Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[26 August, 1647.]
Ordinance for the Visitation, &c., of Oxford University.
For the more effectual and speedy Reformation and Regulation of the University of Oxon, and the several Colleges and Halls therein, according to a former Ordinance of May last, and for Explanation of the same: The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament do Declare, that the Cathedral Church or College of Christ's Church, with the Dean, Prebnds, Students, Scholars and Officers therunto belonging, are within the Words and Intention of the said Odinance, to all Intents and Purposes: And it is further Ordaine, That the Visitors thereby appointed or any Five or more of them, shall have full Power and Authority to tender and administer the solemn League and Covenant and Negative Oath to all and every the Governors, Professors, Graduates, Masters, Fellows, Scholars, Students, and Officers, of the said University, and of the respective Halls and Colleges therein; and to send for, examine, and peruse, all and every their Books of Statutes, Registers, Journals, Books of Entries, Accompts, Orders, and other Writings, which concern the Government or Affairs of the said University, or respective Colleges and Halls; and to send for in Custody, and commit to Prison, all such Persons who, after Personal Summons, shall contemptuously refuse to produce and deliver the same, or any of them, to the said Visitors, or not shew sufficient Cause of their not producing them, or any of them, respectively, until they shall be accordingly produced and delivered: And likewise all such Masters, Professors, Fellows, Scholars, Students, and Officers, of the said University, Colleges, Halls, or any of them respectively, who, during the said Visitation, shall, after a Second Personal Summons, wilfully neglect or refuse to appear before them; and also to impannel such and so many Members and Officers of the said University, Colleges, Halls, and other Persons, within the Limits and Precincts of the said University, being of the Age of One and Twenty Years or upwards, as they shall think fit to enquire of; and present, upon their Corporal Oath, all Offenders and Offences comprized within the said Ordinance, upon such Articles of Enquiry, grounded on the said Ordinance, as shall be approved of by the Standing Committee of Lords and Commons mentioned in the said Ordinance; and likewise to examine Witnesses upon Oath, for Proof of any Offence or Misdemeanors enquirable or punishable by the said Ordinance: And Oliver St. John Esquire His Majesty's Solicitor General is hereby required and authorized to draw up and prepare a Commission, and direct the same to the said Visitors, for visiting the said University, Colleges and Halls, and every of them respectively, and the respective Governors, Masters, Professors, Scholars, Fellows, Students, Officers, and Members, in as large and ample Manner as by the said Ordinance and this present Ordinance is prescribed, without any further Warrant; and that the Commissioners of the Great Seal of England shall have Authority hereby to pass the said Commission under the said Great Seal accordingly: And the said Visitors, and every of them, shall be protected and saved harmless, by the Authority of this present Parliament, against all Persons for whatsoever they shall act or execute in Pursuance of the said Ordinances: And the said Visitors, or any Five or more of them, shall have Power to appoint a Register, and such other Officers as are necessary to be employed in the said Visitation, who shall receive such Recompence and Salary for their Pains therein, and out of such Monies, as the said Standing Committee of Lords and Commons shall think meet: And all Sheriffs, Mayors, and other Officers, are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to the said Visitors, or any Five or more of them, and to their Officers, in the Execution of this and the former Ordinance.