Parliamentary visitation of the University of Oxford

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The parliamentary visitation of the University of Oxford was a political and religious purge taking place from 1647, for a number of years. Many Masters and Fellows of Colleges lost their positions.

Background[edit]

A comparable but less prominent parliamentary visitation of the University of Cambridge had taken place in 1644–5.[1] The Siege of Oxford from 1644 to 1646 was one of the major military actions of the First English Civil War, given that the Royalist forces had their headquarters in Oxford city. The University of Oxford, broadly speaking, supported the Royalist side in the war, in particular in financial terms. The city surrendered to the parliamentary forces on 24 June 1646, and by 2 July parliament blocked new appointments in the university. By October a visitation was proposed, and an Oxford delegation made representations against it.[2]

First moves[edit]

The initial step was the appointment of seven preachers of Presbyterian views, to bring in the use of the Directory for Public Worship.[3] The visitation began on 15 May 1647.[4] An early move was to summon Samuel Fell, the vice-chancellor. He ignored the visitors, was imprisoned for a time, and was deprived of his offices, by November.[5]

The outbreak of the Second English Civil War in early 1648 prompted a much more effective approach from the visitors, who at first were quite successfully obstructed, and it was from April that the purge really began.[6] All the members of the university Convocation were required to submit to the visitation, on 7 April 1648. Only one of the Heads of Houses, Paul Hood, did so at that point.[4]

Formal structure[edit]

Formally, the visitation (which was the first out of three by 1660) was a commission of both houses of Parliament. It was controlled by a large parliamentary committee (the "London Committee"). To begin with, this consisted of 48 members of the House of Commons, tasked with the "reform" of the university. By the ordinance implemented 1 May 1647, it was replaced by 26 peers and 52 MPs. This group (and any five from them) were to oversee 26 Visitors. Of those, ten were Puritan clergy, who included the seven preachers sent to Oxford (in September).[7] Those preachers comprised Francis Cheynell (who ran a "scruple shop"),[8] Edward Corbet, Henry Cornish (then of St Giles in the Fields, after the visitation a canon of Christ Church),[9] Robert Harris, Henry Langley,[10] Edward Reynolds, and Henry Wilkinson.[11]

In 1650 the London Committee was still transacting much of the business of the visitation. Francis Rous, initially appointed to the appeals committee, had by then assumed a leadership role.[7][12] Staff on the ground in Oxford included Ralph Austen, who became registrar, and Elisha Coles who acted for him, both Calvinist writers.[13][14] The Register was published in 1881, edited by Montagu Burrows.[15]

Heads of Houses[edit]

The visitation had the power to order "intrusions": the Oxford colleges were self-governing institutions under a Master (i.e. "head of house", going under various other titles) and fellows, but the normal procedures for election were bypassed, if necessary, to impose appointments.

Christopher Hill distinguishes between the reactions of colleges and halls. Members of halls acknowledged the visitation; while the majority of college fellows were expelled for failing to do so.[16]

Colleges[edit]

College (title) Head before visitation Head after visitation Comments
All Souls (Warden) Gilbert Sheldon[17] John Palmer[17] The Warden and 13 fellows were expelled after refusing to submit. In total 44 fellows were then intruded.[17]
Balliol (Master) Thomas Lawrence[18] George Bradshaw[18]
Brasenose (Principal) Samuel Radcliffe[19] Daniel Greenwood[19] A defiant fellowship elected Thomas Yate to succeed Radcliffe; all but three were expelled.[19]
Christ Church (Dean) Samuel Fell[20] Edward Reynolds[20] The Dean and seven of his canons were ejected; the eighth died at the same period.[21]
Corpus Christi (President) Robert Newlin[22] Edmund Staunton[22]
Exeter (Rector) George Hakewill[23] John Conant from 1649 Hakewill was an absentee Rector, and chronically ill; he died in 1649, having been left in position through the intervention of MPs.[23] Henry Tozer was running the college, and was a defiant opponent of the visitation. He was expelled as fellow in May 1648; and later was removed by soldiers from his pulpit at Carfax, and placed in the Bocardo for a time.[24]
Jesus (Principal) Francis Mansell[25] Michael Roberts[25] All but one of the fellows was expelled.[25]
Lincoln (Rector) Paul Hood[4] Paul Hood[4] While Hood as Rector gave the only prompt submission to the visitors, the sub-rector John Webberley resisted, was briefly imprisoned, and was expelled. The remaining fellows were gone by 1650, and were replaced by nominees.[4]
Magdalen (President) John Oliver[26] John Wilkinson[26] Wilkinson was one of the Visitors. Around 28 of the fellows were expelled.[26]
Merton (Warden) Nathaniel Brent[27] Nathaniel Brent[27] Brent, a parliamentarian, had been displaced by William Harvey during the siege, returning as soon as it ended.[28]
New (Warden) Henry Stringer[29] George Marshall[29] As well as an intruded Warden, there were expulsions on a large scale, and replacements brought in from Cambridge.[29]
Oriel (Provost) John Saunders[30] John Saunders[30] Seven fellows were expelled, and replacements brought in from Cambridge.[30]
Pembroke (Master) Henry Wightwicke[31] Henry Langley[31]
Queen's (Provost) Gerard Langbaine[32] Gerard Langbaine[32] Langbaine was active against the visitation, by legalistic means, with the support of Richard Zouche. He also cultivated supporters in parliament, John Selden and Francis Mills, and enlisted the help of John Owen. Accepting Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke as Chancellor, and not making religious difficulties, he survived as Provost.[33]
St John's (President) Richard Baylie[34] Francis Cheynell[34] Some fellows were expelled with Baylie.[34] Cheynell was one of the Visitors.[35]
Trinity (President) Hannibal Potter[36] Robert Harris[36]
University (Master) Thomas Walker[37] Joshua Hoyle[37] Obadiah Walker and four other fellows ejected.[37]
Wadham (Warden) John Pitt[38] John Wilkins[38]

Halls[edit]

Hall (title) Head before visitation Head after visitation Comments
Gloucester Hall (Principal) John Maplett[39] Tobias Garbrand[39]
Hart Hall
Magdalen Hall
New Inn Hall
St Alban Hall
St Edmund Hall (Principal) Adam Airay[40] Adam Airay[40]
St Mary Hall (Principal)

Professors[edit]

Chair Professor before visitation Professor after visitation Comments
Camden (history) Robert Waring Lewis du Moulin Du Moulin petitioned parliament in 1646 for a chair or position as college head. He was inaugurated in August 1648.[41]
Lady Margaret (divinity) Thomas Laurence[42] Francis Cheynell[43]
Laudian (Arabic)

Regius (Hebrew)

Edward Pococke[44] Edward Pococke
Regius (civil law) Richard Zouche[45] Richard Zouche
Regius (divinity) Robert Sanderson Joshua Hoyle[46] Robert Crosse, appointed by the visitors, was unwilling to serve.[47]
Regius (Greek) Henry Stringer John Harmar Harmar was intruded in 1650.[48]
Regius (medicine) Thomas Clayton, Sr. Thomas Clayton, Jr. The younger Clayton submitted to the visitors, and was allowed to take over his father's chair.[49]
Savilian (astronomy) John Greaves Seth Ward Greaves was ejected, then assisted Ward to get the chair, as did Sir John Trevor.[50]
Savilian (geometry) Peter Turner[51] John Wallis
Sedleian (natural philosophy) John Edwards[52] Joshua Crosse[52] Referred to as a readership at the time. Edwards was an associate of William Laud and Royalist military activist.[52]
White (moral philosophy) John Birkenhead[53] Edward Copley[53]

Dissolution of the initial visitation[edit]

The visitation, called later the "first", was brought to a close on 21 April 1652. It was replaced by a commission of five: John Wilkins, Jonathan Goddard (Magdalen), and Thomas Goodwin (Merton) from among the heads of houses, with Peter French of Christ Church, who had married Robina Cromwell, sister of Oliver Cromwell,[54] and John Owen who had become vice-chancellor.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ J. D. Twigg, The Parliamentary Visitation of the University of Cambridge, 1644-1645, The English Historical Review Vol. 98, No. 388 (Jul., 1983), pp. 513-528. Published by: Oxford University Press. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/569782
  2. ^ Quehen, Hugh de. "Hammond, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12157.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Edward Vallance, The Kingdom's Case: The Use of Casuistry as a Political Language 1640-1692, Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies Vol. 34, No. 4 (Winter, 2002), pp. 557-583, at p. 569. Published by: The North American Conference on British Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4054669
  4. ^ a b c d e H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Lincoln College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  5. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1889). "Fell, Samuel". Dictionary of National Biography 18. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  6. ^ Blair Worden (22 March 2012). God's Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell. Oxford University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-19-957049-2. 
  7. ^ a b c Mordechai Feingold (12 September 2002). History of Universities: Volume XVII 2001-2002. Oxford University Press. pp. 22–3. ISBN 978-0-19-925636-5. 
  8. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Cheynell, Francis". Dictionary of National Biography 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  9. ^ Freedom After Ejectiom. Manchester University Press. p. 242. GGKEY:H85N6BTCK65. 
  10. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. ^ John Walker (1863). The Sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England during the Great Rebellion. Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt. p. clxxxiv. 
  12. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1897). "Rous, Francis". Dictionary of National Biography 49. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  13. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Austen, Ralph". Dictionary of National Biography 2. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  14. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Coles, Elisha (1608?-1688)". Dictionary of National Biography 11. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  15. ^ Montagu Burrows, ed., The Register of the Visitors of the University of Oxford (1838), Camden Society;archive.org.
  16. ^ Christopher Hill (1991). Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution. Oxford University Press. p. 313. ISBN 0-19-822635-7. 
  17. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "All Souls College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  18. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Balliol College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Brasenose College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  20. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Christ Church". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  21. ^ Joyce M. Horn (1996). "OXFORD: Introduction". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857: volume 8: Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough dioceses. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  22. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Corpus Christi College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  23. ^ a b McCullough, P. E. "Hakewill, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11885.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  24. ^ Larminie, Vivienne. "Tozer, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27649.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  25. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Jesus College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  26. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Magdalen College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  27. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Merton College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  28. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1886). "Brent, Nathaniel". Dictionary of National Biography 6. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  29. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "New College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Oriel College and St Mary hall". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  31. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Pembroke College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  32. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "The Queen's College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  33. ^ Hegarty, A. J. "Langbaine, Gerard". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16006.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  34. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "St John's College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  35. ^ Pooley, Roger. "Cheynell, Francis". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5266.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  36. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Trinity College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  37. ^ a b c H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "University College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  38. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Wadham College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  39. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "Gloucester Hall and Worcester College". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  40. ^ a b H. E. Salter and Mary D. Lobel (editors) (1954). "St. Edmund Hall". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  41. ^ Larmenie, Vivienne. "Du Moulin, Lewis". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19428.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  42. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). "Laurence, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography 32. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  43. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Cheynell, Francis". Dictionary of National Biography 10. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  44. ^ Toomer, G. J.. "Pococke, Edward (1604–1691)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2430.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  45. ^ Richard Zouche at britannica.com (accessed 22 February 2008)
  46. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Hoyle, Joshua". Dictionary of National Biography 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  47. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Crosse, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  48. ^ Leedham-Green, Elisabeth. "Harmar, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12354.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  49. ^ History of Parliament Online - Clayton, Thomas
  50. ^ Henry, John. "Ward, Seth (1617–1689)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28706.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  51. ^ Higton, H. K. "Turner, Peter (1586–1652)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27857.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  52. ^ a b c  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1889). "Edwards, John (fl.1638)". Dictionary of National Biography 17. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  53. ^ a b Anthony à Wood (1796). The History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford: In Two Books. editor. pp. 873–4. 
  54. ^ Henry, John. "Wilkins, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29421.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)