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ECR 39 03

Reference code

ECR 39 03


Royal Patents: Foundation Charter




11 October 1440

Content description

Foundation charter of the College of Eton, to consist of a Provost, ten priests, four clerks, six choristers, twenty five poor scholars to learn grammar and twenty five poor and infirm men with a master or teacher to instruct the said poor scholars, and any others whatsoever who may flock from whatever part of the realm of England to the said College, in the rudiments of grammar without charge. The College to be situated in the parish church of Eton and on ground contiguous to the cemetery of the said church on the north side containing 300 feet in length and 260 feet in breadth. The following are named to start the College:- Henry Sever, clerk, Provost, John Kette, clerk, William Hasten and William Dene, fellows priests, Gilbert Grefe and John Moddyng, clerks, Roger Fleknore, William Kente, John Helewyn alias Gray, Henry Cokkes, choirboys, William Stokke and Richard Cokkes, poor scholars, and John Bnrdon and John de Evesham, poor men. The founder reserves the right to change the constitution. The foundation to be known as The Provost and Royal College of the Blessed Mary of Eton by Windsor; to have power to hold property and to institute and defend suits, and to have a common seal. The patronage and advowson of the parish church of Eton to be held in frankalmoign by the College, and the church, with the authority of the diocesan there, to be converted into a collegiate church. The College may acquire property to the value of 1000 marks a year, the statute of mortmain notwithstanding, without fee or fine. Release to the College from all corrodies, pensions, annuities and other dues. The fellows may enjoy the revenues even during a vacancy in the Provostship, to the exclusion of the rights of the crown. Shene, 11 October 1440. By the King. The Great Seal, green wax, slightly chipped at edges, in metal skippet, on plaited red and green silk cords. Ornamental penwork on the top line.

Physical characteristics

75cm x 75cm

Publication note

The Latin text of the charter is printed in full in Official Correspondence of Thomas Bekynton, vol.2 pp.279-285 (Chronicles and Memorials Series, 1872), in Heywood and Wright's The Ancient Laws for King's College Cambridge and Eton College (1850), pp.588-393 and in Dugdale's Monasticon vol.VI pp.1434-5. And see Cal. Patent Rolls, 1436 to 1441 p.556
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