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formed on these particulars, will do well to consult the several treatises in the notes a.
I shall just add here, that the hostels, or inns, were, even in Dr. Caius's time, seventeen, besides three hospitals for regulars. The colleges and halls are now sixteen; the members two thousand three hundred. By the Population Abstract, May, 1811, the resident members at Oxford were one thousand and fifteen; at Cambridge, eight hundred and fourteen.-So to proceed in order with our Colleges.
· Hints respecting some of the University Officers, its Jurisdiction, its Revenues, &c. of the University of Cambridge. By Robert Plumptre, D. D. late Master of Queen's College.--An Account of Ceremonies and Customs, &c. By Mr. Wall, late Fellow of Christ College.-An Account of Officers, Forms in taking Degrees, &c. By Mr. Beverley, one of the present Esquire-beadles; The Cambridge Guide, and University Calendars: though, indeed, several of the matters above referred to are to be found in two or three of the Histories of Cambridge.
I HAVE hinted, more than once, in the preceding volume, that my history would not attempt a detail in regard to academical habits, degrees, &c.: but a friend having asked me the meaning of the term, Bachelor of Arts, and suggested whether bachelor did not mean bas chevalier, an inferior knight, I was led to see the expediency of saying something, at least, on degrees, previously to beginning the next volume, where the word will be perpetually recurring : and so, finding two or three pages at the end unoccupied, I place my few observations where the introduction of them will not interrupt the general course of the history.
It has already been observed, that our college-language is derived from the church and monastery. In the first Christian churches, Bishops, or Presbyters, (I have nothing to do here with the dispute, whether they were different, or the same officers,) and Deacons were two orders, or degrees. They that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good DEGREE. 1 Tim.ij. 13. wipewoluvtar alienam rem sibi vindicant, Budæi Comment. Ling. Græc. p. 663. Dr. Harwood, in his Greek Test. vol. ii. p. 139, on the word, Gee@pov, observes, Befpov, a step, i. e. they lay a good foundation for the ministerial office, and quotes Livy : Graduq. eo jam via ad consulatum videbatur.—The Doctor, however, should have said, the episcopal, pastoral, or presbyter's office, for Asarova was the ministerial office.--In the writings of the apostolical fathers, Clement’s and Ignatius's Epistles, &c. (whatever authority we choose to allow them) great stress is laid on these distinct orders, or degrees.
Some of our Saxon ancestors had, very early, seven degrees in the church. Thus, in the laws of Wightræd, King of Kent, “ the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it is said, are sevenfold ; and and there are seven ranks of ecclesiastical degrees stæpas sýndan cyrıclicra znaša. Orders is another name for degrees. Augustine, in the old Salisbury Breviary, is said to have been admitted to the order or degree of presbyter, and afterwards admitted to the order, or degree of a bishop, the word, as it is, well known, still retained in the English church; but when we speak of deacons orders, priests orders, strictly speaking, we talk incorrectly, though the phrase is sanctioned by custom. From the church the word passed into monasteries and colleges. Even in nunneries, deaconesses, and abbatesses, &c. were abbatissæ, diaconissæ, &c. were ordinatæ.
Whence we immediately get our degrees of B. A. and M. A. of B. D. and D. D. &c. (and more particularly in reference to the word, bachelor,) when they were first introduced, and whence the word itself is derived, is not so clear as to admit of fio dispute. The batchelor, in ancient writings, is sometimes called baccalaurus, sometimes bacculaurus, or baculaurus, and, in the French and old Norman, bacheler, bachelier, bachiler.
As to the baccalaurus, derived, as some say, from the bacca lauri, the laurel, or ivy, with which he was crowned, if
any custom had prevailed of crowning the incipients in the arts and sciences, as they are called, the A. B.s and B. D.s, &c. with the laurel or bay, we might sit down content with that etymology: but the laurus Apollinaris has, if I mistake not, been always appropriated to the poet, and the practice of crowning the archipoeta with laurel, continued in Italy till a very late period. We have all heard of a laureated poet, but I have not, at least, heard of a laureated A. B.
Salve, brassicea virens corona,
Vid. Stradæ Prolusion: p. 222.
Dr. Johnson's “most probable derivation,” in his Dic. tionary," from bachelors being young, and of good hopes, like the berry of a laurel, or bay,” is too ridiculous to deserve notice: and when the learned Dufresne talks of bajulare, il quali mostrava gran baculare, cioe gran
dottore:” as he deals only in generals, without producing authorities, it amounts to nothing. The same, also, may be said of Dr. Cowel's passage from Rhenanus, “ A bacillo nominati sunt quia primi studii authoritatem, quæ per exhibitionem baculi considebatur, jam consecuti fuissent.” See Dr. Cowel's INTERPRETER. For I do not remember to have heard more of the bachelor's staff, than of his laurel.
A bachelor is defined the first degree, taken in any faculty, to arrive at a doctorate; it might be added, or mastership, for, in our old university records we have no doctors, only masters, (magistri.) And again, bacheler, qui est promu au baccalaureat en quelque faculte: and, again, on apelloit aussi bachelier un jeuni gentilhome, qui servoit sous la baniere d'un autre: Dictionaire de l'Academie: and so, Kelham, in his Norman French Dictionary, bachelier, bachiler, a batchelor, a young esquire, or knight.
Thus, too, the learned civilian, Dr. Cowel, “ Bas chevaliers,” low or inferior knights, by tenure of a bare military fee, as distinguished from baronets and bannerets, who were the chief or superior knights : hence we call our bare, simple knights, inferior to baronets, &c. knights bachelors, i. e. bas chevaliers, which, in all likelihood, gave name to the academical degrees of bachelors; as a quality lower than that of masters and doctors.
It has been already shewn, that the literature of our schools was fashioned according to that of the Normans, and introduced by them, after the Conquest; and it was natural, whenever our bachelerie was formed, that it should be derived from that source, particularly when we recollect how the Norman French was affected in almost every thing. The word bachelor is not of Saxon, but of Norman French origin, as appears, both in the sense, ,
and from the way of spelling the word : thus Chaucer, who introduced so much, French into our language;
With him there was his sonne, a young squire,
Prologue to the Squire's Tale.
Yong, freshe, and strong, in armes desirous