At the beginning of the period the universities stood low in learning, in teaching, and in public esteem. One of the first corollaries to be drawn from the proposition that universities should be dedicated to the search for new truth was the thesis that professors should have academic freedom. In all universities hitherto, and in most for a long time afterwards, novelties had been proscribed and the doctrines on all subjects taught had been prescribed by the ruling powers. Throughout the period of the Enlightenment the two great English universities, though adorned by a few great names, remained somewhat old-fashioned in learning as they were in politics and religion. The teaching of poor children was left to the Charity Schools, of which several hundred were founded in the reign of Anne, many of them by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, incorporated in 1699.