Licence to Teach

Licence to Teach of William Swetnam, 1599

John, by divine providence Archbishop of Canterbury, of all England Primate and Metropolis, to all Christian people to whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting in our Lord God everlasting. These are to let you understand that upon receipt of sufficient testimony of the good life and conversation of William Swetnam of the parish of St. Margaret Patterns in London, fishmonger, and upon further examination of him, being first sworn in due form to the supremacy of the queen's most excellent majesty, and subscribing to the Articles agreed upon by the clergy in anno 1562, we have licensed and and by these presents do license the said William Swetnam to teach and instruct children in the principles of reading and introduction into the accidence, and also to write and cast accounts, in any parish within the city of London or our peculiar churches of Canterbury within the said city. Enjoyning him that every week he do instruct his children and scholars in the catechisms made and set forth by Mr. Alexander Nowell, now dean of the Cathedral church of St.Paul in London; and that he with his scholars, so many as shall be of the parish where he shall teach, do usually and commonly resort and repair on all sabbaths and festival days to the church of the parish where he shall so teach; and he with his scholars do reverently hear divine service and sermons and dutifully and diligently attend thereunto. And also we will, this our license to endure during his good behaviour and our pleasure and no otherways. In witness whereof we have caused this our seal of office of principal registry to be put hereunto. Dated this 20th. day of July in the year of our Lord 1599, and of our translation the 16th.


    • Source:Cressy, David. Education in Tudor and Stuart England. New York, St.Martin's Press, 1976. [ pages 33-4, John Whitgift,1599: The full text of a licence.] Originally from Strype, John. The Life and Acts of John Whitgift, volume III(Oxford, 1822), pp. 384-5.
    • Transcribed by Michael Nelson.