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321 COURT OF ST JOHNS COLLEGE.
ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSITY.
CAMBRIDGE, which takes its name from the river Cam, or Granta, and the bridge over it, (for we often find it called in history both Cambridge and Grantbridge,) is situate in 52°.12.50". north latitude, and 52 miles north of London, and has for many centuries been distinguished as the seat of a celebrated University.
The origin of this illustrious seat of learning has been the subject of much controversy, and no little erudition has been expended upon
It was formerly contended that it existed as an University at least 600 years before the Christian era, that it was founded by Cantaber, a fugitive prince from Spain, and that Anaximander and Anaxagoras came to this place and taught philosophy. Later writers have with more probability regarded Sigebert,
King of the East Angles, as the first who fostered learning in this place. To this he is said to have been advised, as well as to very many other works of piety, by St. Felix, the first Bishop of Dunwich, who presided over the Churches of East Anglia from A. D. 630, to his decease in A. D. 638.
Previously to the Conquest, the University, together with the town, experienced various reverses from the troublous and unsettled character of the times. In the beginning of the 12th century, it was considerably advanced in the learning of that age by some monks who were sent hither by the Abbot of Croyland, from his manor of Cottenham. Their plan of study was drawn from the University of Orleans. From the 11th to the 16th century, Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, the Civil and Canon Law, Divinity, and Natural Philosophy on the Aristotelian method, were cultivated at Cambridge. For a long period the University studies did not cease, as now, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, but an attendance upon public lectures, together with regular acts and opponencies in the schools, were required for each succeeding degree.
The students dwelt at first as lodgers in the houses of the burgesses, until the extortions of the latter caused the erection of hostels, in which the scholars lived under the superintendence of a Principal, but at their own cost. The great Religious Orders had each their houses for the students of their respective communities. Some of these hostels