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at the university, an acquaintance with them not being necessary for a degree or for the higher honors. Several of the professors, it will be seen, are presidents of colleges and halls.

The business of the university, in its corporate capacity, is managed in two distinct assemblies, called the house of congregation and the house of convocation. The former consists wholly of what are called regents, i. e. all doctors and masters of arts during the first year from their taking their degree, and also all doctors of every faculty resident in the university, all heads of colleges and halls, all professors and public lecturers, the masters of the schools, the public examiners, the deans and censors of colleges, and all other masters of arts during the second year from their receiving their degree. The business is principally confined to the passing of dispensations, the granting of degrees, etc. The house of convocation consists both of regents and non-regents, with certain limitations. It is empowered to investigate and determine every subject connected with the honor, interest or credit of the university. In both these meetings, the chancellor or vice-chancellor singly, and the two proctors (the peace-officers) jointly, possess the power of an absolute negative. The real influence and authority of the university is, however, lodged with the Hebdomadal Board, i. e. the vice-chancellor, heads of colleges and halls, and the proctors, without whose sanction nothing can be proposed in convocation, the latter having merely the privilege, under Laud's statutes, of accepting a proposition of the Board in the strictest verbal and literal accuracy of its terms, or to reject them altogether.1

The following table gives the summary of the number of students at the different colleges. The first column denotes the total number on the books of each college, and the second, the number of those who are members of convocation. The Heads of colleges are subjoined. Different titles are used in various establishments, e. g. provost, master, dean, etc.

Christ Church,















T. Gaisford, D. D.

R. Harrington, D. D.

J. L. Richards, D. D.

E. Hawkins, D. D.

R. Jenkyns, D. D.






1 During the present year, 1847, a system of moderate reform in the examinations was proposed by Dr. Jeune, master of Pembroke, conciliatory and interferfering little with existing arrangements. But, after having been discussed and modified, it was rejected by the Board.



St. John's,





Magdalen Hall,








All Souls',

St. Edmund Hall,

Officers and Usages.






































B. P. Symons, D. D.


P. Wynter, D. D.


J. Ingram, D. D.


J. Fox, D. D.


R. L. Cotton, D. D.


F. C. Plumptree, D. D.


J. D. Macbride, D. C. L. 1813

J. Radford, D. D.


M. J. Routh, D. D.


F. Jeune, D. C. L.

R. Marsham, D. C. L.

D. Williams, D. C. L.

H. Foulkes, D. D.


J. Norris, D. D.

L. Sneyd, M. A.

W. Thompson, M. A.











St. Mary Hall,

New Inn Hall, St. Alban Hall, The five halls are not incorporated bodies, but enjoy the same privileges as the colleges. The chancellor is the visitor of them all. The colleges and halls are endowed by their founders and others with estates and benefices, out of whose revenue, as well as from other resources, the heads and senior and junior members on the foundation receive an income, and the expenses of the colleges are defrayed. The senior members are called, at most of the colleges, fellows. Members, not on the foundation, called Independent members, reside entirely at their own expense. Thus Christ Church, the wealthiest college, supports on its foundation its dean, eight canons, eight chaplains, an organist, eight singing men, eight choristers, and 101 fellows, called here students. Dr. Pusey is one of the canons. The chaplains perform divine service. Prayers are read in the chapels belonging to each college twice a day, and every member is expected to attend a certain number of services during the week. The head of each college is assisted in the government by the senior members on the foundation. The pecuniary business is entrusted to one or more treasurers, called bursars. Fellows on marrying vacate their places. The heads of colleges and halls and the canons of Christ Church have the privilege of marrying. Their houses or lodgings are in, or attached to, their establishments. Independent members are sometimes married, but in that case never reside within the walls. Magdalen and New Inn Halls are the usual resort of married undergraduates. Some are admitted to Worcester College. When a candidate exceeds nineteen or

R. D. Hampden, D. D.

J. A. Cramer, D. D.

E. Cardwell, D. D.


twenty years of age, it is usual to enter a hall instead of a college. When he desires to be matriculated, he addresses himself to the head of the college or hall, to which he wishes to belong, stating his age and place of education, and giving a reference to some competent person, usually a clergyman, as to character and conduct. If his references are satisfactory, he is informed at what time it will be convenient to admit him. In some colleges admission is offered at a distance of from one year to three years from the period of application; but this is shortened in favor of such as come peculiarly recommended. The matriculation fees vary according to the rank of the party. The son of a clergyman or gentleman pays £2 10; of an esquire, £3 10; of a baronet, etc. in proportion. There must also be a deposit, " caution money," of from £25 to £45, returnable, in some cases with deductions, when the name is removed from the books. The necessary charges for commoners, including tuition, room-rent, board, etc. vary from £75 to £100. The average total expenditures of commoners may be stated at about £150 to £180, not including private tuition which is not generally necessary. The annual expenditure of some undergraduates does not exceed £120. Each student has a bed-room and one or two sitting-rooms, furnished at his own expense, for which, if not on the foundation, he pays rent to the college. Each college and hall has a refectory, in which the whole of the society assembles to dine.

During the ten years from 1819 to 1829, the number of matriculations at Oxford averaged 415 per annum, and in one year, 1824, the number rose to 444. From 1829 to 1839, the matriculations averaged only 385, and from 1839 to 1845, their number was 407 per annum. Some of the larger colleges, e. g. Christ Church, are always crowded with students; in some of the smaller colleges, there is still accommodation for additional students.

At the end of every term there is a kind of repetition examination in the different colleges, termed, "Collections."

"Responsions," or as they are colloquially termed, the "Littlego," occur about the spring or summer of the second year of residence in Oxford. In this first and comparatively easy university examination, one Greek and one Latin book are taken up by each student, e. g. the second half of Herodotus, or four plays of Sophocles; and for more advanced students, four plays of Eschylus, or Aristophanes, or half of Thucydides. In Latin a part of Livy, Horace and of Tacitus's Annals will suffice. This examination in the classics is confined solely to construing and grammar.



Nature of the Examinations.


composition, consisting of the translation of an easy passage of English, is required. Among the unsuccessful candidates, a large proportion fail here. The first three parts of Aldrich's Logic form the remaining subject of this examination, for which, if desired, may be substituted the first three books of Euclid. From six to twelve or more questions on paper are given in Logic referring to different parts of Aldrich, and the student is expected to answer them in writing. If any of these are omitted, or scantily answered, they are put again, vivâ voce, in an easier form. About eight candidates are examined every day during this examination, and a day seldom passes without one at least failing (technically, is plucked). There are three "Little-go" examinations during the year, the average number of candidates varies from 130 to 210 on each occasion, and the examinations are usually continued three weeks or a month. Students who have failed twice are, in some colleges, expected to remove into a hall or institution without fellowship; e. g. at Balliol, one failure is generally sufficient to disqualify a young man, while at Brasennose three failures are usually allowed before removal is insisted upon.

The Public Examination for degrees, technically termed, "the Great-go," occurs soon after the student enters the fourth year of residence, and consists of exercises in the elements of religion, including the Gospels in Greek, the classics, rhetoric, moral philosophy, logic and Latin composition; to which one, who is seeking honors, adds mathematics and natural philosophy. Aldrich's logic, including some acquaintance with Whateley's, is usually a leading subject. Four books of Euclid may be substituted for logic, but this is not often done. One Latin and two Greek books are required for the ordinary degree. The second decade of Livy is very commonly selected. Half of either of the Greek historians will suffice for an historical book; four Greek tragedies usually form the second classical work. Oral examination in ancient history forms a part of the examination. The student who wishes to excel in Aristotle, must have made himself acquainted with the various explanations of obscure passages in the Nichomachean Ethics. A knowledge both of the ethics and rhetoric is necessary for obtaining a place in the first or second class. Aldrich's logic must be thoroughly known, and an acquaintance with the theory of syllogisms must be sought in Aristotle's Organon. One dialogue of Plato, e. g. the Gorgias, may be taken up. None of the writings of Cicero meet with much encouragement.

Butler's Analogy, with three of his sermons, is a popular book.

Dr. Hampden first introduced this work when he was examiner in 1829. Paley is much underrated. Next to Aristotle, Thucydides is regarded as of special importance. The other works in history which are used are Herodotus and either Livy or Tacitus. Only a limited range of historical knowledge is required, e. g. the details of the Persian and Peloponnesian wars, and the early annals of Rome. Demosthenes and the other great orators of Greece are rarely studied at Oxford. Scholarship means an acquaintance with the Greek tragedies and poetry, and classical verse and prose composition. Eschylus is a great favorite with the higher examiners. Latin poetry for the schools includes Horace, Terence and Juvenal. Translations from English into Latin are required of all university students. A correct style of translating from English into Greek is regarded as of great importance, together with a knowledge of Greek accentuation.


A certain amount of theological knowledge is absolutely necessary for success, whether the candidates are trying for the honors of a class, or are contented with an ordinary degree; no difference in the amount of "divinity" is observable in either case, and no allowance is made for preeminent success in the classical or philosophical parts of the examination. Every student begins the divinity examination by receiving from the examiners a portion of the Four Gospels to construe; questions may then be put to him respecting the events implied or referred to in the text and This may lead to some doctrinal passage which bears on one of the Thirty Nine Articles, and the candidate is required to repeat that article by heart, and to confirm it by the quotation of other texts. Hence there is occasionally a digression to some period of the Old Testament history, the Levitical law, types, prophecies, etc. Generally speaking, the amount of divinity required for a B. A. degree at Oxford includes an acquaintance with the histories of the Old and New Testaments, an ability to construe the Greek text of the four gospels, to repeat by rote any one or more of the Thirty Nine Articles, and to quote the texts usually cited in proof of them.1

There are also certain prizes, exhibitions, etc. which furnish an additional stimulant.

1 Most of the facts quoted above in relation to the examinations are condensed from an article by James Heywood, F. R. S. and published in the Journal of the London Statistical Society. For some additional statements we are indebted to the Oxford Protestant Magazine. The Class List, of those who passed a successful examination, Easter-term, 1847, contains forty-nine names, four in the first class twelve in the second, nineteen in the third, and fourteen in the fourth.

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