The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
Merchant Taylor's School.
This respectable seminary was founded in , in a building called the Manor of the Rose, which had belonged to the dukes of Buckingham, and stood on the east side of , ; towards the purchase of this estate, had been previously given by Robert Hills, a former master of the company. The old school having been burnt down in the fire of London, the present fabric was erected on its site, about the year . It is a large brick building, consisting of stories, the upper consists of Ionic pilasters in red brick, the capitals (from the volutes of which are suspended wreaths of foliage) and plinths are of stone. At the northern extremity of the building is the principal entrance, over which is an arched pediment, with the arms and crest of the company, and beneath,
The interior of the school is plain, at the north end is the principal entrance, over which is the following inscription:
On the master's chairs are carved the company's arms. On the same floor as the school is the chapel, or examination room, a plain apartment, the only ornament worthy notice being a lull length portrait of sir Thomas White, the founder. In the windows of this apartment is a sun dial and the arms of Walter Pell, esq. , and Pat. Ward, esq. alderman, , also an inscription in stained glass,
Adjoining the last apartment, is the library, a small room, sides of which are filled with good editions of the classics, and fathers &c.
This school consists of , or more truly of forms, where near boys have their education; whereof by the original statutes of the school, an are taught gratis; at a quarter, and at a quarter. And, for the due instruction of these, the school maintains a master, whose salary was a year, and for water, besides the quarterage for the pay scholars; which made his income very considerable ; and ushers, or under masters, the with per annum salary, and the other at each per annum.
The scholars are instructed by a master and ushers, in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, &c. and independently of several probationary general examinations, a grand public examination of the scholars of the upper form is made every year, on the , by the president and fellows of College, Oxford, previously to the election for supplying the vacant fellowships in that establishment, which was intended, principally, by its generous founder, for the advancement of the youth educated in this school.
The master was the learned Richard Mulcaster, since that numerous eminent men have filled the office; among the more eminent of his successors were the following: Nicholas Grey, D. D. afterwards provost of Eton college; William Dugard, who was committed to Newgate by the council of state, in , for publishing
John Goad, B. D. dismissed in , after years' service, in consequence of having written
which gave great offence to some fanatical sectaries; John Hartcliffe, A. M. afterwards canon of Windsor; Matthew Shorting, D. D.; Thomas Parsell, B. D. who published , &c.; George Stepney Townley, A. M. afterwards rector of , Wallbrook; and the late worthy character, Samuel Bishop, A. M. whose have been collected and published in volumes, for the benefit of his family, since his decease in .
In the year , an anniversary feast was commenced by the gentlemen who had received the rudiments of their education in this school; and with some alteration in the mode of celebrating it, has been continued till the present time. The collections made at these feasts, are appropriated to the support of exhibitions, for the more intelligent of those scholars who have proved unsuccessful candidates for the fellowships at . Among the celebrated persons recorded as scholars on this foundation, are the following:
A vault with groined arches of stone, extends from to Lawrence Poultney hill, and no doubt formed part of the old school.
On the west side of Duxford lane, corruptly called Ducks-footlane, are the foundations of an extensive building of stone.
On the site of the extensive brewery of Felix Calvert and Co. was a large mansion, known as