A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3, the City and University of Cambridge. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1959.
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THE MODERN UNIVERSITY, 1882–1939
This period is divided naturally into two by the First World War, which had profound effects on the life of the University, among them being the coming of general state aid. In the period before 1914 numbers had increased considerably. In 1880–1, 806 students had been matriculated; (fn. 1) ten years later the number was 952; (fn. 2) in 1907–8 it had reached 1,162. (fn. 3) Financially, in the days of the great agricultural depression, the University had a difficult time, but, if it had not been for the high numbers, things would have been far worse. Despite many difficulties and some disappointments, remarkable headway was made under the new dispensation of 1882, and W. E. Heitland of St. John's, looking back in the 1920's on a long life, was able to write, with considerable justice, of 'the splendid onward movement which it has been my privilege to witness in the course of some two generations'. (fn. 4)
One major change was the general broadening of horizons and the awakening of a sense that Cambridge had duties to a wider community, both in England and outside it. This was exemplified in the development of university extension and of affiliation with local colleges in England, and in the growth of a new international consciousness, leading, for instance, to the encouragement of oversea students through the award of research degrees. There were very few new collegiate foundations. Selwyn College was founded in 1882 to be a College on definite Church of England principles for men of moderate means. (fn. 5) Cavendish College had been established in 1873 as the County College, taking its later name in 1876 with the permission of the Duke of Devonshire, Chancellor of the University, and moving in the same year to a site in Hills Road. Its purpose was also to make a university education available to students of limited means; this was to be done by taking them at an earlier age and submitting them to a stricter discipline than at the older colleges. It was thought that, if students came to the University earlier, it would be easier for them to fit into business careers subsequently. (fn. 6) In 1882 and 1883 both Cavendish and Selwyn were recognized by the University as 'public hostels', (fn. 7) though only in the face of a good deal of opposition. It was natural, so soon after the repeal of the tests, that the establishment of a purely denominational institution like Selwyn should be disliked. Doubts were cast on the financial stability of Cavendish, and the senior proctor, Oscar Browning of King's, complained in a discussion (May 1882) that its students were too young to merge into the general body of undergraduates, and that, owing to its distance from the centre of the town, it was very difficult to supervise. (fn. 8) Cavendish had, in fact, only a very short life as it ran into financial difficulties and closed in 1892. (fn. 9) The buildings became the home in 1894 of Homerton College, a training college for teachers which then moved to Cambridge. (fn. 10) From 1884 to 1896 William Ayerst ran a private hostel which was housed on Mount Pleasant. (fn. 11) When this was closed the buildings were occupied by St. Edmund's House, an institution for men training for the Roman Catholic secular priesthood. In 1898 St. Edmund's House applied for recognition as a public hostel. Once again the spectre of denominational education was abroad. The application was supported by some very influential people; Henry Sidgwick, for instance, thought it gross partisanship to refuse to Roman Catholics what had already been granted to Anglicans. However, hostile opinion was too strong, and the grace was rejected by a decisive majority (May 1898). (fn. 12)
One important new field of work was the training of teachers. The pioneer here was Oscar Browning, who showed great interest in the question from the time of his return to Cambridge in 1876. In 1879 the teachers' training syndicate was set up with him as secretary, lectures were organized, and examinations arranged. (fn. 13) In 1891 a day training college was founded with Browning as principal, from which small and struggling institution the modern department of education has developed. (fn. 14) Browning, one of the leading figures of the eighties and nineties, was in many ways an unsatisfactory training college head, and he had eventually to be forced into resignation; but the work which he did for teacher training is important. (fn. 15) Another enterprise which brought to Cambridge a new type of student was the development of courses for Indian Civil Service probationers. Lectures in Hindustani and Persian for such candidates began in 1873, (fn. 16) and in 1883 a board of Indian Civil Service studies was set up. (fn. 17) There was much interest in this work. It was felt that Cambridge must not fall behind other universities in providing for new needs, and it was urged that, if a good number of I.C.S. candidates were attracted, large numbers of Indian students would follow them. (fn. 18) In 1892 the Secretary of State for India began to pay £500 per annum towards the expenses of the I.C.S. courses from Indian revenues. (fn. 19)
Closer links were also being forged with other universities and colleges. Under a scheme of 1879 other colleges were allowed to affiliate, and their students, if they came to Cambridge, were excused the first year of their B.A. course. (fn. 20) University College, Nottingham, was granted affiliation in 1882, (fn. 21) to be followed soon after by St. David's College, Lampeter (1883), (fn. 22) Firth College, Sheffield (1886), the University of New Zealand (1886), the University of Calcutta (1887), (fn. 23) and later by many other colleges and universities overseas. This was of assistance only to those who wished to continue their undergraduate studies. An even more important step was taken when the University decided to recognize and control post-graduate research and to award degrees for it. In 1894 the Council of the Senate proposed that, in order to encourage the residence of graduates of other universities who would undertake research, they, and Cambridge graduates of similar standing, should be given the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Letters on presentation of a thesis. (fn. 24) This scheme was later abandoned, and the Council proposed the appointment of a syndicate to review the whole subject. (fn. 25) Opinion among residents was divided. Some feared that the scheme would encourage the mere degree hunter; others pointed out that it was very desirable to encourage students from other universities, especially Americans, to come to Cambridge. J. J. Thomson, the Cavendish professor and head of Cambridge's leading research school, was an enthusiastic supporter, urging that there was a great demand for facilities of this sort and that those who wished to enjoy them were entitled to some recognition for their work. (fn. 26) When the syndicate finally reported, it produced a series of resolutions suggesting that advanced students should be admitted to certain triposes, and that alternatively they should be entitled to proceed to the B.A. degree after six terms' residence and the satisfactory completion of a piece of research work. (fn. 27) These resolutions passed the Senate in April 1895. (fn. 28) The coming of this new class of student naturally caused some dislocation in the life of a close-knit residential University, and there is evidence of some hard feeling, but Thomson took a leading part in incorporating the newcomers into the life of the place. There is no doubt that the new policy was a success; in the Cavendish itself the first entry of research students was Ernest Rutherford from New Zealand, Thomson's successor in the chair, and Townsend from Trinity College, Dublin, and McClelland from Galway, who also became very prominent physicists. (fn. 29) In 1912 the arrangements of 1895 were considerably modified. Advanced students pursuing a course of research were henceforward to be known as 'research students'. Men ceased to be admitted as advanced students to tripos examinations, but, in compensation, the privileges of affiliation were extended to graduates of universities other than those which had specifically applied for them. (fn. 30)
The extra-mural work of the University was very much in the forefront of men's minds during the eighties and nineties. In 1891 G. F. Browne, who had been secretary of the local examinations and lectures syndicate, claimed in a discussion that 'the reputation in which [the University] was now held in large parts of the country, where twenty years ago its influence was not felt' was due to the extension movement, whose work had quenched the old demand for the decentralization of university endowments. (fn. 31) In 1893 a university extension college, which has eventually developed into the University of Exeter, was established at Exeter to co-ordinate the higher education provided in that area, and a similar college followed at Colchester in 1896, (fn. 32) in both of which much interest was shown in Cambridge. In 1898 the 25th anniversary of the extension movement was celebrated by a conference presided over by the Chancellor. (fn. 33) In the same year, however, a scheme for a diploma for external students was rejected by the Senate, its opponents fearing that it would be confused with the Cambridge degree. (fn. 34)
At about the same time the University began to take an official interest in the careers of its graduates. In November 1899 a meeting was held in the senate house 'to consider the desirability of establishing an association for collecting and distributing information respecting appointments available for graduates of the University'. (fn. 35) In 1901 a syndicate expressed warm approval of the association's work, and suggested that it ought to have official recognition. They proposed that an annual subsidy of £100 should be granted, and that an appointments board should be created. (fn. 36) When the report was discussed, it was attacked as proposing 'a kind of state socialism' in which the University should not indulge, but the physicist, W. N. Shaw, who played a large part in the initiation of the scheme, urged that Cambridge should interpret its responsibility to the community at large in a wide sense. It was clearly felt that the University stood too far apart from industry, and it was important that this gap should be bridged. (fn. 37) The grace for carrying the syndicate's proposals into effect was carried in February 1902. (fn. 38) The work of the new board went steadily ahead under a very able secretary, H. A. Roberts. Its work in bringing together the University and industry has been of the greatest importance; it had other effects too, for, as early as 1908, it was suggested that recent increases in the number of matriculations were partly due to the board's work. (fn. 39)
In the general academic history of the years between 1882 and 1914, the initial problem was to get the new machinery to work. The Vice-Chancellor, James Porter of Peterhouse, reported in January 1883 that the General Board and the special boards of studies and the Financial Board had already been constituted, and the returns of income and expenditure almost all received from the Colleges. (fn. 40) Later in the same year the General Board of Studies published a lengthy report on the needs of the various departments. (fn. 41) They estimated that for stipends and buildings about £31,000 would be needed up to the end of 1887, and that, up to the same time, the income of the Common University Fund would be about £33,600. There was a general complaint of the shortage of staff, of equipment, and of buildings. Chemistry needed a new laboratory, while nearly all the plant and machinery in the department of mechanism belonged to the professor. The desire was expressed that scientific lectures and experimental work should be concentrated in university laboratories and that college natural science lecturers should give their teaching in them. Otherwise, if Colleges kept their teaching to themselves, it would be far more difficult and expensive to organize an efficient system. As part of the new arrangements the Board was anxious to create as many university lecturers as possible, though, in most cases, only the minimum statutable stipend of £50 could be paid. Such university teaching would be important, not only in natural sciences, but in an arts subject like history, where the teaching was described as 'inadequate and precarious, and imperfectly organized'. (fn. 42) The definitive proposals of the General Board, approved by grace in December 1883, provided for the appointment of a professor of pathology and for the augmentation of the Downing chair of medicine, for the appointment of a small number of readers (at £300 per annum), and of a larger number of lecturers (mostly at £50 and a few at £100) in medicine, classics, Sanskrit, modern languages, mathematics, animal morphology, geology, botany, physiology, history, moral sciences, and music. Grants were also made to the various departments, and estimates were to be obtained for certain new buildings. (fn. 43)
Two of the leading promoters of the new developments were the two Trinity men, Coutts Trotter and Henry Sidgwick. The former, who died young in 1887, was deeply interested in the promotion of natural science; J. J. Thomson said of him that he had a larger share than anyone in promoting the great expansion of study and research during this period. (fn. 44) Sidgwick lived until 1900, and played a very large part in university affairs as scholar, teacher, and administrator until his death. He had given generously both of his time and of his money, and, when he died, men of many different points of view and interests declared their admiration for him. (fn. 45) He represented much of the best in the new ideas, and he saw much that he had worked for come to pass, yet it is difficult to read his letters without feeling that he ended his life a disappointed man, who had seen the reform movement slow down, and hopes remain unfulfilled. (fn. 46) By the nineties he feared that Cambridge was going back, and that a teaching University of London might be the future centre of academic work. One problem which clogged the wheels of reform was the unsatisfactory nature of the General Board, which held such an important place in the organization of studies. Sidgwick, who was a member from 1882 to 1899, and who had a clear idea of what he wanted the Board to do, was often held responsible for its mistakes, or what its enemies considered to be such. (fn. 47) James Stuart thought that the Council was about the best assembly he had ever known and the General Board the worst. (fn. 48) It was criticized as being too heterogeneous, being largely composed of members of the various special boards, and was considered to be both meddlesome and ineffective.
These difficulties would not have been in themselves of first-rate importance; perhaps the real root of Sidgwick's disillusionment lay in the fact that his schemes had to work themselves out against a background of serious economic depression. The financial arrangements made by the Statutory Commissioners had rested upon the assumption that college incomes would continue to increase. In fact, as the result of the great depression in agriculture, the industry in which most collegiate capital was invested, incomes remained stable or declined, at a time when more was being demanded of the Colleges, both for university purposes and for the improvement of their own provision for teaching. One very important barometer is the amount of the fellowship dividend, which was meant to form a considerable part of the income of the teaching staff. Some colleges were much worse hit than others, among the worst sufferers being St. John's and King's. At the former the dividend had risen to the maximum permitted sum, £300, in 1872. In 1880 it began to fall until, in 1894 and 1895, it had gone as low as £80. (fn. 49) At King's, where it had been expected that the dividend would not fall below £250, it fell below £100. (fn. 50) In Christmas plays at the A.D.C. in 1895–6, M. R. James, a future Provost of the College, depicted the Forty Thieves, a band 'composed of Fellows of the College who had been driven by Agricultural Depression to adopt this new line of life'. (fn. 51)
In 1883 the Financial Board reported that college incomes, subject to university taxation, totalled £231,265, the initial university contribution being £5,203, which was to rise to a maximum of £30,000 in 1896. (fn. 52) The first real note of alarm was sounded in the speech reviewing the events of the past year made in January 1887 by the ViceChancellor, Swainson of Christ's. He pointed out that the Cleveland Commission on college and university finance had reported that the aggregate of the augmented incomes of the Colleges before the end of 1885 would be nearly £26,000; the actual augmented income was less than £1,200, while 'few are sanguine enough to hope that there will be any augmentation at all; at present the prospect is that there will be a serious diminution'. All the time the demands of the University on the Colleges were growing, and would continue to grow for another decade. Careful thought must be given, under these circumstances, to the future of the Colleges. Yet the University was hampered on every side by want of funds, and at least £100,000 was needed to carry on its work. (fn. 53) The dilemma was a cruel one; if the full contributions were exacted, the Colleges would be gravely harmed; if the contributions were materially reduced, the already insufficient resources of the University would be dangerously diminished. (fn. 54)
There was a limited remedy within the discretion of the Chancellor, and in 1888 he, on the application of the Financial Board, directed a reduction of two-fifteenths in the levies for 1888, 1889, and 1890. (fn. 55) On the further steps to be taken there was a conflict between the Council and the General Board, which reflected the wider division of Cambridge opinion between those who put the interests of the Colleges first, and those who stressed the primary claims of the University. The former pointed out that the aggregate assessed income of Colleges had fallen from £231, 265 in 1883 to £211, 798 in 1888, and that, between 1882 and 1887, the aggregate income paid to heads and fellows of Colleges had fallen from £110,902 to £84,395. It was calculated that the net external income of Colleges was nearly 30 per cent. lower than in 1871, and that, from tithe alone, college incomes had fallen by £15,000. Consequently the Council proposed the enactment of a new statute which would suspend the augmentation of contributions for ten years from 1890. (fn. 56) When the report was discussed, these proposals were supported by some speakers; Sidgwick pointed out the danger of starving the University, and asked whether it or the Colleges would spend the money better. (fn. 57) His point of view was shared by the General Board, who reported on the situation in March 1889. (fn. 58) After consulting the special boards, the General Board was clear that there were very pressing needs, both for salaries and for buildings, which exceeded anything which the University could expect to receive from the Colleges, even under the present arrangements, and consequently the Board expressed the hope that the University would not accept the Council's proposals. When the Board's report was discussed, both sides seemed to favour compromise, (fn. 59) and the Council later announced that it did not propose to proceed with its recommendations. (fn. 60) A highly elaborate scheme was then produced which proposed that college contributions should be divided into 'necessary' and 'complementary', it being provided that financially depressed colleges should be excused from the second on condition that they devoted a certain proportion of their fellowships to professors, and other university officers. (fn. 61) This plan passed the Senate in October 1890, (fn. 62) but the proposed new statute failed to gain the assent of ten of the colleges, and the Council allowed it to drop. (fn. 63)
The Chancellor again granted a reduction of three-twentieths for 1891, 1892, and 1893, (fn. 64) and in December 1891 the Council made new proposals; the rate of increase should be slowed down, £20,000 only being payable to the end of 1895 and £25,000 only to the end of 1902. (fn. 65) This plan was approved both by the Senate and by the Colleges. (fn. 66) Although the increase in the burden on the Colleges had been merely postponed, not permanently reduced, the University was desperately short of money, as the Vice-Chancellor, Peile of Christ's, pointed out in his annual review of affairs in 1892 and 1893. (fn. 67) In 1892 there was a deficit on the Chest, and the Financial Board proposed an increase in the capitation tax on undergraduates, which was carried in June 1893. (fn. 68) In 1896 applications had again to be made for a reduction of contributions. (fn. 69) In the figures provided in support of the application the Financial Board showed that, using the same basis of calculation as for 1883, the taxable incomes of the Colleges had fallen by almost £36,000 since that date; during the previous fourteen years the income distributed to heads and fellows had fallen by nearly 35 per cent., the fall being especially rapid during the previous three years.
The mid-nineties marked the lowest point, and, as the University sought about for means to relieve its difficulties, it was natural that an appeal to outside benefactors should be considered. In February 1897 a statement of financial needs was drawn up and later published in the press with a covering letter from the Chancellor; (fn. 70) 'we are wondering', Sidgwick wrote the following year, 'whether the sums dropped into the hat that we are holding out . . . will compensate for the humiliation of holding it out'. (fn. 71) One especially pressing need was for new buildings, among others for new law and medical schools. (fn. 72) In order to co-ordinate the efforts of the friends of the University, the Cambridge University Association was founded in 1899. (fn. 73) In that year the total contribu- tions to the benefaction fund had exceeded £50,000; by 1906 it had reached £96,406, together with £17,450 promised for the library; (fn. 74) by 1909 £126,429 together with £20,000 for the library. (fn. 75) Progress had been steady, but certainly not spectacular. The South African War had temporarily damaged the income of the Chest by reducing the amount received in fees. (fn. 76) The University's resources were fully stretched to pay for new buildings, quite apart from the inadequacy of the salaries of its teachers. (fn. 77) In 1904 the Vice-Chancellor, Chase of Queens', reported that the expenditure of the Chest exceeded income, that emergency measures would have to be taken to bridge the gap, and that a bank loan had had to be organized. (fn. 78) According to the statute college contributions should have risen to the maximum of £30,000 in 1903, but application had again to be made to the Chancellor for a reduction, and they were cut to £28,000 for 1903, 1904, and 1905. The Financial Board pointed out that, although college incomes had started to recover, they were still running at very low levels. (fn. 79)
If the University were to expand, the financial difficulty had somehow to be met. An appeal had been made to private benevolence, but that had hardly been forthcoming on a scale sufficient to make any great difference. If private gifts failed, the state might step in, but that would certainly lead to controversy, for it might appear to menace the University's independence. In other ways, too, the shadow of coming changes fell over the first decade of the 20th century. Once again the question of constitutional reform came forward, and the demand was perhaps stimulated by the Liberal parliamentary victory of 1906. There were many questions needing decision, such as the relationship between college and university teaching, compulsory Greek in the Previous Examination, the position of women students, the introduction of a means test for college scholarship holders. The central issue round which they all turned was that of the government of the University, for reformers believed that it was hopeless to make plans for changes while they could be voted down by the non-resident vote in the Senate, which tended to be hostile to reform. If control of educational policy were in the hands of a House of Residents, then it might be directed by those who were actually engaged in the work of teaching and research. Henry Jackson of Trinity, who shared this point of view, reminded his hearers in a discussion in 1910, that in the seventies, when the University was preparing the last reforms, 'there was a regularly organized army of non-residents who voted against everything that was suggested by those who knew anything about the affairs of the University'. (fn. 80) If that burden could be removed, he believed, other reforms might follow. (fn. 81)
In 1907 Bishop Gore brought forward a motion in the House of Lords, asking for the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the two ancient universities, although this proposal gained no support from the government. (fn. 82) However, the general question was exciting much interest in university circles. In 1909 Lord Curzon, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, published his Principles and Methods of University Reform, (fn. 83) and in March of the same year the Cambridge Council were requested by a strong committee of residents to consider reports on the constitution and government of the University and on the relations of the University and Colleges. (fn. 84) The Council decided to deal with the matter themselves rather than to appoint a syndicate, and their report was published in February 1910. (fn. 85) They proposed to reduce the fees for the B.A. and the M.A. degrees, and to abolish the capitation tax for graduates in order to encourage them to keep their names on the college boards and to make the Senate more representative. They suggested the formation of a House of Residents, composed of university teachers and officials, which 'should have control of a large part of the current administration of the University' though the Senate was still to retain the final control over statutes and over certain ordinances. They wished to strengthen the control of the Council over the General and the Financial Boards. When this report came to be discussed (April 1910), (fn. 86) opinion among the speakers tended to be hostile to the proposals. Naturally the rights of non-residents found their defenders, and W. E. Heitland suggested that the new Residents' House might resolve itself into two hostile groups, 'the museums and lecture room party' and 'the college and tutorial party'. (fn. 87) It was argued that the increase in the power of the Council would increase the power of the administrator and reduce the power of the teacher in university affairs. In a revised report the Council withdrew its proposals about the General Board, and introduced an appeal from the House of Residents to the Senate. (fn. 88) However, a grace for the establishment of such a house was rejected in November 1910, and the Council later reported (February 1911) that, in consequence, they did not propose to proceed any further. (fn. 89)
It is noteworthy that, in the middle of these debates, the Vice-Chancellor, Mason of Pembroke, in his review for 1910, had said that the real need of the University was not reorganization but a larger income. (fn. 90) Stipends were still inadequate, and, since there was no provision for pensions, men had to hang on long after they should have retired. In June 1910 a syndicate recommended that professors and readers appointed thereafter should retire at 70, and should receive a pension, though, in January 1912, the Financial Board reported that the financial position was such that this plan could not be pursued. (fn. 91) Gradually relief was being sought from public funds, first for individual departments, and then, after the First World War, for the University as a whole. The development of teaching in agriculture and forestry had depended to a considerable extent on government money, (fn. 92) and in 1913 the special board for medicine decided to propose an application to the Board of Education for a grant in aid, giving as their reason the increasing number of medical students and the growing complexity of medical science. (fn. 93) This proposal brought the whole question of state aid into the forefront of university politics and led to keen controversy. (fn. 94) It was strongly supported by the Regius Professor of Physic, Sir Clifford Allbutt, and by other leading figures in the medical departments; and two professors, Wood (Agriculture) and Hopkinson (Mechanism), who had had practical experience of the working of government grants, claimed that they did not lead to oppressive interference. However, the belief that this would ensue was very strongly held; for instance, J. J. Thomson thought that the inspection which would follow the grant would lead to interference with other scientific departments. Several speakers urged that the experience of the Scots universities had shown that government control was oppressive. There was a fear also of a determined minority in Parliament bent on grandiose schemes of educational centralization. The grace for an application for the grant was finally carried by a narrow majority in March 1914. (fn. 95) The initial grant for 1915–16 was £5,873, and a special committee was set up to administer it. (fn. 96) The fact that opposition was by no means quenched is shown by the fact that in June 1915 Professor Ridgeway, who had been one of the doughtiest opponents of the original proposal, was still appealing for delay, and comparing the illusions of those who had voted for the grant with the illusions of those who had believed, before 1914, that Germany was a peaceful country (fn. 97) Without the grant it would in fact have been almost impossible to carry on the medical departments efficiently under war-time conditions, as the medical grant committee gratefully acknowledged in their first report (November 1916). (fn. 98)
Between 1882 and 1914 the University greatly augmented both its material equipment and its building sites. The Selwyn divinity school in St. John's Street, named after William Selwyn, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, who had provided money for the purpose, had already been opened in 1879. (fn. 99) The New Museums area was enlarged by the purchase in 1884 of the Perse almshouses and in 1888 of the old Perse school in the south-western corner of the university property. (fn. 100) Needs which were keenly felt in the eighties were new buildings for chemistry and for anatomy and physiology. The congestion of the growing scientific departments was undoubted, but there were those, like Oscar Browning, who felt that too much was being done for science, and that the claims of the literary departments to adequate lecture-room accommodation were being ignored. (fn. 101) In fact very little was done for them until almost the end of the period. Detailed plans for a new chemical laboratory were prepared in 1884–5, (fn. 102) and work was made possible by the raising of a loan for sites and buildings. (fn. 103) In May 1889 it was reported that the new laboratory was in working order, and 'appears . . . to have answered the expectations formed of it'. (fn. 104) The advance of anatomy and physiology towards a new home was slower, though the need was equally great. When in 1889 plans for a new building were produced, shortage of money led to the threat that part of the whole scheme would have to be postponed, though this was likely to be crippling to the physiological department. (fn. 105) The situation was saved by the offer from Henry Sidgwick of £1,500 if the Financial Board could find the rest of the necessary funds. (fn. 106) This they were able to do, and the new building, at the north-eastern end of the New Museums, was occupied in 1891. (fn. 107) The other department which was expanding in the opposite corner of the same area was mechanism, which had begun in a very modest way in the seventies. (fn. 108) The machinery and workshop equipment, which had originally been the property of Professor James Stuart, was purchased, after some controversy, in 1886. (fn. 109) Under his successor, J. A. Ewing, appointed in 1890, the department made great strides. A laboratory, paid for largely by subscription, was opened in May 1894, on the old Perse school site. (fn. 110) A further wing, built with a gift of £5,000 in memory of John and John Gustave Hopkinson, was opened in 1900. (fn. 111)
By the mid-nineties the problem of space was becoming acute. In June 1896 the Senate voted for the purchase of two important new sites. The garden ground and outbuildings of Mortlock's Bank, lying immediately to the north of the New Museums, were bought for £12,000. Two acres of the Downing College grounds, lying to the south of Downing Street, were purchased for £15,000. (fn. 112) In the following year some more of this land was bought, (fn. 113) and a larger area of 6¼ acres in 1902, (fn. 114) thus completing 'the Downing site', which was, by 1939, to be completely covered with university buildings. The distribution of the new areas had been outlined by a syndicate in 1897. (fn. 115) The Mortlock site was to be used for arts subjects and for examination rooms. Engineering and medicine were to be developed on the New Museums; botany was to be removed to the Downing site, which was also to be used for a law school, and for the museum of general and local archaeology (at that time housed in the museum of classical archaeology in Little St. Mary's Lane). (fn. 116) One problem which had dragged on for two decades was that of the eventual home of the museum of geology. After the death of Adam Sedgwick in 1873 about £12,000 was quickly subscribed for a memorial to him. Geology's existing quarters in the Cockerell building were extremely cramped, but there were long and acrimonious disputes about where it was to go. (fn. 117) One party wanted it to be placed on the New Museums near to zoology. Hughes, Sedgwick's successor in the Woodwardian chair, wanted it to move to the Downing site, long before the purchase of 1896 had been made. The discussions on the various reports suggest the existence of a personal feud between him and Newton, the Professor of Zoology, who favoured the New Museums location. Apart from these rivalries the execution of any scheme was held up by shortage of money. Finally, in December 1896, two graces were passed which transferred the site of the geological museum from the New Museums to the Downing site, (fn. 118) though there was further controversy over the size of the proposed building, which resulted in Hughes and his lecturers carrying through (February 1899) the large scheme which they thought necessary. (fn. 119) In 1903 part of the collections had been transferred and lectures were being given in the new Sedgwick museum. (fn. 120)
One important object of the appeal for funds at the turn of the century was the erection of a new law school and medical school, for which separate appeals were also made. (fn. 121) The need for more medical accommodation is shown by the fact that the number of registered medical students had grown from 26 in 1874 to 141 in 1899. (fn. 122) The site allotted was along Downing Street to the east of the chemical laboratory, and a grace was passed in 1901 accepting tenders for the school and for a museum to be named after Sir George Humphry. (fn. 123) In fact, it was not possible to erect buildings of the dimensions originally planned. The demand for a law library and lecture rooms had been urgent for a decade. One site which had been suggested before the purchase of the Downing property was the south side of Senate House Yard. (fn. 124) In June 1900 plans had been approved for a law school and library, the latter being paid for under the provisions of the will of Miss R. F. Squire. (fn. 125) They were placed on the Downing site, adjacent to the geological museum, and south of them a new building was constructed for botany. (fn. 126) All these new buildings were opened by King Edward VII who came to Cambridge with Queen Alexandra on 1 March 1904. (fn. 127) Between that date and 1914 accommodation for agriculture, for physiology, and for the museum of archaeology and ethnology was added on the Downing site. Agriculture, a new subject, had no home of its own; in 1905 the Drapers' Company of London promised £5,000 towards the cost of the building. (fn. 128) In January 1908 a site was allotted south of the botany school and parallel to it, (fn. 129) and the new laboratory was opened in April 1910. (fn. 130) It was further extended, out of a Treasury grant, in 1913, (fn. 131) and a further grant made for a forestry building in the south-east corner of the Downing site. (fn. 132) Meanwhile a new building for physiology had been begun, abutting on Downing Place. In November 1910 the Senate had accepted an offer of £23,000 from the Drapers' Company for this purpose. (fn. 133) It had also been decided that the building should contain a laboratory of experimental psychology, (fn. 134) which was in use by 1913. (fn. 135) The physiology laboratory itself was formally opened by Prince Arthur of Connaught in June 1914. (fn. 136) To the west of the law schools work had been started on the museum of archaeology and ethnology. In June 1909 the construction of part of the museum was authorized by grace; (fn. 137) in December 1911 another grace passed for the erection of part of a second block, (fn. 138) and in 1912 the collections began to be moved into the new museum. (fn. 139)
Both physics and chemistry had been expanding. The latter subject needed more room since both Caius and Sidney had decided to close their college laboratories. In January 1907 an extension along the Pembroke Street front towards the medical school was approved, and next year the extension was partly in use. (fn. 140) The Cavendish was extended in 1895 and in 1907, the second extension, named after Lord Rayleigh, covering part of the Mortlock site. (fn. 141) The main part of this, as already explained, had been ear-marked for examination rooms and for lecture rooms in which the arts subjects had always been woefully deficient. They had never, Professor Sorley said in a discussion in 1907, 'had a dip in the lucky bag'. All that the University provided for 46 teachers of these subjects was five lecture rooms. (fn. 142) A plan for such a building had been produced by a syndicate in November 1900, but it reported in May 1901 that there was no money to cover the necessary expenditure. (fn. 143) In 1905 another syndicate reported in favour of building an examination room on the eastern part of the Mortlock site. The original plan was modified to meet the requirements of the local examinations syndicate, who needed a large hall for their summer meetings, and who, in return, were ready to contribute £1,500. The scheme passed the Senate in May 1906. (fn. 144) Three years later the examination rooms were opened, and general approval was also given to a scheme for lecture rooms, common rooms, and departmental libraries on the remainder of the site. (fn. 145) In the Lent Term of 1911 the new lecture rooms were in use. (fn. 146)
New professorships naturally accompanied new buildings and new departments. In March 1883 the Council of the Senate recommended the institution of chairs of physiology, of pathology, and of mental philosophy and logic, as required by the statutes, (fn. 147) and also of a chair of surgery. The three medical chairs were in fact established the same year, though the professorship of surgery was without stipend. (fn. 148) The mental philosophy chair had to wait until 1896, when Sidgwick again came to the rescue of the University by offering to reduce his own stipend so that the new professor could have a full salary of £700. (fn. 149) The other new foundations of the eighties were the Ely professorship of divinity, endowed with an Ely canonry (1889), and the professorship of Chinese (1888), originally founded as a personal office without stipend. (fn. 150) In 1898 came the chair of ancient history, (fn. 151) but most of the later foundations of the period were scientific. The expansion of one new field of study is recorded by the foundation of the Drapers' professorship of agriculture (1899) and the professorship of agricultural botany (1908), both established with the aid of Drapers' Company funds. (fn. 152) In 1906 the Quick pro- fessorship of biology was founded from the bequest of R. H. Quick. (fn. 153) In 1908 a chair of biology for the study of genetics was founded for five years in celebration of the Darwin centenary. (fn. 154) In 1912 an anonymous donor endowed the Arthur Balfour chair of genetics. The 1908 biology chair lapsed in 1913, as its holder, R. C. Punnett, had been elected to the Balfour professorship, and the University decided to make no election. (fn. 155) In 1909 a chair of astrophysics without stipend was established; (fn. 156) an endowment for the chair was received in 1913. (fn. 157) One major deficiency in the scientific departments was a chair of biochemistry. In 1910 Trinity created a praelectorship in the subject for F. Gowland Hopkins, since the University was unable to establish a chair. (fn. 158) In 1914 a chair for one tenure without stipend was created, to which Hopkins was elected. (fn. 159) The only parallel foundations on the arts side were the endowment of the Schroder chair of German (1909) by the firm of J. Henry Schroder & Co., (fn. 160) and of the King Edward VII chair of English literature by Sir Harold Harmsworth (Lord Rothermere) (1910). (fn. 161) The Schroder endowment is a very early example of a benefaction made by a business firm.
The time has now come for a more general survey of university studies as they had developed between 1882 and 1914. In the early years of the 20th century the giants of the late Victorian age disappeared, one by one, from the scene. A unique occasion was the celebration, in the summer of 1899, of the professorial jubilee of Sir George Stokes, Lucasian professor (1849–99). (fn. 162) He lived until 1903. In 1900 Sidgwick died, followed in 1905 by Sir Richard Jebb, in 1906 by Maitland, and in 1907 by Sir Michael Foster, all of them pre-eminent in their own studies and strong influences in university affairs. (fn. 163) Maitland's death in particular brought forth general appreciation, both from England and from abroad, of the importance of his legal and historical work and of the deep personal impression which he had made on his contemporaries. The greatest tribute to his memory was perhaps the official address of condolence which the University received from the University of Oxford. (fn. 164) In 1908 came the retirement of two professors, who had been in the forefront of the great expansion of studies G. D. Liveing, who had held the chair of chemistry since 1861, had been one of the pioneers in the natural sciences. Alfred Marshall, who had been professor of political economy since 1884, was the founder of economic science as it exists in modern England. (fn. 165) The year following the retirement of Liveing and Marshall (June 1909) (fn. 166) the University celebrated both the centenary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the fiftieth anniversary of the Origin of Species, perhaps the greatest intellectual achievement of any Cambridge man of modern times.
The Royal Commission of 1919 wrote in their report: 'the growth of science at Cambridge since the era of the Royal Commissions has been perhaps the greatest fact in the history of the University since its foundation.' (fn. 167) The stages in the material advance have already been described. In intellectual achievement first place must be given to the Cavendish Laboratory. Lord Rayleigh, the second holder of the Cavendish chair (1879–84), had really begun effective instruction in physics for undergraduates, and his own work on the determination of electrical measurements has formed the standard of subsequent legislation on the subject. (fn. 168) His successor, J. J. Thomson, played a great part in the expansion of physics which followed the discovery of X-rays in 1895. In 1897 he announced his most important result, establishing 'the existence of masses of a smaller order of magnitude than atoms', or, as they were later called, the electrons. (fn. 169) The work of the laboratory was recognized by the award of Nobel prizes to Rayleigh (1904) and to Thomson (1906). In 1908 a Nobel prize was awarded to Rutherford, who had worked in the laboratory in 1895–8, and who was to succeed Thomson. (fn. 170) In the biological sciences the most important work was that done by William Bateson. He had in the late eighties begun to study inheritance in animals and plants; he had later taken up and re-expounded the long-forgotten work of Mendel; and by examining the phenomena of variation and heredity, he had formulated the new science of genetics. His work received little encouragement for many years, and it led him into many controversies with other scientists. In 1908 he was elected to the new chair of biology, but he left Cambridge in 1910. (fn. 171) In the medical school the leading department was that of physiology, in which Michael Foster's tradition was continued by his pupils. His successor in the chair, J. N. Langley, and W. H. Gaskell did especially important work on the nervous system. (fn. 172) In Sir Clifford Allbutt Cambridge had a regius professor of physic (1892–1925) of exceptionally wide interests and general culture. (fn. 173)
Cambridge science also developed in practical directions in these years. Engineering, for instance, made great strides. In December 1885 the special board for physics and chemistry suggested the institution of an honours examination for engineering students in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. This passed the Senate in March 1886, but the proposed regulations for the 'Mechanical Sciences Tripos' were non-placeted in March 1887, (fn. 174) the ground for rejection, according to J. J. Thomson, being that it would overlap the Mathematical Tripos. (fn. 175) There was also opposition on the ground that the University ought not to teach a practical subject. (fn. 176) James Stuart had begun by setting up workshops and a drawing office, but by the time of his resignation from the chair of mechanism in 1890, both he himself and other distinguished authorities were stressing the importance of a laboratory and of the academic study of the subject. (fn. 177) The laboratory was opened under his successor, J. A. Ewing. (fn. 178) Before that date (1894) the Mechanical Sciences Tripos had already been founded. A syndicate reported in favour of such an examination in May 1892, and the necessary grace passed the Senate in November of that year. (fn. 179) The growth of the new department was both rapid and unforeseen. In the Lent term of 1897 it contained 107 students; in the Lent Term of 1902 the number had increased to 203. (fn. 180) Another technological subject which had appeared in the nineties was agriculture. In 1890 the President of the Board of Agriculture had approached the Chancellor of the University to inquire whether Cambridge could help in promoting agricultural education. A scheme was produced by a syndicate in the following year, outlining courses and examinations both for members and for non-members of the University, and envisaging that a large part of the funds would come from money at the disposal of County Councils for agricultural education. (fn. 181) The opponents of the scheme were doubtful whether the University could afford it, or whether the subject was a proper one for academic study, (fn. 182) and graces for the establishment of two lecturerships were non-placeted in February 1892. (fn. 183) However, the Council took up the project again the following year, since there was clearly a demand, and local authorities were ready to supply the money. (fn. 184) A scheme for examinations in agricultural science finally passed the Senate in November 1893. (fn. 185) In 1899 a department of agriculture was set up under a professor, (fn. 186) and in May 1900 a special examination in agricultural science for the ordinary B.A. degree was founded. (fn. 187) In the same year a University farm at Impington was acquired. (fn. 188) In 1905 a diploma in forestry was instituted, and instruction in that subject began in 1907. (fn. 189) Both agriculture and forestry had been largely supported from funds provided by the government and by County Councils; this dependence on public money was to become general after 1918. (fn. 190) Another vocational subject in which the University interested itself was architecture; in 1908 an examination in preliminary architectural studies was established, though this was not intended to provide anything like a complete training, nor did it in itself entitle to a degree. (fn. 191)
In mathematical studies the great bone of contention was the question of the order of merit in the tripos. In 1899 the mathematical board reported in favour of cutting down the schedule of work in part I, which was seriously overloaded, and of arranging the names of wranglers, senior optimes, and junior optimes by divisions alphabetically. (fn. 192) In the discussion the weight of opinion was on the side of the reforms, though Routh, the great coach of the previous generation, opposed them, but the Senate rejected them in February 1900. (fn. 193) In March 1906 the mathematical board pointed out that, under the existing scheme, the better men did not get ahead with the higher subjects because of the time they had to spend securing their places in the order of merit, and that the present part I was not suitable for men who wanted to go on to natural or mechanical sciences. They proposed a new part I of an elementary character, and a part II in which again the classes were to be arranged in alphabetical order. (fn. 194) After these proposals had been discussed, (fn. 195) the board then returned to the charge with another scheme, designed to ensure that sufficiently simple questions were set in the new part II to be within the reach of the weaker men, which passed the Senate in October 1906. (fn. 196) The detailed regulations which were then prepared proposed that the last examinations under the old regulations should be held in 1909 and 1910. These regulations were non-placeted but carried in February 1907, some 1,400 members of the Senate voting. (fn. 197) The last senior wrangler was classed in 1909, and the ancient Ordo Senioritatis, one of the most ancient institutions in any university in the world, was finally extinguished. Since individual placing was no longer so important, this change helped to extinguish private coaching, which had been so important in the mid-19th century, and which had generally been disappearing in other subjects long before the abolition of the order of merit killed it in mathematics. (fn. 198) One remarkable product of the mathematical school of this period was the construction of a body of symbolic logic by A. N. Whitehead and Bertrand (later Lord) Russell, two fellows of Trinity, whose Principia Mathematica appeared 1910–13. Their work aimed at proving mathematics to be a part of logic and has had a profound effect on modern logical studies. (fn. 199)
In classical scholarship the greatest name was that of Jebb, who remained regius professor of Greek until 1905. (fn. 200) His successor (1906–21) was the classical philosopher, Henry Jackson, who wrote comparatively little himself, but who had a great influence over his pupils and over other scholars. (fn. 201) In 1911 A. E. Housman, the editor of Manilius and author of A Shropshire Lad, became Kennedy professor of Latin, and in him Cambridge gained from Oxford and London one of the greatest of English classical scholars. The tripos had been divided into two parts in 1879, (fn. 202) but the degree was awarded on part I, and most men took three years over that, only a small minority going on to part II in the fourth year. (fn. 203) An attempt was made in 1898–9 to create a new part II and to provide that part I should not qualify for a degree, but, after very lengthy discussion, this proposal was defeated (March 1899). (fn. 204) It was not until 1918 that classics was brought into line with the majority of other triposes and a degree ceased to be obtainable on part I alone. As a result classical men were given a greater opportunity than they had had before of taking two honours schools. (fn. 205)
Among the newer arts subjects history made the most striking advance. At the beginning of the period the tripos had been regarded as a soft option, (fn. 206) and Oscar Browning complained that the history board was providing instruction 'with a very small staff of lecturers, with very small interest on the part of most of the College tutors, and in fact with less encouragement than any board in the University'. (fn. 207) Browning's own College, King's, where he and G. W. Prothero were teaching, did much to promote the study of history as an undergraduate subject. (fn. 208) Many prominent historians were working at Cambridge. William Cunningham of Trinity was a pioneer in the study of economic history. Of the professors Seeley has already been discussed. (fn. 209) His successor, Lord Acton (1895–1902), 'brought an international atmosphere into the University', and linked its historical studies more closely with European scholarship. (fn. 210) He was also the chief promoter of the Cambridge Modern History, the first of those historical series which have made the name of the Cambridge school well known throughout the world. (fn. 211) Mandell Creighton, the first Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History (1884–91), was both a very popular lecturer and a keen promoter of original research. (fn. 212) Soon after his arrival the tripos was reformed (1885), more emphasis being laid on the study of original authorities and on the constitutional history of England. This marked a move away from the views of Professor Seeley, under whose auspices the tripos had been first established. He was largely concerned with political studies and wished to prepare men to be statesmen and diplomats rather than to train them in historical research. In 1897 the tripos was divided into two parts, thus following the pattern which had become general in other subjects. (fn. 213)
Cognate studies to which the University gave recognition were economics, geography, and anthropology. In March 1903 a syndicate reported that there was a general demand for instruction in economics, which was being met in other universities, and which Cambridge could not neglect without prejudice to her reputation. They further emphasized the importance of the connexion between the University and the world of business. Consequently they proposed the establishment of a new tripos of two parts, the first examinations to be held in 1905 and 1906. The scheme was strongly and ably supported by Alfred Marshall, and it passed the Senate in June 1903. (fn. 214) Lectures on geography were first given in the Lent term of 1888, and a university lecturer in geography was appointed the same year, the funds being largely provided by the Royal Geographical Society, which continued to support the subject generously. (fn. 215) In December 1903 graces passed the Senate for the establishment of a board of geographical studies, and for a special examination and a diploma in geography. (fn. 216) A few years later a diploma in anthropology, to be awarded on a dissertation, was established (January 1908). (fn. 217) In May 1913 followed a tripos examination in anthropology, to be taken as a second part after a first part in some other subject. (fn. 218)
The last group of literary studies to be discussed is the linguistic. Of these the doyen was oriental languages, in which Cambridge had two scholars of international repute. William Robertson Smith (Lord Almoner's Professor of Arabic 1883–6, Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic, 1889–94) had come to Cambridge after his dismissal for heresy from the Free Church College at Aberdeen in 1881. Not only was he a great orientalist, but he was also a man of remarkable charm and exceptionally wide culture, who had edited the Encyclopaedia Britannica. (fn. 219) Of a later generation was E. G. Browne (Sir Thomas Adams's professor 1902–26), the great authority on Persia, who did much to encourage the study of living oriental languages. (fn. 220) In 1893 the Semitic and Indian Languages Triposes had been united to form the Oriental Languages Tripos. (fn. 221) Modern and medieval languages had acquired a tripos examination in the eighties, but progress was very meagre. (fn. 222) In 1885 the modern languages board, in attempting to get an increase in salary for their two lecturers, pointed out that these two men did practically all the work of preparing men for the tripos and that their stipends were quite insufficient. (fn. 223) In October 1909, when returning thanks for the foundation of the Schroder chair of German, (fn. 224) the University pointed out that, apart from German and French teaching, a lecturership in Russian had been established by private benefactors and a small subsidy provided for the teaching of Spanish. 'There is no provision for the teaching of any other modern language except our own in the University as distinct from the Colleges and the provision for the teaching of English is wholly inadequate.' (fn. 225) In 1917 an endowment of £10,000, increased by further gifts, was presented for Spanish studies. (fn. 226) In a consequent discussion in January 1918, one speaker pointed out how poor the prospects of the Cambridge modern language student were. 'Modern language fellows might be counted on the hand; they were exceedingly rare wild fowl, and the prizes available for research after the degree were extremely few. The fact was that the department of modern languages had so far been the Cinderella of university departments.' (fn. 227) The study of English had grown up as a section of the Medieval and Modern Languages Tripos. A lecturership in English had been founded in 1896, from funds collected by the philologist W. W. Skeat (Elrington and Bosworth Professor of AngloSaxon 1878–1912). (fn. 228) In the academic year 1909–10 the position of English in the Modern Languages Tripos was being redefined. When the subject was discussed, the importance of English was stressed, and there was clearly a widespread opinion that it held a higher position in other British universities and in America than in Cambridge. (fn. 229) In 1917 a report, recommending the division of the Modern Languages Tripos into two parts and the creation of a separate English Tripos, passed the Senate. The independent English Tripos was warmly supported by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, King Edward VII Professor of English Literature (1912–44). It was also urged that the reorganization of the Modern Languages Tripos would give a stimulus to those studies and would help the University to train men of affairs. (fn. 230)
The growth of the new studies depended very largely on the readiness of the Colleges to encourage them. One valuable piece of evidence is provided by the subjects in which entrance scholarships and exhibitions were offered. In 1882–3 nine colleges offered entrance awards in natural sciences, none in history, and none in modern languages. In 1892–3 the numbers in the respective groups had risen to 14, 5, and 2. In 1904–5 they were 13, 12, and 4, a striking advance by history during the decade. (fn. 231) During the nineties Colleges were also tending to join together in groups for scholarship examinations. (fn. 232) As standards rose, as numbers grew, and as the range of choice became greater, Colleges were likely to press their men towards reading for honours, though this change was gradual. King's was the pioneer 'honours' College. As early as 1873 it had decided that only honours candidates were to be admitted, and that those who ceased, without permission, to read for honours must go down. (fn. 233) Between 1851 and 1906 it had far the highest proportion (91.8 per cent.) of honours to matriculations. (fn. 234) As honours schools and honours students both multiplied, Colleges needed a larger and better-organized teaching staff. At King's the foundation of the modern arrangements was laid by a scheme of 1882, drawn up by Augustus Austen Leigh, Vice-Provost and later Provost, which provided for two tutors, who were to be salaried officials, and as many lecturers in the different subjects as the College had available and could pay adequately. (fn. 235) Standards still varied widely between Colleges, to a considerable extent as a result of the amount of money available. 'The richer colleges', says a book of 1913, 'can buy the first class men; the poorer colleges can only get them by a lucky chance. What can Magdalene, Corpus, and St. Catharine's do against Trinity, St. John's, King's, and Caius?' (fn. 236) It is no coincidence that J. J. Thomson also mentions Trinity, St. John's, and Caius, with Emmanuel, as being 'foremost in encouraging research students and research'. (fn. 237) In all the Colleges alike, despite the great progress made between 1882 and 1914, the academic attainment of a large proportion of the undergraduates was still very low. Between 1851 and 1906 44.4 per cent. of the men took honours and 32.9 per cent. the pass degree, which meant that about 23 per cent. had gone down without a degree at all. (fn. 238) In April 1914 Stuart Donaldson, Master of Magdalene, stated in a discussion that, of those who came up in 1909, a quarter had not taken a degree. 'He ventured to think that of that 25 per cent. to whom he had alluded a very large number consisted of men who came up to have a good time, and did not care to read or work hard.' (fn. 239)
Since all undergraduates had to pass the Previous Examination and since so many of them took a pass degree, the regulations for those examinations were naturally of great interest to residents, and any proposals for change led to keen conflicts of opinion, to report after report and discussion after discussion, though the matters in debate have very little interest now. (fn. 240) Between 1883 and 1886 there were long debates over the 'additional subjects', certain mathematical papers in the Previous Examination which had to be passed by all candidates for honours, and which formed a remnant of the ancient primacy of mathematics as a university subject. (fn. 241) Several projected plans failed to pass the Senate, but the additional subjects were finally preserved in a modified form (May 1886). (fn. 242) Another plan for their abolition was defeated in November 1898. (fn. 243) On several occasions—in 1890, in 1902, and in 1909—alterations in the Ordinary degree regulations were either proposed or actually made. In each case it was clear that the standard was far too low, that great efforts had been made to improve the situation, and that it was very difficult to find any scheme which would give general satisfaction. (fn. 244) William Bateson voiced a widespread discontent when he said in a discussion in 1909: 'Cambridge was a place full of vigour. Studies of great variety and interest were being pursued here. But what fate did the poll man meet? Did he know anything about it? What did he think of them? What did he know about the interests of the place? It was a dangerous thing that they should bring here a considerable number of men who never came into touch with their interests at all.' (fn. 245) In 1898 the Previous Examination had been opened to men who had not yet matriculated, but who were applicants for admission to Colleges. (fn. 246) The report of a syndicate presented just before the outbreak of war, in June 1914, proposed, among other changes, that the additional subjects should disappear and that Greek should no longer be compulsory in the Previous. They expected that a student would normally pass that examination before he came into residence, but they did not propose to make it a condition of matriculation. (fn. 247)
Compulsory Greek and degrees for women were unquestionably the two subjects which aroused the fiercest academic passions at this time. Schemes for ending compulsory Greek in the Previous Examination had been defeated in 1873, 1880, and in 1891. (fn. 248) In 1904 it was proposed that candidates should be required to take one ancient language only. The discussion lasted three days, but in the end (March 1905) the proposal was defeated by a large majority, about 2,600 members of the Senate voting. (fn. 249) In the following year another proposal that Greek should not be compulsory for those who planned to take courses in science, while it was preserved for students of the humanities, was also defeated. (fn. 250) The women had been no more successful than the anti-Grecians. In 1888, after memorials on degrees for women had been presented, the Council of the Senate had refused to recommend any action to modify the position since they felt the preponderance of opinion was against any change. (fn. 251) In 1896–7 another attempt was made to allow women to take degrees. A syndicate, set up to consider the position of women students, recommended (February 1897) that women should not become members of the University, but that they should be given the titles of degrees. (fn. 252) One practical grievance which would be met by this proposal was that Cambridge women students would no longer suffer under a disadvantage when applying for posts in competition with graduates of universities which gave degrees to women. There were three very long discussions on this report. The out-and-out supporters of women's claims, in general, thought that the scheme would be workable, and that it represented as much as they were likely to get. On the other hand there was opposition to the proposal to create 'a large unenfranchised class, a species of Uitlander'. (fn. 253) One plan, which reappeared on later occasions, was that of a women's university, of which the Oxford and Cambridge women's Colleges should be members. It was on this subject that F. W. Maitland made a well-known and witty speech. The natural home for such a university, he said, was the waiting room at Bletchley station, and its name 'the Bletchley Junction Academy'. 'You wait there; but you do not wait there always. You change for Oxford and Cambridge.' (fn. 254) The subject naturally stirred up feelings—serious or the reverse—among undergraduates, 2,137 of whom memorialized the Vice-Chancellor that the syndicate's scheme 'would prove injurious to the position and efficiency of this University as a University for men'. (fn. 255) In May 1896 they had already voted, in a poll organized by the editor of the Cambridge Review, 1,723 to 446 against women's degrees. (fn. 256) The President of the Union threw open the debating hall to everyone in statu pupillari, and a motion condemning the recommendations of the syndicate was passed by 1,083 to 138. (fn. 257) Granta's special correspondent made the most of the excitement, his articles appearing under headlines like 'The Women's War, Massacre in Nevile's Court, Crushing Defeat of the Invaders'. (fn. 258) For the invaders were defeated. The grace giving women the title of B.A. was thrown out by 1,707 to 661 (May 1897), and the other graces withdrawn. (fn. 259) It was a crushing defeat indeed; no further efforts in the same cause were made until after the First World War. (fn. 260)
This brief account of 'The Women's War' forms a convenient transition to the social life of the time. Among senior residents the biggest change was that caused by the general permission to marry given by the 1882 statutes. (fn. 261) Before that date there had been very few families in the University, but a change soon took place; (fn. 262) one speaker in a discussion of May 1883 apologized for using matrimonial metaphors, but thought he might be excused since 'the University was rushing with what he might describe as rapturous rapidity into matrimony'. (fn. 263) When fellows were allowed to marry, they stayed longer in their posts and their average ages tended to increase. As they were older men who lived in many cases out of college, they probably came into regular contact with undergraduates less than before. The social barrier between senior and junior members was still high in the early part of the period. (fn. 264) One of the pioneers in establishing more friendly relations was Oscar Browning. He was treasurer or president of innumerable societies, among them the Union, the Footlights, the Musical Club, and the Hockey Club. He entertained regularly, and his Sunday evening 'at homes', in their heyday, were called 'the most brilliant things imaginable'. His Political Society was founded to encourage serious discussion among undergraduates of such questions; among its members were Austen (later Sir Austen) Chamberlain, Lowes Dickinson, A. C. Pigou, J. H. (later Sir John) Clapham, and G. M. Trevelyan. (fn. 265) Another was J. K. Stephen, of reputation more ephemeral because of his early death in 1892, but by common consent the most brilliant of wits, debaters, and versifiers. Undergraduate groups succeed one another from generation to generation, but the circle which was to become the Bloomsbury Group deserves a special mention. One of its ablest members was the future economist, J. M. (later Lord) Keynes of King's. Born in 1883 and one of the first of the new race of dons' children, he came up in 1902. He was President of the Union, and was a member of the Apostles, a circle which deeply affected him. Among his friends were Lytton Strachey, Leonard Woolf, and Clive Bell, all of Trinity; their bible was G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica, which came out in 1903; 'its effect on us and the talk which preceded and followed it', Keynes wrote himself, 'dominated, and perhaps still dominate, everything else'. (fn. 266)
Societies proliferated both in College and University. Of dramatic clubs the doyen was the A.D.C.; (fn. 267) when M. R. James was at King's as an undergraduate (1882–5), it confined itself, he wrote later, to 'the lower walks of the drama'. (fn. 268) The Footlights Dramatic Club, founded in 1883, was regarded in A.D.C. circles as rather an upstart. (fn. 269) In 1882 the first of the Cambridge Greek plays, Ajax, was produced with J. K. Stephen in the title role. (fn. 270) To a later generation belongs the Marlowe Society, of which the poet Rupert Brooke (King's 1906–9) was one of the principal founders. (fn. 271) Of magazines mention must be made of the Cambridge Review, founded in 1879, and the main forum of University opinion ever since, and of the humorous magazine, Granta (1889). Among early Granta contributors who made literary names were R. C. Lehmann, Barry Pain, and Owen Seaman; in a later generation came A. A. Milne and Edward Shanks. (fn. 272)
The expenses of an undergraduate at the time of the first Royal Commission have already been given. (fn. 273) A few years before the First World War a careful man was estimated to spend £120 per annum, without including vacations, clothes, or travelling, or a total of about £160, which can probably be regarded as a minimum figure. (fn. 274) The Students' Handbook gives, for 1914, figures varying between £110 and £225. (fn. 275) The undergraduate day, as described by M. R. James for the eighteen-eighties, had approximated more or less to the modern pattern, though there were small differences of custom; for instance, beer lingered on as a drink for breakfast. Lectures filled the morning, lunch came at about one, games in the afternoon, followed by tea. Dinner in the eighties was about six, or sometimes even earlier, and most men took coffee afterwards with their friends before returning to work. (fn. 276) Amusements were still comparatively few; theatre-going was long frowned on by the authorities, and the New Theatre was not opened until 1896. (fn. 277) Very few colleges held May balls in the eighties, and some of those which did used the Guildhall for the purpose. The Cambridge Review in 1888 reported as a great matter for remark that at Trinity Hall 'the Master had put the Lodge entirely at the disposal of the Ball Committee, and the Fellows had given up the Dining Hall, Combination Room, and Fellows' Garden'. (fn. 278) May Week itself had become a social event; T. R. Glover, who went up to St. John's in 1888, wrote that 'tennis was allowed in the mornings, and girls played on our courts; and the May Races took place in the afternoons . . . the spectators packed in rowing boats and dog carts, were massed along the bank and in the paddock, at Ditton'. (fn. 279)
The biggest social change from the preceding period was the growing dominance of athletics. J. J. Thomson, who took his B.A. in 1880, says that the only general games of his day were cricket and football. Lawn tennis had only just been introduced, and a few played fives and real tennis. Reading men who were not good games players got little chance to play, and took their usual exercise in long walks. (fn. 280) Glover, writing of a decade later, says that 'athletics were in full swing . . . . To represent the College in some sport was the common ambition.' Among the clubs the boats took precedence, followed by cricket and football, and they by hockey, lacrosse, and golf, the last only just beginning to be played. (fn. 281) For financial reasons, especially the expense of the boats, the different college clubs were tending to join together into one Amalgamation Club; at Corpus, for instance, this had been done in 1883. (fn. 282) J. J. Thomson thought that interest in university cricket had declined since the great days of 1878 and 1882 when the Australians had been beaten by the university eleven. On the other hand, he noted, rugby football had become far more popular than it had been at that time. (fn. 283) The contests with Oxford in the winter games date in athletics from 1864, in rugby football from 1872, in association football from 1874, and in hockey from 1890. (fn. 284) In 1884 the rugby and association football teams adopted the full blue, at first against the wishes of the rowing, cricket, and athletic clubs, which before that time had alone possessed it. (fn. 285) The growth of games and of an interest in them provided occupation for many young men who, in an earlier generation, would have been less innocently employed. The cult of games markedly changed the general ethos of Cambridge life. The reputation and numbers of colleges went up and down with their athletic prowess. Jesus, for instance, went head of the river in 1875 and kept the title for eleven years. This produced a large entry of freshmen. After 1890 it lost its athletic predominance, and numbers went down. (fn. 286) It is noteworthy that most of the missionary group, 'The Cambridge Seven', were athletes; indeed one of them, C. T. Studd, had been captain of the university eleven. (fn. 287) 'Our public schools taught us', says a book published in 1904, '(and for most of us Cambridge continued the teaching) that to be of any real importance and consequence among his fellows a man must be "good at games", or perhaps—but this more rarely—"good at work".' (fn. 288) The worship of athletics was at its height in the twenty years before the war of 1914; it was not always for the best, and, at its worst, it could be a narrow and philistine influence. Among those who noted it and deplored it were H. M. Butler of Trinity and Oscar Browning. (fn. 289)
The religious life of the period up to 1939 will be discussed later. (fn. 290) Problems of discipline grew easier on the whole, though naturally new conditions produced new difficulties. One of these is evidenced by the graces of November 1908 forbidding undergraduates to keep motor vehicles without the permission of the senior proctor and of their tutor. (fn. 291) Great events produced excitement, which could end in rowdyism. When Kitchener came to Cambridge to receive an honorary degree in 1898, he was drawn in his carriage from the senate house to Christ's, and there was a great bonfire on Market Hill in the evening. (fn. 292) There were similar rejoicings over the relief of Ladysmith; several men were fined by 'the Mayor and other pro-Boer magistrates' as a result, but were eventually pardoned and the police had to guard the Mayor's house. (fn. 293) Town and gown rows of the old sort were dying away, (fn. 294) and official relations between the two corporations had lost their former bitterness. By an Act of 1889, the University acquired direct representation on the Town Council. This had at first been opposed by the latter, but the final settlement represented a compromise. It also provided that the general law as to rating should apply to university and college property. (fn. 295) The most serious issue still in dispute between University and Borough was the power of the former, under Queen Elizabeth I's charter of 1561 and the Act of 1856, to arrest and punish women who were suspected of being prostitutes. This came to a head in 1891 with the arrest of two women who were so suspected; the whole story has been told by Winstanley and need not be repeated in detail here. (fn. 296) The controversy dragged on until 1894 when, by the Cambridge University and Corporation Act, it was provided that the portion of the 1561 charter which was in dispute should be repealed, and that women who were under suspicion should be brought before the borough magistrates. The Vice-Chancellor also lost the power to license theatres and other entertainments. The controversy had, Winstanley thought, been dragged on by both sides longer than had been really necessary; however, in 1895 the Vice-Chancellor, Austen Leigh of King's, in his annual review reported that the new system was working well. (fn. 297)
The outbreak of war in 1914 speedily cleared the University of most of its junior members and many of its senior. The numbers of undergraduates in residence for the Michaelmas terms of 1913, 1914, and 1915 respectively were 3,263, 1,658, 825. By the Easter term of 1916 this had fallen to 575. (fn. 298) In June 1915 men serving in the forces were allowed to count four terms towards their degree if they had served that period. (fn. 299) A war committee was set up to select candidates for commissions which, by February 1916, when a new system of training was adopted, had already dealt with over 3,400 applications. (fn. 300) Many members of the university staff went off to war work of various kinds, and activity in university departments was correspondingly cut down, except in scientific departments whose work was connected with the war effort, and in the medical school which was actively concerned, both in training as many medical students as possible and in dealing with medical problems arising out of war conditions. (fn. 301) A large military hospital was set up, first in Nevile's Court in Trinity and then on King's and Clare playing-fields, now the site of the university library. Many of the college buildings were used to accommodate officer cadet training units. 'There are about 2,000 in Cambridge,' wrote Henry Jackson in March 1917, 'at Trinity we have 500 or 600, living in College, dining and breakfasting in hall, drilling in the cloisters. Their officers dine at the high table. When they leave us for their commissions, we have a little dinner party and dine them. St. John's, Pembroke, Clare, King's, are other centres.' (fn. 302) Other guests whom the University entertained during this period were professors and students from Belgian universities, for whom lectures were organized and a form of certificate sanctioned. (fn. 303) In a period of patriotic fervour and personal sacrifice the path of the dissentient was a stony one. In July 1916 Bertrand (later Lord) Russell, who had been fined £100 for making statements likely to prejudice recruiting, was removed from his lecturership by the Council of Trinity College. (fn. 304)
Since numbers had fallen so low, the financial problems of the University naturally caused great concern, though the storm was weathered better than had originally been expected. Emergency measures were taken which enabled university offices and emoluments to be suspended and the moneys thus released to be used for general purposes, (fn. 305) but it did not prove to be necessary to set up an emergency fund to which members of the Senate should be asked to contribute, as had been suggested. (fn. 306) College incomes subject to university contribution fell, between 1914 and 1917, from £276,286 to £245,705, a fall which, since the statutable amount of the contribution remained at £30,000, had increased the percentage levy from 103/5 in 1915 to 12¼ in 1917. (fn. 307) The ViceChancellor, Fitzpatrick of Queens', pointed out in his annual review for 1917 that, even if, after the war, the University's income was to regain the pre-war standard, 'large increases in annual and capital expenditure must be expected if the University is to meet the claims that may be made upon it as a place of teaching and research'. (fn. 308) The problem of post-war planning exercised a good many minds. In December 1916 a memorandum was published, signed by 10 heads of houses, 23 professors, and 102 other members of the Senate, which asked that the following points might be considered: that terms should each last 10 weeks, that much more freedom should be given to men in choosing the time for their entry to the tripos, that regulations for pass examinations should be overhauled and simplified, that students should be allowed to come up for short periods of study for which they should receive certificates, and that means should be found for reducing expenses. (fn. 309)
One fruit of this memorandum was the establishment of a syndicate to consider the Ordinary B.A. examination, which reported in May 1918. (fn. 310) The most revealing section of the report today is the analysis of the subsequent careers of 446 pass men who matriculated between 1903 and 1907; this provides a picture of the careers of a large group of Cambridge men in the early years of this century:
|Barristers and solicitors||16|
|Business (other than engineering)||13|
|Govt. service at home or abroad||4|
|Farmers or planters||3|
The syndicate proposed to put more emphasis on training the pass man for his future work, and they aimed to achieve this by giving him a combination of principal and subsidiary subjects, which were to be chosen from different groups. Their proposals were later amended, but, in a revised and simplified form, they passed the Senate in May 1920. (fn. 311) In his review for 1920 the Vice-Chancellor, Giles of Emmanuel, was able to report that both the Ordinary degree and the Previous examinations had been recast. (fn. 312) A syndicate had, as has been seen, reported on the Previous Examination in June 1914, but action had been held up by the outbreak of war. The most urgent question was naturally that of compulsory Greek, and opinion was sharply divided between those who thought that action should be taken without delay and those who thought that nothing should be done until after the war. (fn. 313) In 1917 the Previous examination syndicate was reconstituted, and reported in February 1918. It recommended that the examination should be similar to the new school certificate which had been founded by the examining bodies, that Latin alone should be a compulsory language with one other, drawn from either Greek, French, German, or Spanish, and that there should be a compulsory paper in natural science. (fn. 314) In November of the same year the syndicate proposed to proceed at once with the question of ending compulsory Greek, and with the abolition of the additional subjects. (fn. 315) A grace embodying these recommendations passed the Senate in January 1919, (fn. 316) though the proposal for a compulsory science paper was defeated in May of that year. (fn. 317)
Another major change which had been initiated during the war years was the recasting of the regulations for research degrees. (fn. 318) In June 1916 the General Board had recommended that research degrees of Bachelor of Letters and of Science should be established. (fn. 319) When this was discussed there was a strong feeling, expressed, among others, by J. J. Thomson, that, after the war, many students, especially Americans, who had previously gone to Germany for research work, would be likely to come to England, but that they would be attracted in large numbers only if they were given the title of doctor for their work. On the other side there was the fear that a doctorate so given must be of a lower standard than the existing doctorates in the ancient higher faculties, or the modern doctorates of letters and of science, founded in 1883. (fn. 320) In February 1917 the Senate approved an amended report which recommended the grant of degrees of Master of Science and of Letters, but not of a doctorate, (fn. 321) though a grace for initiating the consequent changes of statute was rejected in February 1918, (fn. 322) because, in the interval, another syndicate had been set up to consider means of collaboration with universities overseas, and it was thought that the whole question needed reconsideration. (fn. 323) The collaboration syndicate issued two reports in June and in November 1918. (fn. 324) They stressed the necessity, if research students were to be attracted from North America, of giving them the doctor's degree, and proposed the title of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) as being that in general use for the purpose. The course of study should be three years, and should be under the control of a board of research studies. The second report was accepted by the Senate in February 1919, and the necessary grace for initiating statutory changes a month later. (fn. 325) The collaboration syndicate had pointed out, in their first report, that most British universities including Oxford either gave or were proposing to give the doctorate for graduate work.
Soon after the end of the war the Chancellor of the University, Lord Rayleigh, who had succeeded the eighth Duke of Devonshire in 1908, died. His successor was A. J. (later Lord) Balfour, who was succeeded by another political leader, Stanley (later Lord) Baldwin, in 1930. All of them were elected without a vote for there has been no contested election to the Chancellorship since 1847. With the return of peace the number of undergraduates bounded up, aided by liberal government grants made to those who had served. In the last normal year 1913–14, 1,178 men had matriculated; in 1918–19 the number was 1,835, 1,552 of them in the Lent and Easter terms. (fn. 326) Among them were a large group of naval officers, together with officers from the other services, and, in the summer of 1919, a group of American soldier-students. (fn. 327) The Vice-Chancellor, Giles of Emmanuel, in his survey for 1920, reported that the University was full to overflowing, and the General Board, both in 1920 and in 1921, described the great overcrowding in a number of scientific departments. (fn. 328) Though numbers were soaring, the financial situation, in a period of rising costs, was very bad. At the end of 1918 a statement sent to the President of the Board of Education, H. A. L. Fisher, in response to an inquiry, said that £20,000 a year was needed for stipends and £3,000 for the pension scheme which had been approved, but not put into effect; that £30,000 a year was needed for new posts in already established departments, as well as the development of many new fields of study; and that £750,000 was needed for capital expenditure. In his reply the minister pointed out that the government would not sanction grants from public funds 'except on the condition that in due course a comprehensive inquiry into the whole resources of the University and its Colleges, and into the use which is now being made of them, shall be instituted by the Government'; if the University were prepared so to co-operate, an emergency grant could be made for the current year. (fn. 329)
In May 1919 the Council reported that a revision of stipends was urgent, and that either an appeal must be made to private benefactions or an application made to government. Consequently they recommended that an inquiry should be welcomed, that an emergency grant should be sought, and a request for a permanent grant made, and that friends of the University should be approached for help. (fn. 330) When this was discussed, fears were expressed that the University would lose its autonomy, but the weight of opinion favoured the Council's proposals. The need for money was urgent, and it was claimed that the University was never likely to get more favourable treatment. J. J. Thomson, who had become Master of Trinity in 1918, said that he had voted against the medical grant in 1914, but that he now supported this proposal. 'He disliked, and he supposed everyone there disliked, the idea of receiving government money. But what was the alternative? He was convinced that the only alternative was to lose the efficiency of the University, and much as he disliked the receipt of money from the Government he disliked still more the idea of an inefficient University.' (fn. 331) A grace authorizing the Vice-Chancellor to say that the University would welcome an inquiry into its financial resources, and to ask for an emergency grant, passed the Senate, without a division, at the end of May 1919. (fn. 332)
The Vice-Chancellor, Shipley of Christ's, in his review for 1919, explained that the proposal to ask for private benefactions had met with no support. An interim grant of £30,000 for 1919–20 had been promised, but this was less than half of the minimum needed by the departments to reopen the University on a pre-war basis. (fn. 333) The same interim grant was made for 1920–1 and 1921–2. (fn. 334) In April 1922 the Vice-Chancellor was informed by the secretary of the University Grants Committee, which had been set up in 1919 to advise the government on the application of parliamentary grants to university education, that the grant would be put on to a regular basis for 1922–3 and would be raised to £38,500 (including the old medical grant). (fn. 335) Most of these sums were devoted to stipends, the increase of which was the most pressing need. The general financial position still remained very serious. There was a deficit on the Chest for 1920–1 of £2,500 and an estimated deficit for 1921–2 of £7,650. (fn. 336) The charges on the Chest were also increased by the adoption of a pensions scheme for university servants in December 1922. (fn. 337) In the meantime, in autumn 1919, the Royal Commission on Oxford and Cambridge Universities, under the chairmanship of H. H. Asquith, had been appointed, and until, in 1922, its report was issued, no definite plans for the future could be made. One problem which was bound to come forward, and with which the report eventually dealt, was the more complete organization of intercollegiate teaching; some efforts had, in fact, already been made in that direction. In December 1918 the General Board had failed to get Colleges to take part in a general scheme for the co-ordination of the appointment and stipend of College lecturers. (fn. 338) In February 1920 the special board for economics presented a report in which it aimed at organizing itself more completely as 'a self-governing faculty'. It proposed that an inclusive lecture-fee should be paid by the students out of which the board should then pay the lecturers. (fn. 339) The arguments in favour of this were that formal teaching was certain to move in the direction of faculty control, and that it could be properly organized only through the establishment of a regularly salaried staff. The opponents doubted whether undergraduates should be made to pay for lectures which they did not attend, and also whether all lecturing in a subject should be put under the control of the special board. (fn. 340) The General Board thought that the proposed inclusive fee conflicted with the statutes, and also wished to safeguard the position of the unofficial lecturer. Their final proposal (December 1922) was a compromise. A departmental fund was set up into which fees were to be paid and out of which stipends were to be met, but the student was to pay, as heretofore, only for the courses which he actually attended. (fn. 341)
However, the Royal Commission dealt with the subject on lines similar to those adopted by the economics board. In their report, published in 1922, they proposed the introduction of a faculty system on the model of that adopted at Oxford in 1913. (fn. 342) In all subjects the fees paid for formal teaching should no longer be paid to the Colleges or to individual lecturers, but to a faculty fund administered by the board of the faculty, and under its control. (fn. 343) The report pointed out that, if the University were to be able to retain its best men, it must be able to offer them a salary and pension prospects which would put them into a position similar to that of other professional men. (fn. 344) At present stipends were insufficient to secure this. (fn. 345) A uniform pension scheme and retiring age, normally 65, should be introduced, which could be financed by the Treasury undertaking to pay the pension contributions for service before the scheme took effect. (fn. 346) The close connexion between college and university teaching would be strengthened by the institution of reserved fellowships for university lecturers and demonstrators, which were, in general, to form half the number of stipendiary fellowships available in any College. (fn. 347) The report pointed out that the commission, unlike its predecessors, had been appointed chiefly on financial grounds, (fn. 348) and financial questions naturally take the principal place in the recommendations. The total available income of University and Colleges together in 1920, including the emergency grant and the older specific government grants, was £824,710 at Oxford and £719,554 at Cambridge. (fn. 349) At Cambridge the number of men and women below M.A. standing in Michaelmas Term 1913 had been 4,078; in the same term of 1920 5,733. (fn. 350) The result was that staffs were overworked and research was suffering. (fn. 351) If advanced study and research were to be promoted, there must be more teachers, with time to engage in research, and more research fellowships and studentships to give young men the chance to win their laurels. (fn. 352) Moreover, the present poverty of the University limited the amount which could be spent on libraries, museums, and new departments of study. (fn. 353)
Suggestions were made for constitutional changes, similar to those which had been raised before the First World War. (fn. 354) A House of Residents should be created, whose decisions should normally be final. An appeal to the Senate on changes of statute should be allowed, but the Senate could be over-ridden by the residents after an interval of two terms. (fn. 355) The report recommended that the Oxford system of college contributions should be adopted, by which the percentage payable varied according to the wealth of the College. (fn. 356) The General Board, which, in its existing form, was unwieldy and unrepresentative, should be reconstituted with smaller numbers and in a form which put it more closely under the supervision of the Council. (fn. 357) A university secretariat should be created under the registrary and the secretaries of the General and Financial Boards. (fn. 358) There should be a definite university entrance examination, which would cut down the number of pass men, though they were not to be excluded as such. (fn. 359) A grant of £4,000 per annum, for ten years only, should be made to the women's colleges, and the opinion was expressed that women should be admitted to membership of the University. (fn. 360) Much stress was placed on the encouragement of extra-mural work. An annual grant of £6,000 was suggested, and a new board of extra-mural studies should be created; if the money were forthcoming and if university teachers interested themselves in the work, it was likely to develop fast. (fn. 361)
Much attention was devoted to the cost of a university education and to the possibility of reducing it. It was estimated that the average cost, 'except clothing, books, and other items of varying personal expenditure, travelling, and vacation expenses', and including only food bought from the College, was £145 per annum at the average College for 1919–20. (fn. 362) The Students' Handbook for 1920–1 gives £152 as the lowest and £236 as the average figure, including books, travelling, clothes, and food, but not vacation expenses. (fn. 363) The provision made for poor students was increasing. State scholarships, for instance, had been established in 1920, (fn. 364) and at some colleges almost half the men were receiving financial aid, either private or public. (fn. 365) The emoluments of college scholarships should, in future, only be given after information about means had been provided. (fn. 366) The cost of living was too high, and should be reduced as far as possible; one means towards this being the more efficient management of college catering arrangements. A central catering department would not be possible, but the University should appoint a catering and buying expert, and should have power to extend its control over Colleges if necessary. (fn. 367) In order to put their accounts on as business-like a footing as possible, Colleges should not subsidize their room-rents and other services. (fn. 368) For the poor men the non-collegiate system would remain a cheap means of gaining an education at Cambridge, and the University should assist the noncollegiate body out of the general grant. The cost of living for the non-collegiate student, under the same conditions as above, was given as £107 per annum for 1920. (fn. 369) An Oxford or Cambridge education, however, would always remain expensive, and wider opportunities for poor men could come only through 'the endowment of the individual student' by local scholarships, state scholarships, and private funds. (fn. 370) For all these purposes—the salaries and pensions of teachers, the maintenance of libraries and museums, the endowment of research and advanced teaching—the Royal Commissioners recommended an annual grant to both ancient Universities of £100,000, in addition to the £10,000 for the women's colleges and for extra-mural work, and a lump sum for pension arrears. (fn. 371)
In May 1922 the Council published a resolution, saying that they would welcome the immediate appointment of a Statutory Commission to deal with the questions raised by the Royal Commission. (fn. 372) It was expected that the necessary legislation would soon be passed, but, as the result of the fall of the Coalition Government and the consequent general election, it was another year before this was done. (fn. 373) During this period of delay some steps had been taken to deal with the serious financial situation. In September 1922 the Vice-Chancellor, Pearce of Corpus, had announced that the University Grants Committee were ready to assist in providing pensions, if full information were furnished to them, (fn. 374) and the following year he reported that the government proposed to make an additional annual grant of £30,000 and had offered a special grant of up to £35,000 for superannuation arrears. (fn. 375)
The Statutory Commission, under the chairmanship of Lord Ullswater, got under way in the year 1923–4. They were bound to act in general accordance with the recommendations of the Royal Commission, (fn. 376) and they outlined their policy accordingly in a series of memoranda. In March 1924 they dealt with college statutes; the system of reserved fellowships was to be adopted, with a few modifications; pensions schemes were to be adopted, and no teaching or tutorial officer was to continue after the age of 65; the emoluments of scholarships, apart from free rooms, were to be payable only if need was shown; there was to be a university entrance examination; and an intercollegiate catering committee was to be set up with some control over the administration and accounts of college kitchens. (fn. 377) In August 1924 they published their conclusions on the new faculty organization, the methods by which it was to be introduced, the number and composition of faculties, of faculty boards, and of the General Board. Regulations were outlined for the tenure and duties of university lecturers, and all university teaching and administrative officers were to retire at the age of 65, except that professors might be extended to 70. Women were to be eligible to professorships and lecturerships, though the Commissioners proposed not to interfere with the question of the admission of women to share in the government of the University. (fn. 378) Meanwhile the University was taking its own steps to meet the new situation. Regulations for a pension scheme passed the Senate in December 1923. (fn. 379) Allotments were made from the augmented grant, (fn. 380) including £7,000 for the purchase of the new site for the University Library. (fn. 381) In June 1924 the grace passed the Senate for a new statute that no one should be matriculated except in certain reserved cases, unless he had passed, or had been exempted from, the necessary entrance examination. (fn. 382)
In 1924–5 the Commissioners produced memoranda on the powers of 'the Regents' House' (the old House of Residents under a new name) and its relations with the Senate, and on the initial appointment of university and college lecturers and demonstrators to posts under the new faculty organization. (fn. 383) Their proposals about appointments offered automatically to existing college lecturers, in those subjects in which teaching had hitherto been organized primarily on a college basis, the right to be appointed to the new university lecturerships. Also, since the proposals covered Girton and Newnham Colleges, a certain number of women were brought in at once as university lecturers. The Commissioners further produced a draft statute on teaching officers and another on college contributions. (fn. 384) In April 1925 they informed the Vice-Chancellor that, being convinced of the need for more money for implementing the Royal Commission's proposals, they had obtained an increase of £25,000 in the grant for 1925–6, £5,000 of this to be devoted to the university library, and the remainder to the payment of salaries and pension contributions under the faculty scheme. (fn. 385) The Council's report on the expenditure of the Treasury grant of £85,000 for 1925–6 contemplated spending £28,000 on stipends, £20,000 reserved for faculty purposes, £10,000 for the pension scheme, £10,000 for the university library, £4,000 for the board of extra-mural studies, and £4,000 for the women's colleges, as well as smaller grants for other purposes. (fn. 386) The draft statutes were published in October 1925 and sent to the Privy Council in their final form in January 1926. Their most important provisions have already been outlined, and they followed naturally from the recommendations of the Royal Commission and the debates of the intervening years. (fn. 387) The legislative power was transferred from the Senate to the new Regent House, with only a very limited right of appeal to the larger body. Apart from this right the Senate preserved merely formal powers to pass graces for degrees, for loyal addresses, for letters to other universities, and so on. (fn. 388) The proposal that professors should have a possible extension of tenure after 65 was abandoned; (fn. 389) all university teaching officers were required to join the Federated Superannuation System for Universities. (fn. 390) The term faculty was defined as 'a body of teachers associated in accordance with the statutes for the purpose of furthering the study of a subject or subjects'. (fn. 391) Faculty and departmental funds were set up to receive fees and other income and to pay out stipends and the maintenance costs of buildings. (fn. 392) The General Board of the Faculties, as it was now renamed, was reduced in size and four of its members were to be appointed by the Council. (fn. 393) College contributions for university purposes were to be 4 per cent. of the first £5,000 of net assessable income, rising to 22 per cent. of such income over £10,000. (fn. 394) Selwyn College, formerly called a 'public hostel', was renamed an 'approved foundation', and statutory recognition was given to Fitzwilliam House. (fn. 395)
The new statutes came into force on 1 October 1926, and were later supplemented by a further statute on trust emoluments, and by ordinances made by the Commissioners. (fn. 396) The Vice-Chancellor, Weekes of Sidney, in his review for 1927, outlined the steps by which the new machinery had been set up and had begun to work. Faculty boards had been constituted and the new General Board of the Faculties had taken over the many complex problems which needed solution. The new statutes needed complementing by a vast amount of detailed work in revising the ordinances and in other ways. Nearly 100 reports had been submitted for discussion during 1926–7, and the initial appointments to university lecturerships had further involved much preliminary work. (fn. 397) The adoption of the new statutes marks a major transition in university history, the greatest change of all being the adoption of the faculty scheme. There were critics of the new teaching arrangements, like T. R. Glover, the Public Orator, who thought that the Colleges were being subordinated to the central power of the university machine, and that the faculty idea was inspired by the scientists who wished to organize everything on the laboratory model. 'The ideal seemed to be the transformation of Cambridge into a copy of the huge American "State University"—the triumph of practical efficiency over humanism, and the substitution of science for culture.' (fn. 398) Another Johnian of an older generation, W. E. Heitland, thought that it might have been better to have taxed the Colleges more and to have interfered with them less. (fn. 399) However, the new statutes provoked little open controversy in the senate house. When the draft was discussed in November 1925, nothing was said about the faculty system or about reserved fellowships. There were opponents of the proposed retiring age of 65, and of the abolition of the powers of the Senate, but, on the whole, much less was said in opposition than might have been expected, or than would certainly have been said before 1914 on a parallel occasion. (fn. 400) It is noteworthy how much less open debate on university policy has taken place in discussions after 1918 than before it. The increasing burdens of administration and routine duties falling on university and college teachers may probably be one reason for this. The increase in the size of the University and in the multiplicity of subjects may be another. In the case of the new statutes it may have been felt that resistance was useless, and that the best thing to do was to work the new system as well as possible.
Constitutionally the University remained in 1956 much as it was left by the Statutory Commissioners of 1923. One important development in its machinery has been the growth of the centralized secretariat which the Royal Commission had wished to see established. (fn. 401) The office of treasurer had been created by the new statutes, which also provided that the secretary of the General Board should be one of the assistant registraries. (fn. 402) In 1933 the last-named official was given a more appropriate title and a more independent position by being created secretary general of the faculties. (fn. 403) The registrary, with the secretary general and the treasurer, are the head of a large central administration.
The grant for 1926–7 was £93,500, including the old medical grant. (fn. 404) In 1927–8 this represented rather less than half of the total income of the Chest (£208,200), the remainder being made up of rents and fees (£85,700) and net college contributions (£29,000). (fn. 405) For 1930–1 the grant was increased to £107,500, (fn. 406) representing nearly half the Chest income. (fn. 407) During the financial crisis of 1931–3 there was a danger that the grant might be reduced, but the government behaved generously and no cuts were made. In May 1933 a report was approved which provided for the establishment of a University Education Fund, into which all fees were to be paid and out of which grants were to be made to faculty and departmental funds. It was also provided that the surplus from this central fund should be paid into two development funds, one for the arts faculties and one for the scientific faculties. (fn. 408) This system, which replaced the autonomous faculty funds provided for by the statutes, aimed at greater flexibility and at the easier mobilization of funds when they were needed for major developments. These development funds were later provided with an annual income from the Chest. (fn. 409) In 1936 the grant for the following quinquennium was increased by £15,000, much of which was taken up by the natural increase in stipends. (fn. 410) On the outbreak of war the financial situation was, however, strained. In his review for 1938 the Vice-Chancellor, H. R. Dean of Trinity Hall, pointed out that 'a substantial increase in the financial resources of the University is most urgently needed', and that the General Board had been forced to curtail expenditure. (fn. 411) The Financial Board estimated, in November 1938, that, in 1939–40, £3,000 less would be available for allocations than in 1938–9, owing to the increased cost of rates, stipends, and other fixed charges. (fn. 412) In March 1939 the General Board reported that, although the numbers in residence were greater than a year before, they did not feel that they could rely on the income from fees being maintained at the existing level. (fn. 413) They were quite correct; in the same month Hitler occupied the rump of Czechoslovakia, and war was only a few short months away.
During the two decades between the First and the Second World Wars the University had received very large benefactions. In 1919 the British oil companies gave £210,000 for the endowment of the school of chemistry, a large part of which was spent in enlarging the laboratory. (fn. 414) Chemistry was also able to expand over part of the territory of its neighbour, engineering. In June 1919 a grace was passed for the removal of the department of engineering to the Scroope House estate at the south end of Trumpington Street. (fn. 415) The first part of the new laboratory was in use in the Lent term of 1921, and the second part was then undertaken. (fn. 416) The lecture rooms and drawing office were not removed to the new site until 1931. (fn. 417) Great developments were also taking place on the Downing site. In 1919 Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Molteno offered an endowment for an institute of parasitology, to which a site was allotted on the southern boundary of the area. (fn. 418) The building was formally opened in November 1921. (fn. 419) In 1920 the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research had offered money for the building and endowment of a low temperature research station, to which a site was allotted near the Molteno institute. (fn. 420) The building was in use by 1922. (fn. 421) At much the same time as this gift came the offer of £165,000 from the trustees of Sir William Dunn for the endowment of a professorship and readership and the erection of an institute of biochemistry. (fn. 422) A site for the building was allotted on the Tennis Court Road boundary of the Downing site, (fn. 423) and it was occupied in January 1924. (fn. 424) The completion of these new buildings freed older laboratory space for other needs and brought to an end the period of intense congestion in the scientific departments which had resulted from the very high numbers of the immediately post-war years. (fn. 425) The main developments on the Downing site during the late twenties consisted of an extension of the school of agriculture for which a site was allotted in 1924, and which was occupied in 1926, (fn. 426) and the erection of a new school of pathology. In December 1923 the Rockefeller Foundation offered £133,000 for this, provided that the University could raise another £33,000, which was provided by the gift of E. H. Gates (August 1924). (fn. 427) A site was found in the south-western corner of the Downing site, (fn. 428) and the new building was occupied in 1928. (fn. 429)
As early as 1921 the Vice-Chancellor, Giles of Emmanuel, had pointed out that there would soon be need for new areas for university buildings. (fn. 430) In June 1926 the University took the opportunity of buying the Lensfield property between Lensfield Road and Union Road; (fn. 431) on this area was built the Scott polar research institute, completed in 1934. (fn. 432) In 1927 the Balfour laboratory in Downing Place was purchased from Newnham College as a home for the faculty of geography. (fn. 433) A report approving the construction of a lecture-room block for the literary faculties on a site in Mill Lane was approved in June 1931, (fn. 434) and the lecture-rooms were ready for use in the Easter Term of 1933. (fn. 435)
One of the greatest benefactions ever made to the University was announced in October 1928. The International Education Board (founded by John D. Rockefeller junior) offered £700,000 for teaching, research, and buildings for agriculture and for the biological and physical sciences, and also for a new university library, on condition that the University, in addition to the £250,000 which had already been raised for the library, could raise another £229,000. (fn. 436) The real concern of the Rockefeller Fund had been with the scientific departments, but, when it had been explained to them that the most pressing need of the University was a new library, they had readily consented to assist with that as well. (fn. 437) The University's own contribution came in quickly, and, when Baldwin was installed as Chancellor in June 1930, he was able to report that 'the amount yet to be collected is one that the syndics of the university press have found it possible to guarantee'. (fn. 438) Government departments, city companies, business firms, and the Cambridge University Association had all played their part in achieving this result. (fn. 439) The detailed financial proposals were published in April 1931. (fn. 440) A sum of £500,000 was set aside for the library, (fn. 441) and some £150,000 for extensions to the buildings of the physiology, botany, and agriculture departments, for a new building for zoology, and for new equipment for all these departments. The Rockefeller gift overlapped with the contemporaneous Plummer bequest for the foundation of new scientific professorships, (fn. 442) and it proved possible to link their provisions. Thus the J. H. Plummer professor of colloid science was accommodated in the old engineering building in Free School Lane, the last section of that laboratory being moved out to Scroope House, and the changes paid for with Rockefeller money. (fn. 443) The most extensive undertaking financed in this way was the new accommodation for zoology, comprising both the reconstruction of the old medical schools and a new building on the vacant area to the north of them. The existing schools of physiology, botany, and agriculture on the Downing site were all enlarged, and a new laboratory for mineralogy and petrology put up at the southern end of the Sedgwick museum of geology; this last, though it formed part of the whole scheme of laboratory reorganization initiated by the Rockefeller gift, was paid for direct from university funds. (fn. 444) In his review for 1934, the Vice-Chancellor, Cameron of Caius, was able to report that the new library and the new scientific buildings had all been completed, and would all be in use in the Michaelmas term of that year. On 22 October the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the official opening of the new library set the seal of completion on the great project which had been sponsored by the International Education Board. (fn. 445)
The completion of the new library freed the ancient schools quadrangle, 'the Old Schools' as it came to be known, for other uses, and set in train other consequential changes in the location of university departments. In November 1933 the Council produced a report on the future use of the old library and other buildings. It was suggested that the Old Schools should house the university offices, the law school and library, and the faculty libraries of history, modern languages, moral sciences, and English. The Squire library on the Downing site was to house the faculty of economics and its Marshall library. The faculty of mathematics and the Philosophical library were to be accommodated in the Arts School in Bene't Street, and the faculties of music and of oriental languages in the Balfour laboratory, when that had been vacated by the department of geography. (fn. 446) This report passed, though only by a small majority, in January 1934; there had been opposition in the discussion to the proposals, caused by the claims of the Philosophical library to the old Squire library. (fn. 447) The building of the forestry school, which had been closed, was assigned to geography, (fn. 448) and the decision taken in June 1934 to extend it so that it could take the whole of that department, together with geodesy and geophysics. (fn. 449) The Vice-Chancellor, Cameron, was able to report in his review for 1935 that the changes had been almost completed; (fn. 450) particular satisfaction was expressed with the conversion of the Old Schools into administrative offices and rooms for ceremonial occasions. In the words of the buildings syndicate (May 1937) the labours of the architect, Murray Easton, had 'been rewarded by the many expressions of appreciation of his treatment of the old building, with which the syndicate wish to be associated'. (fn. 451)
During these years there were several other important projects. At the Cavendish the Royal Society offered, in November 1930, to build and equip a laboratory for the magnetic researches of Dr. Peter Kapitza. (fn. 452) The money was provided by a gift from Dr. Ludwig Mond, and the new building was called the Royal Society Mond laboratory. (fn. 453) A site was found on the old engineering workshops; (fn. 454) clearing began in December 1931 and the laboratory was completed in August 1932. (fn. 455) In 1935 the Vice-Chancellor had mentioned the urgent problem of the re-equipment and reconstruction of the Cavendish laboratory as a whole. (fn. 456) The University Association were about to make a general appeal for this purpose when Sir Herbert Austin (Lord Austin of Longbridge) presented £250,000 (April 1936). (fn. 457) Before the gift had been made the construction of a hightension laboratory on the site of the old Philosophical library had been undertaken as a matter of urgency; (fn. 458) the Austin money would enable a block of research rooms, which had already been projected, to be constructed and the older buildings to be remodelled. (fn. 459) The site of the new Austin wing had first to be cleared of older structures and temporary accommodation found; consequently the new wing was not finished until 1940. Under war-time conditions it proved impossible to carry on with the remodelling of the older parts of the laboratory. (fn. 460) In 1936 space was provided on the Downing site for a new school of anatomy, which had been the last of the medical departments to remain on the New Museums. (fn. 461) The new school was completed and occupied in 1938; (fn. 462) and the release of the old school in Corn Exchange Street provided temporary accommodation for the Cavendish during the building of the Austin wing. An extension of the psychological laboratory, paid for by the bequest of W. C. Wilson, was ready for use in the Lent term of 1939. (fn. 463) The university press also undertook important works. New London offices, named Bentley House, were built in Euston Road, and the Pitt Press building was reconstructed for the university printer and his staff after the removal of the registry to the Old Schools (1937). (fn. 464)
The Vice-Chancellor, Benians of St. John's, looking back, in his review for 1940, on the two decades between the wars, observed: 'Never before had there been in the same time so rapid an increase in the number of teachers and students, in facilities for research in the arts and sciences, or such multiplication of buildings by University and Colleges.' (fn. 465) The last has already been outlined. The period saw great constitutional changes, but in its academic life, except where that impinged on the administrative framework of university government, radical changes were few. The main lines of development, both in the triposes and in the peripheral activities like university extension and teacher training, had all been worked out before 1918; they were broadened and deepened as new knowledge was acquired or new needs were felt, but they were not fundamentally changed. Of the three subjects which had taken up so much of the University's time before 1914, compulsory Greek, the Ordinary B.A. degree, and the position of women, the first had been settled in 1919. (fn. 466) The Ordinary B.A. regulations were changed in 1931, (fn. 467) but the examination had ceased to have its earlier importance. 'Few men', it was said, in 1938, 'read for the Ordinary B.A. degree from the outset of their academical course. . . . The great majority . . . come over to the course. . . . after having started on an honours course.' (fn. 468)
The position of women was one of the first major problems which confronted the University after the end of the First World War. In May 1919 the Council reported on two memorials, one asking that women should be made members of the University, the other asking for consideration of the proposal that women's colleges should be given the power to grant degrees. The Council recommended the appointment of a syndicate, (fn. 469) and the necessary grace passed the Senate in December 1919. (fn. 470) The syndicate reported in May 1920; it was unable to agree and it presented two reports, each signed by half its members. Report A recommended full membership for women; report B urged that there ought to be one university in which men's studies were not under the partial control of women, and proposed the old scheme of a women's university, of which Girton and Newnham should be the foundation colleges. Most of the 'report B' party would have been willing to accept a federal scheme, which would have given women membership, but would have committed the education and government of men to a men's house of the Senate and of women to a women's house. This federal scheme was not, however, acceptable to the remainder of the syndicate. The 'report B' party admitted that their proposals would not be acceptable to the women's colleges, and they warned the Senate of the danger, if the women's claims were not granted, of outside interference in the question. (fn. 471) When the reports were discussed, it was urged, on the one hand, that the position envisaged by report A already existed in fact, that no women were interested in the plan for a women's university, and that the supporters of scheme B were really anxious only that nothing should be done. On the other hand, it was claimed that some differentiation between men's and women's education was desirable, that the men's interests would suffer from scheme A, and that, since all other universities in the country had become mixed, it was important that there should be one run by men for men. (fn. 472) Eventually neither scheme was successful. Report A was defeated (904 to 712) in December 1920; Report B was defeated (146 to 50) in February 1921. (fn. 473)
So the problem was left unsolved. After further memorials had been presented, (fn. 474) the Council, in May 1921, produced two alternatives. (fn. 475) Scheme I proposed that women should be admitted to membership and to all degrees and emoluments, that they should become members of boards and syndicates, but that they should not be able to vote in the Senate, and that two women should be elected as assessors to the Council. Scheme II proposed that women who were students of recognized institutions should be given the titles of degrees. When the report was discussed, attention was concentrated on whether scheme I formed a desirable compromise and on the danger of outside interference by the Royal Commission, though that argument could lead either to the advocacy of compromise or to the claim that the issue was being forced. (fn. 476) The vote was not taken until October 1921, when scheme I was defeated (694 to 908) and scheme II accepted (1,011 to 369). (fn. 477) After the declaration of the vote, a mob of undergraduates, egged on by a master of arts, went out to Newnham College, and damaged the bronze gates which had been put up as a memorial to the first Principal. (fn. 478) This settlement endured until after the Second World War; it should also be remembered as the last controversial issue decided by the massed votes of the whole Senate.
The training college for schoolmasters, which had closed in 1916, reopened again in January 1919 with 15 students; by October 1925 there were 150. (fn. 479) In 1937 a syndicate reported in favour of converting it into a department of education under a professor, and of connecting with it the work of the Women's Training College, an institution independent of the University, founded in 1885 and later renamed Hughes Hall. This report passed the Regent House in February 1938 and a chair of education was established in the same year. (fn. 480) As has been seen, the Royal Commission had shown great interest in the extra-mural work of the University. (fn. 481) The jubilee of the extension movement was celebrated in 1923. (fn. 482) The following year the board of extra-mural studies was set up to control the local lectures and tutorial classes, (fn. 483) and Stuart House, named after Professor James Stuart, was opened in Mill Lane as a home for it in 1927. (fn. 484) In the same year the appointments board celebrated 25 years of work, all, except for the first few months, under the same secretary, H. A. Roberts, to whom a large part of its success had been due. As the result of its work many more university men had been drawn into business and industry, whereas 'when they began work . . . few university men entered business except those who had an opening waiting in a family firm'. (fn. 485) Another development of the twenties was the organization of a scheme for the training of Colonial Service probationers for the African colonies; the first of these came into residence in 1926. (fn. 486)
Of the many important benefactions for the scientific subjects made between 1918 and 1939 a considerable part had gone towards the foundation of professorships and teaching posts. A chair of physical chemistry was established in 1920 out of the oil companies' benefaction. (fn. 487) The Dunn bequest provided an endowment for the chair of biochemistry and a fitting recognition of the great work in the subject done by Frederick Gowland (later Sir Frederick Gowland) Hopkins. (fn. 488) The great Rockefeller benefaction provided liberally for teaching and research in physiology, biochemistry, colloid science, botany, zoology, agriculture, and physics. (fn. 489) Its provisions were closely co-ordinated with the bequest by J. H. Plummer of his estate for the foundation of scientific professorships (1929). (fn. 490) In 1931 chairs on the John Humphrey Plummer foundation were established in inorganic chemistry, mathematical physics, and colloid science. (fn. 491) In the same year a chair of experimental psychology was established, (fn. 492) and the existing readership in metallurgy, already endowed by the Goldsmiths' Company of London, was transformed into the Goldsmiths' professorship of the same subject, the Company having provided part of the cost through an extra endowment. (fn. 493)
In the technological subjects there had also been considerable expansion. In 1919 a chair of aeronautical engineering had been founded by Emile Mond in memory of his son who had been killed flying. (fn. 494) In 1923 a chair of animal pathology was founded with a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture as the first step towards the foundation of an institute of animal pathology. (fn. 495) In June 1919 the University had approved a full three- year course in agriculture, forestry, and estate management. (fn. 496) The forestry course was given up before the end of the period; in January 1932 a grace was passed for the discontinuance of the courses in the year 1934–5. The General Board had reported that there was no money for development, and that, as the approach to the subject was primarily technical, it was not suited for the University. (fn. 497) In 1938 a syndicate reported in favour of making the estate management branch, which had done both teaching work and the management of college and university estates, into a separate department, (fn. 498) but a decision on this was later put off (November 1940) until the end of the war. (fn. 499) In 1921 regulations for a full three-year course in architectural studies had been approved by the Senate. (fn. 500)
In the medical school the Downing chair was discontinued in 1931 on a vacancy, since, under the new statutes, it had ceased to be supported by Downing College. (fn. 501) Much attention was also being given about that time to the medical curriculum and course of study. In February 1931 a memorandum, signed by a body of influential people, was sent to the Council, stressing the overcrowding of the medical student's syllabus, the decline, as a result, of the numbers of such students taking the Natural Sciences Tripos, and the increasing difficulty of combining work for the tripos and for the second M.B. examination. (fn. 502) A syndicate, appointed to consider the problem, reported in June 1932 in favour of the establishment of a Medical Sciences Tripos and of a faculty of medical sciences. (fn. 503) When this came to be discussed, its opponents objected that it would lead to purely vocational training, and that what was really needed was the reform of the Natural Sciences Tripos. Its supporters, however, claimed that the scheme would genuinely meet the peculiar needs of the medical student. (fn. 504) In an amended report (May 1933) the syndicate abandoned the idea of a separate tripos, to which there was clearly much opposition, and suggested instead the reform of the Natural Sciences Tripos as a preferable alternative. Medical students would be required to obtain honours in that tripos, or to have attained honours standard, if over the standing for honours, and to pass qualifying examinations in anatomy and physiology. Parts II and III of the second M.B. would be abolished and part I transferred to the first M.B. examination. (fn. 505) General approval of the amended report was voted in November 1933, (fn. 506) after four years' work had been given to consideration of the reforms, as the Regius Professor of Physic, Sir Walter Langdon-Brown, pointed out. (fn. 507)
In pure scientific achievement the Cavendish maintained under Ernest (later Lord) Rutherford, Cavendish professor 1919–37, the high position which had been built up by Lord Rayleigh and J. J. Thomson. In Rutherford's own work on atomic theory, his Cambridge period was devoted to the study of the nucleus, which had been discovered in his Manchester period. As well as being himself a great physicist, he was also a great inspirer and leader of research, creating among his staff and students, it was said, 'an atmosphere that no one who experienced it will forget'. The culmination of his Cambridge work came with the discovery in 1932 by J. D. (later Sir John) Cockcroft and E. T. S. Walton of the artificial disintegration of protons and by James (later Sir James) Chadwick of the neutron. (fn. 508) In the same laboratory new work on intense magnetic fields was developed by the Russian, Peter Kapitza, which found a home in the Royal Society Mond laboratory. In 1934 he was refused permission to return from Russia. (fn. 509) In October 1931 the University had celebrated the centenary of the birth of Clerk Maxwell, the first Cavendish professor. (fn. 510) The great Cambridge school of physiology had been developed in new directions by the younger men, encouraged by J. N. Langley (d. 1925). (fn. 511) His successor in the chair, Joseph (later Sir Joseph) Barcroft (1925–37) did important work in several fields, one of his main achievements being his study of the respiratory functions of the blood. (fn. 512) One of Langley's collaborators, H. K. (later Sir Hugh) Anderson, Master of Caius 1912–28, turned in later life from science to administration. He was a member both of the Royal and of the Statutory Commissions, and had worked out the plans for faculty lecturing in the arts subjects. Later he played a chief part in obtaining the Rockefeller benefaction for the new library and the scientific departments. His death, before he could himself see the full results of his efforts, was felt as a very great loss to the University. (fn. 513)
Both in mathematics and in classics, the doyens of university studies, new chairs were founded. In 1927 a professorship of mathematics was founded by the bequest of W. W. Rouse Ball. (fn. 514) In 1930 a large bequest was received from Sir Percival Maitland Laurence, the greater part of which was to be used for the furtherance of classical studies. Two Laurence professorships, one of ancient philosophy and one of classical archaeology, were set up to come into existence in 1931, the remainder of the gift being spent on endowing two readerships and on grants for the departmental library and for research. (fn. 515) In 1937 a chair of comparative philology was established by the University. (fn. 516) Modern languages gained more encouragement than in the earlier period before 1914. In 1919 a chair of Italian was established, from a gift the previous year by Arthur Serena. (fn. 517) The first professor, Thomas Okey, is unique among modern Cambridge professors. He had begun life as a basket-maker; when he died in 1935, the ViceChancellor pointed out that 'his first connection with a university came when he was elected here as professor, at an age beyond that now prescribed for retirement'. (fn. 518) In 1919 a professorship of French was established, the Drapers' Company of London guaranteeing an endowment for ten years. (fn. 519) Soon after (1921) came the gift of £10,000 for the development of Scandinavian studies from Marcus Wallenberg of Stockholm. (fn. 520) Twelve years later (1933) the University established a chair of Spanish, limited to one tenure. (fn. 521)
History maintained its prominent place among the newer arts studies; two others with which in its different aspects it may be connected are law and geography—the one ancient, the other very modern in the University curriculum. Lord Acton's sucessor as regius professor of modern history was J. B. Bury (1902–27); in his work, the place of scientific method and the impact of scientific discovery on historical thought were emphasized. (fn. 522) The achievements of the Cambridge historical school in the years after 1918 are suggested by the names of G. G. Coulton in medieval studies, (fn. 523) H. W. V. Temperley in modern history, and J. H. (later Sir John) Clapham in economic history. The most widely known of contemporary Cambridge historians is G. M. Trevelyan, Regius Professor of Modern History 1927–40 and Master of Trinity 1940–51. In 1918 Lord Rothermere founded the Vere Harmsworth chair of naval history in memory of his son who had been killed in action. (fn. 524) Another benefaction received by the history school was the endowment in 1926 of a chair of political science by the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial. (fn. 525) The University itself established chairs of economic history (1928), (fn. 526) modern history (1930), (fn. 527) and medieval history (1937), (fn. 528) though on the last occasion there was a lengthy discussion about the claims of history to another chair as compared with law and English. (fn. 529) Geography was another subject which was gaining more attention. A grace for the establishment of a Geographical Tripos passed the Senate in January 1919, (fn. 530) and in 1931 a professorship was founded. (fn. 531) The Law Tripos had been the last in which the ancient order of merit, once general in honours examinations, had been retained; new regulations by which it was abolished were made in 1922. (fn. 532) A chair of English law was founded from the Rouse Ball bequest in 1927; (fn. 533) a chair of comparative law followed in 1934, though on a part-time basis only. (fn. 534) Endowments for social studies which should be mentioned were the foundation by Montague Burton in 1930 of a chair of industrial relations, (fn. 535) and of a chair of social anthropology, partly endowed from the estate of William Wyse (1932). (fn. 536) In economics the greatest name was that of J. M. (later Lord) Keynes of King's, the author of a new analysis of unemployment and investment which made the educated public think more seriously about economics and strengthened the tendency towards collectivism. (fn. 537)
In all faculties new professorships had been accompanied by a great expansion of teaching staff and of opportunities for research. The Vice-Chancellor pointed out in 1934 that, during the previous five years, twelve new professorships and nineteen new readerships had been established and the number of lecturers had increased by 34 and of demonstrators by 12. (fn. 538) The growth of the teaching staff in the years immediately before the Second World War is shown by a report of the Council in 1938; during the previous five years the number of university teaching officers had risen from 334 to 392 and the number of research students from 245 to 384. (fn. 539) Teachers and research students, in fact, formed a growing proportion of the University's population, as the number of matriculations had remained fairly constant; in 1938–9 it was 1,934; it had been 1,711 in 1930–1 and 1,701 in 1922–3. (fn. 540)
In 1937 the select preachers' syndicate reported in favour of permitting ministers other than clergymen of the Church of England to preach before the University; a grace to this effect passed the Regent House in May 1940. (fn. 541) In 1924 the divinity board had reported in favour of severing the chair of Hebrew from the canonry at Ely which was annexed to it, and of opening it to laymen. They also recommended the union of the Norrisian and Hulsean professorships, the united chair to be opened, at the first vacancy, to candidates other than Church of England laymen or clergymen. (fn. 542) A grace passed the Senate for initiating the necessary statutory changes in May 1925; (fn. 543) in 1935 a Free Church minister, C. H. Dodd, was elected to the Norris-Hulse professorship. Divinity degrees, which had hitherto been confined to Anglican clergymen, had been thrown open, on the initiative of the divinity professors themselves, in 1912. When the subject was discussed, there was general agreement that the restriction ought to go, though there was a considerable vote against the grace (433 to 323). (fn. 544) This decision was, however, followed the following year by a reaffirmation of the existing rule that the regius and Lady Margaret chairs should be held only by clergymen of the Church of England. (fn. 545)
The abolition of the tests in 1871 forms the natural beginning of the religious history of modern Cambridge. (fn. 546) The admission of Dissenters took away much of the distinctiveness and exclusiveness of the older Dissenting communities; it certainly enriched the life of the University, and, by bringing into close contact men of different traditions, it may have had an important bearing on the rise of the modern Oecumenical Movement. (fn. 547) The leading representative of Dissent in early 20th-century Cambridge was the Baptist, T. R. Glover, who proclaimed his separation from the Establishment by conspicuous acts and uncompromising expressions. Disliking the provisions of the Education Act of 1902 about denominational schools, he deducted the education rate when he paid his rates from 1903 to 1921. (fn. 548) When he was elected public orator in 1920, many people were reluctant to see a Nonconformist in the office, and thought that he would not be sympathetic when presenting Church dignitaries for honorary degrees. He was sometimes very outspoken; in 1920 he referred on such an occasion to the Archbishop of Wales as one 'to whom is entrusted the guardianship of a church recently freed from the shackles of the state!' (fn. 549) A less self-assertive type of Dissent than Glover's was that represented by the Congregationalist, B. L. Manning of Jesus (d. 1941). (fn. 550)
The lines of conflict in the modern University have been not Church versus Dissent but religion versus disbelief. The Cambridge of the eighties was described by W. E. Heitland as 'a society still abounding in clerics, mostly weak, some lukewarm, all painfully conscious that they were no longer in the seat of power'. (fn. 551) Not that fervent religious feeling was lacking, especially on the Evangelical side. An important event had been the foundation of the Inter-Collegiate Christian Union in 1877, or CICCU as it is always called, the most influential religious society of modern Cambridge. In 1882 came the mission of the American evangelists, Moody and Sankey; one permanent result of the intense religious feeling aroused on this occasion was the offer of the 'Cambridge Seven' for work with the China Inland Mission. They sailed from England in 1885. (fn. 552) Another kind of mission work which attracted much interest and effort at the same time was the foundation of college missions in south London parishes, in which Clare and St. John's led the way. (fn. 553) In the nineties church-going was still very popular; the historian W. F. Reddaway remembered having entered Great St. Mary's 'backwards and off my feet to the shout of "Scrum up, Trinity"'; but perceptive men, like H. M. Butler, felt that the University was drifting away from the Church. (fn. 554) G. M. Trevelyan, who went up to Trinity in 1893, describes the nineties as a post-war period after the hard-fought struggles for the abolition of the tests; 'some of us youth were in those days more aggressively anti-clerical than it is worth the while of anyone to be to-day. . . . I took a spiritual pride in not going to chapel.' (fn. 555) Compulsory chapel lasted well into the 20th century; at Trinity it was discontinued practically in 1905 and fully in 1913; (fn. 556) at Corpus it was not restored after the First World War. (fn. 557)
In the early 20th century religion came under still heavier attack. The religious forces in the University were not united; in 1910 the conservative and orthodox CICCU disaffiliated from the Student Christian Movement because it could not accept its liberalizing tendencies. In the same year the freethinking society, the 'Heretics', was founded, and the Master of Emmanuel, William Chawner, caused something of a stir by distributing three rationalist pamphlets to senior members and to ordinands. (fn. 558) In 1906 the Cambridge Church Society had been founded to meet the challenge of agnosticism on intellectual and theological lines, and it enjoyed a wide influence in the years before 1914. (fn. 559) The effects of the First World War were the same in Cambridge as they were everywhere else; religion and the churches seemed to be in decline, and scientific humanism to be the strongest intellectual force. The tone of the theological school was predominantly liberal; to some it seemed rather negative than anything else. The chief influence on the other side was that of Sir Edwyn Hoskyns of Corpus, who died, in early middle age, in 1937. His work on the New Testament helped to shift emphasis away from the Liberal Protestant interpretation of the Gospels; he was deeply learned in German theology; and he had a profound influence on ordinands. (fn. 560) The Oxford Group of Frank Buchman was prominent for a short time in the thirties, but its appeal waned after a few years. (fn. 561)
The true religion of the inter-war years was devotion to international causes and the principles connected with them. The Union debates reflect the course events took. The first and greatest of these causes was the League of Nations. In the Michaelmas term 1919 there was a great debate on the motion that the League was worthless as a guarantee of peace and a radically dangerous project; the League's cause was sustained by Lord Robert Cecil with the Duke of Northumberland against him. Cecil's appeal to idealism was irresistible and he won by a great majority. (fn. 562) The mood of the twenties, wrote A. M. Ramsey, President of the Union, Lent 1926 (Archbishop of York 1956), was internationalist and semi-pacifist. 'Apart from a small part [sic] of militant imperialists all would bless the League of Nations, decline to see any European state as a potential menace to peace, and assume that the next war was far beyond the horizon of serious thinking.' (fn. 563) This point of view was perhaps more typical of Union circles than of the University as a whole, and the influence of pacifism can be exaggerated. In the thirties the mood slowly changed as the shadows on the European scene lengthened. With the civil war in Spain foreign events pressed really close upon England. The debates of the time, wrote Frank Singleton, President of the Union, Michaelmas 1937, reflected 'the passionate belief of social democrats and everyone to the left of them that it was possible in Spain to stop the march of Fascism and that this would be a good thing'. Some of those who so argued fought in Spain themselves and some were killed there. (fn. 564)
The social life of the inter-war years was very similar to social life in the world outside. When the ex-servicemen and naval officers came back after 1918, there was a good deal of ragging and rowdyism, and discipline was difficult to maintain for a while. One unconventional problem which the senior proctor of 1919–20 had to deal with was the Emmanuel College Insurance Society against proctorial risk, which had two policies, 'A, covering the risks of ordinary fines except on 5 and 11 November and provided the insured party did not incur more than two fines a term; and B, providing a dinner for four persons and a first class fare home for any insured party who was sent down.' (fn. 565) Not that ex-servicemen lacked more serious interests; an undergraduate of the period has referred to 'the passionate enthusiasm to revive every form of civilized activity', and societies, music, and drama all flourished mightily in the immediately post-war years. (fn. 566) A few years later the General Strike of 1926, coming just before the tripos examinations, led to lectures being suspended and examinations postponed. A large number of undergraduates left Cambridge to undertake work in maintaining essential services; for many of them the strike, whatever its implications outside, provided an interesting and stimulating break from their usual routine. (fn. 567) If motor traction made the threat of a general strike less serious, it brought its own problems to Cambridge. In his review for 1925 the Vice-Chancellor, Seward of Downing, had described the problems caused by the 'motor habit' and 'the alarming increase in the number of motor vehicles'. After much discussion and strong differences of opinion, it had been decided to prohibit the use of cars to men in their first year, though even total prohibition had been suggested. (fn. 568) The aeroplane had also arrived on the scene. In 1926 Seward reported the establishment by the Air Ministry of the University Air Squadron. (fn. 569) In 1929 a grace was passed that no undergraduate should be allowed to fly without his tutor's permission, and only under certain conditions about hours. (fn. 570)
The University contained, during these years, as it had done for centuries, men of widely different means and rank in society. The poor man's path, as State and County scholarships grew in number, was becoming easier; in 1933 it was said that 'at many colleges nearly half the students are in receipt of financial assistance, and a considerable number of these are entirely supported by such assistance'. (fn. 571) An estimate of undergraduate expenses, on the eve of the Second World War, may form a useful conclusion to this account. The chief expenses before coming into residence would be caution money, varying from £12 to £30 and returned at the end of the course, and the valuation of furniture in college rooms, for which an average estimate would be £25, from one-half to two-thirds of which might be recovered. At some colleges furniture in some rooms belonged to the College and was let out at a rent. Students reading an arts course for honours would pay about £18 per annum in university lecture fees; those reading natural sciences, medicine, or engineering, £45 to £50. The college tutorial and supervision fees would amount to £24 to £30 per annum, and the establishment charge for service and maintenance to £21 to £24. The rent of rooms (unfurnished) with service varied from £7 to £17 10s. a term and that of lodgings from £9 to £25. Charges for meals would vary according to individual choice, except for hall dinners at which attendance was compulsory on a certain number of nights, at a cost of about £9 a term. Amalgamated clubs subscriptions varied from £3 3s. to £6 6s. per annum; tradesmen's bills for groceries need not exceed £5 to £7 a term. The irreducible minimum, it was considered, for fees, board, lodging, and personal expenses would be about £190 per annum with initial expenses of about £45; an average scale of expenditure would be about £270 with initial expenses of about £70. (fn. 572) These figures are about £35 higher than those given, in the same source, for 1920. (fn. 573)