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ones, and, whether founded on forged or genuine charters, and bulls, carried their weight with succeeding potentates; for, as all power has a tendency to spread, these privileges were still further increased under the same plea.
Foremost among the public instruments of Henry III. relating to the university, are, beside those already mentioned, the following-the king's letters to the sheriff, authorizing him, at the signification of the Bishop of Ely, and the discretion of the chancellor and masters, to suppress the insolencies of clerks and scholars, and to imprison or banish them from the university-the king's letters to the Bishop of Ely, that clerks contumacious, and rebellious against the chancellor, should be imprisoned or banished from the town--the king's letters, that the sheriff should imprison clerks, who were malefactors, at the command of the chancellor, in defect of the burgesses, and should cause them to be liberated, on the request of the chancellor, and not beforem-other letters from the king, ordering the sheriff to abstain from apprehending scholars, notwithstanding his former lettersthe king's letters for preserving the liberties of the university--the king's brief, to suppress discords, between the university and people of the town-and, that the king's justices should not introduce themselves, to settle of fences and disputes between scholars and laics,
CHARTERS, PRIVILEGES, AND VARIOUS REGULATIONS.
AMONG the public instruments, in Henry III.'s reign, was the famous Composition a between the scholars and the burgesses, confirmed by royal authority, ordaining, that before the masters resumed their lectures, a certain number of the scholars and the townsmen should be bound by oath to take the names of all the principal houses in the town, and of those who dwelt in them; so that no person should be lodged therein, who could disturb the public peace; and the privileges of the University were all under such provisions as might secure the performance of the said Composition; or, in the last resource, the violators were denounced before the king and his council.
Henry, after these provisions for the public order of the University, did it the honour of a visit, (A. R. 54,) when some other regulations were introduced. Among the archives of the University is a short history of this royal visit.
In Edward I.'s reign, the University obtained a confirmation of its privileges. In this charter, the letters of Henry III. (21, 22, 23, and 25.) and the Composition, are recited and confirmed. They, also, had conferred on them some new privileges, among which one was, that no one,
· A. D. 1270. Hare's MS. Index. Compositio inter scholaros et burgenses Cantabrigiæ auctoritate regia confirmata.
imprisoned by order of the chancellor, should be liberated by the mayor and bailiffs, under pretext of a king's brief, formerly issued.
There is occasion to say less on the concessions of Edward II. they being, principally, confirmations of former charters and privileges. This prince, however, granted some new privileges, among which, the one entitled, Charta omnium amplissima, (as Hare deseribes it",) with the addition of new privileges, was confirmed by Edward III.
The University had now obtained power to punish regraters and forestallers, and to deliver scholastics and clerks from prison; and all causes in which they were concerned, relating to taxes, letting of houses, hiring of horses, selling provisions and clothes, were cognizable before the vice-chancellor, or his commissary, as in 1 Eliz. all which matters were to take their due course in the chancellor's court, as a court of record.
The assize of bread, wine, and beer, together wíth fines and punishments relating to them, were exclusively lodged in the University, with the supervision of weights and measures; all which had formerly belonged to the mayor, bailiffs, aldermen, and burgesses: and for these privileges the University were to pay into the exchequer, a yearly tribute of ten pounds; and the mayor, bailiffs, &c. were, in these several particulars, only to assist the chancellor, his vicegerent, or commissary, parere humiliter, et intendere, ut decet.
This charter is introduced with greater formality, than any of the preceding, and was given in full parliament.
2 10 Edward 2. Hare's MS. Index.
1 Edward 3. Ibid.
• 5 Richard 2. Hare, vol. i. f. 210.
This charter was given, on account of the mayor and aldermen having been negligent in the discharge of these several duties, which formerly belonged to them; and, accordingly, the king having heard of false weights and measures having been used at Stursbridge fair a, issued letters patent to the University, informing them, that if they did not perform their duty better, they, also, should lose their privileges, in like manner.
In Edward III.'s reign, letters patent had set aside former king's briefs, in favour of the present power of the vicechancellor for the imprisoning and punishing of scholars. The mayor
and bailiffs of the town were sworn every year, before the vice-chancellor, to keep the peace of the University-while, on the one hand, petitions were presented to the king and council, by the burgesses, against some of the privileges of the University, as being contra jusq. fasq. et contra chartas burgensium, concessas et confirmatas b; and, on the other, the University presented petitions to the king in parliament, against the mayor and bailiffs, to have their privileges and liberties enlarged : but, quibus datum nullum responsumo:
If I professed to go into minutiæ, I should notice several things that related to the police and discipline of the place, such as paving the town, provisions against public women, &c. But these matters we must pass.
By charter of Richard II. A. Reg. 7. the assize of bread, wine, and beer, in the town, the superintendance of weights, candles, and firing, and the supervision of measures, the butcher and fish market, the regulation of Stursbridge fair, licensing of vintners and brewers, and of determining all fines against offenders, is still further confirmed to the vice-chancellor, in short, he, with his officers, was to take cognizance of all personal pleas, and all causes where a clerk or scholar was one of the parties, except in mayheim and felony.
2 Properly, Steresbridge. b 11 Edward 3. Hare MS. c 57 Edward 3. Hare,
I must not forget to observe, that An. 1318, the University had the honour, if not of receiving a visit, at least, of receiving two bulls, in confirmation of all her privileges, from Pope John XXII. a predecessoribus suis et Angliæ regibus olim concessorum”; and these were followed, six years after, with a declaration from the same pope, relating to some constitutions of his to be read in the schools, as the other decretals b.
Of the privileges formerly granted, I find no trace in Hare, except those spurious bulls already commented on, and I suspect none are to be found in the archives of the University.
The charters of foundations and deeds of mortmain all bear the regal authority. Had there, indeed, been any old musty bull, founding colleges at Cambridge, doubtless, Mr. Hare, a papist, would have produced them: I therefore, suspect none are in the University, and, perhaps, never were, before this period.
The monasteries and churches in England were, in religious matters, from the time of Augustine, under the authority of the pope. But the kings of England were, in their civil capacities, under no vassalage to
a The first of these two bulls may be seen at full length, in Ayliffe's History of Oxford, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 16.
b Bulla ejusdem Johannis ad Universitatem transmissa de quibusdam constitutionibus in scholis suis legendis, sicut cæteræ decretales. Hare's MS.