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Tower of London
Thomas More's Utopia
Songs written by Henry VIII
Catherine of Aragon's pregnancy
First printed Bible in English
Dissolution of the Monasteries
Edward VI's diary
Book of Common Prayer
Letter from Elizabeth I
John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
The First National Lottery
Elizabethan dress codes
Evidence of Royal Scots
Beginnings of an English Dictionary
Speech by Elizabeth I
Spenser, The Faerie Queene
Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
A cure for drunkenness
Shakespeare’s Richard III
Richard Mulcaster's guide to learning, entitled Elementarie, was first published in 1582. It was written as an attempt to make the English language and culture more respected and accessible. Until the end of the 16th century, Latin had been the traditional language of learning - English was looked down upon by scholars, and was only thought good enough for popular books and plays. By stabilising the language, Mulcaster hoped that English would be recognised by scholars for its richness and vitality.
The Elementarie contains a list of 8,000 words, none of which are accompanied by definitions, and therefore the list cannot strictly be classified as a dictionary - there was no such thing as a purely English dictionary at the time. It is, however, an attempt to start to organise the English language.
Mulcaster's Elementarie (early dictionary)
THE FIRST PART OF THE ELEMENTARIE WHICH ENTREATETH CHEFELIE OF THE right writing of our English tung, set furth by RICHARD MULCASTER.
Imprinted at London by Thomas Vautroullier dwelling in the blak-friers by Lud-gate. 1582.
Ettibi fortassis vel sponte pepercerit, utqui
Dum te errare videt, se quoque posse videt.
Una meos multum solatur causa labores,
Quos sibi devotos Anglia nostra videt.
Cura migi commune bonum, miserebitur omnis,
Si quis sperai faenoris error erit:
Perge liber, fratremque tuum comitare, minores
In procinctu alijiam meditanturiter.
The titles handled in this book.
Why I begin at the Elementarie, and wherein it consisteh. pa.I.
That this five brached Elementarie is warranted by generall autorite of all the gravest writers, and the best como weals. pag.5
The opinion of the best writers concerning the choice of wits fit for learning. pag.II
That this Elementarie and the profitablenesse thereof is confirmed by great reason and most evident proufs.
That this Elementarie seasoneth the young mindes with the verie best and swetest liquor. pag. 20.
That this Elementarie maketh the childe most capable of most commendable qualites. pag. 24
That this Elementarie resembleth natur both in number of abilities, and in maner of proceding. pag. 27
That this Elemntarie riddeth the course of the after learning from all difficultie and hardnesse. pag. 37
That this Elementarie by avoiding of ignorance avoideth all misliking. pag. 44
That the entrie to language and judgement thereof by grammer is the end of the Elementarie. pag. 49.
The generall platform and method of the hole Elementarie. p.52.
The method which the learned tungs used, in teh finding out of their own right writing. pag. 61.
That the English tung hath in it selfe sufficient matter to work hir own artificiall directio for the right writing thereof. pag. 77.