« PreviousContinue »
This petition was signed by two hundred and fiftyeight members of the Senate, the greater part being nonresident. It was presented to the Lords by the DUKE OF GLOUCESTER on the twenty-first of April, and to the Commons on the same evening by MR. GOULBURN, member for the University. In consequence of the former petition a bill was brought into the Commons by Mr. G. WOOD, member for South Lancashire, "for the removing of religious tests upon the taking of Degrees in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge." The Bill was read a second time on the twentieth of June, when, after a long debate, the numbers were, for the second reading 321, against it 147, being a majority of 174 in favour of the Bill. It was read a third time and passed the Commons on the twentieth of the same month. It was introduced to the House of Lords by LORD RADNOR, and upon the second reading on the first of August was lost by a majority of 102: there being 85 Contents, and 187 Noncontents. Upon this occasion that tried and consistent friend of civil and religious liberty, LORD HOLLAND, entered the following protest:
"Because it seems to me unreasonable to confine the academical honours of a national University, or the degrees in arts and sciences (unconnected with divinity) to the members of any particular Church; and it appears yet more unwise and unjust to bar all such access to knowledge (not purely ecclesiastical or theological) as a national University is enabled to afford against those who cannot conscientiously assent to the numerous propositions contained in the Thirty-nine Articles. Excellence in the learned and liberal professions of law and medicine in no degree depends upon religious belief; and Providence
not having annexed the avowal of any peculiar tenets in religious matters as the condition of attaining human knowledge, I can discover no motive of prudence or duty which should induce human authority to impose any. "VASSAL HOLLAND."
It is evident to all, who observe the signs of the times, that these religious tests cannot long be retained in the Universities. The repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts and the emancipation of the Roman Catholics have introduced a new order of things, and our Universities must harmonize with the other institutions of the country, for therein consist their strength and their security.
1500. Richard Foxe, Bishop of Durham.
1501. John Fisher, D.D., Fellow of Michael House.
1550. John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland §.
1598. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex ||..
1600. Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury.
Elected Chancellor for life in 1514; beheaded 1535.
+ Beheaded 1540.
§ Beheaded 1553.
Beheaded 1551. | Beheaded 1600.
VICE-CHANCELLORS FROM MD. TO
REGNANTE HENRICO VIIMO.
1501. John Fisher, D.D., Michael House.
1505. John Smyth, D.D.
1506. Richard Burton.
1507. John Eccleston, D.D., Jesus. 1508. William Robson, D.D.
REGNANTE HENRICO VIIIvo.
1509. William Buckenham, D.D., Gonvil Hall.
1518. Edmund Nattres, D.D., Clare Hall.
1521. Edmund Nattres, D.D., Clare Hall.
* The date prefixed to each Vice-Chancellor does not imply the year in which he was elected to that office, but the year in which he presided at the Commencement.