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This Society consists of a Master, twelve Fellows, a Mathematical Lecturer, and twenty-two Scholars, besides several Exhibitioners. The Fellowships on the foundation are perfectly open. Six Benefices are in the patronage of the College. Visitor, Sir John Shelley Sidney, Bart. the heir of the Foundress; but in some cases, the Vice-Chancellor, and two senior Doctors in Divinity ; in others, the ViceChancellor, and the Masters of Christ's and Emmanuel Colleges, are appointed Visitors by the. Statutes.
DOWNING COLLEGE *
Was founded in pursuance of the will of Sir George Downing, Bart. K.B., of Gamlingay Park, in this county. This gentleman, in the year 1717, devised several valuable estates, in the counties of Cambridge, Bedford, and Suffolk, to his nearest relations, Sir Jacob Gerrard Downing and his three sons; with remainder to their issue in succession, and in case they all died without issue, he devised the estates to trustees, who, with the approbation of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Masters of St. John's and Clare Hall, were to found a College within the precincts of this University, to be called Downing College. The testator died in the
* The Porter's Lodge is at the north-east corner of the quadrangle.
1749, and his property descended to Sir Jacob, who, on the death of his sons without issue, in his life-time, became sole inheritor, and at his decease, in 1764, bequeathed his possessions to his lady ; but the estates, devised by Sir George Downing, were claimed by the University for the use of the proposed College.
The validity of the original will immediately became a subject of legal inquiry; but, after many years' litigation, was at length established ; and the
1 Charter for the incorporation of the new College, having been fully examined by the Privy Council, and approved by his Majesty, the great seal was affixed to it by the Lord Chancellor (Loughborough), on the 22nd of September, 1800. By this charter the College is empowered to hold landed property to the value of 1500l. per annum, in addition to the estates devised by the founder. Thus privileged, the trustees immediately sought a proper situation for the new College; and, at length, obtained for the purpose, St. Thomas's Leys, a piece of ground of about thirty acres, situated between Emmanuel and Pembroke Colleges, at the southeast entrance of the town. The first stone of Downing College was laid, with great solemnity and state, by the Master, Dr. Annesley, attended by the University in procession, on the 18th of May, 1807 ; the following inscription, engraved on a brass plate, was let into the foundation-stone:
COLLEGIVM . DOWNINGENSE
IN . ACADEMIA. CANTABRIGIÆ
TESTAMENTO . DESIGNAVIT
OPIBVSQVE MVNIFICE INSTRVXIT
ANNO . SALVTIS . M.D.CC.XVII
GEORGIVS TERTIVS . OPTIMVS. PRINCEPS
MAGISTER PROFESSORES ET • SOCII,
ANGLICANI ET, MEDICINA SCIENTIAM
ET . AD. RECTAM, JVVENTUTIS. INGENVÆ
DISCIPLINAM , PROMOVENDAM
So much of this College as has been hitherto built, has been executed after the designs of Wm. Wilkins, Esq. M. A. in the Grecian style of architecture. It is to consist of one spacious quadrangle, entirely faced with Ketton stone. The west and east sides of the square, containing the Hall, the Combinationroom, the Master's Lodge, the residences of the two Professors, and apartments for the Fellows, are already completed. The Master's Lodge and the Hall form the wings of the grand south-front, and are adorned with porticoes, &c. of the Ionic order. The capitals of the pillars, and the other architectural ornaments, are richly sculptured. The centre building of this front will comprise the Chapel and
Library; the remainder of the quadrangle will be appropriated to the apartments of the students. The buildings already erected have cost above 60,000l. The College was opened in May 1821, when Undergraduates were admitted to reside and keep terms.
In a room in the Lodge is contained a collection of books, manuscripts, fossils, and antiquities, bequeathed to the College by the late Mr. John Bowtell of this town. Among the manuscripts is a History of the Topography and Antiquities of Cambridge, prepared for publication by the donor.
Considerable progress has also been made in laying out the grounds. The plantations are in a flourishing condition ; and the whole assumes pleasing and diversified appearance.
The most eminent persons who have been members of this College are,Francis Annesley, D.C.L., first Master, 1800. Sir Busick Harwood, Professor of Anatomy and Medicine,
1801. Edward Christian, Esq. Professor of the Laws of England,
1801,--and Chief Justice of the Isle of Ely. William Frere, Serjeant-at-Law, D.C.L., Master, 1812.
This College, when completed, will consist of a Master, two Professors, one of the Laws of England, and one of Medicine, sixteen Fellows, (two of whom are to be clerical,) two Chaplains, and six Scholars. The Fellowships and Scholarships are free from any
restriction or preference with respect to county, and are open to candidates of both Universities. The Lay-Fellows are to vacate their Fellowships at the expiration of twelve years, unless, under particular circumstances, they obtain a licence to hold them for a longer term. The Clerical Fellowships are tenable for life. At present, only the Master, Professors, three of the Fellows, and the Chaplains, are appointed, for the purpose of taking possession of the estates, administering the revenues, and superintending the studies of the College. The appointment of the remaining Fellows is reserved until the completion of the buildings. Two Benefices are in the patronage of the College. Visitor, the Queen, by the Lord Chancellor.
We have now concluded our account of this celebrated seat of learning ; in which we have carefully noticed and described every object deserving particular observation. It may be thought that, in many of our descriptions, we have been too minute; but let it be remembered, that the most trifling object which can boast affinity with genius, possesses a claim to notice.
With the sincerest wishes for the welfare and prosperity of Alma Mater, we leave her sacred shades ; and may the dignity she has attained, be still preserved by learning and virtue, displaying a lesson to foreign states, and composing one of the glories of Great Britain !