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The Education Act 1496 was an Act of the Parliament of Scotland (1496 c. 87), requiring the eldest sons of barons and freeholders to be schooled in Latin, arts and law, intended to ensure that local government and the administration of justice would in future be vested in knowledgeable hands.[1]

The main provisions of the Act were that:[2]

  • All barons and substantial freeholders shall put their eldest sons and heirs into school from the age of 8 or 9
  • These shall remain in grammar schools under competent instruction until they have perfect Latin
  • They shall next spend three years at the schools of art and law

Anyone found to be in breach of those provisions was subject to a fine of £20,[2] equivalent to about £19,000 as at 2021.[a]Calculated using the retail price index.[3]


a Calculated using the retail price index.[3]