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learn) who answered to our batchelors: as the state and degree of a ferjeant, fervientis ad legem, did to that of doctor.

The crown feems to have foon taken under its protection this infant feminary of common law; and, the more effectually to fofter and cherish it, king Henry III. in the nineteenth year of his reign iffued out an order directed to the mayor and fheriffs of London, commanding that no regent of any law fchools within that city fhould for the future teach law therein. The word, law, or leges, being a general term, may create fome doubt at this distance of time whether the teaching of the civil law, or the common, or both, is hereby reftrained. But in either cafe it tends to the fame end. If the civil law only is prohibited, (which is Mr. Selden's opinion) it is then a retaliation upon the clergy, who had excluded the common law from their feats of learning. If the municipal law be alfo included in the restriction, (as Sir Edward Coke 3 understands it, and which the word feems to import) then the intention is evidently this; by preventing private teachers within the walls of the city, to collect all the common law

• The first mention which I have met with in our law books of ferjeants or countors, is in the ftatute of Weftm. 1. 3 Edw. I. c. 29. and in Horn's Mirror, c. 1. §. 10. c. 2. §. 5. c. 3. §. 1. in the fame reign. But M. Paris in his life of John II. abbot of St. Alban's, which he wrote in 1255, 39 Henry III. fpeaks of advocates at the common law, or countors, (quos banci narratores vulgariter appellamus) as of an order of men well known. And we have an example of the antiquity of the coif in the fame author's hiftory of England, A. D. 1259. in the cafe of one William de Buffy; who, being called to account for his great knavery and mal-practices, claimed the benefit of his orders or clergy,


which till then remained an entire fecret; and to that end voluit ligamenta coifæ fuæ folvere ut palam monftraret Se tonfuram habere clericalem; fed non eft permiffus.- -Satelles vero cum arripiens, non per coifa ligamina jed per guttur eum apprehendens,traxit ad carcerem. And hence Sir H. Spelman conjectures, (Gloffar. 335.) that coifs were introduced to hide the tonfure of fuch renegade clerks, as were ftill tempted to remain in the fecular courts in the quality of advocates or judges, notwithftanding their prohibition by

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yers into the one public univerfity, which was newly inftituted in the fuburbs.

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In this juridical univerfity (for fuch it is infifted to have been by Fortefcue and Sir Edward Coke 5) there are two forts of collegiate houses; one called inns of chancery, in which the younger ftudents of the law were ufually placed, "learning and study"ing, fays Fortefcue, the originals, and as it were "the elements of the law; who, profiting therein, as they grew to ripeness fo were they admitted in"to the greater inns of the fame ftudy, called the "inns of court." And in these inns of both kinds, he goes on to tell us, the knights and barons, with other grandees and noblemen of the realm, did use to place their children, though they did not defire to have them thoroughly learned in the law, or to get their living by its practice: and that in his time there were about two thousand ftudents at these several inns, all of whom he informs us were filii nobilium, or gentlemen born.

Hence it is evident, that (though under the influence of the monks our univerfities neglected this ftudy, yet) in the time of Henry VI. it was thought highly neceffary and was the univerfal practice, for the young nobility and gentry to be inftructed in the originals and elements of the laws. But by degrees this cuftom has fallen into difufe; fo that in the reign of queen Elizabeth Sir Edward Coke' does not reckon above a thousand students, and the number at prefent is very confiderably lefs. Which feems principally owing to thefe reafons: first, because the inns of chancery, being now almoft totally filled by the inferior branch of the profeffion, are neither commodious nor proper for the refort of gentlemen of any rank or figure; fo that there are very rarely any young ftudents entered at the inns of chancery; fecondly, because in the inns of court all forts of regimen and academical fuperintendence, either with regard to morals or ftudies, are found impracticable and therefore entirely neglected: laftly, because perfons of birth and fortune, after having finished their 53 Rep. pref. 3 Rep. pref. 7 Ibid.

4 c. 49. VOL. I.


ufual courfes at the universities, have feldom leisure or refolution fufficient to enter upon a new scheme of ftudy at a new place of inftruction. Wherefore few gentlemen now refort to the inns of court, but fuch for whom the knowledge of practice is abfolutely neceffary; fuch, I mean, as are intended for the profeffion: the reft of our gentry, (not to fay our mobility alfo) having ufually retired to their eftates, or vifited foreign kingdoms, or entered upon public life, without any inftruction in the laws of the land, and indeed with hardly any opportunity of gaining inftruction, unless it can be afforded them in these seats of learning.

And that these are the proper places for affording affiftances of this kind to gentlemen of all ftations and degrees, cannot (I think) with any colour of reafon be denied. For not one of the objections, which are made to the inns of court and chancery, and which I have juft now enumerated, will hold with regard to the univerfities. Gentlemen may here affociate with gentlemen of their own rank and degree. Nor are their conduct and ftudies left entirely to their own difcretion; but regulated by a difcipline fo wife and exact, yet fo liberal, fo fenfible and manly, that their conformity to its rules (which does at prefent fo much honour 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 amufements, or (what is a more noble object) the fervice of their friends and their country. This study will go hand in hand with their own purfuits: it will obftruct none of them; it will ornament and affift them all.

But if, upon the whole, there are any, ftill wedded" to monaftic prejudice, that can entertain a doubt how far this ftudy is properly and regularly academical, fuch perfons I am afraid either have not confidered the conftitution and defign of an univerfity, or else think very meanly of it. It must be a deplorable narrowness of mind, that would confine these feats of inftruction to the limited views of one or two learned profeffions. To the praife of this age be it spoken, a more open and generous way of thinking begins

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now univerfally to prevail. The attainment of liberal and genteel accomplishments, though not of the intellectual fort, has been thought by our wifeft and most affectionate patrons, and very lately by the whole univerfity ", no fmall improvement of our antient plan of education: and therefore I may fafely affirm that nothing (how unusual foever) is, under due regulations, improper to be taught in this place, which is proper for a gentleman to learn. But that a fcience, which diftinguifhes the criterions of right and wrong; which teaches to establish the one, and prevent, punish, or redrefs the other; which employs in its theory the nobleft faculties of the foul, and exerts in its practice the cardinal virtues of the heart: a fcience, which is universal in its use and extent, accommodated to each individual, yet comprehending the whole community; that a science like this fhould ever have been deemed unneceffary to be studied in an univerfity, 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 thofe who can doubt the propriety of its reception among us (if any fuch there be) we may return an anfwer in their own way; that ethics are confeffedly a branch of academical learning, and Ariftotle himfelf has faid, fpeaking of the laws of his own country, that jurifprudence or the knowledge of thofe laws is the principal and moft perfect branch of ethics °.

From a thorough conviction of this truth, our munificent benefactor Mr. VINER, having employed above half a century in amaffing materials for new

Clarendon's history from his noble defcendants, on condition to apply the profits arifing from its publication to the eftablishment of a manage in the university.

Lord chancellor Claren-wocation the remainder of lord don, in his dialogue of education, among his tracts, p. 325. appears to have been very folicitous, that it might be made 66 a part of the ornament of "our learned academies to "teach the qualities of riding, "dancing, and fencing, at "thofe hours when more feri❝ous exercifes fhould be in"termitted."

9. By accepting in full con

• Τελεια μαλιςα αρετη, ότι της τελείας αρετης χρησίς Ethic. ad Nicomach.


1. 5. c. 3•

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modelling and rendering more commodious the rude. ftudy of the laws of the land, configned both the plan and execution of these his public-fpirited deigns to the wisdom of his parent univerfity. Refolving to dedicate his learned labours " to the be"nefit of pofterity and the perpetual service of his country," he was fenfible he could not perform his refolution in a better and more effectual manner, than by extending to the youth of this place thofe affiftances, of which he fo well remembered and fo heartily regretted the want. And the fenfe, which the univerfity has entertained of this ample and moft ufeful benefaction, muft appear beyond a doubt, from their gratitude in receiving it with all poffible marks of efteem; from their alacrity and unexampled difpatch in carrying it into execution 3; and, above all, from the laws and conftitutions by which they have effectually guarded it from the neglect and abuse to which fuch inftitutions are liable. We have seen an

* See the preface to the eighteenth volume of his abridg


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

3 Mr. Viner died June 5, 1756. His effects were collected and fettled, near a volume of his work printed, almoft the whole difpofed of, and the accounts made up, in a year and a half from his decease, by the very diligent and worthy adminiftrators with the will annexed, (Dr. Weft 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 configned by the university. Another half year was employed in confidering and fettling a plan of the propofed inftitution, and in framing the ftatutes thereupon, which were finally confirmed by convocation on the 3d of July, 1758. The pro

feffor was elected on 20th Oct. following, and two scholars on the fucceeding day. And, laftly, it was agreed at the annual audit in 1761, to establish a fellowship; and a fellow was accordingly elected in January following. The refidue of this fund, arifing from the fale of Mr. Viner's abridgment, will probably be fufficient hereafter to found another fellowship and scholarship, or three more scholarships, as fhall be thought moft expedient.

4 The ftatutes are in fubftance as follow.

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

2. That a profefforship of the laws of England be established, with a falary of two hundred pounds per annum; the profeffor to be elected by convocation, and to be at the time of

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