Exeter College (University of Oxford).

Registrum Collegii exoniensis. Register of the rectors, fellows, and other members on the foundation of Exeter college, Oxford. With a history of the college and illustrative documents online

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Online LibraryExeter College (University of Oxford)Registrum Collegii exoniensis. Register of the rectors, fellows, and other members on the foundation of Exeter college, Oxford. With a history of the college and illustrative documents → online text (page 10 of 61)
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sustained therein already, he cannot but think he does well to leave it.
And because this office is so easy and pleasant and Wotton so meet
a man for it, Petre may be assured that he must needs thank him as
much as the thing deserves, that would wish him to it. ' I am now so
broken through age since my coming hither that you shall not know
me when you see me. And therefore it is time for me to get me into
a corner and take me to my beads and to remember that we have not
\itxt permanentem civitatem and therefore to begin to put on my boots
and prepare myself to go to the other place where we look for rest.'
Petre was Secretary of State during the reigns of the four Tudor
sovereigns. He was already a prominent man under Henry VIII, at
first 1538 as Clerk in Chancery^ and then as Secretary of State, in
which capacity he was one of the special council assigned to help
Queen Katherine (Parr) in 1544, when Henry left her Regent during
his absence in France. He was one of the Ten Visitors of the
University in 1549. On one occasion he presided in Convocation on
behalf of the Ro3-al Vicegerent Cromwell, who had in fact first brought
him forward ^. He was one of the twelve councillors of Edward VI
named by Henry VIII ; and fought for Mary against the party which

* State Papers, Foreign, 26 Oct. 1553, 17 April 1554,8 Oct. 1556, 6 May 1557,
5 Mch 1564, No. 220.

^ Rymer, ed. Hague 1741, vi. part iii. pp. 15, 20, 114, pari iv. pp. 12S, 14S.

^ Dixon i. 403, 498, Pocock's Burnet vii. 90, N.it. Biog. ii. 155 (iiis help to
Ascham), N. and Gleanings v. 1 34.


was trying to upset Ilcnry VlII's Act of Succession passed in favor

of Mary and Elizabeth. Wotton applies to him to intercede for some

of his relations who had joined the rebels '. It was Petre who advised

IVIary to forbid the legate entering England, who was sent by the Pope

to remove Cardinal Pole. He was an excellent diplomatist and, though

he said little during an interview, was an attentive observer of his

sovereign's interest. Ah (said Chatillon at Boulogne), we had gained

the last two hundred thousand crowns without hostages, had it not

been for that man who said nothing. This was Sir William Petre.

He ceased to be Secretary in 1557, but a state document written by

him occurs as late as 24 Feb. 156I, and he was Chancellor of the

order of the Garter from that year to his death 13 Jan. i57|. Latterly

he suffered much from illness. Peter Vannes writes to him from

Venice 10 Oct. 1556 that he is sorry to hear that Petre is somewhat

troubled with a spice of the strangolione (quinsey), that he does not

know the peculiarities of it, but intending to go to Padua within three

days will consult with his friends as to the kind of remedy most propice

for him. On 19 July 1560 Petre writes to Cecil that the Queen is

minded to begin a progress toward Portsmouth : he wishes much that

Cecil would come before her remove, for that he is unable to follow

except in a litter, and that not without danger and pain. Petre held

some of the Abbey lands, about which Sir Edward Carne writes from

Rome 28 July 1555 ' Petre's matter is in the hands of the Datary,

who has promised favour in all Carne's suits. Had delivered the

book to one of experience here to draw a minute thereof. Stands in

doubt whether he had all again or no; for if the beginning of the

book be " JManerium de Ging ad Petram alias Ging Abbatisse alias

dictum Ingatstone in comitatu predicto " with the word " Essex " in the

margin, thinks he has all ; if that be not the beginning of Petre's book

he does lack. Has in all 12 manors, one farm called Salmons and

Barowse, and three parsonages, so that he has but 16 pieces in all if

that be the whole. If that be the whole he has enough ; if it be not,

requests Petre will send it him in a little bill.' The endowment of

Exeter College however came from some lands which Petre purchased

of the Queen for the purpose ", viz. : the Rectory and Vicarage of

* State Papers, Foreign, 23 Feb. 1554.

^ Sir Walter Mildniay to Sir W. Cecil, with Sir W. Petre's account of lands
lie had of the Queen for Exeter College, 1 1 May 156S, Lansdowne MS. 614. x. 67*.


Kidlington, the Rectory and advowson of Merton, and of South
Newington, and the Rectory of Ardington (Yarnton), some lands in
Little Tewe once belonging to Osney Abbey, and some land in
Garsington (all in Oxfordshire), together with land at Tintinhull in
Somerset. The Vicarage of Kidlington had belonged to Osney, and
was now transferred to the College together with the Rectory, by an
exception to the usual rule about vicarages. It was annexed to the
Rectorship of Exeter College, the Rector holding it without institution^.
This arrangement is expressly noticed in the statute 12 Charles II
cap. 17, sect. 23. Petre settled £79 12^ 2d per annum on the
College to found seven fellowships, and for the eighth £5 2J and an
annual income to the House fund of £11 ^s \\d,\r\. all £96 \s '>,\d
(the revenues of the old foundation were valued in 26 Henry VIII at
£83 2s, besides the valuable ground on which the College stood);
he left the College £40 by will, and his wife Anne left the same
amount. His son John Lord Petre, besides a legacy of £ 20, gave
from himself, his mother, and some friends £15 ds 8d to augment the
old fellowships and make them all equal; this annual rent was bought
at Mich. 1572 of M. Phylpotte by the College. The Petrean
foundation in all was reckoned to be worth £111 7.$' u^d. Sir
William reserved to himself and his son the nomination of the
Petrean fellows. Afterwards the College was to elect from the
counties in which his family held property. These counties were
originally Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Oxford and Essex, but before
the alteration in 1854 there had been added to them Yorkshire,
Lancashire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge (includirig the Isle 0/ Ely),
Kent, Middlesex, Hampshire, Northants, Cheshire, Cornwall, Surrey ;
though the counties italicised had lost their claim by Lord Petre ceasing
to hold land in them^

* In 17S5 a question arose about the Curacy, the curate being Thomas Bovct.
It appealed that the Vicarage is a lay fee, subject to a payment of £10 a year
to a curate, and the Rector on vacating the Headship of the College cannot retain
the Vicarage. The Rector should grant title to a curate not as Vicar but as
Impropriator of the Vicarage, if he is distinctly so from the rest of the College ;
but should the Vicarage be given in the grant to the Rector and Fellows, the title
should be under the College Seal (letter from Bishop's secretary, Reg. 16 May and
30 Oct. 1785, June 1786, 3 June 1790). See p. Ixxwii.

' As to Lancashire men being eligible see case of Rev. Daniel Matliias of
Brascnose in Reg. 1792; in 1824 counsel's opinion was taken about the Petrean


Queen Elizabeth's grant of Kullington', &c., ran thus: Elizabeth
&c., Whereas our brother Edward 6 by letters patent dated 4 Jan.
I Edw. 6 [1548] to-farm-let to Richard Taverner the Rectory and
mansion of Cudlington upon the Greene with buildings tithes &c.
(after the end of the estate of Robert Saunders), for 2 1 years at a rent
of £20 ; and whereas we by letters patent dated 19 Feb. 7 Eliz. [1565]
have to farm let to Thomas Frauncis the reversion of the said Rectory
&c. (after Taverner's lease), for 30 years at a rent of £20; and
whereas we by letters patent dated 24 Nov. 7 Eliz. [1564] to farm
let to John Chamberlin 2 messuages and 4 virgates of land in Thorpe,
(Thrup, then occupied by Humphry Wells), for 2 1 years from the
previous Michaelmas at a rent of 53J \d; and whereas our brother
Edward by letters patent dated 21 Dec. 5 Edw. 6 [1551] to-farm-let
to George Owen Esq. the Rectory of Ardington &c. (then occupied
by Richard Andrewes, previously belonging to the monastery of
Ensham), reserving the timber, for 2 1 years from the following
Michaelmas at a rent of £7 : Know ye that we, for a sum of £1376
\\s 4\d from Sir William Petre, grant the said Sir W. Petre the
reversion of the Rectory of Cudlington and the rent of £20; and the
reversion of the 2 messuages with 4 virgates &c. and the rent of
53^ 4</; and the reversion of the Rectory of Ardington &c. and the

qualifications. As to Hampshire and Middlesex see Reg. 1827, p. 116. Old List
a. 1724 'Pitt and Scott, both of Dorset, were elected to Petrean fellowships.
I doubt whether ever any Dorset men have been elected as of the old diocese
of Sarum since the Renovation under Elizabeth's Charter, or whetlier they are
at all eligible since Sir W. Petre's new code and giving a participation of his
8 fellowships to Dorset, which was then and long before in the diocese of Bristol.'
Joseph Rosdew in 1827 presented Ashfield (^3 a. 2 r. 3 p.) in Tangley near Andover
to Lord Petre, as a qualification for Hants, and Lord Petre gave the College
a lease of it for 100 years on receiving annually a copy of the University Calendar.
In 1834 Richard Martin procured the admission of Kent, by buying 4 acres of land
in the village of Dunkirk near Faversham and conveying them to Lord Petre, who
leased the land to the College on an annual payment of an Oxford Almanac. In
1839 W. Falconer admitted Cheshire by conveying to Lord Petre a small
incorporeal hereditament, a rent charge of 10s on an estate called Leighton Hall
in Nantwich. In 1847 J- ?• Lightfoot admitted Northants by conveying to Lord
Petre some ground in the village of Wootton lying across the road on the
west side of the parsonage. The same year, 1847, some land was given by
a committee of Cornish gentlemen, through the Rev. David Jenkins, to qualify
natives of Cornwall. In 1848 Mr. Robert Hichens similarly qualified natives
of .Surrey.

' Partly printed in //is/, of Kidlint^ton (O. H. .S.) 45 ; for Yarnton sec 216.


rent of £7 ; and we grant him all the Rectory of Cudlington with the
mansion and tithes &c., and the Vicarage of Cudlington with the
buildings &c., and the 2 messuages with 4 virgates in Thorpe &c.
(lately belonging to Godstow) ; and the Rectory of JNIerton with the
tithes &c, (lately occupied by Richard Gunter ') ; and the Rectory of
Ardington with the tithes &c. ; and our messuages &c. in Little Tewe
rented at £8 13J ^d (lately occupied by William Raunesford),
previously belonging to Osney; and the Rectory of South Newenton
with the tithes &c. rented at £8 (lately occupied by George Gyfford)
... all without reserving any rent &c., except the £10 issuing from
the Vicarage of Cudlington for the Curate's stipend, and the 6s 8d
from the same vicarage to the Bishop of Oxford, and the 13^ iiftf to
the Archdeacon of Oxford, and the £9 ioj i if 6^ from the Rectory of
Merton to divers persons.

Sir W. Petre's general deed of gift is as follows :

Sciant &c. that I William Petre &c. have given (after obtaining the
Queen's licence) to the Rector and Scholars of Exeter College, the
Rectory of Cudlington upon the Greene, Oxon, and the mansion
house of the Rectory together with the buildings tithes oblations &c.,
all which lately belonged to Christ Church &c., and was occupied by
Richard Taverner ; also the Vicarage of Cudlington wth the buildings
tithes oblations &c. lately occupied by Lawrence Atkinson ; the Rectory
of Meryton with the tithes oblations &c. lately occupied by Richard
Gunter; the Rectory of Ardington with the tithes &c. lately occupied
by George Owen Esq. (Meryton and Ardington were once granted to
Cardinal Reginald Pole) ; also my messuages lands &c. in Little Tewe,
Oxon lately occupied by William Rainsford; the Rectory of South
Neweton, Oxon with the lands tithes oblations &c. lately occupied by
George Gifford (previously belonging to Christ Church &c. and then
to Cardinal Pole). All which rectories &c. Queen Elizabeth gave me
by Letters Patent dated Westminster 18 May 7 Eliz. [1565]. I have
also given them my messuage &c. in Garsington ^ lately occupied by
Thomas Purges alias Smith and Agnes his wife, previously belonging

' Peshall 269-70.

2 See 47 D. K. Roc. 229 (6 Erlw. I); State P.npers 3 Ap. 1623 Ralph Kettle
[president of Trinity] and Dr. J. I'rideaux to the Archbishop, 'G. Melsotn distresses
the poor by enclosing and ploiip;hin<j pasture in Gasingloa Field, which were used
by the poor for feeding their cattle.'


to Awdeley's Chantrye in Salisbury Cathedral, which I purchased from
Robert Hichcock Esq. of Caverfeild in Bucks and John Gifford of
Northall in Middlesex gentleman by deed dated ii July 5 Eliz.
[1563], Hichcock and Gifford having received it by Letters Patent
dated 10 July 5 Eliz. I have also given them my annual rent of £5
from the lands &c. of William Babington ^ Esq. in Nether Cuddington
or Kiddington, Oxon and in Over Kiddington, Nether Kiddington,
Asterley and Glimpton. I have also given them my messuage in
Tyntenhull and burgage in Mountague, Somerset, both which I
purchased of John Hayter and Agnes his wife daughter and heir of
Robert Stacy of Tintenhull by deed dated 30 Nov. 4 and 5 Philip
and Mary [1557]. And I have given all these [full account repeated
in varied language] for the following purposes viz. : the carrying out
my Statutes &c. and certain Indentures made between me and the
College &c. And I have made Philip Huckle and John Hourd my
attorneys to give seisin of all these to the Rector and Scholars. Dated
at Ging Petre [Ingatestone, Essex] 8 Nov. 8 Eliz. 1566.

The following clause occurs in Sir W. Petre's Indented Articles^
with the College 8 Nov. 8 Eliz. : ' Item that the Vicarage of Cudlington
on the Grene, parcel of the premises granted unto the said Rector
and Scholars, and their successors, shall be unto John Neale, now
Rector of the said College, during only the time he shall continue
Rector, and to his successors, Rectors of the said College for the
time being; he the said John Neale, and his successors, Rectors
there, allowing and paying yearly unto the said College, to the uses
set forth in these presents, the sum of £7 6s o^d^ at the feasts of
S. Michael and the Annunciation by equal portions ; and seeing the
Cure of the said parish to be served at his the said Rector's and his
successors' costs and charges; and seeing the people of the said
parish to be well instructed and taught, and keeping all manner of
reparations of the Vicarage house, and all other houses thereto
belonging, at the cost and charge of the same Rector for the time
being; and suffering the scholars of the said College, in time of

' Computus summer 1 566 ; there is a copy in the muniment room of a recog-
nition by W. Babington to Rector J. Neale 21 Nov. 1566.
'' The Latin is printed in full in ed. i. pp. liv-vii.
' This was afterwards reduced to ^4, ed. i. p. Ivii.


sickness in Oxford, freely to have the use of the said Vicarage house
during the time of the said sickness.' This was by no means
a useless permission when Oxford suffered from outbreaks of plague
and sickness of all kinds. There were at least 12 such outbreaks in
Henry VIII's reign, and a great mortality, especially in the sweating
sickness of 1528. Oxford suffered much from plagues all through
the middle ages. A number of deaths are mentioned in the Computus
of autumn 1407. Autumn 1518 'xxis \\d pro comunis Rectoris,
Moreman, Waryn, Wyllugby, Chappell Existencium in patria, tempore
pestilencie urgente.' The sweating sickness was very fatal in 1485-6,
1489, 1493, I499~i50°j 1503^- Ii^ 1563 the plague prevented the
election of a Rector and the audit of the accounts, and we hear
several times of the University being dispersed and one or two fellows
only being left in charge of the College.

For the Black Assize of 1577 see Wood's City'i. 269, Boase's Oxford
130; Reg. 21 July 1577, 'morbi iravSrjftov, et contagione sua inficientis,
natura et vi consideratis, Rectoris et maioris partis eorum qui domi
erant consensu, facta omnibus tum Recto ri tum Scholaribus potestas
est rus proficiscendi et ab Academia discedendi ad vigiliam Omnium
Sanctorum inclusive excepto Edmundo Lewkenor subrectore, Petro
Randall et Jo . . Cornells, quibus Collegii cura et custodia demandata
est (intra quod tempus illi dies minime continentur quos nobis singulis
statuta nostra concedunt); .... decretum ut tribus illis custodibus,
singulis, nullis communis expectatis, 4°'' solidi singulis hebdomadis
numerarentur ' ; on 23 July however Cornelius left and Stratford took
his place ; Edmund under cook and Lite vice promus were to receive
2s 6d z week. The plague had been severe in 1575 when Westlake,
Sympson, and Carpenter were left in charge of the College; in 1582
it raged ' in duabus aedibus pro foribus Collegii.' In the plague of
1 570-1 the Fellows had removed to Abingdon, Computus ' M. Pudsey
pro reditu domus quam Abindonia; conduximus tempore pestis iiilt
\is v'uid; M. Simson et M. Westlake pro eorum industria in con-
servatione Collegii rcgnante peste viii// xiif ; pro expensis cuiusdam
qui illis famulabatur, quern et ipsa pestis infecerit, i'lUi iis ; pro conductis

' Gutch i. 642, 646, 650, 659, 661 : Autumn 1551 'iii/j xs . . . sex scptimanas
Sudoris periculum cos ab Academia cxularc feccrit ; xi.v y'n'uf . . agebant pro-
batioiiis ' (parchment mutilated).


vehicuHs ad res nostras Abindoniae transferendas xxx'is \id; pro
purgando Collegio et omnibus ciusdem Collegii cubiculis xviij \md.'
See Antiquary Feb. 1886, Academy 23 Jan. 1886 p. 58.

Elizabeth's Charter of Incorporation is dated 22 Mch 1566 *. She
empowered William Alley bishop of Exeter to draw up new Statutes ^
for the College with the advice and consent of Sir William Petre.
Under these statutes the Rector was to be at least a Master of Arts
and thirty years of age, but not a bishop ^ ; and no one was to be
elected a Fellow who had more than ten marks of inheritance or life
interest. The day of election was 30 June, the morrow of S. Peter
and S. Paul. The Subrector was to preside at the disputations in
theology, the Dean to preside at the classical and philosophical
disputations of the bachelors twice a week, to lecture on logic to the
students {scholastici) and hear them dispute in logic daily, and require
logic repetitions from them thrice a week — but the Dean might pay
a bachelor to do his work. He was himself paid by the fees which he
received on presenting men for the degree of B.A. or INI.A., and by
payments of eightpence a quarter from the co7Jime?isales and batiellarii
who attended his logic lecture. He might punish a bachelor by
setting him a literary task, or making him dine apart on short
commons. Great stress is laid on the public disputations in Hall,
on subjects of logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics, or moral
philosophy. The discussions lasted for two hours on the written
questions that had been proposed, but on feast days or for special
reasons the Dean might limit them to one hour. The fellows who
were studying theology were to dispute in the chapel on theology once
a week in full term, except in Lent. There is a special arrangement
for times of pestilence. Logic lectures * were given from 6 to 7 in
the morning, logical disputations held from 10 to n and from 6 to 7
in the evening, repetitions from 3 to 4 on IMonday, Wednesday and
Friday. The time was reckoned by a waterclock. The usual hour
for supper was then at 5 o'clock; dinner had been moved on from

^ Statutes 3, App. p. 68 ; see p. 86 two mills at Cudlyngton.

* They were partly taken from those of Trinity. Stephen Marks and Robert
Newton fellows of Exeter were the first fellows of Trinity named in the Charter ;
Roger Crispin was another.

^ MuUinger i. 373. He was not necessarily in Orders. See Brodrick 253.

* Compare MuUinger i. 460.


lo to II or 12 in the Tudor age'. Even in 1760 some people still
dined at half-past 12.

Fellows elected before taking their B.A. degree were not to take
it till 3 years after their election; a rule not altered until 1854.
Masters of Arts, after completing their necessary Regency were to
study theology and take their B.D. in ten years from their Regency,
and D.D. within eight years afterwards — but this last rule might be
dispensed with by the Rector and majority of Fellows. Any one
who did not take these degrees within four months after the periods
named was to be deprived within the next month. When at a much
later period the University decreed that no one who was not in Orders
should take the B.D., this rule had the effect of forcing the Fellows to
take Orders within ten years and four months from their Regency ^.
A fellowship was vacated at once by marriage^ or entry into an
employment incompatible with residence ; and vacated within a year
by accession to an inheritance, canonry, or life- income of ten marks
a year: if a Fellow took a living worth £8 in the King's Books he
vacated within a year unless he resigned the living within that year.

* Winter 1475 ' it/ pro clipsidris emptis'; Lent 1551 ' xiiaT Westborne pro annua
pensione ad cnstodiendam clepsydram nostram ' ; autumn 1556 ' xii^ pro corio pro
opere servientis clepsydram'; Lent 1558 'iiiio? subcustodi CoUegii Marton con-
sumtis in hiis rebus que pertinebant ad machinam horariam.'

* Gutch ii. 260, iii. 422, Ayliffe i. 468, ii. 129, Laud's Chancellorship 24, 28,
29, Burrows 352-3. In Colleges which wished to enforce Orders, this was added
to the rules about B.D. and D.D., S. John's Statutes pp. 59, 61. In 1594 an order
was made that a B.D. must study two years before his grace was propounded :
see under 1778. Laud's Statutes of 1634 required disputations and a Latin sermon,
the preacher to be in deacon's orders at least. But by custom the Vice-chancellor
dispensed with those exercises once a year^ and also in favour of the proctors,
relieving one of them from the disputations, the other from the sermon. The
requirement of a sermon before D.D. is very ancient. In the middle ages some of
the greatest theologians were not ordained ; and many friars preached who were not
in orders ; ordination was not made an absolute requisite for preaching till after
the Reformation. The Latin sermons at S. Mary's were treated as a divinity
exercise of the present day is, only the Vice-chancellor proctors and bedels attending,
and there was no public notice. The hour was 9 in the morning. In May 1833
they were aljolishcd, but the candidate was required to show that he was in deacon's
orders. A statute of the next month, June 1S33, required priest's orders. I owe
great part of this note to Dr. Griffiths. IIolwcU took his B.D. 1790 though not in

' Si quis uxorem duxcrit aut matrimonium vcl s]ionsalia contra.xcrit ; this seems
to make a marriage engagement vacate the fellowship, but it was not so intcri)retc<.i
ill practice. See S. John's .Statutes p. (^^.


The Rector might hold one living, but only on condition of continued
residence in College — and an Ordinance of John Lord Petre allowed
him to hold two livings on the same condition, of whatever value they
might be, so far as the laws of the land would allow. As the value
of money altered these conditions were relaxed. In 1744 Edward
IMorshead, who was 'seised of a real estate of £10 or £11 per
annum,' took a fellowship on the ground that, owing to the altered
value of money, this was much below the 10 marks mentioned in the
statutes. On 15 Sep. 1758 the Visitor permitted a living worth £80
to be held with a fellowship: and 5 Dec. 1793 other property
amounting to £40: on 13 Mch 1804 he increased the limit of £80
to £120 clear value, and on 4 Jan. 18 10 that of other property to
£100 (i.e. 15 times the value of the old 10 marks; Burrows' All
Souls 27, Letters from Bodleian i. 150; Wordsworth 569 'in 17 18
£20 or £30 a year with a fellowship made a pretty easy subsistence').
Any living might be held, if in Oxford. The case of the altered value
of money is well stated in Bishop Fleetwood's C/ironi'con Preciosum
1706 and 8° 1747 with reference to fellowships at All Souls, where
the limit was £5. He notices that even the cost of taking a degree
had increased fivefold since the middle of the fifteenth century.
Another Visitor's decree decides that when three or four Fellows
demand a College meeting, the Rector is bound to summon one, and
to propose any question which two or more Fellows demand to have

Online LibraryExeter College (University of Oxford)Registrum Collegii exoniensis. Register of the rectors, fellows, and other members on the foundation of Exeter college, Oxford. With a history of the college and illustrative documents → online text (page 10 of 61)