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and thirtieth canon the neglect of the doing thereof in either of our universities is provisionally left to our censure and partly for that we understand our university of Oxford hath long since made a publick ordinance and constitution in this behalf in so much that they grant not so much as the degree of a bachelor of arts without subscription first had: whereas with you there hath not hitherto so much care been had in that our university of Cambridge as to require this subscription of such as receive the degrees of bachelors or doctors in divinity with you.
"Our pleasure therefore is that you publish these our letters to the body of the university at the next congregation that shall be had there with you after the receipt of these our letters; which being done either at the same congregation or at the next that shall ensue it we require you to propound and endeavour to pass a grace to the effect aforesaid and in due time to certify us of your performing hereof and the effect of the same.
"Given under our signet at our palace of Westminster the thirtieth day of June in the eleventh year of our reign of England, France, and Ireland and of Scotland the six and fortieth."
In compliance with the above royal letter, the Senate passed the following Grace on the seventh of July :
"Placet vobis ut juxta tenorem literarum a serenissimo rege Jacobo missarum hoc in senatu decernatur ut nullus in posterum sibi concessam habeat gratiam pro gradu baccalaureatus in theologia vel doctoratus in aliqua facultate adipiscendo qui non prius coram domino procancellario aut ejus deputato tribus articulis nimirum
beneficium per Institutionem aut Collationem, vel ad Concionatoris, Prælectoris, aut Catechista munus exercendum sive in alterutra Academia, sive in Cathedrali vel Collegiata aliqua Ecclesia, sive in urbe aut oppido mercatorio, sive in parochiali Ecclesia vel Capella, vel alio denique hujus regni loco deinceps admittetur, nisi priùs vel ab Archiepiscopo, vel Episcopo ejus Diæceseos, in qua est victurus, vel ab altera Academiarum licentiam et facultatem earundem subscriptionibus, et sigillis munitam impetraverit, tribusque sequentibus Articulis, modo et forma a nobis præfinitis, subscripserit.
I. Quod Majestas Regia secundùm Deum unicus est et supremus gubernator hujus Regni, omniumque aliorum ipsius dominiorum, ac territoriorum, tam in omnibus Spiritualibus sive Ecclesiasticis rebus aut causis quam in Sæcularibus: et quod nullus extraneus princeps, vel persona, nec ullus prælatus, status aut dominatus habet aut habere debet ullam jurisdictionem, potestatem, superioritatem, præeminentiam, vel authoritatem Ecclesiasticam sive Spiritualem infra Majestatis suæ dicta regna, dominia, et territoria.
II. Quod Liber publicæ Liturgiæ, et Episcopos, Presbyteros, et Diaconos ordinandi, et consecrandi nihil in se contineat, quod verbo Dei sit contrarium, quodque eodem taliter uti liceat: et quod ipse in publicis Precibus, et Sacramentis administrandis illam prorsus formam, quæ in dicto libro præscribitur, et non aliam sit observaturus.
III. Quod libro de religionis Articulis, in quos consensum est ab Archiepiscopo et Episcopis utriusque Provinciæ, ac reliquo omni clero in Synodo Londinensi, An. 1562 omnino comprobat, et quod omnes ac singulos Articulos in eodem contentos, qui triginta novem, citra
ratificationem numerantur, verbo Dei consentaneos esse agnoscit.
Hisce tribus Articulis qui volet subscribere, ad vitandum omnem ambiguitatem, hac verborum formula, nomine et cognomine suo expressis, in scribendo utetur: EGO N. N. TRIBUS HIS PREFIXIS ARTICULIS, OMNIBUSQUE IN EISDEM CONTENTIS LUBENS ET EX ANIMO SUBSCRIBO. Quod si quis Episcopus aliquem ordinaverit, admiserit, vel facultate, aut licentia, ut superius dictum est, ulla donaverit, nisi prius sub modo et forma præstitutis subscripserit; is a collatione Ordinum, et licentiarum ad concionandum per anni spatium submovebitur. Academias verò, si quid hac in parte deliquerint, juris ultioni, et Regiæ censuræ relinquimus.
For ten years after the passing of these canons the University retained the privilege of conferring degrees in all the faculties independent of any subscription or test; a privilege which it had enjoyed from the death of Queen Mary, without any interruption, for a period of more than fifty years. In 1613, King James wrote a letter to the University, as follows:
Trusty and well beloved we greet you well: Upon signification to you not long since of our dislike of the degree of a doctor in physick granted in that our University of Cambridge without subscription to the three articles mentioned in the six and thirtieth canon of the book of ecclesiastical constitutions and canons made and published in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred and three and one thousand six hundred and
regii primatus liturgia Anglicanæ et articulorum religionis de quibus convenerunt archiepiscopi et episcopi anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo sexagesimo secundo propria manu sua subscripserit et ut hæc concessio vestra loco statuti habeatur et in libris procuratorum infra decem dies inscribatur."
Thus was first introduced the subscription of Bachelors of Divinity, and of Doctors of all faculties, to the three articles contained in the thirty-sixth canon; and as far as we can judge, James and his ecclesiastical advisers were satisfied for the present with this limited imposition of a religious test upon the University. Three years after the passing of this grace, the Vice-Chancellor and a deputation of the Heads waited upon his Majesty at Newmarket: whether by the command of his Majesty, or purposely to obtain his sanction to the following regulations, does not appear.
At this meeting his Majesty is represented as suggesting to them certain regulations for the better discipline of the University: these instructions were taken down in writing, his Majesty prefixed his signature to them, and the Bishop of Winchester sent them to the Vice-Chancellor. His Lordship's letter and the regulations themselves are as follows:
"To the right worshipful Mr Doc' Hilles Master of Katherine Hall and vicechancellor of Cambridge.
Good M, Vicechancellor I have sent you his Majesty's hand to his own directions. I think you have no precedent that ever a King first with his own mouth then with his own hand ever gave such directions. And therefore you shall do well to keep that writing curiously
and the directions religiously and to give his Majesty a good account of them carefully which I pray God you may. And so with my love to yourself and the rest of the heads I commit you to God.
From court this 12th of december 1616
Your very loving Friend
"His Majesty's directions to the Vicechancellor and heads of houses in the university of Cambridge given by himself to Dr Hilles vicechancellor to D. Richardson master of Trinity college to D. Carey dean of Pauls D. Davenant master of Queens D. Gwyn master of St. Johns on the 3d of december 1616 at Newmarket.
FIRST HIS MAJESTY SIGNIFIED HIS PLEASURE THAT HE WOULD HAVE ALL THAT TAKE DEGREE IN SCHOOLS TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE THREE ARTICLES.
SECONDLY That no preacher be allowed to preach in the town but such as are every way conformable both by subscription and every other way.
THIRDLY That all students do resort to the sermons at St. Mary's and be restrained from going to any other church in the time of St. Mary's sermons and that provision be made that the sermons in St. Mary's be diligently performed both before noon and afternoon.
FOURTHLY That the new seats be removed and that the doctors sit in that church as they were wont anciently to do and that provision be made for some convenient place for the sons of noblemen.
FIFTHLY That the ordinary divinity act be constantly kept with three replyers.