Sedes Busbiana

Tags: Anon & Miscellaneous.
Sedes Busbiana
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Richard Busby was headmaster of Westminster School, 1638-95. He was famous in his own time as the author of school grammars and as a staunch monarchist throughout the Protectorate of Cromwell.
The attribution to Lely is a joke; a chair of c.1670 presented to Busby survives in the school but is undecorated. The 'sedes Busbiana' is adorned with symbols of the different aspects of classical language
learning. The birch supports a figure looking upward to a bishop's mitre—the sign of a hoped-for preferment, as with the 'Greek Play Bishops' of the early nineteenth century. This print was published
in 1802, and reflects the continuing domination of the public-school curriculum by the 'gerund grind' of Latin and Greek teaching. The theme of the mythical/heroic headmaster is also seen in the (mock) veneration of Benjamin Kennedy of Shrewbury in Fig. 11. 'In hoc signo vinces' ('in this sign you shall be victorious) refers to the cross seen in the sky by Constantine before the crucial battle which he
went on to win.