Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
[1 May, 1647.]
Names of the Visitors.; Their Powers.; Enquiry by Oath.
For the better Regulating and Reformation of the University of Oxford, and the several Colledges and Halls in the same; and for the due correction of offences, abuses, and disorders, especially of late time committed there: Be it ordained by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That Sir Nathaniel Brent, Master Edward Corbet, Master John Pulixton of the Middle Temple, Master Henry Wilkinson, Master William Prynne of Lincolns Inne, Master William Typing, Sir William Cobb, Master George Greenwood, Doctor John Wilkinson, Master Edward Reynolds, Master Robert Harris, Master Francis Cheynel, Master John Packer, Master John Wilkinson, Master John Mills, Master Christopher Rogers, Master William Cope, Master Bartholomew Hall of the Middle Temple, Master Thomas Knight of Lincolns Inne, Master John Heling of Grayes Inne, William Draper, Gabriel Beck of Lincolns Inne, John Cartwright, and Samuel Dunch Esquires, shall be, and they and every of them are hereby appointed to be Visitors, of the said University, and of all and every the said Colledges and Halls; and of all and every the Masters, Schollers, Fellows, Members, and Officers of the said University, and of the said Colledges and Halls, and every of them respectively. And be it further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Visitors, or any five of them, may and shall visite the said University, Colledges, Halls, Masters, Schollers, Fellows, Members, and Officers; and enquire of, and hear and determine all and every crimes, offences, abuses, disorders, and all other matters whatsoever, which by the Laws and Statutes of this Realm, or by the Customes or Statutes rightly established of the said University, or by the several Statutes of the said Colledges or Halls, or any of them respectively, may lawfully be enquired of, and heard, and determined in the course and way of Visitation of the said University, or of the said Colledges, Halls, Masters, Schollers, Fellows, Members, and Officers, or of any of them respectively: And that they may and shall therein proceed to all intents and purposes, as, and according as by the said Laws, Statutes and Customes, or by any of them, any other Visitors, by any Authority whatsoever appointed, might proceed respectively. And be it also further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Visitors or any five of them, may enquire by Oath viva voce, to be taken before them respectively, of and concerning all the Masters, Schollers, Fellows, and Officers of the respective foundations of all and every the said Halls and Colledges, and of all and every the Officers belonging to them, or to the said University, concerning those that neglect to take the Solemn League and Covenant, and the Negative Oath, being tendred to them by such as are authorized thereunto by Parliament; And likewise concerning those that oppose the execution of the Ordinances of Parliament concerning the Discipline and Directory, or shall not promote and cause the same to be put in execution, according to their several places and callings: And likewise concerning those that shall teach or write against any point of Doctrine, the ignorance whereof doth exclude from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper.
The Visitors to certifie the names of offenders to the Committee herein named.; Power to consider of Oaths enjoyned by Statutes.; Appeal from the Visitors sentence.
And be it also further ordained by the Authority aforesaid That the said Visitors, or any five of them, may and shall enquire, upon Oath viva voce, to be taken before them respectively, of all and every the Masters, Schollers, Fellows, and Officers of the respective foundations, of and concerning all and every the said Halls and Colledges, and of all and every the Officers belonging to any of them, or to the said University, that have taken up, or been in Arms against the Parliament, or against any Forces raised by Authority thereof, or that have been active in assisting or encouraging the Forces raised against the Parliament: And may and shall call all and every such person and Witnesses concerning the same before them respectively; and the same Witnesses, and any Witness or Witnesses to be produced by the party accused of, or charged with any such offences, put to their Oaths viva voce concerning the Premisses; and that they, or any five of them shall from time to time certifie to the Committee of Lords and Commons hereafter in this Ordinance appointed, what Masters, Schollers, Fellows, Members, or Officers as aforesaid, they find to have committed any of the said Offences, and in what manner, and the especial quality and condition of the offenders, that so such further proceedings may be thereupon had as to the said Committee of Lords and Commons shall be thought meet. And be it ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Visitors shall have power, and are hereby authorized to examine and consider of all such Oaths as are enjoyned by the Statutes of the said University, or of all or any of the respective Colledges and Halls in them, as are not fit to be taken, and to present their opinions concerning the same to the Committee of Lords and Commons in this Ordinance named, to the end that such course may be therein taken as may be agreeable to the intended Reformation of the said University. Provided always, and it is further ordained, That if any of the said Masters, Schollers, Fellows, Members, or Officers, shall find themselves grieved in or upon any Sentence definitive given by the said Visitors, or any of them as aforesaid, that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Party so grieved, summarily by representing his Case, to appeal and seek remedy and redress thereupon before the said Committee of Lords and Commons, who are hereby authorized finally to hear and determine every such Case so brought to them by appeal, according as to Justice shal appertain.
Committee named for Appeals.; Right of the Chancellor saved.
And it is further ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That Algernon Earl of Northumberland, Henry Earl of Kent, John Earl of Rutland, Philip Earl of Pembrook and Montgomery, Theophilus Earl of Lincoln, Charles Earl of Nottingham, James Earl of Suffolk, William Earl of Salisbury, Robert Earl of Warwick, Bazil Earl of Denbigh, James Earl of Middlesex, Edward Earl of Manchester, Edmund Earl of Mulgrave, Henry Earl of Stamford, Walter Lord Viscount Hereford, William Lord Viscount Say and Seal, Charls Lord De la Warr, George Lord Berkly, Philip Lord Wharton, Francis Lord Willoughby, Dudley Lord North, John Lord Hunsden, William Lord Grey of Wark, John Lord Roberts, Edward Lord Howard of Escrig, Thomas Lord Bruce, Members of the House of Peers, And Sir Christopher Yelverton, Sir John Danvers, Mr. John Selden, Mr. West, Mr Francis Rous, Mr. John Crew, Sir William Lewes, Mr. Bulstrode Whitlock, Sir Thomas Witherington, Mr. Edward Pool, Sir Peter Wentworth Colonel Leigh, Mr. Nathaniel Fiennes, Mr. Walter Long Sir Philip Stapleton, Mr. William Wheeler, Mr. Swinfen Mr. Samuel Brown, Mr. Nicholas Love, Sir William Brereton, Thomas Lord Wenman, James Fiennes Esquire, William Lenthal Esq; Speaker of the House of Commons, Denzil Hollis Esquire, and Sir Robert Harley Knight of the Bath, Humphrey Sallaway Esquire, Mr. Lisle, Mr. John Lenthal, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Mr. Scot, Sir Thomas Wroth, Mr. Doyly, Mr. Prideaux, Mr. Tate, Mr. Bond, Mr. Ashhurst, Mr. Bulckley, Mr. Kirle, Mr. Recorder, Mr. Martin, Sir John Burgoyne, Sir Thomas Dacres, Mr. Nicol, Sir John Maynard, Mr. Gourdon, Mr. Grimstone, Doctor Bond, Mr. Morley, Mr. Green, Mr. Reynolds, Mr Grove, and Mr. Knightly, Members of the House of Commons, and every five of them, shall be, and are hereby authorized to be a standing Committee, and to sit at such time and place as they respectively shall appoint, to receive upon appeal as aforesaid, such matters as shall be so brought and represented to them: And thereupon summarily to proceed according as the justice of the case requires; and also to receive such matters as shall be as aforesaid certified to them, and thereupon to proceed and determine according as they shall find the quality and condition of the Cases and Persons so certified to them respectively. Provided also, that nothing contained in this Ordinance shall take away the Right and Authority of the Chancellor for the time being.