Research published in 2014 by Matthew Adams has established that Cuckfield's free grammar school in the 1520s shared its curriculum with Eton and Saffron Waldon, and they didn't teach Greek.
In Richard Cox’s Plan of Work for Saffron Walden Grammar School, 1525, and William Spicer’s Deed of Endowment for Cuckfield Grammar School, 1528, Cox requires the children to be taught after
‘the ordre and use of techyng gramer in the scolys of Wynchester and Eton’
… while three years later at Cuckfield, Spicer hopes ‘that the said master shall teach Grammar, after the form and usage in the Grammar School at Eton’.
Acceding to these requests, both Eton and Winchester sent copies of their curricula to Saffron Walden, and Eton sent a copy of theirs to Cuckfield.
The curricula we have today, then, for Saffron Walden and Cuckfield at the end of the 1520s, are, essentially, those of Eton and Winchester at the same period. What the lack of Greek at Saffron Walden and Cuckfield schools tells us is that Eton and Winchester, at the vanguard of Greek teaching at the end of the fifteenth century, were no longer teaching Greek 30 years later.
Known history of the Cuckfield grammar school
Cuckfield’s free grammar school was founded in the early 16th century by Edmund Flower, a citizen of London. His will of 1521 endowed the school that he had already funded for ‘certeine years past’.
Greece and Rome, Second Series, Vol. 61, No. 1 (April 2014), pp. 102-113 (12 pages)
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association
Background to the school from the Historic Character Assessment Report October 2005, by Roland B Harris.
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.