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viving its


instruction, unless it can be afforded them in these seats of learning.

III On the And that these are the proper places for affording assistanpeculiar propriety of ro- ces of this kind to gentlemen of all stations and degrees, can not (I think) with any color of reason be denied; for not one study in the of the objections which are made to the Inns of Court and Chancery, and which I have just now enumerated, will hold with regard to the universities. Gentlemen may here associate with gentlemen of their own rank and degree. Nor are their conduct and studies left entirely to their own discretion, but regulated by a discipline so wise and exact, yet so liberal, so sensible, and manly, that their conformity to its rules (which does at present so much honor to our youth) is not more the effect of constraint than of their own inclinations and choice. Neither need they apprehend too long an avocation hereby from their private concerns and amusements, or (what is a more noble object) the service of their friends and their country. This study will go hand in hand with their other pursuits; it will obstruct none of them, it will ornament and assist them all.

Nature of a


But if, upon the whole, there are any still wedded to monastic prejudice that can entertain a doubt how far this study is properly and regularly academical, such persons, I am afraid, either have not considered the constitution and design of a university, or else think very meanly of it. It must be a deplorable narrowness of mind that would confine these seats of instruction to the limited views of one or two learned professions. To the praise of this age be it spoken, a more open [27] and generous way of thinking begins now universally to prevail. The attainment of liberal and genteel accomplishments, though not of the intellectual sort, has been thought by our wisest and most affectionate patrons, and very lately by the whole University,d no small improvement of our ancient plan of education; and therefore I may safely affirm that nothing (how unusual soever) is, under due regulations, improper to be taught in this place which is proper for a gentleman to learn. But that a science which distinguishes the criterions of right and wrong; which teaches to establish the one, and prevent, punish, or redress the other; which employs in its theory the noblest faculties of the soul, and exerts in its practice the cardinal virtues of the heart; a science, which is universal in its use and extent, accommodated to each individual, yet com

c Lord-chancellor Clarendon, in his dialogue of education, among his tracts, p. 325, appears to have been very solicitous that it might be made "a part of the ornament of our learned academies to teach the qualities of riding, dancing, and fencing at those hours

when more serious exercises should be intermitted."

d By accepting in full convocation the remainder of Lord Clarendon's history from his noble descendants, on condi tion to apply the profits arising from its publication to the establishment of a manege in the University.

prehending the whole community;" that a science like this should ever have been deemed unnecessary to be studied in a university, is matter of astonishment and concern. Surely, if it were not before an object of academical knowledge, it was high time to make it one; and to those who can doubt the propriety of its reception among us (if any such there be), we may return an answer in their own way, that ethics are confessedly a branch of academical learning; and Aristotle himself has said, speaking of the laws of his own country, that jurisprudence, or the knowledge of those laws, is the principal and most perfect branch of ethics.e

tion for this

From a thorough conviction of this truth, our munificent ben- The Vineriefactor, Mr. Viner, having employed about half a century in an founda amassing materials for new-modeling and rendering more object. • Τελεία μάλιστα αρετῆ, ὅτι τῆς τελείας αρετῆς χρῆστίς ἐστι.—Ethic. ad Nicomach., 1. 5, c. 3.

(11) This is the panegyric of a lawyer; but the peroration of the first book of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity is to the same effect: "Of law there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world; all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as freely her care, the greatest as not exempted from her power; both angels, and men, and creatures, of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all, with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy."


law will scarce deserve to be ranked among the learned professions; and whenever it happens, one of the vantage-grounds to which men must climb is metaphysical, and the other, historical knowledge. They must pry into the secret recesses of the human heart, and become well acquainted with the whole moral world, that they may discover the abstract reason of all laws; and they must trace the laws of particular states, especially of their own, from the first rough sketches to the more perfect draughts; from the first causes or occasions that produced them, through all "I might instance (says Bolingbroke, the effects, good and bad, that they Study of History, p. 353), in other pro- produced." Law," said Dr. Johnson, fessions, the obligation men lie under of "is the science in which the greatest applying to certain parts of history; and powers of understanding are applied to I can hardly forbear doing it in that of the greatest number of facts." "And the law, in its nature the noblest and no one," said Sir James Mackintosh, most beneficial to mankind, in its abuse "who is acquainted with the variety and debasement the most sordid and and multiplicity of the subjects of juristhe most pernicious. A lawyer now is prudence, and with the prodigious pownothing more, I speak of ninety-nine in ers of discrimination employed upon a hundred at least, to use some of Tul- them, can doubt the truth of this obserly's words, nisi leguleius quidem cautus, vation." et acutus præco actionum, cantor formu- The science of jurisprudence is the larum, auceps syllabarum. But there pride of the human intellect, which, have been lawyers that were orators, with all its defects, redundancies, and philosophers, historians: there have been errors, is the collected reason of ages, Bacons and Clarendons. There will be combining the principles of original jus none such any more, till, in some better tice with the infinite variety of human age, true ambition or the love of fame concerns.—One of the first and noblest prevails over avarice; and till men find of human sciences, a science which leisure and encouragement to prepare does more to quicken and invigorate themselves for the exercise of this pro- the human understanding than all other fession, by climbing up to the vantage- kinds of human learning put together; ground-so my Lord Bacon calls it-of but it is not apt, except in persons very science, instead of groveling all their happily born, to open and liberalize the lives below in a mean but gainful ap- mind exactly in the same proportion.— plication to all the little arts of chicane. [BURKE.] Till this happen, the profession of the

commodious the rude study of the laws of the land, consigned [ 28 ] both the plan and execution of these his public-spirited designs to the wisdom of his parent university. Resolving to dedicate his learned labors " to the benefit of posterity and the perpetual service of his country,"f he was sensible he could not perform his resolution in a better and more effectual manner than by extending to the youth of this place those assistances of which he so well remembered and so heartily regretted the want. And the sense which the University has entertained of this ample and most useful benefaction, must appear, beyond a doubt, from their gratitude in receiving it with all possible marks of esteem; from their alacrity and unexampled dispatch in carrying it into execution; and, above all, from the laws and constitutions by which they have effectually guarded it from


See the preface to the eighteenth volume of his Abridgment.

Mr. Viner is enrolled among the public benefactors of the University by decree of convocation.

Mr. Viner died June 5, 1756. His effects were collected and settled, near a volume of his work printed, almost the whole disposed of, and the accounts made up in a year and a half from his decease, by the very diligent and worthy administrators with the will annexed (Dr. West and Dr. Good of Magdalene, Dr. Whalley of Oriel, Mr. Buckler of All Souls, and Mr. Betts of University College), to whom that care was consigned by the University. Another half

year was employed in considering and settling a plan of the proposed institution, and in framing the statutes thereupon, which were finally confirmed by convocation on the 3d of July, 1758. The professor was elected on the 20th of October following, and two scholars on the succeeding day. And, lastly, it was agreed, at the annual audit in 1761, to establish a fellowship; and a fellow was accordingly elected in January following.-The residue of this fund, arising from the sale of Mr. Viner's Abridg ment, will probably be sufficient hereafter to found another fellowship and scholarship, or three more scholarships, as shall be thought most expedient.

(12) This foundation was still further of St. John's College and Clare Hall, in regulated by a statute passed in the the University of Cambridge, in being year 1809, reducing the number of lec- at the time of the foundation of the col tures to be read by the professor from lege, should direct and prescribe. In forty to twenty-four, entirely dispensing 1764, the prior limitations having dewith the residence of the fellows, and termined, an information was filed for reducing the period of residence of the scholars, but enforcing their attendance at the lectures, and, lastly, throwing the lectures open to all members of the University.

A similar benefit was conferred on the University of Cambridge by the will of Sir George Downing, who died in the year 1749. The will bore date in the year 1717, and contained a devise of certain real estates therein mentioned, situate in the counties of Cambridge, Bedford, and Suffolk, subject to certain prior limitations, to certain trustees, all of whom died in the testator's lifetime, upon trust to found and endow a college within the University of Cambridge, to be called "Downing College," where in should be professed and taught such useful learning as the said trustees, with the approbation of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the masters

the purpose of having the said trusts carried into execution, but it was not until the year 1800 that the said trusts were established and a decree made for carrying them into execution.-(3 Ves., 714.) Lands having been purchased, and a scheme for the foundation of the intended college having been approved of by the said archbishops and masters and by the lord-chancellor, a charter was granted on the 22d of September, 1800, for its erection and incorporation. The college was ordained to consist of one master, a professor of law and a professor of medicine, and sixteen fellows, fourteen of whom should be laymen, and of such a number of scholars as should be thereafter fixed; but at present its funds have not justified the appointment of the full complement either of fellows or scholars.

The charter contains various provi

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the neglect and abuse to which such institutions are liable.i


We have seen a universal emulation who best should under- [ 29 ]


The statutes are in substance as fol- year, do forfeit forty shillings to Mr. Viner's general fund; the proof of having performed his duty to lie upon the said professor.

1. That the accounts of this benefaction be separately kept, and annually audited by the delegates of accounts and professor, and afterward reported to convocation.

4. That every professor do continue in his office during life, unless in case of such misbehavior as shall amount to 2. That a professorship of the laws of bannition by the University statutes; or England be established, with a salary of unless he deserts the profession of the two hundred pounds per annum; the law by betaking himself to another proprofessor to be elected by convocation, and to be, at the time of his election, at least a master of arts or a bachelor of civil law in the University of Oxford, of ten years' standing from his matriculation; and also a barrister-at-law of four years' standing at the bar.

fession; or unless, after one admonition
by the vice-chancellor and proctors for
notorious neglect, he is guilty of anoth-
er flagrant omission; in any of which
cases he be deprived by the vice-chan-
cellor, with consent of the house of con-

5. That such a number of fellowships
with a stipend of fifty pounds per an-
num, and scholarship, with a stipend of
thirty pounds, be established, as the
convocation shall from time to time or-
dain, according to the state of Mr. Vi-
ner's revenues.

3. That such professor (by himself, or by deputy to be previously approved by convocation) do read one solemn public lecture on the laws of England, and in the English language, in every academical term, at certain stated times previous to the commencement of the com6. That every fellow be elected by mon law term, or forfeit twenty pounds for every omission to Mr. Viner's gener- convocation, and at the time of election al fund; and also (by himself, or by dep- be unmarried, and at least a master of uty to be approved, if occasional, by the arts or bachelor of civil law, and a vice-chancellor and proctors; or, if per- member of some college or hall in the manent, both the cause and the deputy University of Oxford; the scholars of to be annually approved by convoca- this foundation, or such as have been tion) do yearly read one complete course scholars (if qualified and approved of of lectures on the laws of England, and by convocation), to have the preferin the English language, consisting of sixty lectures at the least; to be read during the University term time, with such proper intervals that not more than four lectures may fall within any single week that the professor do give a month's notice of the time when the 7. That every scholar be elected by course is to begin, and to read gratis to the scholars of Mr. Viner's foundation; convocation, and at the time of election but may demand of other auditors such be unmarried, and a member of some gratuity as shall be settled from time to college or hall in the University of Oxtime by decree of convocation; and ford, who shall have been matriculated that for every of the said sixty lectures twenty-four calendar months at the omitted, the professor, on complaint made to the vice-chancellor within the

ence: that, if not a barrister when
chosen, he be called to the bar within
one year after his election; but do re-
side in the University two months in
every year, or, in case of non-residence,
do forfeit the stipend of that year to
Mr. Viner's general fund.

least; that he do take the degree of bachelor of civil law with all conven

and revenues; not so accurately, however, as to prevent the necessity of another application to the Court of Chancery in the year 1837.-(2 Myl. and Cr.,

sions for enforcing the reading of lec-
tures on law and physic by the pro-
fessors, entirely exempts the lay fellows
from residence, "their stipends being
only designed as a temporary assistance 642.)
In London, professors of eminence de-
to those who are in the active pursuit
of the professions of law and physic, liver lectures on the laws of England
which professions confine the attention both at King's College and University
and fix the residence of their members College, attendance at which, when
at a distance from the University," and
grants all the necessary powers for the
good government, regulation, and man-
agement of the foundation, its officers,

combined with diligent attention to the other sources of legal instruction, the student will find of the most invaluable service to him.

The advantages of this

stand, or most faithfully pursue, the designs of our generous [30] patron; and with pleasure we recollect that those who are most distinguished by their quality, their fortune, their station, their learning, or their experience, have appeared the most zealous to promote the success of Mr. Viner's establishment. The advantages that might result to the science of the law. study to the itself, when a little more attended to in the seats of knowledge, universities. perhaps would be very considerable. The leisure and abilities of the learned in these retirements might either suggest expedients, or execute those dictated by wiser heads, for improving its method, retrenching its superfluities, and reconciling the little contrarieties, which the practice of many centuries will necessarily create in any human system; a task, which those who are deeply employed in business and the more active scenes of the profession can hardly condescend to engage in. And as to the interest, or (which is the same) the reputation of the universities themselves, I may venture to pronounce, that if ever this study should arrive to any tolerable perfection, either here or at Cambridge, the nobility and gentry of this kingdom would not shorten their residence upon this account, nor perhaps entertain a worse opinion of the benefits of academical education. Neither should it be considered as a matter of light importance, that while we thus extend the pomaria of university learning, and adopt a new tribe of citi zens within these philosophical walls, we interest a very nu [31]merous and very powerful profession in the preservation of our rights and revenues.

On the mode of commencing it.

For I think it past dispute that those gentlemen, who resort

ed to the bar within the time before limited (being duly admonished so to be by the vice-chancellor and proctors), or deserting the profession of the law by following any other calling; and that, in any of these cases, the vicechancellor, with consent of convocation, do declare the place actually void.

ient speed (either proceeding in arts or
otherwise); and previous to his taking
the same, between the second and
eighth year from his matriculation, be
bound to attend two courses of the pro-
fessor's lectures, to be certified under
the professor's hand; and, within one
year after taking the same, be called to
the bar; that he do annually reside six 9. That, in case of any vacancy of the
months till he is of four years' standing, professorship, fellowships, or scholar-
and four months from that time till he is ships, the profits of the current year be
master of arts or bachelor of civil law; rateably divided between the predeces
after which, he be bound to reside two sor, or his representatives, and the suc-
months in every year; or, in case of cessor; and that a new election be had
non-residence, do forfeit the stipend of within one month afterward, unless by
that year to Mr. Viner's general fund. that means the time of election shall
8. That the scholarships do become
void in case of non-attendance on the
professor, or not taking the degree of
bachelor of civil law, being duly ad-
monished so to do by the vice-chancel-
lor and proctors; and that both fellow-
ships and scholarships do expire at the
end of ten years after each respective
election; and become void in case of
gross misbehavior, non-residence for two
years together, marriage, not being call-

fall within any vacation, in which case it be deferred to the first week in the next full term. And that, before any convocation shall be held for such election, or for any other matter relating to Mr. Viner's benefaction, ten days' public notice be given to each college and hall of the convocation, and the cause of con voking it.

See Lord Bacon's proposals and of fer of a digest.

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