« AnteriorContinuar »
peculiar Office and work / of Christs own Pastours, namely / Publike Preaching. / In way of Answer to a Book printed under the / name of Lieutenant Edmund Chillenden / (but indeed none of his entituled / Preaching without Ordination. / Wherein all the Arguments by him produced, are fully / Answered and disproved, the truth of the contrary evi- / denced, and the Office forementioned, thereby returned / into the hands of the right owners. / By Filodexter Transilvanus. / [6 lines from Bible] / London, Printed for Edmund Paxton, and are to be sold / at his Shop in Pauls chain, over against the Castle Tavern / neer to the Doctors Commons. 1648.
Collation: title-page, verso blank, 1 leaf; [Preface), 3 leaves with the verso of
third leaf blank; text, pp. 1-32. Signatures: (A) in four; B-E in fours.  + 32 pp. sq. 12 mo.
Mr. GEORGE E. LITTLEFIELD read the following paper:
ELIJAH CORLET AND THE “FAIRE GRAMMAR SCHOOLE"
When, in the summer of 1638, the Rev. Jose Glover embarked for New England, one of the objects he had in mind was the establishment in the New World of a printery, as among his "goods and chattels” aboard the ship John was a complete outfit for a printingoffice, including a press, types, and paper, and also a family of printers. Although Mr. Glover died on the passage, yet his feoffees carried out his intentions as far as the printery was concerned, for they housed the printers in a two-story building which had been bought by an agent of Mr. Glover in anticipation of his coming, on the first floor of which was set up the press, and a printing-office opened under the management of Stephen Day as early as March, 1639. This house stood upon the third lot of land from Braintree Street (now Massachusetts Avenue), on the westerly side of Crooked (now Holyoke) Street. Here was printed the Freeman's Oath in 1638 or 1639, Peirce's Almanack for 1639, and the Whole Booke of Psalmes in 1640. On June 21, 1641, Mrs. Glover married President Dunster, who assumed the management of the Glover estate, including the printing-office. The death of Mrs. Dunster, on August 23, 1643, brought about a great change in Mr. Dunster's affairs, as his
1 See Publications of this Society, viii. 333–334.
wife had only a life interest in the Glover estate. However, as one of the trustees of the estate he shared in its management until the youngest child became of age. In 1644 Mr. Dunster married a second time and went to live in the President's house, which had been built for him on the College grounds very close to where Massachusetts Hall now stands. On the first floor of this house Mr. Dunster had set apart a room for a printing-office, and to this room he removed the Glover press of which he still had possession as trustee of the Glover estate, to which he had to account for profits in printing until 1655, when the printing-office was sold to Harvard College.
The exact date of the removal of the printing-office from "Mr. Dayes house," as it was designated by Mr. Dunster, to the "presidents house” has not been ascertained. The death of Mrs. Dunster necessitated the sale of the houses and lands held in trust by the feoffees of the Glover estate and the distribution of the estate among the heirs. This would naturally take some time, and the sale of “Mr. Dayes house” is presumed to have been made in 1646, the same year in which Matthew Day is supposed to have bought from Nathan Aldis the house and land on Braintree street. The sale of “Mr. Dayes house" would necessitate the removal of the press, but probably it was not removed until the completion of the President's house, which was late in 1645 or early in 1646. That the house was sold is proved from the following entry in the Cambridge Proprietors' Records under date of March 13, 1647-8:
M. Henry Dunster Bought of John ffownell, one Dwelling house wth about a rood of ground, Richard Champney North, Willm Towne, Nathaneell Hancock West, John Russell, ffrancis Moore, & Crooked street south, and Crooked street East, wch sayd house, the sayd John ffownell had formerly bought of the sayd mr Henry Dunster, but was neglected to bee entered (p. 133).
In his lawsuit with the Glover heirs for an accounting of his management of the Glover estate, Mr. Dunster presents an inventory of his receipts in which it appears that “Mr. Dayes house sold for thirty pounds."
On November 11, 1647, the General Court passed the famous law which is the foundation of our school system, and which provided for the establishment of common and grammar schools. It reads in part: It is therefore ord'ed yt ev'y township in this iurisdiction, aft' the Lord hath increased ym to ye number of 50 householdís, shall then forthwth appoint one wthin their towne to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write & reade, whose wages shall be paid eith' by ye parents or mast"s of such children, or by ye inhabitants in gen'all, by way of supply, as y® maior pt of those y ord' ye prudentials of ye towne shall appoint; pvided, those yt send their children be not oppressed by paying much more yo they can have ym taught for in oth” townes; & it is furth’ ordered, yt where any towne shall increase to ye numb' of 100 families or household's, they shall set up a gramer schoole, yo m" thereof being able to instruct youth so farr as they may be fited for ye university, pvided, yt if any towne neglect ye pformance hereof above one yeare, y every such towne shall pay 5ł to ye next schoole till they shall pform this order.1
In accordance with this law the town of Cambridge passed the following vote on November 13, 1648:
It was agreed at a meeting of the Whole Towne, that there should be land sould of the Comon for the gratifying of m' Corlet, for his paines in keepeing a schoole in the Towne. the sume of Ten pounds, if it can be attained, prvided: it shall not prjudice the Cow comon.
This is the first record that we have of the townsmen of Cambridge voting to appropriate money to pay for the support of the schools, and Mr. Elijah Corlet is the first schoolmaster whose salary was partly paid from the town treasury. The schools authorized by the General Court were to be public schools, but not free schools, that is, all parents had the right and were expected to send their children to the schools, but they were also expected to pay a large portion of the expense of maintaining the schools. It was not until 1885 that the public schools of Massachusetts were absolutely free.
Mr. Corlet, however, had been teaching a grammar school in Cambridge for several years previous to 1648, but it was a private school, that is, he could accept or reject pupils as he saw fit, and managed his school according to his own ideas, being paid for his services such sums as were agreed upon with the parents of the pupils.
· Massachusetts Colony Records, ii. 203.
• See the terms "free school," "grammar school,” and “public school" in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Elijah Corlet was the son of Henry Corlet of London, and was born in 1610. He was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, to which he was admitted 16th March, 1626–7. He came to Cambridge as early as 1641 and was admitted freeman of the colony May 14, 1645. He was of the same age as Nathaniel Eaton, and possibly may have come to Cambridge with him. Being amply qualified to teach it is possible that when Eaton left the College in September, 1639, Corlet may have been invited to assist in, if not to take the full charge of, the education of the students in the College, until the arrival of Mr. Dunster in August, 1640. Whether he was employed in the College or not, before 1642 he had acquired an excellent reputation as a teacher. In New Englands First Fruits, printed in London in 1643, he is spoken of as follows:
And by the side of the Colledge a faire Grammar Schoole, for the training up of young Scholars, and fitting of them for Academicall Learning, that still as they are judged ripe, they may be received into the Colledge of this Schoole: Master Corlet is the Mr., who hath very well approved himselfe for his abilities, dexterity and painfulnesse in teaching and education of the youth under him (p. 13).
As at the time this passage was written, presumably about September 26, 1642, it is doubtful if any of his pupils had passed from the grammar school to the College, it is possible that his reputation for excellence in teaching had been made in the College rather than in the grammar school. The wording of the above extract is indefinite.
Mr. Corlet married about 1643 Barbara Cutter, daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Cutter, widow, and sister of William Cutter, a prominent citizen of Cambridge. William Cutter, born in Newcastle-uponTyne, arrived in Cambridge before 1637. About the same time arrived his brothers-in-law Edward Goffe and Thomas Sweetman. William Cutter was made freeman April 18, 1637. In 1638 he occupied the estate on the south-west corner of Dunster and Winthrop Streets, having as his next door neighbor on Dunster Street Herbert Pelham. His father died in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1640, and his mother with a younger son Richard and a daughter Barbara came to Cambridge and presumably resided with William. After the marriage of Barbara with Mr. Corlet she went to live with Mr. Cor