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

. (page 15 of 61)
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 15 of 61)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

6 Ap. 1661 age 18].


of the fellows and by this means gave the candidate he favored
a majority. The Vice-chancellor Dr. Fell declared the suspension
unjust and invalid, and the next Vice-chancellor Dr. Mews ordered
Burgh the other candidate to be admitted fellow. Bury gave way,
Burgh was admitted into Hawkey's place who had just resigned, and
both the candidates became fellows under a Royal Letter of 30 June
1670, which dispensed with any clause in the statutes that might
interfere with this setdement^

On 10 Oct. 1689 Bury '^ expelled James Colmer one of the fellows

^ Some fellows had protested 28 June 1668 against there being 5 Cornish
fellows, and on account of Burgh's election 1669 Bury suspended 3 Cornish
fellows, Polwhele as elected when there were already 4 Cornish fellows, PajTiter
for having succeeded to a Devon fellowship, Verman for succeeding to predecessors
of an uncertain county : and he further suspended Gooddall and Hawkey.
Burrington had 10 votes. Burgh 8 besides the 3 suspended, on which Bury
pronounced Burrington elected.

^ Bp. Trelawney sent an inhibition 14 Nov. 1689, and directed an account of the
proceedings to be sent him, and that Mr. Cleaveland and Mr. Manndrel should
come to him at London. Bury refused to obey, and the Visitor by a parchment
notice fixed to the Chapel door 18 Mch i6|^ cited the Rector and Verman,
Lethbridge, Huchinge, Archer, Cleaveland, Adams, Thorn to appear before him
on 21 Mch when the Rector and three others entered a protest (but Hutchins and
Cleaveland did not agree in it) against the Visitation, and so again on the 25
when the Visitor's Commissary Edward Master LL.D. restored Colmer's name
to the Buttery Book. The Rector brought a new charge against Colmer and
again crossed his name from the Books, Colmer again appealed and the Visitor
summoned all to appear before him on 16 June, when the great gate was shut
against him, but he entered another way, and on the Rector presenting a fresh
protest snatched it from him and trod it under foot. The Visitor appealed
to the Privy Council against the College for contempt of his jurisdiction. At the
election of 30 June 1690 the Rector, Subrector, Heam, Lethbridge, Archer,
Adams, Thorn, Crabb, Vivian, Bonamy, and Kingston elected John Vi^'ian in
Colmer's place ; Hutchins and Ratcliff voted for him conditionally ' if his place
were vacant'; Cleaveland, Read, Harris, Bagwell, Maundrel, Webber, and Levet
denied that there was any vacancy. The Visitor came again 24 July and another
attempt was made to shut the gate against him. On the 25th he suspended 11
Fellows for three months for contumacy, and afterwards excommunicated
Kingston. On the 26th he expelled the Rector and ordered him to give up the
management to the Senior Fellow on pain of the greater excommunication. The
non-suspended Fellows elected William Paynter Rector 15 Aug. 1690, who took
the oath in December. The case then came before the King's Bench, which on
13 Jan. 1691 ordered the management of the College to be left with Dr. Bury till
the case was settled, but Vivian's title to the fellowship was held over and he was
not to vote. There were double elections to several fellowships by the rival
Rectors and the Fellows who adhered to them. For the case in the King's Bench
and the House of Lords see Skinner's Reports pp. 447-516, Trin. term 6 William
and Mary, tit. Philips and Bury, Lansdown MS. 614. i; Heywood on Univ.



on a charge of incontinence, but the evidence was so worthless
that the Vice-chancellor disallowed it, and the Visitor Jonathan
Trelawney bishop of Exeter ordered Colmer to be restored. The
Rector again crossed Colmer's name out of the books, and on this
the bishop held a formal Visitation of the College, when the Rector
tried to shut the gates against him. At last the Visitor expelled
Bury and the fellows who joined him in opposing the Visitation,
and William Paynter was elected Rector in his stead, but it was four
years before the case was finally settled on appeal to the House of
Lords. Other charges were brought against Bury in the Visitation.

Reform 1853 p. 415 ; E. Stillingfleet's Ecclesiastical Cases part 2 1704 pp. 411-36 ;
D. K. R. 13 App. vi. p. 36; and Ranke's Englajid vi. 257 translation. The
Register p. 88 contains the following summary, ' In lite contra Visitatorera
nomine magistri Painter; termino S. Michaelis pro Rectore argumentum habuit
D. Tho. Trevor regiae majestatis solicitator generalis ; proximo termino nil actum,
impedito per negotia Parliamentaria et Regia domino Jo. Somers regio turn
attornato postea magni sigilli custode. lUo ita promote argumentum pro
Collegio habuit M. Wallop; D. Justiciario primario de sensu statuti dubitante,
cum absurdum videatur Rectorem sine consensu suo amoveri non posse ut litera
statuti de Visitatione significare videtur, de interpretatione statuti cansam nostram
egit D. Blencow serviens ad legem : D. Guilelmo Gregory uno e Justiciariis
defuncto, et D. Sam. Ayres in ejus locum succenturiato ut novus judex de tota
lite certior iieret argumentum aliud a D. Webbe habitum. Tandem termino
S. Trinitatis 1694 sententia a Judicibus lata, tribus pro Rectore, D. autem
Justiciario primario pro Visitatore censentibus. Dixit enim D. Justiciarius
Visitatores CoUegiorum Fundatorum munere fungi, Collegiorum autem praefectos
et socios pro elemosynariis habendos ad arbitrium Fundatoris amovendos, nee
quicquam id mereri magis quam contumaciam ; verba autem statuti nequaquam
ita interpretanda ut Rector sine consensu suo amoveri non possit, nee necessarium
esse aliorum consensum licet Scholaris sine consensu Rectoris et trium scholarium
e maxime senioribus expelli non possit. Post latam a Judicibus in Banco Regis
sententiam, causa per appellationem sive scriptum erroris in superiorem Parliamenti
domum a reverendo Visitatore transfertur. Ibi, auditis hinc inde jurisconsultis,
a longe majore Baronum parte decemitur ut judicium in Banco Regis datum
reversetur [10 Dec. 1694]. Quo judicio a Justiciariis rescisso, iterum jussere
Barones ut dicti Justiciarii dirigerent Vicecomiti Oxoniensi scriptum possessionis
quo M. Gulielmum Paynter in aedes Rectoratus mitteret. Quod per officiarium
suum fecit Feb. 11" 1694 (169*). Vivian, Preston, Martin, and Pinhay were
consequently removed 19 Feb. 169I as illegally elected. The Visitor restored
Lethbridge and S. Adams on their submission 7 Mch 169*, and Kingston 20 Ap.
1695 ; Verman submitted 19 Oct. 1700 and was restored at the Visitor's request to
his privileges, and to his arrears ' at the request of my very good friend Mr. Smith
Chancellor of the Exchequer' (28 Nov. 1700). John Meddens M.A. of Wadham
was ' moderator' at Ex. Coll. about 1690, ' the Fellows being at variance among
themselves,' Hutchins i. 236 ; Athenae iv. 394, 484-5. The Bishop's Articles of
Enquiry 1690 are in the muniment room.


He had sold the place of cook to Robert Harding for £150, and
received £50 from Hedges the next cook that Harding might resign
in his favour. He had also sold the place of butler to William
New for £170. The Rector's answer denies most of the statements ^
and there is so much cross-swearing among the witnesses that
it is difficult to make out the real state of the case about Colmer,
but Bury's conduct had been very arbitrary. The main circum-
stance in Colmer's favour is that he was supported by two of the
fellows Ezra Cleaveland and Henry Maundrell, who were men of
high character. Colmer states that Thomas Kingston the chaplain
who supported Bury ' is registered in Mr. Dangerfield's Diary as
one of his singular friends and companions.' But probably what
told most against Bury was his having published in 1690 The
Naked Gospel, for which he was ultimately charged with Socinianism ^,
and the book itself was ordered by the University, 19 Aug. 1690,
to be burnt. Bury published a new edition with alterations and
explanations, but could not get a hearing. He anticipated the view
of Locke, that the fundamental points of religion were few and
simple, and that the main part of the existing theology was an accre-
tion from the time of the Middle Ages : if we returned to the primitive
doctrine, there would be more hope of union among Christians :
he appealed to such texts as Acts xx. 20, 'I kept back nothing
that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught
you publickly and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews
and also to the Greeks, Repentance towards God, and Faith towards
our Lord Jesus Christ.' Bury's case was thought one of some hard-
ship and there was a debate on it in the House of Lords, but
ultimately Paynter was confirmed in the place of Rector. Bury was
Rector during James II's reign, when— perhaps as part of the king's
plan of giving University appointments to Roman Catholics — Lord
Petre sent a letter naming a Petrean fellow ^. On the College refusing

' See list of pamphlets in Bibl. Com. 772-3, and Wood's Collection no. 631.

' See The answer to an heretical book called the Naked Gospel, by William
NichoUs fellow of Merton, London 1691 : compare Abbey and Overton i. 488.

^ On 23 June 16S5, on the death of John Bury, Lord Petre sent a letter naming
Fitzwilliam Southcott in his place; Reg. Dec. 2 1686 'Dec. 2 1686, petitionem
suam supremis regiis de rebus ecclesiasticis Commissariis exhibuit dominus
Thomas Petreus; Dec. 11, literae citatoriae a dominis Commissariis missae ad

k 2


to accept the nomination as being against the statutes which gave the

election to the Rector and Fellows, Lord Petre brought an action

nos allatae jubentes ut responsum quamprimum exhiberemus; Jan. 13, contra-
petitio e consilio domini Johannis Maynard ad legem servientis regii, egregii
benefactoris nostri, per dominum Newton LL.D. exhibita, a Commissariis cum
indignatione rejecta tanquam curiae contemtrix, mandatumque ut responsum per
syndicos communis sigilli authoritate communitos proxima curiae sessione
exhiberemus; Jan. 20, syndic! facti dominus Rector, M. Hearne, M. Paynter et
M. Burrington S.T.B., responsum a se subscriptum exhibuerunt. Diploma regium,
Articulos inter dominum Gulielmum Petreum et Collegium reciprocos, CoUegii
tum Vetera tum Petreana Statuta, determinationem Gulielmi olim episcopi
Exoniensis Visitatoris super eadem lite, Duodecim viron.im in curia communium
placitorum in aula Westmonasteriensi veredictum, 73 demum annorum intenuptam
hujus juris possessionem allegantes ; Responsum in curia Commissariorum lectum ;
datum domino Petreo 14 dierum spatium, jussumque ut utraque pars alteri
munimenta sua communicaret. Petiit dominus Petreus Diploma Articulos
Feoffamentum statutorum librum, et obtinuit omnium vel aspectum vel exemplar ;
petierunt Syndici nostri jactatam in petitione Submissionem CoUegii 7™° Eliz.
domino Gulielmo Petreo factam communi sigillo firmatam : respondit procurator
vestigia quidem ejus habere se, scriptura autem ipsum non habere ; Feb. 2,
appropinquante jam die liti diriraendae destinata procurator Petreanus dilationem
vafre obtinuit, Commissariorum registrarium et procuratorem nostrum decipiens ;
Feb. 17, die tandem critico petitio domini Petrei et CoUegii Responsum in curia
de novo perlecta coram domino Petreo, cui dominus Cancellarius palam declaravit
plene a CoUegio responsum, et nisi de rebus faciis vel fallerent vel errarent causa
cadere non posse ; respondet dominus Petre advocatos suos statim adfore causam
suam acturos ; curia interim exire jussi omnes ; post dimidii circiter horae moram
adsunt illi, nos intromissi; ex parte domini Petrei steterant dominus Ricardus
AUibon eques et Guilielmus Williams quondam domus Parlamenti inferioris
prolocutor ; tempora praeterita causatus D. AUibon tanquam Petreanae religion!
ac inde familiae iniqua, nihil jam inde diutumam CoUegii possessionem causae
suae obfuturam sperare se professus, mox diplomate munitum D. Guilielmum
Petreum statuta pro libitu condidisse eandemque potestatem haeredibus suis
dedisse cumque istiusmodi potestati nihil detrahere posset Articulis tamen
confirmatam esse ut ex ultimo patet quem [ye controleing article] appellitavit,
haec et similia D. AUibon ; ad eundem sensum locutus est alter causidicus
Williams, addito perquam modestum et rationabile esse ut liceat fundatoribus eos
nominare qui munificentia sua gaudeant. Dominus Jefferys totius Angliae
Cancellarius, supremus hujus curiae Commissarius respondit ; De Statutis CoUegii,
modo pro statutis admissa fuerint, statuere penes Visitatores esse ; hoc autem
statutum nunquam a CoUegio admissum sed perpetuo repudiatum, nee jam de
dubio agniti statuti sensu, sed de factis inter benefactorem et Collegium reciproce
sigillatis agi, nee proinde ad hanc curiam litem islam spectare ; adjecit ejusmodi
statutum condendi potestatem dominum Petreum omnino nuUam habuisse nee
magis quam John a Stiles &c. Dominus Herbert banci regii Archijusticiarius et
Commissarius alter addidit, non novum Collegium fundasse D. Guilielmum Petreum
sed veteri novos scholares addidisse, quod cum sine consensu priorum scholarium
facere non posset, mutuo per articulos conventum quid utrinque faciendum esset,
ejusmodi proinde pactis de statutis judicandura, de pactis autem judicare penes hanc
curiam non esse. Quum itaque litem hanc tanquam non ecclesiasticam sed civilem


before the High Commission Court, which he lost. The College
thought it unbecoming to demand the £60 expenses from the descen-
dant of their second founder, and the relations between Lord Petre's
family and the College have generally been of a friendly character,
Sir John Maynard and Sir George Treby pleaded for the College,
and Chancellor Jeffries said in his familiar way that a pretended
statute appealed to by Lord Petre's counsel was nothing to the point,
and that Sir William Petre had no more power of making such
a statute than John a Stiles.

Wood's Life iii. 385 — '30 Mch 1692 Oxford thieves found out,
examined, and discovered at the Georg Inn. The keeper of it
had received some goods that were taken from Mr. Lethbridge
of Exeter College . . . Ap. 11 or 12, news came that White the Oxford
thief was taken and committed to Stafford jayle. So 'tis hoped that
company of thieves that rob'd so often last winter is broke. But
he denied it at the gallowes ...11 July, Act Munday (if there had been
an Act), was executed by hanging early in the morn, in the Castle-
yard, one Robert White, somtimes a servitour of Ch. Ch., son of
Almond White a barber living neare the Miter Inn in Oxon, for
steahng a clock from a certaine person of Ch. Ch., a plate from
All Souls College, another from C.C.C, and books and cloths from
Mr. Lethbridge of Exeter College. Evidence came in against him

ad banc curiam non spectare dicerent Commissarii, rogavit D. Ri. Allibon quo ergo
domino Petreo confugiendum ut jus suum sibi vindicaret. Respondit dominus
Cancellarius, Hoccine a nobis ? Sedemns nos litium dirimendarum et criminum
puniendorum judices, non litigantium consiliarii. Rogavit demum D. Cancellarius
causidicos nostros ecquid haberent quod curiae proponerent. Gratias agentibus
illis et satis jam ab ipso dictum respondentibus missi facti sumus. Itaque jam
secundo tacentibus nostris lite ista liberati sumus ; ut enim jam a D. Cancellario
ita olim a D. Archijusticiario in communibus placitis causa nostra tanquam ab
advocatis acta est ; plane ut praescribere posse videamur non tantum de ipso jure
sed de modo jus defendendi. Plurimum debet Collegium D. Johanni Maynard
et D. Georgio Treby equitibus qui egregiam pro nobis operam navantes mercedem
recusarunt, quo etiam nomine D. Colding causidico, licet inferioris ordinis jam
tamen industrio, devincti sumus. His adjecimus D. Ward celeberrimum et in
cancellaria et in aliis curiis causidicum, Doctorem Newton et Doctorem Hedges
in lege civili insignes advocatos. Regii autem Commissarii erant D. Jeffery
supremus Angliae Cancellarius, D. Herbert Archijusticiarius, Comes Mulgrave
supremus camerarius, comes Sunderland concilii regii praeses idemque secretarius.
Comes Huntington, episcopi Dunelmensis et Roffensis. CoUegii circiter librarum
sexaginta damnum accessit, quum impensorum resarcitionem a tanti benefactoris
haercde petere incongruum videretur.' Documents in a box.


about the clock and cloths, but none concerning the plate. He was
accused for being one of the knot of robbers who committed several
robberies in the night time last winter in Oxon ; but he several times
denied it to the vicechancellor in prison and at the gallowes ; otherwise,
as 'tis thought, if he would or could have confessed the knot he would
have been saved. He was a handsome yong man and therefore
when he was to be executed the maides of the towne had dres'd up an
ordinary body to beg him to be her husband, and shee appeared at the
gallowes and desir'd him ; but [this was] denied unless he would
confess the knott.'

The list of Nonjurors in Kettlewell's Life, App. p. xii, shows few
names at Oxford, only about a couple of dozen, for most of the
Jacobites took the oath to the new king and then conspired against
him. Thomas Polwhele, fellow in 1664 and V. of Newlyn, was
one of the two nonjuring incumbents in Cornwall : the other was also
an Exeter Coll. man, James Beauford of Lanteglos by Camelford. At
the election in 17 19 Betty, Bartlett and Eastway had equal votes with
Philip Hicks, George Snell and William Hume, and Dr. Robert
Shippen the Vice-chancellor, a well-known Jacobite, selected the three
former; but Bartlett and Eastway were rejected 6 July 1720, at the
end of their year of probation, for disaffection and drinking the
Pretender's health \

Since the Restoration discipline had been bad ^. The state of the
College (and of the University) had altered much for the worse since
the time of Rectors Prideaux and Conant. Cicero's words became

^ See p. cxxxviii. For a similar case in 1748 see Wordsworth 62.

* Wood's Life ii. 83 (1666), 'One Drinkwater, an underi^raduat of Exeter
College with a red face was taken at the taverne by Dr. John Fell vice-chancellor.
He asked him his name. Drinkivate)-, answered he. Is this a place ioi you, saith
the vice-chancellor, who is your tutor ? Mr. Goodall {quasi good-ale) replyed he.
Excellent and verie ridiculous ; get you home for this time.' Wood's Life iii. 3,
S. John's and New College in 16S2 ; 139, ' 18 Ap. 16S5 Sat. at night, a b.istard laid
neare the dore of Mr. William Paynter at Exeter Coll. and laid to his charge, but
knowne to be a trie of malice by a pupill of his that he caused to be expell'd ;
6 May, John Jago of S. Marie hall, sometimes pupill to Mr. Painter of Exeter
Coll., expell'd by a programma stuck up in publick places for defaming Mr.
Painter his tutor by laying a bastard at his dore in Exeter Coll., Jago was forc'd
out of Exeter Coll. some time before for debauchery, by his tutor Painter' ; and
355 (in 1691). As late as 1775 Campbell says in his visit to England, 'The Fellows
of All Souls did nothing but clean their teeth all the morning, and pick them all
the evening . . . almost all the gownsmen we saw were tipsy.'


applicable to many a man (Cluent. § 72) Ea vitia quae a natura hahe-
bat, etiam sludio aique artificio qiiodam vialitiae condivisset. Dean
Prideaux ^ speaks of Exeter College as worse tharn Christ Church,
* nothing but drinking and duncery,' ' Exeter College is totally spoiled
and so is Christ Church.' The Solitary in Tom Jones who relates his
history to the hero describes himself as having been at Exeter,
but perhaps only as being a western man : the story however is not
a flattering one. The humorous notices of Oxford in the Spectator
all point the same way. We have the evidence of Swift, Defoe, Gray,
Gibbon, Johnson, John Wesley, Lord Chesterfield and Lord Eldon
all agreeing in this point, that both the great Universities were
neglectful and inefficient in the performance of their proper work ^ :
Lord Eldon and Vicesimus Knox agree in stating that the examinations
had long been a fiction, and this may have led to Adam Smith's view
of the uselessness of endowments for promoting real knowledge.
Chesterfield says of Carteret lord Granville ' he degraded himself by
the vice of drinking which, together with a great stock of Greek
and Latin, he brought away with him from Oxford ' ; his devotion
to Greek and Latin was his own. Clarendon makes one of the
speakers in his Discourse coricerning Education complain of the great
schools for sending up ' lubberly fellows, after they are 19 or 20 years
of age, who bring their debauchery with them.'

It was during this time that the Library was burnt down 2 Dec. 1709.
Heame says in his diary (ii. 318, 320, 330), 'This morning, very
early, began a fire in the scrape-trencher's (quadrae sculptricis) room
of Exeter College. This room being adjoyning to their Library,
all the innerpart of the library was quite destroyed, and only one stall
of books, or thereabouts, secured. The wind being low, and there
being good assistance, it was extinguished by eight o'clock, otherwise
it might have burnt the public library, which is not many yards distant
from it, on the east side. This library was formerly the college
chapel, which so continued till the year 1625. The wind at this time
was west. Though the writer of these memorials be not at all given
to superstition, and does not very easily give credit to the great
number of instances that are given in miscellaneous discourses of

* Letters ed. 1875 p. 13, Hist. Comm. v. 374, 376.

* Abbey and Overton ii. 44.


dreams, yet he cannot but here observe two considerable accidents
that happened to himself. The night in which the fire broke out at
Exeter College ha had little sleep, being strangely disturbed with the
apprehensions of fire, which seemed to him to be so near as to come
to the hall (Edmund hall) and to catch the upper part of it. This
apprehension continued violent, and he had only a sort of an inter-
rupted broken sleep, till such time as he was called up to go to look
after the library.' As the wind was west, it may have blown the
smoke to Edmund Hall, and if Hearne's window was open and the
smoke reached his nostrils during his sleep, it might account for his
dream. The library was soon after refurnished. But in 1778 it was
taken down and rebuilt, the College having received^ in 1774 a large
accession of MSS. and printed books by the benefactions of Edward
Richards Esqre and Joseph Sanford B.D., sometime members of this
House, and the latter afterwards fellow of Balliol (Reliquiae Hearnianae
16 Mch 172^, see Coxe).

A considerable improvement was effected in the College by John
Conybeare and some newly elected Fellows. Conybeare, elected in
1 7 10, was tutor to Archbishop Seeker and to Chancellor Talbot's sons.
In 1732 he published an answer to Matthew Tindal's Christianity as
old as the Creation (Matthew Tindal and his nephew Nicholas were
both at Exeter College). Conybeare's answer was highly appreciated
by his contemporaries, and Lechler the German historian of English
Deism expresses his admiration of it I In 1735 he published
' Calumny refuted, an answer to the personal slander of Dr. Richard
Newton.' Newton had become Principal of Hart Hall in 17 10 and
had procured an act of parliament for converting it into Hertford
College '. He now maintained that Hart Hall had always been really
independent of Exeter College ; and Dr. Hole the Rector of Exeter,
who was a weak man *, gave him free access to the muniment room

* Gutch iii. 115.

"^ Abbey and Overton i. 198, 230 ; Leslie Stephen's English Thought in XVIII
Century c. 2 § 11, c. 3 §§ 58-60, 63, c. 9 § 9.

^ Gulch iii. 641, 647 : he was B.A. of Christ Church la May 1698 ; and died
21 Ap. 1753 aged 77 years 4 months, Tcrrac Filiiis ii. 129-81. In 1733 he
pubhshed ' Letter on expense of University Education to A. B. fellow of E. C In
1833 the College bought 2 old seals that had belonged to Hart Hall.

* The Terrae Filius of 1733 said that Exeter was governed by old women,
Wordsworth 305. But this referred to a past state of things.


to consult the old documents. Conybeare thought that Newton on
this occasion removed the early documents about Hart Hall, which
are now missing. Newton was more honourably distinguished by his
effort to diminish the expenses of a University career (Brodrick 135),
for which he was made the subject of many jokes by the Terrae Filius,

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 15 of 61)