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THE Master and Fellows of this College have had committed to their trust by Archbishop Parker a valuable library of Manuscripts, consisting of ancient books, chiefly obtained from the Monasteries at their dissolution, and of various letters and documents collected by the Archbishop himself, relating to the history of his own times.

The society have faithfully attended to the regulations of their liberal benefactor for the preservation of these treasures, as at the present time there is not one volume missing. By so doing they have discharged one duty imposed upon them, but they are convinced that the Archbishop's object in making them the depositories of this valuable collection was not that it should be shut up from the learned and curious, but that it should be open for their inspection, and the means of preserving and encouraging in the University and in the nation that antiquarian lore in which the Archbishop himself so much delighted, and of which he was one of the earliest and most liberal patrons in this country. Adopting his spirit, it has been the wish of the society to give every facility to those who may have occasion to consult their library, and they trust that even under the strict regulations by which they are bound, no real inconvenience or difficulty has arisen to any party seeking to consult or to transcribe any of the Manuscripts.


A late Fellow of the College did good service to the cause of literature by publishing an excellent Catalogue. Mr. Nasmith devoted five years to this task, and the College undertook the expense attending the publication of the work. It has been the means of making the value of the library more generally known, and of directing many to the examination of its contents.

The Volume from which the greater part of the following documents are taken is numbered cvi in Nasmith's Catalogue*. On the leaf at the beginning is written in the Archbishop's hand:

Hic Liber sic consarcinatus est in gratiam eorum
qui post hac vel procancellarii procuratores vel
taxatores futuri sunt in Collegio Corporis Christ.
Cant. ut ex rebus gestis ipsi aliquid judicent.

And its title, which is inserted at page 51, is as follows:



Et literarum achademiam

Cantabrigiensem pertinentium

Inchoatus Anno Regni EDOUARDI

Sexti Dei gratia Angliæ Franciæ et Hiberniæ

Regis fidei defensoris et in terris Ecclesiæ Anglicana

Et Hibernica post Christum Capitis Supremi secundo CANCELLARIO

Ejusdem Achademiæ EDOUARDO duce Somercetiæ Dno

Protectore PROCANCELLARIO Mattheo Parker


Christofero Caerleil Edmundo

Gryndall Edouardo Gas

coyne Ao. Dni

1547, 8.

*The remaining documents are taken from Nos, CVIII. CXIV. CXVIII.


The publication of these fragments of our University history may fairly be expected from those to whom they have been so exclusively intrusted, and especially at this time, when all are looking for some measure of reform in our Universities, and are naturally reverting to the events of that period from which our Protestant establishments date their origin.

Among these documents will be found the Statutes of Edward VI., the Injunctions of Cardinal Pole, the Statutes of the first and of the twelfth of Elizabeth. In 1783 the Senate passed a Grace for the printing of the University Statutes, but at the same time limited the number of copies to twenty-five, and disposed of them according to the following order: one for the ViceChancellor, one for each Proctor, one for the Registrary, one for each of thethree Bedels, one to be kept in the Senate House, one for the Public Library, and one for each of the sixteen College Libraries.

As it is now more than fifty years since these copies were printed, it is desirable that the University should reprint the Statutes, on a more liberal plan, and in a more convenient form than the last edition*, with the additional Graces and Orders of Heads which have been passed during that period.

* A large quarto volume.


THE origin of this University cannot be traced further back than the beginning of the twelfth century. About the year 1109 an abbot of Croyland sent over to his manor of Cottenham some learned monks, who had followed him into England from Orleans. These individuals resorted to Cambridge, where they hired a barn and commenced teaching their sciences. Gradually they collected together many scholars from the town and neighbouring country. Such was the humble commencement of this flourishing University. In process of time, when the number of scholars and also of teachers had greatly increased, they formed themselves into a corporation, making rules and regulations for their better government, and choosing a Rector or Chancellor to carry them into effect. Also, to guard against ignorant and unqualified teachers, they instituted the degree of DOCTOR, which at first was a licence granted to the individual, declaring his proficiency, and qualifying him to teach or read lectures in his particular science to the scholars of this University.

At the same time they applied to the Crown for a Charter of Incorporation and for certain other privileges. These were obtained, probably, as early as the reign of Henry III.; although the first formal Charter now extant was granted by Edward I. in the twentieth year of his

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