"SCRIVENER"" Charles Bostock (b 1569) 

"An occupation that was once monopolized by monks, became a creditable profession by the 14th century with the invention of the printing press.

King Henry VIII divided the powers of Church and State in the 14th century; primarily so he could proclaim his many divorces for his many marriages; the churches of England  were "ALL POWERFUL" prior to that division.

Early schools in England were attached to monasteries. King Alfred the Great met with some of the monks while passing through Oxford in 872 and had a scholarly debate for several days.

 By the ninth century a time known as "Ecclesiastical History", the monks began to teach astronomy, the rules of metrics, and computus.  

Charlemagne prescribed a new standard of learning and established a school in York; where the definitions and legislation of the educational responsibilities of the monastic schools were created.  The monks began to teach grammar (Latin), arithmetic, history, law, poetry, music, astronomy, geometry, as well as the scriptures and works of the saints.

1167 King Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.   Oxford's, (the oldest surviving university in the English speaking world), student body increased and education became an absolute necessity for the children of the wealthy.

By the eleventh century students in Oxford began to form groups which soon became the earliest colleges.  1209 some Oxford Scholars moved to Cambridge to escape the ridicule of the townsfolk.  (Cambridge is and ancient Roman trading post).  The Scholars created their own self-governing organization by the 13th century; represented by an official called the "Chancellor".  This organization was supported and protected by King Henry III.  The Scholars occupied several grand "Halls"; many of which became the many structures of Cambridge University.

University College was established in 1249,  Balliol College in 1260, and Merton in 1264.  Schools established by the Bishop and catering to the children of the wealthy as early as age fourteen.  

Merton College was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton.

1444 Duke Humphry (King Henry V's younger brother) founded the Oxford Library.

There were no professors.  Teaching was conducted by the "Masters";( those who had already passed through the courses).  Students learned from lectures; as books were rare luxuries until the printing press was introduced in 1476. 

 Some of the scholars known as "Regent Masters" went on to advanced studies in divinity, Canon and Civil Law, and more rarely Medicine.  Medicine was taught and examined by those who had already passed through the courses and became doctors.  The doctors grouped themselves into specific faculties.

Monasteries were depended on to produce and reproduce books and important documents.  Those that followed in this profession became known as "Scriveners":  professional copyist of contracts and other legal documents.  They were the recorders of history, our earliest printers also known as "Stationers". These copyist often used the "Gutenberg" invention of moveable type and copying devices.

1476 printing press was introduced. Monks were no longer relied as heavily for the reproduction of books, legal documents and record creation  The practice of copying became a profession known as Printers and Scriveners.  The Bishops of the Churches of England became the driving force behind the establishment of Universities; but the King maintain control of the education of the countries future leaders.

1525 Christchurch College was founded.  The Christchurch Chapel became Oxford Cathedral in 1542.

Printing had been undertaken in Cambridge University in the 1520's.  A "Royal Charter" in 1534 gave the University the power to name/license three printers known as "Stationers".  These three printers were ordered to print and publish works which the University approved.  It became the "University Press" in 1584.

1526 King Henry VIII issued injunctions to suppress the Scholars control over the "Canon Law" and endowed five professorships to the Universities; a practice that lasted through the 18th century.  King Henry VIII was responsible for the division of Church from State.   

1542 Oxford was made a town by the King and given to the Bishop.  Universities were created to cater to the education of the children from wealthy families.

1546 Henry VIII founded "Trinity College"

1555 Trinity College was founded.

By the 16th century, students began to study the humanities.

In the 16th century, Oxford was Kings Headquarters during the Civil War.

In the 17th century, the University Press began to monopolize the printing of the Bible; which was shared with Oxford and the "King's Printers".  It is easy to understand how the "King James" version of the Bible emerged.        

1884 is the first time women were allowed to enter and study at Oxford University.


Charles Bostock (born 1569) St. Wilfrid,  Davenham, Cheshire;  was a Master Scrivener.             

Charles Bostocke resided at the "Bacon-House" on Oat Lane, St. Mary Staining, London  conveyed to him from Sir Arthur Savage in 1628.  The Bacon-House became the residence of the "worshipful scrivener's" and was formally known as the "Shelley House" Nobel Street, Aldergate in London.  Adjoining the Bacon-House was the house of the Recorder of London; Sergeant Fleetwood. The Fleetwood's also married into the Bostock family.

Source:  Oxford "Bodeian" Library Guildhall

1628 Thomas Viscount Savage conveyed the "BACON" house to Charles Bostock; Scrivener for the worshipful company.  Charles would have been 59 years old at that time.  The Savage family; a long line or Archbishops.  The "Bacon House" was once occupied by the printers for the King and Queen of England.  

It is through William's (b1450) oldest brother Ralph Bostock's lack of a male heir, that the Bostock/Moulton/Vernon property fell into the hands of the "Savage" family;  through the marriage of Ralph's only daughter Anne to John Savage.  The property would be returned to the Bostock lineage after the death of John Savage in 1572.  The Savage family held the Bostock properties almost ninety years before it was returned to the descendents of William(b1450) and Ellen Bostock's descendents in 1578.

House of Shirley:

"1406 John Shirley ran a private scriptorium in London, where teams of clerks would copy out books for sale to the general public. He was like a modern publisher, but in the days before printing, all books were copied out by hand. Originally literacy had been confined to the abbeys, but by this time, there was a great demand for written knowledge from a well to do and educated secular public. John Shirley was born in 1366, and lived to the great age of 90, dieing in 1456. He published most of John Lydgates works, adding valuable notes and introductions to each work, as was his custom on all his publications. His large enterprise consisted of producing books, acting as a bookseller, and even operating a lending library. You could have a book written to be well read and used, or you could order a sumptiously illustrated presentation copy, meant to be shown off and admired. What we would call a coffee table edition."


Compiled and Posted by:  Wanda Bostic Dunlap

October 2009


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Wanda Bostic Dunlap has done research on the Family Tree for over 5 years, as she finds new information I edit our website.

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Revised: July 13, 2012.