With the exception of the peshwas, its chiefs were little more than freebooting warriors, for the most part rude, violent and' unlettered.
Henry received a good education, of which in later life he was proud; he is credited with the saying that an unlettered king is only a crowned ass.
A letter addressed to Oecolompadius 1 gives an account of their practices and beliefs at that time, and shows us a simple and unlettered community, which was the survival of an attempt to form an esoteric religious society within the medieval church.
It is, however, by no means easy to determine their original tenets, as in the 13th and 14th centuries they were a body of obscure and unlettered peasants, hiding themselves in a corner, while in the 16th century they were absorbed into the general movement of the Reformation.
They were not entirely unlettered; for the use of runes dates back considerably earlier than the Viking Age.