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

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had preceded it, was by no means a successful experiment
in collegiate architecture. Not only was the exterior lack-
ing in taste, but the internal arrangements were ill-designed
and wasteful of space. The heating and ventilating of the
new class-rooms were most unsatisfactory. Dry rot soon
made its appearance in the woodwork, and before long the
whole flooring in the lower rooms had to be renewed.

Having proceeded so far, the work of rebuilding the
College came to a sudden stop, and notwithstanding much
expostulation with the Government it was not resumed for
nearly fourteen years. During that period the College was
obliged to expend considerable sums in maintaining the old
buildings and in endeavouring to make the new one service-
able. In 1843 the College enlisted the services of Sir Hugh
Lyon Playfair, Provost of the city, who took up the matter
with such heartiness and vigour that within a few months
fresh plans for additional buildings and alterations, prepared
by Mr Nixon, Queen's Architect for Scotland, were sub-
mitted and approved of.

The old north building was forthwith demolished and, in
1845-46, replaced by the present north wing of the College,
containing hall, museum, class-rooms, and other accom-
modation. As soon as this new building was ready for
occupation the old west wing was pulled down, with the
exception of the small portion which now forms part of the
janitor's house, with secretary's office, &c., above. It was
at first intended to enclose the frontage thus opened up to
Butts Wynd with a parapet wall and railing to show off the
new buildings, but at the urgent desire of the Principal and
Professors a high wall with a large gateway near the centre
was substituted. In place of the arcaded corridor which ran
the whole length of the old north building, the Principal
and Professors wished a covered way to be erected on the
inner side of the new wall to protect the students in wet and
stormy weather. But on the suggestion of the architect a


spacious cloister was instead erected along the north wall of
the church, on the site of the vestry and other buildings
above alluded to, which had been cleared away in 1839.
This was afterwards found to be a mistake. With a
northern exposure and a cold draught constantly blowing
through it, this convenient and attractive looking retreat
was no real shelter to students in winter. In 1864 its eight
openings were closed up, and a portion of it was converted
into a meeting-place for students' societies, under the name
of the Cloister Hall. Being no longer required for such
purposes, the cloister was afterwards used partly as a
gymnasium and partly as a drill-hall in connection with
the students' battery of volunteers. It was not until 1851
that all the additions to and alterations upon the College
buildings were completed. They were then taken over by
the Treasury as national property, and for the next forty
years were maintained at the public expense. On ist April
1890 they were transferred to the University Court, which
thereafter became responsible for their maintenance. 1

In 1861, mainly through the exertions of Principal Forbes,
a joint-stock company was formed for the "establishment
and conduct of a College Hall for the residence of the sons
of gentlemen attending the University of St Andrews, . . .
and to provide, on moderate terms, a home and the best
possible aid in their studies for young men prosecuting
these in the University of St Andrews." The promoters
of this Hall sought to restore, in some measure, to the
University the College system as it formerly prevailed. In
it the habits of family life were preserved, all meals were
taken in common, and morning and evening prayers were
conducted by the Warden. By its means it was hoped
to lure back to St Andrews the sons of the Scottish
nobility and gentry who for more than half a century had
been borne southward to the English universities. The
venture was successful, and during its early years the Hall
prospered so well that the company was induced to face
the more ambitious project of erecting a large building

1 Universities (Scotland) Act, 1889, sects. 22, 23.


specially fitted for its purpose. The Hall had been ap-
propriately started in buildings which once formed part
of St Leonard's College, including the house understood
to have been occupied by George Buchanan when principal.
On 26th April 1867 the foundation-stone of a handsome
building capable of containing upwards of thirty students
was laid with masonic honours. This new Hall, which
cost upwards of 8000, was opened in November 1868 ; but,
unlike the old one, it did not prosper, and was closed in
1874 the company being wound up and the building sold.

On the admission of women to the University in 1892,
steps were immediately taken to provide a Hall of Resi-
dence for such of them as preferred to live together under
a Head. As a temporary arrangement, the house number
79 North Street was secured for session 1892-93, and Argyle
Lodge for 1895-96. No provision for residence was made
during the two intervening years. Meanwhile a permanent
University Hall for women students on a site granted by
the University Court on the lands of Rathelpie was in
course of erection, and was ready for occupation at the
beginning of session 1896-97. The Hall owed its exist-
ence very much to the zeal and activity of Professor Knight,
who obtained a grant of 2000 towards its cost from the
Pfeiffer Trust, besides numerous donations from private

In January 1884 a Marine Zoological Station was organ-
ised by Professor M'Intosh in connection with the Fishery
Board for Scotland. A wooden building standing on the
East Bents between the harbour and the sea, which had
been erected some years before as a temporary fever hos-
pital, was utilised for the purpose. It was neither wind-
nor water-tight, but in spite of many discomforts much
valuable research was carried on in it, not only by members
of the University but by zoologists of eminence from the
Continent and elsewhere. At the end of twelve years this
important work was transferred to the very commodious
and well -planned Gatty Marine Laboratory, the gift to
the University of Charles Henry Gatty, Esquire of East


Grinstead, which was opened by Lord Reay on 30th
October 1896.

In 1891 a Chemical Laboratory was presented to the
University by Mrs Thomas Purdie of Castlecliffe, St
Andrews; and in 1897 preparations were begun for the
erection of the Bute Medical Buildings designed to ac-
commodate the departments of Anatomy, Botany, Physi-
ology, and Materia Medica.

Immediately after the union of the Colleges it was re-
solved "that the students shall regularly attend public
worship every Lord's day in the church of the United
College " ; and the Hebdomadar was directed " to convene
the students every Sunday before public worship begin,
in the fore and afternoon, in the common schools of the
College where they lodge and conduct them to church."
The " church of the United College " meant St Leonard's
church, of which the Principal of the United College was
minister, although he seldom preached. St Salvator's
church had long been disused as a place of worship, and
was then in a state of neglect and decay. This arrange-
ment, however, did not last long, for on loth October 1750
the Masters " considering that the students were now
lodged in St Salvator's College, which is in the town parish
of St Andrews, and that the United College has a more
commodious seat in the Town church than in St Leonard's,
it was resolved that henceforth the students shall be con-
ducted to the said Town church, and that the porter be
ordered to clean the College loft there, and to intimate
to all persons who had been allowed to sit there, that they
must provide themselves elsewhere ; and it was recom-
mended to Dr Simson to inquire about the price of a
,_ carpet proper for the Masters' seat in the said loft." But
before ten years were over another change was effected
which in course of time led to much contention and
litigation. The roof of St Leonard's church began to
* fail, and its renewal threatened to tax heavily the limited
resources of the College. As an alternative, the repair of
St Salvator's church was thought of and ultimately adopted,


chiefly because it was believed to be the cheaper scheme
of the two. It was by no means so in the end, but its
adoption probably helped to save from further dilapidation
the finest unruined specimen of ecclesiastical architecture \
in St Andrews. In 1759 the local presbytery sanctioned
the transference of the Leonardine congregation from the
church of St Leonard to the church of St Salvator. As
the reparation of the one church involved the partial de-
molition of the other, no service could have been held in
either of them for more than a year. By the summer of
1761, however, St Salvator's church had been fitted up,
and seats set apart for the Principal and Masters. The
removal of the Masters and students from the Town church
had been taken for granted by the presbytery, and as the
loss of their contributions to the " plate " would affect the
poors' fund of the parish, it was agreed to take the students'
offerings separately at the College church (as it now came
to be called), and to hand them over to the treasurer of
the Town church. The minutes of the Kirk-session for
3rd December 1761 show "that for some days past the
collection of the students had been sent from the con-
gregation of St Leonard's by the several Masters who had
happened to be Hebdomadars." This curious practice
went on until towards the middle of the nineteenth century.
Although attendance at the College church was at first
uniformly enjoined upon all students, 1 it soon became a
recognised practice for the Principal to grant dispensations
to those who belonged to dissenting communions. By 1780
this practice was so firmly established that it obtained the
formal sanction of the College, and was made the subject
of a special by-law. At a meeting held on I3th May of
that year, the College came to the following, among other
resolutions : " That instead of two Masters as at present,
the Principal and all the Masters shall meet regularly in
the common schools before sermon, and go from thence

1 Mr Percival Stockdale gives a realistic, but perhaps exaggerated, account of
his appearance before the Professors on a charge of frequenting the Episcopal .
meeting-house in 1754. 'Memoirs,' vol. i. p. 197.


with the students to church " ; and " That a dispensation
from attending the church shall be granted to such of the
students as are not of the Presbyterian communion if they
make application for it, and give assurance to the Masters
that they will not appear in public nor behave improperly
in the time of divine worship." As time went on com-
pulsory attendance at the College church became more
and more irksome, even to those students who were not
dissenters, and "notwithstanding the care of the College
in appointing them a conductor, it is believed that it was
not uncommon for some of the less attentive to lose their
way." 1 In 1824 a petition, signed by ninety-five students,
was presented to the College craving for more liberal
terms of dispensation from attendance upon the College
church. The petitioners desired to be freed from com-
pulsory attendance at a particular church, and, under
such limitations as might seem just and fit, to be at
liberty to worship where and under whom they pleased.
The Masters having carefully considered the petition and
analysed the signatures, resolved to maintain inviolable the
laws of the College on the subject. Professor Chalmers,
while agreeing with his colleagues as to the general ex-
pediency and propriety of the College regulation, disap-
proved of its application to students belonging to the
Established church whose parents wished them to attend
divine worship elsewhere, and set forth his views in a
lengthy memorial. 2 A list of those students who had not
obtained dispensations was made up at the beginning of
the session, and this list was read over during the ringing
of the bells for each service every Sunday in presence of
one or more Professors. Two Professors then took their
seats on opposite sides of the gallery, in which the majority
of the students sat, and attended to the preservation of
good order and decorum among them. Students who
arrived late or not at all were fined, and for a time these
fines were a source of revenue to the poors' fund of St
Leonard's parish.

1 Evidence, p. 337. 2 Ibid., p. 344.


As the task of enforcing church attendance became
greater year by year, these regulations gradually fell into
abeyance. The procession from the common hall to the
church was given up, the students going direct to the gallery,
where one of themselves was stationed to note the names
of absentees. After the Disruption in 1843 compulsory at-
tendance at the College church ceased altogether, and the
clauses relating to it in the College laws were subsequently
withdrawn. Students were thereafter free to worship where
they pleased, and it was left to the ministers of the different
congregations in the city to take spiritual oversight of those
belonging to their respective denominations.

The students' gallery was swept away when the church
was renovated in 1862, and seats were reserved for them
in the front of the area. Towards the close of the period
dealt with in these pages, it became more and more
customary for students of all denominations to attend
at least the forenoon service in the College church.
This tendency was fostered partly by the institution of
monthly Universit}' services during the session, and partly
by the revived interest in corporate student life which
followed on the establishment of a Students' Representative
Council in 1885. The scarlet gown reappeared in church after
a lengthy absence. Year by year more space was required
for members of the University, who began to long for a
" College chapel " of their own, and for a time when " the
hideous title of the ' College church ' will cease to wound
the academic ear." 1 And so arose those complications
already hinted at, but which belong to later history.


The College of St Mary dates from 1537, in which year
it was founded by Archbishop James Beaton. It superseded
an older foundation known as the Psedagogium, which had

1 College Echoes, 1889-90, p. 97.


steadily fallen into decay since the erection of the Colleges
of St Salvator and St Leonard. The Archbishop having
died before his scheme could be fully carried out, it was
continued to some extent by his nephew Cardinal Beaton,
but it was left to Archbishop Hamilton to complete and
organise the College in 1553. It was intended to be a
College for instruction in Divinity, Law, and Medicine,
as well as in Arts, but its career on this extensive scale
was short-lived. Under a new foundation and erection
confirmed by Parliament in 1579, it was set apart for the
study of Theology only, and it has remained a Divinity
College ever since.

This new foundation contemplated a permanent staff of
five Masters, but the full number was seldom if ever reached.
On account of fluctuating endowments the number was
indeed not infrequently reduced to two. After 1747 a
Principal and three Professors regularly taught within the
College class-rooms. For a considerable time there were
two Professors of Divinity, including the Principal, who
acted as primarius Professor. They divided the wide field
of theology between them, and endeavoured to avoid over-
lapping in their teaching as best they could. In 1825 the
second Professor of Divinity began to devote some attention
to Biblical Criticism, and this gradually became the special
subject of his Chair, although it was not formally styled
a professorship of Divinity and Biblical Criticism until
I862. 1 In 1707 the third mastership was revived and re-
endowed as a professorship of Ecclesiastical History by
Queen Anne, who provided a salary for the Professor by
suppressing six Exchequer bursaries founded by King
William III. in 1693. In 1668 a Chair of Hebrew and
Oriental Languages was endowed by King Charles II.,
but it remained unoccupied for twenty years. The first
Professor was appointed on gth April 1688, and the emolu-
ments of the Chair were increased by King William in
1693. For a time the general term Divinity was applied
to all the four Chairs in the College. The Professor of

1 Ordinance No. 21, sect. 12 (3).


Ecclesiastical History held the title of additional or ex-
traordinary Professor of Divinity, and the Professor of
Hebrew was at first required to deliver one Divinity lec-
ture weekly.

Originally all the Masters had rooms allotted to them
within the College buildings, but the practice of living in
private houses in the town had set in long before the middle
of the eighteenth century. In 1702 a house in South
Street, nearly opposite the College gate, was purchased as
a residence for Principal Forrester. Some time afterwards
a suite of rooms in the north-west corner of the College
was fitted up as a house for the Professor of Divinity.
Before long the Professor succeeded to the principalship,
and decided to retain the College rooms, and these, with
many alterations and additions, have since been the official
residence of the Principal. Subsequent Professors of
Divinity occupied the house in South Street till 1785, when
it was sold and the price added to the College funds.
Thereafter an allowance for house-rent was made to each
of the three Professors, along with a single apartment
within the College buildings for their private use.

The arms of Archbishop James Beaton and of Archbishop
Hamilton, still to be seen on the buildings of St Mary's
College, point back to their erection in the sixteenth
century. By the end of the eighteenth century they had
probably altered little, and even yet, in spite of repeated
alterations and repairs, they still retain the same general
outline. On the west side of the quadrangle was the main
building, consisting of a common hall, dining-room, class-
rooms, dormitories, kitchen, &c., with a projecting tower
carrying a stone staircase to the upper floors. Along the
north was another range of buildings containing apartments
of various kinds, the porter's lodge, and the entrance gate-
way. Under the eastern portion of this range was an open
arcade of six arches known as the Cloisters. To the east
was the University Library and a massive stone wall built
by Principal Howie to enclose his official garden. The
southern boundary was partly a wall and partly domestic


offices, beyond which lay the College garden and the official
gardens of the Professors. The proper upkeep of these
buildings would have entailed considerable expense, but
as no fund had been appropriated to that purpose, portions
of them were allowed to fall into decay. In 1827 the whole
block was found by the University Commissioners to be in
a wretched and dilapidated condition. The northern por-
tion was no longer used for any purpose, the lower part
of the Principal's house was extremely damp, and the
interior of the remaining buildings appeared to be wholly
unsuitable for the purposes of academic instruction. 1 As a
result of this inspection the whole buildings of the College
underwent a thorough renovation at the public expense
in 1829-30, when a portion of the north wing was removed
to make room for an extension of the University Library.
Since then extensive improvements have been carried out
both by the Board of Works and by the University Court.
In 1889-90 a further addition to the University Library was
built in the Principal's garden, when the College quad-
rangle was much enlarged by the removal of the former
boundary wall on the east and of the offices and other
erections on the south. 2

To the casual visitor to St Mary's College, the most
attractive portion of the buildings is undoubtedly the old
Prayer Hall, with its antique oak charter-chests and furni-
ture. Here in bygone times the students assembled twice
daily, for morning and for evening prayer. These services
were held in obedience to the College laws, but no Pro-
fessor took any part in them. They were conducted en-
tirely by the students, and the evening service, especially
on Sundays, was largely attended by the male portion of
the general public, women being at all times excluded.
It was in this Hall that Dr Chalmers, when only sixteen

1 Evidence, p. 5.

2 Early in the nineteenth century the College brew-house and larder had been
converted into a stable and coach-house for the Principal. In later times these
were chiefly used for storing firewood and lumber ; but the Principal's pigs
fattened in an adjoining sty down almost to the date of its removal.


years of age, excited " universal wonder and very general
admiration " by the originality and eloquence of his prayers. 1
Unfortunately attendance at the Prayer Hall in the evenings
led to many irregularities of conduct on the part of students
of both Colleges. Principal Haldane alleged that they
" assembled there under the pretext of attending prayers,
and adjourned to the lodgings of their fellow-students, or
to taverns, where they spent their evenings in idleness and
dissipation." 2 To such an extent did this evil increase that
on gth December 1824 it was intimated to the students
that evening prayers would thenceforth be discontinued,
"many reasons having concurred to satisfy the Masters
that it was now inexpedient to bring the students from their
lodgings throughout the city, in the winter evenings, to
attend prayers in the public hall." 3 Morning prayers are
still appointed by the College laws, but they have long been
associated with the commencement of the day's work in
the Divinity class-room.

In 1747 the membership of the College included eight
Foundation bursars, who, along with the Moncreiffe bursar,
were entitled to maintenance for four sessions at the public
table out of the funds of the College. This table was kept
up until 1814, when it was discontinued, and a money allow-
ance made to the bursars instead. In 1874 the number of
Foundation bursaries was reduced to six, tenable for three
years, and their value increased from 10 to 15 or thereby.
In 1895 they were further reduced to three, tenable for the
same period, but with their value advanced to 24. They
were at the same time renamed the Archbishop Hamilton
bursaries, in memory of their founder in 1553. Several
other Divinity bursaries were founded in the course of
the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, but
the total number of bursaries belonging to the College was
practically the same at the beginning and at the end of the
period now dealt with. On the other hand, about an equal
number of bursaries were transferable from the United

1 ' Memoirs,' by the Rev. Dr William Hanna, vol. i. p. 15, 1854 ed.

2 Evidence, p. 96. 3 Ibid., p. 371.


College when their holders proceeded to the study of
Divinity. For many years candidates for Foundation
bursaries underwent no examination. They were selected
by the Principal and Professors on the basis of certificates
of character and proficiency brought from the Professors
under whom they had taken their Arts course. The system
of awarding bursaries at St Mary's College on the principle
of merit ascertained by comparative trial dates from 1855.

Long before the common table was given up, most of the
students who were not bursars had ceased to occupy the
College rooms. After 1814 collegiate living may be said
to have terminated altogether, although the rooms still re-
mained open for the reception of students, and one or two
did occasionally make use of them. After the Principal
had been suitably provided for in the beginning of the
eighteenth century, twenty bedrooms and twenty -four
closets were left for the accommodation of students, and
more could have been fitted up if necessary. The rooms
were not reserved exclusively for Divinity students.
Students attending the United College were allowed to
occupy vacant apartments on obtaining the permission of
the Principal and paying the ordinary dues to the porter.

Online LibraryUniversity of St. AndrewsThe matriculation roll of the University of St. Andrews, 1747-1897; → online text (page 4 of 34)