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 16 of 61)
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Nicholas Amhurst, afterwards so well known as editor of Bolingbroke's
journal ' The Craftsman.' When poor Newton said that ' he supped
in the Refectory and neither varied the meat nor exceeded the pro-
portion set before the lowest commoner,' Amhurst notes ' This part is
liable to dispute. I will only put you in mind of the late instance of
Pe.\se and Bacon. You remember what you said, upon that occasion,
viz. Is such diet as this to descend to the populace.'

Conybeare became Rector of Exeter 1730, after Hole's death,
and his exertions in the restoration of discipline and learning recom-
mended him to the Crown, which appointed him Dean of Christ
Church 1733, 'to cleanse out that Augean stable.' In 1735 West
writes to Gray from Christ Church ' a country flowing with syllogisms
and ale, where Horace and Virgil are equally unknown ^' At Exeter
Conybeare put a stop to the habit of selling the servants' places ^ and
restored the long neglected lectures. An account of his reforms is
printed from the College Register below a. 1733, and later regulations
a. 1739. Hearne however, who always means a Jacobite when he
speaks of ' an honest man,' speaks disparagingly of Conybeare, who
was by no means a Jacobite. Sir John Saint Aubyn, a leading
Jacobite in the Commons, was of Exeter College. Walpole said of
him, 'All these men have their price except the little Cornish baronet,'
and on Walpole's disgrace Sir John was a member of the committee

* Mason's Gray 1820 p. 10 (17 Gray's opinion of Cambridge).

* On 2 May 1746 Alexander Shilfox the cook died, and tiie office was continued
to his wife for three years for the benefit of his orphan children ; and 16 Sep. 1748
given to the eldest son Alexander, who was removed for misbehaviour 8 Nov. 1754,
and Robert Curtis appointed by the Rector and seven Senior Fellows. On 14 Ap.
1761 'were appointed by the Rector and seven Seniors, Charles Curtis and Ann
Homer widow jointly to the office of Promus, Charles Curtis appointed by the
Rector Surveyor of the buildings, Ann Horner Tonsor'' ; for the intervention of the
seven Seniors in appointing servants, see a. 1733. Charles Curtis proved dishonest,
and on 9 June 1786 William Brickland was made Book-keeper (Promus) and
William Taylor Storekeeper (Subpromus), and Robert Smith Overseer of Buildings ;
Brickland was dismissed for dnmkenness 26 Mch 1790.


appointed to inquire into his conduct. Faction was still strong in
Oxford. In 17 19 there was a disputed election in the College and
three Jacobite candidates had an equal number of votes with three
others. Dr. Robert Shippen the Vicechancellor a well-known Jacobite
selected the three candidates of his own party. Two of them
however, William Bardett and Richard Eastway, were dismissed the
next year for disaffection and drinking the Pretender's health. We
have a rather pathetic Complaint in 1754 by rector Bray against the
members of Trinity, then a Jacobite College, for grossly insulting him,
breaking the College windows several times, and behaving in a very
ungentlemanly way. The authorities of S. John's in a similar case
had made reparation, but the president of Trinity, George Huddesford,
although Vice-chancellor, had refused to listen to what he called
' personal complaints.' The high character of Ken and a few others
has shed a lustre over the Nonjurors and Jacobites, but Johnson had
a low opinion of the Nonjurors, and the Jacobite chiefs in Oxford
had not only notoriously perjured themselves, by taking the oath to
the new dynasty, but had largely contributed to injure the morality and
discipline of the place. Their ablest man, WilHam King, principal
of S. Mary Hall, wrote obscene poems, notorious even in that un-
scrupulous age. Perhaps the last occasion on which the Jacobite
feeling was strongly displayed was in 1755 when the County election
was held in Broad street. The Tory and Jacobite party guarded the
approaches to the polling booths and prevented the Whigs from
coming to vote. Some ' Queries ' published on the occasion ask,
' Did not the Old Interest mob, on the morning of the first day of the
Poll, seize every access to the front of the booths, and guard it almost
twenty men deep ? Was not the same done, early, every succeeding
day of the Poll ? ' The Whig voters however passed through Exeter,
and got to the booths. On this Vice-chancellor Huddesford made
some remarks in Convocation on ' the infamous behaviour of one
College,' which led to a series of Pamphlets. Wadham, Merton,
Exeter and Christchurch were the four Whig Colleges \ The acces-
sion of George III however ended Jacobitism. They changed the
idol, says Burke, but preserved the idolatry.

A revival of interest in Academical studies is shown by some new
* Wortlswoith 612, 615.


foundations. In 1 7 1 o Meriel Symes of Somerset founded an exhibition
for a poor scholar. There was some trouble afterwards about the
claims of founder's kin, for families not really connected with MericI
Symes put in claims \ It was the number of forged claims at All Souls
that caused the publication of the valuable Slernmata Chichleana. In
17 15 Dr. Hugh Shortridge acting for Dame Elizabeth Shiers founded
two new fellowships for Herts and Surrey, though it was not until
S. Stephen's day 1744 that they were actually created. Shortridge
also gave the College the best part of the funds of the Library, and
a fund for buying advowsons''. Dr. John Reynolds founded the

* See p. 201.

^ Dr. Hugh Shortridge was of Witheridge in Chulmleigh, Devon, to the poor of
which parish he gave a legacy of ;^ioo, and where he had relations both of his own
name and others, some in humble condition. Several of his family had been
members of Exeter College, and he returned to the College in 1679 with his pupil
Sir George Shiers, only child of Robert and Lady Elizabeth Shiers and heir to
Slyfield in Surrey. Sir George died 16S5 at the age of 25 and Lady Elizabeth
14 Aug. 1700 of cancer at the age of 66, and was buried at Fitcham, her husband
had d. 1669 age 56. She left Dr. Shortridge her executor to arrange her benefaction
to Exeter College. Her epitaph at Great Bookham, Surrey, runs thus : — S. M.
Elizabethae, Robert! Shiers de Slyfield House, Armigeri, uxoris pientissimae, ex quo
sex suscepit liberos, quemque per 32 annos vidua deflevit. Per quod tempus
animam Deo ardentissima pietate, rem familiarem pauperum necessitatibus levandis
consecravit. Quibus tamen regris vulneratisve medicas adhibuit manus, adjunc-
taque pharmacis pietate, felicissimo successu clarissimos ^sculapii filios exaequavit.
Utroque parente illustris, multo ^^rtutibus illustrior, tandem cancri viscerum
acerbissimos dolores per biennium passa, quae naturam quidem debellavit, nee
tamen patientiam Christianam labefactavit, cselo maturam efflavit animam Aug. 14:
1700: ^tat: 66.

Hugo Shortridge Rector de Fetcham, quem ex asse Hceredem reliquit, hcec
monnmento hoc inscribi curavit, qnod ipsa adhuc vivens condidit.

By indenture dated 25 July 1715 (see Reg. 19 Nov. 1787; trust deed to Sir F.
Vincent bart. 25 June 1715, in our box) he vested the estates in trustees for the
benefit of his relations for three years, and alter that time to pay iCioo a year to
the bursar of Ex. Coll. to augment the commons of the Rector and Fellows ; and
iCioo a year to be paid to the Rector of Exeter, Rector of Lincoln and Principal of
Jesus for 20 years to accumulate for the purpose of buying four advowsons for Ex.
Coll., two in Hertford and two in Surrey, or near those counties, which the Rector
and Fellows were to take by seniority. After the 20 years the ^100 to be paid to
Ex. Coll. on condition that two new Fellows be elected on S. Stephen's day
(Dr. Shortridge's birthday), one from Herts, and one from Surrey — one of them to
be a senior B.A. and to take deacon's orders at 23 and assist the Chaplain, the
other to be of at least two years' standing in the University and take deacon's
orders at 23 and assist the Chaplain if the first assistant shall be minded to resign
or shall die. One third of the iCioo is to go to the College Treasury, the rest to
the general dividends. Shortridge gave )C2o a year to William Shcppard, or


Reynolds exhibitions in 1756, three from Eton and three from
Exeter; Eton has appropriated her three, it is not clear by what
right. St. John Eliot founded two Eliot exhibitions from Truro

Some of the Fellows of this period redeemed the fame of the
College. Joseph Atwell, George Stinton and Francis IMilman
(a learned physician) were fellows of the Royal Society, John Upton
was known for his edition of Arrian's Epictetus and of Spenser's
Faerie Queen, and for his Observations on Shakspere ; James
Edgcombe wrote in answer to Chubb the Deist ; Benjamin Kennicott
was the leading Hebrew scholar of his day and collated the Hebrew

Shepheard, for life, and then to Sheppard's mother, and sister Elizabeth for their
lives (Elizabeth d. 26 Jnly 1780), and then to be paid to the Rector of Ex. Coll. to
be given thus, (Cs apiece to the two chaplains, ^^ to the Subdean, £2 to the
Moderator, jCs for a dinner at the Fellows' table on S. Stephen's day, jCi to the
senior of the Battelers' table for a dinner there on the same day. No timber was
to be felled on the estates for 40 years except for repairs, then the proceeds of
felling timber to be paid to Ex. Coll. Library; see Reg. 19 May 1744; the first
two Fellows on the new Shiers foundation were elected 26 Dec. 1744, S. Stephen's
day ; Manning and Bray's Surrey ii. 692 ; Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire i. 340.
On 29 Dec. 1781 the Visitor determined that the Rector might take one of
Dr. Shortridge's livings; but Rector Bray who d. 1785 left a bequest of jCsoo to
augment the Rectorship (Reg. 5 June 1786), as long as the Rector shall not take
a Shortridge living (otherwise to go to Domus) ; and 1794 -dioo a year was added
by the College to the Rector's income as long as the Rectors refrain from taking
a Shortridge living — the question arising about Bushey in Herts; this was
confirmed 10 Mch 1798 when it was further resolved that the whole payment
to the Rector should be made up to yCsoo a year, the overplus to be repaid to the
College if it should be more than previous deficiencies, this money payment to
include receipts from dividends. Bursars, clear income of Kidlington, interest on
Dr. Bray's £500, the ;^ioo voted in 1794, room rent, receipts from allowance of
commons, future donations or bequests ()C8 oo was voted i6 June 179S for improving
the Rector's lodgings) ; on the improvement of the Rector's income see 3 Nov. 1S25
and the Report on Domus at the end of the third Register. The Reg. 27 Jan.
1803 contains an account of the Shortridge Fund for buying advowsons. ^^'hea
the timber on the Shortridge estates came to be cut in 1S13, the Vicars of
Leatherhead &c., who had the right to the underwood only, claimed all, but after
a friendly Chancery suit the College right was allowed (Keg. 12 Mch 1813, 19 June
1817, 27 May 1S18, 4 Feb. 1822). On 22 Aug. 1822 the Rectories of Rype and
Waldron near Lewes in Sussex were bought out of the Shortridge and Richards
living funds (see particulars in the Register). On 7 Feb. 1840 the R. of Shilling-
stone near Blandford in Dorset was bought for (C3350 out of the Shortridge
Fund. See furtlier 24 Feb. 1824 on Bushey, in 1835 the College gave (Cioo
towards the erection of a Chapel of Ease, and a Communion Service for its use
(Reg. p. 49).


MSS. of the Bible ; John Stackhouse's edition of Theophrastus ' de
historia plantarum/ Critical remarks on ^lian and other authors, and
works on British plants and algae had some reputation; Stephen
Weston was known for his Oriental studies, and some of his Chinese
studies were remarkable : William HoUvell Carr made a fine collection
of Italian paintings which he bequeathed to the National Gallery;
Demainbray was Royal Astronomer at Richmond ; Stephen Peter
Rigaud was Savilian professor of Astronomy, and printed Bradley's
Works and Harriot's Papers and the Arenarius of Archimedes, and
Notices concerning Newton's Principia ; he further selected the contents
of ' Correspondence of Scientific men of the i S^^ century.' Among
those who were not fellows Jonathan Toup held a leading place as
a critical scholar, and had some influence on Person.

A letter from Walter Kerrick to Edward Weston, dated Uxbridge,
8 June 1767 (Hist. Comm. 1885, p. 406) gives an interesting picture
of a pupil being introduced to his tutor. ' I take the first opportunity
of informing you that I have settled my friend Stephen Weston at
Exeter College. His name was put into the Books on Monday night.
Dr. Kennicott was at his villa about 7 miles from Oxford, but he re-
turned to College on Tuesday, and we had the honor of drinking tea
with him and Mr. Stinton Mr. Weston's tutor. He is reckoned a very
sagacious good tutor, and I conclude from the fullness of the College
that the character I heard of him is a just one. They found a diffi-
culty in accommodating Mr. Weston with a room. The income to it
was only 4 Pound, and I think a little papering and a few more chairs
will make it very neat and commodious. The young man seemed to
hke his destination very well and, from my knowledge of him and his
conversation, I must promise myself everything that is good from him.
It would be injustice to him not to acquaint you with what Mr. Stinton
told me ; He said, after overhawling him, that he found him an admir-
able scholar. If the little I have done in conducting my cousin to
Oxford is agreable to Dear Mr. Weston, it will be the highest pleasure
to him who has the honor ' &c.

The question about rooms was always a difficult one. On 30 June
1 76 1 'it was decreed that whoever is permitted to take a chamber
shall continue to be tenant of that chamber and pay the rent, unless
he obtains leave to move into another chamber that may become


vacant and untenanted ; and tho' he should be permitted to retire into
the country in vacation times, yet he shall not be permitted to throw
up his room under colour of renting a garret, but shall go on paying
his quarterly rent for the room he had taken, in the same manner as
if he were personally resident in College/

Matriculation Examinations only began in 1827, and at Oriel and
Balliol only. The Final Examinations in the last century were a
farce ; Lord Eldon humorously describes the two questions asked
him viz. What is the meaning of Golgotha? and Who founded
University College? Scholars were looked down on, and hardly
regarded as gentlemen by the regular commoners ^

John Wesley's father Samuel had been at Exeter College ; and one
of the fellows, Thomas Broughton, had already come under Wesley's
influence in 1732, before his election, and was in 1743 secretary of the
Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. George Thomson V. of
S. Gennys is referred to in Doddridge's Life of Colotiel Gardmer, as
the second remarkable instance of conversion : and Samuel Walker of
Truro was a name known far and wide in Evangelical circles. Some of
the later fellows also belonged to the evangelical school, such as John
David Macbride.

It has been remarked that the revival of religious feeling in the i8th
and 19th followed the same course as in the i6th and 17th centuries.
First came the renewed sense of personal relation to God, among the
Reformers ; then the idea of church authority among the Caroline
divines, then the Latitudinarian movement. Similarly the Evangelical
revival of the last century led to the High Church and Broad Church
phases of thought. But there is a danger in drawing sharp lines, and
when it is said that the Evangelical party declined and the High
Church took their place, it is not really meant that spiritual and
personal religion declined, but that its activity took another form^;
the young men who in the previous generation would have followed
the lead of Simeon, now followed the lead of Kcble and Newman.
The essential feelings co-existed in all three periods, but in different
proportions and relations. Such constituent elements of religion tend

' Pattison's Memoirs 125.

'^ Burgon's Tivclvc Good Men ; Overton, The Eugl'nh Church in the nineteenth
century 93 (1894).


to clear themselves gradually of the accretions that have grown up
under the influence of successive schools of thought. And, again, the
movement of 1833 was not a sudden revolution. The way had been
prepared by the steady efforts of the Evangelical, High Church and
Liberal parties in the church, to restore religious feeling; efforts
that already showed a marked success, which those who write about
the new movement are apt to suppress or minimise. When that
movement ^ gave a new direction to the activity of the English church,
Exeter contributed several men of mark to its ranks, such as J. B.
Morris, Upton Richards, J. D. Dalgairns, W. Lockhart (whose seces-
sion caused Newman such trouble at Liltlemore^) ; but of these the
ablest man was William Sewell ^. He did much to raise the intellectual
tone of the College, was a many-sided man, and the earliest advocate
of University Extension *. His pamphlet Siiggestmis for the Extension
of University Teaching 1850 states his object as 'the diminution of the
expenses of education, its extension in the best form — that form which
the Universities alone are capable of supplying — its expansion to its
utmost limits, so that it may embrace the whole kingdom, not even
excluding the most distant colonies. Though it may be impossible to
bring the masses requiring education to the University, may it not be
possible to carry the University to them .'' The University possesses
a large amount of available resources and machinery, consisting partly
of pecuniary means, partly and principally of men of high talents and
endowments. These may be made instrumental in establishing pro-
fessorships, lectureships, and examinations in the most important
places in the kingdom. The institution of these professorships and
lectures would be strictly analogous to the original foundation of the
Universities themselves. The authorities of the places would no
doubt gladly provide the requisite accommodation for the delivery
of lectures, holding examinations, &c. Cambridge would take its due

^ For outside views of the movement, see Lecky, History of Rationalism i. 172-3,
287 ; Forttiightly Review Oct. 1893 p. 452.

* Pattison's Meinoi)-s 193, 210.

^ See T. Mozley's Reminiscences c. 73; Newman's Letters ii. 261, 315, 320,
323> 341. 34.5 ; Pusey's Life i. 293, 302-4, 379, ii. 42, 65, 67, 70, 204, 209,
269, 287; Pattison's Memoirs 24, 246, F. D. Maurice's Life i. 210, 280, 293 and
301 (on Carlyle\ 387.

* See an appreciative notice in Wells' Oxford and Oxford Life c. ix ; Oxf. Univ.
Extension Gazette Jan. 1894, p. 45 (with picture from photo).


share of the work. The cycle of instruction would embrace the
various subjects comprehended in the University examinations. By
originating such a comprehensive scheme, the Universities would
become the great centres and springs of education throughout the
country and would command the sympathy and affection of the
nation at large, without sacrificing or compromising any principle
which they are bound to maintain.' It should be added that all this
was, of course, to be in the interest of the Church, for one of his main
principles was 'that the Catholic Church only has the power or the
right to educate.'

He was the first person I heard dilate on the theory of Folklore,
and explain the permanence of detail in early stories by showing how
conservative nurses and children are in always repeating a thing in
the same form of words. A child will correct you if you happen to
vary the wording. He used to say that Herodotus was largely in-
debted to the Arabian Nights, meaning of course that common fund
of Eastern stories, which the Arabian Nights have preserved in their
latest and fullest literary form. He was a great conversationalist, and
what Johnson called a clubbable man.

He at first warmly supported the new movement; but when
Newman began to move away from the influence of Keble, and fell
under the influence of De Maistre and Lamennais^ (he had begun
to lose his hold on Anglican church views as early as 1839), and his
younger supporters, such as J. B. Morris, Ward, and others claimed
to hold all Roman doctrine in the English church ^, and especially
after the appearance of Tract 90 in 1841, Sewell like Hook, W. Palmer
of Worcester, and other steady churchmen, recoiled and made a stand ;
they saw at last that Whately had been right in issuing his warning
note Tendinitis in Latium. Mozley speaks of Ward's monstrous cobwebs,
and it was a common saying that it was hard to have to face a new
dissolving view once a month. SewcU's article in the Quarterly ^ of
March 1842 marked the turn of the tide. In form it was quite
innocent, it made no allusion to existing controversies. It was only
an account of the Caroline Divines, showing how they did not speak

* Mozley ii. 209, Newman's Letters i. 444, ii. 23S, 305.

^ Mozley ii. 225.

^ He wrote 15 articles for the Quarterly between 1S37 and 1S45.


evil of the Reformation or the Reformers, did not reject the name of
Protestant (Laud said on the scaffold, ' I have always lived in the
Protestant religion established in England, and in that I come now to
die'), did not spend their time in pointing out the defects of the Church
of England, while glossing over those of Rome, and palliating what
they could not praise ; on the contrary, Andrewes, Laud, and others
carried on a strong polemic against Rome. But all these things were
just what the younger men of the movement were doing, and the
article naturally irritated them. Morris said, ' Is he not rightly called
Sm'llus, for he will never go the whole hog'; but the pun was
perhaps borrowed from Whately.

Most leading men, from Newman to Darwin, have been great
novel-readers. The chiefs of the movement, from Newman down to
Gresley and Paget, wrote novels ^ to illustrate their views, often with
a large element of caricature in them; in one, the puritan, Melchizedek
Howl, is made to say, ' Behold I will build unto myself a pue.'
Sewell's novel Hawkstone was of a very sensational character. The
low-church parson is let off easily, he is only taken by Irish con-
spirators into an underground cave and has to take an oath, with
his lips set to a cup of blood, that he will not tell. But of the
two chief villains (Jesuits) one fled away shrieking into a secret
passage, where he was eaten by rats, who had evidently begun at the
extremities, and the walls were convulsively scrabbled over with gory
fingers; the other fell on his hands and knees, during a fire, into
the meking lead of a reservoir. This was not quite original, for
Tony Foster had fled into a secret passage at Cumnor, and Chowles
in Old St. Paul's had gone down in the molten lead. All these
caricatures have perished, but the religious idea took a gentler form
in his sister Miss Sewell's Amy Herbert, and other tales; while
Miss Yonge's stories have been the delight of two generations of
readers. Miss Yonge notes the change in the general view, when
she makes Lucilla Sandbrook say, ' The last generation was that of
mediaevalism, ecclesiology, symbolism, whatever you may call it.
Married women have worked out of it. It is the middle-aged maids
that monopolize it.' Sewell wrote many books, of which his Christian
Morals and Christian Politics were perhaps the chief, but they were
^ Newman's Letters ii. 117.


very paradoxical. When he wrote of Tract 90 as leading men to
receiving paradoxes a?id therefore errors, Church notes ' good, vide
Christian Ethics"^! He was perhaps thinking of such passages as
that which Lecky notices^, ' I believe that a geologist deeply impressed
with the mystery of baptism — that mystery by which a new creature
is formed by means of water and fire — would never have fallen into
the absurdities of accounting for the formation of the globe solely by
water or solely by fire. He would not have maintained a Vulcanian
or a Neptunian theory. He would have suspected that the truth lay
in the union of both.' There is a curious smatter of scientific talk in
these books. Some were shocked at the comparison, in the Christian

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 16 of 61)