Thursday, 12 August 2010

Manners makyth man

William of Wykeham , a child of a peasant family, was born in 1320 or 1324 and educated at a local cathedral school at the expense of the lord of the manor. He gradually rose to be keeper of the privy seal and the most important man in Edward III’s England. He had many ups and downs in his long career, but at the time of his death on 27 September 1404, he was one of the richest men in England. He ‘reigned in England and without him they did nothing’. He founded a free school for poor boys of a rural background and a university college to which they could go when older. Both survive to this day – Winchester College and New College, Oxford.

William’s motto was 'Manners makyth man'. This, along with a coat of arms, were granted to him by the College of Arms and not acquired by descent. This same motto became that of both Winchester College and New college. Manners in that context meant not just politeness but being a capable and reliable member of society.


  1. Thank you SO much for the lesson!! My family is from England a time ago (1600s) and I don't know that much about English history before the American revolution. (I suppose each country probably concentrates their history lessons on their own place.) It's nice to learn about all these people. :)

  2. I like your new quote at the top of the page. Especially since I've always been a small fish in a small pond ... which seems to have worked out rather well, now that I think of it.
    Canadian Chickadee

  3. You are right about people concentrating on their own country's history, Tiffany. I know so very little about the US.

    My aim, Canadian Chickadee, is to change the quote on a regular basis. All I have to do is program my memory to do it!!!


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