Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[2 September, 1654.]
Commissioners for visiting the University of Oxford.; Commissioners for visiting the University of Cambridge.; These Commissioners shall exercise the like powers as any former Visitors.
Whereas the carrying on and perfecting of the Reformation and Regulation of the Universities of this Land, is a work very much conducing to the Glory of God, and the Publique Good, for want of which many inconveniences and evils do and cannot but ensue, Be it therefore Ordained by His Highness the Lord Protector, by and with the Consent of his Council, That the ViceChancellor of the University of Oxford for the time being, William Viscount Say and Seale, Nathanael Fiennes Esquire, Sir Charls Wolseley Baronet, Humphrey Mackworth Esquire, Bulstrode Whitelock one of the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal, Samuel Dunch Esquire, Sir John Dreydon, Richard Ingoldesby, John Crew, George Fleetwood, John Bright, Jenkinson, and Greenfield, Esquires; Doctor Robert Harris, President of Trinity Colledge; Doctor Christopher Rogers, Principal of New Inne Hall; Doctor Thomas Goodwin, President of Magdalen Colledge; Doctor John Owen, Dean of Christ Church; Doctor Henry Wilkinson, the Lady Margarets Professor of Divinity; Doctor Peter French, Prebendary of Christ Church; Doctor John Conant, Rector of Exeter Colledge; Doctor Jonathan Goddard, Warden of Merton Colledge; Mr. Thankful Owen, President of St John's Colledge; Master Stephens, Principal of Hart Hall: Master James Baron of Magdalen College, and Master Francis Howell, Fellow of Exeter College; or any seven or more of them, be and they are hereby Constituted and Ordained Commissioners for visiting the said University. And the ViceChancellor of the University of Cambridge for the time being, the Lord Henry Cromwel, Henry Lawrence Lord President of His Highness Council; John Lambert Esquire, John Disbrow Esquire, Sir Gilbert Pickering, Colonel Edward Mountague, Francis Rous, Esquires; Oliver St. John, Lord Chief Justice of the Common-Pleas; John Thurloe, Robert Castle, Thomas Bendish, Robert Vinter. Griffith Lloyd, Esquires; Sir William Strickland, Doctor Anthony Tuckney, Master of St. John's Colledge; Doctor John Arrowsmith, Master of Trinity Colledge; Doctor Horton, President of Queens Colledge: Doctor Samuel Bolton, Master of Christ Colledge; Doctor Lazarus Seaman, Master of Peter-house; Doctor John Lightfoot, Master of Katherine Hall, Master John Sadler, Master of Magdalen Colledge; Doctor Whitchcott, Doctor Cudworth, Master Worthington, Master of Jesus Colledge; Master Dillingham, Master of Emanuel Colledge; Master Simpson, Master of Pembrook Hall; Master Templar, Fellow of Trinity Colledge; Master Mowbrey, Fellow of St. John's Colledge; Master William Moses, Fellow of Pembrook Hall; Master Wood, Fellow of Magdalen Colledge; or any seven or more of them, be and they are hereby Constituted and Ordained Commissioners for the visiting the said University, and all Colledges and Halls within the said Universities; and all Governors, Masters, Presidents, Principals, Provosts, Professors, Fellows, Graduats, Students, Scholars, or other Members and Officers of the said Universities, and of all and every the said Colledges and Halls; and shall have, use and exercise all and every the like Powers, Authorities and Jurisdictions, as any person or persons heretofore appointed Visitors of either of the said Universities, or of any Colledge or Colledges, Hall or Halls within the same, or which any Visitor or Visitors now have, or heretofore had and lawfully used and exercised by force or vertue of any Law, Statute, Ordinance, Custom, Commission, Patent or Foundation of any Colledge or Hall respectively; and to proceed in the execution thereof as fully and amply as any Visitor or Visitors may or ought to do, or have done to all intents and purposes; And that all and every act and acts, thing and things which shall be done by the said Commissioners beforenamed, or any seven or more of them, according to and in pursuance of the Powers and Authorities aforesaid, shall be as good, effectual and of as full force as if the same had been acted or done by such Visitor or Visitors.
Power to consider of the best ways for Regulating and well Governing the Universities.; To examine what Statutes are fit to be abrogated, altered or added, and exhibite the same to His Highness and the Parliament.
And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the Commissioners before-named, or any seven or more of them respectively for each University, calling to their assistance such person and persons as they shall think fit, shall consider of the best ways and means for the well Ordering, Regulation and good Government of the said Universities respectively, and of the Colledges and Halls therein, for the better Advancement, Countenance and Encouragement of Piety and Learning in the said Universities, and shall examine what Statutes of the said Universities, or of the said Colledges and Halls respectively, or what of them are fit to be taken away, abrogated or altered, and what is fit to be added for the better Ordering and Government of each of the said Universities respectively in general, and the several Colleges and Halls within the said Universities in particular in matters of Religion, Maners, Discipline and Exercises, and shall exhibite the same to His Highness and the Parliament.
Power to explain such Statutes as are ambiguous or obscure.; To determine Appeals.; Sheriffs and other Ministers of Justice to be assisting to them.
And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That in the mean time the Commissioners before-named, or any seven or more of them for each University respectively, shall have power, and are hereby authorized to explain such Statutes of any of the said Colleges or Halls, as being ambiguous or obscure shall be offered unto them for that purpose; As also to hear, examine, decide and determine all and every such Controversie and Controversies by or upon any Appeal or Appeals, which shall be brought before them by any person or persons being a Member of the said University, or of any Students or Scholars within the same, or any of the said Colledges or Halls which are not clearly determinable by the Statutes of such respective Colledge or Hall or of the said Universities respectively; And that all and every such Determination of the said Commissioners, or any seven or more of them as aforesaid, shall stand and be, and shall be reputed and adjudged to be valid and in full force, and to be obeyed according. And all Sheriffs, Mayors, Justices of Peace, and other Ministers of Justice, are hereby required to be ayding and assisting to the said Commissioners in the due execution of the premises.
And it is futher Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Visitors, or any seven or more of them for each University respectively, are hereby impowered to finde out and setle some equal and just way of Competent Allowances to their Register and Mandatory for their attendance and pains during the time of their Visitation.
Visitors for the School of Westminster.; Visitors for Winchester School and Merchant-Taylors School.; Visitors for Eaton Colledge and School.; They shall have the like powers as any Visitor hath by the Statutes.
And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Visitors for both the said Universities, or any four or more of them, whereof two at the least to be Visitors of each University, be and are hereby appointed to be Visitors of the School of Westminster; And that the said Visitors of the said University of Oxon, or any four or more of them, be and are hereby appointed to be Visitors of the Colledge and School of Winchester and of Merchant-Taylors School London: And that the said Visitors for the University of Cambridge, or any four or more of them, be and are hereby Constituted and Appointed to be Visitors of the Colledge and School of Eaton, and of the Masters, Fellows and Scholars in the said respective Colledges and Schools, and are hereby authorized to put in execution all and every the Powers and Authorities heretofore given or granted to any Visitor or Visitors of the said Schools and Colledges respectively, or any of them, by any Statutes of the said Colledges or Schools; and to consider of any Statutes of the said Colledges and Schools, which are fit to be taken away and abrogated, and of such other Statutes as are fit to be made for the well Ordering and Governing of the said Colledges and Schools respectively, for the better advancement of Piety, Learning and good Nurture in the same Colledges and Schools and present the same to be approved as aforesaid.