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The matriculation roll of the University of St. Andrews, 1747-1897; online

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stituents, made another effort to secure an outside Rector
by unanimously electing Dr Thomas Chalmers. They were
immediately called before the Senatus to answer for their
conduct in violating the statutes of the University. One
of their number submitted to an admonition and was dis-
charged. The others refused to be admonished, and
declined the jurisdiction of the Senatus in the matter ;
whereupon sentence of expulsion from the University was
pronounced upon them. Fortunately for the students the
St Andrews University Commissioners of 1840 were still
sitting and inquiring into other disputes connected with
the Rectorship. After maturely considering all the circum-
stances connected with the case of the offending Intrants,
the Commissioners recalled the sentence of expulsion, upon
the tender of a sufficient apology. The Commissioners,
however, held that the election of Dr Chalmers, being
contrary to the statutes of the University, as they had
been from time immemorial understood and interpreted,
was properly declared null and void by the Senatus. 2

The next and final attempt at reform was begun in 1856
when, at the instance of Sir David Brewster, the "viri
rectorales " were appointed a committee to inquire into
the system of electing the Rector and to consider what
modifications of the system might be practicable and ex-
pedient. This committee made no report until on the eve
of the election of 1858, when Professor Brown, the retiring
Rector, was authorised to make a statement on the subject
to the Comitia. On the day of election Professor Brown,
having demitted office, made formal reference to the dis-
advantages of the existing system of electing the Rector,
and to the desirability of introducing such changes as
might render what had become a mere mechanical form

1 Evidence, p. 267.

2 Report of Commissioners, Appendix No. XL


the free untrammelled exercise of an independent right,
and, in some way and measure suited to the times, restore
the office to the importance and influence which belonged
to it as originally constituted. It was proposed that a
committee be appointed to consider the whole subject,
and to take competent legal opinion on the changes thought
to be desirable. But the meeting was ripe for action, and
the proposal to hand the matter over to another committee
was defeated. On proceeding to vote, two Intrants sup-
ported Professor Buist and two Sir Ralph Anstruther.
Professor Brown thereupon gave his casting vote in favour
of Sir Ralph on the ground that a majority of the students
wished an extraneous Rector. The validity of the election
having been called in question, the whole circumstances
were explained to Lord Advocate Inglis, who saw no
ground for objection to the new departure, and recom-
mended the Senatus to go on to the completion of the
act by installing the Rector who had been chosen. On
i8th March Sir Ralph Anstruther formally accepted office
and was duly installed on 25th March. All further oc-
casion for dispute was removed by the Universities (Scot-
land) Act, passed a few months later, which completely
reversed the previous practice by disqualifying all Principals
and Professors from holding the office of Rector.

The limitation of the Rectorship to two Principals and
two Professors led to various anomalies which the Act of
1858 entirely removed. The Principals, as heads of their
Colleges, presided at all College meetings, but at University
meetings both they and the senior Professors not in-
frequently found themselves presided over by a new and
inexperienced Professor of Divinity or Church History.
Principal Tulloch's reason for declining office in 1855 was
a very sensible one viz., his recent appointment to the
Principalship and his inadequate knowledge of University
business. Not one of the eight Professors of the United
College, however experienced and competent, could hold
the. office of Rector, while only one of the three Professors
of St Mary's College was excluded. During the period of


112 years from 1747 to 1859 the honour was almost equally
divided between the Principal of St Mary's College and
the Professor of Divinity, and between the Principal of the
United College and the Professor of Church History. The
Professor of Divinity was elected 36 times, the Principal
of St Mary's College 35 times, the Principal of the United
College 19 times, and the Professor of Church History 18
times. Three extraneous Rectors were elected, but dis-
qualified, and in one year there was no election.

Matriculation is the act which admits a student to
membership of a University. It consists in his taking the
Sponsio Academica by entering his name in the Matricu-
lation Album and in paying the dues which at the time
happen to be exigible. From 1859 onwards the method
of matriculating differed materially from that previously in
vogue. The Senatus Academicus informed the Com-
missioners of 1826 that " the Matriculation Roll of this
University embraces the names of those students only who
have for the first time, during the course of the particular
session, studied at this University; but a number of them
had previously studied at other Universities." 1 Down to
1859 a student thus matriculated once for all. By a single
matriculation he practically became a life member of the
University. He was at liberty to discontinue his studies
and to resume them after any lapse of time at either
College or in any Faculty without further enrolment.
But, before he could be matriculated at all he had to be
registered as a student in at least one class ; in other words,
he had to be a member of a College before he could be a
member of the University. Matriculation in those days
came after class-registration, and did not as a rule take
place until the session was well advanced. It was, more-
over, an act attended with a certain amount of ceremony.
On the day and at the hour specially set apart for the
purpose the new students assembled class by class in the
Library, where their names were enrolled in presence of
the Rector. Those attending one or more junior classes

1 Evidence, p. 252.


were generally introduced by the Professor of Greek ; the
others were accompanied by their respective Professors. ^
Students who for any reason could not attend on the par-
ticular day appointed for the general matriculation were
enrolled at other times singly or in groups. Those who
had previously attended other Universities did not require
to matriculate (having done so elsewhere already), but were
simply "received into the album," and held the status they
had reached at their former University. There was no "^
separate matriculation for students of St Mary's College.
Students entering upon the study of Divinity who had
passed through the United College were of course already
members of the University, while those coming from out-
side had only to be received into the album to enable them
to rank as Incorporati.

In 1859 all this was changed. Matriculation then became
the first formal act in a student's career. He had in fact
to be a member of the University before he could be a
member of a College. On November 12, 1859, the Senatus
Academicus resolved that the Matriculation Roll should,
in conformity with the practice of other Universities, be
made up annually, and fixed the annual matriculation fee
at half-a-crown. In 1862 annual matriculation was made
statutory by the University Commissioners, who enacted
that "each student shall pay to the University a matricu-
lation fee of one pound at the commencement of each
winter session for the whole academical year then next
ensuing." l This fee was increased to one guinea by an
ordinance of the Commissioners of 1889, which came into
force in 1894^ At first it was attempted to overtake the
matriculation of the whole of the students in one day, but
this was soon found to be impracticable, and the period
during which a student might matriculate was extended to
the first month or six weeks of the session, and sometimes
even longer. Under the old regulations matriculation and
class enrolment were two quite separate transactions. The
one was a University affair, and the other a College affair.

1 Ordinance No. 21, sect. 14. 2 Ordinance No. 50, sect. I.


For many years the Professors enrolled their students them-
selves and collected the class -fees. These duties were
afterwards performed by the Secretaries of the Colleges ;
but the new ordinances largely disregarded the distinction
between University and College, and so matriculation and
class-enrolment became simultaneous transactions.

Until the new regulations for graduation came into force
in 1892 every regular student, especially if he were a bursar,
entered upon a well-defined curriculum of study. This
curriculum was the result of usage rather than of any
special act of University legislation, but it was long some-
what rigidly adhered to, and deviations from it were dis-
countenanced unless they were justified by some peculiarity
of circumstances. 1 It consisted of a four years' course, corre-
sponding to the old regenting quadrennium with the classes
rearranged to suit the new order of things. Students were
expected to begin with the language classes, to commence
the study of Mathematics as early as possible, and to attend
successively Logic, Moral Philosophy, and Natural Phil-
osophy, each one session. History did not come within
the scope of the curriculum, nor, of course, did Medicine.
Latin and Greek were the favoured classes, and students
were recommended to take them during all the sessions
of their course. As a matter of actual practice many of
them did so, and thus the senior classes of Latin and
Greek largely outnumbered all the others. The taste for
Mathematics developed slowly, and towards the end of the
eighteenth century most students seem to have avoided
the subject altogether. The following table, compiled from
such statistics as are available, shows the average attend-
/ ance at these classes during the five decades following 1790 :

Senior Latin. Senior Greek. Senior Mathematics.
1791-1800 51-6 43-4 77

1801-1810 46-4 427 14-1

1811-1820 86'i 78-6 22-3

1821-1830 96-9 90-9 33-6

1831-1840 51-1 55'0 23-5

1 Evidence, p. 285.


For more than a century after the union of the Colleges
the normal Arts course was as follows : First Session Latin,
Greek ; Second Session Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Logic ;
Third Session Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Moral Philos-
ophy; Fourth Session Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Natural
Philosophy. Students were also recommended to avail
themselves of the opportunity of attending History and
Chemistry, and the lectures on such other subjects as were
from time to time offered. After 1858 this programme
underwent some revision to meet the requirements of the
regulations for graduation in Arts then introduced. First
Latin, First Greek, First Mathematics, and English Litera-
ture were placed in the first session ; Second Latin, Second
Greek, Second Mathematics, and Logic in the second session;
Third Latin, Third Greek, Third Mathematics, and Moral
Philosophy in the third session ; Natural Philosophy and
supplementary subjects in the fourth session. In 1888
English Literature and Moral Philosophy were transferred
to the fourth session, Logic and Natural Philosophy to the
third session ; but these rearrangements were suggestive
rather than obligatory, and students were allowed a fair
amount of latitude in the grouping of their seven compulsory
subjects. After 1892 the grouping of classes by sessions
was discontinued, as the regulations which then came into
operation left students free to make their own choice in
the order of their class attendances.

The educational advantages of an extended curriculum
and elective courses are doubtless great, but since their
introduction an important element in the academical life
of the past has begun to disappear. A uniform curriculum
had helped to keep alive the feeling of class comradeship
which prevailed in the days before Professors were called
upon to teach specific subjects. Students who entered in
the same year for the most part remained class-fellows
throughout their whole course, and so came to knOw each
other intellectually in a way that is no longer possible under
a system which has opened up so many avenues to a
common end. So great in this respect has been the breach


with the past, that it is now possible for two students to go
through their whole course simultaneously and obtain the
same degree without ever meeting in a single class.


The United College was constituted by the union into
one corporation of the College of St Salvator (founded by
Bishop Kennedy in 1450) and the College of St Leonard
(founded by Archbishop Alexander Stewart and Prior John
Hepburn in 1512). This union was accomplished by Act
of Parliament, and took effect from and after 24th June
1747. Very little is known of the history of the movement
in favour of union, and it seems to be impossible now to
discover in which College the idea originated, and to whom
belongs the credit of having carried it through. 1 That many
difficulties had to be overcome is evidenced by the fact
that the negotiations extended over so long a period as
nine years. As originally conceived, the scheme contem-
plated the union of all three Colleges, a proposal which the
University on I4th August 1738 deemed to be "just and
reasonable," and appointed a committee " to draw up a
state of the revenues of the several Colleges, the salaries
of the several Masters, the manner of their election," &c.,
with a view to carrying it into effect. On 26th December
1738 this committee reported that the Masters of St Mary's
College had, after deliberation, declined to be united into
one College with the two philosophy Colleges, and that
therefore no " state " of that College was forthcoming.
" States " of the Colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard
were duly given in, whereupon the University, believing
that the union would be very much to its advantage,
recommended the Colleges " to proceed in that affair." No

1 Professor David Young was sent to London to procure the Act of union, and,
on his return, received the thanks of the College "for his care and diligence in
that matter."



further reference to the subject is met with until i8th
November 1741, when the Principal of St Leonard's College
reported to the Masters that the project of uniting the
two Colleges was now so far advanced as to be ready to
be laid before Parliament, and that it would be necessary
to provide a fund to defray the expenses* of obtaining an
Act. By a majority of those present it was agreed to
advance, from the funds of the College, a sum not exceeding
;6o for this purpose, provided a like sum was advanced
by the Provost and Masters of St Salvator's College.
Financial or other difficulties must have arisen, for it was
not until i2th December 1746 that proposals for uniting
the Colleges were finally adjusted and signed.

The reasons for union, as set forth in the preamble to
these proposals, were: (i) "the meanness of the Professors'
salaries, which must needs be a discouragement to men of
learning and abilities to accept of vacant professions " ;
(2) the ruinous condition of one of the fabrics, not to be
repaired and supported without an expense far exceeding
what the public funds can afford; (3) the duty "at least
to attempt laying a foundation which hereafter may support
this sinking though once flourishing University and give
hopes of restoring it again to its former lustre." The
proposals themselves dealt with the union of the Colleges,
with the amalgamation and management of their respective
funds and revenues, the redistribution of the professorships,
the salaries of Principals and Professors, of patronage and
other matters, which, as revised by Parliament, were after-
wards embodied in the Act of union. The proposals were
signed by three Professors of St Salvator's College, the
Principal and three Professors of St Leonard's College, and
by the Professors of Mathematics and Medicine, who be-
longed to neither of these Colleges, but who were to be
admitted members of the United College. The principal-
ship of St Salvator's College and one of the professorships
were at the time vacant. The three Professors who did
not sign the proposals were those who had agreed to retire.
The proposals, as submitted to Parliament, were thus



signed by the nine persons who became the first Principal
and Professors of the United College.

On I7th February 1747 a petition was presented to the
House of Commons praying that leave might be given to
bring in a bill for uniting the Colleges of St Salvator and
St Leonard pursuant to the agreement and resolutions of
the several Masters and Professors, if the same should
appear for the advancement of learning and the better
education of youth in the University of St Andrews. This
petition was referred to the consideration of a committee
consisting of all the Scotch members and thirty- seven
others, with power to send for persons, papers, and records.
The committee returned a favourable report on 30th March,
when the House ordered that leave be given to bring in
a bill for uniting these Colleges, and appointed Mr David
Scott, Mr Thomas Erskine, and Sir Ludovic Grant to pre-
pare and bring in the same. The bill was presented to
the House and read a first time on 6th April, when the
Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that the King, having
been informed of the purport of the bill, had given his
consent to it so far as his Majesty's interest was concerned.
The bill was read a second time on loth April, and com-
mitted to a committee of the whole House. On 27th
April Lord Dupplin reported that the committee had gone
through the bill and made several amendments thereunto
which they had directed him to report to the House. It
was ordered that the report be received on 2gth April, on
which day Lord Dupplin, according to order, submitted
the bill with the committee's amendments. These were
agreed to by the House and several additional amendments
made, after which the bill with its amendments was ordered
to be engrossed. On ist May the bill was read a third
time, passed, and ordered to be sent to the House of Lords
for their concurrence. The bill was introduced into the
House of Lords and read a first time on 5th May. It was
read a second time on 7th May, and referred to a committee
for consideration. On nth May the Earl of Findlater
reported that the committee had gone through the bill
and examined the allegations thereof, which were found


to be true, and that the committee had directed him to
report the same to the House without any amendment.
On I3th May the bill was read a third time and passed.
This was reported to the House of Commons on I4th
May, and the Act of union received the Royal assent
on I7th June. 1

The various clauses of the Act of union are substantially
the same as the corresponding clauses of the signed pro-
posals. A comparison of the two documents shows many
verbal alterations and numerous changes of form and ex-
pression but no essential departure from the scheme of union
worked out by the Professors themselves. Only one of the
amendments made by Parliament gave rise to friction ; but
it only affected a minor financial arrangement which was
soon satisfactorily adjusted.

The union of the two Colleges involved the suppression
of one principalship and four professorships. The principal-
ship of St Salvator's College and one of its professorships
being, as already stated, vacant at the time of union, were
suppressed at once, while the professorships held by one
member of St Salvator's College and by two members of
St Leonard's College, who retired on full pay, were to be
suppressed at their respective deaths.

The United College, like its two predecessors, was a
residential College, and consisted of a specific number of
members. These were made up of one Principal, eight
Professors, sixteen bursars on the original foundation, along
with such others as might be separately provided for, and
the necessary College servants. The first Principal of the
United College was the Reverend Thomas Tullideph,
formerly Principal of St Leonard's College. The following
is a list of the professorial chairs, with the names of their
first occupants as provided for by the Act of union :

Greek. James Kemp, formerly Professor of Greek in
St Salvator's College.

1 Journals of the House of Commons, vol. xxv. pp. 290-408 ; Journals of the
House of Lords, vol. xxvii. pp. 110-113. The Act is 20 Geo. II. cap. 32. It
was reprinted by the Commissioners of 1826 in Evidence, vol. iii. p. 278, and
by the Commissioners of 1889 in Deeds and Documents, p. 31.


Logic, Rhetoric, and Metaphysics. Henry Rymer, formerly
Professor of Philosophy in St Leonard's College.

Ethics and Pneumatics. John Young, formerly Professor
of Philosophy in St Salvator's College.

Natural and Experimental Philosophy. David Young, for-
merly Professor of Philosophy in St Leonard's College.

Humanity. Ninian Young, formerly Professor of Humanity
in St Leonard's College.

Civil History. William Vilant, formerly Professor of
Humanity in St Salvator's College.

Mathematics. David Gregory, formerly Professor of
Mathematics in the University.

Medicine. Thomas Simson, formerly Professor of Medicine
and Anatomy in the University.

No enlargement of the professorial staff was contem-
plated by the Act of union, and as a matter of fact one
hundred and fifteen years had come and gone before a
single new professorship was added to the College. In
1808 Dr John Gray of Paddington, London, left a sum
of money for the purpose of endowing a professorship of
Chemistry. The sum received, after deducting legacy
duty, was a small one for such a purpose, and it was found
necessary to allow it to accumulate until 1840, when the
first Professor of Chemistry was appointed. In the interval
the teaching of Chemistry was, by a resolution of the
Senatus, to be afterwards mentioned, assigned to the Pro-
fessor of Medicine. This new Chair was looked upon as
simply a private endowment, carrying with it no status
either in College or University. In 1844, however, the Pro-
fessor was received as a member of the Senatus Academicus
and a University Professor; and in 1862 he was added to
the list of Professors in the United College, with the proviso
that he was not to be entitled to any payment out of the
common stock or revenues of the College. 1

The Chairs of Greek, Humanity, and Mathematics under-
went no change, except that the Professors, who at first
taught junior and senior classes only, afterwards taught
a third or more advanced class. The third class in

1 Ordinance No. 21, sect. n.


Mathematics is said to have commenced so early as 1793,
although no trace of it appears until I822. 1 The third
classes in Greek and Humanity date from 1853. The Chair
of Natural and Experimental Philosophy has likewise re-
mained substantially the same, but the subject has under-
gone considerable expansion. In place of a single course of
lectures to one class, four courses of instruction were latterly
given viz., an elementary course of 100 lectures, an ad-
vanced course of 60 lectures, and an elementary and ad-
vanced course of training in Practical Physics.

English Literature was introduced into the curriculum in
1861 under the Universities Act of 1858, and the teaching
of the subject was assigned to the Professor of Logic,
Rhetoric, and Metaphysics. This combination lasted ex-
actly thirty years, Professor Henry Jones being the last
Professor of Logic to deliver a course of lectures on English
Literature, in 1891-92. From 1892-93 to 1896-97 a full
course of lectures on the English Language and Literature
was delivered by Professor M'Cormick of University Col-
lege, Dundee, under a special agreement sanctioned by
the University Commissioners. On I5th January 1897 an
ordinance founding the Berry Chair of English Literature
was approved by the Queen in Council, and on I4th March
the Reverend Alexander Lawson, B.D., was appointed its
first occupant.

The professorship of Ethics and Pneumatics was soon
changed to Moral Philosophy. It was afterwards expanded

Online LibraryUniversity of St. AndrewsThe matriculation roll of the University of St. Andrews, 1747-1897; → online text (page 2 of 34)