15th. June Wednesday
Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, the founder of the Free Grammar School, died June 15. He was born, it is believed, in Crumpsall, and was educated both at Oxford and Cambridge, but took his degree of doctor of divinity at the latter place. He was a great patron of learning, and an extensive benefactor of Corpus Christi College. Having fallen under the displeasure of Leo X. for refusing to abide by his decision in a case of dispute between himself and the Abbot of Tavistock, he was excommunicated. The Free Grammar School was founded in pursuance of his will. To this good work the venerable prelate was moved, “considering,” as the statutes say, “the bringing up of children in their adolescence, and to occupy them in good learning therein, when they should come to age and virility, whereby they may better know, love, honour, and dread God and His laws; and that the liberal science or art of grammar is the ground and foundation of all other liberal arts and sciences; and for the good mind which he did bear to the county of Lancaster, where the children had pregnant wits, but had been mostly brought up rudely or idly, and not in virtne, cunning, education, literature, and in good manners.” The original income was about £29 per annum. Details of its history and founder may be found in Hibbert Ware’s Foundations of Manchester, Espinasse’s Lancashire Worthies, Edwards’ Manchester Worthies and their Foundations, and Smith’s Admission Registers of the Manchester Grammar School.(7)