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 SIXTEENTH CENTURY
The 16th century, which was troubled by many serious dissensions between town and gown, opened with a composition between the two parties, made by three arbitrators under the auspices of Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, the mother of King Henry VII (1503). This award regulated the status of those persons who were exempt from the jurisdiction of the town magistrates; the university privileges were to extend to 'apothecaries, stationers, limners, scriveners, parchment-makers, bookbinders, physicians, surgeons and barbers' who were serving the University. Means were provided whereby persons who claimed academic privilege should prove that they were entitled to enjoy it, either by producing a certificate or by taking an appropriate oath. The Mayor and bailiffs were to try pleas of victual between burgesses, or between burgesses and foreigners where the burgess was the plaintiff, so long as no scholar or scholar's servant was party. The Chancellor was to try such pleas between foreigners where a foreigner was plaintiff, or where a scholar or scholar's servant was involved. He was also to have the punishment of all affrays in which a privileged person was party, and the keepers of the town prisons were to keep those prisoners whom he committed in safe custody; on the other hand, privileged persons accused of murder or felony were to be arrested according to the common law. The right of the Mayor and bailiffs to levy toll in the markets was limited and defined, and the fees of the university taxors restricted, together with the fees charged to bakers and brewers when they set up business. The Mayor and bailiffs were to have the punishment of all nuisances in their leet; they were also to have the search of leather, for which privilege they were to pay the University an annual rent. All royal taxes and subsidies were to be assessed 'equally and indifferently' by eight burgesses and four scholars. The compact ends with provisions for its interpretation, if disputes arose, by the Lady Margaret or persons appointed by her, and, after her death, by the chancellor and treasurer of England and the chief justices of the king's bench and the common pleas. (fn. 1)
The prominent place given in this document to the Lady Margaret reminds the reader of her generous gifts to the University, of which she is still perhaps the greatest benefactor. Already in 1497 the king had granted her licence to found two perpetual lecturerships in sacred theology, one at Oxford, the other at Cambridge, and to endow each of them with a revenue of £20 per annum. (fn. 2) These foundations were not fully established until 1503, but lecturers were probably appointed to hold office at once; thus the Grace Book for 1498–9 contains references to the foundation of 'the lecture of the king's mother'. (fn. 3) In 1503 the foundress executed detailed regulations for the lecturerships. The lecturer was to read 'libere, solenniter et aperte' each accustomed day in term from such books as the Vice-Chancellor and doctors should choose. He was to be elected by the Vice-Chancellor, doctors and bachelors of divinity for a period of two years. There was to be no charge for hearing him, and he was to receive an annual salary of £13 6s. 8d. paid by the abbey of Westminster from revenues provided by the foundress for that purpose. (fn. 4) The following year (1504) Lady Margaret founded a preachership in the University. The holder of this office was to be elected every three years by the Vice-Chancellor and heads of colleges, and was to preach six sermons annually at specified places in London, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Lincolnshire. He was to reside in the University, to hold no other benefice, and to receive £10 per annum. (fn. 5)
By her endowment for the study of divinity, the Lady Margaret had founded the earliest of Cambridge professorships. In that benefaction Oxford had shared equally in her generosity, but her later gifts were made exclusively to the junior university. It would be impossible to discuss them further without saying something about her confessor, John Fisher, who played such an important part in carrying them out, or to mention him without discussing the new learning of the Renaissance, in the dissemination of which in Cambridge he had so large a share. The new learning was already reaching England in the second half of the 15th century, but it made an impression much earlier at Oxford than at Cambridge. (fn. 6) In 1500, Mullinger suggests, the leading men in the latter university were all men who stood in the old ways. (fn. 7) Yet, by 1516, Erasmus, who then had recently left Cambridge, could write:
It is scarcely 30 years ago, when all that was taught in the University of Cambridge, was Alexander, the Little Logicals (as they call them), and those old exercises out of Aristotle, and quaestiones taken from Duns Scotus. As time went on, polite learning was introduced; to this was added a knowledge of mathematics; a new, or at least a regenerated, Aristotle sprang up; then came an acquaintance with Greek, and with a host of new authors whose very names had before been unknown, even to their profoundest doctors. And how, I would ask, has this affected your university? Why, it has flourished to such a degree that it can now compete with the chief universities of the age, and can boast of men in comparison with whom theologians of the old school seem only the ghosts of theologians. (fn. 8)
That change was due in large measure to John Fisher. He had come up in 1483 to Michaelhouse, of which he became Master in 1497, having been Senior Proctor in 1494–5. In 1501 he was Vice-Chancellor. In 1500, probably, he became chaplain and confessor to the Lady Margaret, and in 1503 he was elected first occupant of her divinity chair. However, he had to vacate this office when he was elected Chancellor of the University in 1504. (fn. 9) In the same year he was promoted to the see of Rochester. His personal character shows the unusual combination of great holiness with great business ability. (fn. 10) He was practical, active yet cautious, a man who was trusted by others, and who was thus able to carry university opinion with him during a long period which saw important changes. In 1514 he received the unprecedented honour of election to the chancellorship for life. (fn. 11) He was moreover a good scholar, though, since he knew only some Greek and a little Hebrew, (fn. 12) he is important from this point of view less in himself than in the influence which he had on others. He was the friend and patron of Erasmus, who much admired him, and it was probably his friendship which persuaded the Dutch scholar to come and work in Cambridge. (fn. 13) Like Colet and Thomas More, he was a christian humanist who believed that the new studies of the Renaissance were not incompatible with the old ways, but that they would throw new light on old truths.
The Lady Margaret herself must claim much of the credit for the ways in which her generosity was employed, for she was a woman of ability and of practical experience, (fn. 14) but there was a genuine sympathy between her and her confessor which made them real partners in the work. The divinity readership shows their common interest in the teaching of theology, but, if religion was to be encouraged and stimulated both in the University and in the wider world, this in itself was not enough. The foundress's regulations of 1503 permitted the intermission of lectures during Lent so that both the reader and his class might devote themselves to preaching, (fn. 15) and this purpose was carried further by the institution of the preachership in 1504, which aimed both to improve the standard of preaching and to make it more useful and helpful to the people at large in an age when sermons were rare and all too often stilted and artificial. (fn. 16) It was Fisher who directed the Lady Margaret's later benefactions towards Cambridge. She had intended to add to the already great endowments of Westminster Abbey, but was dissuaded by her confessor, who urged, in Thomas Baker's words, that 'the provisions for scholars were very few and small and that colleges were yet wanting towards their maintenance; that by such foundations she might have two ends and designs at once, that she might thereby double her charity, and double her reward, by affording as well supports to learning, as encouragements to virtue'. (fn. 17) It was Fisher again who diverted her generosity from Oxford, where she was being pressed to refound the priory of St. Frideswide as a college, to a similar re-foundation of a religious house in Cambridge. (fn. 18) Thus, with Fisher as her adviser, the Lady Margaret augmented the older foundation of Godshouse into Christ's College (1505), and transformed the old hospital of St. John into St. John's College. She herself died in 1509, and the foundation of St. John's, chartered in 1511, was carried through by Fisher in face of great difficulties. (fn. 19)
In 1505 he had been elected President of Queens', an office which he held until 1508, and which gave him a residence in Cambridge during the period of the transformation of Godshouse. (fn. 20) During this period both the Lady Margaret and the king visited the University (1505 and 1506), (fn. 21) and, on the latter occasion, Fisher made the speech to which reference has already been made. (fn. 22) He played a considerable part in drawing up the Christ's College statutes, though these were less original than Mullinger believed since their most interesting sections, establishing the office of college lecturer and ordering the study of the poets and orators of antiquity, were derived from the Godshouse statutes, and ultimately from the days of William Bingham, the founder of Godshouse himself (d. 1451). (fn. 23) However, Fisher and his patroness certainly carried these ideas further forward. The first set of statutes which he gave to St. John's in 1516 were the same in tenor as the Christ's statutes. (fn. 24) The arrangements made in 1516 were altered in 1524 and again in 1530; in the last, provision was made for the study of Greek and Hebrew and for at least one-quarter of the fellows to occupy themselves with preaching in English, both regulations revealing very clearly the influence of Fisher's ideas. (fn. 25)
His patronage of Erasmus is also very important in the growth of the new learning in Cambridge. He probably brought down the great Dutch scholar for the king's visit in 1506, and lodged him in Queens' College. (fn. 26) In the same year Erasmus obtained a grace permitting him to incept in theology, though it is uncertain whether he actually took a degree. (fn. 27) His own admiration for the Chancellor of the University was very deep and very often expressed; in his letters he commends Fisher for his gentleness, his integrity, his learning, his possession of every virtue which became a bishop. (fn. 28) After Erasmus's return to England in 1509, it was probably Fisher's humanist proclivities which led to his return to Cambridge in 1511 in order that he might lecture on Greek. (fn. 29) Once again he stayed in Queens', (fn. 30) the College of which his friend had been President, and which, with Christ's and St. John's, he described much later as a College where young men were trained in true learning and not in barren dialectical subtleties. (fn. 31) His letters show that his stay in Cambridge was not very happy. In 1513 the plague was in the town, and he felt himself isolated and lonely. (fn. 32) He disliked the separation from the continent caused by the outbreak of war with France. (fn. 33) He complained that the expenses he had to meet were great while the profit was almost negligible. (fn. 34) His official teaching work made little mark; he held the Lady Margaret's divinity professorship, and he lectured on the Greek grammar of Chrysoloras, though the lectures were not a success, and his theological teaching made no special impression. (fn. 35) However, during this rather frustrating period of his life, he laid the foundations for his two great works, the Novum Instrumentum and the edition of St. Jerome, both published in 1516. (fn. 36) Two years earlier, in the first months of 1514, he had left Cambridge, and in July of that year he returned to the continent. (fn. 37)
His later judgements of the University were more favourable than those which he made during his residence. In the same year as he left England he wrote to a correspondent that, if he saw the sincere religion and well-ordered life of Cambridge colleges, he would think less highly of the monastic rule. (fn. 38) 'Cambridge', he wrote in 1517, 'is a changed place', (fn. 39) and some years later he claimed that sound theology flourished more there and in Paris than in any other university because they had received the new learning 'which is ready, if need be, to storm an entrance, not as an enemy but courteously as a guest'. (fn. 40) Certainly the prestige of Cambridge in the world of scholarship was raised by its association with the great international scholar, and the men whom he influenced did much to carry on the torch of humanist scholarship both in the University and in England at large. Perhaps Erasmus's closest Cambridge friend and pupil was Henry Bullock, Fellow of Queens' and afterwards Vice-Chancellor, (fn. 41) who wrote to him in August 1516: 'People here are hard at work upon Greek, and earnestly hope for your arrival. The same set are much delighted with your publication of the New Testament.' (fn. 42) Erasmus, in a long letter defending himself against the critics of his work, answered that he was very glad to hear that the New Testament was 'approved at Cambridge by the best people', though he had been told that one college, 'composed of pure Areopagites', had forbidden the volume to be brought within its walls. (fn. 43) Others to whom Erasmus, when writing to Bullock, sent his best wishes were John Watson, Fellow of Peterhouse and later Master of Christ's, (fn. 44) John Fawne, Fellow of Queens' and his own successor as Lady Margaret Professor, (fn. 45) the bookseller Garrett Godfrey, with whom he had lodged for a time, and John Bryan, Fellow of King's, who later caused a stir in the University by lecturing on Aristotle and ignoring the traditional interpretations of the schoolmen. (fn. 46) Other scholars who came under Erasmus's influence were Thomas Lupset, a protégé of Colet and later Greek lecturer at Oxford, (fn. 47) Robert Aldrich, later Bishop of Carlisle, who accompanied him on his pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, (fn. 48) and Richard Croke, of whom more must be said below. (fn. 49)
In the years after Erasmus's departure the humanist movement steadily gained ground. In 1518 Sir Robert Rede founded three lecturerships in philosophy, logic, and rhetoric, (fn. 50) and in the same year Croke returned to Cambridge to lecture in Greek. After taking his bachelor's degree from King's, he had studied in Oxford and Paris, and had taught Greek very successfully in Cologne, Louvain, Leipzig, and Dresden. The year after he began to lecture he made an interesting oration in which he expounded the pre-eminence of Greek literature and the advantages of Greek studies, praised the learning of his predecessor, Erasmus, and urged his hearers to preserve the advantage which their university held in humane studies over Oxford, which had tried to gain his own services. (fn. 51) His efforts must have been crowned with success because, when in 1522 the office of Public Orator was set up in order that the University might have someone to plead its cause, both in speech and writing, and to represent it on official occasions, he was appointed. He was to hold office for life so long as he remained in Cambridge, while his successors, who were to be elected by the regents and non-regents, were to hold office only for seven years. The orator was to be paid 40s. per annum, and, if an M.A., was to have precedence before the other masters. It was provided that Croke himself, if he left the University, was to maintain his place of honour and to rank even before the existing orator since 'he first introduced Greek literature amongst us, and since he is dear to the king in whose name he was strictly recommended to us by the chief nobles'. (fn. 52) He retained the office only until 1528. (fn. 53) The history of printing in Cambridge begins at much the same time as the establishment of the oratorship, and is linked with the same humanist circle. (fn. 54) The first Cambridge printer, John Siberch, was probably in the town from 1520 to 1523. He was a German friend of Erasmus, and had already printed a book by Richard Croke, Introductiones in Rudimenta Graeca, in Cologne in 1520. The first of the books printed by him at Cambridge is Henry Bullock's oration made in honour of Wolsey's visit in 1520, and another (the first of any size which he undertook) called Libellus de Conscribendis epistolis, is by Erasmus himself. (fn. 55) After Siberch's brief period of activity no book seems to have been published in Cambridge until Elizabeth's reign, (fn. 56) but in 1534 royal letters patent enabled the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University to appoint three stationers and printers or booksellers, who were empowered to print and sell such books as were approved by the Chancellor, or his vicegerent, and three doctors. (fn. 57) The university stationers had existed since the Middle Ages, (fn. 58) and the three appointed under the royal privilege had all been in business in Cambridge already. They were Segar Nicholson, Nicholas Speyring, and Garrett Godfrey, the friend and host of Erasmus. (fn. 59)
But humanism affected sacred as well as secular studies, and the Cambridge Reformers as well as the Cambridge classical scholars felt the influence of Erasmus. There is no doubt that, in the University, it was the Novum Instrumentum which first stirred the waters; it was, says E. G. Rupp, to the academic reformers what the Wycliffite scriptures had been to the Lollards. (fn. 60) Erasmus's own remarks in the letter to Henry Bullock which has already been mentioned point the course which events were to take. (fn. 61) Were his opponents displeased, he asked, that the gospels and epistles would now be read with more attention ? Did they prefer that the whole of life should be taken up with useless logical subtleties ? Was it not desirable that divines should be recalled to the original sources ? (fn. 62) One possible effect of so doing is revealed in the career of Thomas Bilney, Fellow of Trinity Hall, whom Foxe calls 'the first framer of that University in the knowledge of Christ'. (fn. 63) He had sought in vain to come to Christ by fastings, by masses, by buying of pardons, but 'at last I heard speak of Jesus, even then when the New Testament was first set forth by Erasmus; which, when I understand to be eloquently done by him, being allured rather by the Latin than by the word of God (for at that time I knew not what it meant), I bought it even by the providence of God, as I do now well understand and perceive'. The first time he read the book he found what he had been looking for in St. Paul's statement that 'it is a true saying and worthy of all men to be embraced, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief and principal', and immediately he was filled with 'a marvellous comfort and quietness'. (fn. 64) His conversion was to have a profound influence first on the life of the University and later on the history of the English Reformation, though he himself was burnt at the stake in 1531 before he could accomplish much. His chief importance lies in the careers of the men whom he influenced.
The most prominent among them were Robert Barnes and Hugh Latimer. (fn. 65) Barnes, like Bilney a Norfolk man, was prior of the Cambridge house of Austin Friars. Being a scholar of note who had studied at Louvain, he had made his house a centre of classical studies, and he was later led, through his interest in the scriptures, into Bilney's circle, though there is no evidence how this change took place. (fn. 66) In Latimer's case he has left his own statement of what occurred. An older man than either Barnes or Bilney, he had been elected Fellow of Clare in 1510 and in 1522 had become university chaplain. (fn. 67) At that time he was a staunch conservative, and was known as an opponent of the new opinions. (fn. 68) When in 1524 he kept his act for the B.D. degree, he vehemently attacked the opinions of Melancthon. Bilney heard him speak on this occasion, and, perhaps hoping to change his views, came to him to ask him to hear his confession; as a result Latimer was led away from his old beliefs, and began, as he said, to 'smell the word of God, and forsake the school doctors, and such fooleries'. (fn. 69) Another leader whose name Thomas Becon couples with that of Latimer was George Stafford, Fellow of Pembroke. (fn. 70) Like Bilney he died young, succumbing to the plague in 1529; like Barnes he was a good classical scholar, and one who, in his theological lectures, deserted the traditional methods of interpretation for direct exposition of the epistles and gospels. It was, Becon thought, uncertain whether Stafford was the more beholden to Paul, the author of the epistles, or Paul to Stafford, their expounder, seeing that he had set out the apostle's ideas in their proper shape. (fn. 71) Another name which should be mentioned is that of William Tyndale, the translator of the New Testament, who probably came to Cambridge from Oxford in 1519 and stayed until 1521. (fn. 72) In that year the solemn burning of Luther's books showed that the Cambridge scene was soon to be affected by impulses from outside. (fn. 73) Despite the ban Luther's ideas were gaining ground among the group of reformers who met at the White Horse tavern, nicknamed 'Germany'. (fn. 74) There were to be found Bilney, Barnes, and Latimer. From Gonville Hall came Nicholas Shaxton, later Bishop of Salisbury; from Pembroke John Thixtill and John Rogers, who was to be the first of the Marian martyrs; from King's John Frith, a disciple of Tyndale, burnt in 1533; from Corpus, Richard Taverner, who, like Frith, removed to Cardinal Wolsey's college at Oxford, and Matthew Parker, Elizabeth's first Archbishop; from St. John's Thomas Arthur; from Queens' its President, Thomas Forman, and John Lambert, another of Bilney's converts, burnt in 1538. (fn. 75) E. G. Rupp has pointed out how many of the makers of English Protestantism suffered violent deaths, and how prominent among them were members of the University of Cambridge. (fn. 76)
The situation in the University could not fail to produce an open conflict, and the first blow was struck at the end of 1525. On Christmas Eve Robert Barnes preached a sermon in St. Edward's Church in which he attacked the rigour of the church courts and the pomp of the bishops, daring even to reflect on Wolsey himself. (fn. 77) He was summoned before the Vice-Chancellor and charged with heresy, though the efforts of his accusers to have the matter dealt with privately met with considerable resistance from his supporters, who resented the Vice-Chancellor's attempt to handle the matter in this way. Finally a formal recantation was prepared which Barnes, on the advice of a group of his friends, including Stafford and Bilney, refused to sign. Meantime appeal had been made to the Cardinal, and Barnes was arrested and taken to London. The authorities also took the opportunity to make a search for Lutheran books, but the owners, forewarned by Forman of Queens', another of the White Horse group, managed to hide them away in time. Barnes was examined by Wolsey, who was obviously unwilling to put the law into force, but his determination to defend himself meant that things had to take their course, and he was tried at Westminster. Finally he submitted and did public penance at St. Paul's. He was then sent to the house of his order in London, and was later removed to Northampton, whence he escaped overseas. He later returned to England, and was finally burned at the stake in 1540, though his later history has no connexion with Cambridge. (fn. 78)
Meanwhile his arrest had started the hunt there. Latimer, Bilney, and Arthur were brought before Wolsey also. (fn. 79) Latimer, who had already been in trouble with Bishop West of Ely and had been suspended from preaching in the diocese, was more fortunate than Barnes. He convinced the Cardinal of his innocence, was allowed to return home, and licensed to go on preaching. (fn. 80) Bilney had been dismissed on taking an oath that he would not defend Luther's opinions, but would impugn them everywhere. (fn. 81) However, in 1527 he and Arthur were put to formal trial at Westminster. (fn. 82) Arthur submitted and signed a revocation, but Bilney gave more trouble. He was clearly a more serious case than his fellow prisoner. He had already been twice pulled out of the pulpit in Norwich diocese because of suspected heresy; he had preached against images, pilgrimages, and pretended miracles. (fn. 83) After examination he was convicted of heresy, and was urged by Tunstall, Bishop of London and president of the court, to submit. He refused three times but, after consultation with his friends, he finally submitted and did penance. After being kept in prison for a year he was allowed to return to Cambridge, but his spirit was broken because he felt that he had been false to the truth. 'As for the comfortable places of Scripture, to bring them unto him', said Latimer, who knew him well, 'it was as though a man would run him through the heart with a sword.' (fn. 84) The best efforts of his friends to comfort him were quite useless; finally he left Trinity Hall, saying that he was going to 'Jerusalem', and went down to Norfolk, preaching in the fields and in private houses. He was, inevitably, arrested and burnt as a relapsed heretic at Norwich (1531).
By that time the academic reform movement had been sucked up into the great maelstrom of change set in motion by Henry VIII's 'divorce' proceedings. Already, before that date, the opinions of Bilney and Latimer had spread to Oxford through the Cambridge men whom Wolsey had brought in for his new foundation of Cardinal College. There also the authorities had pounced, and a number of arrests were made. (fn. 85) At Cambridge the flight of Barnes and the eclipse of Bilney had left Latimer the most prominent of the new school. In Advent 1529 he preached a sermon at St. Edward's, conforming, as Fuller says, 'his discourse to the playing at cards, making the heart triumph, and exhorting all to serve God in sincerity and truth, not in the glistering shew of men's ceremonies, traditions, pardons, pilgrimages, vows, devotions, &c.' (fn. 86) He was answered by Buckenham, prior of the Dominican house, and then preached again in answer to the friar. The sermons on the Cards became the centre of a bitter controversy in which Latimer was attacked with especial vigour by some of the fellows of St. John's, perhaps under Fisher's influence. (fn. 87) The dispute was stilled only by a letter from Edward Foxe, the Royal Almoner and Provost of King's (January 1530), commanding both sides to keep silence. (fn. 88)
One section of Foxe's letter is particularly worthy of notice. Latimer's opponents may have been moved by private spite against him, Foxe writes, 'which malice also peradventure cometh partly for that Mr. Latimer favoureth the king's cause and I assure you it is so reported to the king'. The idea that 'the king's cause' should be submitted to the arbitrament of the universities of Europe had been due to a Cambridge scholar, Thomas Cranmer, Fellow of Jesus. (fn. 89) Very soon after the storm over Latimer's sermons, in February 1530, the University was officially asked whether a man might lawfully marry his brother's wife after that brother's death without issue. (fn. 90) The management of the business was put into the hands of two councillors who were prominent Cambridge men, Edward Foxe, and Stephen Gardiner, Master of Trinity Hall, King's Secretary and later Bishop of Winchester. Their reception was not entirely favourable. On the day after their arrival a congregation was held, but, after long discussion, it proved impossible to reach a decision. On the day following a grace favourable to the king's purpose proposed by the Vice-Chancellor, William Buckmaster, met with a stormy reception. The first time it was rejected, the second time there was a deadlock, and it finally passed only because some of the opponents were persuaded by its supporters to absent themselves. A syndicate was set up with power to decide in the name of the University. Gardiner and Foxe hoped that its composition would prove satisfactory, and it duly found as the king wished, though only in the form that such a marriage was forbidden if the previous marriage had been consummated. (fn. 91) The decision met with much criticism. 'All the world almost cryeth out of Cambridge for this act and specially on me', bemoaned the Vice-Chancellor, and in the University itself there was much discontent. (fn. 92)
The rapid changes of the ensuing years had to be accepted as they came. In 1534 the University solemnly disclaimed the papal authority. (fn. 93) In 1535, after the execution of Fisher for his opposition to the king's policy, he was succeeded as Chancellor by Thomas Cromwell. (fn. 94) In the same year Cromwell was appointed Visitor of the University, and royal injunctions were issued for its better government. These are very important in themselves; they are perhaps even more important as the first of those interventions by the Crown in university affairs which were to be so common in the ensuing century. It was decreed that the University should subscribe to the succession and to the maintenance of the royal authority; that each College should maintain two daily lectures, one in Greek, the other in Latin; that no one should lecture any more on the Master of the Sentences, but that all divinity lectures should be on the Bible itself; that all students should be permitted to read the scriptures privately or to hear public lectures on them; that, since the pope's rights had been renounced, no one should lecture on canon law and that no degrees in that subject should be conferred; that students in arts should study Aristotle, Rudolph Agricola, Melancthon, and Trapezuntius, and not the works of Scotus and the other scholastic writers; that all statutes contrary to the injunctions should be void, and that all officers of the University and the Colleges should be sworn to observe them. (fn. 95) Further injunctions were also issued by Cromwell's deputy, Thomas Legh. The most important of them ordered the University and Colleges to surrender all their charters and bulls, together with inventories of their movable and immovable property, into the hands of Cromwell as the King's VisitorGeneral. (fn. 96)
Whereas the first third of the century had been a period of steady progress and prosperity, the ensuing period was one of disturbance and decline. Perhaps academic institutions flourish best in times of tranquillity, and the history of England from 1529 to the accession of Elizabeth I was far from tranquil. The Reformation was one important cause of disturbance; the rise in prices, which hit institutions with stable incomes especially hard, was another. An interesting piece of evidence is provided by the steady deterioration in university finance after 1530. In 1533 the chest had a balance of £275; by 1544 it was slightly in debt. (fn. 97) A considerable part of this money had been spent in legal expenses, arising out of controversies with the town; for instance, in 1534 these disputes cost the University nearly £80. (fn. 98) The quarrels themselves covered all the old disputed issues. (fn. 99) One particular grievance was the power of the University to excommunicate town officials if they were judged to have infringed its privileges; this hap- pened to two Mayors, George Foster in 1524 and Edward Slegge in 1529. (fn. 100) There was also trouble about the Magna Congregatio and the oath of the Mayor and bailiffs to maintain the liberties of the University, both of which seemed to put the town in a position of inferiority. (fn. 101) The most persistent source of dissension, however, was the rights of the University in the markets and at Sturbridge Fair, involving questions such as the assize of bread and ale and the courts leet which the University claimed to hold. (fn. 102)
The quarrels came to a head in 1534. At Candlemas writs were served, at the instance of the Mayor, on several members of the University, and that night there was a serious affray between the proctors and a party led by one of the bailiffs at Castle End. (fn. 103) The height of feeling is shown by the remark of the bedell, John Meers, in his diary of a few months earlier, that a great commotion in the streets had made one graduate think 'when he harde the noyse the cuntry had rysan to destroye the Unyversitye'. (fn. 104) The authorities must have seen the danger signal for, in the same year, Cambridge, like Oxford, renounced the right to excommunicate in temporal causes, perhaps under the guidance of Thomas Cromwell. (fn. 105) Already, in autumn 1533, the townsmen had referred their complaints to the Council, and the University appointed representatives to conduct its case. (fn. 106) One of these, Ralph Aynesworth, wrote in March 1534 that the town had received 'a sore injunccon to be qwiett and to make no more such complayntte', (fn. 107) and in July a decision of the Council reaffirmed the rights of the University at the fair. (fn. 108) However, the trouble still rumbled on. In 1535 Cromwell, who became Chancellor of the University in that year, was warning the town not to interfere with the University's rights in the forthcoming fair, nor to aggress in other ways. (fn. 109) Two years later the town petitioned him about a misdemeanour committed by one of the proctor's servants, but his patience was now running out. In the summer of 1537 he warned the town sharply about the points in dispute; they were not to interfere with the control of victual and of weights and measures in the town and at the fair; actions wherein a scholar was party were to be decided before the Vice-Chancellor; the Mayor was to take the oath to maintain the university privileges, and the town was to observe the composition with the University. Even this was not sufficient, and the king himself had to write, reinforcing Cromwell's decisions, under pain of such punishment as 'yt shal be to hevye for the transgressours of the sayd comaundement to bere yt'. (fn. 110) In autumn 1537 representatives of both town and gown were at Hampton Court, but the townsmen were unsuccessful; as the town treasurers' accounts say, 'all was lost as it fortuned'. (fn. 111)
The struggles with the town formed only a part of the University's difficulties. The financial strain must have been eased by the exoneration, in 1536, of both Oxford and Cambridge from the payment of first fruits and tenths, (fn. 112) but the annual tax of £10 for the assizes of bread and ale was not easy to meet. (fn. 113) In 1540–1 £20 had to be borrowed from Dr. Wolman's benefaction and £10 from the Fenn chest in order to pay this, the university candelabra being pawned as security until the money was repaid. In addition, to save money, the office of taxor was abolished, and its duties transferred to the proctors. (fn. 114) However, the taxorship was restored in 1545–6. (fn. 115) Another emergency measure was the statute of 1538 which, on grounds of their fewness in numbers and lack of experience, required the regents to carry out their functions for two years instead of one. (fn. 116) The number of degrees recorded in the grace book, although the lists are evidently not complete, declined in Henry VIII's later years, (fn. 117) and the disappearance of the monks and friars, who had played so prominent a part in the medieval University, was a serious blow. (fn. 118) Of the conventual buildings in the town, Queens' was successful in obtaining the house of the Carmelites, which adjoined the college site, but the University failed, in 1539–40, to get a grant of the buildings of the Franciscans, which would have been very suitable for congregations and public ceremonies. (fn. 119) In the letters asking for this property reference is made to the decayed condition of the University; (fn. 120) as Fuller wrote, 'there was now a general decay of students, no college having more scholars therein then hardly those of the foundation, no volunteers at all, and only persons pressed in a manner by their places to reside'. (fn. 121) There is much contemporary evidence of the same kind for the reign of Edward VI. Roger Ascham, writing in 1547, bemoaned the lack of experienced teachers and the predominance of sons of wealthy parents, who were not ready to submit to thorough training and who, through the influence which they could exert in the Colleges, excluded the more deserving sons of poor men. (fn. 122) Latimer two years later re-echoed the same complaints. There were very few who studied divinity, 'for their livings be so small and victuals so dear that they tarry not there, but go everywhere to seek livings and so they go about'. He also lamented the predominance of the well-to-do; 'there be none now but great men's sons in Colleges and their fathers look not to have them preachers.' (fn. 123) Thomas Lever, later Master of St. John's, preaching in 1550, attacked the rapacity of the courtiers which had frustrated the king's good intentions towards the University. He also complained of the decline in the number of students of divinity and of the decay of the hostels, since those who had lived in them 'be eyther gon awaye, or elles fayne to crepe into colleges, and put poore men from bare lyvynges'. As a result of all these changes many poor, but learned, men had been forced to quit the University for lack of sustenance. (fn. 124) During this century the class of well-to-do young men, many of whom did not take degrees, was certainly becoming more important than it had previously been, and there were many later complaints about favouritism and corruption in elections to fellowships and scholarships.
Despite the rather gloomy picture of the condition of the University which has been suggested, the years in the middle of the century saw some important events in academic history, and the residents included a number of distinguished men. Among the heads of houses were Nicholas Ridley of Pembroke, later Bishop of London, burnt under Mary, and Matthew Parker of Corpus, later Archbishop of Canterbury. St. John's was the most eminent of the Colleges, and its fellows included Sir John Cheke, the leading Greek scholar in the University and tutor to Prince Edward, and Roger Ascham, tutor to Princess Elizabeth and author of The Scholemaster. Another prominent classical scholar was Sir Thomas Smith of Queens', Secretary of State under both Edward VI and Elizabeth. (fn. 125) On Cromwell's execution in 1540 he was succeeded as Chancellor by Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Master of Trinity Hall. He faithfully maintained the interests of his university, but his attitude in academic affairs was conservative as might have been expected from one of the most prominent members of the right-wing, anti-Protestant group at Henry VIII's court. A problem which at that time much agitated scholarly opinion was that of the proper pronunciation of Greek. Erasmus had endeavoured to return to what he considered to be the pronunciation of the ancients, and his theories were supported in Cambridge both by Thomas Smith and by Cheke. In 1542 the Chancellor intervened on the other side, and decreed, under threat of severe penalties, a return to traditional methods. (fn. 126) Both Cheke and Smith took up the defence of their cause, and the controversy went on for some years. In 1543 Gardiner was warning the Vice-Chancellor against neglecting to observe his commands, and attacking the spread of radical ideas. 'How necessary it is,' he wrote, 'to brydle the arrogance of youngest the experience of your yeres hath I doubt not taught youe.' (fn. 127) The same issue came up again in a correspondence between Gardiner and Matthew Parker, then Vice-Chancellor, about a play Pammachius, which had been performed at Christ's, and which attacked Lenten fasting and other church customs and ceremonies. In writing to express his displeasure the Chancellor pointed out that there were many other things amiss in Cambridge, among them disobedience to his decree about Greek pronunciation, (fn. 128) and in 1554 he was still trying to enforce obedience to his decree. (fn. 129) Despite all his efforts the Erasmian system eventually became accepted. (fn. 130)
The year in which Gardiner became Chancellor was also that of the foundation of the five regius professorships of divinity, Greek, civil law, Hebrew, and physic. The Greek chair was given to Cheke and the law chair to Thomas Smith. (fn. 131) In 1544 a statute was passed for the matriculation of students; they were to go before the registrary, (fn. 132) to give their names, the names of their tutors, and colleges or houses, to pay the fees, and to take an oath of obedience. (fn. 133) Two years earlier the old monastic Buckingham College had been refounded as Magdalene, and in 1546 Henry VIII joined the two 14th-century colleges of King's Hall and Michaelhouse to form the great foundation of Trinity. (fn. 134) Not long before the establishment of Trinity College it had seemed that the University was in great danger of spoliation. The Act of 1545 for the Dissolution of Colleges threatened it with the fate of the monasteries, and the courtiers were already casting longing eyes at its property. Here Cheke and Thomas Smith, who were now both in the royal service, proved faithful friends. Through the latter an appeal was made to Queen Katherine Parr, and Mullinger considers that his aid was more valuable than any other in averting catastrophe. A commission of inquiry was appointed but it consisted not of courtiers or officials, but of three prominent residents, Parker, the Vice-Chancellor, John Redman, later Master of Trinity, and William May, President of Queens'. Their report, which 'exhibited 14 distinct foundations, for the most part but poorly endowed, and with the one exception of the new college of St. Mary Magdalene embarrassed by the insufficiency of their revenues to meet their ordinary expenditure', was presented to the king in spring 1546. (fn. 135) Parker himself has recorded the scene at Hampton Court. Henry remarked on the good use made by the Colleges of their modest revenues, saying 'that petye it wer these londes shuld be altered to make them worse, at which wordes som were grieved, for that they disapoynted lupos quosdam hiantes'. He also gave a favourable answer to the petition that he would continue the University in its possessions, 'with which wordes,' Parker says, 'we were wel armyd and so departed'. (fn. 136)
The short reigns of Edward VI and Mary were years of change and disturbance in Cambridge as elsewhere in the country. In 1547 Gardiner was confined to the Tower and was succeeded as Chancellor by the Duke of Somerset. He was, in turn, succeeded by the Duke of Northumberland (1552), and on Mary's accession Gardiner was restored. On his death in 1555 he was followed by Cardinal Pole. (fn. 137) At the beginning of Edward VI's reign there was again trouble with the town, this time over the release of dissolute persons imprisoned by the proctors during Sturbridge Fair. (fn. 138) The University also applied to the Crown for larger privileges, which naturally produced a statement of objections from the townsfolk; an attempt at a new concord between the parties was also abortive. (fn. 139) The University failed to get its privileges increased, though the existing grants were confirmed, one result of the attempt being that its great silver cross was sold to pay legal expenses. (fn. 140) The main event of Edward VI's reign was another royal visitation—among the visitors being Ridley, Thomas Smith, Cheke, and May—and the statutes of 1549. (fn. 141) These Edwardian statutes are an important code, and an examination of them gives a clear picture of the Cambridge studies of the time. The arrangements for the lectures of the regius professors and other readers were regulated and redefined. In philosophy Aristotle, Pliny, and Plato were to be treated, in medicine Hippocrates or Galen, in mathematics Mela, Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, Euclid, Tunstall, and Cardan, in dialectic the Elenchi of Aristotle, the Topica of Cicero, Quintilian, and Hermogenes, in Greek Homer, Demosthenes, Isocrates, and Euripides, in Hebrew the scriptures and the grammar of the language. (fn. 142) Grammar was now discarded as a subject, and the undergraduate was to study mathematics, dialectic, and philosophy, the bachelor of arts philosophy, astronomy, perspective, and Greek. (fn. 143) Masters of arts, other than students of law and medicine, were to study theology and Hebrew. (fn. 144) The periods of study for degrees remained much the same as in the Middle Ages, and the same emphasis was placed on public disputations as in medieval times. In all cases the respondent had to affix three theses on the doors of the schools three days beforehand. (fn. 145) Provisions were also made for university government. The Chancellor was now to be elected by the whole body of regents and non-regents, but the regents alone were to elect the Vice-Chancellor, proctors, and taxors. (fn. 146) The visitors also issued a number of supplementary injunctions. Some of these strictly regulated undergraduate amusements, such as card-playing, fencing, and wandering about the town. (fn. 147) Others made further changes in teaching. The teaching of grammar was forbidden except at Jesus College. (fn. 148) The period of regency was extended to three years. (fn. 149) The old Terence lecture was replaced by a lecture in rhetoric. (fn. 150) The royal commissioners also visited all the Colleges in turn. They removed the Master of Clare, Roland Swynburne, and mediated in the complaints against Ralph Aynesworth, Master of Peterhouse. At Jesus they pulled down six altars in the chapel and destroyed certain images in a chamber. They also attended a series of disputations on Transubstantiation and the Lord's Supper, and were present at some of the Commencement ceremonies. Finally, at the end of the visitation, the masters and presidents of the Colleges were assembled and the college statutes read to them in the newly amended form. (fn. 151) One of the objects of the visitation was not, however, achieved. The instructions of the commissioners had directed them to found a civil law college by dissolving two or more of the existing colleges and endowing it with their property. The study of civil law, which was languishing at the time, was important to the government for purposes of diplomacy and administration, and the two colleges selected were Trinity Hall, already a legal foundation, and Clare. The scheme was stoutly opposed by the fellows of the latter college, though Swynburne, the Master, was removed by the visitors, and Bishop Gardiner refused to relinquish the mastership of Trinity Hall. Bishop Ridley, one of the commissioners, made it clear to Somerset that he disliked forcing the plan through against opposition, and was recalled before the visitation ended. Eventually, for all these reasons perhaps, the scheme was abandoned. (fn. 152)
The pronounced movement towards Protestantism between 1547 and 1553 brought many foreign reformers to England. Among the most eminent of them was Martin Bucer, who had been invited by Archbishop Cranmer to come from Strasburg, and who was appointed to the regius chair of divinity at Cambridge. With Bucer came Paul Fagius as professor of Hebrew, but he died after only a few months' stay. Bucer taught in the University from 1549 until his death in 1551, and exercised considerable influence. Many of the leading Cambridge men of the day such as Parker, Cheke, and Ascham, were his friends, and his funeral was a great event, attended by about 3,000 people including the leading members both of the town and of the University. (fn. 153)
Only two years later, with the accession of Mary, there was a sharp reaction towards Roman Catholicism. It was in Cambridge that Northumberland, having failed to collect support for Lady Jane Grey, finally proclaimed Mary as Queen, and was soon after arrested with a number of his adherents, among them Edwin Sandys, Master of Catharine Hall, who had just resigned the vice-chancellorship after a tumult in the regent house. (fn. 154) Bishop Gardiner was reinstated as Chancellor, and a royal letter restored the ancient statutes and annulled the ordinances made since the death of King Henry VIII. (fn. 155) At the end of 1553 all the heads of houses, except three, were removed. (fn. 156) Another important issue was that of subscription to the Roman Catholic faith by candidates for degrees. Just before the death of Edward VI the royal visitors had ordered that those who took degrees should subscribe to the 42 articles of religion, and, though this probably never came into force, (fn. 157) it provided a model for the Marian régime. In March 1554 Gardiner ordered that no one should receive a degree or have a voice in elections and university business unless they had 'professed bi articles the catholike doctryne now recevyed and subscribed the same with their honds'. (fn. 158) In consequence a syndicate was set up to prepare a code, and in 1555 fifteen articles affirming the doctrines of Rome and condemning the errors of the reformers were drawn up and signed by a majority of the residents. Until the end of the reign subscription to them was a necessary condition of admission to a degree. (fn. 159) When persecution began, Cambridge was protected by the moderation of Andrew Perne, Master of Peterhouse, Vice-Chancellor 1556–7; among those whom he helped was the future Archbishop Whitgift, then a young fellow of his college. (fn. 160) John Hullier, formerly Scholar of King's, was burnt on Jesus Green in the spring of 1556, (fn. 161) and, as has been noted earlier, Cambridge men were prominent among those who suffered. (fn. 162) In many cases their university was in their thoughts in their last days. Thus John Bradford, Fellow of Pembroke and a friend of Bucer, wrote from prison, to 'my mother the university', warning her against the errors of Rome, and urging her to remember the sufferings of the other Cambridge exiles and martyrs. (fn. 163) Bishop Ridley's farewell is famous. He recalled the orchard at Pembroke where he had learned by heart all the epistles. He recalled that he had been scholar, fellow, and Master of his college, chaplain, proctor, and reader in the University. 'Farewell therefore, Cambridge my loving mother and tender nurse! If I should not acknowledge thy manifold benefits, yea, if I should not for thy benefits at the least love thee again, truly I were to be accounted too ungrate and unkind. What benefits hadst thou ever, that thou usest to give and bestow upon thy best beloved children, that thou thoughtest too good for me ?' (fn. 164)
The reign of Queen Mary was not, however, merely a time of unsettlement and persecution. The number of those taking degrees increased, (fn. 165) and in 1557 Gonville Hall was refounded as Gonville and Caius College. (fn. 166) After Gardiner's death Cardinal Pole became Chancellor, and the University was submitted to another visitation carried out by his commissioners. The chief visitor, Cuthbert Scot, Bishop of Chester, with four others, was in Cambridge in January and February 1557, examining the heads and fellows of the Colleges, inquiring whether the proper church ceremonies were maintained, and burning heretical books. (fn. 167) Their most noteworthy action was the condemnation of Bucer and Fagius as heretics, the two deceased reformers being 'taken up owt of their graves and about ix of the clock brent in the market place and a cart lode of Bookes with them'. (fn. 168) Before they left the commissioners proclaimed a new set of statutes, generally known as those of Cardinal Pole. These were meant merely to be provisional until a general reform of the statutes could be undertaken, and, as they were not in force for long, they do not need very detailed examination. Their main interest lies in the way in which they prefigure the Elizabethan statutes of 1570 by the increased authority which they give to the heads of houses. (fn. 169) It was provided that, in electing the Vice-Chancellor, the heads, the doctors in all faculties, and the bachelors of divinity should name two candidates of whom the regents were to choose one. (fn. 170) Similarly the regents were to choose ordinary lecturers from two nominations made by the ViceChancellor and the heads. (fn. 171) Graces could, in the normal course, be passed only at four congregations a year. The persons appointed as the Caput were to remain in office for a whole year, and to have a negative voice. (fn. 172) This important institution had existed in the Middle Ages, and there are further references to it in the first half of the 16th century. It consisted of the Vice-Chancellor and of some five other persons whose approval was necessary before graces could be submitted to the Senate. (fn. 173) In 1547 the monastic doctor who had earlier been a member had been replaced by the public orator. (fn. 174) Others among Pole's statutes provided for the preservation of the purity of the Roman Catholic faith and for the proper performance of the divine offices, while in the regulations for public lectures and disputations no important changes were made. (fn. 175)
Queen Mary and Cardinal Pole died within a few hours of one another. As Pole's successor in the chancellorship the University chose Sir William Cecil, Secretary of State to the new queen, who held office until his death in 1598. He was himself a member of St. John's and the most prominent of the exceptionally large number of Cambridge men who held high office during the Elizabethan period, among them being three successive archbishops of Canterbury, Matthew Parker, Edmund Grindal, and John Whitgift. The change of monarch brought about another sharp change in the direction of university policy. Another royal commission was appointed; many of the heads were displaced, and the Edwardian statutes restored. (fn. 176) Several of the events of the following years illustrate the triumph of Protestantism. In 1560 Bucer and Fagius were solemnly restored to their honours, under the same Vice-Chancellor, Andrew Perne, in whose former term of office their bodies had been burnt. (fn. 177) In 1564/5 the grace book records arrangements for the sale of the 'vestimentes, crosse, sensors, cruetes and other superstitious monumentes' belonging to the University, (fn. 178) and in 1570 the ancient office of university chaplain was abolished since all its duties had been swept away as popish. (fn. 179) In August 1564 the queen visited Cambridge, and there were five days of high pageant and festivity—visits to the Colleges, orations, plays, and disputations, with all of which Elizabeth was much pleased. (fn. 180)
However, the life of the University was not as placid as it seemed in days of royal progress and summer weather. Cecil, in making preparations for the queen's visit, had warned the heads of the colleges that 'order should be diligently kept of all sorts; and that uniformity should be shown in apparel and religion, especially in setting of the communion table'. (fn. 181) Already there was much discontent with the established system of religion. More and more, theological studies and doctrinal controversy were becoming dominant in the University–far more so, in fact, than they had been in the Middle Ages–and the extreme Protestants, who were not satisfied with the Anglican settlement of 1559, were becoming more powerful and vociferous. Early Puritanism, like early Protestantism, was an academic movement, centred on the University of Cambridge. The trouble began, throughout England, over the wearing of the prescribed vestments. In 1566 Archbishop Parker issued his Advertisements, requiring the use of the surplice in church and of the gown and square cap as the outdoor dress of the clergy. (fn. 182) The rumour that such measures were impending led a group of prominent residents to write to Cecil in November 1565, protesting against any such step as being likely to drive away from the University many pious and learned men. Among the signatories were John Whitgift, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and later Archbishop of Canterbury, and Matthew Hutton, Master of Pembroke and Regius Professor of Divinity, later Archbishop of York, but two of the others, Robert Beaumont, Master of Trinity, and Richard Longworth, Master of St. John's, were heads of definitely Puritan sympathies. (fn. 183) The last-named College was at the time the chief centre of Puritan feeling, and only a few days after the above-mentioned letter had been written, the greater part of the College came to chapel without surplices, the Master being away at the time, and continued so to come after his return. Cecil was deeply touched both as Johnian and as Chancellor, 'with this leud leprosy of libertines', and ordered the ViceChancellor and heads to see to the proper maintenance of order in externals. In addition, the Master was summoned to London and forced to acknowledge publicly that he had permitted infringements of the proper order to continue and to promise that he would see to the enforcement of the law in future. (fn. 184)
The troubles did not end with Longworth's recantation. In 1567 there were similar difficulties at Trinity, (fn. 185) and in 1569 there were dissensions at Corpus–in the course of which Parker ran into the problem of the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical commissioners over the University—about the use of Latin prayers in the chapel services, some of the fellows saying that 'Latin service was the Pope's dregs'. (fn. 186) Naturally, as Puritan feeling rose, life became more difficult for the conservative moderates who had conformed in 1559. One of these was John Caius, second founder and Master of his College; (fn. 187) another was Philip Baker, Provost of King's, who had been in trouble in 1565 with the Visitor of the College, the Bishop of Lincoln, for his Romanist sympathies. In 1569 he was accused both of misgovernment and of secret Roman Catholicism, and, when a royal commission was sent to the College, he fled. (fn. 188) As the line between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism grew sharper, English Catholics were more and more forced to seek their education in foreign universities or in the English colleges abroad, the first of which was founded by William Allen at Douai in 1568. (fn. 189)
The men of Provost Baker's opinions were in a minority in Cambridge, though a minority which it is too easy to forget. The real struggle for control lay between Puritan and Conformist, which meant about 1570 almost a struggle between two men, Thomas Cartwright and John Whitgift. Both of them were Trinity men, members of a College which was just assuming the great position in the University which it has held ever since. Cartwright, after a period as a fellow of St. John's, had returned to Trinity in 1562 as a major fellow. In 1565–6 he had been in Ireland, but in 1567 he proceeded B.D., was appointed university preacher (1567–8), and achieved great success with his sermons. (fn. 190) In 1567 Whitgift, after a short period as Master of Pembroke, became Master of Trinity. His own sympathies were strongly Protestant—he had, for instance, signed the letter of 1565 to Cecil about vestments—but he was pre-eminently an administrator and a disciplinarian who was repelled by the disorder so closely connected with the Puritan agitation and concerned about the disturbance of academic studies which it brought with it. (fn. 191) As early as 1564 he had been a signatory to a letter to Cecil asking that, in order to prevent faction and contention, the heads of houses should name two candidates for the vice-chancellorship, of whom the regents should choose one, as provided in the Marian statutes. (fn. 192) The resistance to Puritanism was therefore very closely bound up with the reassertion of university discipline; it was controlled by a sense of danger that 'if fear shall not stay this riotous insolency, these rash young heads that are so soon ripe to climb into pulpits, will content themselves with no limits, either in the church or in the policy', as Cecil had written in 1565. (fn. 193) Thus the reaction against Puritanism had constitutional implications and it is not surprising that one of its chief landmarks was the statutes of 1570.
In 1569 Cartwright was elected to the Lady Margaret chair of divinity, and his lectures on the first two chapters of Acts at once raised a storm. (fn. 194) He attacked the institutions of archbishops, deans, archdeacons, and chancellors as they existed in the church of England; he demanded that all ministers should be attached to a definite congregation, which should have a say in choosing them. He was in fact demanding that the whole hierarchy should be swept away, and the organization of the church transformed into the Presbyterian model. The controversy had now moved from the comparatively unimportant issue of vestments to the fundamental question of church polity. The official party in the University was naturally alarmed. William Chaderton, President of Queens', wrote to the Chancellor, warning him that Cartwright's doctrines were 'pernitious and not tollerable for a christian commonwealth', (fn. 195) and even the moderate pro-Puritan Grindal, Archbishop of York, advised that Cartwright and his adherents should be silenced, and Cartwright himself be refused his doctor's degree at the forthcoming Commencement. (fn. 196) When Cecil wrote to the Vice-Chancellor, John Mey, Master of Catharine Hall, and the other heads, they answered that they were carefully considering the whole problem. On 29 June 1570 a congregation met which had to vote the supplicat for Cartwright's degree. Before the grace could be submitted, it needed the approval of the Caput, which was then newly appointed at the beginning of each congregation, and Cartwright's friends, knowing that the heads proposed to stop his degree, vetoed for the Caput the names of the heads who were supposed to be hostile to him. However, Mey took upon himself the sole responsibility as ViceChancellor, and refused to admit Cartwright to the doctorate. This produced a burst of resentful feeling, and the Chancellor was bombarded with letters from both sides. Cartwright seems to have made a good impression on Cecil, who was inclined to temporize, though the heads felt sufficiently encouraged in their course to sequester Cartwright's salary and suspend him from lecturing.
From their point of view the crisis was constitutional as well as religious. The fears of the unchecked democracy of the regents which some of the heads had already expressed a few years before, (fn. 197) must have been accentuated by the events of the summer. Whitgift now came forward as the advocate of new statutes which should strengthen the powers of the heads of houses, and, having sought the advice of the Chancellor, was advised by him to confer with some of the other Masters of colleges. A new code was compiled by Whitgift, with the assistance, among others, of John Mey and Andrew Perne, and, after having been sent both to Cecil and to Parker, received the royal assent in September 1570. (fn. 198) With this behind them, the heads could take the offensive. Whitgift, as the first Vice-Chancellor elected under the new order, and sitting with several other heads of houses, deprived Cartwright of his chair in December 1570 after he had refused to recant his teachings. (fn. 199) Two years later (September 1572) Whitgift, as Master of the College, deprived him of his Trinity fellowship for not having taken priest's orders within the specified time. (fn. 200) The remainder of Cartwright's career forms no part of Cambridge history, but the movement, of which he was the first great leader, was only at the beginning of its influence in the University.
The changes so speedily carried out in 1570, though not unpremeditated in previous years, worked a fundamental revolution in academic government. Their essential characteristic was that they put supreme control of affairs into the hands of an oligarchy consisting of the Vice-Chancellor and the heads of houses. (fn. 201) The heads were now to submit to the regents and non-regents two candidates, one of whom was to be elected as Vice-Chancellor, (fn. 202) and they had similar powers in the election of lecturers, bedells, and minor officials. (fn. 203) Their assent was necessary before the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor could expel a scholar or imprison a doctor or head of a house. (fn. 204) In their own Colleges they had to consent in all elections and in all grants and leases. (fn. 205) They had the power of interpreting whatever might be ambiguous in the new statutes. (fn. 206) They had considerable influence over the reformed and strengthened Caput which was an important part of the new arrangements. This was now to be composed of the Vice-Chancellor, a doctor from each of the three higher faculties, a regent and a non-regent M.A., and was to be appointed for a year at a time, each of its members having a complete veto over the submission of graces to the Senate. The members were to be chosen by the heads, the doctors, and the scrutators out of lists prepared by the Vice-Chancellor and the proctors. (fn. 207) Previously the Caput had been appointed for a single congregation only; under the new system it had extensive power to control university business throughout the whole of its period of office. The powers of the proctors, who had formerly been the chief administrative officers of the University, were drastically reduced. They lost their former authority over the times and subjects of public lectures and disputations, their power to imprison scholars, their right to suspend gremials from their votes and from taking degrees, and their control over finance. They were now to be nominated according to a cycle of colleges, and the regents were required to elect such persons as were thus nominated unless there was genuine cause of complaint against them. (fn. 208) A statute of 1514 had already set out a similar composition for the appointment of proctors according to a cycle, but neither the statutes of 1549 nor of 1559 make reference to anything but a simple election by the regents as in medieval times. (fn. 209) The statutes governing studies and disputations were left in much the same state as before, though the conditions of graduation for higher degrees were made severer. Graces for dispensations from the requirements for degrees, which had earlier been freely given, were forbidden. (fn. 210) The period of regency was extended to five years. (fn. 211)
The code raised much discontent in Cambridge. In May 1572 a petition signed by 164 members of the University was drawn up which complained of all the major changes outlined above. (fn. 212) The petitioners objected to the new method of elections. They attacked the new system of appointing the Caput, since, in earlier times, 'the accustomed choice of the head was in the election of the bodie every congregation', whereas, under the new plan, 'the whole assigninge of the head remaineth in a fewe'. (fn. 213) They objected to the negative voice given to heads of colleges in college business, to their power of deciding on the fitness of the proctors and taxors, and to their authority to interpret the statutes. They urged that all these changes 'abrogate all oure anciente priveleges and taketh away all freedom of our voyces which are given upon our othes and establisheth an unreasonable jurisdiction'. (fn. 214) They complained too of the arbitrary behaviour of the heads and of the check to freedom of opinion imposed by open scrutinies since men feared to oppose their 'heavie indignation'. (fn. 215) This document elicited, in the 16thcentury manner, an 'answer' from the heads, and that in turn a 'reply to the answer' from the petitioners. The last adds nothing much to the first set of arguments, except by saying that the University had shown its disapproval by 'denieing thankes to the queene and our Chancellor' for the new statutes. (fn. 216) The answer by the heads, a somewhat bad-tempered production, reflects chiefly upon the dangers arising from the disobedience and fractiousness of the younger men. It is clear both from this and from other documents that the heads' main opponents were John Beacon and Arthur Puresye, the proctors, who had publicly attacked both them and the new statutes, and were accused of insolent behaviour towards the Vice-Chancellor. (fn. 217) Burghley himself was too busy to weigh up all this mass of argument and counter-argument, and he remitted the decision to Archbishops Parker and Grindal and Bishops Sandys and Coxe, who heard both sides and decided, at the end of May 1572, that the statutes should stand. They recognized that the proctors had sought to have changed what they thought amiss in them, but this alteration had been sought by the younger men 'by disordred meanes, and namelie in going from college to college to seke subscription of names, without the license of the Vice-Chancellor'. (fn. 218) Soon after this Beacon tried to prevent the appointment of lecturers on the ground that not all the heads or presidents of colleges had taken part as the Chancellor had ordered, but Burghley wrote sharply that he had given no such order, that the election of lecturers was to proceed, and that the proctor was to be sent to Westminster if contumacious. (fn. 219) However, in September 1572, Burghley wrote that in future elections of lecturers the presidents should be called in if the Masters of their Colleges were absent. (fn. 220) After this had been settled the active opposition to the statutes died down, though there was an attempt in 1580, which the Chancellor disallowed, to limit the statutory powers of the heads over elections. (fn. 221)
The story of the statutes of 1570 has been told in considerable detail because those statutes provide the constitutional framework for university life to the middle of the 19th century. The years which followed their enactment were years of transition. In 1573 John Caius died, having not long survived the bonfire of his vestments and church ornaments which took place the previous year. (fn. 222) In 1575 he was followed by Matthew Parker, a great benefactor to the University as well as to his own College, for he had opened up University Street, later called Regent Walk, as a new entrance to the schools, and had presented valuable books to the library. (fn. 223) In 1577 Whitgift left Cambridge on his appointment to the see of Worcester. He had been strict, but successful, a noteworthy Master of his College, and an administrator who had left a deep mark on the whole University. (fn. 224) In the years following his departure numbers were growing, and the University was in a flourishing state. (fn. 225) Although both he and Cartwright had left Cambridge, the conflict over the nature and order of the church still loomed large in men's minds, and much of the academic history of the succeeding years is made up of theological wrangles. Among the Colleges St. John's was still prominent for its Puritanism. John Still, Master 1574–7, had many difficulties with refractory fellows, (fn. 226) and in 1590 the Master, William Whitaker, and the fellows are found writing to the Chancellor, denying that a presbytery had been set up in the College. (fn. 227) Whitaker himself had Puritan leanings, and on his death in 1595 there was a sharp division between puritan and anti-puritan factions among the fellows. The former party was accused by their opponents of failing to observe the proper order of the church, of suffering a conventicle of Cartwright and his friends to meet in the College, and of pestering 'oure howse with unlearned puritanes picked out of the whole Universitie and scholemasters out of the country'. (fn. 228) The fellows were finally ordered to elect their master from two royal nominees, and Richard Clayton, the man chosen, steered the College decidedly away from its old Puritan sympathies. (fn. 229)
By the end of the century Christ's and Emmanuel had become the most Puritan of Cambridge foundations, but men with similar sympathies were to be found in many places, and the more extreme of them felt the lash of authority. In 1573 William Charke, Fellow of Peterhouse, was expelled from the University for a sermon against episcopacy; though Burghley tried to save him, the heads held firm. (fn. 230) In the same year there was further trouble at Corpus, where the master, Thomas Aldrich, who had the Puritan dislike of academic degrees, refused to take his B.D. as the college statutes required. To Parker he seemed 'an heade precisian in despising of the degrees of thuniversytie, and a grete mayntener of Mr. Cartwright'. (fn. 231) Just as in 1569, the Archbishop and the ecclesiastical commissioners ran foul of the University's claim of privilege, (fn. 232) but finally the heads referred the matter to Parker, and Aldrich resigned. (fn. 233) In 1584 there was trouble when the newly re-established university press printed a translation of Travers's Disciplina, advocating the Presbyterian form of church government; as Whitgift lamented to Burghley, 'ever sens I hard that they had a printer in Chambridg I dyd greatlie feare that this and such like inconveniences wold follow. . .'. (fn. 234) At the end of the same decade (January 1589) came the celebrated case of Cuthbert Bainbridge and Francis Johnson, two fellows of Christ's, who were summoned before the Vice-Chancellor and heads for preaching sermons against the government of the church. Having refused to answer certain questions upon oath, they were imprisoned for a considerable time; as they complained to Burghley, they had been committed to gaol, not for what they had said, 'but onely because we did not yeeld to take a corporall oath to deliver the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, of that we spake in our publike sermons, and thereby to accuse our selves.' (fn. 235) All the Puritans disliked this use of the oath ex officio mero as being both harsh and unfair, but the heads clearly felt that their prisoners represented a strong group, which was subversive of the established order and which needed strong measures to repress it. (fn. 236) Bainbridge was released on making some form of recantation, (fn. 237) but the proceedings against Johnson went on, and clearly roused considerable feeling. In October 1589 he was expelled from the University, was refused leave to appeal, and, when he declined to leave Cambridge, was again imprisoned. This led to a petition to Burghley from 61 fellows of colleges protesting against the Vice-Chancellor's conduct. (fn. 238) Several of the heads were sympathetic with the prisoner, and one of them, Whitaker of St. John's, wrote to the Chancellor, remonstrating against interference with liberty of appeals. (fn. 239) A letter of February 1590 from the Vice-Chancellor to Burghley shows that Johnson's friends had stirred up considerable agitation, and he clearly had much support. (fn. 240) He was finally released and withdrew to Holland; later in life he became an Independent. (fn. 241)
Even in a Puritan college like Christ's there were not many men who got into serious trouble, and in the aggregate the great mass of Puritan sympathizers who never got into a cause célèbre had far greater influence than the few members of the party who did. The Puritan tradition at Christ's perhaps began with Edward Dering, who, but for his early death in 1576, might have been the leader of the whole party. (fn. 242) One of the fruits of this tradition was what Professor Haller has called 'spiritual preaching', the proclamation of 'the word in plain English to the plain people', (fn. 243) which sprang up in the University about the time of Cartwright's expulsion and spread all over the country where there were groups of sympathizers. Among the early leaders were many Christ's men. Richard Rogers of Wethersfield (Essex) is known by his private journal. (fn. 244) Lawrence Chaderton was first Master of the Puritan foundation of Emmanuel and the moving spirit behind Emmanuel's long succession of Puritan divines. (fn. 245) William Perkins (d. 1602) and Paul Baynes (d. 1617), lecturers in succession at St. Andrew's the Great, Cambridge, were the leading Puritan pulpit orators in the town at the turn of the century. (fn. 246) 'Consider', wrote Samuel Ward in 1602, 'the great blow given unto the gospell of Christ by the death of Mr. Perkins, who by his doctrine and life did much good to the youth of the University . . .'. (fn. 247) Not of course that Christ's had a monopoly of the spiritual preachers. The movement was encouraged by the foundation of Emmanuel (1584) and of Sidney Sussex Colleges (1596), both of them established expressly for the training of a preaching ministry; (fn. 248) indeed, in the early 17th century Emmanuel replaced Christ's as the principal nursery of Cambridge Puritanism. (fn. 249)
By that time, however, there were signs of the appearance of a new High Church and anti-Calvinist party. Whatever may have been the views of Elizabethan churchmen about the Calvinist system of church government, all of them accepted Calvin's theory of grace and his doctrine of predestination. In Cambridge the reaction against his theology began with Peter Baro, a French refugee, who had been Lady Margaret Professor since 1574, and who had been opposing the strict predestinarian view in the 1580's. (fn. 250) In 1595 William Barrett, Fellow of Caius, preached in St. Mary's against the Calvinist doctrine and inveighed against the great Calvinist reformers. This let loose the storm. Barrett was summoned before the heads and forced to recant, (fn. 251) though he was deemed to have done this in an impudent and irreverent manner. The matter was brought before Archbishop Whitgift, and there grew out of it something of a controversy between him and the heads, not so much over doctrine as over the question of authority to deal with the matter in dispute. Finally the problem was referred officially to the archbishop, and Barrett was persuaded to revoke his errors. (fn. 252) Later he left England and joined the church of Rome. (fn. 253) The main result of the case was the issue by Whitgift—acting with the advice of Humphry Tyndal, President of Queens', and William Whitaker, Master of St. John's, who was also regius professor of divinity—of the strongly Calvinistic Lambeth Articles. These were soon (December 1595) withdrawn by royal order as issued solely by the archbishop's authority. (fn. 254) Soon after, in January 1596, they were treated by Baro in a sermon in a way which gave great offence to the Calvinist party. (fn. 255) He had already been under suspicion, (fn. 256) and he seemed now to be stirring up controversy anew. Though no proceedings were taken against him, he did not seek reappointment to his chair, which was held on a two-year tenure, and left Cambridge. (fn. 257) Burghley had been sympathetic towards him, and he had a small but important group of sympathizers in the University; among them were John Overall, Whitaker's successor in the regius chair, later Bishop of Norwich, Samuel Harsnett, later Archbishop of York, and Lancelot Andrewes, Master of Pembroke and later Bishop of Winchester. It was men such as these who 'not only led the revulsion against dominant Calvinism, but introduced a more mature conception of the position of the English Church, based upon the appeal to Scripture and the principles of the undivided Church'. (fn. 258)
Although religious controversies make up so much of the story of 16th-century Cambridge, the other aspects of its life must not be forgotten. Relations between town and gown followed their usual troubled course, although the position of the University grew relatively stronger. In 1561 a new royal charter granted enlarged privileges. The Mayor and Sheriff were commanded to receive into custody all persons committed by the Vice-Chancellor since there had been complaints that they had refused to receive such persons or had released them. The court of the Chancellor was given power to hear all pleas and breaches of the peace, except mayhem and felony, in which a privileged person was party, and was made a court of record, with power to proceed either ex officio or at the suit of the parties, the royal justices being ordered to make allowance for all their pleas. Members of the University and privileged persons were to be exempt from all musters, and their horses were not to be taken for the king's use. The Vice-Chancellor, Masters and Scholars were made clerks of the market in the town and at the fairs, and were to punish forestallers and regrators and to destroy unwholesome victuals. The University was given power to appoint twelve preachers who were to need no other licence. The Chancellor or his deputy was empowered to claim a privileged person indicted for felony within the town or county of Cambridge, and to try him, by his steward, before a jury, half of privileged and half of unprivileged persons. Members of the University and privileged persons were exempted from all royal taxes, except the annual subsidy of £10 for the assize of bread. (fn. 259) This charter was confirmed, together with all other grants, by the Act of parliament of 1571 which incorporated both universities. (fn. 260) In the latter part of the reign there was a recrudescence of disputes over all the familiar themes, (fn. 261) with the usual battery of charges and countercharges, accusations and denials, descending on the Chancellor of the University and others in authority. Throughout Elizabeth's reign the town had been anxious to secure a grant of Sturbridge Fair, (fn. 262) but the University was highly suspicious of anything which might weaken its position or impair its privileges. (fn. 263) Finally in 1589 the two parties came to an agreement. By royal charter the town was confirmed in the grant of the fair and the University in its privileges at the fair. Further the persons entitled to university privilege as scholars' servants were redefined; among those included were college butchers, bakers, brewers, and gardeners, 'he who times the university clock; one pewterer, who may examine and mend the vessels of colleges; one keeper of the university library; and one plumber who shall serve the use of the University'. (fn. 264)
The steadily increasing prosperity of the Elizabethan period, which continued under the Stuarts, more than made good the losses of the middle years of the century. The numbers in the Colleges rose considerably. At the time of the queen's visit in 1564 they were about 1,200; (fn. 265) Caius in 1573 reckoned them to be over 1,800; (fn. 266) at the end of the reign there were nearly 2,000 students, (fn. 267) while the number of those proceeding to the B.A. degree increased in proportion even more, from 60 in 1560 to 277 in 1583. (fn. 268) The increasing vigour of the University was shown, in other ways, for example by the reestablishment of the university press in 1583 and by the growth in the latter part of the century of the university library, which had suffered badly during the Reformation period. (fn. 269) In an age of rising prices the Colleges were materially helped by an Act of 1576, often called Sir Thomas Smith's Act after its supposed author, providing that in all new leases granted by Colleges the lessee should be obliged to pay one-third of the rent in corn or malt, such wheat to be valued at 6s. 8d. a quarter or less and malt at 5s. a quarter or less, or in default of this the current price of such corn or malt in the market. As prices rose, so these payments in kind became much more valuable and the college revenues profited, 'without which happie helpe', it was later written, 'the Colledges had, many of them, bene left forsaken by theire studentes long ere this'. (fn. 270) But before the help was given, rising costs and financial crisis had already done much damage: not least in their legacy of imprudent financial expedients; and matters were made worse by the corruption which, in an unscrupulous age, clogged the administration of all endowments, and by shameless demands for favours from great men and courtiers. Parliament had to legislate against abuses in the grant of college leases, limiting them to 21 years or three lives (1571, 1576), (fn. 271) and another Act of 1589 endeavoured to repress the purchase and sale of fellowships and scholarships, though these practices still continued. (fn. 272) Another problem which gave much trouble at this time was the habit of sending royal letters mandatory for the nomination of fellows and scholars. In 1579 Burghley wrote, in answer to a protest by the heads, that the queen's recommendations were never meant to violate election statutes or to cause the choice of unsuitable persons. (fn. 273) However, in the following decade, Perne and the fellows of Peterhouse were still resisting similar interference. (fn. 274)
One important change which had taken place during the century was the disappearance of the hostels, a development which had resulted chiefly from the growth of colleges in numbers and in wealth. (fn. 275) Thus, in the earlier grace books, the hostels are quite frequently mentioned; in Grace Book [delta] there does not seem to be a single reference to them. (fn. 276) St. Nicholas' Hostel must have been one of the very last. It is mentioned in the Edwardian injunctions of 1549, and John Meers dined there in 1556. (fn. 277) The disappearance of the hostels, together with the increasing number of students, explains why, at the end of the century, building operations were going on in many of the Colleges. (fn. 278) Their growing architectural splendour was a natural reflection of their growing predominance. By the end of the century they contained all the students. Their heads, under the Elizabethan statutes, formed a privileged oligarchy which had the final control over university business, while the powers of the regents had been drastically reduced. After the foundation of Sidney Sussex the number of colleges remained the same until the foundation of Downing in 1800, and the university and college statutes for an even longer period were little changed. The University was tending more and more to become the loose federation of Colleges which it remained until the 19th-century reforms. For more than two and a half centuries it had no constitutional history, however much the spirit animating the forms might, and did, change with changing circumstances.
A parallel development had taken place in the teaching system. In the Middle Ages this had depended chiefly on the lectures of the regent masters, though already in the 15th century some colleges were beginning to instruct their members themselves. In the 16th century the decline in numbers had reduced the fees which the regents could expect, while the growth of the Colleges led to their taking a much more prominent share in teaching than they had done before. With the foundation of the regius professorships the holders of those chairs came to be responsible for the superior instruction of the students, while the more elementary work, which had fallen previously to the regents, now became the work of the college tutor. It was the statutes of Trinity, first framed in the reign of Edward VI, which, Dean Peacock wrote, 'gave the first complete example of this separation of domestic and collegiate, from academical, public, and professional instruction'. (fn. 279) The tutor, who has played so prominent a part in Cambridge life ever since, has been well defined as 'a fellow of the college who is to be responsible for his pupils' expenses, to explain to him what he has to do and to learn, and, in return, is to be treated by him with filial obedience and respect'. (fn. 280) The office appears in all the college statutes after the Clare statutes of 1551, (fn. 281) though, as yet, each tutor superintended only some half-dozen students or less and his duties were loosely defined. (fn. 282) Robert Norgate, Master of Corpus 1573–87, has left an account of the teaching in that college. The normal daily routine consisted of three lectures. The first at 6 a.m. after morning prayers dealt with '1 Aristotle's Natural Philosophy. 2 Aristotle's Organon. 3 Seton'. The second at 12 was on Greek, construction 'as Homer or Demosthenes or Hesiod or Isocrates' and grammar. The third at 3 p.m. was a rhetoric lecture 'of some part of Tully'. In addition, on Wednesdays and Fridays after morning prayers, 'one of the fellows in his order handleth some place of the scripture, whereupon he taketh occasion to entreat of some common place of doctrine . . .'. On some days there were exercises in the afternoons after lectures: on Mondays 'the scholars' sophism', on Thursdays 'a problem for the bachelors of arts and general sophisters', on Fridays 'the dean keepeth corrections' followed by 'the fellows' problem in divinity', and on Saturdays at 6 o'clock after supper two bachelors or two scholars declaimed. (fn. 283)
The concept of what college teaching existed to do was also changing with the growing number of pensioners. In the Middle Ages the universities existed primarily to train clerics. In Tudor times academic life was profoundly affected by the Renaissance idea of the education of a gentleman, as expressed in England in books like Ascham's Scholemaster. Though there had been well-to-do young men at Cambridge in the later Middle Ages, (fn. 284) in the 16th century they became far more numerous, as the plaints of men like Latimer bear witness. (fn. 285) Naturally the sons of noble and gentle families came to the University with very different ideas from those of the medieval clerk. They came to be trained for their future lives as men of affairs, and their needs had to be superimposed on the older academic, clerical tradition. (fn. 286) In 1574 Caius reckoned that the total number of pensioners was 778, between one-half and one-third of the total number of residents. (fn. 287) In 1584 the admission registers of his own College show that many of the undergraduates were the sons of esquires or of gentlemen. (fn. 288)
Thus the Colleges and the University were coming to deal to a large extent with young men, many of whom had no directly academic bent, and whose needs were very different from those which were traditionally provided for. For their purposes, the university curricula were not very suitably arranged. The Elizabethan statutes had been adapted to the needs of persons continually resident in Cambridge until they had taken their doctorate, which, in the case of the divinity degree, meant a period of nineteen years. The residence of B.A.s until they took their M.A. degree and the five years' regency seem to have been evaded from the first. The statutes had forbidden dispensations from the requirements of time and form, thus making it impossible for many graduates who might be expected to take the higher degrees to comply with the very strict conditions for obtaining them. As a result Burghley sanctioned a modification of this statute permitting graduates who were engaged in important ecclesiastical or civil functions elsewhere to receive dispensations (1575). (fn. 289) In 1608 a statutory interpretation by the Vice-Chancellor and heads formally allowed bachelors to escape the residence of nine terms before proceeding M.A., urging that this indulgence had frequently been permitted in the past, and also that young men could only maintain themselves 'by serving of cures and teaching of schools, to follow their books in the country'. (fn. 290) All these important modifications of the statutes were, in fact, recognitions of the differing needs of students of many different classes and types, and also of the close connexion between the life of the University and the demands of the outside world.
The content of the university course of study had also been little altered by the statutes of 1570, though here too changes crept in. The study of grammar had vanished in the middle of the century. (fn. 291) Grace Book [gamma] records 36 inceptors and one bachelor in grammar between 1501–2 and 1539–40, who had generally spent part of their time in study and part in actual teaching. (fn. 292) In Grace Book [delta] there are two inceptors only, the last in 1547–8. (fn. 293) The names of the bachelors and masters of arts were recorded in the Ordo Senioritatis, which much later, probably in the 18th century, became an order of merit, though some account was probably taken of intellectual superiority in drawing up the lists in the 16th century. (fn. 294) Of the higher studies it will already be clear that theology was the most prominent. It had far outdistanced Greek and Hebrew, which had attracted so much attention at the beginning of the century, and which were comparatively neglected at the end. (fn. 295) Apart from theology, logic was much favoured, and Cambridge studies in that subject were profoundly influenced by the ideas of the Frenchman, Peter Ramus, a trenchant critic of traditional Aristotelianism. (fn. 296) Among the higher faculties, canon law had disappeared with the royal injunctions of 1535, though it had a very brief revival under Mary. (fn. 297) Civil law, which had in general languished, revived at the end of the century, probably as the result of the ability and learning of John Cowell, who became regius professor in 1594. (fn. 298) Medicine steadily grew in importance. Grace Book [gamma] records only one doctor, one bachelor, and eight licentiates; Grace Book [delta] records 124 degrees, including 63 M.D.s. (fn. 299) John Caius ought to be remembered here as student at Padua, where he came under the influence of the great anatomist, Vesalius, as physician to Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I, and as being chiefly responsible for introducing the study of anatomy into England. (fn. 300) Another prominent Cambridge medical man of the time was William Gilbert, Fellow of St. John's, who has been called 'the first English modern scientist'. (fn. 301) His scientific work, however, was all done in London, as was William Harvey's later. (fn. 302)