University of St. Andrews.

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

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to Moral Philosophy and Political Economy, but it was
again restricted to Moral Philosophy by an ordinance of
I5th January i897. 2 Political Economy was first taught in
the United College by the Professor of Moral Philosophy
about 1818-19, but not apparently as a separate class.
Professor Chalmers began on his own initiative to lecture
on Political Economy, and taught separate classes during
the last three years of his tenure of office (1825-26 to
1827-28). These classes were attended by 35, 29, and 28
students respectively. His successor, Dr George Cook,
continued the two subjects in the same class, although

1 Evidence, p. 333. 2 Ordinance No. 48, sect. 5.


there were occasionally students of Political Economy who
were not students of Moral Philosophy, and vice versa. This
appears to have been the practice followed by Professors
Ferrier, Flint, and Knight all students of Moral Philosophy
being returned as students of Political Economy. The
subject was dropped from the curriculum altogether when
the new regulations for graduation in Arts came into force
in 1892, and was not again restored within the period
covered by this volume.

The professorship of Civil History was the only new
Chair founded by the Act of union, and unhappily it turned
out to be a failure from the first. Not one of the holders
of the Chair was able to carry on a regular class for any
length of time. Professor Forrest (1765-73), in default of
students of History, is reported to have taught Modern
Languages. He had evidently been a person of some versa-
tility, for he was afterwards transferred to the Chair of
Natural Philosophy. His successor, Professor Cleghorn,
was scarcely more successful, although certain bursars were
for a time taken bound to attend his class. Professor
Adamson (1793-1808) adopted the plan of delivering short
courses of lectures free, and so attracted an average of over
a dozen hearers. Professor Ferrie (1808-50) admitted to the
University Commissioners in 1827 that his Chair had been a
sinecure, so far as lecturing was concerned, ever since he had
it, and he suggested that on its becoming vacant it should
be converted into a Chair of Modern Languages a sugges-
tion which the Commissioners adopted. But he withdrew
this suggestion when the commission of 1840 visited St
Andrews, on the ground that Modern Languages were
sufficiently provided for in the Madras College, then
recently founded, and that students had been for some years
attending his classes in considerable numbers. When the
Chair became vacant in 1850, the Senatus requested the
Patron to select a person competent to teach Natural
History, and on the understanding that he would teach
it in all its branches. The Patron agreed, and presented
Dr William Macdonald to the Chair of Civil History on the


understanding that he would also teach Natural History.
This anomalous combination was formally sanctioned by
ordinance in 1862, the Professor of Civil History being
made also Professor of Natural History, and a member of
the Faculty of Medicine. 1 The experiment did not improve
matters much. Professor Macdonald is credited with one
class in Civil History and six classes in Natural History
during his twenty-five years' occupancy of the Chair. In
1861 a statement was industriously circulated to the effect
that Dr Macdonald was usually domiciled in Edinburgh
during the University session at St Andrews, and that he
did not lecture there ; but the Professor was able to produce
evidence from former students that he had conducted classes
at least to the extent mentioned. His course in Natural
History extended to fifty lectures only, and included Miner-
alogy, Geology, and Zoology. Under Professors Nicholson
and M'Intosh classes in Natural History only were offered,
the former teaching Zoology and Geology in alternate
years, and the latter confining himself to Zoology.

The Chair of Medicine was even less successful than the
Chair of Civil History. The first three occupants of it are
not known to have lectured regularly to students on any
branch of Medicine, but they appear to have " demonstrated
the skeleton " and given instruction in Practical Pharmacy
occasionally. When the Chair became vacant in 1811,
Dr Robert Briggs was appointed to teach Chemistry and
Chemical Pharmacy, which he did until his death in 1841.
His successor, Professor John Reid, lectured on Descriptive
and Comparative Anatomy and on General Physiology from
1841 to 1849. From 1849 to J 863 Professor George Edward
Day held classes regularly for instruction in General Physi-
ology and Comparative Anatomy. From 1863 to 1896
Physiology only was taught, the object of the course being
to instruct the general student, as well as the student of
Medicine, in the Anatomy and Physiology of the human
body and in the more essential departments of sanitary

1 Ordinance No. 21, sect. 8.


In 1876 a Chair of the Theory, History, and Practice of
Education was founded by the trustees of Dr Andrew Bell,
a native of St Andrews, and a former student and graduate
of the University. Although associated with the United
College, the Chair of Education was a University Chair,
and no class-room was provided for it in the College build-
ings. The Professor had either to obtain the loan of a
class-room or lecture in his own house (which he frequently
did). This Chair did not at first attract many students, but
its inclusion in the Arts curriculum under the new regula-
tions of 1892 led to a marked improvement in this respect.

Ordinance No. 17 (1892) of the Scottish Universities
Commission empowered the University Court, after con-
sultation with the Senatus Academicus, to appoint Lec-
turers in any subject not already taught within the Uni-
versity. Under this ordinance University Lecturers were
appointed in the following subjects up to 30th September
1897 : Botany, French, History, Anatomy, Materia Medica,
Physiology, and Modern Greek.

Some elementary instruction in Botany had been given
in the United College more than fifty years previously in
the courses of lectures in Natural History delivered by
Mr John Gibson Macvicar in sessions 1825-26 and I826-27. 1
It was also to some extent treated of in the lectures of the
professors of Natural History from 1850 onwards; but it
was not until 1888 that it was taught systematically as a
specific subject. In that and the two following years Dr
John Hardie Wilson delivered lectures on Botany, quali-
fying for graduation in Medicine and Science in all the
Scottish Universities. In addition to lecturing, Dr Wilson
spent much time in laying out a botanic garden suitable
for teaching purposes. This nucleus of the later and
larger University botanic garden was opened by Professor
M'Intosh on 28th June 1889. Finding little inducement
to carry on the work, Dr Wilson accepted another appoint-
ment and was succeeded by Mr R. A. Robertson in 1890.
Shortly afterwards, Dr Hugh F. C. Cleghorn of Stra-

1 Evidence, p. 158.


vithie gifted 1000 towards the endowment of a Botanic
lectureship or future Chair in the United College, and on
6th April 1891 Mr Robertson was appointed the first regular
University Lecturer in Botany. Winter and summer
courses in Botany (theoretical and practical) were then
instituted in the Faculties of Arts, Science, and Medicine.
The first University Lecturer on the French Language
and Literature was appointed on 3rd December 1892. On
22nd September 1894 the scope of the lectureship was
extended so as to include Romance Philology. French
was thus the first modern foreign language to receive re-
cognition as a subject qualifying for graduation in the
University. But the subject was not a new one to the
St Andrews student. In November 1755 Mr Percival
Stockdale, with the approbation of the Professors, under-
took to teach a French class, but as he left the College to
enter the army in the following February, the experiment
was a very brief one. 1 On igth November 1773 the Rector
laid before a meeting of the University a letter from the
Town Council acquainting them that the town had agreed
to give Mr M'Gregor 5 sterling annually as a teacher
of French in this place, provided the University give him
15 sterling annually. 2 This proposal was referred to the
consideration of the two Colleges, and a year later (i4th
November 1774) a committee was appointed "to settle
the matter with the French master." No further reference
to Mr M'Gregor has been found, but on 15th May 1782
Mr Charles Pepper, French teacher, is reported to be on
the point of leaving St Andrews and in need of money.
The United College resolved to give him 5 as its just pro-
portion, while St Mary's College agreed "to allow him
fifty shillings sterling providing he shall remove himself
peaceably without giving them any trouble." The next
mention of the subject is on 4th January 1794, when a

1 ' Memoirs,' vol. i. p. 235.

2 Mr Duncan M'Gregor was teacher of French in Perth Academy from 1768
till 1795. He offered to come to St Andrews if an annual salary of 20 was
guaranteed to him, but there is no evidence that he ever left Perth.


letter from Mr Stewart of St Fort relating to the appoint-
ment of a French teacher was read. The Rector was
directed to reply that the University entertained a just
sense of the importance of that branch of education, but
had been discouraged from renewing the establishment
of a French teacher on account of repeated disappoint-
ments with regard to the character of the person who
had previously acted in that capacity. What the Uni-
versity required was " one who is not a provincial, is
qualified to teach French grammatically, and who knows
so much of English as to be easily understood by his
scholars." It was also desirable, though not essential,
that he should be able to teach Drawing. After some
correspondence with Mr Stewart, and Dr Carmichael
Smyth of London, Monsieur Lagrandierre, a native of
France, was induced to come to St Andrews and to
take up the duties of French master in the United Col-
lege. He continued to hold the appointment until April
1802 when, owing to failing health, he resolved to return
to France. On his resignation being intimated, the Rector
was appointed to express to him the sense which the Uni-
versity entertained of the propriety of his conduct, and
the elegance of his manners, and their earnest wishes
for his health and happiness in his native country. He
also received a parting gift of twenty guineas as an ex-
pression of the esteem and regard in which he was held
by the University. Steps were immediately taken to ap-
point a successor to M. Lagrandierre, and on 6th August
1802 the Reverend James Hunter, Minister of Dunino,
was unanimously elected French teacher during the pleasure
of the University. Two years later Mr Hunter was ap-
pointed Professor of Logic, and as he expressed a wish
to continue teaching French, he was allowed to do so
on relinquishing the salary attached to that office and
contenting himself with the fees. This arrangement seems
to have lasted until 1817, when the Principal and Masters
of the United College authorised M. Samuel Messieux to
open a class in the College for the instruction of students


in French. On 8th January 1834 M. Messieux was ap-
pointed first teacher of Modern Languages in the newly
founded Madras College, St Andrews, his chief recom-
mendation being that he had most successfully taught a
French class in the University in connection with the
United College. Notwithstanding this appointment, M.
Messieux retained his position in the University until his
retirement in 1854 > an< ^> according to the annual advertise-
ment of the College classes, he offered instruction in German
and Italian as well. 1 There is, unfortunately, no record of
the number of students who attended these French classes,
but there must have been enough to justify their existence,
or the University would not have continued so long to
make provision for them.

The remaining lectureships having been instituted so late
as 1896, were only available to those students who matricu-
lated in the last year included in this volume. With the
exception of Modern Greek (which was financed by the
Marquess of Bute), all the subjects had, like Botany and
French, already been taught in the University. History
had indeed been a separate professorship, while Anatomy,
Materia Medica, and Physiology had been lectured upon at
one time or other by the Professor of Medicine. It is worth
recording, however, that the lectureship in Physiology (also
at first provided by the Marquess of Bute) was held for
two years by the first lady-lecturer in the University.

Although lying outside the University curriculum, notice
may properly be taken here of the Gifford lectureship,
founded in 1887 " for promoting, advancing, teaching, and
diffusing the study of Natural Theology, in the widest sense
of that term."

Beginning with the academical year 1892-93, the teach-
ing staff of the College was augmented by the appointment
of University Assistants to most of the Professors, under
the same ordinance that made provision for Lecturers.

1 On 22nd October 1852 a Lieut. Torckler petitioned the College for the use
of a room in which to teach the French language, but the College declined to
accede to the request.


Assistants had from time immemorial been employed by
Professors in the work of their classes, but these were
almost always private assistants, appointed and paid for
by the Professors themselves. Some of them were indeed
more than assistants, and practically had entire charge of
the class-work. Thus, in the time of Professor Nicolas
Vilant the Mathematical classes were taught by assistants
for many years in succession, the Professor himself being
seldom able to leave his room on account of ill-health.
The new University Assistants, on the contrary, were to
be recognised officials of the University, and entitled to
various academical privileges. The right of Professors to
employ private assistants was not withdrawn by the ordin-
ance, but these assistants were prohibited from taking part
in the public work of the classes without the permission
of the University Court.

The Act of union made provision for the maintenance of
sixteen bursars in the United College. Six of these were
on the foundation of St Salvator's College, and ten upon
the foundation of St Leonard's College. There were in
addition four servers, who in return for board and lodging
on the same scale as the Foundation bursars performed
menial duties connected with the College tables. The
value of each Foundation bursary was at first 5, us. id.,
and that sum was paid to any bursar who obtained per-
mission to live outside the College walls. This equivalent
was increased in 1820 to 8, and in 1829 to 10, which
remained the normal value of all Foundation bursaries till
1895 a proposal to raise it to -12 having been rejected in
1831. From 1878 onwards, through the generosity of
several citizens of Dundee, some of these bursaries were,
however, considerably increased in value. In 1895 ten of
these bursaries and serverships were combined so as to
form five bursaries of 20 each, the other ten being con-
tinued at 10 each as before.

At the time of the union these were the only bursaries
open to competition by students entering the College.
Although originally intended for poor students only, poverty


alone was never a sufficient qualification to hold them.
And so on I2th October 1747 it was agreed that the Foun-
dation bursaries should be disposed of by comparative trial,
the presumption no doubt being that only those who really
required them would compete for them. At first the ex-
amination was confined to the Latin language ; Greek
and Mathematics were afterwards added; and ultimately
Modern Languages and Dynamics.

About a dozen presentation or preference bursaries had
been founded in the two Colleges previous to 1747. These
passed to the United College, which in some cases ad-
ministered the funds, although the bursars were usually
presented by private patrons, who did not always take the
intellectual attainments of their presentees into account.
Only three additional bursaries were founded in the second
half of the eighteenth century; but the number of foun-
dations increased so steadily in the nineteenth century that
in 1896 the College was in possession of over one hundred
bursaries ranging in value from 5 to 50 each per annum.
Although the eleemosynary character of the bursary system
has not been altogether swept away, there has been a con-
stant tendency to award not only competitive bursaries
but also presentation bursaries on the basis of merit alone.
The requirements of the preliminary examination instituted
in 1892 render this course almost unavoidable, while the in-
creased facilities for obtaining secondary education through-
out the country make it more easy of accomplishment.

Scholarships were first instituted in the United College
in 1862 by a supplementary ordinance of the Scottish Uni-
versities Commission, which utilised for that purpose the
surplus revenue of the Ramsay foundation, dating from
1681. The Ramsay scholarships were succeeded by the
Guthrie scholarships in 1864, by the Bruce scholarships in
1865, and by the Berry scholarships in 1895. In 1896 the
number of scholarships in the College was thirteen two of
the annual value of about 40 each, tenable for four years ;
two of the annual value of 50 each, tenable for two years ;
five of the annual value of 100 each, tenable for one or


fitted up for lodging the students and to bring in an esti-
mate of the expense of that reparation. On I3th June this
committee reported that they had surveyed the rooms and
had found no less than thirty-two rooms which might easily
be fitted up for lodgings, besides six schools. Some minor
repairs were forthwith effected, but very little money was
spent on the old buildings during the next few years. On
I3th May 1754 it was agreed, on the report of a committee
appointed on 3rd April, to make certain alterations on the
west wing (involving the demolition of a projecting building
known as " Montrose's chambers"), and also to employ an
architect to make a plan of a building the whole length
of the north side of the area. Plans and estimates for the
new building were submitted on 25th May, and contracts
were signed for carrying out one half of the scheme, con-
sisting of ten rooms and two schools. This new building
was " founded" on 8th July 1754. It is not easy to follow,
in the College records, the various stages of its erection,
but it appears to have been completed by 1757, and to have
cost 1467, i6s. 5d. It was a long narrow building three
storeys in height, with an open arcade of thirteen arches
running from end to end of the south side. A good deal
of old material from the building which it superseded was
used in its construction, and altogether it must have been
of a somewhat flimsy nature. It was covered with blue
slates specially brought by sea from the west of England,
but these were condemned as " quite faulty and insufficient "
in I76g^}and ordered to be taken off and replaced with grey
slates from Arbroath. Even then the roof must have been
far from satisfactory, for in 1796 it underwent further repairs
at a cost of 82, 143. 8^d. On 2gth January 1763 a plan
and estimates were obtained for the erection of a building,
" three stairs high three rooms in length," on the east of
the College area. The probable cost of this building was
to have been 660, 133. 5d., but the Masters delayed going
on with it, and nothing more is heard of it. In the summer
of the same year additions on a small scale were carried
out on the south side of the area, immediately behind the


church and westwards from the vestry, which was also in-
cluded in the reparation. These additions were more of
the nature of domestic offices, except that the remains of
a chapel at the north-west corner of the church were re-
paired and heightened so as to be made capable of accom-
modating students. The cost of these operations amounted
to 94, 153. 8d., and they were to be completed before the
opening of the session. No further extensions of the fabric
were made during the eighteenth century, but a good deal
of money was annually required to keep the existing build-
ings in repair.

Although sums amounting to about 5500 had been ex-
pended in the erection and repair of the College buildings
between 1747 and 1824, the Commissioners of 1826 found
them to be in a lamentable condition. A committee of
their number made a special inspection of them on 3ist
July 1827 and reported in these terms : " The western part
is extremely old, and appears entirely ruinous and incapable
of repair. In this portion most of the class-rooms are con-
tained, and these are extremely mean, small, confined, and
insufficient; not in general fit to accommodate the classes
without the risk of detriment to the health of the Professors
and students. The remainder of the fabric of the United
College, although erected at a much more recent period, is
also in a most dilapidated state. Some of the class-rooms
are in this part of the building. But they are entirely unfit
for that purpose, and there is no part of the building which
could be so altered as to afford the accommodation neces-
sary for the classes of the College. The building is too
narrow to admit of any such alteration, even if the fabric
is considered to be sufficient, which appears to be extremely
doubtful." 1 The evidence given a few days later by several
of the Professors was equally strong. Professor John
Hunter said the buildings generally were in very bad repair.
Ever since he knew the College the east side of the area
had been quite ruinous and dilapidated. The north building
was in the opinion of tradesmen in a very bad state both

1 Evidence, p. 5.


as regards walls and timber. The west building was so
much off the perpendicular that it had been necessary to
bind the walls together with cross-beams. He was ashamed
when any person from a distance wished to see the College,
the exterior of it was so discreditable. Professor Jackson
thought an entirely new set of class-rooms was required.
Some of them were tolerably good, but they were for the
most part too low in the roof and too narrow and confined.
The whole place was in such a condition that without a
new building it could not be shown without shame to any
stranger, especially to any Englishman. Professor Duncan
also complained of the inadequacy of the class-rooms, and
described the general appearance of the buildings as cer-
tainly not respectable for a great seminary of education, and
apt to degrade it in the eyes of the students as well as of
the public. Professor Chalmers said that his own class-
room was a very mean and shabby-looking place. They
" should not only have a complete suit of class-rooms, but
a fabric of somewhat creditable aspect, that would announce
itself to be a College, and not be mistaken for an old
cotton-mill." 1

Lord Melville, the Chancellor of the University, had
already been urging upon Government the necessity of
repairing or rebuilding the College fabric, and plans of the
old and ruinous buildings and of the College grounds had
been prepared in 1825 a t the request of Sir Henry Jardine,
King's Remembrancer in the Exchequer of Scotland. On
28th December 1827 Lord Melville again took up the matter
in a detailed letter to the Treasury, which was officially
communicated to the University Commissioners. On lyth
October 1828 plans prepared by Mr Reid, King's Architect
for Scotland, for repairing and restoring the buildings, were
inspected by the Commissioners and approved of; and on
24th November following, the Lords of the Treasury in-
formed the Commissioners that the Barons of Exchequer
in Scotland had been authorised to proceed with the works. 2
A commencement was made in 1828, and by 1831 an en-

1 Evidence, pp. 45, 140, 147, 163. 2 Report, 1831, p. 417.


tirely new east wing had been erected upon ground specially
acquired by the Government for the purpose. This new
building, although a great improvement on anything that

Online LibraryUniversity of St. AndrewsThe matriculation roll of the University of St. Andrews, 1747-1897; → online text (page 3 of 34)