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Sifte"??""'' Robert Scot from 1612 to 1620. The epitaph on the tomb
of the latter attests his fidelity to his trusty — evidence
which is supported by the testimony implied in the
flourishing condition of the college, which in 1617 num-
bered ten more than in 1672, the total at the latter date
being only 100. The names of George Ruggle, Nicholas
Farrar, Abraham Whelock, and Augustine Lindsell, among
the fellows, are also suggestive of an atmosphere of genuine
baknabt ^t Magdalene, during the mastership of Barnaby Gooch,

Kdaicne, ^^^ society began to reap the full fruits of Dr Kelke's mal-
160J-26. administration'. An attempt on the part of the master to
assert the college rights to extensive property in Aldgate, was
not only unsuccessful but resulted in the committal of both
master and fellow to prison for contumacy; and during a

omnium judicio dignum praefeotnrae. fore tamen ut virtute et rebus pro

Quooirca quum primum ad collegium bono publico gestis euudem super-

acoederet, illius insignia in ipsa pa- aret.' Memoriale.

ginae facie exprimi ouraverunt, qui ' Memoriale, in Trinity College

honos ante NeviUum habitus est Library.

nemini; pro oerto habeutes scilicet, " Baker MSS. xxxii 512.

quamquam cum NeviUo majorum ' See supra, p. 286.

imaginibus contendere non posset,


considerable part of the years 1616 and 1616, the society, .chap, vi.^
so far from being served by its Head as representative of
the university in parliament*, could communicate with him
only in the Fleet". In the parliament of 1621, however,
Dr Gooch not only took his seat, but presented a petition
on behalf of his college to the House'. He was a doctor
of the civil law, and from his technical knowledge had formed
a sanguine view of the prospects of the college in the im-
portant proceedings at issue. Could he, indeed, have mani- J"JotOTer°
fested a spirit of moderation in the hour of apparent victory, piopoit??"
there is little doubt that he would have materially retrieved
the fortunes of the society, for a sum of no less than ten
thousand pounds was offered in composition. But he ' had
not learned,' says Fuller, 'the maxim dimidium plus toto
in this sense, " half with quiet may be more than all with
hazard and troubleV and the cause of Magdalene College,
though protracted for some time longer, was eventually

At Corpus Christi College, Dr John Jegon, — infelicitous ■tohh jiook,
as were his relations with the town during the years of his cjjrjjM
vice-chancellorship — is stated by Masters to have been a lego^foja.
successful and judicious administrator". But in vacating the
office, on his election to the bishopric of Norwich, he appears
to have resorted to something like stratagem in order to
carry the election of his brother Thomas. The latter, indeed,
was acceptable to the society, but his appointment gave con-
siderable displeasure to Whitgift, who supported, along with
no less than eleven heads of houses, the claims of his own
chaplain, Dr Carrier. It is evident that, as at Queens' nis ovneion
Collesre, a certain amount of deception was practised in iiitorferenco

, ° ' ,, , . p , /-s , , , in order to

order to forestall the action of the Crown, and the arch- »?™™ tiio

' election of

Ills brotlier

' See supra, p. 464. " ' By the prudent management of successor.

" Baker MSS. xxxii 407 ; Coke's the society the whole of thek debt

Jti'portu (ed. 1777), vi 67. was not only cleared off, but some

^ Commoii.i' Joimiah, i 607, 612, stock was found to remain in hand

(!.55 ; Cooper, Aiuiah, m 91-92, n. 5. at the audit for the year 1600; where-

•• FuUer-Prickett and Wright, p. upon they augmented the master's
233. The late Sir Samuel Eomilly salary, as well as fee for preaching,
whose opinion was taken in the case to double that of a fellow.' Masters-
did not consider the cause of the Lamb, p. 148.
college hopeless.


A.D. 1598 TO 1625.





in the








master of
Trinity Hall,

bishop, in a letter to Cecil, roundly asserted that John Jegon,
by the part he had taken in the matter had ' greatly abused
both the chancellor and himself \'

It cannot be said that the choice of the society was jus-
tified by their subsequent experiences. Thomas Jegon, tak-
ing example by his brother's partiality, managed to carry
the pre-election of his own son (although not full bachelor of
arts) to a fellowship. His conduct was warmly opposed by
some of the fellows, and disagreements rose up in the society.
'Sir Jegon' was refused admission to the fellows' table, and his
father was treated with open disrespect. The expulsion of
Osborne, one of the foremost in this opposition, did not
greatly mend matters; and the master, during the remainder
of his life-time, rarely resided in college, but kept away at
his rectory of Sible Hedinghaml At his death, in 1617, the
total number of the society was only fourscore'. Thomas
Jegon was succeeded by Samuel Walsall, a man of little mark,
and Walsall in 1626 was succeeded by Dr Butts; under the
latter, the numbers, in 1628, had already risen to 156*.

If ever the members of Clare Hall compared their general
fortunes with those of Trinity Hall, they must have often
felt cause for congratulation that the scheme of amalgamation
which had been frustrated by 'Ridley's barking^' had never
been carried into effect. The latter foundation, with twelve
fellowships and fourteen scholarships, reached a total of only
sixty, — a state of affairs of which the slender endowments of
the society, and the cloud that rested on those legal studies
which it was especially designed to promote, afford perhaps
an adequate explanation. To roll away that cloud, and to
restore the profession of the civilian to something of the im-
portance that it had possessed in the days of imperial Rome
and in the mediaeval universities, was the great aim of John
Cowell, who filled the office of master from 1598 to 1611.
Originally of King's College, where he had been admitted a
scholar in 1570, he had from the first been noted as an inde-

Masters-Lamb, p. 158.

Ibid. pp. 156-8.

Soot's Acccmnt of the University.

' Maeters-Larut, p. 168.
° See supra, p. 136.


fatigable student, and his abilities and industry very early ,chap.tl

brought him under the notice of Bancroft. That crafty pre- He is

late, long before his promotion to the primacy, was already and advised

laying his schemes for the revival of the ecclesiastical courts,

and it appears to have been owing to his urgent persuasion

that Oowell decided upon following the career of a civilian'.

In the year 1594, the latter was appointed Regius professor

of civil law; in 1598 he succeeded, as above noted, to the

mastership of Trinity Hall; and, after proceeding ll.d. in

his own university, he was incorporated in the degree of

D.c.L. at Oxford in 1600. He was now well known as a his relations

• . 1-1 1 ... . . . with Camden,

nsmg scholar, and among his most intimate friends were S"^'^"- "'"'
Camden, and Daniell, the historian ^ He appears however to
have incurred the bitter dislike of Coke, who evinced his
feelings rather than his good taste, by generally speaking of
him as 'C. Cow-heeP.' In the year 1605, Cowell published
a volume entitled Institutiones Juris Anqlicani*. designed as His institur

^ ' o lion^ Juris

an application of the method and principles of the Roman ^"sKcam.
law to the statutory code of England, and dedicated the work
to lord Henry Howard, earl of Northampton, — 'bred up with
him,' says Allen, 'at King's College in Cambridge and an
eminent patron as well of King's College as of Trinity HalP.'

' Allen, Lives of the Masters, Fel- consuetudines nostri Imperii penitits

lows, (&c. of King's College, n 886. — scire cupiunt, utile et aceommodatum.

' at my comming to your Grace from Cantabrigiae : ex officina Johannis

the universitie, you first put me upon Legat. 1605.

these studies, at the last by a kind ' Cowell, in his dedicatory Epistle,

of neeessitie inforoed me to this at- pays a high compliment to his former

tempt: because I could not see well fellow-student: 'Olim adolesceutia

how to avoide it, but by adventuring tua in CoUegio illo vere Eegali et

the hateful! note of unthankeful- seminario bonarum litterarum foe-

nesse.' Epist. Ded. to the Inter- cundissimo sio transacta est, ut gra-

preter. uitatis multa urbanitate conditae,

2 Ibid. Williams (afterwards the innocentiae, temperantiae summam

archbishop) speaks of 'D' Cowel and laudem (nobilibus in ilia aetate non

D' Clayton' as 'the two greateste raro denegatam) omnes uno consensu

maisters in towne ' (i.e. in Cam- tibi ascriberent ; industriam etiam et

bridge). Letters of Archbp. Wil- diligentiam solertissimi omnium sibi

Hams (ed. Mayor), p. 15. imitaudam proponerent. In dispu-

' Allen, u. s. ii 887. tationibus, praelectionibus, perora-

* Institutiones Juris Anglicani, ad tionibus, cum jam ex ephebis vix
Methodum et Seriem Institutionmn excessisses, frequeus fuisti; in qui-
Imperialium Justiniani compositae et bus tamen tanta assiduitas lon-
digestae. Opusnon solum Juris Angli- gissime a fastidio abfuit, existima-
cani Bomanique in hoe regno stu- tionemque tuam (quod plerumque
dioso, sed omnibus qui iroKirelav et fit in aliis) non modo non minuit, sed

M. II, 32


A.D. 1598 TO 1625.


of Its publi-

CHAP. Yi., In the year 1607, at tte desire of Bancroft, he published
His/n/«r- his best-known work, the Interpreter^, designed as a kind of
glossary of the technical words occurring not only in civil,
but also in ecclesiastical and common law. There seems to
be no doubt that Cowell's design in preparing the work, was
partly to mediate between the two parties of the civilians
and the common lawyers* by exhibiting the common elements
in the two studies. He seems moreover to have seen very
clearly the utility of the study of the Roman law as an intro-
duction to that of English". The results by which his
efforts were attended were however singularly disappointing.
At first, indeed, his promotion by Bancroft in 1609 to the
office of Vicar-general, in the place of Sir Edward Stanhope,
seemed to augur well for his advancement; but imfortunately,
the Interpreter came under the notice of Coke, who at once
discovered in its pages sufficient material for making it a
matter of indictment against the author, and thus inflicting
a blow upon the party hostile to himself. 'The opinions
which were contained in the book,' says Mr Gardiner, 'were

Mr Gardi-
ner's account
of the
which it

sic anxit quotidie, nt ad omnes om-
nium ordinam convocandos satis
esset dixisse : Hmoardus hodie prodit
in arenam.' Epist. Dedicat. p. A 3.

1 The Interpreter: or Booke con-
taining the Signiflcaticm of Words:
wherein is set forth the true meaning
of all, or tlie most part of such Words
and Termes, as are mentioned in the
Law Writers, or Statutes of this vic-
torious and renowned Kingdome, re-
quiring any Exposition or Interpre-
tation [2nd ed.] London : 1637.

" ' Dr Cowell's aim in his published
writings was manifestly to reconcile
the two professions. ..he was partly
induced to these writings on account
of that inveterate dispute which in his
time broke out between the oivUians
and common lawyers about juris-
dictions, and as he had stood stiffly
against lord chief Justice Coke in
the matter of prohibitions.' Allen,
II 886. In the dedication of the In-
stitutiones CoweU had already ex-
pressed his regret at those 'invete-
ratae simultates, quas jam diu legum
AngUoarum professores et juris inn .

peratorii in hoc regno inyieem exer-
cnernnt,' p. A 2.

' 'Neque certe leve esset hoc bene-
ficium, quod juris consulti nostiates,
ipso progressu atque methodo soi
studii, ad universalis ejus juris cog-
nitionem tamquam recto tramite
facile producerentur, quod eorum
scientiam atque usnm non privatis
clientulorum snorum cansis, aut
hnjus insulae cancellis, sed publicis
maximisque regni negotiis, et ultimis
orbis Christiani adeoqne omnium
gentium terminis definiret. li etiam
qui juri ciuili Bomanorum operam
dant, patriae suae longe accommo-
datiores hoc modo redderentur, qaod
eam scientiam, quam nunc privatam
et abstrusam generaUs prudentiae
Oeapif implicatam et quasi sepultam
retinent, in usum popularem regni-
que utilitatem erogarent.' Ibid. p.
A 4. So, in Preface to the Inter-
preter: ' I cannot without dissimu-
lation but oonfesse myselfe per-
suaded, that this poore pamphlet
may pivue projitabli to the young
students of both lawes.'


such as no House of Commons could fail in pronouncing ,chap. vi.
unconstitutional. If in some places the author took pains to
state that he did not put forth these opinions as unquestion-
able truths, he left no doubt in the minds of his readers to
which side his own ideas inclined. Thus, after declaring that
he left it for wiser men to decide whether it was binding
upon the King to require the consent of Parliament to the
enactment of laws, he asserted that the King of England was
undoubtedly an absolute King, and proceeded to quote au-
thorities in support of the doctrine that to make laws was
part of the prerogative of such a King. In another place he
stated this opinion still more forcibly. "Of these two," he
wrote, "one must needs be true, that either the King is
above the Parliament, that is, the positive laws of his king-
dom, or else that he is not an absolute King And, there-
fore, though it be a merciful policy, and also a politic mercy
(not alterable without great peril), to make laws by consent
of the whole realm, because so no one part shall have cause
to complain of a partiality, yet simply to bind a prince to or
by those laws were repugnant to the nature and constitution
of an absolute monarchy." In a similar spirit, he put it forth
as an opinion held by some, "that subsidies were granted by
Parliament in consideration of the Bang's goodness in waiving
his absolute power to make laws without their consent."

'The Commons requested the Lords to join them in call- King James

. , 1 -T-* 1 expresses his

mg the Kmg s attention to the Book. Before, however, the ^pprota-
Lords had time to take any steps in the matter, they were
told by Salisbury that the King had summoned Cowell before
him, and that be wished him' [Salisbury] 'to inform the
Commons that he was much displeased with the book; — he
considered that it impugned the Common Law of England
and the fundamental grounds of the constitution of Parlia-
ment, and that in opposing the prerogative to the law the
author had attacked both King and Parliament together \'

As the final result, Cowell's volume, to the great satisfac- The volume
tion of the Commons, was suppressed by royal proclamation by royai

' Gardiner, Hist, of England, ii 66-68.


500 A.D. 1598 TO 1625.

CHAP, vj.^ on the 25 March 1610. Neither the author nor his patron

long survived this mortification and the blow thus inflicted

on the cause they had so much at heart. Bancroft died in

the following November, and Cowell on the 11 October 1611'.

ctBMBHT The latter was succeeded in the mastership of Trinity Hall

master' bv Clement Corbet who continued to hold the office until

1611-26. •' • 1 1 11 i-

1626, but in that year, having been appointed chancellor oi
Thomas Norwich, resigned in favour of his friend Dr Eden. Dr Eden,
1626-46 ^^^ ^^s Gresham professor and also represented the univer-
sity in parliament, did his best to restore the discipline of
the society and instituted an annual Commemoration of
Benefactors". But the college shared in the general depres-
sion of the study which it was designed to foster, and the
comparative absence of eminent names on its rolls throughout
the century is remarkable. In 1672, with a total of only 68,
it stood lowest of the sixteen foundations.

The society which, in 1617, held that lowly place', was

graced for a time by the presence of one who in respect of

character and abilities was not inferior to any Head in Cam-

joHH bridge, John Overall had originally been a member of St

m^terof ^ Johu's College, but when his patron, Dr Still, was appointed

1698-1607. *° preside over the society at Trinity, he followed him

thither*. In the year 1596, he succeeded to the chair of the

Regius professorship of divinity, and two years later was

elected to the mastership of St Catherine's. He resigned

both appointments in 1607; and in his latter days, amid his

duties as bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and afterwards of

Norwich, took but a small share in university movements.

None of his contemporaries, however, left behind them in

academic circles a deeper impression of varied capacity and

Testimony of luminous intelligence. Williams, no contemptible judge,

Williams to ° . _

a'theoiolln Considered it to have been his greatest advantage at Cam-
disputoSms^'hridge that he learned from Overall the true method of

1 Allen, Lives, eto. ii 386. the total at Trinity Hall; this pros-

' Liber Actorum et Rerum Memo- parity however was especially due to

rabilium Aulae Trin. Cant. [MS. (S. the reputation and efforts of the emi-

48) in the library of St John's College]. nent Lightfoot, master from 1650

» In the year 1672, St Catherine's to 1675.

numbered 156, or more than double * Baker-Mayor, p. 259.


conducting theological controversies. 'I asked him on a ,chap. yi.
time/ says his biographer, 'what it was that pleased him in
Dr Overal above all others whom he heard to handle deter-
minations of divine points in a scholastical form? He gave
me this answer : because, first, Dr Overal was used to prove
his conclusion out of two or three texts of Scripture at the
most, and no more, being such places upon whose right inter-
pretation the judgement of the cause did chiefly depend:
secondly, that above all men that ever he heard, he did most
pertinently quote the Fathers, both to the right sense of their
phrase, which few did understand, and out of those their
treatises wherein especially they handled the cause for which
he appealed unto them\' Overall, says another critic, not and of
wont to praise lightly, 'was great in every way, being a man general
of brilliant talents, tenacious memory, and sound judgement,
combined with surprising originality and power of expression;
while whatever he had conceived and designed he carried
into execution with remarkable dexterity and promptitude^.'
Perhaps however there is no stronger proof of the estimation other
m which Overall was held at Cambridge than the fact of his ofuscon-

,. iT». • ' t T 1 • temporary

election to the Regius chair, notwithstanding the manner m reputation.
which he had so recently opposed the prevailing religious
intolerance, in defence of Peter Baro°. When Casaubon
visited England, he was for a short time Overall's guest, and
of no one does he appear to have formed a more favorable
impression*. If we add that Overall was the tutor of Essex,
the friend of lord Brooke, and the discerning patron of John
Cosin^; that he wrote against Nicholas Sander on the one
hand, and carried on a controversy with De Dominis on the
other', and that he compiled a treatise on ecclesiastical law
and the privileges and rights of Convocation, which, after

' Haoket, Life of Archbiikop Wil- ronia vestigia deterruissent.' Cata-

Hams, i 10-11. logus Episcoporum, in Baker-Mayor,

2 Baker-Mayor, p. 259. p. 260.

3 Supra, p. 349. Baker says; ' Ju- * Gasauboni Epist., pp. 365, 366.
venis admodum venit in amicitiam ^ Goodman, Court of James the
Petri Baronis, iudeque didioit de First, i 145 ; Fuller-Nuttall, in 285 ;
deoretis divinis modeste sentire et Pattison, Isaac Casaubon, p. 331.
caute loqui; mediam iniit viam, ^ See Smith (T.) Vitae, praef. p.
progressarus forte ulterius, nisi Ba- viii.


A.D. 1598 TO 1625.


0(1 llotids
who wero
also pro-
fessors in tho

ed professors
who woro
not HoadB.


Jrofcssor of

long slumbering in manuscript, was deemed by archbishop
Sancroft deserving of publication', we shall have said sufiBcient
to shew that the master of St Catherine's, though last in our
present enumeration of the Heads, must have held a foremost
place in the estimation of his contemporaiies.

The decisive influence exercised at this period by those
who presided over the sixteen Cambridge colleges, is indicated
by the general fact that scarcely any movement of importance is
unassociated with the names of one or more of their number.
It is also deserving of note that six of the most distinguished
members of the body, — Overall, Cowell, Davenant, Richard-
son, Samuel Ward, and Samuel Collins", — also held chairs
in the university, a consideration which undoubtedly tends
to diminish the force of Sir William Hamilton's theory of a
direct antagonism between the Heads and the professoriate.
If indeed we except the names of Edwai-d Lively, who was
Regius professor of Hebrew from 1580 to 1605, — of Thomas
Playfere, who filled the lady Margaret chair, as successor to
Peter Bare, from 1596 to 1609, — and of Andrew Downes, who
was professor of Greek from 1585 to 1625, — there are no
names of professors of distinguished eminence in the first
quarter of the seventeenth century who were not also college

Of the three just named, Edward Lively, the professor of
Hebrew, formerly a disciple of the famous Drusius, was
brought into special notice, a few months before his death,
by the prominent part which it was proposed to assign him
in connexion with the new translation of the Bible. His
previous career had been one of a kind with which the
history of learning makes us only too familiar, but it would
be difficult to point to any Cambridge scholai- at once so
meritorious and yet receiving such niggardly reward from
fortune. Edward Lively was a man of unimpeachable
morality and of exemplary prudence. But lie was mai-ried

1 Hunt, Hixt.oflu'llgions 'I'lioiiiiht,
I 121; tho best aoooiuit of Ovorall is
oontained in tho Eev, H. Pigot's
History of Uadleigh, 1860.

^ Provost of King's fiom 1G15 to

1044, Regius pidtVssor of divinity,
1C17 to 1(!51. Collins' oax-eei' ho-
longs mainly to a later period than
that treated in the present chapter.


and was the father of a large family, for whose maintenance ,chap. vl

his stipend as professor of Hebrew was barely adequate.

For some years he had held a fellowship at Trinity, but his Poiiowof


fellowship was of course vacated by his marriage; and a re- isto-ims.
commendation in his behalf for the deanery of Peterborough,
made by Whitgift in 15Srl-, had not been successful. The
difficulties of his position were still further enhanced by a
hai'assing law-suit in which he had become involved ; so that,
to quote the quaintly pathetic language of his brother pro-
fessor, ' he led a life which in a manner was nothing els but Piayto'a

o descnptlou

a contmuall flood of waters. Never out of suits of law, never ne^sitoua
ceasing disquieters of his studie. Plis goods distrained, and ™"*"'™-
his cattele driven off his ground, as Job's was. His deere,
being not so well able to beare so great a flood as he, even
for verie sorrow presently died. A lamentable and ruefuU
case". There was at this time, at St John's, a Welsh lad,
whose comely features, high-spirited, generous nature, and
diligence as a student were already winning him the good
will of all whose favorable opinion was worth having. The
wits of the college quizzed him, indeed, for his strong Celtic
accent, — but this defect John Williams soon managed to
overcome, and was afterwards even noted for the purity of
his pronunciation. One day it became known in St John's ceneroua

, . conduct

that the poor professor of Hebrew was in sore straits, and towards

c r ' Lively on

had even been compelled to part with a portion of his library. jJ^.S"' "'
This was more than the w;\rm-hearted young Welshman, who ^"'"™^
reverenced learning and was a diligent attendant at Lively's
lectures, could hear of unmoved. He forthwith collected
the sum of three pounds, and carried it to his teacher. Lively's
poverty rather than his will consented, but his gratitude

Online LibraryJ. Bass (James Bass) MullingerThe University of Cambridge → online text (page 58 of 83)