22 Facts About Roger Ascham


Roger Ascham was an English scholar and didactic writer, famous for his prose style, his promotion of the vernacular, and his theories of education.


Roger Ascham served in the administrations of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, having earlier acted as Elizabeth's tutor in Greek and Latin between 1548 and 1550.


Thomas and John were Roger's two elder brothers, while Anthony Ascham was the youngest son of the Ascham family.


Roger Ascham's preferred sport was archery, and Sir Humphrey "would at term times bring down from London both bows and shafts and go with them himself to see them shoot".


Roger Ascham criticised other English authors for sprinkling foreign terms into their works.


The book sparked renewed interest in the practice of archery and Roger Ascham was able to present it as an "innocent, salutary, useful, and liberal division".


From this private tuition Roger Ascham was sent "about 1530", at the age, it is said, of fifteen, to St John's College, Cambridge, then the largest and most learned college in either university, where he devoted himself specially to the study of Greek, then newly revived.

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Edward VI

Roger Ascham believed that the best way to learn a language was by teaching it.


Roger Ascham was applauded for his encouragement of Greek learning in the University.


Roger Ascham was then appointed by the University to read Greek at open schools and received payment through honorary stipends.


Roger Ascham stayed for some time at Cambridge taking pupils, among whom was William Grindal, who in 1544 became tutor to Princess Elizabeth.


In 1548, Roger Ascham began teaching Elizabeth, future queen of England, in Greek and Latin chiefly at Cheshunt, a job he held until 1550.


Roger Ascham used to give the morning to the Greek Testament and afterwards read select orations of Isocrates and the tragedies of Sophocles.


In 1550, Roger Ascham had an unspecified quarrel with the court, which he described only as "a storm of recent violence and injury".


Roger Ascham served in this position for several years, travelling widely on the European continent.


Roger Ascham read Greek with the ambassador Morrison four or five days a week.


Roger Ascham was not a rich man, and when marrying Margaret, Roger Ascham had to resign both his College Greek Readership and his University Public Oratorship.


Margaret herself brought very little dowry, leaving Roger Ascham to seek help from the connections he had made throughout the years.


Roger Ascham made his last confession to the parish priest of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, William Gravet, simply saying "I want to die and be with Christ", according to Edward Grant.


Roger Ascham's first published work, Toxophilus in 1545, was dedicated to Henry VIII.


In 1563 Roger Ascham began the work The Scholemaster, published posthumously in 1570, which ensured his later reputation.


Roger Ascham's letters were collected and published in 1576, and went through several editions, the last at Nuremberg in 1611.