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 19 of 61)
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verse in the Calendar is 'Prima dies mensis et septima truncat ut ensis.'
The Illuminator of those days took special delight in his Initial
Letters —

Finished down to the leaf and the snail,

Down to the eyes on the peacock's tail ;

There now is a swallow in her nest,

I can just catch a glimpse of her head and breast,

And will sketch her thus in her quiet nook.

For the margin of my Gospel Book;

and in the luxuriant leafage, which starting from the Initial creeps
round and clasps the whole page.

Among the invocations of Saints is Sancte Lodowice. At the end
are twenty-seven Latin lines on the kings of England, from Alfred to
Richard II {regnai), with the years of their reigns and their burial

* England was once a great musical nation, and her Universities are the only
ones in Europe that confer musical degrees. See Mr. Southgate's remarks in the
J\oll of Union of Graduates in Music 1S93-4, p. 74. Tiie Tudor family were
all musical. Henry VIII composed anthems which used to be played at Christ
Church and Magdalen, and some of which iiavc been lately publislied in London.

^ Coxe, no. 46, p. 1 7.


places ; perhaps written by a schoolboy in Richard's reign. There
may have been a pedigree on an opposite page, for he says ' Henricus
filius Imperatricis de linca Aluredi, ut in sinislra park patet!

Among the printed books given by Sir W. Petre in May 1567
was John Benedict's Latin Concordauiiac utn'iisque Tcslamenli, Paris,
Guillard and Warencore 1562 ; and bound with it F. Hectoris Pinti
Lusitani in Esaiam Covwieniaria, Lyons, Pagan 1561 ; so that Petre
had the latest books from Paris and Lyons.

The Library also possesses the two rare books printed at Tavistock —
(i) Boetius de Consolatione Philosophiae. The title shows a
seated King (Christ, or the Father) with the emblems of the four
Evangelists in the corners, and under it

The Boke of comfort called in laten
Boetius de Consolatione philosophic
Translated in to englcsse tonge.

At the end is


Wyth al my hert to do yow reuerence

And seruyse / such as of me may be wrought

Lawly under youre obedyence

To plesen yow yf I suffysed ought

Wyth al my hert / as euer I haue besoght

No thyng coueyt I of youre excellence

Eternally but that I may be brought

My souereyn lady in to your presence

Here endeth the boke of comfort called
in latyn Boecius de consolatione Phil.
Enprented in the exempt monastery of
Tauestok in Denshyre. By me Dan
Thomas Rychard monke of the sayd
Monastery / To the instant desyre of
the ryght worshypful Esquyer Mayster
Robert Langdon. Anno d. MDxxv.
Deo Gracias.

(arms of Langdon, a chevron between three animal heads).

RoBERTUs Langdon.

The Anagram contains the translator's name Waltwnem, i.e. John
Walton abbot of Osney (Gutch i. 638, Oxoniana ii. 4, Tanner 753,
Bibl. Corn. 305, Wood's City ii. 216), who made this translation in
1 410 at the request of Elizabeth Berkeley. A MS. of it exists at


Balliol (Warton Hist. Ettg. Poetry). Robert Langdon was of Keverell
in S. Martin's by Looe, Cornwall, and died 2 Nov. 1548 (Visit.
Corn. 275).

A former owner has written his name on the title, Liber Guilielmi
Lodouici 1550.

(2) The Tinners' Charter. The title has, under the arms of
England ?

Here foloyth the confirmation of the Charter
perteynynge to all the tynners wythyn the
coutey of deuonshyre / wyth there statutes also ma-
de at crockeryntorre by the hole asset and cSseiit of
al the sayd tynners. yn the yere of the reygne of our
soueraync Lord kynge Henry y viij. the secud yere

At the end is

Here endyth the statutes of the stannary
Imprented yn Tauystoke y / xx day of August
the yere of the reygne off our soueryne Lord
kynge Henry y. VI I j the XX VJ. yere.

God saue the kyng.

Opposite is Christ on the Cross, and at the back the same picture
of the seated king at p. clxvii. Some one has written * Figura Dei
Patris huic similis reperitur in missali Herford in Bibl. Bodl.'

The book contains 26 leaves.

On the death of the lamented Alfred Edersheim in 1889, his widow
most generously presented his library to the College. It consisted
largely of Hebrew and Talmudic and early Christian literature, and
had been selected with a special view to illustrating the history of the
centuries immediately preceding and following the Birth of Christ.
She only made one condition, that the books should be lent freely
to all members of the University who were working on the subject.
This was exactly what we should have wished, for the Library has
been freely opened to members of the Universit}-, an intercollegiate
courtesy now generally practised.

The Library has the ailvantage of looking out on one of the
pleasantest gardens in Oxford, an advantage shared by the reading
room of the Botileian. They say that gem-engravers, when their
eyes are tired, look on a green emcrakl for a little rest and refresh-


ment ; perhaps the green turf and the trees of a garden may have the
same cfTect. There is a tradition that the winding path in the garden
was planned by Hogarth, to illustrate his idea of the line of beauty —
but it is not easy to give any authority for such traditions, except what
they say to you in Italy, ci si dicea.

This sketch of the history of the College in its relation to the
history of the University may fitly be brought to a close with the first
half of the present century ^ The old order has passed away, and
a new state of things has been created by the action of the University
Commissions of 1854 and 1877, and by the Universities Tests Act of
1 87 1. The executive Commission of 1854, following the Commission
of inquiry which reported in 1852, made some additions to the
Professoriate, but its chief work was the removal of local restrictions
on endowments. At the great mass of the Colleges the Scholarships
had been confined to the natives of certain localities, and the Fellow-
ships were bound by the same restrictions, which were to a large
extent removed in 1854. In that year, before the new statutes came
into operation, there were about 130 Scholarships in the University
which were open, or might be throw-n open in default of fit candi-
dates from the favoured localities. At the present time there are not
less than 420 such Scholarships besides the Close Scholarships and
Exhibitions still retained, and a large number of Open Exhibitions
of recent foundation. At Exeter College the Fellowships, with the
exception of the Chaplain Fellowship to which the Dean and Chapter
of Exeter still nominated, were thrown open in 1854, and were
reduced in number to fifteen, the revenues of the suppressed Fellow-
ships being applied to the foundation of Open Scholarships. The
clerical restriction on the Fellowships (except the Chaplain Fellowship)
was partly removed, as a Fellowship under the new statutes was not
vacated through failure to take Orders until the end of fifteen years
from election, and any one who had served the College for ten years
as Tutor or Lecturer was allowed to retain his Fellowship for life,
if he remained unmarried and did not hold a benefice or possess
property of more than a certain value. The Commission of 1854

» I am indebted for this part of tlie text to the kindness of the Rector.


on the other hand, in the case of the Rectorship, made the obligation
of Holy Orders more binding than before, as this obligation had
previously arisen only from the attachment of the Vicarage of Kidling-
ton to the office (without any institution), and there had been some
doubt whether the Rector might not still be a layman, and perform the
duties of the Vicarage by deputy. All the Fellowships and Scholarships
were still restricted to members of the Church of England.

The Universities Tests Act removed this restriction, except from the
Chaplain Fellowship, but the Fellowships were still vacated at the end
of fifteen years unless the holder were in Orders, or had earned his
exemption from this obligation by service to the College. The Rector-
ship was still confined to persons in Orders.

The University Commission of 1877 carried still further the changes
which had been introduced in 1854, and in 187 1. The conception
of the University as an institution distinct from the Colleges had been
already revived, and had found expression in the statute for the
admission of Non-Collegiate Students in 1868. The Commission
of 1877 developed this conception, and endowed the University at
the expense of the Colleges, giving at the same time a further exten-
sion to the Professoriate. The Commission also to a great extent
released Fellows in the various Colleges from the restrictions of
celibacy, while it made all Fellowships terminable, some absolutely,
others concurrently with the College office to which they were attached.
It sanctioned the establishment of a pension scheme for College
officers, and it removed the obligation to take Holy Orders from
all Fellowships, except a few which were still retained as endowments
for persons discharging clerical duties in the Colleges, and from
almost all the Headships including the Rectorship of Exeter College.
This stale of things, so far as the clerical restriction is concerned,
is not unlike that contemplated by Stapeldon, as the Founder
originally required only one Fellow, the Chaplain, to be in Holy
Orders. In dealing with the Scholarships of this College the Com-
mission did not alter the statutes of the former Commission, but
it paid more regard to the wants of poor men ', as it gave the

' Eton, Winchester, and nearly all the old schools and colleges were founded
expressly for poor men. For whose benefit do they exist now ? In this matter
of education the rich have divided the goods of lire poor. It has been proposed


College power to found Exhibitions, while it limited all Exhibitions
both in the present, and in the future, to persons who are in need
of assistance at the University. An audit by authorised accountants is
now required.

The changes which have taken place at Exeter College since 1854
are very similar to those which have been experienced throughout
Oxford. There has been an irresistible movement drawing the English
Universities into the current of national life in England '. What has
seemed to be a revolution has been to a large extent a return to the
original conception of the relation of the Universities to the nation,
with such alterations as have been made necessary by the course of
time. The members of Exeter College welcomed the inevitable
change. Exeter was one of three Colleges ^, which alone among the
Colleges of the University co-operated with the Commission of 1854,
and drew up its own statutes with the sanction of the Commission ^
It therefore enjoyed the privilege of altering them after the expiry of
the Commission with the consent of its Visitor, the Bishop of Exeter.
In 1877 a new body of statutes had been prepared by the College for
the acceptance of the Visitor. These statutes contained most of the
provisions which were afterwards approved by the Commissioners.
The changes which have been introduced in the last forty years have
no doubt had some injurious effects; but, like most changes which
have become inevitable, they have done more good than harm, and
have had many compensating advantages. When there was a number
of Fellowships restricted to natives of Devon and Cornwall, many of
the ablest men born in those counties held Fellowships in the College
for a time, and reflected credit on it by their distinction in after life,

that rich men's sons should be elected, as now, to Open Scholarships, but mainly
as an honour, while Scholarships of the full value should be reserved for poorer
men. This is one of the ideas now being brought forward on the subject. See
Boase's Oxford iiS, Burgon i86, 221, 233.

^ See J. Wells, Oxford and Oxford Life 1892 ; Boase's Oxford ch. 7 ; Brodrick's
History of the University of Oxford (^. 19; Gold win Smith, Oxford Revisited in
Fortn. Rev. Feb. 1S94, p. 149.

^ Fowler's Corpus 324.

^ The old offices mentioned on p. 353 naturally ceased or rather were merged
in the offices of the tutors or lecturers, appointed by the Rector (subject to the
approbation of the College), whose duties are assigned them at the Educational
meetings of the Fellows.


such as the late Sir John Coleridge, the present Lord Chief Justice of
England, Mr. Froude, Mr. Justice Kekewich, and Mr. H. F. Tozer \
But the freedom now accorded to the College, by which it is
permitted to offer a Fellowship to any rising scholar or man of
science, to some extent atones for the loss it has sustained. Even
before 1854 the Petrean Fellowships had been accessible to the
natives of several English counties, and had added many distinguished
members to the College. Among these we may be allowed to
mention Josiah Forshall, the editor of Wiclifs Bible, Professors
Rawlinson, Ince, and Palgrave, the late Bishops Jacobson of Chester,
and Mackarness of Oxford, Mr. Justice Chitty, the Bishop of South-
well, the late Canon George Butler, and Canon G. H. Curteis. Since
1854 while Professors Holland, Bywater, Ray Lankester, and Pelham,
and Sir C. A. Turner (formerly Chief Justice of Madras) became Fellows
by open competition, the late Professor Moseley, and Professor Sanday
have been nominated to Fellowships in recent years ; and Professor
W. M. Ramsay, now of Aberdeen and formerly Professor of Classical
Archaeology at Oxford, was enabled by the timely offer of a Fellowship
to prosecute those researches in Phrygia which have added so much to
the reputation of English scholarship ^. The Chaplain Fellowship is no
longer in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter ; but the Stapeldon
Scholars, who in some respects more nearly than the modern Fellows
answer to Stapeldon's idea of a Fellow of a College, still maintain the
local connexion of Devon and Cornwall with Exeter College ; and
the old attachment between those counties and the College has by
no means died out. The removal of the celibate restriction has no
doubt materially affected the social life within the Colleges. But
it was impossible any longer to maintain the old system. In
former times, when laxer notions were prevalent, it had not conduced

' Among the old Devon exhibitioners still living is Mr. R. D. Blackniore, the
author of Lorua Doonc and other well-known tales.

'■^ An unusually large number of rrofessorshijis has been held in recent years by
present or former members of the College. To the names of I'ellows or Ex-Fellows
mentioned in the text may be added those of two former Scholars of the College,
I'rofcssor Napier, and Mr. W. liaidwin Spencer, formerly Fellow of Lincoln, and
now Professor of Biology in the University of Melbourne. Professor Butler of
S. Andrews, son of Canon George Butler, was a commoner. Nor should we omit
to mention here the names of Sir Gardner Wilkinson and Sir Chaiks l.yell, who
early in this century were also commoners of tlic College.


to morality in the University. Dr. Macbride, who was elected to
a Fellowship in 1800, when pressed to write the reminiscences of his
early days, declined to do so on the ground of the scandals which he
would have to record. There were not a few concealed marriages
(Wordsworth 569) \ The religious movement in Oxford, and the
general improvement in social morality had raised the standard of
practice, and wiped away these reproaches ; but when the majority of
Fellows of Colleges no longer took Holy Orders, or had any other
profession than that of College Tutor, it was impossible to retain the
ablest men in Oxford without removing the obligation of celibacy.
Its removal has been attended with a great increase of literary and
scientific activity. It has necessarily been supplemented by a pension
scheme which will enable the Colleges to provide for the retirement of
men who have rendered them service, before they become incapacitated
for their work. The life of the undergraduates in Colleges has been
far less affected by legislative changes than might have been antici-
pated. Fashions vary from generation to generation. The University
examinations are constantly undergoing changes, and are generally
increasing in range and thoroughness. But the general character of
College life has been little altered. Many of those who lamented the
abolition of tests, and of clerical restrictions on Fellowships, foreboded
a lapse into irreligion, or at least into indifferentism. It is true that
compulsory attendance at Chapel has been abolished; but there
never was a time within living memory when there were so many
voluntary religious associations, or when there was so much genuine
and intelligent interest in religious questions among the under-
graduates. In fact the Universities reflect the state of feeling and
opinion outside. The most prominent characteristic of University
history in the present century is the action on the Universities of the
various movements of thought on speculative, religious, political and
social questions, and the counter-action of the Universities on these.
Some people may regret that the University has ceased to be, if
indeed it ever was, the home of lost causes ; but an institution that

' One of these cryptogams, who had taken a country living, when asked how he
could hold a Fellowship and yet be married, replied, with a dark look, A man who
can hold his tongue can hold anything. But this story has been told of others.
Many Oxford stories are like blank cheques which you can fill up with any name
and any date.


was only the home of lost causes might perhaps in these days be
somewhat peremptorily called to account. Yet, although the Univer-
sities have participated deeply in all the changes that have affected the
life of the nation, their influence must continue to be in some respects
essentially conservative. The best knowledge, which it is their special
province to acquire and to transmit, is independent of the fashion of
the day. The Universities have also exhibited a type of life which
with many slight variations has maintained a strong identity. Hence
both for University men and for the world at large the history of the
Universities has had a peculiar attraction ; and so long as it maintains
its continuity, a sketch of the varying fortunes of one of the older
Colleges of Oxford will not be without its interest both for the general
reader and for the members of that College for whom it was originally

The main authorities used are as follows : —

Computi Rectoris, from the year 1324^. From about 1396 the
Computi often omit the Christian names of the Fellows, and hence
some difficulty arises. References such as 'autumn 1407 ' belong to
the Computi. The last parchment Computus is that for autumn 1566 :
in the previous one there occurs ' vi^ pro cartaceo quodam libello in
quo inscribenda sunt singula quoquo tempore a Rectore recepta et
recipienda.' This paper book, marked H, runs from autumn 1566 to
autumn 1639. A similar book, marked B, runs on to 1734. More
modern books follow. There are also Bursars' Books from the Stuart
times, and Quarterly Books, and Kitchen Books, and Promus' Books
(which are duplicates of the Bursars' Books), but some in each series
are missing. There is one Quarterly book 1596-8, but the series
begins with 1603, though with a gap between 1637 and 1651. There
are Kitchen (Butter)') books of 1593, 1596, 1602, 1603, and then
1624. The Promus' books begin at Lady-day 1762, but have been
preserved only when the Bursars' books are missing. There are also
some 'Cate books' from 1670. All these books contain curious
information, e.g. 'the size of bread : a pcnncy while is 10 o::. i^p.iv.,
a penney whcalcn i6-6, a penncy household 21-13; Feb. 12 i74|j-
a penney white 9-12, wheaten 14-10, household 19-8.'

' See p. 339.


Caution books, due to Henry Tozcr, who remodelled the mode of
keeping the accounts. The first book begins 30 IMay 1629 (transcribed
1639 from an older book), but the place of birth or abode is not
entered until Feb. i66|, when John Hearne began the practice,
perhaps owing to the disputes which led to the contested election of
Burrington and Burgh. The second book runs from 17 July 1686 to
28 Jan. 174I, the third from 3 Feb. 174! to jNIay 1823. The first
index extends from 1629 to 1776, the second from 1776 to 1843.

]\IatricuIation books, beginning 16 May 1768.

The College Register begins 25 Oct. 1539, but the binder has put
154 1-2 first by mistake. The second Register runs from 30 June
1619 to 1737; the third from 1737 to 1824 and has an index. The
first has this entry, ' Hunc librum emebat Johannes French Rector
huius Collegii a. d. 1541.' Francis Webber entered the birthplaces of
the Fellows chosen during his Rectorship in a small catalogue, and
many testimonials for Orders, of Fellows and others, in the Register.
Rector Sdnton made a volume of Excerpts from the Registers.

Book of Evidences, i. e. transcripts of College charters and docu-

Book of College Leases, transcribed by John Eveleigh, Fellow 1578.

Benefactors' Book, illustrated ; began to be compiled when
W. Paynter was Rector 1703.

Old List of Fellows, made by W. Wyatt, Fellow 1562.

There are no contemporary lists of Fellows prior to the commence-
ment of the College Register on 25 Oct. 1539. The previous names
are given as they stand in the Computus Rectoris of each term, and
as a Fellow is only named there when his commons are diminished
by his going out of residence for a time, the lists are anything but
complete, especially as some of the Rectors' Accounts are missing.
Not a few men must have been Fellows for some time before their
names appear. It is also difficult to assign the Fellows to their
respective counties. The Chaplain is sometimes known by the larger
yearly payment he receives. Some of the names belong to well known
Devonshire or Cornish families, or the Fellows are ascertained from
other sources to have been born in one of those counties. The dates
when one Fellow vacated and another was elected in his place are
sometimes given in the computi, but the records are too imperfect to


offer much help of this kind. Help is sometimes gained from other
sources. Thus William Frankc is given as Fellow in 1370; but, as
a document of 26 Oct. 1371 calls him Senior Fellow, he must have
been Fellow at least as early as 1362. The same document shows
that John Skylling, who occurs as Fellow in 1385, must have been
Fellow as early as 1371. See also the case of W. de Heghes 1337.
It is not till 1372 that a complete list of 15 Fellows can be made out.
To quote the names under one year from the Old list will show its
imperfection : ' 1423 Edmund Fitchet a.m. and Rector, Benet, Treinges,
J. Brente, J. Beawcombe a.m., Stone, Zeate, W. David a.m.'; here
Treinges is a misreading for Walter Trengoff, Zeate a misreading for
Yeate, and four have no Christian names assigned them. By com-
paring the names as given in the text it will be seen how little help
was to be got from the Old list, and how necessary it was to reconstruct
the whole account from the computi and other documents. Nevertheless
some names have been inserted, for which the Old list is the only
authority, as documents now missing may have been used in its
compilation. After the Register begins the names are given more
correctly, and after some time a few particulars are added to some
names, but rarely more than a line or two, and it cost much labour to
find out what became of the Fellows, what preferment they held, and
so on.

It should be noted that the first edition of this work still retains
a value of its own, owing to the Latin documents given in it, not
reprinted here, and to a, in some respects, fuller text and index.

A volume published by me this year, The Commoners of Exeter
College, completes the list of members, and gives fuller accounts of
many names incidentally mentioned here.

Mr. H. Hurst has kindly taken in charge the illustrations and the
accompanying tables. He found it very difficult to make sure of the
exact situation of the old Halls, most of which perished early ; but
had the benefit of working on a previous plan kindly supplied by
Mr. F. P. Morrell, who had it from his father. One main difUcully

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 19 of 61)