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University Of Cambridge

( Originally Published Early 1900's )



Cambridge, University of, is situated t at the town of Cambridge, forty-eight miles northeast of London. The first regular society of students was that of Peter-House, founded in 1257. The history of the University, however, may be said to date from the opening of the twelfth century, but until the year mentioned there were no public halls or hostels, each student living in his own hired lodging. About 1257 the students began to live together in hostels, under the rule of a principal. These hostels were named after the saints to whom I they were dedicated, the churches which they adjoined, or the persons who formerly built or I possessed them. In the year 1280 there were I as many as thirty-four, and some of them contained from twenty to forty masters of arts, 1 and a proportionate number of younger students. These hostels were the beginning of what may be called the college system, which distinguishes the sister universities of Oxford and Cambridge from those of Edinburgh, London, and the Continent. All the royal and religious foundations, with one exception, which now constitute the University were endowed between the latter part of the thirteenth and the close of the sixteenth century. The governing body of the university is the senate; but, before being submitted to it, all university laws must be approved by the council, a body elected by the resident members of the senate. After the chancellor and high steward, the chief executive power is vested in the vice-chancellor, who is elected annually from the heads of colleges. There are three terms in this university —the Michaelmas, or October term; the Lent term, and the Easter term. To take an ordinary B.A. degree, a student must reside nine terms. The M.A. degree follows, without examination, about four years after. There are four classes of students — Fellow Commoners and Noblemen, Pensioners, Sizars and Subsizars, and the more distinguished, who are elected Scholars on the foundation of this college. The pensioners are the great body of students, are not on the foundation, and pay for their own commons, viz., dinners in halls, etc., and for their rooms. The sizars are poorer students, selected, however, by examination, who receive free commons and certain money payments, and are admitted at lower charges than the pensioners, but wear the same dress and are no longer subject to the performance of menial offices, as they once were. The scholars are elected, by examination, from the pensioners and sizars. They are on the foundation of the college, from which they receive certain emoluments. The fellows are subsequently elected from the scholars and the students who have distinguished themselves in the Tripos examinations. The University has forty professors, in addition to readers, demonstrators, and assistants. The tutor of the college is understood to be in loco parentis to his pupils, the dean has the over-sight of "religion and morals," and instruction is given by college lecturers. The great prizes at the University are the Fellowships, of which there are about four hundred. The following is a list of the colleges and their founders St. Peter's College or Peter-House, founded by Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, 1257; Clare College, founded under the name of University Hall by Richard Baden in 1326, was burned in 1338, and rebuilt and endowed by Elizabeth, Countess of Clare; Pembroke College, founded by the Countess of Pembroke, 1347; Gonville and Cams College, founded by Edward Gonville in 1348; Trinity Hall, founded by William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, 1350; Corpus Christi or Benedict College, founded by the guilds of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin, 1351; King's College, founded by Henry VI., 1441; Queens' College, founded by Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI., 1446 St. Catherine's College or Hall, founded by Robert Wodelarke, provost of King's College, 1473; Jesus College, founded by John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, 1496; Christ College, founded by the Countess of Richmond, 1505; St. John's College, founded by the Countess of Richmond, 1511; Magdalene College, founded by Thomas, Baron Audley, of Walden, 1519 Trinity College, founded by Henry VIII, 11546; Emmanuel College, founded by Sir Walter Mildmay, 1584; Sidney Sussex College, founded by Lady Frances Sidney, 1598; Downing College, founded by Sir George Downing, 1800.



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