Page images


C. C. C., December 7. 1790.

My pamphlet I reserve till you arrive at Mongewell. Your account at Fletcher's I will take care of. I have inclosed the title page of a publication, which I have suggested to Nichols, and which he has very readily undertaken to print. I think it will be an useful introduction to St. Paul's Epistles.

Mr. Burke's book, as you may imagine, has been much the subject of admiration in this place. It is become, indeed, a very general wish of the resident Members of Convocation, that a diploma degree might be conferred on him, in return for the services which his book is likely to render, by the admirable representation which it contains of the true principles of our constitution, ecclesiastical and civil. I cannot represent this wish as universal; and, indeed, I am sorry to add, that it is not the wish of some respectable persons in high stations of the University. It was suggested to the Vice Chancellor, about three weeks ago, under the sanction of one of the Heads of Houses. Ten days elapsed without any progress in the business; and as the term was hastening towards a conclusion, the Vice Chancellor was consulted whether it would be considered by him and the other Heads as disrespectful, if the Masters were to express their wishes by requesting him to propose it to the board; which would enable him, at the same time, to judge how far it was the

general sense of the resident members. The Vice Chancellor said he saw no impropriety in the proposal. Accordingly, an address to him, to the above effect, has been signed by forty-nine Members of Convocation. The address will be presented tomorrow. Forty-nine are, I believe, full half of the resident members, who answer for themselves and their friends. We count upon full eighty Members of Convocation who are decidedly for the degree. There are, however, some doubts whether the meeting in Golgotha will defer to the general sense of the Masters. It certainly will not be the first time they have obstructed the wishes of the University.

As to absolute unanimity, Mr. Burke, as a public character, cannot reasonably expect it; but if this could be deemed a sufficient objection to the intended compliment, a few disaffected or self-willed persons might at any time obstruct the best measures of the place. I have troubled you with these particulars, because, as I had my share in promoting the application for the proper degree, I thought it due to your Lordship.

I am, my Lord,

Your Lordship's dutiful and

obedient Servant,


P. S.I have delayed my letter for the sake of

stating the result of to-day's meeting. The Heads have met, and decided against the degree.*

The decision of the Heads was not allowed to frustrate the main object of the resident Graduates.

They effected their purpose of doing honour to

*The following was the address alluded to in the preceding letter, and presented to the Vice-Chancellor :

We, the undersigned, beg leave respectfully to suggest to the ViceChancellor, that we believe it to be a very general wish of the Members of Convocation, that the degree of LL.D. by diploma might be conferred on the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, in consideration of his very able representation of the true principles of our constitution, ecclesiastical and civil, in his late publication, entitled, "Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings in certain Societies in London relative to that Event."

James Adams, M.A. New C.
Henry Beeke, B.D. Oriel C.
John Buckland, B.D. C. C. C.
Thos. Barnard, B.D. C. C. C.
R. Baxter, M.A. Jesus C.
Thos. Burgess, M.A. C. C. C.
Thos. Boys, M.A. New C.
W. Bryant, B.D. Linc. C.
W. Clarke, B.D. Trin. C.
R. Churton, M.A. Brazennose C.
Sept. Collinson, M.A. Queen's C.
J. Crouch, M.A. St. Edmund's

John Davies, M.A. Jesus C.
Henry Davies, M.A. Wadham C.
J. Denison.

W. Flamant, D.D. Trinity C.
W. Fothergill, M.A. Queen's C.
W. Green, M.A. Magd. Hall.
G. Griffiths, M.A. Hertford C.
J. Gutch, M.A. All Souls C.
G. Harper, M.A. Brazennose C.
W. Holwell, B.D. Exeter C.
W. Hooper, M.A. Univ. C.
R. Heslop, M.A. Univ. C.

D. Hughes, D.D. Jesus C. J. L. Jacob, M.A. Worcester C. H. Kett, M.A. Trinity C. S. Kilderbee, M.A. Univ. C. W. Landon, M.A. Oriel C. W. Lee, M.A. New C. J. Parsons, M.A. Brazennose C. R. Pritchard, M.A. Jesus C. J. Roberts, M.A. Jesus C. W. Rhodes, M.A. Worcester C. Edward Stretch, M.A. C. C. C. J. Skelton, B.D. C. C. C. C. Smith, M.A. New C. J. Smith, M.A. Pembroke C. M. Surtees, M.A. University C. J. Tesh, B.D. C. C. C. T. D. Trollope, M.A. Wadh. C. W. Towney, M.A. Wadh. C. J. Thompson, M.A. Queen's C. D. Veysie, M.A. Oriel C. T. Winstanley, M.A. Hertford C. W. Williams, M.A. Wadham C. R. Wright, M.A. Brazennose C. J. White, D.D. Wadham C. J. Yeomans, M.A. Wadham C.

Mr. Burke, in the following address, which was transmitted, at their request, by Mr. Burgess to Mr. Windham, to be presented by him to that gentleman:

"WE, whose names are subscribed, resident Graduates in the University of Oxford, request you to accept this respectful declaration of our sentiments, as a tribute which we are desirous of paying to splendid talents employed in the advancement of the public good. We think it fit and becoming the friends of our Church and State to avow, openly, their obligations to those who distinguish themselves in the support of our approved establishments; and we judge it to be our especial duty to do this in times like the present, peculiarly marked by a spirit of rash and dangerous innovation.

"As members of a University whose institutions embrace every useful and ornamental part of learning, we should esteem ourselves justified in making this address, if we had only to offer you our thanks for the valuable addition which the stock of our national literature has received by the publication of your important reflections. But we have higher objects of consideration, and nobler motives to gratitude. We think that we consult the real and permanent interests of this place, when we acknowledge the eminent service rendered to our religious and civil constitution by your able and disinterested vindication of their true principles. And we obey that

more sacred obligation upon us, to promote the cause of religion and morality, when we give this proof to the world that we honour the advocate by whom they are so effectually defended."



I AM Sorry to have delayed, a day longer than was necessary, the transmitting to you the inclosed letter to me, from Mr. Burke, expressive of his sense of the approbation signified of his work, and of the honour done him by the resident Graduates of Oxford. By some accident, it did not come into my hands till Saturday, after the post was gone out.

Mr. Burke is a man to feel, on all occasions, more what is of service to the general interests of mankind than what is personally flattering to himself: and, in that view, thinks less, I dare say, of the compliment you have paid him, however honourable, than of the effect of that compliment in counteracting what I must think a great reproach to the governing power in the University. It certainly reflects no great honour on the sincerity and purity of their zeal, to whom the more valuable of our establishments are, in a peculiar manner, intrusted, that they should be slow in thanking a person who had stepped so zealously and so ably forward in their defence as Mr. Burke.

It gives me infinite pleasure, both as a zealous

« PreviousContinue »