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vided, that the professors should be chosen every second year, by the doctors and bachelors of divinity assembled together in full convocation, and that the salary of each lecturer should be twenty marks a year. The bequest to Cambridge, it may be added, was further augmented on the 5th of July, 1566, to the sum of 201.; and on the 26th of August, 1605, by the rectory of Terrington, in Norfolk-a gift from James I. The most singular of her foundations was that of a preacher of the gospel for all England; the date of the articles for it were August the 6th, 1504, the patronage was vested in Cambridge, the salary fixed at 101. a. year, and the conditions, at least six sermons annually in the dioceses of London, Ely, and Lincoln. The duties of this institution, however, have been since materially abridged by a royal dispensation of somewhat a degenerate temper, which exempts the incumbent from all but one sermon, to be delivered before the University at the commencement of Easter term. As these generous works grew in number, so they swelled in importance ; in honour of the spot where her parents were interred, and to secure a constant tribute of prayer for the repose of their souls, she now attached a perpetual chantry to the parish church of Wimburne, in Dorsetshire, with the provision that grammar should be taught free in it to all who should demand, while the world endured, by a priest whose stipend was rated at ten pounds a-year.
The erection and endowment of Christ's College, Cambridge, followed in 1505. Originally this was an institution for a master, twelve fellows, and forty-seven scholars, built upon the site of a small hotel, called God's House, which had been appropriated to four fellows by Henry VI. The funds attached for its support were considerable, and comprised, amongst other lands and rents, the manors of Malton, Melred, and Beach, in Cambridgeshire ; the manors of Ditesworth, Kegworth, Hathern, and Walton, in Leicestershire; the abbey of Creke, in Norfolk; the manor of Roydon, in Essex; and the impropriation of Manibere, in Wales. To the ample revenue thus derived, it may not be misplaced to state, that several additions were afterwards made. Of these the first was by Edward VI., who gave another fellowship, from a scruple that the master and twelve fellows might be supposed
to constitute a profane allusion to our Saviour and his twelve apostles. During the same reign, the crown exchanged the rents of Bromwell Abbey for the manor of Roydon above mentioned; and three more scholarships were created by the monarch, upon benefactions bequeathed for the purpose, by Bishop Fisher, Sir Walter Mildmay, Richard Bunting, and others. At the present day, the endowments of Christ's College, Oxford, are for fifteen fellows and fifty-six scholars.
Margaret commenced the construction of St. John's College in 1508, and chose her situation upon a spot formerly covered by Nigel, second Bishop of Ely, with an hospital for canons regular, but converted into a priory by Hugh de Balsham, also a bishop. The constitution of this establishment was originally for a master and fifty fellows, and scholars, whose maintenance was provided for by a deed, settling on them the issues and profits of the foundress's estate and lands in the counties of Devon, Somerset, and Northampton, at that time amounting to 4001. a-year; also by the revenues of the old priory, then valued at 801. 1s. 10d. a-year; and by a licence of mortmain for 501. a-year. The charter of the foundation was dated on the 9th April, 1511; and the college, after costing between 40001. and 50001. in building, was opened on the 29th July, 1516. This was a magnificent institution ; but it suffered considerable losses after the death of the countess, when her grandson, the king, Henry VIII., sued for and recovered the estates as heir at law. By this proceeding the income of the college was reduced to the proceeds from part of an estate at Fordham, in Cambridgeshire, and the revenues of the former priory. Bishop Fisher, however, shortly afterwards procured for it the hospital of Ospring, in Kent; and other benefactors, of whom the most liberal were Archbishops Morton and Williams, in the course of time so far compensated for those deprivations, that the former splendour of the funds was more than restored. By consequence, St. John's College is now one of the wealthiest in the University, and consists of fifty-nine fellows and one hundred and fifteen scholars.
But even here Margaret's bounty was not exhausted; for observing with exemplary compassion, during an occasional visit to
her property in the neighbourhood, the great distance between the parsonage-house and church of Torrington, in Devonshire, she transferred to the incumbent and his successors her own manor house and the land around it, which immediately adjoined the church. She also built and endowed an alms-house for poor women, near Westminster Abbey; and established a fund, by the conditions of which a long table is spread every Saturday in the south cross of the abbey, at which her charity is partaken of by forty poor women, who receive individually two-pence, a pound and a half of beef, and a fourpenny-loaf of bread.
The private life of Margaret of Beaufort was disciplined with a rigidity that fully supported the character of her public actions. Her every tare was for the good of others; and she may thus be instanced as a favourite pattern of that ascetic devotion, which the Catholic church delighted to inculcate in the days of its enthusiastic prosperity. It was her habit to rise at five o'clock in the morning, and occupy herself in prayer and meditation until ten, at which hour she descended from her closet to dinner. After this refreshment she resumed her devotions until noon, and spent the rest of the day in reading and acts of charity. It was a constant rule with her to relieve every poor person who claimed her aid, and tend upon every sick one who solicited her ministration. In this latter capacity she performed the most servile offices, and accustomed herself to the most distressing scenes-always watching her patients even to the last agony, in order, as she said, that she might learn how to die; and following them all to the grave, that she might attest her humility, and prepare for that equality,- to which death levels us all. Bishop Fisher, who was her confessor, wrote her eulogy, in which he describes her as possessing a tenacious memory, a piercing wit, and great sagacity. Her temper was firm and equal, even in the vicissitudes of fortune; and her strongest passion, a lively tenderness for her son, whose persecution, coronation, and death she witnessed with feelings of the most consoling sympathy.
Margaret was also an author :-she had a knowledge of Latin ; and translated from the French “A Mirror of God for the Sinful Soul,” which was printed in 4to., with cuts on vellum, by Richard Pynson; and also the fourth book of “ Dr. Jerson's Imi
tution of Christ." By the command of Henry VII., she drew up“ Orders for Great Estates of Ladies and Noble-women, for their Precedence, Attires, and Wearing of Barbes at Funerals, over the chin, and under the same.” Her name also appears to two other publications of black-letter value, the first of which is, “ Waltere Hylton's Scala Perfectionis, Englished, and printed by command of Margarete, Countesse of Richmond and. Derby, in William Caxton's hous, by Wynkyn de Worde, Anno Salutis 1504 :" and the second, “ An Exposition of the Seven Penitential Psalms ; compyled by the Right Reverend Fader in God, John Fisher, D.D. fc. Bishop of Rochester, at Exhortation and Stourying of the most excellent Princess Margarete, &c. Imprented, &c. 7th August, 1510.” Her library is represented to have been both numerous and highly valuable, at a period when printing was in its first infancy, and but a few of the nobility had attained even the accomplishment of penmanship.
Thus exemplary in virtue and conspicuous in learning, Margaret continued to deserve the admiration of her contemporaries, until the austerity of her religious habits brought on a decline, which snatched her from the service of her fellow.creatures at the age of 68. She expired at Westminster on the 29th June, 1509, just three months after the accession of her grandson the profligate Henry VIII., to the throne, and was buried directly under the spot now covered by her tomb.
Of the life and actions of Margaret Beaufort it is difficult to speak in the ordinary terms of commendation, or to think with the common emotions of gratitude: her generosity was so princely, her works so extraordinary for her sex, and her virtues so purely benevolent, that but few can now be expected to emulate, what all must be proud to admire. Most readers will consider the period of her death extremely fortunate, and rejoice to feel, that she was spared the horror of witnessing her own flesh and blood make an impious boast and glory in profaning those shrines, and spoliating those endowments, which it was her chief pride to ornament and enrich :-nor can that heart enjoy many throbs of generous passion, which contemplates, without indignation, the animosity, ungrateful and immoral, by which those very men, who at this day owe both their eminence and their livelihood to her bounty, revile the religion that nourished her charity, and oppress every individual who best honours her memory by suffering for her principles. The possession of worldly good is an ordeal through which few pass without detraction ; but where so little is to be lost in deed, and so much is to be gained in character, every friend to national improvement will lament, that Protestantism should so obdurately disallow the many debts that are due to its Catholic mother.
In conclusion it should not be suppressed, that one solitary action in the life of Margaret Beaufort has been considered by some authors a slur upon the virtues of her general character. The reflection has been most inconsiderately hazarded, and is mentioned here for the sake of impartiality and correction. About the year 1496 she was anxious to promote her stepson, James Stanley, to the Bishopric of Ely; and the better to qualify him for the duties of this calling, endeavoured, by the offer of a large pension, to obtain Erasmus for his tutor. The latter, however, refused the task with some vanity, asserting that he would not be so hindered from prosecuting his studies, for all the wealth in the world; and with this answer the idea was abandoned. Upon the face of such a project as this, no ordinary reader can perceive any cause of blame ; yet from it some awkward wits have affected to reproach Margaret with a culpable attempt to force an ignorant relative upon learned and responsible dignity. But it is needless to show that the conclusion contradicts the incident; for it is the grossest of perversions to assert, that to design a young man for the church, and engage the first scholar of the age to instruct him, has any thing in it either illaudable or profane.