Bad effects of the “Reformation” on Oxford: Cobbett

Apologies for the seeming Judaphobia in the following excerpt. I don’t, however, believe Cobbett was a hater of Jews, and it’s not the point of my entry.

“30. When we hear some Jew, or Orange-man, or parson-justice, or
Jocelyn saint, talk about “monkish ignorance and superstition,” we
turn from him with silent contempt: but, BLACKSTONE is to be treated
in another manner. It was at OXFORD where he wrote, and where he was
reading, his Commentaries. He well knew, that the foundations for
learning at Oxford were laid, and brought to perfection, not only in
monkish times, but, in great part, by monks. He knew, “that the
Abbeys were public schools for education, each of them having one or
more persons set apart to instruct the youth of the neighbourhood
without any expense to the parents.” He knew, that “each of the
greater monasteries had a peculiar residence in the universities;
and, whereas there were, in those times, nearly THREE HUNDRED HALLS
and PRIVATE SCHOOLS at Oxford, besides the colleges, there were not
above EIGHT remaining towards the middle of the 17th century.”
[Phillips’ Life of Cardinal Pole, Part I. p. 220.] That is to say, in
about a hundred years after the enlightening “Reformation” began. At
this time (1824) there are, I am informed, only FIVE halls remaining,
and not a single school.”

~ Cobbett’s History of the Reformation



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