Latin Grammar

Simon Hunt was master in 1572 but William was probably never taught by him, since an usher a junior master or senior pupil conducted the youngest boys through the rudiments of Latin grammar. In this task the usher would have been assisted by the recently published Short introduction of grammar - compiled by William Lily - which had been authorized by Henry VIII as the sole Latin grammar textbook to be used in schools. The first year was spent learning the eight parts of speech and the nouns and verbs. The following year, boys were introduced to the rules of construction and the actual forming of Latin sentences. The final year with the usher meant Latin-English and English-Latin translations. Princess Elizabeth's tutor, Roger Ascham, suggested the re-translation into Latin of a passage which had already been turned into English - after a reasonable interval of time and without access to the book, of course. In order to improve spoken fluency in the language, any boy caught speaking English at school was punished.

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Latin grammar - continued >