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tion was presented which was signed by two hundred and fifty-eight members of the Senate, only ninety-eight of whom, however, were resident members. The principal reason assigned by the remonstrants was, that a compliance with the prayer that the admission of persons, whose religious opinions were adverse to those of the established church, would render the maintenance of any uniform system of wholesome discipline or sound religious instruction impracticable. To this it was replied by Lord John Russell and others, that Dissenters of all denominations had for a long time been admitted into the university of Cambridge, and no practical inconvenience had resulted from it. The only difficulty was that when they were about to leave the university, they were told that they should not receive the degree to which their knowledge and good conduct fully entitled them. "All observation and all analogy," observes Bishop Thirlwall, (formerly fellow of Trinity College), "lead us to expect that the sons of Dissenters of the middling class and it is such alone that we have to look for here, would add strength to that part of our students which we desire to see growing till it absorb all the rest, to that part which includes the quiet, the temperate, the thoughtful, the industrious, those who feel the value of their time and the dignity of their pursuits."2 "At the present time,"1843, says Mr. Heywood," the strictest impartiality characterizes the examinations both of the university and the colleges at Cambridge. No questions are asked about the Church of England students or Roman Catholic or Dissenting students, and the rewards which are accessible to all, are faithfully distributed to the most deserving. In Trinity College, Cambridge, Dissenters have been repeatedly candidates for the scholarships, and, occasionally, they have obtained these honorable rewards of merit."3 Little danger could be apprehended of the overthrow of the authority of the established church at the universities by the admission of Dissenters, for those classes in England from which the universities are recruited, are by an immense preponderance, connected
1 In 1834, a son of the Earl of Surrey, a Roman Catholic, was a member. In 1836, Mr. Adlam, a member of Trinity College, and belonging to the society of Friends, and now M. P. for Leeds, obtained the distinguished honor of fourth Wrangler. Mr. Sylvester, a Jew, obtained in 1837, the still more distinguished honor of second Wrangler. He would have competed for and probably obtained the two Smith prizes of £ 25 each, had not the religious test stood in the way. A Turkish student at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, was recently allowed to absent himself from chapel in that College. The provost of Trinity College, Dublin, liberally grants leave for Dissenting or Roman Catholic students to absent themselves from the services of the Church of England in the college chapel. Dissenters are admitted to degrees, though not to emolument in that college.
Celibacy of the Fellows.
with that church. "By thus admitting Dissenters to her privileges and emoluments, the University may gain a considerable accession of numbers and talent to her ranks, and whilst she enlarges the sphere of her usefulness, will positively increase the security of her position. It is impossible to observe what is passing around us and not be convinced that no present superiority of numbers can render a position tenable and safe, which involves a manifest injustice to the minority; by conceding that which in justice ought to be conceded, the friends of the church may strengthen their means of resistance to undue encroachment." It is said, indeed, that the liberal terms on which the Scotch Universities are opened to all classes, and the establishment of the London University, preclude the necessity of the opening of Oxford and Cambridge to Dissenters. But to be jealously excluded from a right, even if that right when granted should not be made use of, is particularly irritating. Besides, there is a prestige with the names of Oxford and Cambridge, which later institutions can never hold out. There are venerable associations which cannot exist elsewhere. And, in addition, there are admirable facilities for acquiring an education to which no other places in Britian can lay claim.
Another reform, which is strenuously urged is the abolition of the compulsory celibacy of Fellows imposed by the later statutes of Elizabeth. "This prohibition is contained in the statutes of the 12th year of Elizabeth, which have never been embodied in an act of Parliament, and never formally adopted by the senate of the university. The promulgation of these statutes, which effected a complete revolution in the constitution of the university, treated nearly universal discontent, and as much opposition as the arbitrary principles of the government of Elizabeth rendered safe or tolerable."" Whitgift, and other heads of colleges, who drew up the code, were careful not to impose on themselves the condition of celibacy, thus binding heavy burdens and not moving them with one of their fingers. There is reason to think, that the obnoxious prohibition may be ascribed in a measure to Elizabeth's strong prejudices against the marriage of the clergy in general. "Her majesty," writes secretary Cecil," continueth very ill affected as to the state of matrimony in the clergy." It is an interesting fact that there is a clause in the university statutes, which renders every ordinance contained in them null and void, which is opposed to holy Scripture. Now it cannot be denied that institutions. which forbid any class of men to marry, are contrary both to the
'Observations on University Reform by C. Eyres, M. A., Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, 1849, p. 12.
letter and spirit of Christianity. It has been said that marriage is unfavorable to a continued course of study, and incompatible with the due performance of collegiate duties. Such assertions, however, are not supported by facts. A clergyman on marriage does not become less studious of theology, or a less zealous pastor of his flock. The German universities produce critics, philologists, lecturers, unsurpassed elsewhere, and yet their superiority is not owing to the genial influence of celibacy. "The Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, maintain the highest reputation for learning and ability and devotion to their calling, and cultivate a wider field of knowledge than is usual in the sister universities, yet all are married men.”
The principal argument for adhering to the statute of celibacy is, that without it the vacant fellowships would not be sufficiently numerous to foster studious habits and a spirit of emulation among the undergraduates. In reply, it has been urged, that the number of undergraduates who, after their first year, pursue their studies in the hope of obtaining a fellowship, bears a small proportion to the whole, and if the number of vacancies were reduced by one fourth or one fifth, which is perhaps a larger proportion than is caused by marriage, it would not probably produce any sensible effect on the race of competitors. Besides, marriage removes from college men of eminent talents, who rely on their own abilities to obtain a livelihood, but who if they remained, would exercise the most salutary influence upon the undergraduates. It is also thought that the revenues of many of the colleges will soon be sufficient to enable them to enlarge the number of their fellowships. It has also been proposed that all fellowships shall be rendered voidable at a certain age, with an exception in favor of professors and of those who distinguish themselves by scientific or literary labors.1
"The regulation which partially ejects a tutor from his office in case of his marrying has two bad results: first, it deprives the colleges of the services of their ablest members just at the time when their talents and services are ripening, so that those which have the most capable Fellows, are most exposed to the inconvenience of having too young tutors, for as a general rule the cleverest men marry the earliest, since they most easily find other means of supporting themselves; but secondly the number of resident families is greatly diminished by the tutorial celibacy, and the same may be said of non-resident professors. It is hardly requisite to argue and prove that the company of educated and amiable females tends to soften the boisterous spirit of youth,
See the pamphlet of Mr. Eyres, pp. 14-22.
1850.] Greater Prominence should be given to the Universities. 597
and to sustain in them the same modesty and discretion, which they observe in the presence of their mothers and sisters." 1
Again, it is contended that larger resources and greater prominence should be given to the universities in distinction from the colleges. "The university existed and flourished before the colleges were established. The students were accommodated in numerous halls. Every master of arts enjoyed a free trade in tuition. The effect of the foundation of the colleges has been to sink the university in the colleges. The latter, according to the original idea of their foundation, were not intended for the accommodation of a greater number of students than the members of their own several foundations. Gradually, however, they have encroached on the functions of the university. They have subverted all the existing Halls, [at Oxford] except five which are governed on strictly college principles. Five-sixths of the students are subject to their care and wholly dependent on them for tuition. The collegiate system has thrown the whole government of the university into the hands of the college Fellows, by affording them a liberal maintenance on the spot, and thus making them always the majority of the resident governing body."2
A partial remedy for this state of things, without interfering with the college fellowships, would be to increase the number and resources of the university professorships, reducing or abolishing the fees for attendance on the lectures of the professors, and by requiring attendance on these lectures, or a large number of them, as a condition for a degree. The general resources of the universities, also, should be increased. The University of Cambridge as such seems to be poor in available income. The principal sources of its annual income are as follows: The rectory of Burwell and a farm at Barton, producing about £1000 per annum; the produce of fees at matriculation, for degrees, etc., about £2000 per annum; and the trading profits of the Pitt University Press, which have as yet seldom been very considerable; as large sums of money have been expended for the improvement and extension of the establishment which will require, for adequate returns for the capital thus expended, many years of prosperous business. No account is here taken of the fees paid to proctors, moderators, etc., amounting to about £2400 per annum, as they are all paid to these officers, nor of the library tax of six shillings upon every member of the university, which is appropriated to the purchase of books for the public library. The aggregate income of 1 Newman in Huber's Universities, III. 519. * London Athenaeum, Jan. 19, 1850, p. 73. University Calendar, 1850, p. 5.
the colleges is stated to be one hundred and eighty thousand pounds sterling. "Here is a university the poorest in the world, composed of an aggregate of colleges the richest in the world, with the exception of the sister institutions at Oxford." It is stated that the university has no church sufficiently large to receive all its members at a common service, while the only building at all fitted for such a congregation, King's College Chapel, is frequently destined to echo back the voices of a few choristers chanting before, or it may be with, still fewer worshippers. A laboratory for experiments in physics, a museum of natural history, a new botanical garden, etc., are also, it is said, urgently needed. Of course, the university is in possession of an immense property in its library, Fitzwilliam museum, Pitt press, etc. These, however, furnish, with the exception of the press, no available income, but rather absorb a part of the income of the university.
Among the minor reforms which are needed at Cambridge is the placing of King's College on the same footing with the other colleges. Its present anomalous position awakens not a little uneasiness and complaint. The provost of this college has absolute authority within the precincts, and by special composition between it and the university, its undergraduates are exempt from the power of the proctors and other university officers within the limits of the college, and they are in no way examined by the university for their degree of B. A. "No traces," says Dr. Peacock, in his work on the Statutes, "of the real or contemplated existence of such a privilege, (exemption from university examinations,) are discoverable in the statutes of King's College." The university never agreed to make such an exemption, and yet it has been acquiesced in for several centuries. The practical effect is said to be, "that jealous isolation is substituted for independent freedom; as a body the public character of the King's men is lost, and the aimlessness which takes its place is felt throughout the inward life of the college. If their men are persons of ability, they are pent up in an unnatural stagnation; if the contrary, they hold their station by an equally unnatural tenure."3 It is stated that New College, Oxford, which, for many years, enjoyed, or rather suffered, the same exemption, has voluntarily abandoned it. Here is manifestly a case where some visitatorial or parliamentary interference is demanded.
1 Letter of Rev. C. Merivale, Fellow of St. John's College, quoted in Remarks on some questions of Economy and Finance, affecting the University of Cambridge, by J. R. Crowfoot, Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, 1848, p. 7. 2 Crowfoot's Remarks, p. 15.
3 Further Remarks on Statutes, and the Present System of King's College 1848, p. 23.