Henry Bright (teacher)

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Henry Bright (1562–4 March 1626/1627[A]) was Headmaster at King's School, Worcester. He is mentioned in Worthies of England, by Thomas Fuller as an exceptional teacher.[1] Probably educated at King's Worcester himself, he went on to Brasenose College, Oxford as a "plebeian" and then to Balliol College,[2] where he took a BA (1584) and Masters (1587).

Starting at King’s Worcester in 1689, he also held a number of paid positions within the Church of England, including at Broadwas (1591–1607), Tredington (1607-), a canonry at Hereford Cathedral (1607-) and Worcester Cathedral (1618-).[3]

Fuller claims that "this Master Bright [was] placed by divine Providence in this city in the Marches that he might equally communicate the lustre of grammar learning to youth both of England and Wales". Pupils did attend the school from both countries. The school under Bright also provided yearly "exhibitions" of 2/- for pupils he sent to colleges at Oxford and Cambridge.[3]

His reputation was also echoed by Anthony Wood in his Fasti Oxoniensis:

He had a most excellent faculty in instructing youths in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, most of which were afterwards sent to the universities, where they proved eminent to emulation. He was also an excellent preacher, was resorted to far and near ... The posterity of this Hen. Bright do now live in genteel fashion in Worcestershire.[4]

Pupils[edit]

Bright is principally remembered for the pupils he taught and frequently sent to Balliol many of whom became well known. They include:

Epitaph[edit]

Bright's epitaph, written by Joseph Hall (then Dean of Worcester), can be found in Worcester Cathedral and is quoted by Fuller.[1]

Mane, Hospes, et lege.
Halt, stranger, and read.
Magister Henricus Bright,
Mr. Henry Bright,
celeberrimus Gymnasiarcha,
The most celebrated schoolmaster,
qui Scholae Regiae istic fundatae
Who over the Royal School here founded,
per totos quadraginta annos summa cum laude praefuit :
For 40 years in all, presided with the highest distinction.
Quo non alter magis sedulus fuit scitusve aut dexter
No other was more diligent or wise than he, or more skilled
in Latinis, Graecis, Hebraicis Literis feliciter edocendis :
At felicitously imparting Latin, Greek and Hebrew letters:
Teste utraque Academia, quam instruxit aifatim numerosa pube literaria ;
As witness, both universities, which he supplied amply with numerous learned youths.
Sed et totidem annis coque amplius Theologiam professus,
For as many years, furthermore, ordained in theology,
et hujus Ecclesiae per septennium Canonicus major,
And for seven years a major canon of this church,
sepissimè hie et alibi sacrum Dei Praeconem magno cum zelo et fructu egit ;
Very often, here and elsewhere, he acted as God's holy herald with great zeal and effect;
Vir pius, doctus, integer, frugi, de Republicâ deque Ecclesia optimè meritus,
A pious man, learned, of integrity and restraint, worthy of the best of Church and State alike,
à laboribus perdiu pernoctuque ab anno 1562 ad 1626,
From his labours by day and by night from the year 1562 to 1626[A]
strenue usque extant latis, 4to Martii suaviter requievit in Domino.
Exhausted at last, on 4th March sweetly rested in the Lord.

References[edit]

A As the legal year at this time began on 25 March, Bright's death is recorded as having taken place in 1626, but this date is now regarded as falling in 1627. (Full explanation.)

  1. ^ a b Thomas Fuller (1662), The history of the worthies of England (The History of the worthies of England ed.), London: J.G.W.L. and W.G 
  2. ^ http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/History/gazetteer.asp Balliol Gazeteer
  3. ^ a b Leach, Arthur Francis (1913), Documents illustrating early education in Worcester.685 to 1700, London: Printed for the Worcestershire Historical Society, by M. Hughes and Clarke, p. lxvii–lxix 
  4. ^ Anthony à Wood (1691), Athenae oxonienses (Athenae Oxonienses = ed.), London: Printed for Tho. Bennet ... 
  5. ^ Patrick Woodland, 'Beale, John (bap. 1608, d. 1683)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 7 Feb 2011
  6. ^ Hugh de Quehen, 'Butler, Samuel (bap. 1613, d. 1680)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 7 Feb 2011 Butler was attending King's College by 1626, the year of Bright's death, according to this article.
  7. ^ John Jones, 'Good, Thomas (1609/10–1678)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 7 Feb 2011
  8. ^ C. D. Gilbert, 'Hall, Thomas (1610–1665)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 7 Feb 2011
  9. ^ Len Travers, 'Winslow, Edward (1595–1655)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2006 accessed 7 Feb 2011