right honorable the Lord Leivtenaunte under his hand and seale that those that would not pay those rates ymposed on them should be bound to appeare before his Lordshipp within the lymitted tyme of Twentie daies. The Schoolmaister was warned (as all others were) to paye or to appeare att the Guyldhall 3 or 4 tymes in the last summer. When as a Coppie of the said Commission was likewise sent to be shewed unto hym and all others. Yet he never gave his absolute aunsweare untill the 22th daie of December last, and then obstinatlie refusinge to paye ; and desiringe to aunsweare the premisses before the said Lord Leivetenaunte, was then bound by recognizance according to the tenour of the said Commission. And he appearinge was by his Lordshipp ordered to give publique acknowledgmente of his Error. Agreeinge therewith, the Maior and deputie Leivtenaunts after his retorne sent unto hym the Chamberlyn, and one of the Bayliffs of the said Cittie (noe ordinarie messingers) to give hym notice of the place and tyme that the (sic) had appointed to sitt (as formerlie they had often done) for the receivinge of the like rates of other persons, which (probabelie by his example) were then unpaide, and expected his presence then and there to performe what his Lordshipp had ordered, where he came and made a bare acknowledgmente of his supposed Error, as he termed it. Yet in peaceable manner of the deputie leivtenaunts' parte it was accepted.

... and his Lordshipp's letter sent by Mr. Perryman, which ... seaven daies by him after his retorne home. And untill the verie daie after Mr. Recorder's departure for London will likewise cleare this last Article verie fullie, as well for the lymitted tyme of his appearance before his Lordshipp as likewise for the order of his Acknowledgment, which he soe sleightlie performed.

All the complaynts are but for 16s. 6d.

Filed with this is a document (L. 275a), undated but endorsed "Feb., 1624–5. Obiections and Answeares to perryman's peticion," containing a few additional facts:— E.q. (a)The petition exhibited to the Mayor and Governors "about Michaelmas last" was "from the Commons of Exon, being 60 in number and all Subsidie men and of the better ranke of that Citty."

  • b "The place from which he (Perriman) came being a Countrey towne and a meane schoole noe way equall in benefitt to Exon Schoole."
  • c "It shall be proved he received by way of benevolence from the Justices and gent. of Devon and from the Magistrates and Cittizens of Exon neere that somme (i.e. 300l.) if not more."
  • d "They deny that he was reviled by any of them with any such opprobrious words as are complayned of."

[For abstract see Lloyd Parry, p. 33.]

L. 276 (Feb. 23, 1624–5), with duplicate in L.277:—

Your highnes devoted the Bishop of Exeter [Valentine Cary] being hindered by sickness from making my personall appearance before you this day: doth in all gentlenes present unto you this narracion of the difference between the Citty of Exeter and Mr. Perryman, the Schoolmaster there, soe farre as I have had any hand or dealing therein between them.

It pleased your highnes to vouchsafe by your Letters to reserve unto me at my first coming amongst them the hearing and examining of a matter of which the Scholemaster had exhibited a complaynt unto your highnes.

In obedience to your comaundment, I did convent the parties before me in the presence of divers wise and discreete gent., and having heard the matter at full on both partes I founde (as I did apprehend it) that there had been great abuse offered unto them of the schoole by some of the younger sort of the Citty, and little or no satisfaction given for the same by the better sort (the magistrates) when the Schoolemaster complained of that abuse unto them, but only this, That when they understood of his refuge to your highnes for redresse, They formally did binde some fewe of the delinquents to the good behaviour unto the time of their next Sessions, not binding any other to come in and lay anything to their charge.

I should have made certificate thereof unto your highnes, but choose rather to lett it sleepe by me for two reasons. One because I was lothe at my first cominge to doe the Citty any bad office in procuring them any check or blame. The other because I sought to make pace amongst them and thought that the suppressing of the certificate would be an effectuall meanes thereof. And to that end I warned the Schoolemaster to carry himselfe respectively towards them and exhorted them to use him freindly. Wherein I finde my laboure in vayne, and how my good purposes have bine requited I will not now complaine.

Another matter betweene them happening since the former is this: Whereof may it please your highnes to be thus advertised. During the last Session of parliament there came unto me three persons of qualitie (the Recorder of the Citty and two others) [L. 243, see page 137], in the name of the Maior and his brethren, with a request that I would allowe them to have in their Citty another Grammer Schoole besides Mr. Perryman. I answeared that I would deferre it untill my coming into the country, when I should heare both their reasons for having another, and they should heare me for the upholding of him (et melior sententia vincat).

Att my last being in the Country, the Maior with his brethren and the Recorder came and renewed their mocion unto me.

I perceaving well that their mocion tended indirectly to the hindrance of Peryman and his schoole, Demaunded of them first whether they had any iust exception against him either of insufficiency, or of negligence or of misdemeanor, or of undue usage of his Schollers, and said that if they had any such iust excepcion I would either reforme or remove him. They answeared me, that they had nothing to say against him. I secondly demaunded of them what cause they had to desire another Schoolemaster with him, I sawe noe necessity thereof, for the Schoolehouse (built lately) most at his owne charge for perpetuity to the Citty, is soe spatious as it is able to receive and conteyne a hundred more Schollers then he hath, And he hath also the helpe of ushers under him sufficient to teach many more.

I sawe noe good thereby could come to the Cittye, but rather much inconvenyence of gentlemen [═"p'ents," in L. 277] would upon every sleight occasion remove their children from schoole to schoole, whereby the children would be hindered in their learning. And therefore considering theis reasons and withall the well deserving of the poore man for his 20 yeares paines and upwards taken amongst them, and also howe my predecessor [Bishop Cotton] had settled him in his place, inhibiting any others to learne Gramer there, save him alone, I desired them to rest contented, though I could not yeeld to their desire.

They replayed that yf I would not graunt their desire they could seeke unto a higher power, where they did not doubt to obteyne it, and therein (as became me) I left them to their liberty.

Thus with my humble dutye remembered, I testifye under my hand,

Valen. Exon.

I cannot but second the latter parte of this Certificate of my predecessor for the abilitye of the Teachers and capacitie of the Schoole. The case still standeth as it did formerly without any new cause of excepcion.

Jo. Exon [i.e. Bishop Hall].

[Updated, but circ. June, 1630, seeL. 334, p. 147; also Cal. Dom. 1629–31, p. 451.]

And wee the Deane and Chapter of the said Cathedrall Church of St. Peeter in Exeter having oftentymes bene acquainted with the premisses and knowing the opinion of Bishopp Carey and our now Bishopp Hall to be founded upon sufficient grounds doe most humbly desire that considering the Old Schoole is able to conteyne a great many more schollers then now it hath, and finding both Schoolmaster and Ushers very able men to supply their severall places in this behalfe, noe new Schoole may be erected, it being very preiudiciall to the priviledges of our Church and contrarie to our locall statutes, the which we are sworne to observe and keepe.

[Both these documents are copies. For the originals see State Papers Dom., vol. clxxxiv, f. 39; Cal. Dom., 1623–25, p. 483; see also Lloyd Parry, p. 42.]

[For abstract see Lloyd Parry, pp. 25, 35.]

In L. 281 is a petition of the inhabitants of Exeter to the Chamber [endorsed"In the yeare of Mr. John Gupwill," who was Mayor 1623–4] setting forth that they sent their children to school to one Mr. Perriman, and that he and his Ushers having too many schollers to teach they profited nothing at all, for which cause and for the crewell and tirannicall whippinge of divers of our said children being apte to learne and of mild nature, some three, fower, five and six tymes in one day, whereby some of our children pretendinge that they went to schoole went a meechinge half a yeare or more togeather, others refusing ever to goe to schoole to him, chusinge rather to hange themselves, drowne themselves, cut theire owne throats or otherwise murder or mischeife themselves ; whence divers were compelled to put their Children to their greate charge att Country Scholes and others to keepe them att home from schoole, divers of your suppliants beinge in this perplexitie did put theire children to schoole to one Thomas Spicer, where for the most part they profitted more in one quarter of a yeare then they did in Two yeares at the said Perriman's Schoole. But soe itt is yf itt may please your worshipps that of late the said Perriman hath procured a letter from Mr. Doctor Goach to prohibite the said Thomas Spicer from teachinge. By reason whereof your Suppliants and theire children are likelie to be utterlie undone and to be barred from Learninge, which is most lamentable. And in Tender Consideration whereof we doe most humblie beseech your worshipps to take into your Consideration the consequence of this busines and to aide and assist to your uttmost endevour to prevent further inconveniencye and mischefe that another schoole master may be allowed and authorized to teach the worke and our request is Good, Godly and Religious ; the reward wilbe yours. God direct all, and wee will pray for your worshipps preservation. Augustyn Drake, John Turner, Bartholomew Hore, Richard Hart. In the behalfe of ourselves and our owne wronges and of many hundreds more within the said Cittie and in the Countrye. [Extract in Lloyd Parry, p. 23.]

In L. 278, Feb. 23, 1624 (i.e. 1625), is an order from the Lords of the Council to the magistrates of Exeter concerning Perryman's business, stating that : "present the Archbishopp of Canterburye, the Lord President, the Lord Bishopp of Winchester and six others. The Mayor and Aldermen of the Cittye of Exon having sent us two of their Corporation on that beehalfe were this day (as well by the foresayd two persons as by their learned Counsell) heard at the Board, the sayd Peryman and his Counsell beeinge also present, whear after many alligacions on both sydes and much debate had, their Lordshipps found that somewhat to hard a hand had been caryed agaynst the said Peryman by the magistrates of the said Towne in som particulers which put him unto unnecessary charge and vexacion. Yet for that it was conceived to have som mixture of private endes of their owne accompanyed with som indisposition to the persons of the Schoolmaster (of whose sufficiency and good demeanor the

Wt. 20757. Ex 10

Board was satisfyed on very good testemony), Their Lordshipps thought fitt and ordered that the magistrates of the sayd Towne should bee heereby admonished to forbeare to put any the like unnecessary charge or troble heereafter upon the sayd Schoolemaster but give hym such respecte and countenance as belonge to a person of his callinge and profession, hee demeaninge hymselfe accordingly, with admonityon likewise geeven by their whole Lordshipps to the Schoolemaster then present beefore them that he should by his respective and good caryadge seeke and endevor on his parte to regayne the love and good opynion of the Cittye. [See Lloyd Parry,p. 36.]

In L. 306, Exeter, Nov. 21, 1627, John Acland (Mayor), four Aldermen and two others write to Bishop [Joseph] Hall: "Wee humblie gratulate your Lordships inauguraccion into this dioces. (fn. 5) Whereas wee have bin solicited by the Commons of this Cittie to become suitors to your Lordshipp yt you wilbe pleased to allow two publique Scholes of Gramer for the better education of their children and entreteinment of others yt shalbe sent hither because by the multitude and ill usage of schollers many are forced to keepe their sonnes abroade to their greate costes and greater discomforte. Wee are bolde to desire your Lordshipps lawfull favoure in this behalfe that wee partake the like libertie as other Cities of les extente inioye; wee do farther testifie that the hye schole here which nowe usurpethe a monopolie of Grammer to the generall greivance of all our Inhabitants and other gent in the Countrye never had neyther it hathe (as farr as wee could ever learne) anie legall priviledges by patent or otherwyse to barre others from teachinge within certeine precincts of this place as is pretended ; for wee have knowen two publique teachers of grammer at once in this Cittie divers tymes even in our memory, thoughe some have bin prohibited by your predecessors. In all which respects wee flye to the sanctuary of your Lordshipps pietie to restore our ancient immunityes by which publique benefitt tendinge to the good of all you shall make many glad hartes and bynd us and our posteritie to praie for your Lordshipp's prosperitie and longe continuance among us." [See Lloyd Parry, p. 38.]

In D. 1769a is a reference to 200l. left by Thomas Walker (fn. 6) towards the founding of a free grammar school in Exeter, where the children of the freemen of the said city might be taught and instructed in the learning of the Latin tongue without any charge to their parents. [See Lloyd Parry,p. 39.]

In D. 326, Aug. 18, 1629, the trustees of Hugh Crossinge [who died in 1621] direct that in case his bequest, originally meant to endow an Hospital or workinge house, shall not have been used for that purpose within the next three years it shall be used towards the erecting of a Free Grammar School under the direction of the Chamber.

L. 334. Undated, but endorsed June, 1630.—Petition to the Lords and others of the Privy Council from William Perryman, Scholemaster of the High Schole in the Citty of Exeter, humbly showing—

That whereas upon a Petition heretofore exhibited to your Lordshipps by your Petitioner compleyneing of the Mayor and Aldermen of that Citty for assessing your Petitioner to the subsidies and fifteends contrarie to the opinion of the Judges of Assize in poynt of Lawe, the will of the Assessors and theire owne constant usage for more than 20 yeares before, It pleased your Lordshipps by an order of this honourable Board to admonish the Magistrates of the said Citty to for beare to put any the lyke unnecessarie charges upon your Petitioner.

Yet soe it is may it please your Lordshipps that the Magistrates of the said Citty in centempt of your Lordshipps' order have since forced your Petitioner (unwilling to have any new differences with the said Magistrates) was content to pay and forbeare complaynte there to your Lordshipps.

Since which the said Magistrates (conceiveing causeles spleene against your Petitioner, who hath according to your Lord shipps' admonicion endeavoured by all respective and good carriage to regaine theire love and good opinion) have resolved and prepared Materialls for erecting of a newe free Schoole in the said Citty and bringing in a Schoolemaster of theire owne on purpose by that meanes to impoverish your Petitioner, who was almost 30 yeares since drawne thither by them from a place of equall benefitt to your Petitioner, and hath since at his owne charge of 300li. and upwards reedified the same Schoole and made it capable of receiving many more Schollers then that Citty can afford and alsoe provided learned Ushers to his great cost to serve there.

And all this contrarie to the will of the right reverend Bishopp of that Diocese and of the Deane and Chapter there [see L. 276, p. 144], by both whom they have beene denyed any appro-bacion thereof and alsoe without any just cause of excepcion to your Petitioner for his sufficiencie or diligence.

Your LLordshipps humble Petitioner being thus still molested by them is enforced to renew his humble Complainte to your LLordshipps, humbly beseeching your LLordshipps to vouchsafe to take some such course with the Magistrates of the said Citty as in your honourable wisedomes shalbe thought fitt for stay of the erecting of any such new schoole there and for quietting your Petitioner from any farther trouble in the premises. [See Lloyd Parry, p. 42.]

L. 335. June 25, 1630 [with duplicate in L. 336].— The Lords of the Council have received a petition from William Perryman [L. 334], the contents of which are recited. Theire Lordshipps upon consideration had thereof being satisfied as well of the abillities and well deservings of the petitioner and the sufficiencie of his Ushers and those under him as of the Capacitie and Comodiousnes of the said Schoole to receave many more Schollers that hetherto that Citty and the partes adioyning hath used to afforde, by Certificate from the late Bishopp, seconded and confirmed by the now Bishopp and Deane and Chapter there signifieing likewise all their desires for the reasons contained in the said Certificate) that noe newe Schoole thould be there erected. And their Lordshipps alsoe callinge to minde that uppon a former hearinge before this Board amongst some differences of like nature betweene the said Schoolemaster and the Cittie their intencion to erect a new Schoole (beinge then complained of) the Board did then declare to those who were there present as Agents for the said Citty that noe newe schoole should bee there erected without first acquaintinge the Board therewithall and Licence accordingly obteyned on that behalfe, doe therefore and in consideracion of the premisses finde iust cause to reprove the disrespective carriage and proceedinge of the Mayor and Magistrates herein and doe nowe againe order and declare that they shall foorth with uppon notice hereof desiste and forbeare to erecte any newe schoole within the said Cittie without the privitie and licence of the Board as they will answeare the contrarie. And whereas notwithstandinge the aforesaid Order of the 23rd of ffebruarie 1624 the Petitioner (who being a Schoolemaster is exempted by lawe from payinge of subsidies ffifteenes and other like charges) hath since byn charged with payment of the same. It is further thought fitt and ordered that the said Maior and Magistrates shall Cause repayment to be foorthwith made to the Petitioner of all such somes as have byn taken from him in that kinde since the date of the aforesaid order by such persons as in Contempt of the said order have enforced him to pay the same. And in case of their refusall that the said Maior and Magistrates be hereby authorized and required to binde everie such person over to appeare and answeare the same before this Board. [See Lloyd Parry,p. 43.]

L. 345 endorsed "My instructions," Mich. 6 Cha., [Sept. 29, 1630].—Instructions for drawing a petition to the Lords of the Privy Council or to the King (if occasion shall be) "as well in answeare of divers untrue informacions made against the Maior, Aldermen and Magistrates of the Cittie of Exeter by William Perryman, the late Schoolemaister there, as for the obteyninge of a confirmaciopn of the ffreee Gramer Schoole latelie founded within the said Cittie.

Ffirst the Magistrates of Exeter done in all humilities answear and saye that they have not done anythinges of their Knowledges in erectinge a schoole within the said Cittie contrarie to any order of the Lords of his Majesty's privie Counsell, neither did they ever heare of any declaracion or restriccion made by their Honnours for erectinge any schoole within the said Cittie before the order of the xxvth daye of June last (LL. 335, 336) before which time there was a ffree Schoole founded within the said Cittie by the charitable and liberall bequests and contribucions of divers worthie persons deceased and livinge amountinge to the some of 1,000li. or thereabout and materialls are provided for the perfectinge of the same wherein if they shall be restrayned most parte of those guifts wilbee lost.

Mr. Perryman was not in truth Schoolmaister of the High Schoole in Exeter at the time of exhibitinge this last Petition, neither doth he intermedle with the Schollers there, but hath farmed out the same att a yerelie Rent.

And whereas he informeth that he hath byn inforced by the Magistrates of the said Cittie to paye divers newe assessments in contempte of an order of the Boarde and contrarie to the opinion of the Judges &c., they confidently affirm that Perryman "hath not been assessed to any rate whatever" except for the poor, which he had always readily paid. When asked what assessments he referred to in his last petition, he said that he had paid 8s. for a subsidy. "That of the pour he wayed not, but expected his 8s. againe."

The Assent of the Lord Bishopp hath byn often desired to confirme this pious worke though not obteyned by the opposition of the Deane and Chapter of Exeter as is supposed and as some of them have openlie manifested, which is for their owne ends.

  • 1 Because they have a speciall interest in Perriman's Schoole it being built on their lands or apperteyninge to the Archdeacon of Exon one of their companie and have vli. rent yerelie out of the same.
  • 2 The Deane and Chapter have used heretofore to contribute xxli. or xlli. per annum to the Schoolemaister, but Mr. Perriman trusteth rather to the benevolences of the Schollers, that pencion is saved to them.

Reasons to prove that the erectinge of another Schoole within the Cittie of Exeter is of great Consequence and necessitie to the Cittie and Cittizens.

  • 1 That the Cittie and Countie of Exeter is spacious and populous, consistinge of 19 severall parishes besides the Cathedrall Church with the precincts thereof, and that there are 200schollers and more in teh present schoole, which one Schoolmaister and two Ushers cannot attend without neglect to manie of them.
  • 2 The payments and exactions of this Schoole (besides other great abuses) are of late growne great and chargeable, and whereas in times past a scholler paid onlie ijs. a quarter and never above xs. a yere before Perryman's time, Perryman hath used to take xxs. a yere and more for one scholler and his ushers 8s., 10s. or 12s. and more for the same person.

  • That for the causes aforesaid divers Gent and others residinge neare the said Cittie (who in times past have sent their children to schoole to this Cittie to the greate benefitt of divers of the inhabitants here) and verie manie of the Cittizens alsoe, doe send their children to forraine places to their greate coste and greater discomfort.
  • It hath byn often and earnestlie desired by most of the cheifest Cittizens and inhabitants to have another schoole there, att whose instances and importunities all freindlie meanes have byn used to the two last Bishopps to give waye to the same, but it could not bee gotten of them.
  • It is no newe thinge to have two Schoolemaisters in this Cittie to teach the lattyn tounge (as there are in divers places of lesse emenencye). And there have byn often two severall Teachers of the lattyn tounge in the Cittie of Exeter att one and the same tyme. [the names of 4 pair are given, as also in the endorsement to L. 346].
  • As it is a thinge memorable soe it was conceived lawfull for any man to erecte a ffree schoole, and there beinge not any ffree schoole in the Cittie of Exeter, it mooved the hearts of divers worthie members of that place to initiate soe necessarie and pious a worke, which is with most heartie affeccions desired to be confirmed and established without the least thought to preiudice thother Schoole, . . . ffree Schoole hav[inge] soe liberall a foundation; It is not doubted but it will verie shortelie have a more bountifull endowment. Thos. Flaye, Maior; Ri. Waltham, Recorder; Adam Bennett, Sheriff, and 11 others, including Ignatius Jurdain, Thomas Crossinge, Walter Borough and John Acland (Aldermen). [For summary of this and the following documents, see Lloyd Parry, pp. 44–54.]

L. 346 (undated).—Reasons for the conveniencie and necessitie of Two severall Schooles in the Cittie of Exon.

  • That the present Schoole doth not Contayne all the Schollers that come thither (yet divers others are sent to forraine places) and howe one maister and Two ushers can expedite soe manye Schollers as they doe enterteyne, is worthie of due consideracion. And for soe many to meete togeather in one litle roome cannot but bee dangerous for infeccions &c.
  • That the Cittie of Exon is the cheife place of these westerne parts where many Gent doe often meete and therefore would rather send their Children thither than to other places, if there were another Schoole fitt to enterteyne them, which would bee beneficiall for Cittie and Countrie.

  • That there is not the like precident, that in a Cittie and Countie (of good esteeme in time past) there should not bee one free Schoole in it, though in other places of lesse extent, not farr distant, there are two ffree Schooles, besides other teachers. And that such a multitude of people should bee tyed to the humours of one Teacher (bee of good or evill condicion) would bee displeasinge to any man, whose Childe should suffer iniurie.
  • There have often heretofore byn Two severall publicke teachers or more, of the lattyn toungue in the said Cittie at one and the same time and that manie yeres since, when as one Schoole was more competent for the Schollers then Two are nowe, and Two Schooles would breed a profitable emulacion in maisters to deserve best &c., Whereas Nowe a Scholler cannot bee prepared for the Universitie within Tenne or Twelve yeres.
  • That there is no ffree Schoole within the said Cittie and Countie though fitt for Two consistinge of 19 severall parishes besides the Cathedrall Church and the precincts thereof and divers other greate parishes neare adioyninge. And this intended Schoole is to bee a free Schoole with liberall indowment for a maister and usher, besides it is appointed as parte of an Hospitall latelie founded within that Cittie, and wilbee a speciall lymbe and ornament to the same.
  • That the present schoole is erected on the lands of the Deane and Chapter of Exon, who have heretofore paid an Annual pencion to the Schoolmaister of the high schoole, and then the Cittizens paid litle for teachinge of their children, but of late there are such greate payments and exaccions demaunded and suffered (Three times more then hath byn in the memorie of man) that the pencion is saved and the Schoole is farmed out att an annuall rent. Thos. Flaye, Maior ; Ri. Waltham, Recorder; Ig. Jurdain, Thos. Crossinge, Jno. Acland and Walter Borough, Aldermen, and 2 others, only one of whom (viz. Gilbert Sweete) is among the signatories in L. 345.

L. 347 (undated).—Headed "The Aunsweares to the Opponents reasons against the free Schoole," [in Izacke's handwriting].

  • 1 To the ffirst no such priviledge is acknowledged, And as for the instrument specified in this Article it is not knowne what warrant it hath neither is it materiall to the matter nowe in question. And as for the licence given by Bishop Oldon [i.e. Hugh Oldham, as there is a side-note "1503–1519 "] to Mr. Davids, if such power might bee given to one man (which may bee allowed att pleasure) he must bee inabled to teach 1,000 schollars and more within that Circuit att this time, for ffower schooles att this time are not more competent for the schollers then one Schoole was in those dayes. And that inhibicion therein mencioned was intended for licensed Schooles in his owne time onlie, and not to any free Schoole.

  • 2 It wilbee proved by persons of worth and creditt nowe livinge, that for 50 yeres since and more there have byn severall publicke teachers of the lattyn tounge within the Cittie of Exon at one and the same time and soe there hath byn verie often since, all licensed as its conceived, for Otherwise they should have byn inhibited or suppressed.
  • 3 ffor the capacitie of the present Schoole the contestacion is not about the fairnes of the fabrike but the Conveniencie or Comodiousnes for the education of children, and it is manifest that the same doth not conteyne all the Schollers that come thither, for divers of them are taughte in another roome, neither is the same inlarged by the newe buildinge thereof from what it was formerlie but rather lessened, for it is cast in the same mould, and whereas before it was a ground roome, and nowe an upper, the staires and Portall doth take away much of the largenes thereof. And for the maisters charges in reedifyinge thereof, its thought that his receipts did exceed his disbursements, by liberall contributions &c. And the maister of the Schoole (in whose name the Peticion is exhibited) never tooke any degree in any Universitie.
  • 4 This is a matter casuall, which to Schooles of such greate resorte may bee common, and most of this Cittie doe repaire to Exeter Colledge, and yet there are not halfe soe manie more of this Schoole that are fellowes of all the Colledges of both the universities, neither can the opponents vouch another such president as either of these in all their memories.
  • 5 When Two Schooles shalbee licensed in one Cittie there wilbee the better disciplyne in either, for the Maisters will strive to deserve best and civill emulacion betweene Schollers is accompted a readie waye for increase in learninge, nor can there bee any mutinous or rebellious faction amonge men by having Two Schooles in a well governed Cittie, manie Citties and Townes have Two publike Gramar Schooles besides others allowed to teach there alsoe, and yet finde no such inconveniences neither can parentes bee so scard by the opponents over vigilancie which is for their owne ends onlie.

  • 6 The intended ffree Schoole is parte of an Hospitall latelie founded within the said Cittie, a place most fitt for such a purpose and for aire, scituacion and spaciousnes, it farr exceedeth the present Schoole and is a good space distant.
  • 7 The Guifts to the Schoole amount to l,000l. and upwards, and for the donors legacies mencioned in this Article (which is not the 4th part thereof) the will and the deede will put an end to that particular, which cannot be altered, and if it could, yet all the rest of the guifts wilbee absolutelie lost, as wilbee manifested.
  • 8 In excuse of uniust exaccions the maister would iustefie himself in that he is charged withall, that Schollars pay at least Twentie shillings a yere to the maister and some much more, besides vis., viiid. (sic), xs. or more to the ushers, for one boyes schoolinge, wilbee proved and xxs. (sic) is the ordinarie salarie to the Maister besides ushers and gratuities &c.
  • 9 The Chapter Clarke came to the Maior of the Cittie in (sic) the Deane and Chapter onlie to have a meetinge, which message beinge brought but the Munday in the afternoone, the Tuesday morninge the Maior treated with soe manie of the brethren as he could then gett togeather, and presentlie gave order to returne a milde and freindlie answeare by Two of the officers of the said Cittie, which hath not received a righte interpretacion.
  • 10 Lastlie for the proposicion of electinge a maister of the Schoole &c., or endowinge of theirs (sic) is altogeather unreasonable that persons should have voices that are not contributors (or that have withdrawne xxl. a yere from their owne,) neither can it bee condiscended unto, beinge directlie against the will of the donors, for their desires were, and are, that there should bee Two Schooles in that Cittie, as there have byn often heretofore, there being a competent number of Schollers for both : And this, a ffree Schoole, with liberall endowment which must bee erected on ffee simple land, and not on the Deane and Chapters, which can have but shorte limitacions and therefore a verie needlesse article. Thomas Flaye, Maior; R. Waltham, Recorder, and 5 Aldermen (as in L. 346, but the additional name, Gilbert Sweete, is erased).

L. 348 (undated).—An Answeare to the foregoinge Allegations and proposicions.

  • 1 The ffirst reason is graunted that the maister of the Deane and Chapters Schoole is called Magister Scholarum, nay more, Magister altarum Scholarum, and that Bishopp Olden to gratifie the said Chapter and Thomas Davids, the maister, inhibited all others besides him to teach Gramer publicklie in Exeter or in 7 myles compas which Iniunction (for Pattent it cannot bee called) was iniurious to all the cittizens and onlie temporarie duringe the said Bishop's life, for he was but dominus et diocesanus p. tempore, nor could any acte of his binde his successors, but it was arbitrary for them to alter it at their pleasures, as divers did in their generations, which if it were fitt att that time in such paucitie of Inhabitants, is in these dayes most unfitt when the multitude of Cittizens is doubled or trebled.

2 The seconde is utterlie untrue, for sundrie others (besides the maister of the high schoole) have byn licensed or permitted to teach Gramar in Exeter in men's memorie, which were not inhibited by the Bishop or his Chauncellor, as Mr. Holmes Pasemore and manie moe, and Mr. Spicer, taught publicklie by Bishop Cotton's approbation and authoritie both within the Cittie and afterwards in the suburbs, nor did Bishop Carie att his cominge inhibit him, but when he died the said Bishop would not att the instance of the Maior, Magistrates and Commons permitt any other to teach there.

3 The thirde is partelie false, for the schoole nowe reedified is not longer or larger then it was before, but cast in the selfe same mould," and more as in L. 347, (fn. 7) 3, ending : "Nor is the sufficiencie or industrie of the present maister or ushers questioned, but the impossibilitie of soe fewe to educate soe manie as well as they should bee.

4 The fourth is comon to all Schooles, both publicke and private in this Kingdome and all other Countries, for divers famous schollars spring upp in all places, but they have onlie the grounds of Gramar from such Schooles and improve their learninge in severall sciences and professions by their future industrie in universities or elsewhere.

5 As in L. 347, (fn. 8) 5, adding: "Bristowe, Salisbury, Gloucester, Plymouth and divers other places have Two publicke ffree Gramer Schooles besides others alsoe allowed to teach, yet finde no such inconveniences as are pretended but great benefitt to [blank] and their children, nor can the parents here bee scard with panic terrors of wronginge their children, who finde it so behovfull as in other places. The Legacies given to this worke are primarilie and principallie devoted and destinated to a ffree Schoole (though perhaps secondarilie to other uses). To the excuse of extorted ffees, it is not said that no schollers are enterteyned under xls. yerelie, but that they pay at least xxs. to the maister, and some much more, besides vjs., viiis., xs. or more to the Two ushers, or else they shalbee sleighted: touchinge the motion of endowinge the deane and Chapter's Schoole it is most unreasonable and unfeasible for sith they have withdrawne the stipend or pencion of xxli. yerelie ancientlie due or given to the maister for teachinge the poorer sorte gratis what reason have the Cittizens to conferr their revenues on their Schoole when they intend to erect a new (sic) of their owne, and their cheife ends and desires tendinge to have Two Schools, because one is not enough for that place in this populous Age. Nor can these possiblie condiscend to it, if they were so simple to doe it, because a ffree Schoole must be founded uppon ffree fee simple land and not on others Tenants, but the deane and Chapter cannot graunt the fee of their Schoole : for the overture of a conference Virgil's Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes might well deterr the Maior and magistrates from acceptinge it, and they did wiselie to refuse it, for the deane and Chapter preferred it for their owne advantage either to gaine time by pretendinge to the Lords that they were uppon Termes of Treatie, or to entrap them otherwise, but sithence the Lords had taken the cause into their consideracion, the Cittizens had no reason to prevent their determinacion.

Lastlie, for the proposicion of electing the maister for the Chimærian free Schoole to be erected on the Chapter's land and endowed with the Cittizens largesses by the Deane and Eight Cannons on the one parte and the Maior and 8 Aldermen on the other, constitutinge the Bishop for the time beinge for Umpier in case of equalitie of suffrages, it is a meer moustrap for the Chapter will alwayes agree in their voices in one, so that if the Cittizens dislike or dissent, the Bishop to please his brethren will adhere to the Canons and sticke to their choice, so that the Maior and Magistrates wilbee but Cyphers or Stales in the eleccion. But admitt the pretended priviledge that none besides the maister of their Schoole shalbee licensed to teche within 7 myles circuit of this Cittie to be ratified by royall patent or Acte of Parliament, which yet is nothinge soe nor so, but onlie by Episcopall Iniunction longe since out of date att Bishop Olden's death. Yet could it onlie bar the Bishop from licensinge men arbitrarilie to teach there, but cannot stopp benefactors from buildinge a ffree schoole especiallie in an Hospitall as a [blank] which is warranted and allowed by the Statute of pious uses, so that the Cittie might have proceeded by vertue thereof in their worke notwith-standinge the—[unfinished and unsigned. It is probably a draft by Dr. Vilvain, out of which L. 347 is constructed].

L. 349.—Notes taken about Peryman petition and order, 1630.

That Peryman was not Schoolemaster att the time of exhibitinge this petition, but hath farmed out the same.

The Schollers.—Perryman lefte the Schoole to Haytor, and declares the same openlie to the Schollers in the Schoole, and Haytor told the Schollers he had taken uppon him the charge of the Schoole.

Mr. Robte. Walker.—Haytor hath confessed he hath taken the Schoole for a Rente during the life of Perryman and beinge advised he should be warie what he did, for that the freeschoole would goe on, the said Haytor replied that if the ffreeschoole went on he should be abated of the Rente, or words to that effecte.

Mr. Penny.—Haytor at another time confessed he had taken the Schoole, and there beinge Speech made that there was a newe Schoole to be erected, the said Haytor answeared it was all one to him whither there were or not.

  • 2 Perryman hath not byn assessed to subsidies or ffifteenthes since notice of the order of 1624, or to any charge whatsoever, by the Magistrates, but onlye to the poore in regard of his personall estate, which is greate and hath noe charge.
  • 3 That there was a ffree schoole founded within the Cittie before notice of this last order by the charitable bequestes of divers persons deceased and livinge, the greatest parte whereof wilbe loste if this shoud not goe on. And the Maior and Aldermen never understood of any restrainte made of such a pious worke &c. This is to be proved by the deede, the willes and the notes subscribed.
  • 4 That there have byn often heretofore 2 severall Schooles within the said Cittie attone and the same time, which wilbe proved by divers in the tymes of those who used the same. [8 names of Schoolmasters follow, as in L. 345, 346.]
  • 5 Perryman's exactions and other ill carriage to be particularlie remembered.

Mr. Recorder paid but 4s. a yere, xijd. a quarter, afterwards viijs., and never above xs. before Perryman and he taketh xxs. of a Scholler besides his ushers iiijs. v. or vis. of the same person.

That the newe buildinge of the Schoole would have byn rather advantageous to hym then chargeable by the liberall contributions of divers Gent of this Cittie and the Countie of Devon had he taken that care which he ought, and it is conceived that there are monies remaininge yet in his hands out of those benevolençes if a true Accompte were given of the same, and if any losse be it is by his owne neglecte.

That the Deane and Chapter doe clayme a particular interest in Perryman's Schoole as beinge builte on their land or as belonginge to the Archdeacon of Exeter, and that they have used to contribute 20l. or 40l. a yere to the Schoole maister. Perryman confessed soe much to Mr. Aclande and Mr. Hakewell. Cannon Helliar, reported that Perryman had rather trust to the benevolence of his Schollers then to his pencion.

Perryman sought the place and was not drawne hither by anie one, neither is it likelie that any other place he had byn formerlie in (though in divers) was of equall profitt to this, where he hath gotten a verie great estate, beinge but meane att his coming hither.

That he hath here 200 Schollers and more; by the multitude of them, not onlye the Gent neere the said Cittie doe forebeare to send their Children hither, but divers of the Cittie are enforced to send their Children into other places.

That in regarde thereof there have byn often suites made by the Comons of this Cittie for another Schoole, which could not be obteyned, which caused this foundation to be made according to the order of lawe.

The document, which is unsigned, is addressed "To his lovinge neighbour Mr. Samuel Isacke, (fn. 9) deliver these." "I pray peruse these and retorne them from Sidbury seald upp." They appear to be notes by Dr. Vilvain, on which L. 345 is based.

L. 340. Exeter, Oct. 25, 1630.—I, Robert Vilvain, Doctor in Phisick [see L. 172, page 100], born in the City of Exeter, doo testify upon my knowledg that the Grammar School here commonly cald the High School (fn. 10) (where I had my first Literary education) hath no Lands nor Revenues to maintain a Master or Usher—but am credibly informed, that the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church here, by a public Injunction of K. Edward 6th, did allow an annual Pension of 20li. to the School master, and afterwards withdrew it, leaving him free (without a Free School) to take what fees he could procure from al the Scholars ; and imposed 5li. yearly Rent on him and his successors to be paid to the said Chapter for ever, becaus that School (with the house and Gardens appending) is founded on their Land, and the Nomination of the Schoolmaster appropriated to the Archdeacon of Exeter.

That in the time of my training up there, Mr. Drayton, the Schoolmaster, required and received of the meaner sort only 6s. 8d. yeerly, of most part 8s., and of the ablest 10s. at most, but since his decease Mr. Peryman, the late master (who hath lift of teaching, and farmed the execution of his office to Mr. Haytor, sometime Usher, joined with him in Patent), hath excessively inhansed the stipends, exacting and taking of every one 20s. yerely at least, beside what they give (som 6s., som 8s., som 10s., som 12s.) to the two Ushers for their better diligence and attendance ; which is more then was paid among al in my time of Schooling.

That one Grammar School is not sufficient in this Populous place, being the Center of our whole County, but another Teacher was alwais permitted by the Bishop from time to time til one Mr. Spicer's death, who kept School (in the Suburbs) about 5 or 6 yeres ago (see L. 281, page 145); since which time the Maior, Magistrats and Commons of this City have bin ernest suitors to the two last Bishops, for licencing another to teach Grammar here, but could not obtain it, though Plimouth, a sea-town of much less extent and resort, hath two public Grammar Schooles in it, and divers others in this shire and elsewhere one Free School at least.

That there are in the said High School above 200 Schollars &c. [as in L. 349, ad finem], adding ; but if a Free School were once erected, besides the general good, which would redound to Poor men's Children and others, it wil breed a great emulation betwene the schoolmasters to deserve best, and tend greatly to the speedier education of the Scholars, in which respects I laboured long, and stirred up som pious Benefactors to further so necessary a work, which was in a fair forwardnes, had it not bin retarded by the cross-opposition of som malevolent Planets, who for their owne privat ends seek by misinformations to blast the good intentions of others, and to support their own unjust Monopoly, whereof this Kingdom cannot afford the like precedent.

Al which I am and wilbe ready to justify, still submitting my judgment in al things to our Superiors.— Ita testor ego, Rob. Vilvain, M.D.

Among the Collection of Letters are two documents unnumbered and not included in S. Moore's Calendar. The second is a duplicate of the first, and both contain a summary of the case.

  • (1) is headed: "Att the Councell Board, William Perryman, late Schoolmaister of the High Schoole, in Exeter, against The Maior and Magistrates of the said Cittie for erectinge a ffree Schoole there." It is endorsed:

" A Memoriall for Mr. Attorney for Exeter Schoole." [See Lloyd Parry, p. 43.]

  • (2) has the same heading and contents, but is endorsed: "Breviat for Exeter Schoole ffor Mr. Noy."

Also Memorandum att the hearinge of this cause att the Board before the Lords about the Schooles a licence shewed under seale (which was there readd by Mr. Noy) whereby John Archbishop of Cant, (sede vacant') did grant a licence to Mr, Thomas Passemore Arbium Bacc to teach the lattyn tongue infra Civit' Exon &c. And a restraynt for all others (quodam Drayton adtunc Pedi. vet. Schole except.) being dated 1594, but the said liceince was lost there in the Counsell Chamber and could not be found again or gotten though I used all possible meanes &c. Teste me S. Izacke ex cl’ico civit. Exon et adtunc cause pde. ibm.

In L. 341, Nov. 6, 1630, the Mayor, Bailiffs and Commonaltie of the City of Exeter petition the Lords of the Privy Council against Mr. Perryman denying his allegations and setting forward the various statements in L. 340 and L. 345.

L. 342 (undated) is a rough draft for L. 341.

In L. 343 (undated) is a draft for a petition from the Mayor, Bailiffs and Commonaltie to the Lords of the Privy Council to be heard on the same matter.

In L. 344, Nov. 26, 1630, is an Order in Council appointing ye second Wednesday in ye next Terme (being Hilarie Terme) "for the hearing of the Free School business." [For a testimonial (Jan. 3, 1631) from the Rector of Exeter College at Oxford in favour of Mr. Peryman and Mr. Hayter as teachers of the High School, see Cal. Dom., 1629–1631, p. 473.]

In Book 53, ff. 176–179, are statutes and ordinances made by the Mayor and ffower and Twenty of the Comon Counsell of the City of Exeter, governors of the Free Gramar Schoole within the said City, founded by the Citizens of the said City, August, 1633. [For text see Lloyd Parry, pp. 104–112. It is called "The Free School within the East Gate" in Izacke, p. 153, where the Schoolmaster is allowed a dwelling-house adjoining the School with a yearly pension of 30l. and 10l. more for an usher.]

In D. 1743, Aug. 1627, is a reference to a 99 years' lease granted by Humphrey Carew and his son Peter to the Chamber on Nov. 24, 1592, of "all that greate house and the lofte and higher house and rome over the same which sometime was the bodie or lower parte of the church comonlie called or knowne by the name of St. John's Church, untill the wall where the tower of the same church sometimes was ; and also the higher roome and lofte over the lower parte of the same tower scituatt lying and being within the East gate of the said Cittie and also all that house and roome that sometimes was the Chauncell of the said Church." The deed assigns this lease in Aug., 1627, to Thomas Crossinge and others, but it is supposed not to have been executed.

In L. 368, April 30, 1635, the Lords of the Council write to the Overseers and Feoffees of the legacies left by George Jordayne and Elizabeth his wife in answer to a petition concerning two sums of 40l. and 500l. left by them to be applied to pious uses. Taking knowledge of an hospitall begunne to be founded there for the Releefe and Educacion of poore Children, Orphans and others untill they bee of age fitt to be bound Apprentices, which good and pious work for want of sufficient meanes is not yet perfected, They recommend that these legacies shall be applyed to the perfecting and maintenance of the said Hospitall. [See Report on Char., 54; Lloyd Parry, p. 67.]

In D. 1754a, Jan. 10, 1637, is an agreement between the Trustees of Elizabeth Jurdaine and the Mayor &c. in consideration of 500l. left by the will of the said Elizabeth toward the founding of a Free English School in Exeter, to found and erect a School and receive not less than 50 children, the particulars of which are specified. [See Lloyd Parry, p. 70.]

In 1637 Peter Hellyar was elected Schoolmaster of the English Free School within St. John's Hospital. [Izacke, 155; Lloyd Parry, p. 73.]

In. Transcripts, 2090, June 2, 1637, a decent School house has been made and re-edified in a part of St. John's Hospital which was anciently the body or lower part of the said hospital church and a free Grammar School therein already settled, and that 500l. given by Elizabeth Jourdaine, widow (see D. 1754a), has been hereby applied for the maintenance of a free English School in the higher part or decayed chancel of the said Church for the better preparing the children of the said hospital and others for the Grammar School and other fit professions. [Report on Charities, p. 6; Lloyd Parry, pp. 70, 115–126.]

In D. 1753 (? June 20, 1637), Dr. Robert Vilvain (p. 157) grants two tenements in Paris Street, St. Sidwells, in trust for the new Free School of Exeter, dated 1632(?) in Stuart Moore's Calendar, but probably the same as the document dated June 20, 1637, in Report on Charities, p. 14, which however refers to 4 tenements in Paris Street.

In L. 270, Exeter, June 15, 1624, (fn. 11) Dr. Robert Vilvain writes to the Mayor : Right Worshipfull,—You convented me heretofore about a Rate to the Poor of St. John's, and I rendered reasons of refusal, because our Parish being oppressed with multitudes wee conjoined two Rates together (our own and St. Sidwils) at Mr. Recorder's request, upon promise wee should be freed elswhere. For my particular tis wel known I pay to two other places in the Country where most of my poor estate lyes, and am set to Armour, Powder, fees for martial officers, Poor, Churches and sundry other taxes and am endebted in this City above 500l. upon Interest; yet doo freely give 12d. weekly to two poor families here, which els would fall into penury. Al which considered there is little cause to hoist mee so high to all payments, who (besides my house) have litle here. I wil not allege redarguent reasons, that a Rate to the Poor is no competent Rule for Powder, both because it is uncertain, for that rate may far transcend the Provision (as tis conceived) and also unequal, becaus some are set up too high, and others too low, by fear or favour. Enimies to Equity: therefore in most men's Judgments it were fitter that the charge should be first cast up, and every man taxed proportionably according to his ability (for so it is in al other places), upon a just Accompt publickly rendered and registred, for the general satisfaction of the Commons, which defect make many murmur at this day about the Collection for Holoway, upon supposal that the Overseers did not disburse above half the Contribution, wherein I had som share, yet doe profes myself in this but an Eccho of the Multitude, which are much aggrieved. The matter which sticketh most in my stomack is that Dr. Goche, (fn. 12) who hath no charge of children and gaineth excessively both by his Places here, and practise above (a man mighty in Authority, high in dignity, rich in Revennue), should bee so long excepted from al payments whatsoever, confronting the City and daring you to doo your worst, with haughty menaces. That he wil try the power of your Charter and privilege of his person, who can claim none but only for his Headship in Cambridg, not for his Office, Lands, Lordships, Leases, or other estate in the Common Wilth. Mr. Cary likewise payeth nothing to Poor or els, pretending, perhaps, that he is rated in the Country, which is rightly my case and may serve for a just Apology (who pay 12d. weekly by rate, and 12d. voluntarily besides al imposition to Arms, Powder &c. in the Country), yet if those men being far my Betters in estate may be made Patterns or Precedents to these payments, I wil follow their stepps with alacrity, els it wilbee an insufferable scandal or eysore to mee and others, who are every way as free both in birth, body, mind and spirit as they or any other of higher quality : therefore my humble request is, that you wil deale indifferently and impartialy with mee and the shewing no harder measure to mee then to them, and so doo take leave.—Your worships to bee commanded,

Robert Vilvane.

(See L. 281, p. 144.)

In D. 1770, Oct. 5, 1658, the Church of St. Mary Steps is to be used for a public free school after the union of the Churches of St. Mary Steps and St. Edmunds on the Bridge, under the Act of Sept. 17, 1656. [See Freeman, p. 207.]

In L. 416, Oct. 26, 1658, is a copy of the will of John Moungwell, the elder, of Exeter, stationer, and son of the Minister of Dunchideock, where he is buried [Report on Charities, p. 23], by which he bequeaths a rentcharge of 5l. p. a. to find Bibles for the poor scholars of St. John's Hospital in Exeter. By a codicil dated May 20, 1661, the said Bibles are to be bought at the shop of Abisha Brocas in Exeter, who is one of the witnesses of the original will. The will was proved July 25, 1662. A note at the end states that the testator's great grandchild, Mrs. Martha Bond, finding that no mention is made of the donation in the "The Memoirs of Exeter" [? Izack's Catalogue of Benefactions, Book —], desires to see it punctually performed.

In D. 509, Nov. 17, 1669, Christopher Lethbridge leaves money for the maintenance of one or more poor Boy or Boyes in St. John's Hospitall, and in D. 370, Oct. 20, 1671, his son-in-law, William Trevill, arranges to carry out this provision of Lethbridge's will [see Report on Charities, 41, 196].

In D. 1784a, Jan. 10, 1691, John Bidgood, Doctor of Physic, leaves 600l. for the maintenance of 3 poor boys as above. [See also D. 1803a, and Report on Charities, p. 42.] For 100l. left for a similar purpose by John Tucker, merchant, in 1695, see Izacke, p. 190 ; also 50s. p.a. left by John Lethbridge, Merchant, Feb. 3, 1702, see Izacke, 192 ; Report on Charities, pp. 83, 203.


  • 1. * He was charged with exporting gold and silver out of the realm between Aug.27, 1619, and May, 1622,but was cleared of the charge on Nov.30, 1622. Cal. Dom., 1619–1623, p. 465.
  • 2. * The particulars of this dispute have been recently published by the Town Clerk, Mr. H. Lloyd Parry, The Founding of Exeter School, who quotes many of the documents which are here printed in full. J.H.W. 29.6.13.
  • 3. * i.e. at Chiswick. See L. 263, 273, pp. 11, 138.
  • 4. * Town Clerk since April 22, 1620. He was also Chamberlain, see p. 114. /??uried April 20, 1624.
  • 5. * He was elected Nov. 5, 1627, and consecrated Dec. 23, 1627.
  • 6. † i.e in his will dated Nov. 20, 1628. Report on Charities, pp. 2, 231, where his daughter Elizabeth Dowrich, in her will dated Nov. 17, 1629, gives 50l. for the same purpose.
  • 7. * He was Town Clerk from May 4, 1624, till his deprivation in 1647.
  • 8. † For "the High School near the little conduit in the High Street built cieled and seated 1561, by a common contribution at the request of Mr. Williams the Schoolmaster" see Izacke, 129.
  • 9. * In 1868 the Commissioner who visited the Grammar School reported that "the School-room forms part of the nave of the Church belonging to the old dissolved Hospital of St. John, the east end of which is still used for service. It runs parallel with and against the High Street." Report of the Schools Enquiry Commission, vol. xiv., p. 299. The buildings have since been demolished.
  • 10. * Or Goach; see L. 281, p. 145.
  • 11. * i.e. Potheridge, near Torrington
  • 12. * Town Clerk since April 22, 1620. He was also Chamberlain, see p. 114. /??uried April 20, 1624.