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Glossary - Document 9

Check list of items sent with Thomas Jennynges to boarding school, 1585.

(Catalogue reference: E 163/14/10)




A neck band or collar of a shirt.

Bedford School

A school is known to have existed in Bedford as early as the late 12th century. Associated with the Collegiate Church of St Paul and then Newnham Priory, it may have lapsed for a time after Newnham Priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540. In 1552 the townspeople of Bedford petitioned Edward VI for a licence to receive and hold lands to enable the teaching of grammar in the town. The letters patent were granted in August 1552 and the refounded school was endowed by William Harper, a local man who had prospered in London.


A type of fabric.


A book giving instruction on Christian doctrine, in the form of questions and answers.

Dissolution of the Monasteries

The disbanding and destruction of religious houses in England and Wales under Henry VIII. In 1536 the religious establishments with annual incomes of less than £200 per annum were dissolved. The attention of Henry and his chief minister Thomas Cromwell turned to the friaries in 1537, and thereafter to the rest of the religious houses. By 1540 they had all gone, the last to fall being Waltham Abbey in Essex. Their lands, properties and incomes went to the Crown. Some of the monastic buildings remained in religious use – Henry allowed some monasteries to be refounded as secular cathedrals served by dean and chapter instead of priors and monks, and in rare cases the church buildings, or parts of them, were bought by locals to act as the parish church. Generally however the properties and lands were simply sold off to wealthy lay people, with the Court of Augmentations set up to deal with the spoils.

'Dublett' / Doublet

Close fitting body-garment, with or without sleeves.


Administrative body responsible for the collection and administration of royal revenues.


A type of coarse woollen cloth.


A type of coarse cloth made of cotton and flax.


A belt, often used to carry a light article such as a purse.

Grammar school

A type of school founded in England in the 16th century or earlier, originally for the teaching of Latin grammar.

'Gramer' / Grammar

A Latin grammar textbook.

Henry VIII

Henry VIII was born at Greenwich on 28 June 1491. He was the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. His elder brother Prince Arthur died in 1502, making Henry heir to the throne, to which he succeeded on 21 April 1509. Desperate for a male heir to secure the Tudor succession, Henry VIII had six wives. During the English Reformation Henry became head of the Church in England, repudiating papal supremacy, and closed down the monasteries. The monastic lands were sold off and the revenues went to the Crown. Henry died at Whitehall in London on 28 January 1547, and was buried in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

'his children'

Henry VIII died in 1547 and was succeeded in turn by his children Edward VI (died 1553), Mary I (died 1558) and Elizabeth I (died 1603).


Clothing for legs, reaching to the ankle or sometimes enclosing the foot like a stocking.

'Iesops Fables' / Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables (short stories, generally portraying animals with human characteristics, with a moral or lesson at the end), were used to teach Greek in Tudor grammar schools.


A close-fitting jacket or short coat, often made of leather.

King's (or Queen's) Remembrancer

One of the two major Exchequer officials concerned with the accounting and audit procedures and the wider administrative functions of the Court of Exchequer from the 12th to the 19th century.

Lily's Short Introduction of Grammar

William Lily, 1468? – 1522, was the first high master of St Paul's school, founded by his friend John Colet in 1509. Colet, Lily and Erasmus collaborated on various Latin grammar books, which were remodelled and combined into one work by 1540. Referred to simply as Lily's Short Introduction of Grammar, it became the official Latin grammar text book and used in schools throughout England. Shakespeare was familiar with it and quotes sentences from it in certain of his plays.


A deep-red colour.

'Nether stocke'


Nowell's Catechism

Alexander Nowell, c.1507-1602. Appointed master of Westminster School in 1543 and a prebendary of Westminster Abbey in 1551, he was deprived of the latter some time before May 1554 by Mary I, a strict Catholic. He sought refuge at Strasburg, where he developed Presbyterian leanings. Having accepted the religious settlement of Elizabeth I, he was appointed dean of St Paul's, London, in 1560. Nowell is believed to have composed his Catechism in c.1549 but early in the reign of Elizabeth I, he wrote a longer catechism to serve as a statement of Protestant principles, which was printed in 1570.


A piece of lace used as a kerchief.


24 sheets of paper.


A coarse fabric made of flax or hemp.

Secretary hand

A style of handwriting which developed in England in the 16th century. It was used for business purposes. It is a cursive style (from the Latin 'currere' - to run) so called because it was written at speed and 'runs' across the page. The pen does not leave the page between letters. The use of secretary hand had begun to wane by the mid 17th century.


Terrence, c.190-159BC, a Roman playwright, whose works are known to have been used in the teaching of older schoolboys in Tudor grammar schools.

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