HC Deb 29 May 1867 vol 187 cc1248-82

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, that although the measure was important it was simple and explicit, for it was confined to repealing the clause in an old Act of Parliament, which rendered it necessary for every Fellow of a College to make a declaration of conformity to the Church of England; and it was permissive only, because it would have no effect unless the majority of the Fellows of a College agreed to elect a Dissenter to a fellowship. He did not say that the Bill was asked for by the majority of Colleges; but he believed there were one or two Colleges at Cambridge prepared to admit Dissenters; but their decision would not necessarily exercise any influence on the other Colleges; the experiment would, therefore, be gradually and temperately tried, and if it proved unsuccessful it would not be repeated. The measure, again, was asked for not by Nonconformists beyond the University, but by a large body of Fellows of Colleges, composed of men the most opposed in politics, and having amongst them some of the ablest and most distinguished members of the Universities. The Bill was introduced because during the last few years Dissenters and adherents to other religions, although they had taken the most distinguished degrees at the University, could not be elected to Fellowships. Those who did not belong to the Church of England would never be satisfied until they had some chance of participating in the splendid endowments belonging to the Universities. It was not just or right that after a young man had pursued a successful University career and had obtained the highest honours, he should have this old Act of Parliament thrust in his face, and be told that he could not make the University his home, and that an inferior man must be elected in his place because 200 years ago it was provided that no one should be a Fellow of a College who was not a member of the Church of England. He hoped that Liberals and Nonconformists would not be satisfied with the comparatively worthless compromise, which would allow Dissenters to take degrees but would not give them an opportunity of enjoying the highest honours and greatest rewards of the Universities. It was true that the majority in the Universities were against his proposal; but there were a considerable number in its favour; and all that was sought by this Bill was that if any College thought it to the educational advantage of the College to retain amongst them a student who had obtained high honours, but was not a member of the Church of England, they should have the opportunity of doing so. Perhaps it would be urged that those who shared his opinions would not be satisfied with so moderate and temperate a measure as this, and that what they desired was to weaken the connection between the Universities and the Church. He never concealed his views, and he frankly declared that he did wish to make our Universities great national institutions, and to throw open their advantages to all our countrymen. If he was asked why under those circumstances he advocated such a measure as this, his reply was, that he desired to deal tenderly and gently with the prejudices of his opponents; but if they resisted this Bill, he and those who thought with him would be compelled to recommend a wider measure, which would bring about what they sought to obtain in a wider and more direct way. At present, however, he was willing to be satisfied with this permissive and moderate Bill. It was sometimes asked, Why did not those who were not members of the Church of England establish colleges of their own? For his own part, he could conceive nothing more mischievous than the establishment of a sectarian University. Were hon. Members so enamoured of the bitterness and rancour that sectarian differences had produced, that they wished to see them perpetuated by compelling the youth of this country who had different religious opinions to lead a separate life? He was convinced that if those who entertained different religious opinions lived more together, they would learn to pursue a different course from that which had hitherto been adopted, and we should be spared the spectacle of so much of the Christian energy of the nation wasted and so many minds blighted by miserable disputes upon barren questions of controversy; and no one would be in the position to repeat the sarcastic observation of the heathen philosopher, who, witnessing the persecutions which had disgraced the world, said, "See how these Christians love one another." Apart from this, there was the consideration of cost. At a moderate estimate the property of Oxford and Cambridge amounted to about £20,000,000. Where was anything like that sum to be raised to found and endow a Dissenting University? But even if the money could be raised to build the Colleges, there were some things which it could not supply. There was inseparably connected with our existing Universities no inconsiderable portion of the intellectual history of the country, and you could not purchase the memories of the past. In these days it was desirable to bring as many men as possible under the influence of these institutions, which were day by day becoming more liberal, in which young men learned that the only way to honour, emolument, and position was moral worth and the achievement of intellectual distinction, and in which men could separate themselves from the material struggles of the world, and learn that the one thing most to be cherished in life was truth, and the thing most to be protected was freedom. The more they brought the youth of the country under these institutions, the more they would do to secure the permanent glory of this country; because, as a great writer had said— Then you will educate minds who will be able to carry on a victorious struggle against some of the debilitating influences of the age, and will be able to strengthen the weak side of our modern civilization by the support of high and cultivated intellect. He should think that he was shamefully failing in his duty if he did not do what little lay in his power to give to the greatest possible number of his countrymen the same opportunity that he had himself possessed of enjoying these priceless advantages. Already the endowments of the Universities had conferred immense benefits upon the country, and if this measure was passed he believed that they would produce still greater advantages to all the highest and truest interests of the nation. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving the second reading of the Bill.


said, he rose with pleasure to second the Motion, thinking it desirable that the proposal should be seconded by an Oxford man. It appeared to him that great confusion existed in the minds of hon. Members as to the scope of the Bills dealing with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, which were before the House; but when they were taunted with attempting piecemeal legislation, and were told that this was a subject which could only be dealt with by the Government, their opponents should remember that private Members could deal with the subject only by divided proposals. If it was argued that these endowments belonged to the Church of England, and that to pass this Bill would be to adopt a measure of confiscation, his reply would be that they belonged originally to the Roman Catholic Church, and that the consequences of the Reformation which took away authority over matters of faith in the English Church from the Pope and conferred it on the Sovereign was to draw a wider and broader line of demarcation between the past and the present than did any line of demarcation which divided the Church of England of the present day from any of the Dissenting denominations by which it was surrounded, or even from the Church of Rome. Surely, if it was right and just in the time of Henry VIII. to transfer the endowments of the Universities to the Church of England, it was right now for Parliament to carry out the principle to its logical sequence in the manner now proposed. He could see no argument against the right of the State to alter the application of any endowment which, in consequence either of the change of circumstances or of the mal-administration of trustees, had been perverted from the spirit of the founder's will and intention. This was no mere question of mercenary considerations. The measure introduced by the hon. and learned Member for Exeter (Mr. Coleridge) would enable Dissenters to obtain the degree of M.A. That of itself was rather a barren privilege, and this Bill carried the process somewhat further. At the Universities the rewards given for intellectual industry and capacity varied so much in honour and emolument that the sons of the richest and noblest in the land were to be found contending with men who by industry and self denial were raising themselves from the ranks of the very poor. During the last thirty years there had grown up among the Nonconformists a class of men who in point of wealth, talent, and position were capable of taking their place abreast of the members of the Church of England, and it seemed to him that, in the advance we were making now-a-days towards democracy, it was a most Conservative step to attract the youth of the country who possessed great talents and did not belong to the Church to the Universities by opening to them their endowments. We had struggled against the introduction of sectarian education into Ireland, and how could we consistently maintain sectarian University education in this country? It was said that this change was not asked for by the Universities themselves; but the fact was that the Bill was originally introduced in consequence of a petition presented by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie), signed by seventy - four tutors and professors of the University of Cambridge, and the question had ever since been warmly debated in both Universities. The petition against the Bill presented by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Selwyn), was signed by only thirteen heads of houses, twelve professors, and thirty-seven tutors, which made a total of only sixty-two names against the seventy-four who signed the petition presented in favour of the Bill some years ago. [Mr. SELWYN: It is utterly wrong.] It was not, however, to be expected that the demand for a reform of this kind would come from the Universities themselves. It was not the Church which produced the Reformation, or the House of Commons which carried the Reform Bill of 1832. Although he had no great hope that this Bill would be passed in the present year, he felt convinced that this was one of the questions that would not be allowed to incumber the Notice Paper of a reformed Parliament for even a couple of Sessions; and it would be a graceful thing for a Parliament which was nearly expiring to give this measure of justice to those who formed about one-half of the population of England.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Fawcett.)


, in moving that the Bill be read a second time that day six months, said, that any one might imagine from the speeches which had been made that the question before the House was whether persons who did not conform to the doctrines and discipline of the Church of England were to be entitled to the educational benefits which the Universities afforded. It seemed to have been forgotten that persons of every religious creed were freely and fully admitted to every such advantage, to every scholarship, to every degree—to everything except the governing body of the Colleges and Universities. The House should distinguish between form and substance. The matter of form might be discarded at once, for the offer had repeatedly been made to put Oxford on the same footing as Cambridge with respect to the abolition of tests and the admission to the M.A. degree. But the substance lay in the restriction which was sought to be removed by this Bill; and nothing could be further from the truth than that it was by accident this restriction remained. The real question was whether the Colleges—not the Universities—founded by individuals, deriving nothing from the State, and which from their foundation and in their very names were connected with the Church of England, were now by Act of Parliament to be severed from it. The question was not whether Nonconformists were to be admitted to be educated at the Colleges; but whether persons of any or of no religion were to be admitted to endowments and into the government of institutions intended exclusively for members of the Church of England. He did not argue the question as one affecting merely the Church of England; it was one on which all the friends of religious education had the same interest. The question was not a new one; it had been deliberately considered by a Commission which had the confidence of Parliament and of the country; and that Commission reported that many of these endowments were so inseparably connected with the Church of England that it would be the height of injustice to attempt to separate them from it. Nor could it be said that this subject had been overlooked by the Legislature. The Report of the Commission was followed by the Oxford Act of 1854, the Cambridge Act of 1856, and provisions in subsequent statutes—all most carefully considered; and all the intentions of Parliament as expressed in these measures had been carried out liberally and in a fair spirit by the two Universities. Any Nonconformist could send his son to a University, where all the scholarships were open to him, and at Cambridge he might take both the B.A. and M.A. degrees—the only thing refused was membership of the governing body; and by what right could that be claimed? No doubt, as the hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Morrison) had said, if it could be shown that these endowments had been maladministered, Parliament would not only have the right, but would be under an obligation to interfere. But what pretence was there for such an assertion in the present instance? The Colleges had opened their gates in no grudging spirit to the admission of Dissenters, who might avail themselves of their educational advantages, and it could hardly be said to be a grievance that they were denied the privilege of being members of the governing bodies. In respect to what the hon. Member had said concerning the views of the members of the Universities on the subject, it was undoubtedly true that in 1864 a petition was presented, signed by seventy-four persons, praying for relief in accordance with the principle of this Bill; but it was not correct to say that they were resident Fellows. On the contrary, only forty of those who signed it were resident, and of that number several had since changed their minds, and had joined in the contrary petition which he had presented that morning, and which was signed by 174 residents. To the petition in favour of a change the names of none of the Heads of Colleges were attached, while thirteen out of the whole number of seven teen appeared in the petition against this measure, in addition to all the proctors and pro-proctors. The petition of 1862 was signed by only seven of the tutors and fourteen assistant tutors and lecturers; whereas the names of forty-six gentlemen actually engaged in tuition in the Colleges appeared on the present petition, besides the names of twenty-six other officers of the Colleges and the University. There could be little doubt, then, which way the feeling of the majority inclined. The petition of 1862 had never been repeated. He admitted that there was a small, noisy, restless minority in favour of the Bill; but an overwhelming majority of residents were against it. As to non-residents, he had some means of knowing the feelings of the legal profession, and he was ready to meet the right hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Bouverie), in Lincoln's Inn Hall, and there put the question to the vote. His constituents also included many of the most eminent of the medical profession, and he would be equally satisfied to take their opinions; while the present scheme was certainly viewed with no favour by the country gentlemen of England, whose opinions, it would be admitted, were entitled to consideration. Parents generally, he believed, would prefer to send their sons to an institution where distinctive religious principles were taught and maintained. Upon the injustice of such a measure there was an opinion of Lord Brougham, which had before been quoted in these debates, but never refuted, and which was expressed in these terms— He was a decided advocate for the claims of Dissenters, and when the power of obtaining degrees was given to them they had received all they had a right to ask. These colleges were founded for members of the Established Church, and those who were not members had no more right to claim to participate in the advantages which belonged to the Church than any member of the Church of England had a right to share the endowments founded at Highbury, Maynooth, or Stonyhurst, or any other Dissenting College. In the case of the endowed schools, Parliament, while providing for the admission of the children of Dissenters, had refused to interfere with the constitution of the governing bodies. The argument in favour of this Bill that many of the endowments of the Colleges dated from a period prior to the Reformation would apply equally to all the endowments of the Church of England, and to many private estates, and might be adduced in favour of their transfer to the Church of Rome. But even if such an argument could be listened to, it would not apply to the Colleges which had been founded since the Reformation, or to the great aggregation of endowments which had been given to the Colleges since the Reformation, and had been so given simply because they were places of religious education in connection with the Established Church. Even the Dissenters themselves had been obliged to follow, with regard to their own educational establishments, a similar principle to that adopted by the Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. Dr. Priestly and Robert Hall, two distinguished Nonconformist divines, had distinctly borne testimony to the necessity of providing for religious unity in the governing body of educational institutions. The former describes the celebrated academy at Northampton as a place where— The students were about equally divided upon every question of much importance, such as liberty and necessity, the sleep of the soul, and all the articles of theological orthodoxy and heresy, in consequence of which all these topics were the subjects of continual discussion. The result of such a state of things is well described by Robert Hall— Thus a spirit of indifference to all religious principles was generated in the first instance, which naturally paved the way for the prompt reception of doctrines indulgent to the corruption, and flattering to the pride of a depraved and fallen nature. To affirm that Mr. Toller sustained no injury from being exposed at so tender an age to this vortex of unsanctified speculation and debate would be affirming too much. The experience of America, of Ireland, and of the London University led to the same results. Indeed, the Dissenters had endeavoured to obviate the difficulty by requiring in their trust deeds the very same species of religious tests to which the Universities had resorted. The Colleges had done nothing but what every other religious body had done; and he did not see on what principle they could be deprived of the safeguards which had been provided or adopted by their founders; and therefore he appealed to hon. Gentlemen opposite to extend to the Church of England the same protection which they required for their own institutions, because if the change now proposed were brought about, a similar proposal would doubtless be made at some future time with regard to Dissenting establishments. He would ask the House further to consider the particular consequences which would ensue from the application of this measure to such institutions as Colleges, many of which were very small bodies, and every one of which might be converted into a vortex of speculation and discussion, in which the majority would have to decide how far they ought to depart from the will of the founder with respect to the character of the governing body. The hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) had remarked that this was only a permissive Bill; but he (Mr. Selwyn) maintained that, if a case of mal-administration under the existing system were made out, a compulsory and not a permissive measure ought to have been introduced, whether the members of the Colleges desired such a measure or not. The hon. Member also said that the Bill could do no harm. But, in his (Mr. Selwyn's) opinion, it would have a most injurious effect, inasmuch as it would always be open to the majority to carry it into effect, or for a minority to create and maintain an agitation in an institution where repose was so essential to the discharge of the duties of education. The experience of the House with regard to permissive Bills ought to convince them that such an argument did not possess any weight. Then, as to the alleged grievances, he contended there was nothing substantial in them. Every Nonconformist who entered a College knew perfectly well that although he might obtain distinction in the examinations, and even hold scholarships, he was not qualified to become a Fellow. They had obtained the liberty of founding private hostels at Cambridge, and the London University had been founded for their especial benefit. What grievance therefore could they complain of? The Bill proceeded upon the assumption that Fellowships were merely prizes; whereas, in fact, nothing could be more foreign to their character. A Fellow was a person who undertook most important duties in respect to the management and discipline of his College, and the conduct of education. If a proposal were made to take so much a year from the revenues of the Colleges for the purpose of founding annuities to reward Dissenters of great merit, the injustice of such a proposal would be obvious. But the injustice which would be perpetrated by this Bill would be still greater. In the Colleges there were many offices which depended upon seniority—the office of Dean, for example—and if this Bill became law that office (which included the superintendence of religious worship and discipline in the Colleges) might devolve upon a Roman Catholic, or a Jew, or an infidel. But it was said that it was a great injury to the Colleges themselves that they should be deprived of the power of electing distinguished Nonconformists into their teaching and governing body. If, however, that was considered a grievance, how did it happen that not a single College had ever petitioned for its removal? He might remark that the Colleges were at liberty to appoint distinguished Nonconformists as lecturers in the Colleges; and that, in point of fact, they had, in some instances, exercised that power. Again, the office of private tutor, one of the most lucrative and important employments in the Universities, were altogether unfettered by religious tests. For the reasons he had stated, he asked those hon. Members, who were friends of religious education, whatever creed they might profess, to extend to the Colleges and Universities the same measure of justice which they would desire to have meted out to their own endowments and institutions. He asked them to look upon this as a question as to the preservation of all that was essential for maintaining the basis of religious teaching, and he hoped therefore that they would reject this Bill as being at once uncalled for, dangerous, and unjust. In conclusion, he moved that the Bill be read a second time this day six months.


, in seconding the Amendment, said, he gave the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) full credit for a desire to improve the education given at the Universities; but he thought that measures of this description, which were introduced from time to time, did not tend to increase the efficiency of education. He deprecated a perpetual chronic agitation on this question as having a most injurious effect. The Universities of this country were not so much intended as schools of philosophy and theology, as educational bodies constituted for the purpose of training young men for the liberal professions, and especially for the profession of holy orders. After the reforms introduced by the late Commission it might have been expected that the Universities would have been let alone, for a time at all events, in order that it might be seen how far the new system was a satisfactory one. But, instead of that, ever since the agitation of these questions commenced, hardly a Session had passed without Bills being brought in relating to Oxford, to Cambridge, or to both. Now he maintained that in the interests of the Universities themselves, it would be wise to abstain from legislation on subjects of this nature until it was ascertained whether the reforms already introduced had produced satisfactory results. In reply to the argument that this was a permissive Bill, he would ask why the House did not wait until the Universities petitioned for power to make the changes which they might consider desirable. But the object of introducing permissive Bills was to lead the way to compulsory legislation. He did not believe it would be for the interests of the Colleges to admit Dissenters into the governing body. That was the only place from which they were excluded. He did not look on a Fellowship in the light of a prize; but regarded it as a trust which a Dissenter could not conscientiously discharge, and from which therefore it was no hardship to exclude him. They might as well ask to have a Nonconformist divine made a Bishop as to have a Dissenter elected to a Fellowship, the duties of which he could not conscientiously discharge. He protested against the House constituting itself a judge of what was good for the University and controlling the opinions and decisions of the members of the Universities. Surely it was only fair to pay some little attention to the wishes of the Colleges themselves in reference to this matter. The governing bodies were composed of persons who had devoted their whole time to the promotion of the welfare of their Colleges, and the House ought therefore to pay some deference to their opinions. The experience of almost the whole world was against the proposition now before the House. He might mention that though the University of Sydney was non-sectarian, yet the Colleges connected with it were strictly sectarian, and it was found there by experience that the young men were best taught and trained by teachers of the same religious denominations to which they respectively belonged. In conclusion, he appealed to the House to pause in its judgment, and to leave the settlement of this and similar questions to the Universities themselves, where they were so much better understood.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Charles Selwyn.)


, as an old Cambridge man, could not allow some of the statements that had been made to pass unnoticed. He denied that the Non-conformists now had, as was said, all the advantages they could desire from an University education. A large number of the most distinguished students at the Universities went there with the purpose and hope of obtaining Fellowships; and parents often sent their children to the Universities when they could ill afford the outlay, if it were not that they hoped to recoup themselves by the Fellowships which those children might ultimately obtain. The question was, whether our Nonconformist fellow-countrymen were to be excluded from all participation in those hopes and advantages which were thus held out? It was not the case that Fellows were expected to superintend the education of the College; and believing that the evils predicted would not result from this Bill, he should give it his cordial support.


said, it was impossible to consider this subject apart from the Bill of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter (Mr. Coleridge), as there was an intimate connection between the two Bills, the one naturally leading up to the other. He should have been glad to take his stand against the Bill of his hon. and learned Friend, which dealt only with the governing power of the University, rather than against a measure which involved pecuniary considerations, and opposition to which therefore wore an invidious appearance. But he felt bound to oppose the present proposal as one calculated to unsettle great institutions for a comparatively small object. It was a small object, because the number of men to be benefited by the Bill would be small. "If this be so," he might be asked, "what danger do you apprehend?" But the principle remained the same; indeed, the only practical justification for such a Bill would be that the hardship pressed upon a great number of persons. This case was sometimes argued upon the loss which the Colleges sustained by the exclusion of eminent men from Fellowships, and sometimes upon the individual hardship which that rule occasioned. Now, seeing the great number of competitors for Fellowships, it was hard to imagine that the permanent injury to the Colleges could be very great. And if it were put upon the other ground—the right of individual Nonconformists to Fellowships—on what pretext could this claim be justified? It should be borne in mind that they were now dealing, not with the question of education itself, nor with the power of the body which gave that education, but with the right to participate in certain endowments which existed in our Universities. What was the right which the Protestant Dissenter had to participate in them? He could understand the argument with respect to Roman Catholic claims, though that could be answered without much difficulty; but he could not understand the ground upon which the claim of the Protestant Dissenter was based. With regard to Roman Catholics, however, the present Bill was silent; it did not propose to deal with their exclusion at all, but left that, he presumed, to be settled by future Acts of Parliament. It was, at least, worth consideration, if a change were determined upon, whether it would not be better worth while to adopt the form of confiscation to a certain extent, and apply some of the revenues of the existing Colleges to Colleges for Nonconformists, rather than run the risk of those evils which had been portrayed with so much force by the hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Selwyn). The experience of men who had thought much on the subject had led them to that conclusion, and, though they were men of great eminence, connected with the Universities, they would rather surrender a portion of their possessions for the sake of endowing other Colleges than run the risk of the evils which would ensue if this Bill were passed. He did not think it was desirable, when a parent sent his son for education to one of the Universities—an institution in the possession of the Church of England—that he should be left in doubt as to whether at the end of the year the place might not be entirely changed, not by the authority of Imperial law, but by the narrow majority of a small society. The present Bill supplemented in a dangerous manner that of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter; but it was strange that while it sought to open the doors in one direction it continued exclusion in another. On what principle could they propose the admission of Protestant Dissenters, and at the same time because you disliked them theologically to exclude Roman Catholics?


May I ask the hon. Gentleman how Roman Catholics are excluded by this Bill, as he says they are?


said, that by 21 & 22 Vict., altering the form of the oath of supremacy, that oath would remain to be taken; and it was one which, though it would not exclude Protestant Dissenters, would exclude Roman Catholics; and this Bill did not propose to remove that exclusion.


I believe that the Bill, if passed, will place Roman Catholics in the same position as Protestant Dissenters. If that is not so, I will alter the Bill in Committee.


said, in that case his argument so far would fall to the ground. But, at any rate, it was impossible to contend that any antecedent claim to these University endowments existed in the case of Dissenters. If Parliament legislated at all upon this question, it must do so as a matter of policy, and decide that the exclusive possession of these endowments for Church purposes should cease. In his opinion the Bill would not tend to peace within the University; it would have the effect of completely altering the whole tone of the University, and he hoped that the House would not assent to it.


, as a member of the Established Church and of the University of Oxford, gave his cordial assent to the Bill before the House. The hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Selwyn) had more respect for the University tutors and Heads of Colleges than he (Mr. Serjeant Gaselee) had if he supposed that they were the only men who were competent to judge of what was for the good of the Universities. The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Gorst) asked, why not leave the Universities to reform themselves; but did he ever know of any body of men willing to perform that operation? Would this House have reformed itself if left to itself? Why, if the Members who represented the Universities in this House dared even to look a Liberal vote they were bundled out directly. Most distinguished men on both sides, ornaments to both Universities, had been served in that way, as was shown recently in the case of the right hon. Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone), directly they became too Liberal. It was urged upon them that they should not pass this Bill, because no Head of a College had petitioned in its favour; but, for his own part, he considered that an argument in its favour, rather than against it. He did not expect to find that enlightenment among the Heads of Colleges that he looked for among those men who had mixed more with the world. The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Gorst) had called a Fellowship a "trust"—he supposed because a vote was called a "trust" now-a-days. He had always understood that a trust was all labour and no profit, whereas a Fellowship was all profit and no labour. Nobody regarded it as a trust; but if it were indeed one it was certainly a very pleasant form of trust, ranging as it did generally from £200 to £400 and £500 a year. He had a nephew who had a Fellowship of £200 a year, who would be much surprised to be told that his Fellowship was a trust—a trust, in part, for his uncle. Did distinguished lawyers who, holding a Fellowship, continued the pursuit of their profession, take this view of their position? He always thought that Fellowships were offices of profit—the reward of industry, diligence, good conduct, and learning. The fact was that hon. Gentlemen opposite supposed that the Universities were mere nurseries for the education of clergymen, instead of being places for the advancement of education with property which might be applied for that object as Parliament saw fit. At one moment you heard it said, "Why, you will swamp the Universities with Dissenters." On the other hand, the hon. Baronet the Member for the University (Sir William Heathcote) said that few Dissenters would be admitted; though he still argued the question as one of life and death to the University. In supporting this Bill he wished to do an act of justice. When two men had been companions in the lecture-room and competitors for prizes, medals, and scholarships, he would not shut out one of them from that which was the just reward of his diligence. As to the cry, "the Church in danger," the Church had more to fear from injudicious friends who were always raising this cry than from its most bitter enemies. The discussion on this subject had been worn threadbare, but he hoped that the House would show by a large majority that they had advanced in the view they took of it.


I hope I shall not appear ungrateful to my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Serjeant Gaselee) after the kind mention he has been pleased to make of me, nor insensible to the merits of his able address, if I avow at once my inability to take the advice he has given me and vote for the second reading of the Bill. I am anxious to be permitted to state the grounds upon which I shall proceed, because I am not in complete sympathy either with those against whom I shall vote, or with those along with whom I shall vote on this occasion. I entirely concur in the argument of my hon. Friend who has just sat down, and in the argument which has formed the basis of the speeches of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Coleridge) when he says that both justice to the Dissenters and likewise the true and well understood interests of the Universities and Colleges themselves require that there should be legislation on this subject. I am convinced that the attempt to maintain the present state of things is not desirable in their interests any more than it is compatible with a fair regard to the claims of those who are without the communion of the Church. And I am also of opinion—an opinion at which my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir William Heathcote) glanced in his speech—that there is something peculiarly invidious in the position of those who are ready to legislate for the Universities and to throw open the Universities without distinction of religious communion, but who then take their stand at the portals of the College, or at least at the governing bodies of the Colleges, and entirely refuse to Dissenters a participation in their higher emoluments. It is all very well to raise the doctrine that duties are attached to Fellowships, and no doubt in many of them they are so attached; but it is, perhaps, not straining the theory, but undoubtedly very greatly straining the practice, for my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Selwyn) to assert the general proposition that these Fellowships, as at present administered and enjoyed, ought not to be regarded in any degree as rewards, supplying to those who gain them an introduction to life. [Mr. SELWYN dissented.] Very well then, if that is not so I am very glad. He admits that they ought to be so regarded in some degree; but still he contends that the idea of a trust and the discharge of duties attaches to them in a much greater degree than I think is really the case. Certainly at Oxford, in a very large measure, and at Cambridge, so far as I can understand the state of things there, in a measure still larger, the attainment of a Fellowship is the crown of an University career. An University career is not complete in itself, in its honours, in its substantial rewards, if the attainment of a Fellowship is entirely denied to those who differ from the Church of England. Having said so much, and having also stated that it is highly desirable that there should be legislation which shall affect both the Universities and the Colleges, I may be giving utterance to an opinion which probably will not be popular on either side of the House when I say, that in my judgment, no satisfactory settlement of the question can be arrived at except by the influence of that moderation of temper and that desire to abate extreme claims by which so many difficult subjects—subjects apparently defying settlement—have been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. There are two points on which I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge. One is his opinion that the education of the clergy in the English Universities forms a distinctive and important element in this case. That is a matter which cannot possibly be excluded from consideration. I grant that we might say, if it were thought politic and fit, to the clergy, "Do as the Dissenters do—provide yourselves with private seminaries where you shall receive your clerical education." But I want to know whether that is the general judgment and desire of this House. By no means. I believe that on both sides alike any movement on the part of the clergy, or on those who direct and influence the clergy, which would tend to remove young men in a great degree from contact with the great minds of the country during the plastic period of youth, would be regarded with the greatest disapprobation. If that be so, then comes the question whether the clergy are to be educated wholly without consideration to any particular form of religious faith. There may be some in the community who look forward to the halcyon days when in every building called a church, every gentleman called a clergyman may deliver weekly from the pulpit to whoever may choose to hear, whatever doctrines he may choose to teach them, knowing no law but his own will, and leaving it pretty much to accident what might be the effect upon what some may think his fortunate, but what I consider to be his unfortunate parishioners. I trust that the Church of England as it has been will continue to be, in matters of opinion a tolerant and a liberal Church; but that tolerance and liberality within her own borders must have their limits. The clergymen of the Church of England, like the ministers of all other religious persuasions, must be trained and educated in distinct adhesion to a positive and intelligent system, if they are to discharge their duties with honour to themselves or satisfaction to the community. Now it appears to me that while it is most desirable that this subject should be legislated upon in an effectual manner, no manner will be effectual which does not include a due regard to the position of the clergy within the Universities, and a regard for the securities which it is desirable for us to preserve for the general maintenance of religious education within the limits of these seminaries. I know it will be generally answered that members of the Church of England will form the large majority of those who now, or at any probable period, will avail themselves of the privileges of the Universities, and that in that fact lies our security. I do not deny that there is very considerable force in that reply; but when we consider what education is, and how essential it is that those who trust their children to the Universities in the period of youth should know in what principles they are to be trained, they have a right to ask from Parliament a much more definite and distinct indication of the nature of that education and of those principles than would be afforded by merely trusting to the proportions in which the religious communities might be divided within the Universities themselves. The second point urged by my hon. Friend is also one of great force, and is one that influences me very strongly. It is that with regard to the religious question the Universities should be dealt with as a whole. There is, in my opinion, no reason whatever for severing one portion of this question from another; and with respect to that important point I must, with great respect, express my dissent from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Exeter. It may be quite right that Parliament should interfere from time to time, upon sufficient occasion, for the purpose of altering the state of the Universities; but it cannot be right or politic with reference to places of education, which should as little and as rarely as possible be disturbed from without, that questions of this kind should be dealt with piecemeal, and that smal changes should from time to time be proposed, intended—though I do not mean to say my hon. and learned Friend has that intention—or calculated to be followed up by other tentative efforts. It is only fair to the Universities that what Parliament may think fit to be done should be done in a complete and intelligible form, and in such a manner that when the Act shall have received the assent of the Sovereign the matter may be dismissed for a lengthened period, and the Universities left to prosecute their functions in peace and tranquillity. My second difficulty with regard to my hon. Friend's Bill is this—I am of opinion that whatever principles are adopted with respect to the regulation of the differences of religious communion as they affect the governing bodies of the Universities and Colleges, should be determined by Parliament. I am not prepared to delegate to those who may for the moment be the recipients of the bounty of the founders, and those charged with the duties of education—even when assisted by visitors or whatever bodies may be entitled to take part in the alteration of the statutes—the vital and fundamental matters relating to the administration of their trust, or to leave them to determine upon what grounds Dissenters are to be admitted into the governing bodies of the Universities or Colleges. That point should be determined by Parliament. With regard to the position of Roman Catholics under this Bill there appears to be some difference of opinion in the House. My objection to the Bill on this ground is that it would be unequal in its operation, and that while it will attach no religious limitation whatever to Protestant Nonconformists, it will exclude Roman Catholics. [Mr. BOUVERIE: No, no!] It appears to me that that will be the operation of the Bill as it stands. The Act of 1 Geo. I. c. 13, prescribes that all Heads or Governors or other members of Colleges or Halls of the Universities that shall enjoy any exhibition, or persons teaching pupils in any University or elsewhere, shall take the oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration. That, of course, would exclude Roman Catholics. But then comes the modification of the Act by the 21 & 22 Vict., which substitutes for these three oaths one oath simplified in form. That oath, however, still contains the declaration that no foreign Prince, Prelate, Power, or Potentate hath or ought to have any ecclesiastical authority within this realm. These words are still operative with regard to all persons who are bound to take the oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration. I understand that the answer, and the only answer, to that is that, though the law would require the Roman Catholic to take the oath disclaiming the jurisdiction of the Pope, which, of course, he would not take, he would be covered by the Act of Indemnity. If that be so, it is, in my opinion, not satisfactory. I do not think that we could with our eyes open constitute a state of law by which certain obligations are to be kept alive, and yet from which those individuals are to escape by the Act of Indemnity. But the argument in favour of such a proposal is contrary both to the spirit and letter of the Act of Indemnity; because it does not, without limitation, except from civil consequences all those who have omitted to take the oaths that are required by law, but only those who through ignorance of the law, absence, or some other unavoidable accident, have omitted to qualify themselves. Now this is not a case in which either ignorance, absence, or unavoidable accident can apply, but one in which the objection is well-known and permanently operative. I repeat that if we are to legislate on this subject we must legislate equally for all parties. I am not here to set up any special claim for the Roman Catholics. I do not think it could be made good. I do not think that the historical events of the Reformation left them any claim in such a direction. Admitting, however, that some legislation is necessary, I am not prepared to devolve upon the Colleges the matter of determining the fundamental principles of their own constitution; nor am I prepared to deal with this question by a Bill which approaches the question only by a single corner, which leaves the greater part of the work undone, which disturbs the existing state of things in the Universities, and which does not contain within it the elements of a sound and permanent settlement.


, in recognizing the truth of much which had fallen from the right hon. Member for South Lancashire, protested against his inference that wide legislation for the Universities was needed. He acknowledged the moderation of tone which characterized the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett); but he felt bound to point an error, common to persons of his tone of thought, which pervaded it—that of unconsciously assuming that all largeness of mind and real liberality of sentiment was necessarily bound up with laxity of opinion and a loose grasp of positive truth, and that those who held a dogmatic belief were necessarily narrow and bigoted. For his own part, convinced as he was that there were such things as truth and error, he claimed for the Church of England the possession of a sound belief combined with the fullest liberality towards those whose views were different. Standing, then, on this ground of dogmatic truth, he contended that as much harm would be done to the Nonconformists themselves—believers as they were in positive truth from their own point of view—as to the members of the Church of England by throwing open the Universities. The country was rich enough to provide Colleges and special endowments at the Universities for the Dissenters, and when his hon. Friend asked where was the money to come from, he had no doubt it could easily be obtained. He had, indeed, assessed the total value of the Universities and Colleges with their emoluments at £20,000,000. But supposing this figure to be correct, it was merely confusing argument to bring it forward against a so much smaller and more feasible scheme, as the foundation of Nonconformist Colleges or Halls. If the Nonconformists, with that liberality by which they were distinguished, chose to raise a capital sum, they might create endowments which should be absolutely at their own disposal. It would hardly be contended that the Nonconformists would be entitled to come to that House for redress simply because they were excluded from the government of the Colleges, for as long as there was dogmatic teaching that exclusion was absolutely necessary. He would ask a question which had been much overlooked during the discussion. What would be the practical working of the Bill if it were to pass? It would be this—that if a certain number of Colleges in Oxford and Cambridge were to throw open their Fellowships, these, instead of being as now the reward of pure academic merit, might become the subject of electioneering squabbles; the numbers of voting Fellows on each side would be calculated, and so purity of election would be most certainly brought into suspicion. That the evil was not visionary would be clear when it was recollected that the number of Fellowships at certain of the smaller Colleges was very limited. These not unlikely would be the first opened; and once Nonconformity got a lodgment in any one, it would attract its own votaries till the religious complexion of the whole body might turn upon a single vote one way or the other. It would be utterly impossible to throw the Colleges open without making them arenas of contention, which would be totally opposed to the spirit of their institution. Would either Churchman or Nonconformist consent to place his child amid scenes of such dangerous and unsettling controversy? The foundation of Dissenting Colleges could not be considered a matter of such difficulty when it was remembered that a few years ago a Roman Catholic College would have been founded at Oxford, had it not been for the jealousy of the College of Cardinals, which checked the enlightened desire of the Roman Catholics of England. As for the assertion, vehemently pressed by the hon. and learned Member for Portsmouth, that the Roman Catholics had a special claim upon the endowments of the Universities, that might be very well coming from unlawyerly lips, but he should have expected better law from the learned Gentleman. A lawyer at least ought to be aware that as a corporation the Church of England was the same body without breach of continuity before and after the Reformation. The same organization, the same dioceses and parishes, existed then and now. The same Courts sat, the same provisional constitutions, except where they might be specifically annulled, were still appealed to — and even if there were anything in the plea, was the learned Serjeant ignorant of how many Colleges, how many Fellowships and scholarships—not to name Professorships—had been set up in the Universities since the Reformation?


said, he felt it his duty to support the second reading of the Bill. His hon. Friend opposite who so worthily represented the University of Oxford (Sir William Heathcote) admitted that he was in some difficulty in arguing against it in a House which, by a very large majority, had accepted the Bill of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter (Mr. Coleridge). The principle which acted upon the majority of the House was, no doubt, the desire to have a free University, and that in that free University there should be pupils of different creeds candidates for honours. Now, what was the Bill before the House? By many it had been argued as if the Bill required the governing bodies of the Colleges to adopt new rules and principles of practice. But that was not so. There was a statutory disqualification which was imposed upon all the governing bodies of the Universities, and the object of the Bill simply was to remove that statutory disqualification. When the House passed the Bill of the hon. and learned Member for Exeter it established a free University; and when the present Bill was passed, then, according to their several statutes, the Colleges could accommodate themselves to the altered state of the law. When a College desired to adhere to its former principles, and to remain adapted exclusively to members of the Church of England, it would be at liberty to do so; when another College, whose statutes might be more liberal, wished to extend its borders, it would be enabled to do so; but there would be no compulsion. His right hon. Friend the Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) had contended that it was of the utmost importance to retain the principle of religious training for those who were preparing for the ministry of the Church of England. He presumed that they all cordially concurred in that feeling. But did anybody believe that if this Bill were passed any large proportion of the Colleges would so alter their statutes as to make it difficult for candidates for the ministry of the Church of England to obtain that religious training which they required? They might rather look to a contrary effect. There would be no want of Colleges for the exclusive education of ministers of the Church of England. If it were desirable that the ministers of the Church of England should, in the plastic period of their youth, be trained, not in separate institutions, but in friendly communion with those who were being educated for other pursuits, then that great object would be still more completely attained if they passed this Bill. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Selwyn), in objecting to the Bill, had quoted the authority of Robert Hall to show that when the senior tutor and the junior tutor were of opposite opinions it tended to lead to latitude of religious views. But his hon. and learned Friend immediately proceeded to answer his own objection, because he said if a distinguished man had risen to such a position that if he were not a Dissenter he would be elected to a Fellowship the hardship of exclusion would not exist, because his services might be made available for a tuition in the University. What, then, became of the argument from Robert Hall? His hon. and learned Friend was better acquainted with Cambridge than with Oxford. He (Mr. Cardwell), on the contrary, was better acquainted with Oxford than with Cambridge, and he knew very distinguished Colleges in Oxford where, if they were to take the Heads and the most eminent Fellows under the existing laws, they would find anything but security for uniformity of opinion. Then it had been objected that this Bill did not apply to Roman Catholics. His hon. Friend intended that it should so apply; but if it did not let them give it a second reading, and in Committee they could remove all doubt upon that head. His right hon. Friend the Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) had dwelt upon the policy of dealing with the subject as a whole, and not merely touching its fringes and corners. That was a matter of opinion, and he must express his dissent from his right hon. Friend. It appeared to him that his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Exeter had exercised a sound discretion in confining his Bill to the principle which he wished to carry — namely, to the establishment of free Universities. In like manner it appeared to him that those who had the conduct of the present Bill had done wisely in not seeking to enact that this should be a Church College, and that a College of a particular denomination — a proposition which he thought it would be utterly impossible to enforce by statute. By removing the statutory disqualification, on the other hand, they had left it to the statutes of the Colleges, to the governing bodies, and the operation of the law of those bodies, to determine what kind the Colleges should be; and in that they had done well. Believing, then, in the soundness of the Bill both in principle and probable operation, he should cordially support the Motion for the second reading.


said, he had hoped the discussion would have terminated without his feeling called upon to take any part in it; but he could not allow the speech which they had just heard to pass without some remark. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Cardwell) was of opinion that incessant agitation and incessant attack on the Universities were good, for he had told the House in so many words that he was opposed to dealing with the question in a general measure, because the House would then see the whole question, and would be able to deal with it on those principles which are confessed to be necessary, but are not yet ready to be carried into effect. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) spoke in a more statesmanlike manner. [A laugh.] He surely might see in Gentlemen to whom he was opposed principles of high statesmanship, genius, and great talents. He could see talent in the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), who laughed at his remark, although he hardly ever agreed with him. The right hon. Member for South Lancashire said that the Universities were not places for free discussion, but places where persons might send their sons to receive a definite education on principles on which they could rely, and that when Parliament dealt with such institutions they should do so upon general principles, and legislate for Universities and Colleges alike. Well, he considered that was a more statesmanlike view of the subject than had been expressed by the right hon. Member for Oxford. But the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last (Mr. Cardwell) says he thinks quite the contrary; he says he thinks that they ought to drive in a little wedge here, as the hon. and learned Member for Exeter (Mr. Coleridge) had done, and another little wedge there, as the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) would do, and in that way they might undermine and sap the position of the Universities until they were brought down to the level to which he wished to see them reduced. The arguments of the hon. Member for Brighton applied not merely to Colleges or schools, but would justify the turning of all endowments whatever to the advantage of those opinions which he so honestly and conscientiously professed, but which were directly antagonistic to the principles on which these institutions were founded. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Cardwell), referring to the remarks of the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Selwyn), seemed to think it no unfair perversion of his argument to represent that because a student, having a tutor of one creed, might go to a private tutor who was of another creed for the purpose of instruction in a particular subject, this was the same thing as having tutors of different persuasions within the same walls, governing the same bodies, and administering the same rules. The right hon. Gentleman had said that there would always be differences of opinion within the Church; and so he (Mr. Gathorne Hardy) trusted there would; but they were differences which did not undermine or destroy the great foundations of their creed which Churchmen might hold in common with many Nonconformists, but which did not include all the principles which Nonconformists maintained. His right hon. Friend had argued that this was a Bill for removing restrictions; but he ought to know that he understated it in so describing it, for there were Colleges which, relying upon this Act and upon principles which then commanded general assent, had not thought it necessary to insert these safeguards in their statutes. If therefore the promoters of this measure were content that the Colleges should regulate these matters, it would be but fair to provide that they should have the opportunity of setting themselves straight upon this point. His right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell) had intimated that he looked upon this as a matter not of compulsion, but of permission. Now, what would be the fate of this proposal, or how soon it might be carried, he did not know; but if it passed, and if other little Bills carrying the question a step further were introduced, what would his right hon. Friend say if he were appealed to and asked if he did not formerly express disapproval of compulsion? He would probably reply, "Yes, I thought the Colleges would have been wiser and would have admitted people more freely; but some of them are still recalcitrant and obstinate, and now it is necessary to resort to compulsion." What had been the course of what was called permissive legislation? Permissive legislation had always been promoted by those who wished to establish a grievance which did not up to that time exist; permission given was taken to mean that Parliament meant it to be acted upon, and having carried this Bill, they would turn round and say, "You have had the opportunity of doing what we regard as wise and just; but as you will not do what Parliament evidently intended you should, we must now put compulsion upon you." He had always held, and he believed he should always continue to hold, that, at least in the governing body of any system of education, there must be men of one mind religiously, or there would be no consistent religious education. This principle had hitherto been recognised in our schools and Colleges, though some philosophers sought to ignore it. This deep religious feeling exists in the minds of men of all religious denominations, who were continually struggling against the trammels and bonds with which you sought to burden them, though you tell them they are the silken threads of liberty by which you wish them to be guided. That which had been bestowed from the deep feeling of religion in the human heart was seized on for their own purposes by those miserable philosophers, who appear to him never to give anything out of their own pockets for the furtherance of their views. Point to him where were those foundations for secular instruction which could vie with those great religious institutions which were the triumphs of religious sentiment, or denominational sentiment, if such you may like to call it? They might depreciate the sentiment, but he believed it would continue to prevail, however they might try to trample down the principles on which these Colleges had been founded. Believing that this Bill was a step of the worst kind, and in the worst direction, and believing that it would tend to degrade these schools of learning and religion—however it might be qualified by the caution and prudence of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell) into places of no special religious instruction—believing that this Bill was of that description, he hoped the House would continue to resist it, as he trusted they would oppose every attempt to degrade educational institutions, where religious instruction was also afforded, by placing them simply on a secular footing.


said, he wished to recall the House from the excited feeling which had been imported into the debate by the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken to the question actually before it. He would first, however, clear up the doubt as to the position of Roman Catholics which had been expressed by the right hon. Member for South Lancashire. Although by the Acts of Geo. I. and of the present reign the oath of abjuration was required to be taken by Follows of Colleges and a great number of official and other persons, an Indemnity Bill was annually passed, relieving them from all penalties for not having taken that oath. The loophole was so wide that anybody could walk through it; and the right hon. Gentleman was quite mistaken in thinking that the preamble limited the operation of the indemnity, for the enactment explicitly relieved all persons who did not take the oath. Roman Catholics and Protestant Nonconformists were therefore equally interested in the success of this measure, and he, for one, should be ashamed to support any proposal which did not extend to the former as well as to the latter, He viewed this question in a somewhat different light from his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) and other supporters of the Bill. He was in favour of the religious character of collegiate education—so far as it could be said to be of a religious character. Those best acquainted with the Universities practically knew how little there was of that character; but, little as there was, none of them, he thought, would wish to see it removed, and he contended that this Bill would not in the least affect it. Here, as the case had been well put by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell), were a number of small corporations, established under certain trust deeds expressing the wills of the founders; and, after most of them had existed and carried on their affairs under those deeds and under their own bye-laws for centuries, Parliament, 200 years ago, stepped in and imposed a condition on the acquiring a status in those corporations which did not exist before. The Bill merely sought to remove that condition, and leave these corporations in the position in which they were originally placed, and with the powers which they possessed of passing bye-laws for their own regulation. It did not attempt to restrain, but rather sought to restore their freedom and liberty. He thought, moreover, he should be able to satisfy the House that the Bill did not tamper with the securities maintaining the connection, such as it was, between the Church of England and these Colleges. He had heard no attempt to argue that the declaration made at the time a gentleman acquired a Fellowship, that he would conform to the doctrines and liturgy of the Church of England, was the slightest security for his religious belief, even at the moment he made it, and certainly not at any subsequent period of his life. The only construction which could be put upon the declaration was that the person who made it did not then belong to any Nonconformist body; and, accordingly, a few gentlemen who had been brought up as Protestant Nonconformists had scrupled to make it, and had thus, although some of them had acquired the greatest distinction, been excluded from Fellowships. It was not, however, that declaration which was any security for the Church of England or for the religiousness of the Colleges, but portions of the Act of Uniformity with which the Bill did not interfere—namely, those which required the chapel services to be conducted in I accordance with the liturgy of the Church of England, and which required the Head of a College to sign the Thirty-nine Articles, declare his assent to the Book of Common Prayer, and make all those subscriptions which were till lately required of clergymen. The House must not forget that the Heads of Colleges at both Universities were almost without exception clergymen of the Church of England, and that the great body of the Fellows were also required to be so, and were thus bound by the oaths they had taken to do nothing hostile to that Church. How, then, could the admission of a few stray Protestant Nonconformist or Roman Catholic Fellows influence the religious education of a College? As for Tutors, they were appointed by the Head, who must either be a clergyman or must have taken the same oaths as a clergyman; and if, as was to be supposed, a friend to the Church, he would take good care not to appoint Tutors, who were likely, however suitable in other respects, to infringe that line of religious teaching which the Church thought it necessary to maintain. The apprehension was a purely imaginary one; and he might remark that all the arguments used by hon. Gentlemen opposite were arguments not addressed to this proposition, but to the entire exclusion of Dissenters from the Universities. The passages dug up by the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University from an old pamphlet by the late Bishop of Ely were directed purely against the admission of Dissenters; yet, though Dissenters had now been admitted, the Universities were described as perfectly happy and contented with the arrangements Parliament had made, and as wishing for nothing further to be done. Thus, the very measure which they formerly resisted they now asked the House to maintain. This, moreover, was not a case of bit-by-bit legislation, for a consistent course had been taken throughout by the majority of the House. When the Cambridge Act was discussed, a proposal was made by Mr. Heywood to make the admission of persons of all religions to Fellowships compulsory, and to remove all tests and declarations from Fellowships in the same way as from sholarships and minor emoluments. He (Mr. Bouverie), however, having charge of that Bill, resisted that proposal on the same ground as that on which he supported the present measure—namely, that the Colleges should be left free in the matter, and should be guided by their own sense of what was right. He thought it wrong for Parliament to impose conditions on them, and the House, acting on that view, rejected the proposition. He did not believe that a single person at Cambridge was aware at that time of this requirement of the Act of Uniformity, which had only been called up out of desuetude because other tests had been removed. Its operation had certainly been most injurious, for it had excluded a number of men of the first distinction from the legitimate reward of their ability and scholarship. It was all very well to say that these gentlemen, having had a University education, and having had the satisfaction of winning distinction, had gained everything they could expect. To say "they have got the empty praise—let us keep the solid pudding" was unworthy of the Church of England. They ought to have a little more confidence in the truth and force of the doctrines which they held, and should be ready to believe, as he did, that if these gentlemen came to the Universities in such numbers, as they were very likely to do if Fellowships were thrown open, and if they won these emoluments in fair competition, the Church of England was much more likely to make an inroad upon the body of Protestant Nonconformists or Roman Catholics than the latter were to make an inroad on the Church of England.


said, he was induced by the strange and inconsistent arguments of the supporters of the Bill to offer a few observations. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bouverie) said that by a restriction, which nobody was probably aware of at the time the University Reform Bills were passed, the Colleges were impeded from doing what they wished. He (Mr. Henley) defied him, however, to instance a single petition from any of these bodies—from these "small corporations," as the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) had been pleased to designate them — asking for liberty which they did not now possess. The hon. Member who introduced the Bill (Mr. Fawcett) had represented it as only a small one, and had virtually said, "Just give us permission to share in these splendid endowments, for if you won't let us have a share, we'll come very shortly and take them all." The hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Morrison), following this up, had argued that the Church of England had no right to these endowments, but that they really belonged to the Roman Catholics, by whom most of the colleges had been built; and the hon. and learned Member for Portsmouth (Mr. Serjeant Gaselee), putting the thing in the broadest manner, had said, "You don't suppose founders' wills are to last for ever?" Unlike the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bouverie), who thought it a matter of bye-laws, the learned Serjeant had a notion that founders' wills stood in the way, and he seemed to look on them as musty parchments, only to be got rid of. There was, however, such a thing as truth and justice, which the lapse of time did not affect; and he was at a loss to conceive why, when foundations had been made absolutely for the benefit of one set of persons, another set, simply because they happened to have a large share of intellect, coupled with very little honesty, should come in and lay hands upon what was never intended for them. He could not understand, moreover, why laymen were not entitled to the same care of their religious education as persons intended for the Church; it was of equal consequence to them individually, and it would be a most lamentable thing if the religious character of the Universities were tampered with. He had not much fear, however, on that head, for the strong religious feeling of the country was setting itself resolutely against these endeavours to get rid, under the name of liberality, of all distinctive religious teaching. He opposed the Bill, partly because it was an attempt of that kind, but mainly because it tended to disturb the security of property by disregarding founders' wills, and giving to A what had been intended for B. The arguments of the hon. Members for Brighton, Plymouth, and Portsmouth were as applicable to all Church property as to the Universities, and they might as well propose to allow anybody who had the patronage of a benefice to bestow it on the cleverest and most intellectual man he could find, no matter what his religious opinions. He was strongly opposed to such changes, and hoped, therefore, that the Bill would be rejected.


, in reply, said, that with regard to the bearing of the Bill on Roman Catholics, he had asked the right hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell) to investigate the matter, and had promised him to introduce in Committee, if necessary, a clause which would satisfy him and his co-religionists. As to the stress laid on the fact that the majority at the Universities had petitioned against the measure, it should be remembered that they had opposed every step which had been taken for the removal of religious disabilities. The petition in its favour had, however, been signed by a majority of the tutors and assistant-tutors of Trinity College, and they would, doubtless, feel complimented at having been described by the hon. and learned Member for the University (Mr. Selwyn) as a noisy and restless minority. He had been taunted with the small dimensions of the Bill; but, small as it was, it perfectly satisfied him, and he believed would also satisfy those friends of unsectarian education who agreed with him.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: — Ayes 200; Noes 156: Majority 44.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.

Acland, T. D. Craufurd, E. H. J.
Adam, W. P. Crawford, R. W.
Agnew, Sir A. Cremorne, Lord
Allen, W. S. Dawson, R. P.
Amberley, Viscount De La Poer, E.
Anstruther, Sir R. Denman, hon. G.
Armstrong, R. Dent, J. D.
Ayrton, A. S. Dilke, Sir W.
Aytoun, R. S. Dillwyn, L. L.
Bagwell, J. Doulton, F.
Baines, E. Duff, M. E. G.
Barclay, A. C. Eliot, Lord
Barnes, T. Ellice, E.
Barron, Sir H. W. Enfield, Viscount
Bass, A. Esmonde, J.
Baxter, W. E. Evans, T. W.
Bazley, T. Ewart, W.
Brady, J. Eykyn, R.
Browne, Lord J. T. Fawcett, H.
Bruce, rt. hon. H. A. Fildes, J.
Bryan, G. L. Finlay, A. S.
Butler, C. S. FitzGerald, rt. hon. Lord O. A.
Calcraft, J. H. M.
Calthorpe, hn. F. H. W. G. Foljambe, F. J. S.
Candlish, J. Fordyce, W. D.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Forster, C.
Carnegie, hon. C. Fortescue, rt. hn. C. S.
Cavendish, Lord E. Fortescue, hon. D. F.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Foster, W. O.
Cheetham, J. French, rt. hon. Colonel
Childers, H. C. E. Gaselee, Serjeant S.
Clement, W. J. Gaskell, J. M.
Clinton, Lord E. P. Glyn, G. G.
Clive, G. Goldsmid, Sir F. H.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Goldsmid, J.
Coleridge, J. D. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Collier, Sir R. P. Gower, hon. F. L.
Colthurst, Sir G. C. Graham, W.
Colvile, C. R. Gray, Sir J.
Corbally, M. E. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cowen, J. Gridley, Captain H. G.
Grosvenor, Capt. R. W. Onslow, G.
Hadfield, G. Otway, A. J.
Hamilton, E. W. T. Owen, Sir H. O.
Hankey, T. Padmore, R.
Hardcastle, J. A. Parry, T.
Hartington, Marquess of Pease, J. W.
Hartley, J. Peel, A. W.
Hay, Lord J. Philips, R. N.
Hay, Lord W. M. Platt, J.
Hayter, Capt. A. D. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Headlam, rt. hon. T. E. Potter, R.
Henderson, J. Potter, T. B.
Heneage, E. Power, Sir J.
Henley, Lord Pritchard, J.
Herbert, H. A. Rawlinson, Sir H.
Hibbert, J. T. Rebow, J. G.
Hodgkinson, G. Robartes, T. J. A.
Holland, E. Rothschild, Baron M. de
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Rothschild, N. M. de
Hughes, W. B. Russell, A.
Hutt, rt. hn. Sir W. Russell, H.
Ingham, R. Russell, Sir W.
Jackson, W. Salomons, Alderman
Jervoise, Sir J. C. Samuda, J. D'A.
Kennedy, T. Samuelson, B.
King, hon. P. J.L. Seely, C.
Kinglake, J. A. Sheridan, H. B.
Knatchbull-Hugessen E. Sherriff, A. C.
Labouchere, H. Simeon, Sir J.
Laing, S. Smith, J.
Lamont, J. Smith, J. A.
Lawrence, W. Smith, J. B.
Leatham, W. H. Stacpoole, W.
Leeman, G. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Lefevre, G. J. S. Stirling-Maxwell, Sir W.
Locke, J. Stock, O.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Stuart, Col. Crichton-
Lusk, A. Sykes, Colonel W. H.
MacEvoy, E. Talbot, C. R. M.
Mackie, J. Taylor, P. A.
Mackinnon, Capt. L. B. Tite, W.
Mackinnon, W. A. Torrens, W. T. M'C.
M'Lagan, P. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
M'Laren, D.
Maguire, J. F. Trevelyan, G. O.
Martin, C. W. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Martin, P. W. Vivian, H. H.
Merry, J. Vivian, Capt. hn. J. C. W.
Milbank, F. A. Western, Sir T. B.
Mill, J. S. Whatman, J.
Miller, W. Whitbread, S.
Mitchell, A. White, J.
Mitchell, T. A. Wickham, H. W.
Monk, C. J. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Moore, C. Woods, H.
Murphy, N. D. Wyld, J.
Neate, C. Wynne, W. R. M.
Nicol, J. D. Young, R.
Norwood, C. M.
O'Beirne, J. L. TELLERS.
O'Brien, Sir P. Bouverie, rt. hn. E. P.
Oliphant, L. Morrison, W.
Adderley, rt. hon. C. B. Barrington, Viscount
Akroyd, E. Bateson, Sir T.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Bathurst, A. A.
Archdall, Captain M. Beach, Sir M. H.
Arkwright, R. Bective, Earl of
Bagge, Sir W. Beccroft, G. S.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Bentinck, G. C.
Baillie, rt. hon. H. J. Benyon, R.
Bingham, Lord Hunt, G. W.
Booth, Sir R. G. Jones, D.
Brett, W. B. Karslake, Sir J. B.
Bridges, Sir B. W. Kavanagh, A.
Bromley, W. D. Kekewich, S. T.
Bruce, C. Kendall, N.
Bruen, H. King, J. K.
Burrell, Sir P. King, J. G.
Capper, C. Knight, F. W.
Cartwright, Colonel Knightley, Sir R.
Cave, rt. hon. S. Lacon, Sir E.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Laird, J.
Clive, Capt. hon. G. W. Langton, W. G.
Cole, hon. H. Lefroy, A.
Cooper, E. H. Malcolm, J. W.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Cox, W. T. Manners, Lord G. J.
Cranborne, Viscount Meller, Colonel
Cubitt, G. Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.
Curzon, Viscount Montgomery, Sir G.
Dalkeith, Earl of Morgan, O.
Dimsdale, R. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Neeld, Sir J.
Du Cane, C. Newdegate, C. N.
Duncombe, hn. Admiral Noel, hon. G. J.
Du Pre, C. G. North, Colonel
Edwards, Sir H. Northcote, rt. hn. Sir S. H.
Egerton, Sir P. G. O'Neill, E.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Packe, Colonel
Egerton, E. C. Parker, Major W.
Egerton, hon. W. Patten, Colonel W.
Fane, Lt. Col. H. H. Peel, rt. hon. Gen.
Feilden, J. Pennant, hon. G. D.
Fellowes, E. Percy, Major- Gen. Lord H.
Fergusson, Sir J.
Floyer, J. Powell, F. S.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Read, C. S.
Galway, Viscount Repton, G. W. J.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Goddard, A. L. Robertson, P. F.
Goldney, G. Rolt, Sir J.
Goodson, J. Royston, Viscount
Gore, J. R. O. Schreiber, C.
Graves, S. R. Sclater-Booth, G.
Gray, Lieut.-Colonel Seymour, G. H.
Greenall, G. Smith, A.
Greene, E. Smith, S. G.
Grey, hon. T. de Stanley, hon. F.
Griffith, C. D. Stronge, Sir J. M.
Guinness, Sir B. L. Stuart, Lt.-Colonel W.
Gwyn, H. Surtees, H. E.
Hamilton, rt. hn. Lord C. Taylor, Colonel
Hardy, rt. hon. G. Tottenham, Lt. Col. C. G.
Hardy, J. Treeby, J. W.
Hay, Sir J. C. D. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Heathcote, hon. G. H. Turner, C.
Heathcote, Sir W. Vance, J.
Henley, rt. hon. J. W. Verner, Sir W.
Henniker-Major, hn. J. M. Vernon, H. F.
Walcott, Admiral
Hervey, Lord A. H. C. Walker, Major G. G.
Hesketh, Sir T. G. Walsh, Sir J.
Heygate, Sir F. W. Waterhouse, S.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Whitmore, H.
Holford, R. S. Wise, H. C.
Holmesdale, Viscount Woodd, B. T.
Hood, Sir A. A. Wyndham, hon. H.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Hornby, W. H. Wynn, C. W. W.
Horsfall, T. B.
Hotham, Lord TELLERS.
Howes, E. Selwyn, C.
Huddleston, J. W. Gorst, J. E.