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were in process of time richly endowed, and out of these arose some of the present collegiate establishments. Of these hostels the only one of which any part still remains, is that denominated Pythagoras's School, or Merton Hall, situated at the back of St. John's College gardens, and now converted into a barn. In this place Erasmus is said to have read his first Greek Lectures in England. The walls are composed of rough stone, supported by arches, and strengthened by buttresses of considerable magnitude. The arches are mostly Saxon; but the building seems chiefly without ornaments, if we except one window on each side, which is separated into two parts by a slender pillar, having a capital decorated with a round moulding. * The first authentic Charter granted to the University, was by Henry III. in the fifteenth year of his reign, (A.D. 1230,) and by that, and other subsequent grants, he conferred on it many valuable privileges. The more important privileges of the University were however conceded to it by Edward III., A.D. 1333. Subsequently to this, many statutes were given relating to the studies of the place, but no regular body of them was consolidated before the time of Henry VIII., when, under the direction of Cromwell, then Chancellor of the University, that was effected. These were revised with
* For a further description of this interesting relic, see " An Account of Pythagoras's School,” by the Rev. Joseph Kilner, M. A. of Merton College, Oxford.
in the succeeding reign; and again in that of Queen Mary, under the direction of Cardinal Pole : but for their completion, together with an tensive Charter of incorporation, Cambridge is indebted to Queen Elizabeth and the zeal of Lord Burleigh. These important statutes were finally settled, after two revisions, in the 13th year of · her reign, 1570; and by these the University is governed at the present day.
James the First, in 1614, conferred on the University the privilege of sending two members to Parliament, the right of election being vested in the Members of the Senate.
In the contest between Charles the First and his Parliament, the University suffered severely, having early declared themselves in the King's favour. Cambridge became the principal garrison town of the seven associated parliamentary counties, and the soldiers committed every species of devastation. Those members of the University who refused to subscribe the Solemn League and Covenant, were deprived, and in many instances otherwise injuriously dealt with.*
The most material events transacted at Cambridge since this period, are connected with the description of the Colleges.
* See the Querela Cantabrigiensis, 1646, and Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy.
PRESENT STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY.
THE UNIVERSITY is a society of students in all and every of the liberal arts and sciences, incorporated by the name of The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge. The frame of this little commonwealth stands upon the union of seventeen colleges, or societies, devoted to the study of learning and knowledge, and for the better service of the Church and State. All these colleges and halls (which here possess equal privileges) have been founded since the beginning of the reign of Edward I., and are maintained by the endowments of their several founders and benefactors. Each college is a body corporate, and bound by its own statutes; but is likewise controlled by the paramount laws of the University.
Each of the colleges furnishes members both for the legislative and executive branch of its government. The place of assembly is the Senate-House. All
persons who are Masters of Arts, or Doctors in Divinity, the Civil Law, or Physic, having their names upon the college boards, holding any University office, or being resident in the town of Cambridge, have votes in this assembly. The number of those who have a title to the appellation of Members of the Senate, is at present 2,613.
The Senate is divided into two classes, or Houses, viz. Regents, and Non-Regents.
Masters of Arts of fewer than five years' standing, and Doctors of fewer than two, compose the Regent or Upper House, or, as it is otherwise called, the White-Hood House, from its members wearing their hoods lined with white silk. All the rest constitute the Non-Regent or Lower House, otherwise called the Black-Hood House, its members wearing black silk hoods. But Doctors of more than two years' standing, and the Public Orator of the University, may vote in either house, according to their pleasure.
Besides the two Houses, there is a council called the Caput, chosen annually upon the 12th of October. It consists of the Vice-Chancellor, a Doctor in each of the faculties, Divinity, the Civil Law, and Physic, and two Masters of Arts, who are the representatives of the Regent and Non-Regent Houses.
For the dispatch of University business, the ViceChancellor calls a Meeting of the Senate. Any number of the members of which, being not fewer than twenty-five, including the proper officers, constitutes a Congregation. Every member has a right to present any proposition or grace to the consideration of the Senate'; but previously to its being voted by the two Houses, it is to be read and approved by the Council or Caput, each member of which has a negative voice. After a Grace has passed the Caput, it is read in the Non-Regent House by one of the Scrutators, and also in the Regent House by the Senior Proctor; and the
Congregation is adjourned by the Vice-Chancellor. It is read in like manner at the second Congregation; and if a non-placet be put in by a member of the Non-Regent House, it is there voted; and in case the number of non-placets is equal to, or exceeds that of the placets, the Grace is thrown out, and can proceed no further; but if the placets be greater than the non-placets, it is carried up into the Regent House, and there undergoes the same process; and if it pass through both Houses, it is considered a regular act of the Senate; and if the subject be of a public nature, it becomes a statute.
The executive branch of the University is committed to the following officers:
A CHANCELLOR, who is the head of the whole University. He is chosen by the body of the Senate, and is generally one of the nobility. The office is biennial, or tenable for such a length of time beyond two years as the tacit consent of the University may choose to allow.
A High STEWARD, who has special power to take the trial of scholars impeached of felony within the limits * of the University, and to hold and keep a Court-leet. He appoints a Deputy by Letters Patent.
A VICE-CHANCELLOR, who is annually elected on the 4th of November, by the Senate. His office, in
* The jurisdiction of the University extends a mile every way round, reckoning from any part of the extremities of the town